FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
In the modern economy, employment woes will be driving some people to switch technology players -- for cost reasons, for upgrade reasons, for reasons of transport (it's cheaper not to move cross-country with your computer, much more reasonable to sell the computer here after ERASING all your licensed content, and then MOVE that licensed content to a new device on the other end of the country.) Problem is, DRM associates content with the original devices used to play and access that content. That means any CONTENT (mp3s, videos, etc.) or software we've bought, and currently use on those devices, is trapped in those devices. Before, if we got a new CD player, we still had all our CDs. We could bring them with us, and play them on other devices -- in the car, at a party, in a classroom -- and because we were always with our CD object, we were legal. Now, in a DRM world, if we get a new MP3 player, we LOSE all our mp3s. If I want to bring my mp3s to the classroom, I have to lug my computer there (which is not just impossible, but not allowed by school policy). And if I lose my email address by getting a different job, then iTunes locks me out. This is fair? Equivalent? Ownership? I think not. Either DRM-ed mp3s should cost MUCH, MUCH LESS than 1/10th of a cd, since the VALUE of that object is now a LEASE value, not a BUY value which is significantly less than it was when I could use it fluidly on various players...or there should be JUST AS MUCH flexibility of media in the mp3 world as there was in the CD world -- meaning DRM should go away. Ergo: I ask that the FCC either mandate that iTunes and other content providers lower their prices based on the premise that "paying for" a song means temporary RENTAL, not purchase, or the FCC mandate that DRM protections be deemed illegal, as it undermines any case for consumer ownership.