FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
If there is one thing that must be learned from the Industrial Revolution, it is that technology will invariably alter every aspect of the social, political, and economic landscape. To resist already widely-accepted technologies through proprietary controls such as DRM and the brute litigation that pursues its violation will only serve to forestall the changes that the Internet has begun in our society. The companies that use methods such as DRM belong to a business model that predates this change. In this model, information is treated much like any other product: discrete, finite, and thus needing controls over its distribution to preserve its value. The Internet, on the other hand, has presented a new model of distribution, one that encourages distribution to be as unfettered as possible. It is that very model that has made the Internet the incredible economic and social resource it has become, and what has made it an essential part of today's economy. I do not oppose companies and individuals being able to operate profitably using the Internet, but I do believe that if they do, there exists an imperative to adapt to this new model, not to try and destroy it.