FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00728

Submission Number:
Jonathan Potter
Digital Media Association
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
To Whom it May Concern: The Digital Media Association (www.digmedia.org) is a Washington, D.C.-based association of companies that provide or support “new media” services. We would appreciate the opportunity to participate in the FTC’s DRM Town Hall on March 25 in Seattle. Digital Media Association (DiMA) member companies include: • providers of pre-programmed Internet and mobile radio service, e.g., MTV Networks and Live365, • providers of listener-influenced Internet and mobile radio service, in which programming decisions are substantially informed by listeners’ expressed musical preferences, e.g. Pandora and Slacker, • providers of advertiser-supported and subscription-based music and media programming and on-demand service, e.g., RealNetworks’ Rhapsody and Gold Pass, Best Buy’s Napster, and Google’s YouTube service, and • Internet-based retailers of digital music and video, e.g., Apple iTunes and Amazon.com, including video that is downloaded to consumers and that is streamed on-demand. Many DiMA member companies utilize digital rights management technologies to ensure that consumers enjoy the content they desire in all the ways that they pay for, while also ensuring that consumers do not use the content in ways that licensors have not offered. DRM software can be an enabler of the new media business deals between media providers, hardware manufacturers and their content-owning partners. Without DRM it would be challenging to limit what uses consumers are offered or to ensure that consumers are generally complying with the rules of their subscription or license. DiMA member companies appreciate that the new media market is complex and that consumers have varying levels of comfort with sophisticated subscription offerings and the technologies that underlie them. DiMA members strive to provide complete and comprehensible disclosure to all consumers, and to ensure that consumers understand the value and functionality associated with their music and media purchases and subscriptions. There is much more to say about DRM value and about future developments, and we look forward to engaging on many of the proposed discussion topics next month at the Town Hall. Please let us know if you have any questions about DiMA or our interest in participating in the Town Hall. Thank you very much for your consideration of our request.