FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
All DRM needs to be disclosed to the consumer before purchase, just as side-effects in drugs are advertised in drug ads. All DRM needs to be listed on websites, boxes, and any other materials used to distribute the product or service to the consumer. Consumers must have multiple ways of easily understanding what DRM is involved in the product or service so that they will be informed about the product or service before buying or using the product or service. Non-commercial products and services should not be exempted from full disclosure requirements. Consumers must also have the freedom to disable and describe DRM techniques to others. Defeating DRM on our own gadgets and services is critical to preserving our media so we can play the media even in the absence of the DRM manager (DRM publishers/controllers go away and often leave users with no means to play the media they paid for). Libraries should not buy DRM-encumbered media but if they do, they must have the freedom to make DRM-disabled fully-functional copies of these works in perpetuity. DRM is more accurately and fairly known as Digital Restrictions Management because of its effect on the user, the majority of people involved. Framing the issue as Digital Rights Management means adopting the perspective of the publisher, the minority. For more on why DRM is harmful, read http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/opposing-drm.html an article published in BusinessWeek magazine and written by Richard Stallman.