Is The FTC Interested In Protecting Consumers From Bad DRM?

from the that-would-be-interesting... dept

We're so used to hearing the government fall for the industry propaganda about the need for DRM that it's almost... shocking, to hear that the FTC is even willing to consider the question of whether or not it should be involved in protecting consumers from DRM. However, as Game Politics is noting, that question appears to be on the agenda of an FTC town hall meeting about DRM in Seattle in March. Of course, it sounds as though that question is just a preliminary one, as the full agenda has yet to be set. That means, it could have just been put there by a random staffer charged with filling out a few bullet points about what to talk about concerning DRM. Still, it's at least interesting to see a hint of recognition from the government that DRM has its downsides.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    BillDem, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 2:15pm

    Consumer Bill of Rights

    We are long overdue for a consumer bill of rights. If I buy the rights to use a game, video, or song, I should be able to use it on any device I own. Preventing me from using it with DRM should be against the law.

    DRM has never and will never prevent piracy. DRM has never been about piracy. It is purely a case of greedy big media trying to force consumers to pay more than once for the right to use the same piece of media. DRM is both logically and morally wrong. It's about time the FTC did something to protect consumers from the practice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    DRM = Digital Rental Media

    Nothen more, nothen less


    DRM SUCKS and only sucks less than those that use it.

    To hell with you ....


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    Protecting us from "BAD" DRM that implies that somewhere there is a "GOOD" DRM.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Dominick K, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 2:44pm

    Whill there be only one town hall?

    What we've seen is that companies that use DRM often make legitimate customers angry.

    It's not surprising that the FTC may *finally* town hall meeting on this topic. However, the location piques my interest and makes me question if the conversations will be representative of the actual state of affairs from a consumer perspective. Hopefully FTC will seek a broad spectrum of feedback, and there will be additional public meetings across the country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Dave, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 3:46pm

    Just don't buy it

    Purchase nondrm when ever possible. If there is only a DRM version then save your money.
    Vote with your money!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 4:33pm


    I would say there is "BAD DRM" and "Annoying DRM."

    BAD DRM is like the more recent versions of SECURom, DRM that harms your system and is virus/rootkit like.

    Annoying DRM, while still bad, is more of an annoyance. This would be like Disk Checks. While they can be cracked by people with skill, they can't be by the average user. While the "Annoying DRM" is a bit of a pain, and I'm not particularly fond of it, I could accept it if the BAD DRM went away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    lostalaska, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 6:23pm

    Dum, da, da, da, DUMB!

    DRM a round block for a square hole...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 6:46pm

    Per the FTC according to the link:

    "Interested parties should include both a statement detailing their expertise on the issues to be addressed at the Town Hall, and complete contact information. The Commission will select panelists based on their expertise and on the need to represent a range of views."

    Perhaps someone from techdirt might want to consider being a panelist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Dan, Jan 8th, 2009 @ 12:06am

    Wanna bet the panel is packed with industry hacks?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    The event should be called "DRM Sales 101"

    The Workshops about "Demonstrations of DRM-related technology" and "Review of industry best practices" seem to set the tone of the town hall.

    I can't wait to see the "experts" on the panel list.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Rekrul, Jan 8th, 2009 @ 4:11pm

    There will a lot of talk, a bunch of studies, a ton of wasted money and in the end, all that will happen (at most) is that companies will be required to put a warning on products that contain DRM. No forms of DRM will be banned, no products will be ordered to be DRM-free, no circumvention of DRM for personal use will be allowed. Business as usual.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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