FTC DRM comments

Comments 607-707
downloaded from http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/drmtechnologies/
Comment Number: 539814-00607
Received: 1/15/2009 3:16:16 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Jeremy Gans
State: OH
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM using online based activation has made it impossible for me to purchase and use numerous personal computer games in the last year. My computer that I use to play these games is not connected to the internet, to avoid problems with spyware, viruses and other bothersome issues that come with the internet. Therefore I cannot go and buy a legitimate copy of a game and play it on my computer. I have read various news stories citing the ineffectiveness of these online copy protections, as hackers will circumvent them and release "cracked" games for free. The only people that the game publishers are hurting with these draconian measures are there own legitimate costumers. For example, I have bought games from the company Electronic arts dating back to the mid nineties, and over the last year their online activation requirements have prevented me from purchasing the following titles from them: Spore, Dead Space, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Mass Effect and Mirror's Edge. Games from other publishers that I have not been able to purchase is as follows: Far Cry 2, Bioshock, Sacred 2. The way that these companies treat their customers atrocious, and it is of little surprise to me that Electronic Art's sales are down. Instead of pursuing the actual people who pirate their games, they are punishing people like myself who buy games legitimately. I have never burned a copy of a game for a friend or downloaded a cracked version of a game: Why am I being treated like a criminal? What these publishers fail to realize is that there will always be a group of people who will "crack" and steal their games, and that these people who download illegal versions of software would not likely go out and buy the legitimate versions if the illegal ones suddenly disappeared. Its time to stop penalizing loyal customers and take away SecuROM and other similar protection schemes, and take a more reasonable approach, otherwise sales will fall and there will be outcry as long as these methods are used.
Comment Number: 539814-00608
Received: 1/15/2009 4:19:45 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Kristy Porter
State: UT
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Discussing the limitations of DRM? How about discussing the LIMITING of DRM instead. Current DRM is little more than restrictive, invasive, malicious spyware. There is no wonder whatsoever that it has been ill-received by so many people. If anything, it has only seemed to encourage piracy because no one wants that stuff on their computers. And frankly, who can blame them? My first primary complaint is in regards to DRM's invasiveness. I don't object to anti-piracy measures that limit themselves to just the product they are attached to. I adamantly object when said software infects my computer, applies itself willy-nilly to whatever it pleases, breaks my other programs and components, shuts down the program it is supposedly protecting because it fails to recognize repairs and upgrades to the computer, and reports unknown information to unknown persons who really don't need to know my business. Need I point fingers or do we already know who the primary culprits are? My second primary complaint is the whole ownership issue. Did I PURCHASE the product or was I only RENTING it? Clarity on this point is absolutely required (and I'd prefer to see it in bold letters on the packaging my product came in). Because if I PURCHASED it, then I should have the right to remove it from my computer and have the DRM be removed simultaneously without any extra steps. And I should also subsequently have the right to re-sell that original copy to someone else at my next garage sale without causing them any grievances for installing or registering it. And my final primary complaint is the furtive gathering of information. If you really want to know my business, then make me fill out a questionaire as part of the registration process. If I really don't mind the kind of information being gathered, then I'll actually answer the questions. No more of this behind-my-back stuff. I WANT developers to make better products I'll be interested in. A voluntary questionaire is not an unreasonable in the least. As for how to best notify the consumer in regards to any DRM on any product? Keep it short and simple. If you must have a legalese version, please be sure to include it after the cliff-notes version. And I still want specific warnings in bold letters on the outside package of my product so I know before I even buy it. Stores have extremely restrictive return policies on opened software.
Comment Number: 539814-00609
Received: 1/15/2009 8:27:27 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Jennifer Montoya
State: NE
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Concerning securom on EA games: I am very disappointed at Ea being allowed to limit the amount of times I can install a game I bought. I believe that the consumer needs protection as well as the merchant. However from what I've heard by treating the consumers as theifs; it seems (from the example of Spore) that EA's general customer base has become just that. Also my other concern is that these DRM programs allow access into our computers; which can be used not only for their company but for any malicious individual that can get into these systems. Once again the consumer is not protected just left open to whatever damage may occur from using what should be a safe game. For the record I have bought all my EA Sims copies (brand new from the store) and even Spore. Just like movies or music shouldn't be numbered the amount of times they are played. I don't believe video games should be either. Thank you for your time.
Comment Number: 539814-00610
Received: 1/16/2009 5:45:36 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Glass
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM is damaging the reputations of companies, making watching a legal copy of the latest films stutter badly on even the most recent PC/laptop and as a result is promoting the use of piracy. I can back up the above statement with one word, Spore. Electronic Arts used a version of SecuRom that limits the number of times to 3 computers and within a month of release, became the most pirated game at that time due solely because of the DRM restrictions. Films are no exception either. I have often bought a DVD and when I went to play it on my laptop, the picture and sound stutters which would be worse than trying to watch a streaming video on a 56k modem. The only way I would be able to watch that film on my laptop would be if I was to download that film illegally which of course could result in fines and/or time in prison. I'm not pro-piracy as I believe that companies should get paid for their products, but the DRM used to "prevent" piracy actually only affect the fat-cat companies and those who legally purchased the item in question.
Comment Number: 539814-00161
Received: 1/8/2009 10:33:17 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Daniel Garcia
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Hello, As an American citizen living abroad, I felt my duty to chime in on this issue. Yesterday a friend of mine brought to my attention that the HDMI spec is changing. Seems the movie studios in their zest to DRM the video, forgot about the audio. So now they are reintroducing DRM to the audio component which basically means that people who own Blu-ray players, Playstation 3's, or any DVD player with and HDMI output are now screwed. Also, in case you were niot aware of it, pirated Blu-ray movies have been released at the same time or earlier as their commercial counterparts so DRM is not even stopping that but it is inconveniencing consumers. Let me cite another example, SPORE by EA Games for the PC format. The first release had so many bugs some people tried to reinstall it multiples times as it kept becoming unplayable, but of course they were stopped from doing so because of the draconian DRM. I know several PC gamers who buy their games then immediately proceed to download a pirate copy specifically to avoid the DRM. The only thing DRM really does in this instance is prevent people from reinstalling a game they legitimately bought after the game crashes so badly that it won't run anymore. The other thing it seems to do on some extreme cases is compromise the operating system with rootkits making it more likely for viruses and trojans to compromise a system which just brings productivity down. Also, several online music providers have started offering music without DRM and saw their sales increase. Apple made the same move this past Tuesday to drop DRM from their music files and charging a bit extra. The obvious reason for the increase in sales is that consumers don't have to worry about which device supports the DRM du-jour and can actually enjoy the product they bought. DRM doesn't stop the pirates as they continue unabated, all it really does is cause headaches for consumers and increase support costs. It is absolutely ridiculous. Sincerely, Daniel.
Comment Number: 539814-00612
Received: 1/16/2009 7:16:39 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Beth Mejia
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I think DRM is unfair to the consumer.--1. When you BUY a digital product, then it's not made clear that it's a rental. If the DRM company goes out of business, changes or upgrades DRM schemes, is bought by another owner, or for any other reason (since there's there's no guarantee of replacement), then you lose access to your purchased digital product.-- It should be mandatory by law that if there are any problems of access in the future, then the publishing company/DRM company/retailer MUST provide an exact digital copy of the digital product OR they must give the consumer simple, easy software to be allowed to legally and easily remove the DRM from the digital product for the consumer's own use.-- 2. Any company that installs spyware/adware/malware/viruses/trojans/rootkits that harms a user's computer or computer user's privacy, security such that a user has to take time and/or money to get it fixed, then that company should not be allowed to do business, even if it's allowed in their fine print agreement. Just because most of the US population are not lawyers shouldn't mean we all get our computers damaged, slowed, computer resources stolen, etc. --If there is ANY adware/spyware/malware related to the product that won't damage the computer, then it should be CLEARLY VISIBLE ATTHE EXACT LOCATION WHERE THE PRODUCT IS BEING PURCHASED AND/OR ADVERTISED. If the company has the time and the resources to put up a picture of their product, then they should be able to tack this on, too.-- 3. DRM is too onerous and kills our society of sharing ideas and education and culture easily with each other. Why can't you copy/print pages from a digital book that you paid for? So I can view it but not copy a few pages as an example to show others? Why can't I share the copy legally with 1 or 2 friends or family or even someone in the 3rd world who has little access to the work which is the same as going to borrow a book from the library and sharing it? Also, as an aside of DRM and digital products, if a publisher/author/creator no longer distributes the digital product, then why can not people freely share it? Why is the average citizen penalized for furthering culture throughout society? It's our duty as global citizens to help further culture and learning in 3rd world countries as well as to our own citizens who have little or no access to digital products. More culture and learning in other parts of the world mean less violence and fewer wars for scarce resources. -- 4. Easy ability to stop forever any automatic or manual upgrades without being tortured to death with popup ads to accept upgrades. I've upgraded to what i was told by the software manufacturer was SUPPOSEDLY BETTER software upgrades and sometimes, these have damaged my computer with adware/spyware/malware, etc. and I've had to have my computers repaired. I was quite happy without any upgrades or requests/reminders for upgrades. Every computer is different, especially older computers and so not everyone should be forced to upgrade unless it's for the safety of the internet such as operating software patches. -- 5. I'm sure I'm not the only citizen who feels divided, that DRM is onerous but also that creators should be minimally compensated to further culture in society. If creators/authors/writers/musicians/publishers feel they are being unfairly recompensed via digital piracy, then a private or governmental body can be set up to monitor popularity usage of digital products on the web. A tax can be put on ISP's, computers, computer components, computer devices, mobile phone devices to recompense the creators fairly from the taxes.
Comment Number: 539814-00613
Received: 1/16/2009 9:58:06 PM
Organization:
Commenter: E. Keenan
State: NC
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM should not be used in video games to limit number of installations because once that person buys a game, it is rightfully and legally theirs by law. If for some reason the consumer uses up all of their installations, whether it be from a troublesome computer or from major updates to their hard drive, that does not matter at all, because after the installations are used up, that game is not theirs to use freely anymore. It is a shame that an honest consumer would have to go out and buy a new game just because the creator intentionally made the game stop working. The cost to the general public far exceeds any harm done to the attempt to stop video game piracy, for it steals money from hard-working people while only slowing down pirates. Implementing limitation and over-security on the entire public just to stop these proposed pirates hurts and makes life difficult for honest people in the end, and the fact is that we don't even know if DRM is really helping to stop piracy. We all know about piracy and that people do it, but if we could actually track them specifically, then they would all be caught right now and we wouldn't have this problem. Although piracy is a big issue, especially for videogames, with DRM honest people are having a much more difficult time than they deserve, and if it is meant for pirates, it really should be more direct and efficient. DRM is not the right direction.
Comment Number: 539814-00614
Received: 1/16/2009 10:58:57 PM
Organization: none
Commenter: june mattes
State: MO
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I was extremely upset that I can no longer get some e-books I have purchased. One publisher went out of business? or stopped handling e-books around a couple of years ago. Lost only 4 books but if I had purchased these in a used bookstore I would still have them. Fictionwise is now changing the way I can download my e-books in Mobi format. The mobi pocket format is what I have always downloaded. It is what I am use to. I do not want my books any other way but now I have to download a different reader. What do I do with all the DRM format mobi books if I change my pda to ereader? So I have around 260 books in a DRM mobi format, cannot access around 18 as of now. I purchased these -- they are mine but I cannot use them if my pda goes belly up or if I get a new PDA. This is not right.
Comment Number: 539814-00615
Received: 1/17/2009 12:41:18 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Linz
State: CO
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM is a necessary evil, but if made too invasive is more damaging than no DRM at all. The idea that good fences make good neighbors is a solid one. Define in a clear way, what is acceptable usage of a resource, by providing a barrier to unacceptable usage. Providing a visible barrier to entry, like an access-code or a CD check, prevents casual piracy just like a fence prevents casual trespass. People will walk around the fence rather than cut through the yard if its easier to do so. People will simply regard it as easier not to pirate the software. Escalating beyond this level of protection is counter productive. Just like a fence will not stop anyone who plans to enter the yard from going there, copy protection will not stop anyone intent on stealing software from doing so. The difference is that no matter how powerful a DRM system is, the creators must allow access to authorized users. As long as the intended recipients can get in so can the unintended. As we have seen in practice many times now, someone will crack the DRM and a version of the product with no DRM will be available for those who would take the time to find it. Stronger copy protection fails to provide stronger results because the people intent on stealing the software need not defeat the DRM themselves. Since the people who break the DRM do so for everyone, the hardest most folks have to work to steal software is always the same, they simply need to search for an already broken copy. When the DRM gets more invasive, legitimate consumers receive a greater barrier to entry without a corresponding increase in difficulty for the illegitimate users. Eventually we reach a tipping point where it becomes easier for people to steal the software than to buy it. The following is a personal example of the issue: I recently reinstalled an old game of mine only to find that it will not run on my new system, because I have Nero Express installed. Uninstalling Nero was not enough for the DRM in the game to allow me to play. Fortunately this game was several years old and a patch had long since been released to fix the issue, but I still needed to research the problem, uninstall the game, reinstall the game, find the correct patch, and Install the patch before I could play. In the same time with far less effort I could have found a DRM free version of the software somewhere on the internet. To me that seems dangerous. Two things should be noted, One: Nero Express is a pack in with many DVD-RW drives. It, or software like it, is necessary for users of XP write information to a DVD disc as this function is not available in the XP OS itself) Two: Even if the DRM had been willing to let me play the game after removing Nero, this would have been an unacceptable solution to my mind. Not only is Nero essential to my work, but the idea that a publisher can place limits on another company's legitimate software is contrary to any concept of free market.
Comment Number: 539814-00616
Received: 1/17/2009 2:09:18 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Korpi
State: MN
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

After installing EA Games' Bon Voyage, Freetime, and Apartment Life Expansions for The Sims 2 on my new PC, things started going wrong. First my antivirus software started malfunctioning. Then my antispyware software malfunctioned. These malfunctions included not updating for new virus and spyware definitions. Next my DVD/CD writing software started malfunctioning. I could no longer burn my personal game folders (like the neighborhood or downloads folders) that I had created onto backup DVD or CD disks. I had read that SecuRom was not compatible with my particular antivirus program, so I bought a new one, even though my old program still had a year left of subscription. I was just out that money. I upgraded to the latest Plus version of my antispyware program, which cost me more money. I bought new DVD/CD writing software, and that cost me additional money. By this time, I had paid more for these than I paid for the Sims 2 Expansions. But buying new programs didn't solve the problem. And other things started going wrong with Windows XP Pro. My computer acted like I had a virus, but scans showed nothing. Finally, I decided to uninstall. But SecuRom didn't uninstall when I uninstalled Sims 2 and all the Expansions. And the official uninstaller eventually offered by EA Games didn't completely remove SecuRom. I continued to have problems. I finally had to hard reformat my internal drive and reinstall Windows XP Pro and all my other programs -- except I did not reinstall anything with SecuRom on it. Without SecuRom, all my programs now work perfectly and so does my OS. But I can no longer legally play Bon Voyage, Freetime, or Apartment Life (all of which I had purchased before concluding SecuRom was behind the problems on my computer) because all of these expansions contain versions of SecuRom. And I know from personal experience that SecuRom disables programs, messes up an OS very much the way a virus does, and refuses to uninstall like a virus. That means I have lost a great deal of money, and even more troubling, the enjoyment of a game that was the only game I was playing on my computer. I'm not a gamer. I don't know the ins and outs of the industry. I was just a grandma who enjoyed playing with a virtual dollhouse, while I was confined to my bed because of chronic illness. And they took that joy from me -- a joy that made my days a little easier. I don't understand why I have to suffer because someone else, somewhere, was doing something wrong. :(
Comment Number: 539814-00617
Received: 1/18/2009 12:15:36 AM
Organization:
Commenter: William Lumbreyer
State: NJ
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM provides absolutely no benefit to consumers, tramples over consumer rights and fair use, is sometimes outright harmful to consumers and, by many accounts, actually encourages the piracy of content that it supposedly is designed to prevent. The worst elements of DRM include (1) setting arbitrary limits on the usability of a product, such as software activation limits, (2) requiring activation on a central server, especially when this is required for every use, and (3) installing malicious monitoring software, which cannot be uninstalled by any ordinary people. We don’t allow automakers to make cars arbitrarily stop working at 100,000 miles and there is simply no reason for software, video or other entertainment or productivity content to have similar limits. We would never accept it if we had to ask permission every time we wanted to start our cars and, again, there is simply no reason to allow content owners to make us check in through software or hardware every time we want to use what we have purchased. We would be clogging the court system with lawsuits if any other industries hired spies to look through our belongings and monitor our use of their products. Content providers must not be allowed to install unwanted software that rifles through the contents of the hard drive and operating system looking for things it doesn’t like, disabling hardware and software, opening gaping holes in computer security, and reporting back to these businesses. By way of example, please refer to the widely reported Sony Rootkit lawsuit and the vulnerabilities it opened up on even secure government computers. When these companies are not regulated in their use of DRM, they run amok and pose serious threats not only to consumers but to national security. A copyright holder's rights to control the ownership of a copy end once that copy is sold. These forms of DRM violate this by enforcing control if the copy is sold to another owner. They overstep their own rights to trample on the rights of consumers in violation of established law. I was unaware until after purchasing a Blu-Ray player that this expensive piece of equipment can be rendered useless at the whim of the industry in the name of protecting content. The industry came up with a standard called AACS which essentially allows them to change the locks on new releases if somebody figures out how to digitally pick the old locks. That means that consumers like myself may be able to play Blu-Ray discs today and find out tomorrow that nothing else I buy will play on my player because they changed those digital locks. Simply put, they have no right to sell equipment that is supposed to work a certain way, then effectively flip a switch and tell the consumer to buy new equipment to fix the problem when it no longer works. If you ask the businesses, they are going to argue that DRM is necessary to reduce or prevent piracy. Real pirates will always circumvent whatever defenses are created. What DRM actually accomplishes is generating frustration for consumers. Please refer to the widely reported story of a PC game named “Spore”, which became the most pirated game in history, due primarily because of the DRM limitations imposed, as a form of consumer revolt. In recap, I am entirely opposed to DRM and I urge you to ban the use of DRM across the board. It is harmful to consumers and does not even effectively serve its alleged purpose. It is simply an unacceptable and abusive violation of consumer rights and infringement on fair use. To the extent that you do not ban DRM outright, I urge you to provide strong oversight, strict regulation, and to require clear disclosure of DRM limitations and risks on all packaging, marketing materials and sales catalog entries of affected products. Thank you for accepting my comments on this matter.
Comment Number: 539814-00618
Received: 1/18/2009 5:51:25 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Jacob Grant
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM does next to nothing when it comes to stopping piracy of digital media. The only thing it does is hurt the consumer. Music DRM (such as on iTunes) only limits what I can do with the music I HAVE PURCHASED. Yet I can still easily download a pirated copy of that music which WON'T limit me. The same goes for PC games. Many games install SecuROM on PCs; this can be harmful and intrusive. Yet at the same time, EVERY SecuROM game has been successfully pirated. In many cases, I would like to purchase a game and support the developer, but I refuse to do so because said game requires SecuROM. I am thus tempted towards piracy. All in all, DRM does nothing but hurt the consumer that pays for digital media.
Comment Number: 539814-00619
Received: 1/18/2009 9:42:48 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Burroughs
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

The version of Securom currently being used by most PC Game manufacturers is version 7. It is known to have the following issues for some people who have the software installed on their PC. Please note, this list is not extensive: Misidentifying normal, legally purchased and owned CD/DVD burning software as 'Emulation Software' and interfering with the program. This is an example of a SecuROM-infested game with this error in action, Crysis: http://reclaimyourgame.com/images/stories/ScreenShots/emulation.jpg Interfering with the user's firewall Screenshots taken from someone's computer the first time they ran the Sims2 FreeTime EP7, after installing a new protection program. These images clearly show that SecuROM is not to be Trusted. http://reclaimyourgame.com/images/stories/ScreenShots/sims2launcher1.jpg http://reclaimyourgame.com/images/stories/ScreenShots/sims2launcher2.jpg http://reclaimyourgame.com/images/stories/ScreenShots/sims2launcher3.jpg Causing their CD/DVD drives to crash Hidden SecuROM folder in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data? "SecuROM is hiding it's files from you. This image the hidden folder in C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data "made visible" http://reclaimyourgame.com/images/stories/ScreenShots/securom.jpg This shows a writeable disc which is claiming it is full even though it clearly isn't. http://reclaimyourgame.com/images/stories/ScreenShots/sonic7.jpg When attempting to go ahead Sonic Burner now ceases to respond (you can see that from the task manager window that's shown) Basically it shows someone trying to burn a backup of their game files onto a CD. http://reclaimyourgame.com/images/stories/ScreenShots/sonic8.jpg Interfering with Mark Russanovich's program Process Explorer, which is a program designed to give users information about what processes are running on their pc In other words, Securom is intended to halt piracy, but has the effect of reducing the enjoyment of their games for the legitimate game buying public. Source: http://reclaimyourgame.com
Comment Number: 539814-00620
Received: 1/18/2009 2:07:10 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Kenneth Damborg
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Dear FTC, I was greatly encouraged upon discovering that the FTC has taken it upon itself to examine the increasingly distressing spread and overreach of digital rights management (DRM). There can be no question that any person, company or other organization has the right to try and protect his/her/its property. Yet the problem that arises with DRM is that certain versions of the programming code appears to actively hide itself from the computer user and then inserting itself into the registry giving it access to the deepest resources of the computer. This is problematic for a number of reasons: 1) It is done without the informed consent of the legitimate owner of the computer. 2) It needlessly exposes the computer to additional potential security risks as there is reason to believe that certain versions of DRM datamine the computer for personal details and send them to an external server via the internet. This means there is a backdoor that the owner/operator of the computer is not aware of and since the vast majority of PC security programs at present are not able to detect DRM it means there is a point of entry to the data on the computer that is not secure. If this can be used by a legitimate company then it may also potentially be used by IT criminals, hackers, etc. 3) The DRM is justified by those who use it as a means of stopping online piracy and yet there is no evidence at all that DRM has stopped the mass pirating of software; on the contrary in the case of Electronic Arts' "Spore" - a PC game - a pirated version was available before or around the official launch of the game and this is not an isolated incident. So much for DRM stopping piracy. 4) DRM has been known to cause firmware damage; in my case I had a 3 month old computer which had been working fine until the moment I installed Electronic Arts' "Crysis" PC game (which is known to carry DRM in the form of SecuROM). Upon completion of installation I found that my DVD-drive made disconcerting noises when trying to read a DVD-disc and would in fact no longer recognize any DVD-discs inserted. I can only presume that DRM led to this considering that the only new element to be introduced to the workings of my PC at the time was the aforementioned game with DRM. If a company knowingly introduces such risks into its products without fair warning to the public the should be held liable for any and all potential damages caused by their software. 5) DRM is also increasingly utilising limited activations which amounts to a "rental" scenario; while it is true that the publishers and developers of software hold the intellectual property rights to the actual programming it is also equally true that the individual that legitimately purchased a valid copy of the program - be it in the form of a DVD-disc, CD-ROM, MP3, etc. - owns that singular unit physically. This in turn grants the customer who purchased the product the right to "First-sale doctrine" as established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1908 which was subsequently codified in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 109. The doctrine allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained. That means that copyright holder's rights to control the change of ownership of a particular copy end once that copy is sold, as long as no additional copies are made. Limited activations operating in tandem with DRM effectively prevents an individual from doing so in the sense that it artificially undermines the value of the product by essentially sabotaging it since it can only be used on average 3-5 times before a company refuses to recognize further activations. At that point an otherwise operationally-speaking still functioning product becomes needlessly undermined which would seem to go against the intended spirit of the First-sale doctrine. Government and law exists to protect everyone; not just big companies. Help us.
Comment Number: 539814-00621
Received: 1/18/2009 3:00:16 PM
Organization: N/a
Commenter: Justin Watson
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Hello, I would like to share my unfortunate experience regarding DRM. A few months ago I had purchased the latest add on pack for the sims 2 Mansions & Garden Stuff pack. When I tried to install it came up with a strange error about securom and saying that the installation had failed and that it had compiled a log and was requesting my permission to send the report off. I clicked yes and then reset my computer, unfortunately my computer would not start up and after many attempts to recover it I finally resorted to reinstalling XP. Since then I had done some research on the Internet and have found other people who having similar problems with their games due to a DRM called securom I don’t know why Mansions & Garden Stuff pack failed to install, but I do feel that the securom version in it was responsible for killing my operating system. I have purchased many games over the years and I have discovered that 21 of my games currently contain this securom in them. If I had known this at the time, I would not have purchased the games. I feel that as the owner and administrator of my pc I should have the final authority over which programs are to run on my computer. I do not like the idea of a corporate rootkit secretly installed on my pc and telling me what programs I can and can’t run on it.
Comment Number: 539814-00622
Received: 1/18/2009 3:13:07 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Lind
State: VA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Any technology that limits the consumer in his ability to fully utilize the product is problematic. With computers becoming obsolete so quickly, the ability to move products from one computer to another is a requirement and this portability should be easy enough for an unsophisticated consumer to do without technical support. My personal experience with technology that attempts to control my use of a product generally performs poorly, if at all, and often results in disallowing me to use a product I purchased. Computer software is already quite expensive and to be unable to use a product that was legally purchased is criminal. Full disclosure of any technology used to prevent piracy should be a requirement that is clearly outlined and available right on the product packaging. It should not be something available only after the purchase is made or that requires the consumer to access a website separately from making the purchase. As a software developer myself, I can appreciate the concern for piracy but I also understand how important it is to provide a quality, usable, fully functioning product to a consumer.
Comment Number: 539814-00623
Received: 1/18/2009 3:18:03 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Angie Solimon
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I dont think it is right that I have to worry about getting spyware or a virus from something I bought on a secure and legitmate website. I also don't think it is fair that I have to worry about my game not working after a certain amount of installs. When I buy a game I would hope that I would have the freedom to do what I please with it.
Comment Number: 539814-00624
Received: 1/18/2009 11:31:32 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Eileen Hayes
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Recently, I downloaded a free trial of a video game called Spore, produced by EA. I did not realize that when I installed this free trial, it also installed SecuROM on my computer. I feel that DRM software is completely unneeded in a free trial. The supposed point of DRM is to prevent illegal file sharing, so this should be of no concern with a free trial. I have heard of many people having problems with SecuROM, including disabling their CD and DVD writing (which many people use for legal purposes), disabling or altering their anti-virus programs, and even preventing them from playing the game they purchased that came with SecuROM. SecuROM is embedded into my computer's registry. Even after uninstalling the free trial of Spore from my computer, SecuROM remains. I have tried to follow do it yourself guides to remove SecuROM, but I have been unable to remove it. While I am comfortable using computers, I am not a computer scientist, and I shouldn't have to be one in order to remove software from my computer. As far as I know, SONY does not provide any way to remove SecuROM; they will only issue patches to prevent specific errors. The supposed purpose of SecuROM is to prevent illegal sharing of software, but ironically it may increase these illegal activities. People don't want invasive software on their computer, so they will download a no-CD or no SecuROM crack just to play a game they bought legally. DRM software does not stop hackers, but in cases like SecuROM it punishes law abiding software owners. Another problem I have with some DRM is that they limit the number of times you can install a program. EA's Spore, for instance, has a maximum of 5 installations. After that, you must call EA customer service and convince them that you need to install it again. This is something that isn't made clear at all when you purchase the game. My suggestion is that software must be clearly labeled when it comes with DRM software, and when it has installation limits. This isn't something that should be hidden in the huge Terms and Conditions. I also suggest that manufacturers of DRM be required to offer a simple way to completely remove their software from a computer. I suggest that limits be placed on how far DRM software can go. I have no problem with DRM protecting certain files. I do have a problem with DRM affecting legal activities like CD burning, or even worse, DRM such as SONY's XCP software which installed a rootkit that can be exploited by worms and viruses.
Comment Number: 539814-00625
Received: 1/19/2009 10:05:02 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Jeffrey Otterson
State: GA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments: 539814-00625.pdf

Comments:

Digital Rights Management (DRM) has largely been ineffective at its primary purpose: to prevent the illegal dissemination of copyrighted materials. End-users of these materials find their rights diminished, and usefulness of the materials shrinking as technology changes, however, large-scale criminal activities (i.e. "piracy") has not been hindered in any way by these initiatives. DRM has a more insidious effect on consumer electronics, however. High-Definition Content Protection (HDCP) is a DRM scheme that is intended to disallow copying of high-definition content as it travels from the source (a blue-ray player, for instance) to a display device. HDCP is a required element of the HDMI interconnection standard, and it is laden with bugs and problems that often manifest themselves as "no picture" whenever any device on the HDMI bus changes state. To date, no secure DRM scheme has been created. Every single DRM scheme has failed, generally because of specification or software programming bugs. The CSS system, widely used on DVD discs, has been broken since 1999 -- less than three years after its adoption. The AACS system, used to protect Blu-Ray and HD-DVD content, has already been widely compromised. The Blu-Ray "BD+" has also been compromised. DRM has not prevented widespread piracy due to counterfeiting. Bit-for-bit copies of DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, software CDs, etc. all include the original DRM! DRM has caused irrevocable harm to the consumer, with very little gain for the content producers. For instance, my Toshiba HD television may not be able to display all content from a Blu-Ray player in the native "1080" hi-definition format, as it only supports analog video connections. My "modern" television cannot display "modern" content. HDMI/HDCP implementations in consumer electronics, for instance "home theater receivers", cause the screen to black out or freeze whenever another HDMI-connected device changes state, for instance if the cable converter box is powered off while a Blu-Ray movie is being played. I am a content producer (software) by trade, and I favor copyright and the protections it affords. But I am opposed to all forms of DRM, as it continues to prove expensive for the consumer and ineffective for the content producers. Thank you for your consideration of my comment. Jeffrey Otterson
Comment Number: 539814-00626
Received: 1/19/2009 3:04:56 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Alan Sharp
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Once you buy something for the asking price, it should yours to use as you see fit. A company has no right to monitor my computer through the legal purchase of software, A registered serial number should be sufficient for proof of ownership.
Comment Number: 539814-00627
Received: 1/19/2009 4:48:29 PM
Organization:
Commenter: O'neill
State: CT
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Digital rights management in any form is harmful to not only the privacy of individuals, but also to physical computer hardware itself. I personally have been affected by multiple hard drive crashes caused by installing digital rights management software.
Comment Number: 539814-00628
Received: 1/19/2009 8:43:12 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Christopher Cummings
State: MA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

When a legally-purchased product becomes more difficult to use than something that can be pirated, the system is broken--and that is what DRM is: a broken system where the people who purchase digital content are punished for doing so by having their choices restricted (eg, limiting the end-user to a certain computer terminal) while those who pirate content enjoy the pirated content without any restrictions. Instead of onerous (and fallible) DRM solutions, digital content should be made available in an open, attractive format, at a reasonable price. Consumers want to do the right thing. Help them do so.
Comment Number: 539814-00629
Received: 1/19/2009 11:12:10 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Jose Fernandez
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I have been playing video games since Pong in the late 70s. Recently I had purchased the computer game called "Bioshock". The packaging indicates that an internet connection is required. The packaging however does not state that authentication is required, or that software called SecuROM will be installed secretly on my PC without my permission (and in hidden files were users cannot find it), or that I may only install and activate three times. It is that last omission which upsets me the most. If I purchased the game for the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 video game console, I would have no such limit. This is boxed software that I have purchased. Once opened, no one will accept a return. They hold their customers at invisible gunpoint. The installation limit also makes resale nearly impossible and destroys my right to fair use. The game CD has printed on it "Do not lend or make copies of this disc". Do not lend? If I purchased the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 versions I could lend the game to whomever I chose, and I could resell the game with no problem. This installation limit will not pose a problem to the majority of people who purchase the game new. However it ruins the consumers ability to resell their purchase after the fact. If the game does not run on their computer, they are out of luck. If they alter computer hardware too often, they will run out of installations and be forced to buy a new copy, for no reason other than corporate greed. PC game manufacturers are attempting to take away consumers rights without their knowledge or consent. I hereby plead with the FTC to prevent manufacturers from implementing limited software installation schemes which hurts consumer confidence, removes the right to resell, and takes away many rights and freedoms that those in the marketplace have come to expect. Thank you for your time
Comment Number: 539814-00630
Received: 1/20/2009 12:04:45 AM
Organization:
Commenter: John Reep
State: TX
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

As the senior software support person for my company and part time programmer, piracy is a serious concern to myself and many others. Significant piracy of my company's software could jeopardize my income and financial future. However, DRM solutions such as Securom 7x are as wrong as the piracy they are suppose to be stopping. The software embeds itself in such a manner that wiping the pc clean is the only way the average consumer will be able to remove the software. Since the software needs unrestricted access to the internet, the software becomes and excellent tool for a hacker to gain control of the pc and forward personal information. Since DRM requires registering each time the software is reloaded, the company can restrict the number of times the software is installed by the user even when used in a lawful manner. Currently Electronic Arts is restricting the installation of its program Mirror's Edge to a maximum of three times. Please remember that the DRM is being used by cutting edge games being purchased by pc and gaming enthusiasts that perform regular upgrade to their computers. So it is not unreasonable for an enthusiast to reinstall their operating system and all software several times in one year either by choice or by performing upgrades that crashed their system. My largest pc has had the operating system and all software reloaded more than three times in the last 12 months due to hardware upgrades (new system board, two hard drive upgrades drive and several video card upgrades). While at least one of the upgrades would not have required re installation of the operating system and applications, it was my choice, not Electronic Arts to do so or not. Additionally, there is no guarantee to the consumer that when they reinstall the software the second time a year from now, that they will be able to activate it. Electronic Arts maybe out of business or simply chose not to allow the software to be activated. This is not right. The software was purchased, not rented or purchased for an annual fee. It is no different that going out to your garage in the morning, finding out that your two year old car wont start because it can not contact the manufacture because GM just went out of business. Sorry, your car is junk, please go by a new one. I have software that can not be activated for the same reason. I purchased the software and within a few months, the company went out of business. First time I reloaded the software, it will not run. Now I have a box and useless cdrom disk that I paid $149 a few months earlier. If Electronic Arts and others want to protect to the software and not deliver a working copy of the software to the consumer after they paid for, then let them go to an annual or quarterly purchase arrangement like the Anti-virus companies. They sell a one year subscription which is more of a guarantee of usability than provided by the companies using DRM. Because I know of the security risks inherent with DRM, I will never knowingly purchase any software that uses DRM. I would also happily support any class action lawsuit against any companies that choose to use DRM. Again, I depend of software sales for my income, but I also respect by customer's equipment and would never allow my software to jeopardize a clients computer security. Of course I deal with businesses that have lawyers. I do not sell to the unsuspecting public which do not not have in-house legal counsel.
Comment Number: 539814-00631
Received: 1/20/2009 12:29:13 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Frank Milliren
State: KS
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Hello, I am a 40+ married male with children and until fairly recently I gave little thought to the video games I bought and played. The short version is: after the unreported and unannounced unmounting of all my partitions during the installation process of a game is what first made me consider my ongoing software and performance issues were more than random chance and finally sparked my investigation into what was going on. During my investigation I discovered the program called SecuROM; eventually leading me to a complete reformat of all my computer hard drives and severely limited the programs/games that were allowed back onto my computer. Numerous sources throughout the Internet claim everything from the easily reproducible to the outrageous on what it does and damage caused. In fact some of the scariest claims can be found on the the SecuROM website in their own advertising. I have personal experience with the fact that it installs without notification, inhibits legitimate software, purposefully attempts to hide itself from the owner and administrator of the computer (me) and further when I attempted to completely remove it from my computer it made every effort possible to block me from doing so. I blame software publishers for introducing it into products without making the user aware of what it is, what it does and without providing a tool for its complete removal if the user so desires. Because of my experiences I now do not purchase any games without first determining that they do not include SecuROM or other invasive DRM programs. Please consider: If someone entered my vehicle without permission, and forced me to drive by only their wishes I would have undeniable grounds for legal recourse. If I put an air filter on my lawnmower that artificially restricted how, when and where I could use it and it prevented removal without forewarning I would again have undeniable grounds for legal recourse. If I purchased a CD indicating it was a new calculator program but it also, without notifying me, installed another program that monitored my system, sent encrypted information back to the developer, attempted to hide/disguise itself, interfered with other legitimate programs and blocked my attempts to disable/remove it I would again have undeniable grounds for legal recourse. I would not be faulted for attempting to regain control over my own property in any of these scenarios. Yet when users attempt to protect themselves or their property from SecuROM, and other similarly invasive programs, they are considered criminals. Use of SecuROM and other like programs is inexcusable because these companies are trusted by the public to provide safe and properly coded games and programs for purchase. But instead of working with the community for better solutions a quick review of the game forums of these Corporations shows that instead of developing a good relationship through open dialog with its customers these companies are either actively preventing conversation or avoiding it altogether keeping the uninformed just that and labeling the outspoken as pirates. I would respectfully request you seriously consider the fact that in the words of an FTC representative: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/06/spyware.shtm these “protective” programs, such as SecuROM, unequivocally meet the criteria for being defined as Spyware. You have in your power the ability to do something about this issue and I would hope that you hold these corporations to at least the same if not a higher standard than you would an individual who was caught engaging in these same nefarious activities. . My right to protect my property from invasion is no less important than their right to protect theirs. I agree these Corporations should be able to protect their property, but their property should not be considered more valuable than mine; that it is, is the current fundamental flaw in the system. Thank you for the opportunity to present my views, Frank Milliren
Comment Number: 539814-00632
Received: 1/20/2009 5:39:30 AM
Organization: n/a
Commenter: I prefer to remain Anonymous
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

The use of invasive DRM (which i define to be anything which causes inconvenience to the paying user, online product activations, multiple install limitations, inability to resell, internet access required for a product designed to be used offline, as well as unauthorised installation of DRM software without the users explicit agreement) I feel is against my rights to use a product which I have paid for. I feel so strongly about this that I am prepared to stop supporting the companies that provide software with intrusive DRM, and instead download pirated versions which have no such invasive DRM installations. I firmly believe that software companies who make a product should be paid for the outcome, unless it involves highly restrictive and completely unecessary limitations placed on the user just to try to circumvent piracy a little-which it ultimately fails to do. If these companies would like me, the customer, to continue buying their software, then they need to erradicate the invasive DRM i have described, and start realising that they are harming their most loyal customers. invasive DRM must stop. full stop.
Comment Number: 539814-00633
Received: 1/20/2009 10:42:44 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Ashley Shaw
State: PA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I don't understand the point of DRM. Yes, I understand, it is a tool to prevent piracy, but how effective is it? Look at EA's Securom debacle on the video game Spore. It quickly became the most pirated game, because of the draconian DRM. I understand the need to prevent piracy, but why should that also prevent LEGAL users from enjoying their product? Again, I will reference Securom. Why should a company be allowed to limit the number of installs on my LEGALLY purchased copy? How exactly does this help prevent piracy? That's right, it doesn't. It just causes a hassle for consumers who have multiple computers, and desire to install their game multiple times. And why should a DRM be able to access the internet, without the users permission, and disable software it deems inappropriate? There have been countless cases of Securom disabling legally purchased CD burning software. This is called spyware, not protection. It's ridiculous that consumers are being punished while pirates continue to thrive. Why can't these massive corporations see that their DRM doesn't do any good?
Comment Number: 539814-00634
Received: 1/20/2009 2:44:49 PM
Organization: Allwebsales Computers
Commenter: Kyle Moran
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Dear Sirs, Glad to see the law taking notice of such a big and growing issue, namely that of DRM. The two places (that I know of) that use DRM are the PC games that I buy (obviously that I did not download, as those would be DRM free) and the music that I buy. Starting with the music that I buy from MSN music and the Apple iTunes online music shop. I normally would be all for something that prevents the illegal use of music, the problem for me with it though is that it prevents me from using it in things it should legally be able to be used for. For example, if I want to use a song I bought and downloaded through iTunes in a video project I am doing for school (thus not for profit and non-commercial use, thus legally allowed according to copyright laws). I cant as the embedded DRM protection blocks the song from being loaded into most video editing softwares. The only way to use it is by first converting it (which removes the DRM without affecting the quality of the song if done correctly) and then finally using it in my video projects. Usually I just dont bother as this is quite time consuming and a lot of unnecessary time for something I actually paid for and should be able to do with what the law permits me to do with it. The second place I encounter DRM, is when I buy a game. DRM is claimed to be a technology used in games (mostly by EA Games) to counter piracy. Though this is all fine and dandy, piracy is bad and should be stopped, DRM does not stop it sadly enough. In fact when someone illegally downloads a game like Mirrors Edge that has DRM when bought in the shop, these illegal downloaders get a superior game as it no longer has DRM and they did not even have to pay for it. Whereas those like me who perfere to buy each and every game they want, are severly punished by DRM for doing so. First of all we have all the technical issues and problems that comes along with DRM (thus for example, programs like Nero which almost every PC comes delivered with often causes DRM to give error messages and stop the game from running). Second of all, if we have a problem with the game and have to reinstall it multiple times, this uses up installs until we finally reach the 5 install limit that all new EA games have. Once this limit is reached it is extremely hard to get more installs from EA games, they do not have a simple system set up for this and often ignore support emails about DRM as they want everyone to just buy a new game once they go over the 5 install limit. Though this is not as big of an issue, it still is one, DRM stops the second hands trade of games, which should be legal. People are allowed to buy a new car and then sell it when they are ready for a new car again (or if they cannot afford a new car they can buy a used car for much cheaper). It is the same way with games, often people will buy a game and then after a year or more (or less, if it does not have multiplayer modes) they will sell it to free up money to buy a new game. Many people also wait until games hit the used games sales market, as they cannot afford to buy each and every game (or even any game) at full price. As you can see I put as organization name, Allwebsales Computers, this is because I sell games in a decently sized PC shop here in Belgium. One thing we often liked to do in this shop is use a game I bought to sell in the store, on one of the PCs as a display for customers to see and even test and try while they are waiting or if they want to test certain computer products. Then after the game was no longer new enough to display, I would take it and sell it off at a great discount as a display used game. Due to DRM I can no longer due this as that would use up one of the customers installs thus only leaving them with 4 installs left. Some companies like Ubisoft have improved upon DRM so that it does not affect consumers as much, but as DRM does not combat piracy at all. It is only a pain on consumers. Yours Sincerly,
Comment Number: 539814-00635
Received: 1/20/2009 3:08:32 PM
Organization:
Commenter: G Ludwig
State: TN
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM is a plague on the software industry. Publishers are using DRM not as a way to prevent piracy, but mainly as a way to control and try to elimate the used software market DRM limitations are never printed on the outside of the packaging, and even when you install the software you are unaware of DRM programs being installed without your concent or knowledge. The programs often cause conflicts with other computer components and do not get removed when you unistall said software. You are also restricted on how many times you can install the software and sometimes may only use said software while connected to the internet which is an issue for many. DRM needs to be investigated as these software companies are taking our rights away in order to make more money.
Comment Number: 539814-00636
Received: 1/20/2009 6:34:12 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Nathan Beauchamp
State: IL
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM (Digital Rights Management) is destroying my consumer rights. It is unethical to install programs that run in the background of my computer, have administrative privileges, and send encoded messages back to their creators about my specific hardware/software. Such is the case with Securom 7x which installs itself with many PC games (including all of the newer releases by EA). This should be made illegal, especially because game buyers have no option to return the game after opening the package. Only in the EULA available upon inserting the disk (and sometimes not even there!) does the full spectrum of the DRMs intrusiveness become apparent. Teh game is rendered nonreturnable in the process, and unplayable if the buyer does not want the DRM installed on the computer. Another major issue with DRM is that it limits ones ability to resell their copy of a game. DRM creatives a defective market where games once played are highly suspect; do they have any installations left or not? This conceptually violates the doctrine of First Sale. DRM cannot and will not protect companies from piracy. That has been proven in the last 6-months as game after game with DRM has been cracked immediately by pirates. Pirates are dishonest by nature, skilled at hacking, and much more creative than game designers or the makers of DRM. Essentially DRM only affects those who are honest and willing to purchase the game. It hurts guys like me who are unwilling to give into the temptation of free, superior DRM free versions available on torrent sites. DRM is about control. Control for companies of information, control of the number of installations, and control to make a market place where 'pay to play' is the norm. It used to be that you could buy a game and then play it for years. For as long as you liked. Now, unless you get a cracked pirated version, that is no longer the case. This is simply unacceptable. As companies like Apple and their itunes store have moved away from DRM (or Amazon.com which sells only DRM free music) they have have shown themselves to be just as lucrative as they were when selling DRM infected files. DRM does not benefit anyone. It is an annoyance at best and a means to jeopardize consumers' computers at worst. Simply stated, DRM should not be implemented in ways that limit a consumer's rights to fairly use the content they have purchased. This is very much about the little guy vs. the big guy. Music produces, game manufacturers, development companies and their like have all the money in the world to hire lawyers and lobbyists to push their agenda. Guys like me only have the FTC. Thanks so much for looking into this and for making a town hall meeting a reality. It is nice to know that at least someone in government has an open ear to listed to the end users (consumers). I sincerely appreciate the time taken to read my comments. Nathan M. Beauchamp
Comment Number: 539814-00637
Received: 1/20/2009 8:21:03 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Cook
State: NC
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I've had bad experiences with DRM protected games in the past. Some are as simple as a disc check or online activation. I'm fine with that. But when some games such as Spore or Mirror's Edge limit how many times I can install the game when I pay for it, that's when it's gone too far. I'll use my experience with Spore for this. I installed the game, nowhere on the box did it mention install limits or anything like that. Shortly afterwards, I took my computer to a friends house to play World of Warcraft with a group of us friends. When I travel, I take a different monitor than my home monitor. Why is this important? I'll tell you. After bringing my computer back home and hooking it up to my main monitor and trying to run Spore, it wouldn't load. I did some research online and learned that the DRM used (SecuROM) is very picky when it comes to hardware. It saw my monitor change as a "hardware upgrade" and barred access from the game. This caused me to have to re-install it to get it to work. Guess what, that counted as 2 of my 3 activations I'm allowed to have as a paying customer. Well Spore worked fine after that....until I went back to my friend's house. I returned only to further back up my findings by seeing that Spore would not load again. After this event, I permanently un-installed the game from my system after being fed up of the game and the company practically treating me like a criminal. But it didn't end there. When I un-installed Spore, it left the SecuROM software hidden deep in my computer where it secretly installed it to begin with. There was no reason for it to be there nor any use for it since Spore was gone from my system. I then had to figure out how to remove it from my system. Here's a breakdown of how the install of SecuROM works: It installs itself to a hidden folder on your computer. It bars access from that folder and give you no uninstall program nor does it pop up in the Add/Remove Programs list for removal. In order to remove it, I had to download third party open-source software and follow a list of risky instructions involving registry scans and deletions. After that event, I vowed to never buy a game that has DRM that acts like a computer virus and treats me like a criminal ever again. If something is not done about how harsh these programs are, either there's going to be a widespread growth in piracy of the games or people will simply boycott developers like they have already started doing. As a comparison, I paid $50 for a game that limits my installs, secretly installs a hidden, hard to remove program that it doesn't remove on un-install and locks itself out when I change monitors when I could have downloaded the cracked game for free, a week before release without install limits, without game lockout and without hidden programs being installed on my computer. Us victims of these rampant DRM programs are practically paying to be treated like criminals while the actual criminals get what us paying customers should have. Something needs to be done, and I hope that it's quick and fair for the developers as well as the paying customers. The criminals aren't affected by DRM, we are.
Comment Number: 539814-00638
Received: 1/21/2009 12:03:07 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Ryan Smith
State: MI
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM which limits the number of times or number of computers software can be installed on is rediculous. We pay for the right to use and own a copy of software, not to rent it.
Comment Number: 539814-00639
Received: 1/21/2009 11:05:20 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Glenn Gercken
State: IL
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

My biggest concern is that this may become a barrier since the technologies to permit data to be read on only particular machines or with particular keys, or for certain periods, may make future data recovery impossible. So from a historical perspective all this information would be lost and become irrecoverable and future profits would be lost due to the possibility that the data cannot be transfered to a newer technology.
Comment Number: 539814-00640
Received: 1/22/2009 10:46:58 AM
Organization: None
Commenter: Donald Bradbury
State: PA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Before I start, I want to thank the FTC for holding this forum to discuss and find solutions for what I think (and many others think,) is a mechanism that reduces and limits consumer rights as it relates to the media of digital entertainment. DRM is used by the entertainment industry to protect their investments (both monetary and IP) from piracy. While this is a noble goal to protect themselves, it has done nothing to stop piracy (in fact piracy is increasing) and ultimately harmed legitimate purchasers of their products. DRM spans the gamut of so-called protection; from CD-Keys to disabling hardware/software mechanisms, most, if not all, of the schemes have done nothing to protect the industry. As a consumer, I have a minumum expection that I own what I purchase, and that it will work for as long as I own it. Current DRM limits installations to a specific number and if/when I change my computer setup, one of those installations is taken up... or if I purchase a new computer... When those limitations are used up, I have to repurchase something I've already purchased, through no fault of my own. I find this unacceptable. Nor do I accept the industries logic that said install limits can be removed at the discretion of said maker of the DRM... Why should I have to make phone calles, send emails or contact anyone just to use something I legally own? Other forms of DRM have been known to disable hardware, such as DVD burners for no other purpose than disble the hardware. While this prevents the copying of media, it also prevents the legitimate use of this hardware, which is also unacceptable. If I make a home movie of my son playing football and want to burn that movie to a DVD to send to his grandmother, I should have a minimum expectation of being able to do that. The above are just two samples of DRM that is used by the entertainment industry. Both schemes have NOT stopped the piracy of said media and have ultimately harmed the legitimate purchaser and user of said media. Look at Spore from Electronic Arts. This is a perfect example of the failure of DRM. First, it requires online activation. What if someone doesn't have an internet connection? A legitimate purchaser can not play it??? Then it limits activations/installations to three??? In five days, Spore sold 1.5 million copies, in contrast, it was pirated an estimated 1.7 million times (and the illegal downloads started a week prior to official release.) The problem with the above, pirates got access to the game first and don't have to deal with the DRM scheme, while legitimate purchasers of the game have to deal with the limitations set forth by said limitations. Is that fair? Is that even ethical? As I said previosly, if I buy something, I expect it to be mine. That is my right as a consumer. I should not have to be limited to any type of restrictions/limitations from my purchase. Nor should I be forced to repurchase something that I did not lose, break or some other fault of my own. DRM limits the rights of the comsumer while does nothing to stop what it was intended to protect against, Piracy. And this is unacceptable to consumers. Thank you for taking the time to read this. It is my hope that the FTC will listen to the public and consumers and protect their rights. Regards, Donald Bradbury PA.
Comment Number: 539814-00641
Received: 1/22/2009 9:14:53 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Young
State: MD
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I find DRM to be a blight on the gaming industry. It inflates the already bloated budgets on big-name games with the extra time and staff required to design the DRM, and on top of that it helps proliferate the very problem it seeks to stop. There does has not and I believe will never be an undefeatable form of DRM, and the ever more complex methods are thus only hindering honest paying customers. Said customers sooner or later become frustrated with this and turn to piracy. Some more moral-minded consumers may buy the game to support the industry and then pirate a DRM-free version so they can enjoy the product without incident. We want to play the games we buy without having to constantly ask permission, without being accused of thievery while others with stolen games and money in their pockets play freely. That said, I do not believe the FTC should outlaw DRM. I'm leery of enacting legal procedure in situations that can self-correct because it will set legal precedent, and I worry that forcing developers to sell their games a certain way will backfire down the road. Were it a matter of food or shelter or other products necessary to comfortable living it would be different, but in this case people can simply choose not to buy a product if they don't approve of the stipulations. Telling them to just go get a refund is no good either, explicitly in the case of PC games because once they're taken home they're extremely easy to copy, allowing one to return the storebought copy and have the game and the money back. What I do believe is necessary, and should perhaps have legal backing because it isn't correcting itself, is that products should be clearly labeled regarding DRM and the stipulations of the product's use. Say you were to buy a car, and by mandate of the dealer every car has to have the same password so the dealer can open them whenever they want. Car thieves can easily figure out this password (not by the dealer's action, but rather their inaction at having the password system at all). And you are not told about this password system when you buy the car. This is a dangerous practice of DRM in which software is installed without the user's knowledge or consent. Ideally the software allows the developer/publisher to keep checking over your shoulder to make sure you have a legal copy of the game, but as is the problem with DRM in general it's not a difficult lock to crack, meaning your computer is open to more dishonest sorts. Identity theft is a serious worry these days. So my reccomendation is that there be a legal requirement to clearly detail on the box the stipulations of product ownership, much like safety warning labels on other products. No doubt some will complain that it takes up a lot of space on the box to explain it all but perhaps that will convince them to make less complicated DRM. One would think it would already be illegal to sell a product without informed consent from the consumer. So long as we are properly informed about what we're buying and how we can use it, the rest is up to us. P.S. I'd like to extend on apology on behalf of the people who have no doubt sent some less than courteous messages using this form. In forums such as these where the sender and receiver may never meet each other face to face it's easy to forget that we're both human beings. Thank you in advance for considering my suggestions.
Comment Number: 539814-00642
Received: 1/22/2009 11:11:27 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Bauer
State: IL
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

The idea and cause of DRM itself is noble, but its implementation is one that can change greatly on a case by case basis. DRM protection schemes can be as transparent as on DVDs, where it is used only to prevent illegal copying, or as intrusive as games like Company of Heroes, where the product must be verified online each and every time it is used. A simple notification of DRM will not suffice. DRM is so prevalent in digital media today that it would only serve as a meaningless warning. Consumers should know the limitations that will be placed on the media.
Comment Number: 539814-00643
Received: 1/23/2009 12:00:37 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Michael Walker
State: WA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Since their inception DRM has never halted a single pirated release of a game. Likewise their intention hasn't been to halt piracy for quite a few years at this point. It has become a case of increasing profits by creating difficulties within second hand sales. CD-Keys are many times not printed to the disc or to the case because it's harder to lose them (seeing as losing them means a new purchase) and likewise they are very easily forged. Requiring internet access is easily routed and all it does is punish the real customer who doesn't have the knowledge to work around it. I think the irony of the situation is that DRM in all forms of software causes the consumer to turn to alternate less legal (see illegal) sources for the materials. When people are treated like criminals they will act in kind. This is what DRM does. If you look into ALL companies be they movies, music, or video games, the ones that provide a quality product for a reasonable price generally make amazing profits in relation to their expenses. The consumer is willing to congratulate a quality service, the problem is that companies like EA are consistently releasing terrible (I do mean terrible) products at engorged prices. People cannot afford to purchase a possible lemon that they cannot return and they end up pirating it. Stardock is a great example, as well as the gentlemen behind World of Goo. Both produce amazing products at very reasonable prices (albeit usually the same price as EA games for the former BUT at a hugely greater level of quality) and their issues with piracy are almost nil. Likewise many torrent sites deal with console piracy as well as PC. In many cases the piracy of console games is far greater than the PC counterpart (unless the game is easily mod-able). Yet you will be hard pressed to see piracy getting blamed for poor console sales. It's a failed practice that does nothing but punish the consumer. DRM is killing many once great companies and I think it's a good thing because with the death of old ideas comes the birth of new ones. Much like when old extremist pass away in our world they give way to the ideas of young dreamers. It's a healthy process that helps keep us from being in an endless dark age and I personally am looking forward to the day that businesses like EA vanish off the face of the Earth. Not because of Malice but merely because they are giving a terrible message to the entertainment industry. Treating your customers like criminals and burdens is never a proper business practice and it is in fact why capitalism as a whole suffers. We have lost our way and it is showing.
Comment Number: 539814-00644
Received: 1/23/2009 2:06:45 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Jonathon Merkley
State: UT
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

It is my personal belief that the current implementation of Digital Rights Management (DRM) is excessively restrictive and broken. While I don't have any official case studies, I do have personal experience. There's nothing special about me. I own an iPod. I own a Playstation Portable (PSP). I own a computer. I have a car stereo. I even have a cellphone that plays music. Lastly, I like music a lot. From what I've experienced, the implementation of DRM currently inhibits me, the original purchaser, from playing music and videos the way I want to. The way I want to use my media is on all available devices I own. I have no problem with the ideals behind DRM. I think that disabling media for a person who isn't the owner is perfectly legal and by no means at fault. The problem with our DRM is that something bought with one DRM won't work with another DRM authenticating device. For example, Apple DRM used in iTunes and on iPods will not work on Windows Media Player or WinAmp (which I use to put music on my phone and PSP). It also won't work in my car unless I play it directly from the iPod or burn an audio CD. That adds a level of inconvenience that is not necessary at all. I paid for the media so logically, I should be able to use it natively on any of my media playing devices. If there was a standardized method for encoding and authorizing DRM playback that was used in all DRM capable electronic devices, there are no fundamental flaws to it. This current implementation where different companies use different DRM methods places too many unnecessary limitations on the lawful owners of such media. DRM as it currently exists is a broken method for enforcing something that could otherwise be acceptable. DRM as it currently exists is not properly fulfilling it's true purpose and unless a person can play their DRMed media on any of their media players, I will say it has failed to fully realise the goals to which it was created. It should not be used.
Comment Number: 539814-00645
Received: 1/23/2009 2:40:13 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Brian McMahon
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Many DRM schemes have come and gone over the past few dacades. None for PC games has created as much consternation and furious backlash against software publishers as latest schemes which limit the consumer to a number of installations or activations. As a consumer, I refuse to pay for any software where my ability to use the software over time is hampered because I might exceed the installation or activation limits. The publishers of PC games such as Electronic Arts have argued that such use limits are necessary to combat piracy. This arguement simply does not make sense. Pirated software generally circumvents, or strips out DRM in what ever form it has been employed. It is implicit that installation or activation limits are then a moot point for the users of pirated software because the DRM scheme including the installation or activation limits has been either removed or circumvented. For Electronic Art's recent title Spore, this is exactly what took place. In fact, the pirated version of the game was available on Internet pirate sites before the protected retail version of the game was available via retail sales! The only viable explanation for the use of activation and/or installation limits is to kill the rental or resale of software, not to protect the publisher from piracy. Installation and/or activation limits do not serve the consumers interests for the following reasons: 1. When a consumer buys a product protected in this manner, it is not clear on the packaging what the limitations are. The consumer may see a notice stating that the software employs DRM technology designed to prevent priacy, but they will not see a notice stating that the consumer may only install or activate the product 5 times before it is disabled. Further, the consumer will not be able to tell from the packaging what exactly will cause an installation or activation to used used up. Even if such a notice was on the product, most consumers simply wouldn't understand what it meant. 2. When a consumer installs a product protected in this manner, it is not clear what will cause the use (or loss) of an installation/activation. Any number of changes to the users computer hardware or software configuration may cause the use of an installation or activation. The user will not know until the limit has been exceeded that they had been using them up. 3. Software publishers such as Electonic Arts have a method by which consumers can get more installations or activations if their limit has been exceeded. It requires calling a support representitive at $2.50/minute and convincing them that you are the owner of the product. It is apparently the sole discretion of the publisher's employees whether or not a consumer is legitimate. 4. Some software publishers have employed revokable installations where a consumer can get back a used installation or activation. The problem with this scheme is if all publishers used this method, a consumer would be faced with revoking and re-installation of all of their software when they wanted to make a simple upgrade to their computer hardware. For example, a consumer buys a new video card; the consumer would have to revoke the installation of all protected software, then install the software again after the upgrade has been completed. So a minor upgrade to computer hardware that used to take an hour could take an entire day or more, depending on the number of applictions protected with revokable activation or installation limits. While I understand the software publishers desire to protect their products, most consumers are being and have been misled by this new form of DRM.
Comment Number: 539814-00646
Received: 1/23/2009 5:23:32 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Brian Weigand
State: MO
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

All activation for software, whether the method be via the Internet or by some other means, should be made illegal as the only purpose it serves is to artificially limit the lifetime of said software. It also gives the false impression that a person fully owns his purchased software when in reality he is only renting it. If your purchased software has limited activations then it is indeed a rental and not a purchase. The unwitting consumer is completely unaware of this because even if the box says that online activation is required, he is not informed of the number of times he can activate or even that activations are limited. He is not informed if he can activate the software an unlimited number of times on a single computer that always has the same hardware, or if a small hardware change will require reactivation of said software even if the software requiring activation was never uninstalled. Requiring online activation encourages unfinished releases of software that are buggy and unstable, with the excuse being that a company will "patch it later," and then not allow unactivated software to be patched, all while limiting the total number of activations allowed. While this does "punish" those who did not legally acquire the software, it deceives the consumer that he is buying a finished and complete product. Limiting activations goes on the premise of a computer running optimally 100% of the time and never acquiring a virus or other malware that might require reformatting of a system. Furthermore, limiting activations discourages exploration and experimentation with a computer system. This in turn discourages learning as a whole. If you are punished for exploring and experimenting with your computer by losing an activation if, in the process of experimenting, you delete a critical file required for the operation of your software and must then reinstall said software, why would you ever want to learn? Requiring activation for software takes control away from the consumer who has paid for and fully owns, in every sense of the word, said software. He should be able to install it as many times as he sees fit on his own computer. Imagine purchasing a USB mouse but only being able to plug it into your computer a maximum of 10 times, after which it would stop working properly. "Why would someone unplug their mouse from their computer more than 10 times?" you might ask. To this I respond, Why it is anyone's business how many times I want to unplug my mouse from my own computer? Or imagine purchasing an external CD drive but only being able to connect it to your computer 10 times? To this I have the same response, Why is it anyone's business how many times I connect my CD drive to my computer? Finally, requiring activation for software gives software companies the ability to force consumers to buy more activations when they use up what they have secretly and unknowningly been alloted. This is unabated greed. And the only thing worse than unabated greed is encouraging more of it, which brings me back to my opening argument that all activation for software, whether the method be via the Internet or by some other means, should be made illegal.
Comment Number: 539814-00647
Received: 1/25/2009 9:31:12 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Matthew Drew
State: NC
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I think the FTC should leave DRM alone, except perhaps for pursuing fraud allegations against DRM providers that don't live up to the terms of their agreements. DRM is a bug, not a feature. DRM provides no benefit whatsoever to the consumer of the DRM-encumbered device or data, but rather is a negative, reducing the value of the product to the customer. It is also relatively expensive to implement (and re-implement when it gets broken, which it always will - see below), so it has a negative effect on the producer as well. DRM's bug status explains why companies do not indicate the DRM restictions on their products - they know that it would result in lower sales, because none of their customers want DRM. DRM is already being dealt with by the market. With iTunes going DRM-free, all the major digital music providers provide DRM-free music, at market prices. Computer games are following suit, with heavily-encumbered games like Spore being dragged down in sales, while unencumbered games like Sins of a Solar Empire sell in large numbers. In this economy, there is simply no reason for the FTC to take action. Consumers have already realized that DRM is a bad deal, and are avoiding it in droves. Companies hiding DRM in their products only results in further acrimony from consumers, since the DRM cannot be hidden - simply attempting to copy the target software or data and then use it will generally reveal whether or not it is present. Sometimes mild repetition is required, but that's trivial. Added to this is the fact that DRM control is an agreement that is voluntarily entered into by the customer - if they don't read the fine print, what FTC requirements could be established that would make them? Large stickers on computer game boxes? What about on digital files? It's not worth the effort. Why DRM Can Never Work: DRM is based on encryption. The target data or software is encrypted, and then a key is provided to "unlock" the software and allow it to be read and run. Encryption is a specific defense against a specific attack: encryption protects the communications of two parties (lets say, Alice and Bob) against a third party (Carl). Encryption is highly effective in this regard, and good systems are very difficult for Carl to break - as long as he cannot gain access to either Alice's or Bob's unlock keys. The fundamental problem with DRM is that there is no third party - there is no Carl. The attacker and the user are one and the same - Bob. In this situation, encryption can never work - Bob's unlock key will always be exposed at some point, because it has to be used to unlock Alice's encryption. DRM revolves around technology to obfuscate this key from Bob, while simultaneously allowing the encryption to work. This is fundamentally impossible, because Bob has complete control over the computer that the DRM is running on. There is no current DRM system on the market that has not been broken; in fact, there are clubs of people who break DRM for the intellectual challenge. In many cases, such as Spore, the DRM is broken even before the product goes to market.
Comment Number: 539814-00648
Received: 1/25/2009 1:59:01 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Wilkins
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM is supposedly a means to combat piracy within the video game industry and attempts to do so by restricting the freedom paying consumers have over their own property. I sincerely believe that these ridiculous restrictions will lead to a decline in sales for publishers using such technology, aswell as an increase in piracy itself. People who would previously have legally purchased a piece of software will turn towards piracy to stop their computer systems being invaded and vandalised by this malware. I have heard others mention this fact and it is a mentality I sympathise with. Piracy is the very thing this is supposedly trying to combat, but by acting so subversive and disrespectful towards their consumers it is entirely possible that it could do more harm than good. Expecting people to happily submit to being treated like a child who cannot be trusted is just plain arrogant.
Comment Number: 539814-00649
Received: 1/25/2009 2:51:33 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Ramiz Mlakar
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I do not mind protection od software, as we all know that most pirated games are on PC. But the protections nowadays are used are conflicting with emulation software such as Daemon tools, and to disbale proper burning of image files. I use Daemon Tools, because I have databases that are backuped each week in ISO format on backup HardDrive. That is the way the software works which makes backups. And each month they are burned to DVD media - this is where the most annoying problem resides. The game I bought, which is resold because of this annoyment, is Atari's Alone in The Dark: Central Park. Game as most of the games that use DRM/SecuRom protection, is unplayable unless I uninstall DaemonTools. It comes with the message: "emulation software detected". On Securom webpage it says that emulation software must be uninstalled in order to play the game. Well this is utter nonscence, because no software cannot demand from you(me as user) to uninstall other software, in order to start it. And this is violation of free user choice to install on PC whatever he wants from software. Be it 1st party or 3rd party. Analogy to that is, if you own/installed Corel Draw and decide to install Adobe Photoshop Suite, and Photoshop will not install or start with popup message "Corel software detected please uninstall in order to use Photoshop". Second thing which made this Securom/DRM thing most annoying is that somehow it makes ISO files burnt on DVD media unusable. ISO file is not directly stored on DVD, but the actual files that are stored in ISO are burnt on DVD (double click on ISO, nero opens....etc). Why unusable? Well they are all there, but files are corrupted, could not be copied onto HardDrive, stops after certain percentage, because of that corruption. The only way I can burn files that reside in ISO, is that I extract them through DaemonTools onto HardDrive, and then burn them. Before Alone in the dark, they were successfuly burned, and copied onto HardDrive if needed. So can anyone tell SecuRom that what they are doing is in conflict with the end-user rights.
Comment Number: 539814-00650
Received: 1/25/2009 5:16:11 PM
Organization:
Commenter: john robertson
State: NC
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM especially Securom is an afront to legal software users. EA left securom 7 installed on my PC after I had uninstalled Crysis . This is the same rubbish sony tried to pull with their CDs a few years ago.
Comment Number: 539814-00651
Received: 1/25/2009 5:49:29 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Zee David
State: PA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

As long as I'm breathing I'm not going to charge someone twice, that just infuriates me! Look, when you go to a whorehouse, you pay once upfront, not again on the way out.
Comment Number: 539814-00652
Received: 1/25/2009 9:12:19 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Gary Grant
State: ID
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM software in computer games is a allowing company's to take advantage of a single market, the PC gamer. Company's forcing people to install programs that restrict the amount of usage of a product is also a crushing blow on the PC gamer as well. Most gaming programmers and software engineer get into there field because of video games and learn to make there own modifications to enhance there game play. Games like Team Fortress come into exsistance because someone that bought a game decide to toy around with the software. Another example is me, I don't spend a lot of money on my games because I play them for years or until my system wont allow me too. When I buy a game I look for something that I can enjoy going back to 6 months to a year and play it again. By that time, I may have upgraded to a new system, formatted my computer, or just plan uninstalled the game. Then I go to install and I wont be able too because of the DRM software. It's like buying a brand new car, paying cash for the purchase, walking out of the dealership with the title in your hand, then 5 yrs(example) your warranty expires and a repo men is on the door the next morning tow away your property. This scenario is the with purchasing a game. Why would I want to buy a game if I won't be able to play it when I want too? DRM should be renamed to Digital Rental Management. If your going "lease" a product key, then they should drastically lower the prices for the games or even better, allow people that legally buy the product to install unlimited times. I do have to give the company's credit for making people spend more money on the same title but what are they really accomplishing if most games for filtered thro a player even 6 months. Why can't I turn around and give my old games to my friends or family. Oh wait I can't because I'm out of installs.
Comment Number: 539814-00653
Received: 1/25/2009 10:22:04 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Spencer
State: NC
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I am fully fed up with companies deciding how I can legally use my purchases. If I am using the product for my own personal use, what matter is it how many different places I use it. If a book, I can read it wherever I so chose. I can also let my family read that book. Why should software, music, or movies be any different? I think that if I purchase a product, I should be free to use it how I deem appropriate. Would I buy a board game that no one in my home but I could play? So why is a computer game any different?
Comment Number: 539814-00654
Received: 1/26/2009 10:42:39 AM
Organization:
Commenter: nadine reynolds
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

why does ea do this to its custumors when they have had so many complaints and know that SecuROM ruins many computers and i forgot to mention we are in the credit crunch whic means many of us won't be able to buy decent laptops that can support games of today and other computer components if secuROM ruins it. so please get rid of it!!!!!!!!!!! by the way i am 15 years old and i should not have to worry about this type of thing
Comment Number: 539814-00655
Received: 1/26/2009 11:39:27 AM
Organization: Manybooks.net
Commenter: Matthew McClintock
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I have found that DRM frequently interferes with my lawful use of materials purchased for personal use. There are already laws against mis-use of copyrighted materials, and I find that the technological solutions presented for reducing (questionably real) "piracy" have only had the effect of reducing my desire to purchase DRM-laden books, music, and movies. When I purchase a music file I would expect to be able to use it on any computer I own, and on any device I'm currently using to listen to music. Having to re-authorize computers and track the various file-formats is ridiculous. The argument that DRM technology is required to keep me from pirating music is crazy -- we already have laws that make distribution of copyrighted materials illegal, and technological hurdles that make copying more difficult only make ownership more difficult, and unlikely. As a consumer I've purchased DRM protected files only as a last resort. I find it intrusive, unnecessary, and when it comes time to move to a new computer, completely impossible to retain access to the files that I've purchased.
Comment Number: 539814-00656
Received: 1/26/2009 12:55:54 PM
Organization:
Commenter: James Ison
State: WA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

As a consumer my problem with DRM is essentially I have no protection. If I purchase content from a manufacturer I am purchasing a right to use that content. If the company goes out of business or if I purchase a new device it is not only possibly but highly likely that I will need to re-purchase content I already own. For me I have been burned with music purchases so many times I now always burn a CD of the album and try to keep it for backup. I should be able to re-download that file anytime i want for any device. MY biggest issue is digital books. I read extensively and it's a growing market so devices come out all of the time. I used to read on my palm and purchased content from ereader.com. Then I upgraded to a sony reader and had to re-purchase a large number of books. When i upgraded to a kindle a few years after that I had to re-purchase them again. This is patently ridiculous. There should be some form of consumer protection for purchased content. Either an industry standard format, or a requirement for conversion, or better yet a license that is format agnostic. I don't care whether the file has DRM on it or not as long as I don't have to re-purchase the content. The essential problem I see with DRM is that it does not punish those people that steal content. They just crack the file and steal it anyway. It punishes the honest consumer those of us who want to legaly purchase content are basically made to buy it over and over again. Thanks for listening
Comment Number: 539814-00657
Received: 1/26/2009 1:01:55 PM
Organization: private citizen (author)
Commenter: Steven Jordan
State: MD
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I would like to address the FTC's questions regarding DRM, from the perspective of a producer of copywritten materials, and as a consumer of same. As an author and independent seller of e-books, I have studied the issue of DRM as it impacts sales and usage of my products. DRM has been used almost universally as a way to discourage the unauthorized copying and dissemination of copywritten materials, presumably to protect expected profits to the producer. The evidence in the field, however, indicates that DRM has little to no impact on unauthorized copying and dissemination of copywritten materials, due to the fact that any DRM system can ultimately be circumvented or broken (and generally is, almost immediately upon being released). As DRM is unable to fulfill its primary objective, it is at root a useless tool. As an aside, DRM has also been used to "lock" customers into specific electronic formats, the intent being to guarantee a customers' repeated patronage of a specific source of content, and to prevent the consumers' ability to convert an electronic file to another format of preference. I submit two facts: One, that this intent is also pointless, based on DRM's ultimate inability to stay secure (as outlined in the previous paragraph); and Two, that attempting to restrict a consumer's ability to transfer a purchased electronic file to a more convenient format is essentially counter to existing laws governing Fair Use, as well as the Federal guidelines related to Accessibility to those with disabilities, to wit: DRM makes it difficult or impossible for those with disabilities to convert DRM-applied electronic files to formats that will allow them to access those documents. By this measure, DRM is essentially counter to Federal regulations, as well as being ultimately ineffectual. As a bookseller, I have made my books available in multiple popular e-book formats, and without DRM on these books. Based on my experiences, and of the experiences of other booksellers who practice similar selling methods, consumers not only prefer such selling techniques, they actively seek them out over DRM-laden products. They buy products, and as they appreciate the openness of the sellers' sales methods, they encourage others to shop with them, and discourage the idea of unauthorized copying and dissemination of their works. After all, a bookseller who cannot profit is soon a nonexistent bookseller, and those who appreciate that bookseller's product have an incentive to see them succeed. This generates healthy sales for booksellers such as myself, and actually minimizes losses through theft as effectively as any DRM system (not completely, but there will never be zero theft, and it is pointless to pursue such an impossible goal). Finally, as a consumer, I have witnessed firsthand the advantages of being able to buy an electronic file from one source, and convert it for use in another preferred format, through the exclusion of DRM. Electronic files and their delivery systems are not equal, and personal preference assures that individuals will choose a favorite format to enjoy their electronic files. The more enjoyable the experience, the more likely a consumer is to buy more products that can be enjoyed in that way. With the exclusion of DRM, a customer has access to more electronic materials, from more sources, that can be converted to their preferred format as desired. Therefore, excluding DRM and allowing electronic files to be converted to the format of choice is an excellent way to increase sales of electronic products from any and all sources, and increase their customer base accordingly. So, the exclusion of DRM, which is at root an ineffective way to prevent theft, and a format-restricting mechanism that is counter to Federal guidelines for accessibility, effectively increases product usability, increases sales, and heightens enjoyability of the product for customers. There is nothing, in contrast, to suggest any benefit to DRM as a product control tool, and therefore, it should be abandoned.
Comment Number: 539814-00657
Received: 1/26/2009 1:01:55 PM
Organization: private citizen (author)
Commenter: Steven Jordan
State: MD
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I would like to address the FTC's questions regarding DRM, from the perspective of a producer of copywritten materials, and as a consumer of same. As an author and independent seller of e-books, I have studied the issue of DRM as it impacts sales and usage of my products. DRM has been used almost universally as a way to discourage the unauthorized copying and dissemination of copywritten materials, presumably to protect expected profits to the producer. The evidence in the field, however, indicates that DRM has little to no impact on unauthorized copying and dissemination of copywritten materials, due to the fact that any DRM system can ultimately be circumvented or broken (and generally is, almost immediately upon being released). As DRM is unable to fulfill its primary objective, it is at root a useless tool. As an aside, DRM has also been used to "lock" customers into specific electronic formats, the intent being to guarantee a customers' repeated patronage of a specific source of content, and to prevent the consumers' ability to convert an electronic file to another format of preference. I submit two facts: One, that this intent is also pointless, based on DRM's ultimate inability to stay secure (as outlined in the previous paragraph); and Two, that attempting to restrict a consumer's ability to transfer a purchased electronic file to a more convenient format is essentially counter to existing laws governing Fair Use, as well as the Federal guidelines related to Accessibility to those with disabilities, to wit: DRM makes it difficult or impossible for those with disabilities to convert DRM-applied electronic files to formats that will allow them to access those documents. By this measure, DRM is essentially counter to Federal regulations, as well as being ultimately ineffectual. As a bookseller, I have made my books available in multiple popular e-book formats, and without DRM on these books. Based on my experiences, and of the experiences of other booksellers who practice similar selling methods, consumers not only prefer such selling techniques, they actively seek them out over DRM-laden products. They buy products, and as they appreciate the openness of the sellers' sales methods, they encourage others to shop with them, and discourage the idea of unauthorized copying and dissemination of their works. After all, a bookseller who cannot profit is soon a nonexistent bookseller, and those who appreciate that bookseller's product have an incentive to see them succeed. This generates healthy sales for booksellers such as myself, and actually minimizes losses through theft as effectively as any DRM system (not completely, but there will never be zero theft, and it is pointless to pursue such an impossible goal). Finally, as a consumer, I have witnessed firsthand the advantages of being able to buy an electronic file from one source, and convert it for use in another preferred format, through the exclusion of DRM. Electronic files and their delivery systems are not equal, and personal preference assures that individuals will choose a favorite format to enjoy their electronic files. The more enjoyable the experience, the more likely a consumer is to buy more products that can be enjoyed in that way. With the exclusion of DRM, a customer has access to more electronic materials, from more sources, that can be converted to their preferred format as desired. Therefore, excluding DRM and allowing electronic files to be converted to the format of choice is an excellent way to increase sales of electronic products from any and all sources, and increase their customer base accordingly. So, the exclusion of DRM, which is at root an ineffective way to prevent theft, and a format-restricting mechanism that is counter to Federal guidelines for accessibility, effectively increases product usability, increases sales, and heightens enjoyability of the product for customers. There is nothing, in contrast, to suggest any benefit to DRM as a product control tool, and therefore, it should be abandoned.
Comment Number: 539814-00659
Received: 1/26/2009 2:12:17 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Friedemann Schorer
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I hereby would like to express my dislike of DRM - I do admit that inventors, authors, musicians and others artists need to earn a living, as well as everybody else, and they do depend on the money people spend for their work. But on the others hand, DRM in my opinions doesn't manage rights but the restrictions it lays upon the users of any secured work. I myself have to think about circumventing the DRM of an eBook I bought two years ago - because the company which invented the DRM system does not supply a software to access the contents on my recently bought new mobile, although that particular mobile is one of the biggest saling devices in the past year. So, DRM keeps me from viewing what I have got a right to view - and that is exactly what is unfair about DRM. If the company goes broke, I will never be able to access the content of what I paid money for, except someone breaks the seal - and I must say, I do hope someone will soon, because that would make it possible fo me to do what I paid for. Mankind tends to not being fair, but nevertheless we all should try to be - those who provide content as well as those who would like to consume it. In my opinion is DRM is a bilnd alley which won't lead to no good.
Comment Number: 539814-00660
Received: 1/26/2009 7:17:17 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Marc-Anthony Arena
State: NY
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I'm very against DRM, and it's not that I believe in piracy. It's because I hate arbitrary restrictions. I could never put my finger on just why something was wrong with the original Napster vs. having to drive to the store to buy your own CDs, and it's this: The music industry is at fault for not selling its music online sooner, and it was their fault that music piracy exploded in the late 1990s. Furthermore, they should NOT penalize customers looking to pay for music online now by slapping them with DRM. (DRM tells a PAYING customer when, where, why, and how they can listen to their music. Once a company selling DRMed music goes out of business, such as Yahoo Music or MSN Music, the music then becomes UNREADABLE, and the company isn't even ALLOWED to unlock the songs for its customers, thanks to the DMCA.) DRM basically encourages piracy because it penalizes ONLY those who pay for music. It can be circumvented easily enough for those wishing to put their music on non-authorized players (non iPods or Zunes). Please see my blog article about the subject for a more detailed argument. http://www.teknosophy.com/?p=31 Thank you for listening to your citizens!!! -Sincerely, Marc-Anthony Arena
Comment Number: 539814-00661
Received: 1/26/2009 8:00:51 PM
Organization: None
Commenter: David Rokhlin
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

The Sims 3 is going to be released soon, and millions of fans as well as myself are concerned about securom being put into the game. Putting it to the game will just result in more lawsuits for EA and it will make nobody want to buy the game.Preventing piracy is great, and I say keep it up, but securom is definitely not the answer. It would be great if somebody could contact me back by EMAIL at . Thank you for your time. David Rokhlin
Comment Number: 539814-00662
Received: 1/26/2009 9:10:21 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Catherine Faber
State: TN
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

In my experience DRM does not stop unauthorized copying, but does interfere with legitimate customers using entertainment we have honestly paid for. Furthermore it limits Fair Use, to the detriment not only of the public, but in the long run of the creative fields as a whole. I encourage you to discard it, or at least to consider social DRM such as watermarking, which does not tie customers to particular incarnations of particular devices to access their content.
Comment Number: 539814-00663
Received: 1/26/2009 10:27:23 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Anne Marble
State: MD
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Several years ago, I bought several e-books in secure Microsoft Reader format. ll have the files, but I will never be able to open them. That Passport account I used to activate Microsoft Reader at that time no longer works. I tried to reactivate it through the steps Microsoft insists on. It took over half an hour to answer the multitude of questions they give you. At the end, Microsoft told me that my information didn't match what they had on file, so they couldn't reactivate it. They didn't respond to my next questions, and I gave up, but I was also fed up. Most likely, it was impossible for all the information to match exactly. They asked me for my IP address -- but I was on dialup, so my IP address was dynamic not static. How could they match in that case? I may have even purchased the books when I was using my parents' computer, so that would have a different IP address as well. That doesn't mean I was trying to pirate the books. All I wanted was the right to use the books I had paid for through a licensed vendor. Those aren't the only e-books I can no longer access because of problems with DRM. That's one example out of many. This sort of problem makes customers less willing to spend money on electronic media.
Comment Number: 539814-00664
Received: 1/27/2009 1:12:34 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Bull
State: CO
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

My first introduction to this DRM madness was the purchase of Electronic Arts Spore game. I recently had to reinstall my operating system and all of my software. When it came time to reinstall EA's Spore game I had to totally disable my McAfee Internet Security Suite to do the install. I should have gotten the hint right there when McAfee knew the program was up to no good. Also, when I tried to reinstall Spore it demanded the online authentication with my username and password. I couldn't remember what it was so it wouldn't allow me to authenticate it. That kept me from installing patches to the game to fix software bugs in the program. Why would I keep track of a username and password for a game? I've never had to on any of my past purchases so I didn't bother. I tried to contact EA via email to correct the situation. EA's website wouldn't allow me to send an email until I registered and it said that my email address was already registered (with a password I couldn't remember). I created a new email address on Yahoo just so I could register on EA to send them a message to try to correct the problem I was having. When I finally got registered under a new email address I went to the EA website 'contact us' area and my McAfee Internet Security Suite immediately informed me that EA's website 'help.spore.com' was using an invalid site certificate and that I shouldn't go there because it appeared to be a fake, redirected website. At this point I gave up, stuck the game on a back shelf, and swore never to purchase another program with DRM or online program authentication again. With music at least, I can make my purchases through Amazon.com which does not have DRM on purchased, downloaded music files.
Comment Number: 539814-00665
Received: 1/27/2009 10:35:03 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Robert Correa
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Thank you for this opportunity that I may convey my disapproval of DRM as related to media I purchase and consume as an individual. DRM has limited my fair use right to music, movies and e-books. Imagine in 1968 if my Beatles Abby Road album only played on my "current" turntable? I "backed up" that album, fair use, by recording to a cassette tape to play in my car. Seems fair. Today, I buy movies on DVD. I can't make a backup to preserve my investment, I can't install the movie on my Ipod, which would be fair use, to watch the DVD on a plan flight or whatever. The recording, movie and publishing industry is violating my rights to fair use by starting on the premise and assumption that I am a thief. Secure packaging and display in a store, okay - makes sense. But when I pay my money and leave with a receipt, I am not a thief. If I copy the media and sell it via black market over the Internet, then yes, I'm stealing intellectual property and the industry should come after me. Yes, that is probably very hard to do, but that's not my problem. It is up to the industry to understand the vulnerabilities of their respective businesses. They are taking the easy way out of a tough problem by assuming we're all crooks from the get-go. Oh, and guess what, you can buy or frankly, steal, any media you want anyway. That's proof that DRM doesn't work. It only eliminates my ability to use the media I've purchased rights to in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and laws governing our land. Regards, Bob Correa CA
Comment Number: 539814-00666
Received: 1/27/2009 10:48:31 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Elee Wakim
State: PA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM is, quite frankly, nothing save an infringement on my rights as a citizen of the United States to free speech. It limits how and in what manner I may use my legally purchased digital media. I have the full intention of boycotting products from any company which would attempt to force its digital censorship upon me. While I understand that companies may be aggravated because of some petty digital thefts of some content, there is no excuse for the rest of the public (who legally purchase their media!) to be punished. I strongly urge the FTC and any other regulating or legislative body who will participate in debate over the legality and limits of DRM to oppose it in every form and to remember our rights as citizens. Thank you very much.
Comment Number: 539814-00667
Received: 1/27/2009 11:13:43 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Demski
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Seeing as I have a huge vested interest in Computer Gaming, as this is my chosen hobby, I feel it worthy to offer a few small tidbits to the "anti-DRM" movement, as it were. Trying to keep this short and concise, I have a couple minor points to bring up. There is nothing innately wrong with a person, company or any other body of people to desire to protect their electronic properties. If I made any of these products, I would desire to protect them as well. However, there is something wrong when the DRM both has to be installed separately from the main product, cannot be uninstalled even if the main product is removed except with advanced knowledge of how computers work, and it can interrupt the stability of my computer as well as deny my computer the ability to use other legally owned products. My main comment can be summed up with this line however. Some DRM are so invasive to people and their computers that there are known cases of people having to acquire pirated copies of products they -legally own- just so they can play it, because the DRM literally isn't recognizing that it is a legal copy despite them having a boxed copy, a receipt, a legal disc and any other forms of authentication required. There are far better ways to protect your product than to -inconvenience customers- this severely, to the point that pirates are quite literally getting a better product since they don't have to deal with hidden DRM installs that destabilize computers. A few examples of better ways. Stardock has successfully employed a "no DRM on the disc, program" system, but requiring you to have a legal copy VIA cd key and use their download utility Impulse to download any patches for any of their products. You don't need to authorize the copy, some products (Galactic Civilizations II) don't even require a CD-Key to install the game, just to acquire patches from their own download utility. Additionally, you do not need the CD to play the product after it is installed. http://stardock.com/ My main complaint is, why are companies like Electronic Arts literally treating consumers like criminals with invasive DRM systems like Securom? This is how I feel on the matter.
Comment Number: 539814-00668
Received: 1/27/2009 4:17:47 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Matthew Wilbur
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

It is my belief that Digital Rights Management schemes are harmful to consumers. DRM limits the consumers ability to use a purchased product as the consumer sees fit. Outside of making copies of the product and giving them away, consumers should be allowed to copy the software, movies and music they purchase freely to their own equipment. That is, I should be allowed to copy my DVDs to my computer for use as a dedicated movie "jukebox" and I should be allowed to install a game on any machine as many times as I need to for whatever reason. I purchased the product, the company recieved its money for the purchase and I'm not giving the product away to anyone else. DRM drives honest people to piracy. People have expectations when they purchase a product. The freedom to use that product as they see fit is paramount among those expectations. I understand the concerns of the entertainment industry. They fear losing their business. However, the vast majority of people will continue to purchase products without DRM and will not engage in piracy as the entertainment companies fear. People want the physical media and they want the support that comes with the purchase of a product.. Thank you for your consideration. Matthew Wilbur
Comment Number: 539814-00669
Received: 1/28/2009 7:22:46 AM
Organization:
Commenter: gene desotell
State: FL
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I purchased 1 year of television programming from Directv under a one year contract. Directv then used there DRM to take away the programming I paid for. The case was later known as Luaces V Directv miami 1998 where directv paid 11 million for that theft of services. Here was a clear case where DRM was used to take away the services (programming)consumers paid for. Worse, after that class action, Directv sued individual customers in federal court in 2003 stating that they had no right to protect there property (programming) by circumvention of the access card. I purchased an access card designed to stop that theft. While the customer purchases and owns the access card, they are not provided the right to circumvention even to stop a theft of property. Looking into this matter, our u.s. constitution provides the right to protect our property from theft. In my own federal court case, Directv has now taken from me, through confidential private agreement, the right to protect my programming by blocking there theft through circumvention. It is a direct violation of our constitution but I do not have enough money to fight them so I had to surrender my constitutional rights. Because I complained to federal agencies regarding my right to protect property and services I own versus directv's right to take my property via DRM, I have taken the only action I can. I was a victim of theft in this matter and the FTC and other federal agencies Directv's DRM right to engage in theft of consumer programming. Under such a system, I will now ignore justice the same as they have ignored me. The next time I am a Juror, I will ignore justice. The next time I am a witness, I will ignore justice. While repulsive, it is far worse for justice to ignore the rights of a crime victim on the bases of DRM then for a crime victim to ignore justice. This case establishes that a car manufacturer, refrigerator manufacturer, television manufacturer can take away the use of a product at anytime by simply pre-programming a switch to shut the product off. Then, as they did in my directv case, demand additional money to use there DRM to turn the product back on. It has been established that DRM can and has been used to unlawfully take property and services away from the owners. This position has been up held by courts and our own justice system now in spite of the fact it violates our constitutional protection to protect purchased properties and services contained in our own US constitution. .
Comment Number: 539814-00670
Received: 1/28/2009 9:53:49 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Greenawalt
State: PA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I am very unhappy about the fact that DRM is restricting the way that consumers can use their digital devices. Games bought from the Nintendo Wii's Wii Shop Channel locks games to the Wii console. In addition Nintendo has added checks to newer games to not run if certain hardware modifications have been made to the console. New Macbooks contain a hardware chip to prevent certain displays from being used. SecuRom is wasting money everywhere. If your computer gets infected by this anti-piracy virus you can't burn DVDs, even if you're legally burning photos on to the DVD. If you do decide to burn DVDs it will disable the DVD drive wasting lots of money.
Comment Number: 539814-00671
Received: 1/28/2009 12:56:43 PM
Organization:
Commenter: William McLaughlin
State: OR
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Although DRM attempts to protect the rights to content, recent actions in the music industry have shown it to be a failure. I feel that the FTC should promulgate policies that allow for traditional fair use and discourage use of DRM. Too many consumers are now forced to break DRM just to use the content that they lawfully bought and paid for because of incompatibilities between various DRM systems, lack of adequate portability of DRM protected content, and just plain badly executed DRM. DRM creates more problems than it solves. It needs to disappear.
Comment Number: 539814-00672
Received: 1/28/2009 5:58:06 PM
Organization: Electronic Privacy Information Center-member
Commenter: Laura Borst
State: TX
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

While digital rights management techniques may stop piracy, they also negatively impact upon honest uses by consumers of digital products. One example might be not being able to play a downloaded song on devices other than portable music players. Prohibiting criticism by exploiting trademark law is also bad and could prevent consumers from learning of potential problems with digital products, among other things. Digital rights management could have negative impacts on innovation, as well as honest use of products. This could be bad in the long term for the economy. Such things on Internet-enabled phones may restrict users to one e-mail provider, and in other ways reduce the flexibility of honest use.
Comment Number: 539814-00673
Received: 1/28/2009 10:45:59 PM
Organization:
Commenter: BRIDGET SNOPKOWSKI
State: PA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I applied online for a converter coupon for my mother and for me. My mother received a card this past summer. At the time she also had some serious surgery and misplaced the coupon card. When she tried to use it, it was expired. Why is there a cut off date and why can't she get another one? I never received my coupon card but when I tried to contact you again online I was told I didn't qualify because a card hand been sent. Please reply.
Comment Number: 539814-00674
Received: 1/29/2009 2:50:33 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Chad Richardson
State: VA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I am sick of these companies putting these "DRM's"on games and such. The pirate community ALWAYS finds a way around these things, and all they end up doing is messing with the people who LEGALLY purchase the product. I purchase all of my games, and legally I have the right to use them indefinitely. Unless I damage or lose my disc, then I must buy it again, even though I already paid for the rights to play it. Using DRM keeps people like me from making a back up of legally owned material, so I can continue to use it if a problem arises. I fully feel that this is immoral, and illegal. I understand that these companies do not like loosing money, but they should go after the pirates, and leave the honest consumer alone. I must thank you all for actually looking into this, I hope that something good comes of this.
Comment Number: 539814-00675
Received: 1/29/2009 10:17:14 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Kathy McGraw
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM is anti-consumer and at the end of the day renders the intellectual property it seeks to protect valueless. Although my discussion here is limited to video games, the same concepts apply to the music and movie industries. In recent months, game companies like EA have introduced draconian DRM that requires that one activate the game online upon install, with a limited number of activations thereafter. If one exceeds the number of installs/activations allowed, one must purchase another copy of the game or be treated like a criminal by the customer service department, having to explain why one needs more installs/activations. Starting with online activation, which also raises some privacy concerns as well, the concern here is that there is no guarantee that the servers used for this purpose will be around in the future. Right now, I can plop any old game I have into an older computer, or into my computer with the proper DOS emulator, and play it. There is no guarantee that I’ll be able to do this years down the road with games that require this online activation, and therefore, the game CDs just become useless. Limited installs/activations render the game valueless from the beginning because, effectively, you have purchased something you don’t actually own. Consider that limited installs and activations make it impossible to sell or trade your copy of the game at a later time, making the video game industry the only industry in which you are unable to sell or trade what you’ve purchased. Consider as well that any change to your computer would use up an activation…if you update Windows or if you upgrade your video card, RAM, or hard drive…things that most gamers regularly do to their computers in an effort to keep up with the endless advances in technology. Consider as well the fact that computers are notoriously unreliable and have components that break quite frequently, which would also use up installs/activations. Once the allotted activations/installs are used up, in order to continue playing a game you purchased, you would need to justify your need for more activations to the customer service department (as stated above) or buy another copy of the same game, at the same inflated price. So I’ll pose this question now: if I can’t sell something I supposedly own, and I am limited to the number of times I can use something I supposedly own, and there is no guarantee that I’ll be able to continue using something I own in the future, then what I have actually bought? Where is the value to me, as a consumer, in purchasing the product? The answer to the above is that I’ve bought nothing. The game CDs and DVDs are automatically worth nothing because I have none of the typical rights that actual ownership typically conveys. Yes, the game content itself is the game developer’s intellectual property and subject to copyright, but when they sell me a CD or DVD of the game, that particular CD or DVD (and the license to use the intellectual property contained therein) is mine to do with as I choose. Copyright does not give the game companies, the RIAA, or anyone else the right to cheat consumers or treat paying customers like criminals.
Comment Number: 539814-00676
Received: 1/30/2009 12:03:32 AM
Organization: private citizen
Commenter: Richard Hartman
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

There are many problems with copyright law as it currently stands, and DRM in particular. I am sure that you will be getting many long and detailed comments, so I will keep this one short and try to cover only my main objection to DRM and especially the special status granted to DRM under currently copyright law (i.e. the DMCA). First I must state that DRM is an attempt to mechanise law enforcement. This basically abrogates the presumption of innocence under the law. However, philosophical objections aside, DRM fails in two ways. In statistics, these are called "type I error" (or "false Positive") and "type II error" (or "false negative)". As applied copyright protection, this means that DRM both fails to prevent the determined criminal -- strike that, the even halfway competant criminal -- from making copies (type II error) while at the same time it prevents law-abiding citizens from actions that would otherwise be allowed under basic copyright law (type I error). Basically, it fails to accomplish it's stated goal of preventing piracy, and it prevents citizens for excercising their fair use rights regarding the material. DRM is doubly deficient and the additional protection for DRM mechanisms themselves over and above the protection of the material granted by copyright is a gross violation of ... well, sanity with regard to copyright. It is past time for the protections granted to DRM mechanisms by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) to be scrapped.
Comment Number: 539814-00677
Received: 1/30/2009 12:47:55 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Derek Thorson
State: IL
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

No story points out the flaws in DRM more than the Gears of War DRM story yesterday: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2009/01/pc-gears-of-war-drm-causes-title-to-shut-down-starting-today.ars The last paragraph sums up all of it: "While it's not rare for games to ship with bugs every now and again, it's pretty shocking when one ships with an issue that causes the title to stop working for everyone who paid. Those who pirated the game, as usual, continue to play with no issues." DRM must be changed so that it does not cause a burden on legitimate customers beyond a simple verification that they did indeed pay (such as a CD Key or insertion of a CD/DVD into the computer's CD/DVD drive). My worst experience with DRM was with Electronic Arts' Mass Effect. The original game shipped with 3 activations. At the time I purchased the PC version I had just upgraded the hardware components in my computer. Through several re-installations of the operating system (Windows Vista Ultimate), I managed to use up my 3 activations, forcing me to send in a support ticket in order to "get permission" to play the game I legally purchased. After yet another re-installation of the OS (yes I reinstall often, especially when I upgrade hardware) I had to get permission again. The time to complete those two support tickets (from ticket submission to the time I was told I was able to activate once more) was 10 days total. The first I waited 4 days for a response (I had to respond with information to prove when and where I purchase the game), and another 2 days to get word that I could reactivate. The second I waited 4 days for a response telling me I could reactivate. This is unacceptable. I have since reinstalled my OS several times, but I have no interest in installing the game again since I don't want to have to wait another 4+ days to get permission to play a game I legally paid for. I want to play the game, but I DON'T want to install it...too much hassle. When I bought Spore (also an EA product) I bypassed the official activation system by downloading a crack for the game (yes the same crack pirates use to play the game without issues). The pirates have no trouble at all playing the game they didn't pay for, so why should legitimate customers be stopped from playing the game they DID pay for? The companies need to stop treating their customers like criminals.
Comment Number: 539814-00678
Received: 1/30/2009 1:18:54 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Lea
State: MO
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM only serves to punish honest consumers and reward hackers and pirates. Piracy prevention measures are always cracked eventually and the prospect of a "DRM-Free" copy of a software package is just further incentive for people to pirate products they otherwise may have paid for. All too often DRM causes serious problems for legitimate users of software, in some cases it can even cause catastrophic software issues on the customer's personal computer. Also, DRM is gross invasion of personal privacy, there is much discussion nowadays of warrantless surveillance of American citizens and most reasonable people would agree that it is not only wrong, but also unconstitutional. If it is wrong and illegal for the government to invade a person's private property than it is just as wrong, and should be just as illegal, for a corporation to do so. Many DRM implementations invasively scan the customer's computer, often without seeking any sort of permission, this is wrong. In addition these scans often turn up false positives, or will not allow a consumer to use their purchased software if certain other legal software, used for a legal and legitimate purpose, is present. If I, as a consumer purchase a product, I should be able to use that product as I see fit, within the law, on any computer belonging to me. All too often, in the media industry, we see a mentality that the consumer has no rights over the product that they have purchased, which is rarely considered their property. This is wrong, copyright law is important for many reasons, but consumers should have a right to expect a product they have purchased to work properly and to use it as they see fit. I consider DRM to amount to nothing different than a Virus or piece of malicious code (malware). It is my belief that DRM is a violation of my privacy rights, morally wrong, often counterproductive, and should be banned. Failing this, a very clear, easy to see, explicit warning about the presence of DRM, it's action on the consumer's computer, and possible side effects, should be provided to the consumer before they purchase a DRM-laden product.
Comment Number: 539814-00679
Received: 1/30/2009 2:09:42 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Susan Godlewski
State: NJ
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Purchasing a DRM encrypted book means I need to keep forever the key information and the purchasing e-mail address which are needed when I replace my e-book reader. I an dependant that the seller will still be in business and still supporting that form of DRM when I need to transfer my library to a replacement reader. In today’s economy, there is no guarantee. I am not happy with DRM. I enjoy downloads from http://www.gutenberg.com/ and http://baen.com/library/ which are DRM free.
Comment Number: 539814-00680
Received: 1/30/2009 6:25:55 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Chad Landry
State: NH
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

All attempts at using DRM programs to stop piracy have failed. The piracy level has actually increased because honest consumers don't want to give money to companies using these kinds of programs. They flood your computer and leave your computer vulnerable to viruses. They seemingly punish consumers for being honest buyers rather than pirating.
Comment Number: 539814-00681
Received: 1/30/2009 9:44:31 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Seth Gramling
State: IL
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM as used by companies such as Electronic Arts (EA) in the form of SecuROM v. 7.xx is invasive, damaging to legitimate customers, not suited to its stated purpose, and, I suspect, in some cases illegal. Tactics such as limited installs serve only to remove the ability to resell used software, a violation of the Doctrine of First Sale. The huge numbers of piratings of games "protected" with SecuROM shows that it is unsuitable to its stated purpose (anti-piracy). Companies like EA think that because they have huge amounts of money, they can get away with outrageous behavior that damages their own business. I would urge anyone who owns stock in any of these companies to take a very close look at the impact on shareholder value since these policies have been implemented. To anyone who might be reading this, not having heard of or not understanding this issue, allow me to summarize. DRM software like Starforce and SecuROM v. 7.xx is malware that infects your computer when you install a game "protected" by it. These programs are typically very hard to remove from your system, and are not uninstalled when the game they came packaged with is uninstalled. Learn more at this site: http://reclaimyourgame.com/ Thanks for reading.
Comment Number: 539814-00682
Received: 1/31/2009 11:02:34 AM
Organization: none
Commenter: Trenton Bennett
State: KY
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I purchased Dead Space for the PC and installed it on Vista Ultimate x64. During installation, the DVD-RW drive began making some odd noises--sounds like a floppy disc would make. It hasn't happened since, but what has happened is that my drive takes longer to spool up to speed. Games like Gears of War are already slow, but this is getting a bit out of hand and the wait times for loading now remind me of my Commodore 64. I also went to burn a data disc and, for the first time in a long time, found myself making a coaster. Is this connected to SecuROM? I don't know. But the fact that I have to think about it every time I try to do something isn't right. The fact that I can't physically remove the software is unnerving. The definition of "hacking" a computer is performing an action on a system, that changes that system, without the user's initiating the action, without their knowledge, or without their consent. Clicking a blanket license agreement in order to use a product I have paid for should not also mean I am authorizing the makers of SecuROM to intrude upon my machine in whatever way they choose. I purchase all my games legally. And I purchase a LOT of games. It is not fair to criminalize the customer, nor should it be legal for SecuROM to hack my machine *in case* I *might* be a criminal. The actual criminals break this stuff in minutes and in hours have easily handed it out to everyone. If the manufacturer believes that a customer boycott is a smaller impact than the impact of piracy, let them know that I have stopped purchasing their titles. After over 20 years of buying EA Games, I will no longer support their SecuROM titles, nor will I purchase any other product that purports to "protect their intellecual property" by installing an unrelated product on my machine to monitor me.
Comment Number: 539814-00683
Received: 2/1/2009 9:06:03 AM
Organization:
Commenter: hassan
State: PA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I recently purchased a game from EA that has a type of DRM that it installs when the game is installed. I was not aware of the DRM install until i read it on a forum. It has now put limitations on my PC that is also affecting other software. I had to reinstall my operating system because i could not uninstall the DRM application.
Comment Number: 539814-00684
Received: 2/1/2009 2:27:18 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Laura Bayne
State: TX
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Please consider allowing users more flexibiltiy in use, storage and transportation of digital media. While I understand the need to maintain copyright and how easily materials can be reproduced electronically, the assumptiont that consumers would inherently seek to make more copies than would be necessary for private use is absurd. A person can go to the library and check out or copy a book or CD pretty much at will. Why can't a digital reader or listener enjoy the same flexibility. Why can't something be attached to the music, book or art file that tracks how many copies are made and then shuts down access after a reasonable limit has been reached. Why can't I easily transfer content between user platforms? Why must I use a dedicated device for types of content? Please consider this as you debate and discuss the future of digital publishing. Thank you!
Comment Number: 539814-00685
Received: 2/1/2009 2:38:21 PM
Organization: none
Commenter: Beverly Stephans
State: VA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

When you buy a print book, that book then becomes your property to sell, donate or share with others. For some reason, some publishers don't look at ebooks the same way. Why is this? An ebook should bestow the buyer with the same proprietary rights as a print book.
Comment Number: 539814-00686
Received: 2/1/2009 3:07:26 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Tili Sokolov
State: MA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM is incredibly frustrating for legitimate users and does not work to decrease piracy. In fact, it forces many users to break the law in order to retain their property when technology advances and formats change. Get rid of DRM now!
Comment Number: 539814-00687
Received: 2/1/2009 7:23:04 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Lucy Christie
State: TX
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Hate DRM. If I buy an ebook I expect to be able to read it where and when I want.
Comment Number: 539814-00688
Received: 2/1/2009 8:43:34 PM
Organization:
Commenter: David Visti
State: NC
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I believe that DRM which limits the number of software installations violates fair use. With the speed of change of computers/operating systems, it is very easy to exceed the number of installations they allow. To me, it is false advertising to "sell" such software. It should be clearly identified as a rental. They also should not be allowed to install software or settings on your computer that their setup software will not uninstall when the software is uninstalled. To me, doing otherwise constitutes installing a virus on my computer.
Comment Number: 539814-00689
Received: 2/1/2009 8:57:57 PM
Organization:
Commenter: K Miller
State: AZ
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I love digital media. I like being able to get books and music on my portable device. I don't like DRM. One of the first electronic purchases I made was for a couple of books. I happily got the file, little knowing that I would never use it. See, I thought I would be able to copy my file onto my portable device. But, due to DRM, it was tied to the computer that I had purchased it on. Unfortunately, that desktop pc was in a back bedroom. Making it impossible for me to read the file on my portable during my daily commute. Shame. I never did read that file. But, I was extremely annoyed. When I purchase something, it should be mine. It's not a lease. It is a permanent purchase. I should be able to do with the file as I choose. The DRM could have discouraged me from ever making digital purchases again. Which in some cases means that I wouldn't find some authors/artists. I wouldn't tell my friends and associates about them either. DRM is destructive to the electronics industry. It will only hurt the industry. I have made transitions to new media several times in my life. Hardcover books I gave up for paperback. Paperback I gave up digital. Records I gave up for cassettes, cassettes for CDs, CD's for digital. Digital is wonderful. It allows me to take books and music to many different places, all on my portable. DRM only prevents this from being possible. I do not purchase media that is DRM controlled. When I purchase it, it's mine. What I use with it is my choice. Trying to contol when and where I can use something I purchased is absolutely wrong. Digital media is the future. Trying to control it is wrong and only slows progress.
Comment Number: 539814-00690
Received: 2/1/2009 11:20:52 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Joanne Losito
State: NY
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

As an avid reader and book buyer I find the addition of DRM the most difficult and troublesome part of reading ebooks on my digital device. The less expensive the ebook reader is the more problems that DRM causes. It makes ebooks available only to those who can afford the newest (and most expensive) readers and unavailable to those of us seniors and students who can't. It doesn't stop the illegal stripping of DRM by those that wish to take that step nor the file sharing since theives will always find a way around laws and leave the honest buyers to pay the price.
Comment Number: 539814-00691
Received: 2/2/2009 3:23:40 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Raines
State: OH
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments: 539814-00691.pdf

Comments:

I've attached my comments since this form doesn't allow carriage returns in text.
Comment Number: 539814-00692
Received: 2/2/2009 1:34:49 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Katherine Shaw
State: TN
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM is the main reason why I haven't bought an ereader. I will wait to buy one until I can expect the same freedom to read an ebook that I have when I buy a paper book: that is, I can read it when I want, where I want, and as often as I want. DRM is harming everyone in the publishing industry, not just readers.
Comment Number: 539814-00693
Received: 2/2/2009 2:58:56 PM
Organization: Glushko-Samuelson Technology Law and Policy Clinic
Commenter: Blake Reid
State: CO
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments: 539814-00693.pdf

Comments:

Please see attached for our complete comment.
Comment Number: 539814-00694
Received: 2/2/2009 7:08:43 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Dana Gonzales
State: AR
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

The development and continued use of DRM by Mobipocket restricts the use of purchased ebooks to the Mobipocket reader only. Other formats can be read on multiple platforms. In essence, Mobipocket has agreements with publishers which limit ebook formats by some authors to DRM. Like many others, I purchased ebooks from Mobipocket to read on a palm only to find out it is not compatible with a mac or iphone system. Traditional books can be read and resold with no problem, so I'm not sure I understand why Mobipocket feels the need to use DRM other than to force the public to use their reader. The resale and/or trading of ebooks is illegal and the consequences are clearly stated in the beginning of each file. I hope you will require Mobipocket to explain why there is no reader for the iphone. There have been multiple reports on the web (granted not always reliable) that Mobipocket had a reader available for the iphone in August. Thank you
Comment Number: 539814-00695
Received: 2/2/2009 8:10:31 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Ulrich Schmitz
State: Outside the United States
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Digital Rights Management has developed from one of many peculiar attempts by publishers to enforce copyright laws and in their point of view hinder copyright infringement to a commonly-used technology that has only recently become the subject of public debate and even judicial proceedings. As technologies can at times outgrow or even endanger consumer rights, so has the ever increasing use of DRM in many software applications as diverse as digital music, movies or video games become a source of nuisance and confinement. This of course can be expected from a tool that was first and foremost established by the publishing industry to protect the entrepreneur’s interests, thereby penalizing the customers who now – aware of this development – react hostile. Common examples for this behavior include internet petitions, web forum discussions and low consumer ratings given to DRM protected articles on Amazon.com. The industry often argues that DRM is mandatory to keep their software from being “pirated”, meaning the widespread distribution of illegal copies using file-sharing-platforms. However, DRM is not the same as copy protection. Both DRM and copy protection are completely different technologies with completely different applications. Copy protection is used to prevent the creation of illegal copies whereas DRM can only be put to use after a product has been bought, to influence and restrict consumer behavior. Limiting a product’s number of licenses, render internet product activation mandatory and establishing additional software as an installation requirement are common DRM techniques. These techniques can cause various problems for consumers: A video game with a limited number of licenses loses even more value if offered on a second-hand platform like Ebay, thus punishing the consumer to an unusual extent and eventually limiting second-hand-commerce. The following quote by Dr. Michael Capps, President of Epic Games, one of the most successful video game developers, sums this up very accurately: “The secondary market is a huge issue in the United States […] We don't make any money when someone rents it, and we don't make any money when someone buys it used […]” Another example could be a music album bought from an online store but not downloaded to a new PC or laptop – the money spent on that software is gone if the vendor goes bankrupt without providing a backup. Sadly, publishers still try to hide or postpone info about DRM software shipping alongside their product, often providing no clue whatsoever even on the flipside of a DVD case. The End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) of a given software is sometimes the last source of information about the implementation of DRM. However, the significance of EULAs in general is heavily debated, as to date lawsuits are filled about this subject with no universal und indisputable outcome. The opportunity to act preemptively is waning by the hour. Where the music industry is gradually refraining from DRM-use, video game publishers currently outperform themselves in deploying new strategies to diminish the availability of DRM-free software. If consumer rights should experience the protection they are entitled to, then now is the time to do exactly that: Once the public is out of reach to intervene, a mistake that has been made is difficult to repair. In my opinion, the Federal Trade Commission is in a strong position to meet public demands and as such must thoroughly reexamine this affair. Thank you for your attention.
Comment Number: 539814-00696
Received: 2/3/2009 8:52:37 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Kaimana Cook
State: HI
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

DRM takes at most, 3 days for the large piracy sites to crack. Often it is cracked BEFORE the official release. DRM is absolutely useless for deterring piracy. However, it IS useful for destroying the secondhand game market, something that companies who sell games obviously would love to see happen. They are making games disposable. DRM has been surrounded by lies. There is no informed consent for its installation, and companies have lied more than once about the effects of DRM. Users have definitively proved company's statements to be wrong, and yet they are allowed to proceed treating honest customers like criminals, while acting like criminals themselves. DRM is just a ploy to make more money disguised as protecting their product.
Comment Number: 539814-00697
Received: 2/3/2009 12:09:18 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Frederick Paul Kiesche III
State: NJ
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Any DRM scheme can be broken. If it is encoded by man, it can be broken by man, given enough effort. So what DRM does is to punish honest customers. Twice now I've lost access to electronic books, once because the provider went out of business, the second time because the company providing content to the e-book distributor I was using walked off in a snit (I was lucky in only losing one book--some lost hundreds). CD's that won't work on my PC, DVD's that won't work on my PC...I bought it, honestly. Why can't I use it the way I want? Because of artificial constraints that affect the honest user. Electronic books that work on one device but not the other. There are no "technical issues", just commercial ones (DRM). If I were dishonest, I could crack the DRM and laugh. But silly me, I'm honest, I'm willing to pay for content, but I'm constantly stymied by this problem. DRM does not work. It only affects those that are honest enough to purchase content and not dishonest enough to look for ways of getting around the constraint.
Comment Number: 539814-00698
Received: 2/3/2009 1:15:19 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Elizabeth Litchfield
State: IL
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

If epublishing is to have a viable future, then customers must be provided with a modicum of flexibility rather than punished with an inferior and legally limited product. Concerns over DRM interfering with transferring books to my Kindle device influences how I buy digital books and reduces the number of vendors from whom I can buy books.
Comment Number: 539814-00699
Received: 2/3/2009 2:51:59 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Jennifer Hall
State: AZ
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Digital rights management (DRM) are invasive and potentially hazardous to computers which are not removed when you remove the software and generally are meant to be a hassle or impossible for the common user to remove from their computer. As a consumer I will not willingly purchase or use a product that contains it and feel it is not only an invasion of my privacy with the information it collects and could distribute about me to a company that has nothing to do with the software I have purchased from them but am shocked that companies can put it in their software without fully making the consumer aware of its dangers. Please do not allow companies to continue to add this into their software especially without making it easier and safer to remove while making sure the average user understands DRM tech and the hazards before they install it. Thank you for your time, Jennifer Hall
Comment Number: 539814-00700
Received: 2/3/2009 8:11:09 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Christopher Schwan
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

To limit myself to the topics; 1) The typical sole source of information on DRM is prior experience (Buying and seeing, or asking a previous buyer). I've never seen it described on the packaging of any software I've purchased in a box retail. 2) DRM (and money) are the two primary reasons for piracy. DRM effectively negates the reliability bonus from legal software since quite often the DRM will impact the user experience while using the software legally. The worst-case scenario for a mis-behaving DRM is that you need to wipe your hard-drive which is as bad as the worst-case scenario for downloading a piece of software with a hidden virus. 3) Yes, DRM systems have been implemented that require consumers to purchase the same content multiple times. This becomes a problem when it is not clearly laid out before the purchase and it disagrees with a reasonable person's expectations based on other copyrightable content such as a book or cd.
Comment Number: 539814-00701
Received: 2/3/2009 9:28:57 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Thomas Spencer
State: IN
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Hello. I believe the entire DRM issue is a total waste of resources that could be better applied elsewhere - almost ANY elsewhere. It is widely known that the present implementations, both in hardware and software, have been broken repeatedly. A search on the Internet using Google yields an enormous number of "hits" on how to "crack" the DRM encoding, regardless of file type. The only thing to do, in my opinion, is to remove entirely a failed system that merely punishes those of us who ordinarily wouldn't dream of stealing something, but have to &aquot;crack" and remove the DRM encoding to be able to use our legitimately acquired digital content on our preferred platform(s). There's an old saying that fits... You can't legislate morality. As was discovered almost 100 years ago with the 19th Amendment. If folks want it bad enough, they'll find a way to get it. Whether "IT" is a bottle of booze or a second copy of their favorite CD or e-book. In fact, DRM-encoded sound files are ridiculously simple to break... simple play-and-record-the-output; works every time. Screen-capture, while cumbersome, also works for e-books (and there are more elegant, software related, solutions, as well.) It's simply got more holes than a collandar, so rather than try to outguess the geeks, simply remove the requirement, so that those of us who want a (fully legal) copy of e-books and music can do so without jumping through a bunch of hoops. Thank You.
Comment Number: 539814-00702
Received: 2/4/2009 6:43:16 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Rummell
State: PA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

I would like to firstly thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions on this matter. I respectfully ask that you do not continue to allow DRM practices to continue. Companies will always have to be concerned about piracy, but there are other ways to minimize it without essentially taking away a consumer's right to the ownership of the end product that they purchased. Likewise, piracy will never jeopardize the financial standing of a company who has supportive customers behind them. However, when companies decide to use DRM, they are essentially limiting their own customer base by taking away the rights of the end consumer. I, personally, do not purchase materials that take advantage of DRM technology, nor will I at any point start purchasing such products. I also actively educate those I come in contact with to consider the same philosophy. I do not take lightly the infringement of my basic rights as an end consumer. If I purchase a product, I should be able to freely use and utilize that product for years to come if possible. I should not be limited to only installing it a certain number of times. After all, I am not involved in piracy, I am simply a consumer who has worked hard to obtain the income necessary to purchase said product. I would like to ask you to consider other methods of ensuring the survival of the authenticity of products. If companies choose to put measures in place to stop piracy at its source, they will get measurable results. However, that source is not the average end user. An example of the source would be a website that hosts pirated software. If such a website is shut down and penalized, that is an appropriate penalization. However, when the average, paying customer is penalized because of piracy that could potentially happen with the product they purchased, that is inappropriate, and should not be permitted. I would also like to respectfully ask that any companies concerned with the piracy issue remember that the average person who will be using your product is a paying customer. While piracy is a well founded fear, I personally feel that you have more to fear by stripping the average, paying customer of loyalty to, and respect for, your product. A loyal customer is a returning customer. I thank you for reading my comments.
Comment Number: 539814-00703
Received: 2/5/2009 4:13:23 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Svetoslav Trochev
State: NV
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

Sir or Madam, There are many evidences that DRM do not serve the marketed purpose. The media companies want you to believe that DRM is needed to stop piracy, but there are no single case in witch DRM had stopped piracy. Instead DRM has caused numerous problems for the users that legally have purchased the media content. Not only that but many legitimate users had to download pirated copies of the games, because DRM was preventing them to run the own purchased copies. As result the DRM increases the piracy. The real reason why the content owners wants DRM is to restrict distribution and extract monopolistic prices. Copyright and patent law grands a monopoly as reward for making their IP available for the whole public. But the reality is far from the intended spirit of the law. For example: I only use Open Source Software and as result I can not legally watch any DVD or HD-DVD or Blu-ray Disk, because the DVD Forum and Blu-ray Disc Association are actively prevents development of the Open Source Players, by abusing the DMCA law. This is in fact breach of the social contract that awards them Copyrights and Patents. Please stop that. The media companies should have two choices ether provide open standard of DRM with no license fees for everyone who wishes to use it or they should lose the DRM protection. The Copyright and Patent law are intended to stimulate creativity and reward the authors of new ideas and art, but DRM prevents that. I have not purchased single DVD since DMCA become a law and I can not buy any until I have access to open source player that legally can play DVDs and Blu-ray Disks. Thank you for you time.
Comment Number: 539814-00704
Received: 2/5/2009 9:17:48 AM
Organization: Library Copyright Alliance
Commenter: Jonathan Band
State: DC
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments: 539814-00704.pdf

Comments:

Attached are the opening comments of the Library Copyright Alliance filed in the Copyright Office's pending rulemaking concerning exemptions to the DMCA's prohibition on circumvention of access controls. This submission contain many examples of the burdens on education placed by the combination of DRMs on DVDs and the DMCA's prohibition on the circumvention of these DRMs. We will submit our reply comments separately. Please contact me if you have any questions. Jonathan Band Counsel to the Library Copyright Alliance 202-296-5675 jband@policybandwidth.com
Comment Number: 539814-00705
Received: 2/5/2009 9:22:31 AM
Organization: Library Copyright Alliance
Commenter: Jonathan Band
State: DC
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments: 539814-00705.pdf

Comments:

Attached are the reply comments of the Library Copyright Alliance filed in the Copyright Office's pending rulemaking concerning exemptions to the DMCA's prohibition on circumvention of access controls. This submission contains many examples of the burdens on education placed by the combination of DRMs on DVDs and the DMCA's prohibition on the circumvention of these DRMs. We have submitted our opening comments separately. Please contact me if you have any questions. Jonathan Band Counsel to the Library Copyright Alliance 202-296-5675 jband@policybandwidth.com
Comment Number: 539814-00706
Received: 2/6/2009 12:10:01 AM
Organization: The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Commenter: Andrea Matwyshyn
State: PA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments:

Comments:

My research and expertise in the area of DRM focus on the intersection of contract law, DRM and information security. For your consideration, I attach my recent article published in Washington University Law Review entitled 'Technoconsen(t)sus,' which analyzes consumer consent in the context of security-invasive DRM technologies. The topics raised in this article would fit into the proposed panel on consumer information issues or the 'other consumer issues' panel. The article is available here for download: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=904075
Comment Number: 539814-00707
Received: 2/7/2009 6:43:32 PM
Organization: ByteShield, Inc.
Commenter: Jan Samzelius
State: CA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Rule: FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Attachments: 539814-00707.pdf

Comments:

Please see the attached for my comments. I am the CEO of ByteShield, Inc. since its founding 2003. ByteShield is committed to delivering a DRM system with strong protectino combined with end user friendliness. Please see my request to participate as a panelist in Seattle for additional information about my background.