FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM simply is not worth the trouble. Its trade-offs help no one. The "piracy" it prevents is only that of casual sharing between friends. The commercial bootleggers find a way around DRM, and always will. And those users who are prevented from sharing with their friends are also subject to many unintended problems, including reduced reliability of their systems, increased vulnerability to malware, and complete loss of their purchases when the vendor can no longer support the DRM. Add to this the intangible loss of giving up some measure of control over one's computer, music player, game system, or other technical device to some unknown party. Who knows what they may decide to do with that control? If they won't trust their customers, why should their customers trust them? No consumer wants DRM. It makes products more complex, less reliable, and more expensive. Vendors of easily-duplicated goods have been complaining for over a century (look at the label of the old Edison phonograph cylinders), and still making a great deal of money. There is no need to give them even more control, especially at the expense of their customers.