L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

14 February 2009 Blog Home : February 2009 : Permalink

690 Against. 9 in Favour.

Along with some 700 other people I gave the FTC feedback on DRM for their upcoming "townhall meeting". Prompted by this article at Teleread, I decided to look at all 707 submissions. In summary I note that the overwhelming majority are against DRM in some form or other. There are a couple of duplicates, a few bizarre off topic posts and the following 9 which exhibit general, if qualified, support for DRM as currently implemented:
The last is from a DRM publisher and his support of DRM is, as with most of the other suporters, distinctly limited!

Reading the 690 anti-DRM posts I was struck by a few things. Most importantly there has been no astroturf. These are separate comments although they do frequently return to the same themes. I also noted that a number of content creators were notably against DRM.

The themes that were repeated were
  1. DRM harms the law-abiding and doesn't affect the pirates
  2. DRM causes unacceptable side-effects
  3. DRM is not clearly labeled and the consequences are unclear
    1. It tends to be hard/impossible to get refunds/help when things go wrong
    2. Phone home DRM relies on the provider keeping his server up
  4. When DRM is clearly expressed and not perceived as coercive people like it (e.g. the Steam interface)
  5. DRM impacts the ability of people to resell stuff and this is resented
  6. DRM shows contempt for your customers and assumes that they are all potential thieves
All in all this has been less boring than I expected thanks to the lack of astroturf. I have no doubt that the DRM inflictors will be responding at some point but apparently they don't feel like replying on a public site where anyone can laugh at their defences. Talking of laughter I thought this PDF was an amusing way to make a valid point.

The raw text if you want to read it is in these seven large HTML documents (you'll have to figure out the PDFlinks yourself)
  1. FTC1
  2. FTC2
  3. FTC3
  4. FTC5
  5. FTC5
  6. FTC6
  7. FTC7