Outside the United States
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
I will be brief. A fundamental problem with the implementation of DRM is that it is done without the consumers' consent or awareness. No matter what type of DRM is utilized, the consumer must have that information available. Secret rootkits installed by privately owned companies with unlimited access to personal files - this is DRM today. DRM is a necessity in the fight against piracy. But it must not come at the expense of consumer privacy. The consumer must be made aware BY THE PRODUCER OR THE PUBLISHER of digital goods, what DRM will be utilized to ensure the legal / authorized use of the good. If the DRM information is available, then it becomes a consumer choice. If it is not, then DRM will remain a small step away from criminal acts of invading privacy. Software producers have had the opportunity to produce DRM that is commonly accepted. Some have failed. The DRM of today has grown so powerful, that admitting it is implemented in a digital good is simply no longer possible. Now legislation is needed, that demands that full information is easily available to the consumer regarding DRM in a good, to ensure that the companies stop tricking the consumers. How this is best implemented, I leave in the hands of better minds.