FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM needs to be clearly outlawed. It steps all over the first-sale doctrine and acts as a big brother holding every customer -yes customer not consumer nor subscriber, hostage to the media companies whims and balance sheets. How many DRM systems have been implemented then abandoned when they were not longer a profitable venture or no longer worked for the company strategic plan? Nearly a dozen if memory serves. Guess what happened to the customers who "purchased" those products? They got ripped off - nay stolen from in my opinion when the product they thought they purchased stopped working! DRM is just plain wrong. We have police to enforce the laws of the land, companies should not be allowed to assume even a degree of the role of such agencies since such a system is a serious conflict of interest on so many levels as well as a slippery slop as we have already seen. For example, if you want proof of this, just look at the RIAA after assuming the copyright "enforcement" role and how it has twisted the civil courts - not criminal ones (which is where any such action should take place first in my opinion) via the law into a ten ton hammer to wield over the populous. Yet DRM on music is pretty much dead now and oddly enough to the amazement of the RIAA DRM free music sales are setting record levels year on year! The rest of the media world should follow suit and very quickly. There were many, many products I have not purchased over the past few years that I could have easily acquired but chose not to because of the Stalinistic DRM policy employed by the developers and publishers. Moreover when most customers try to complain about such things on official public forums they get shut down quickly by the companies. If DRM is so great and needed then why keep it covered in such secrecy? The answer is simple. It is because the people doing it know it is inherently wrong or they are using it for other purposes. There are many other issues such as privacy, black lists, damage to hardware and other software -etc... that I have not even touch on yet to also consider and of course when one looks at all of it, the baggage that comes with DRM, one can only conclude that it is a bad thing for everyone and the more draconian it becomes the more the public will rebel. In short, stop DRM here. Stop DRM now! It does not do what it is publically claimed to do but it does have many other nefarious profit driven uses. Simply put DRM does not serve the public interest one iota.