FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Digital rights management (DRM) is what I like to refer to as "defective by design". DRM allows content to be used on only one device, and if you lose the device, you lose the ability to use content you legitimately paid for. If the DRM involves a license server provided by a third party, say Apple, or Wal-Mart, and that third party decides to cease operation of the license server, you lose the ability to use content you legitimately paid for. In theory, DRM is supposed to reduce piracy. In practice, it reduces usability, and does absolutely nothing to reduce piracy. Ask anyone who has taken a licensed piece of content and burned it to an audio CD, and then ripped the CD to a non-DRM'ed mp3. Ask anyone who has changed computers only to learn that their music won't work on the new one.