Details On The FTC's DRM Workshop

from the don't-miss-it dept

At the beginning of January we noted — with some amount of surprise — that it appeared that the FTC was preparing a workshop on DRM. When I was in Washington, DC recently, I had the chance to meet some of the folks putting that workshop together, and now they’ve sent over a more detailed list of topics up for discussion at the session, and it does seem like a pretty good list — covering pretty much the entire range of questions concerning DRM, specifically from a consumer perspective. It’s definitely an encouraging sign that folks at the FTC are recognizing that DRM can be used to do harm, rather than just (as the industry would have you believe) to “open up new business models.”

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Comments on “Details On The FTC's DRM Workshop”

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PaulT (profile) says:

I wish they’d just come to one simply realisation: Any business model that revolves around people “purchasing” something (as opposed to renting it) should not have the ability to remove or restrict the item after purchase.

That’s it. The one and only purpose of DRM is to restrict what a person can do. Stop trying to restrict those who have actually paid good money for what is meant to be indefinite usage, and most people will stop seeing it as objectionable.

Phil says:

Re: Re: Re: DRM is GOOD

Perhaps Voice of Reason needs a metaphor they can understand:

DRM is like the time-honored accident of picking up a tranny hooker. Things look fine in low light, and you think your getting a 30% off deal, but once you get it home, you find it just doesn’t work quite right with anything you got. So you toss it out and just wished you wouldn’t have been so foolish.

PaulT (profile) says:


I’ll repeat what I’ve said before – I will not buy *anything* containing DRM. I used to buy DRMed goods like games that I could crack to get around restrictions, but I refuse to even do that any more. DRM = no sale.

So, if you install DRM on to your product, you don’t get that money. Explain how this is “good” for anyone except the makers of non-DRMed goods, who do get my money instead?

skyrider (profile) says:


Sorry, you must be a MPAA shill instead, Voice of Reason, sorry.

Reason this: There are thousands of consumers who have been burned by DRM, in my case, DRM on cellphone ringtones. My daughter was dismayed that she couldn’t move her ringtones from her old cellphone to her new one because of DRM.

This DRM was put in place to keep ‘consumers’ from buying one ringtone and sharing it amongst their friends, but in this case prevented a LAWFUL use.

My solution? I went and downloaded the songs, cut them up into clips and put them on her new phone. I had to hack around the DRM on the new phone to get it to recognize the clips as ringtones as well.

Does that sound fair to you? It probably would sound fair to the Voice of Reason whose object is to get customers to pay for the same thing over and over again.

IT DOES NOT sound fair to a customer who has to buy the same thing over and over again.

I saved $60.00 and got a lesson about how in bed the cell-phone companies are with the Industry.

Final words? Take your reasoning and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

Voice of Reason says:


“Does that sound fair to you? It probably would sound fair to the Voice of Reason whose object is to get customers to pay for the same thing over and over again.”

Exactly right. Well done skyrider. Being an infinite good it can be charged for over and over again! Remember that I explained that the most money must be made in the shortest possible time by whatever means possible. This is right and proper, as you know. Period.

“IT DOES NOT sound fair to a customer who has to buy the same thing over and over again.”

The consumer’s views are irrelevant. The rights holders know best. Even the artist that created the content doesn’t know squat if they don’t still hold the rights, remember.

Wes Schadenfreud (user link) says:

DRM should have managed "responsibilities" - equitably

… Instead it is a file format with no value add only consumer a … What was the last product or service that cost more and delivered less? Time to talk “compulsory licensing” for real innovation! Watermarking too will be the key ingredient in any scheme – as signatures that are remarkably robust against any number of manupulations – it is where the debate over accounting & accountability should start – DRM – come on …

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