FTC DRM comments

Comments 708-852
downloaded from http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/drmtechnologies/

Comment 708 - PDF


Comment 709 - PDF



Comment 711 - PDF


Comment 712 - PDF


Comment 713 - PDF


Comment Number: 539814-00714
Received: 2/12/2009 4:43:22 PM
Organization: Copyright Alliance
Commenter: Patrick Ross
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:

Comments:

It is important to keep in mind that digital rights management, or DRM, is an umbrella term that covers any technological means by which a copyright owner seeks to preserve his or her Constitutional rights. Technology is neutral; what matters is intent of use. With DRM, the intent of use is providing a set of permissions to consumers at a set price point. Naturally, a model that allows all uses upon purchase is going to cost more, for example, than a model that allows only a narrow one. Also, a copyright owner might have concerns with a model that offers all permissions if it invites the possibility that the work will later find its way to many others who have not purchased the work and lack legal permissions. DRM, in other words, enables new business models. There has been great pressure on copyright owners in the last decade to develop new, legal distribution and presentation methods of creative works to consumers, and DRM is allowing that to happen in full force. Whether the work is downloaded or streamed, alone or bundled, purchased or legally free, we have never had so many choices available. Every day copyright owners choose how to use DRM, or choose not to use it at all. The system is working. Placing burdens on the implementation of technology to manage copyright owners’ rights would retard this growth. Every creative industry has its own business models, methods of distribution, and tradition of rights authorizations. We must be very careful when addressing DRM because criticism of one specific technology or model or creative work should not automatically be applied to other technologies or models or creative works. Questions about DRM, its implementation and disclosure should be addressed case-by-case rather than casting a wide net across a neutral technology empowered by law to assist copyright owners.
Comment Number: 539814-00715
Received: 2/12/2009 9:39:00 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Court Merrigan
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: 539814-00715.pdf

Comments:

Please see attachment.
Comment Number: 539814-00716
Received: 2/12/2009 10:25:44 PM
Organization: Carnegie Mellon University
Commenter: Jon Peha
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: 539814-00716.pdf

Comments:

Dimensions of P2P and Digital Piracy in a University Campus. This article presents findings from the first large-scale quantitative assessment of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) exchanges of copyrighted material on a college campus based on actual observation. Through passive monitoring and deep packet inspection (DPI), we assess the extent to which P2P is used to transfer copyrighted material. We also characterize the demographics of P2P users, the relative popularity of the material, and how the burden on the campus network varies over time. We found that at least 51% of students living on campus engaged in P2P, at least 42% attempted to transfer copyrighted material, and the mean number of copyrighted media titles whose transfer is attempted per week was at least 6 per monitored student. Some students use P2P legally, e.g. to transfer Linux software or non-copyrighted adult material, but we found no evidence that large numbers of students use P2P for these legal purposes and not to transfer copyrighted material. Students of all genders, ages, classes and majors engaged in file sharing, to the extent that demographics were not helpful in identifying likely file-sharers so as to target interventions. This study also provides lessons for those who would use DPI technology to reduce illegal use of P2P. If given enough weeks to observe, current technology is effective at identifying users who attempt to transfer copyrighted material, provided that their traffic is identifiable as P2P. Thus, DPI can be used to estimate the extent of piracy, and to notify individuals who may be violating copyright law. However, encryption is available and can be easily activated in most P2P clients. Once turned on, encryption prevents DPI from detecting whether transferred material is copyrighted, rendering it ineffective. If DPI is used for copyright enforcement that includes imposition of penalties, then P2P users or P2P developers may have the incentive to use encryption as a way of evading detection.

Comment 717 - PDF


Comment 718 - PDF


Comment Number: 539814-00719
Received: 2/13/2009 1:05:44 PM
Organization:
Commenter: William Scott
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:

I currently own about 50 ebooks in secure Mobipocket Reader format. I've accumulated them over the past 7-8 years, originally using a Palm Pilot and most recently a Windows Mobile smartphone. Interestingly, the reader client software for this format is available for the PC and most smartphones - except the iPhone. I was thinking about getting an iPhone and noticed that a competing reader - eReader - is available. Not a problem, I thought, since DRM is supposed to protect the content and not inhibit usage. I contacted Fictionwise.com to see about converting my library (90% of my ebooks were purchased there), only to be told that this was not possible. I would have to re-purchase my entire library in the new format. These books cost anywhere from $2.00 to $20.00 each. I'm really not prepared to buy them all over again. And what happens in the future when this DRM scheme is no longer used? Buy them yet again? I have pretty much decided that I will no longer be buying any ebooks until some sort of standard evolves. It is simply too risky and expensive. There's a lot of speculation on the internet concerning why a Mobipocket Reader isn't available for the iPhone. After all, Mobipocket did announce that the reader would be -available soon- over a year ago. It turns out that Amazon.com bought Mobipocket and uses an altered version of the secure Mobipocket format for its Kindle reader. Note that the Kindle will NOT work with -standard- secure Mobipocket ebooks - only secure .amz books available through Amazon. So speculation runs that Amazon is also suppressing the release of the iPhone version of the Mobipocket Reader to help protect its Kindle device, given the huge popularity of the iPhone.
Comment Number: 539814-00720
Received: 2/13/2009 1:08:23 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Sean Dageforde
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 am not a fan of DRM simply because I believe in fair use of the media that I own. There should not be restriction to how I want to consume the source, whether I convert it from disc to .iso or directly to a playable media format supported by my OS of choice. Also, if I purchase any physical media I should not be required to connect to the Internet via any means to validate/register my product. This part, in particular, bothers me because I perform my own hardware upgrades and do not want the files/programs bound to one computer.
Comment Number: 539814-00721
Received: 2/13/2009 1:20:33 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Baum
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:

DRM is a poor attempt at extracting additional revenue from consumers for additional uses that are supported by copyright doctrine. DRM prevents me from transferring music I purchase to other devices. DRM prevents me from watching a show (that was recorded on my living room DVR) in my bedroom. DRM only pushes me away from spending my money in this troubled economic time because I’m afraid that in the future, I will not be able to access what I purchased without violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Comment Number: 539814-00722
Received: 2/13/2009 1:21:57 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Stephen Marino
State: OK
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 easy to break and many times must be broken to properly use a product (Music downloads on a different brand of MP3 Player). DRM keeps honest people criminal.
Comment Number: 539814-00723
Received: 2/13/2009 1:25:48 PM
Organization:
Commenter: D Sheppard
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:

DRM, from a technical perspective, does not limit piracy. Millions, if not billions of dollars are spent by companies large and small to prevent piracy, and the net result is that legitimate customers must jump through hoops, while software "pirates" can bypass these hoops. In at least two instances in 2008, the solution that was initially pushed by software companies to fix "piracy prevention" features in their own software was to distribute software "cracks" developed by pirates to bypass copy mechanisms. DRM hinders legitimate industry and exposes computers to dangerous exploits. From a trade perspective, DRM is unreasonable; I recently bought a computer game that was "protected" by DRM, and it refused to run as long as I had a DVD drive emulator installed, which I constantly use when developing my own software. I could not afford to simply remove a critical tool for my own development, and I could not return the game because I had already opened it. The fact that the game would not work on my computer unless I made significant system changes was not disclosed to me on the packaging. If the FTC cannot mandate that DRM be removed, it at least needs to work to change the current law that an opened software title cannot be returned. Considering that a significant amount of pirated software hits the internet before it can even be legally purchased, allowing consumers to return software when it has been intentionally hobbled to not work on their machines is the only other reasonable solution.
Comment Number: 539814-00724
Received: 2/13/2009 1:32:17 PM
Organization:
Commenter: M. Koby
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 a consumer who enjoys using media in a variety of ways, I find that digital rights management (DRM) can really hinder how I wish to use media in the confines of my home and the devices I purchase. Digital rights management technology hinders me in allowing to play media that I have purchased in a way that will 1) make it easy to use and 2) make it simple to change methods. For example, if I want to make a home theater PC (HTPC) that will play DVDs that I have stored on a hard drive on my computer, thus eliminating the need to store the original DVD on a shelf to only collect dust, I can not do this because the DRM know as CSS makes it impossible to do. This is a direct violation of fair use. Even if there is a way to crack the DRM and do what I want with the media I have purchased, cracking/breaking said DRM is deemed illegal by the DMCA and I could be fined or imprisoned for doing so. Digital rights management also only hurts the law abiding citizens, as it is in no way a deterrent for pirates and thieves. If someone wants to pirate DRM-ed media, they'll find a way to do so. It also requires a ton of unnecessary education on the consumer's part. While I'm not saying that consumers shouldn't have to do research, I am saying that DRM does make things more complicated than it should be. A person should be able to purchase a song digitally and have it play on as many devices as possible (Amazon's Mp3 Store has REALLY helped this). Please understand that I only wish to be able to use media that I purchased (regardless of format) in a manner (or manners) that I would like.
Comment Number: 539814-00725
Received: 2/13/2009 1:44:09 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Stephen Brandon
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:

My experience has been the DRM is a huge impediment to consumers, and does little to actually help content producers and owners. When the free pirated copy of something is easier to use and of higher quality than the legitimate commercially available version, is it hard to think which version people will prefer? I make an effort to buy legitimate versions of things I love whenever I can, but sometimes have to really go out of my way to do so and get a product I can actually use and do with as I please. For example, because of the restrictions on purchases from the iTunes music store before they started eliminating DRM, I refused to buy anything there that used DRM because I couldn't stream those tracks to any of the devices hooked up to my stereo in the living room. I had to hope that the songs I wanted showed up on another store (like eMusic) that didn't use DRM, or to try to go out and find a CD copy (not always easy with the more obscure music I like), which was sometimes difficult, and would often end up costing me more, so that I could rip it myself, at whatever quality I wanted, and be able to do whatever I wanted/needed to with the file (like stream it to my living room). I'll admit I sometimes went ahead and got a pirated copy because it was just easier, and i knew it wouldn't come with any arbitrary restrictions on it. I've also had friends burned by DRM when a company decided to top supporting the products, and they became unusable, or highly restricted. DRM for music, movies, and basically any other product, doesn't do much of anything to stop piracy (One can easily find just about anything on the internet, so clearly the DRM is not actually hindering pirates, otherwise these products wouldn't be so widely available), and only hinders people who are willing to pay for content. Over time arbitrary restrictions on content, and the hassles these cause, are only going to drive more people to become fed up and turn to illegal pirated content that they can actually use. I'll say it again, if the free illegal copy is actually BETTER, and easier to use than the legitimate one, who exactly is being served? Not the producer of the content, who is losing sales, and certainly not the consumer who has to choose between paying to get an inferior product and breaking the law.
Comment Number: 539814-00726
Received: 2/13/2009 1:45:02 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Christopher Heinbokel
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 has never worked correctly, in my opinion. Not only does it deter legitimate purchasers of product, but it has led to an increased amount of piracy and groups circumventing it. There was recently a case where a hard-coded date in the DRM for the video game Gears of War resulted in the widespread failure of the game. When January 28, 2009 rolled around, every legitimate copy of the video game simply stopped working. This problem didn't affect any copies of the game, however, that were pirated, as they had no DRM. Most users of a product are willing to purchase it. When manufacturers add DRM, it limits what the user can do with a product that they paid money for. If a user that has some technical knowledge is given the choice of purchasing a game such as Gears of War that is DRM-laden or downloading it from an illegal source but having the game free and clear, the user will often choose the latter. Users don't want products that have to 'phone home' in order to authenticate themselves. DRM simply frustrates many users that simply want the product they paid for to work. DRM is a broken concept, and it only complicates the ownership and use of technology, especially for novice users (who are often the ones to fall victim to broken DRM).
Comment Number: 539814-00727
Received: 2/13/2009 1:45:40 PM
Organization:
Commenter: David Craven
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:

I offer an example of how Digital Rights Management technology has hampered my ability to purchase content. Especially in the case where content is to be consumed on a personal computer, the DRM scheme is implemented using software. The use of this software is necessary to access the purchased content. Content providers, however, are not required to clearly label the system requirements for such software. This can cause several problems for the consumer, illustrated below: First, should a product come with DRM, there is no guarantee or assurance to the consumer that the mechanism in question actually works. Especially in the case of video games, DRM technology can and does fail in ways that prevent customers from using legally purchased content, content which is often non-returnable after it has been opened. Refer to other comments mentioning the SecuRom DRM software for examples. Also note that copy protection on some music CDs render them unplayable on certain CD players, including those in the portable, car, or home stereo category. The consumer has no way of knowing if his or her particular setup is compatible. Second, the DRM software need not be universally compatible or available, and often isn't. While expecting manufactures to implement their DRM on all possible platforms is unreasonable, trouble arises because they do not disclose which platforms are supported. Perhaps a video game has DRM protections that function acceptably on Microsoft Windows XP, but not on Vista (this based on anecdotal evidence). And it is more frequently the case that such software won't function on or isn't available for MacOS or Linux. Such users have no way of knowing their content is incompatible with their computer system. Third, the consumer has no guarantee or assurance that the DRM software will not irreversibly alter their computer software, often in ways that hinder normal operation. See again comments about SecuRom. Also recall that a few years ago, Sony BMG released music CDs which irreversibly installed software when inserted in PCs that irreversibly compromised the security of the operating system. Fourth, recall that due to legal restrictions enacted by the DMCA, the user has no recourse to overcome limitations of DRM software. Should compatibility problems arise, the user is not only technically restricted from consuming the content, but legally restricted from finding a way around their problem. Finally, all of the above problems are exacerbated by lack of uniform disclosure. There is no reliable consumer indicator that a product contains DRM technology, nor what problems may arise from the DRM shipped with the product. There is little in place to protect consumers unable to access content because of faulty DRM, and often no way to return merchandise that is rendered useless by it. The use of DRM technology alone has made purchasing content a hassle with compatibility and usability failings, and the lack of clear labeling on products has made it a nightmare. I recommend the Commission examine the possibility of mandating compatibility labeling for DRM Technology at the very least to protect consumers.
Comment Number: 539814-00728
Received: 2/13/2009 1:53:38 PM
Organization: Digital Media Association
Commenter: Jonathan Potter
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:

Comments:

To Whom it May Concern: The Digital Media Association (www.digmedia.org) is a Washington, D.C.-based association of companies that provide or support “new media” services. We would appreciate the opportunity to participate in the FTC’s DRM Town Hall on March 25 in Seattle. Digital Media Association (DiMA) member companies include: · providers of pre-programmed Internet and mobile radio service, e.g., MTV Networks and Live365; · providers of listener-influenced Internet and mobile radio service, in which programming decisions are substantially informed by listeners’ expressed musical preferences, e.g. Pandora and Slacker; · providers of advertiser-supported and subscription-based music and media programming and on-demand service, e.g., RealNetworks’ Rhapsody and Gold Pass, Best Buy’s Napster, and Google’s YouTube service; and · Internet-based retailers of digital music and video, e.g., Apple iTunes and Amazon.com, including video that is downloaded to consumers and that is streamed on-demand. Many DiMA member companies utilize digital rights management technologies to ensure that consumers enjoy the content they desire in all the ways that they pay for, while also ensuring that consumers do not use the content in ways that licensors have not offered. DRM software can be an enabler of the new media business deals between media providers, hardware manufacturers and their content-owning partners. Without DRM it would be challenging to limit what uses consumers are offered or to ensure that consumers are generally complying with the rules of their subscription or license. DiMA member companies appreciate that the new media market is complex and that consumers have varying levels of comfort with sophisticated subscription offerings and the technologies that underlie them. DiMA members strive to provide complete and comprehensible disclosure to all consumers, and to ensure that consumers understand the value and functionality associated with their music and media purchases and subscriptions. There is much more to say about DRM value and about future developments, and we look forward to engaging on many of the proposed discussion topics next month at the Town Hall. Please let us know if you have any questions about DiMA or our interest in participating in the Town Hall. Thank you very much for your consideration of our request.
Comment Number: 539814-00729
Received: 2/13/2009 2:00:22 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Brian Brauchler
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:

My home computer is my personal property. When I purchase software, I expect to get a working product for my money. When publishers bundle their software with mandatory DRM, and the product does not work, I have no way of knowing whether the actual product is faulty or the DRM has prevented it from functioning. Additionally, almost no vendors accept returns on opened software, so I'm left without recourse. Some DRM is deliberately incompatible with virtual drive software and system tools for monitoring memory and services, both of which have many legitimate and legal uses. I expect these sorts of limitations from an operating system, which relies a specific kernel and hardware drivers, but not from software running *within* the OS. In that sense, publishers seek to elevate their DRM to the same operational level as Microsoft Windows. I see no justification for that; I would not intentionally purchase software that competes with my primary OS for control of my PC. A publisher's fear of piracy is not sufficient to hinder my legal use of unrelated software, let alone destabilize the machine I use for entertainment, paying bills, and writing term papers. I've experience these problems primarily with the Electronic Arts game "Mass Effect". The game periodically causes my whole system to "lock up", and cuts the entire signal to my screen. It leaves me with no option but a hard reboot, which can cause data loss in mechanical hard drives. I've checked for patches, updates, and other tools to remove EA's DRM or manage system integrity, but they have provided nothing. I have no way to enjoy the product I legally purchased, no way to determine whether my problem is a game bug or the fault of DRM, and no way to receive a refund. Please oversee this issue and ensure that customers have freedom from DRM.
Comment Number: 539814-00730
Received: 2/13/2009 2:01:32 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Eric Taylor
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:

The case against DRM is simple. It punishes all legitimate consumers and rewards all pirates. At some point, pretty much every consumer of DRM will run up against a situation where the DRM fails and they cannot access content they own. However, since the pirates are using DRM-stripped versions of the same content, they will have perfect access and possibly a better. more flexible experience of the same content then the legitimate users. How is this fair for consumers? If anything, the government should NOT be involved in this conversation in any capacity but that of protecting the rights of consumers from corporations eager to tell us how we can and can't use content that we've paid for. As long as the government stays out of it, I suspect the marketplace will find what price point and protection level consumers are willing to endure perfectly well on its own. DRM--just say no! Thanks in advance. - Eric.
Comment Number: 539814-00731
Received: 2/13/2009 2:08:58 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Jon Knoll
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 is meant to stop the pirating of copyrighted material, but from what I have seen and heard it only stifles sales. DRM limits the number of times or ways that I can utilize software, music, videos, movies, etc that I have legally purchased. If I buy a song from iTunes that has DRM, the only ways that I can use this media is on the computer with iTunes (or up to 5 other authorized computers) a regular CD (holding no more than 20 songs) or on my ipod/iphone (apple mp3 player). I can't make an mp3 CD(holding upwards of 600 songs) and I can't use any other device to listen to the song that I have LEGALLY purchased. I could pay for the song through iTunes, or I could pirate the song for free and use it however, whenever, wherever I want. DRM is also fairly useless. In iTunes alone, I can get around the DRM by simply burning the song onto a regular cd (in .WAV format) and then reimporting the song as an .mp3. Now the DRM is completely wiped from the file and I can use it however I wish once again. (but i have legally paid for it) This is the analog issue. any digital media (songs, videos) can be recorded using anolog methods thus stripping DRM and then redigitized as though the DRM was never there. Therefore what is the point of DRM? It tempts people like me, who want to LEGALLY purchase things, to go the easy route and pirate things so that I don't have to deal with the hassle of DRM. I WANT to pay for things, but it makes it hard for me when DRM is such a pain in the butt. My example is just one of many different incarnations of DRM, but it is all fairly similar. DRM keeps people from (or makes it harder) copying material even if it is for their own personal use and not to pirate the media. It is ineffective to it's purpose and it deters those who want to pay for it legally.
Comment Number: 539814-00732
Received: 2/13/2009 2:13:01 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Joel Heath
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:

The only thing DRM is good for is to keep legitimate/paying users from doing legitimate things with the content they have purchased. Anyone who wishes to make illegal copies or take content they did not pay for can get around it with very little effort. DRM does not prevent piracy in the least. DRM is simply a way to get the paying customer to pay multiple times for the same content without providing any actual benefit.
Comment Number: 539814-00733
Received: 2/13/2009 2:15:40 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Achintya Agarwal
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:

DRM technologies are the bane of mankind and promote the closeness of all things. Instead of being open and trying to share knowledge, we are trying to restrict it at the highest levels. Movies: Technologies were developed to protect DVD's and BluRay's from being pirated. Good money was spent in trying to 'secure' stuff. But, it came to naught. Softwares were developed (by volunteers and not by paid programmers) to bypass these. Instead if the same amount of money was spent in trying to improve the quality of the information, it would have been better. Music: DRM was implemented in music files. This simply prevented the portability of music. I can't play music downloaded from iTunes in my MP3 player, my mobile phone, my car stereo, etc etc. If I legally pay for what I need, do I need to circumvent the protection to be able to play it on my favourite device? With companies like Sony, we even have malware being installed on our PC's when we try to play our legally purchased CD's. If instead I just download the song off from my favourite P2P service, I get it in whatever quality I like, playable on whatever device I wish. Games: DRM have been the bane of games ever. I have had constant installations of rootkits, monitoring applications, un-installation of programs I wish to use on my computer, just so that I can play the game I purchased legally? Take the case of a recent game which was 'killed' just because the game passed a certain date. Well, I still love to play Doom and Wolf 3D on my PC. Now the game creators dictate to me that I even have a date to adhere to when trying to play my favourite games? I already have to live with all the bullshit of uninstalling programs, mailing support(to re-activate my game just because my OS has a habit of failing on me), having crap still installed on my PC even after I remove the game, etc. Well, my friend who easily downloads games off P2P, never has to face any of these issues. He just installs the game and runs it while it is the paying customer who has to bear the problems. Another case in point would be that of Stardock softwares. They release their games without a single snippet of DRM, and yet they receive a lot of support. Why? Simply because they make a good product without any of the stupid DRM. I would rather spend the money on game quality and have people appreciating it rather than stuff DRM in decreasing game quality overall. These are just some of the small points which support removal of DRM and promotion of openness. DRM just stifles people who really care and alienates them from experiencing the media to the fullest while people who do not spend any money enjoy it to the max. Then why should anybody bother paying good money if they get a better experience without paying their hard earned money?
Comment Number: 539814-00734
Received: 2/13/2009 2:18:08 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Friend
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, for me as a consumer, directly and by design, impede my ability to play games and I have legitimately paid for. Lacking resources, I request the FTC to strongly keep in mind its goal of consumer protection when looking into this matter. Ideally, I would like to see DRM limited by law and stricken from games and music.
Comment Number: 539814-00735
Received: 2/13/2009 2:20:00 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Sean Heber
State: IA
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 starting to fall out of favor in the music world as the Apple iTunes store is going to be entirely DRM free soon (if it isn't already) and Amazon.com's music store is as well. These are welcome changes being undertaken by the industry to get out of the way of us consumers. Since most music files are encoded with the same handful of audio compression technologies, once the DRM is out of the picture, a wide variety of devices and software can play any of the DRM-free music files purchased from any source. Unfortunately, movies and television have seemingly not learned from the past mistakes of the music industry. Legal online video purchases are so encumbered with DRM that it is a hassle to deal with because each of the various online video/television vendors require their own player software and/or hardware devices, may not allow downloads (requiring I stream it instead - which further limits people without broadband internet), may have self-destruction dates when they stop working, etc. Nothing interoperates and I cannot always view a file I paid for on the device I may want to view it on. (An example is buying a video from Amazon.com, but not being able to watch it on my HDTV using the AppleTV that's hooked up to it. Sure I could lug my computer to the living room and attach a bunch of cables so I could watch it on the big screen, but my AppleTV is network connected, already attached to the TV, and supposed to solve this problem. DRM prevents it from doing so in the general case which seriously limits it's usefulness UNLESS I buy all of my digital content from the iTunes store - which is fine up until that moment when iTunes doesn't sell the content I want to buy!) Each DRM-ladened video purchase also carries with it the risk that the parent company may go out of business, not update their player software for new versions of my operating system, or arbitrarily decide to deny me authorization the next time I try to play the file because their server is down or something. It's crazy. When I buy a car, I expect to be able to open the hood, replace parts, tinker, repaint, etc. as much as I want. It's my car, after all. DRM, on the other hand, is like having a car where nothing can be customized, nothing is really mine, I cannot resell it, and I only lease the right to drive it from the manufacturer. Worse still, because of the nature of digital content, the DRM car analogy could require one specific brand of gasoline, perhaps have special wheels that only work on certain roads, and have limits on how often or or fast I drive it - even on private property. It's ridiculous. I think the only reason DRM has survived as long as it has is because for most people, computer technology is not as accessible to them as, say, going to Auto Zone and buying new custom mud flaps they can easily install on their pickup truck. Too many people have generally been oblivious to what is possible with digital technology and mystified by it's operation. When the iTunes store says you can only watch the show using iTunes, they accept that because they don't really understand that the restriction is arbitrary and need not exist. Those of us who are computer savvy have been butting heads with the limits of DRM on legal digital content since the beginning. DRM tries to forcibly limit how I use MY data on MY computer systems. It just feels wrong. The laws and ethics of copyright are one thing - but having a system where breaking the law is itself a crime (in addition to the original law that was broken) is just plain redundant and stomps all over the various legal ways I may want to use content I bought and paid for.
Comment Number: 539814-00736
Received: 2/13/2009 2:21:11 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Benjamin Masse
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: 539814-00736.pdf

Comments:

Please find attached comments for your consideration. Thank you for such an opportunity. Sincerly, Benjamin Masse
Comment Number: 539814-00737
Received: 2/13/2009 2:21:34 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Fraser
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 support the DRM technology because I recognize producers rights to their own intellectual property. Producers that create this type of property have every right to protect it from those that choose to undermine them and pirate it.
Comment Number: 539814-00738
Received: 2/13/2009 2:36:55 PM
Organization: TorrentFreak
Commenter: Ben Jones
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: 539814-00738.pdf

Comments:

TorrentFreak is an international news organisation, Headquartered in the Netherlands, but with offices in the US and UK A copy of this PDF was mailed to drmtownhall@ftc.gov on Feb 9th. This submission is identical, and is submitted for reasons of verification of inclusion. Ben Jones CTO, Torrentfreak.com dmcawanted@gmail.com Confidentiality notice There is zero confidential information and any/all information in this submission, including the contents of this comment, may be freely reproduced to the public. Copyright notice The attached document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Further details can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Comment Number: 539814-00739
Received: 2/13/2009 2:39:15 PM
Organization:
Commenter: D Robinson
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:

Here's an example of just how much DRM hurts end users, DRM provider Overdrive unilaterally stopped providing their services to ebook reseller Fictionwise.com as of January 31st this year. As a result of this action, customers were no longer able to re-download previously purchased books. This really hurts people who use the mobipocket format, as the book has to be encoded for each specific device, and thanks to the Overdrive pullout people with mobipocket ebooks won't be able to transfer them if they get a new reader. It's ridiculous. DRM promotes vendor lock-in. It does NOT prevent piracy. All it does is make things hard for the people who pay money for a product rather than those who choose not to. Punishing customers is stupid.
Comment Number: 539814-00740
Received: 2/13/2009 2:49:20 PM
Organization: The Unworthy
Commenter: Elaine Sharpe
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: 539814-00740.pdf

Comments:

DRM places burdens on consumers which should not have to be borne, e.g. restricting use to certain devices, eliminating Fair Use copying rights for backup purposes, etc. Many times DRM schemes make products unusable by not being compatible with the consumer's hardware or software of choice. Also, DRM treats all consumers as criminals, while simultaneously not being effective enough to deter the real criminals, who have the means to defeat DRM anyway.
Comment Number: 539814-00741
Received: 2/13/2009 2:57:20 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Randy Artz
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:

DRM is horrible if unmanaged correctly. Valve's Steam platform is wonderful because you can manage multiple DRM game copies purchased over the service, in addition to adding a few game disks (and cd keys) that you have floating around your house. This eliminates the need to keep your physical media lying around. As long as you have an account you can access your media anywhere! Additionally, Valve's server speed litterally beams content to your whatever OS your steam account is logged into. Steam also give you the ability to back up content on your own terms if you don't wish to waste bandwidth in the future. I for one will support this model in the future by exclusively downloading from them. On the other hand we have Apple, and Electronic Arts. Itunes is the single handed worst running piece of software on the Windows platform. I have a Quad Core Processor with 4 GB of RAM and Itunes performs comparably on 6 year old computer equipment. You can't even use your purchased media on multiple devices or let alone a media player that actually performs well on your machine. Why can't I just drag and drop files onto my ipod via the Windows Explorer module? Why can't I play itunes downloaded content on other devices? It is almost worth it to go out and buy the CD or Movie and rip it to your digital format of choice and upload it to the device of your choice. The key theme here is choice, which Apple and Electronics Arts will never give their customers. Electronic Arts biggest shame to date is the video game Spore. The public outlash against this video game has garnered the Score of 1 stars on Amazon.com. Since the game has been released in the summer, the score has marginally risen to 1.5 stars. I for one, downloaded a copy from Bittorrent to avoid the DRM. I was planning on legitamately purchasing a copy, but I didn't want to deal with the DRM. I am glad I didn't purchase Spore, since the game was actually terrible. Its a shame that EA didn't release a Demonstation version (DEMO) so that users could try it on their own. I also believe that lack of Demonstation versions increase the number of units pirated. There may be a number of games that I am willing to purchase regarless of DRM, but there are no Demonstration versions available. In my experience, all of the pirated games I have downloaded were to experience them as a "Demonstration Version". I play the games a couple of hours and if I like the game I go out and buy it, If I hate it, I delete the content. The "stupid" form of DRM encourages piracy. Why bother dealing with DRM when you can just download the software or music or movies for free? It seems like people are freely risking lawsuits by breaking the law, simply for convenience. If a low cost, high speed, non-drm alternative were offered, piracy could be reduced dramatically. Currently there are 2 categories to obtain your digital content. 1. Legally with DRM 2. Illegally without DRM. Why can't we add more options, Perhaps Legally without DRM? And affordable?
Comment Number: 539814-00742
Received: 2/13/2009 2:59:29 PM
Organization:
Commenter: MARK HENDREN
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:

Although the intention of DRM is good, it's emphasis is basically referring to customers as "theives". You don't trust customers. If I purchase a CD or a song online, I want to not only be able to play it on my computer but on my mp3 player as well. This is why I refuse to purchase any music that has DRM protection on it and encourage friends and family to do the same.
Comment Number: 539814-00743
Received: 2/13/2009 2:59:53 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Michael Myers
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 have a Microsoft Xbox360 at home that I regularly use to stream legally-purchased digital music from computers on my home network. On Christmas, my wife and I thought it would be nice to play her collection of Christmas music that she bought through the Apple iTunes music store. Unfortunately, none of her music would play, because it used Apple's proprietary DRM scheme. This is a perfect example of how law-abiding customers of digital content are inconvenienced, and pirates are not. If I were to locate and operate a tool to remove the DRM on my wife's music so that we could listen to it in the living room, then that would make me a criminal under the DMCA. DRM is a blight and it should not be protected, enforced, or otherwise legislated. Market forces are already working to kill it off, because it is not in the interest of the consumer or the citizen.
Comment Number: 539814-00744
Received: 2/13/2009 3:06:40 PM
Organization: N/A
Commenter: Sandell
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 hate DRM. Until I can buy a piece of content once in a format that I can convert and use anywhere with no problems (for example, I could buy a movie, get it in a high quality .h264 encode, store on my hard drive, and then store that version, re-encode it for use on a personal media player, stream it to other computers in my house, or store on a DVD) I will probably prefer not to buy content. I think I should only have to buy a movie once and be able to use however I like for my own private use. It's not anyone else's business if I want a movie on an iPod or my desktop or my TV. I'm still the one watching it, I'm still the one who paid for it. It's a complete rip-off to be expected to buy a movie for your PSP or DVD player or iPod in separate formats for each device. I also really hate how even when I own legal copies of games they require cracks to play without CDs in the drive or without contact servers. It's much more convenient to just put the game on my hard drive and leave it there and keep the CD/DVD some place safe for emergencies/backup. When a computer doesn't actually need a disk or to get info from a server to be played, requiring that it do so is inconvenient and onerous and often leads me to use cracks on games that I own myself. Disk Images are a bad solution, too, as you're still wasting the space of the disk on the hard drive.
Comment Number: 539814-00745
Received: 2/13/2009 3:08:19 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Michael Kobzik
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:

I think that DRM is a good idea on paper, but not in practice. The use of it usually causes more harm than good to both the consumer and the publisher/developer. A streamlined system might aleviate some of the complications that arise due to DRM.

Comment Number: 539814-00747
Received: 2/9/2009 6:39:00 PM
Organization: Interaction Law
Commenter: John Mitchell
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: 539814-00747.pdf

Comments:

I hereby respectfully submit the attached article, DRM: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, by John T. Mitchell, for the FTC's consideration with respect to the above-referenced DRM Town Hall. The paper was presented at Colleges, Code and Copyright: The Impact of Digital Networks and Technological Controls on Copyright and the Dissemination of Information in Higher Education (Conference Proceedings, June 10-11, 2004, Adelphi, Maryland), sponsored by the Center for Intellectual Property and Copyright, University of Maryland University College. It was published in ACRL Publications in Librarianship; no. 57, ch. 8. The paper examines DRM from the standpoint of the intersection of copyright and competition law and policy. The following is the abstract: Digital rights management (or DRM) technology is neither good nor evil, yet its uses can range from laudable to criminal. DRM can be used for lawful purposes, such as to protect copyrights from infringement and to encourage wider dissemination of works. Some positive uses can cause unintended injury that may be minimized by regulation. Other uses may serve no lawful purpose, but instead enforce unlawful agreements in restraint of trade or evade statutory limits upon the copyright. Using established analog case law, this paper offers a roadmap for discerning among uses of DRM that should be encouraged as good, uses that may be bad but tolerable if properly managed, and uses that are so ugly they should be prohibited and punished. Please note that although I represent clients who distribute non-infringing copies of the copyrighted works of others, the views and opinions in the attached article are my own, and not to be attributed to my clients. Thank you. [Electronic submission through the indicated website appears to be inaccessible.] Sincerely, John T. Mitchell ____________ John T. Mitchell Interaction Law
Comment Number: 539814-00748
Received: 2/9/2009 6:25:00 PM
Organization: Interaction Law
Commenter: John Mitchell
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: 539814-00748.pdf

Comments:

Please see the attached the "NARM Baseline Principles for Online Commerce in Music," submitted for the FTC's consideration as it examines digital rights management technology and its application to commerce in digital media. NARM, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, Inc., has been involved in the issue of DRM's proper role for nearly a decade. The attached NARM Baseline Principles for Online Commerce in Music was prepared by NARM in 2000, at a time when the music industry was working with the technology sector in the 'Secure Digital Music Initiative' -- a quest for industry-wide adoption of a DRM technology as a means of securely delivering music through a variety of business models and delivery platforms. NARM believes that these principles remain viable today, as the FTC explores the proper role of DRM. The attached document has not been altered since its publication on July 21, 2000, but please note that NARM's current President is Mr. Jim Donio. Thank you. John T. Mitchell Counsel for National Association of Recording Merchandisers, Inc. ____________ John T. Mitchell Interaction Law

Comment 750 - PDF


Comment Number: 539814-00751
Received: 2/13/2009 3:12:19 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Pisano
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: 539814-00751.pdf

Comments:

Most forms of DRM is pointless.

Comment Number: 539814-00753
Received: 2/13/2009 3:15:25 PM
Organization: Pirate Party of the United States
Commenter: Glenn Kerbein
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: 539814-00753.pdf

Comments:

To whomever it may concern, I represent the Pirate Party of the United States. Last week, the submission page for this workshop was inaccessible, and we were unsure if our submission went through. If you got our previous letter, please disregard it, as the attached one supercedes. You may get ahold of me at glenn.kerbein@pirate-party.us , any press inquires go to press@pirate-party.us , and any general information questions should go to info@pirate-party.us . Thank you.
Comment Number: 539814-00754
Received: 2/13/2009 3:19:31 PM
Organization: A Consumer
Commenter: Joseph Battinelli
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:

Let me first say that there is no benefit for the consumer with DRM. There is a benefit to company's that do produce this content. DRM limits your ability to use something that is purchased and while this changes the whole game from bought to licensed, it is rediculous. Why does the FTC support LIMITS on purchased goods? Is not the government supposed to support the people. The government is supposed to look out for our good and not greedy corporations. I have seen videogames that have enacted DRM in such ways that several people I know have forbidden to buy any products from that whole company. The idea that they can limit how many times I install it on my computer after a fresh format is horrific. I can understand if it just checked for the CD or if there was a cd-key that had to be verified once, but the installation of programs to manage the rights that always runs on my computer whether I want it there or not is not right. There is so much more negative aspects that I do not have time to go into but please explain in your Townhall why the FTC allows corporations to gouge customers like this?
Comment Number: 539814-00755
Received: 2/13/2009 3:19:45 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Allen Roller
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 do not approve of DRM as it blocks right of first sale. Example is when you buy a car, you are allowed to resell your car to someone else. The auto manufacturer that made the car does not demand an additional payment or block the sale. DRM ridden software does just this, it blocks resale of a product that you have purchased. Additionally DRM such as SecureROM made by Sony only allows a very limited number of times software may be reinstalled. Once the installs are used you are forced to purchase the same product over again. The current view from companies supporting DRM is that users do not purchase software, they buy a right to use and nothing more. This damages the buying public as they are less likely to support the software economy in the United States and will seek out a better solution. DRM is an anti consumer practice and should not be allowed to continue.
Comment Number: 539814-00756
Received: 2/13/2009 3:41:49 PM
Organization:
Commenter: James Blackwell
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 (also known as both "Digital Restrictions Management" and "Digitial Rights Management") has harmed me as a consumer. In 2005 and 2006, I purchased a number of electronic books from the website "fictionwise.com". These books, encoded with DRM, are now useless to me because the new device that I have purchased from Amazon.com (A Kindle 2) is not able to read these books. I am now burdened with worthless property that I can neither use nor sell, even though the company that sold me the old books is owned by the same company that sold me the new bookreader. The effect of DRM to me, and society as a whole, is that the content industries are working in collusion to force us to trade first sale doctrine for a rental. Companies should be required to both allow and ease efforts for me to move content, as often as I wish, content that I have purchased the right to enjoy. Companies should also have the same requirements when I chose to sell my right to a third party. By requiring these two things, the rights that society has become accustomed to with books, would be preserved with e-books.
Comment Number: 539814-00757
Received: 2/13/2009 3:47:16 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Seth Schultz
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:

As a consumer I am strongly opposed to DRM. Since DRM has bloomed I have seen the end of lawful resale of computer software (namely games). If I purchase a copy and no longer use the software I own I should (and used to be able to) be allowed to sell that copy. I am concerned that as DRM grows more forms of media purchased by individuals will suffer this limitation. I am also concerned that if DRM is permitted that the seller should be legally required to guarantee the consumer's ability to access and use that media. So if I buy a piece of software that requires me to log on to the company's server to use it, they should be require to set a guaranteed window of time that that server will continue to allow the program to work. In the past if a company went under their software which I bought still functioned (and still does) now that is not always the case.
Comment Number: 539814-00758
Received: 2/13/2009 3:56:14 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Joshua Farber
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:

In the modern economy, employment woes will be driving some people to switch technology players -- for cost reasons, for upgrade reasons, for reasons of transport (it's cheaper not to move cross-country with your computer; much more reasonable to sell the computer here after ERASING all your licensed content, and then MOVE that licensed content to a new device on the other end of the country.) Problem is, DRM associates content with the original devices used to play and access that content. That means any CONTENT (mp3s, videos, etc.) or software we've bought, and currently use on those devices, is trapped in those devices. Before, if we got a new CD player, we still had all our CDs. We could bring them with us, and play them on other devices -- in the car, at a party, in a classroom -- and because we were always with our CD object, we were legal. Now, in a DRM world, if we get a new MP3 player, we LOSE all our mp3s. If I want to bring my mp3s to the classroom, I have to lug my computer there (which is not just impossible, but not allowed by school policy). And if I lose my email address by getting a different job, then iTunes locks me out. This is fair? Equivalent? Ownership? I think not. Either DRM-ed mp3s should cost MUCH, MUCH LESS than 1/10th of a cd, since the VALUE of that object is now a LEASE value, not a BUY value which is significantly less than it was when I could use it fluidly on various players...or there should be JUST AS MUCH flexibility of media in the mp3 world as there was in the CD world -- meaning DRM should go away. Ergo: I ask that the FCC either mandate that iTunes and other content providers lower their prices based on the premise that "paying for" a song means temporary RENTAL, not purchase, or the FCC mandate that DRM protections be deemed illegal, as it undermines any case for consumer ownership.
Comment Number: 539814-00759
Received: 2/13/2009 3:58:22 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Jesse Johnson
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:

Due to the movie industries love of all things DRM, I am unable to *legally* watch my legally-purchased blu-ray movies on my legally-purchased blu-ray player on my HDCP-compatible PC through my HDCP-compliant receiver to my HDCP-compatible HDTV.
Comment Number: 539814-00760
Received: 2/13/2009 3:58:43 PM
Organization:
Commenter: David Kanter
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 make my living as a content producer (I own and run a website online), while at the same time I am an avid content consumer (I read prolifically, watch movies, play games, etc.). Additionally, I am extremely technology savvy, unlike most of the population. I have found that most DRM technologies are not a cure-all for piracy, but can be effective at discouraging ~90% of the population from copying content. The problem is that most content owners want to discourage 99% or 100% of piracy. This is impossible, as commercial operations will always find a way to break DRM for valuable enough content. However, in the quest to make content more secure, DRM becomes increasingly obnoxious for end-users. That is unacceptable, and the government generally (including FTC, FCC, Congress, etc.) needs to set sharp limits on DRM. DRM must be implemented in a way that does not unreasonably inconvenience or intrude upon average users. For instance, DRM that requires users to remove certain programs from their computers or cell phones is unreasonable. In the US, the assumption is that until otherwise proven, an individual will obey the law. That includes their use of software, hardware, etc. Restrictions like forbidding the use of content on specific hardware (or in conjunction with specific software) creates a presumption of guilt on the part of the buyer that is disturbuing, disrepectful and Un-American. Not only that, but DRM for digital technologies needs to be congruent with content protection for physical media. That is, if DRM restricts how media can be used, then it must have a sensible physical analog. For instance, it would be totally ridiculous for an author not to sell her book to anyone who owned a Xerox machine or other copier. That is ridiculous. Copies can be used for plenty of legitimate purposes aside from photocopying the contents of a book, and in fact, the majority of uses are legal. On the other hand, I could understand an author not wanting to sell her book to someone who runs (or had run) a counterfeit book ring. To summarize: 1. DRM can never prevent 100% of people from pirating content 2. The goal of DRM should be to prevent most people from pirating content 3. DRM should not substantially impede legitimate users 4. DRM should not presume that the user is guilty of trying to pirate the content 5. DRM should be reasonable by analogy to physical content restrictions (e.g. no cameras in a theatre is a fine restriction, no playing games on a PC with DVD copying software installed is ridiculous) 6. Content creators/providers should be encouraged to pursue monetization strategies that are not harmed by piracy (e.g. product placement in a movie or video game)
Comment Number: 539814-00761
Received: 2/13/2009 4:01:27 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Benjamin Miller
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: 539814-00761.pdf

Comments:

Please see my attachment for my nicely formatted comments.

Comment 762 - PDF


Comment Number: 539814-00763
Received: 2/13/2009 4:09:22 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Woodbridge
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:

DRM should be abolished or severely restricted for digital purchases (Music, Movies, Games, etc) as it harms non-technology savvy consumers by forcing them to purchase the items multiple times or undertake cumbersome processes in order to use the product in common sense fashion. For an example I present the story of my in-laws purchasing digital music in order to listen to it on their CD player in their car, on their computer, and on their digital music players (iPod and Zune). My father in-law a few years ago grew tired of purchasing CDs to listen to in his car as the constant switching of CDs was a hassle and the quality of the current albums (a few good songs mixed in with the majority of ‘filler’ songs) had diminished. At that time, he came to me and asked if there was something he could do on his computer (the second one he had ever purchased) to help him. I showed him how to use Windows Media Player to import his own CDs, organize the music using tagging, make playlists of his favorite songs, and burn them as audible CDs that he could listen to in his car. After showing him this, he was extremely happy with the process and did not have any issues. After a while, I also showed him how to purchase single tracks for the providers in Windows Media Player. This included the Walmart Music store, the MSN music service, and the Yahoo Music service. He purchased approximately 50 songs and added them to his playlists so he could burn them to audible CDs to listen to in his car. Again he did not have any issues with this process. Fast forward a couple of years and his wife wants a digital music player to replace the portable CD player that she owned. At the time the iPod was extremely popular, so she decides to purchase that player. Now she wants to listen to the songs that her husband had purchased from Walmart, etc., but due to the DRM and the incompatibility between the iPod and Windows Media Player she can not listen to that music. Fortunately for them, they came to me before they went and repurchased the songs for $50 from iTunes. I then had to show him how to take all of his DRM’ed tracks, burn them to audible CDs, re-import them into iTunes, and then use iTunes to re-tag all the songs with the artist information, etc. It took him about 4 hours to complete this process. For the rest of the songs that were in his library (also WMA files) that were imported from his CDs, it took about 30 minutes for iTunes to automatically convert them from WMA to AAC to be compatible with her iPod. So his options were to either spend $50 to re-purchase the songs from iTunes or spend 4 hours of his own time to burn, re-rip, and re-tag his songs. Neither of these options are consumer friendly when compared to the automatic process that occurred when importing the songs that he ripped from his CDs that did not have DRM on them. Fast forward another year and he buys a new car with an audio input jack. He decides that he wants to buy a digital music player to listen to in his car. After looking at all the players he decides to buy a Microsoft Zune. Now this Zune player is also not compatible with Windows Media Player even though it is made by the same company, and he is faced with the option of having to either purchase the songs from the Zune marketplace or re-rip and re-tag the songs that he has on audible CD. Again for the non-DRM’ed tracks, the Zune Music Player imported them automatically in just a few minutes. I think the solution is to force manufactures to either make their DRM interoperable via mandatory licensing or only let them use one DRM format that has been signed off by industry at large. Otherwise, I think you should ban DRM as being anti-competitive as it locks the consumer into only one manufacturer and forces them to re-purchase the media or go through a cumbersome process if they wish to use a different one.
Comment Number: 539814-00764
Received: 2/13/2009 4:10:00 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Damian Mills
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: 539814-00764.pdf

Comments:

I applaud the FTC for having this open discussion on the use of DRM. This is something that I feel very passionate about. My first experience with DRM was as a college student in 1992. When I was living in a dorm room my freshman year, many of my dorm mates had computers, and all of them had computer games. Very few of these games had been purchased, since everyone was a poor student. Instead they downloaded them from bulletin boards or File Service Protocol. Most games had some sort of DRM. Often a game would randomly prompt for a word on a certain page of the game manual. If you failed to enter the right word, the game would exit. If you had bought the game, you would have the manual, and could answer the question. Software pirates easily managed to bypass this type of security and everyone I knew had unhindered copies of these games. This DRM proved to be very annoying to people who had purchased the game, so often I saw many people use pirate hacks just to not be annoyed by software they bought. It was in college that I discovered my love of computer gaming and my distaste for the annoyance of DRM. It didn’t seem to stop anyone from piracy, and just punished me as the consumer. Skip forward 17 years and I’ve amassed a computer game collection in the thousands, with every one of them purchased. My collection dates back to early 80’s and I still play many of the older games. By now, almost every company that made my old games has either been bought by another company or has gone out of business. There is no support for software this old, but I can usually figure out a way to get my old games to run. The games have changed a lot over the years, sometimes for the better, sometimes not… but DRM has progressively gotten more invasive and restrictive. Online activation, limited installations, hidden services, rootkits, encryption, or some combination of all of these is what I can expect when I install a game today. What was a mild annoyance now can prohibit me from playing a game at all, or at its worst, make my computer unstable and force me to reinstall windows and lose data. If DRM existed like this years ago, what would be the result if I tried to install one of my old games? The companies that made them are long gone, so there would be no way for me to use any kind of online activation. I bought this software, I own it, and yet now I’m being treated like I’m only renting it. Because of the DRM being imposed on games, I’m forced to either put up with this poor treatment, or not buy the game. I’d be fine with not buying the game and buying other games instead, but Electronic Arts has been acquiring every game development company in existence and all EA games come with this draconian DRM. Because of the monopoly EA has been allowed to build I have no choice as a consumer. I don’t feel this is right. DRM does absolutely nothing to stop software piracy. It didn’t stop it in 1992 and it doesn’t today in 2009. Every game with DRM has been easily available for download DRM free. A year ago I purchased a game titled Bioshock, and discovered the DRM as I tried to install the game. The online activation failed, and I received no help from the publisher Electronic Arts. This was when I discovered just how bad DRM had become. I tried to return the game to the store, since I couldn’t install and play it. The store wouldn’t take the game back as I had opened it. Left with a game I had paid $50 for, that I couldn’t activate, I couldn’t return, I couldn’t resell, and couldn’t get help from the publisher from; I was left with no choice but to go out to the internet and download a hacked version of the game. And this version played fine. I speak as a victim of EA and DRM. They were the pirates of my money, and I was left with something useless. Where is my justice? What if I could put DRM on the money I paid EA for a game that didn’t work? How much do you think they would enjoy that? The answer is about as much as I enjoy it on their games.
Comment Number: 539814-00765
Received: 2/13/2009 4:11:59 PM
Organization: The Catchpole Corporation
Commenter: Kenneth Norton
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:

As an introduction my company manages the speaking program for several business units if the Microsoft Corporation. On their behalf we would like to notify you that a Microsoft representative would like the opportunity to speak at your forthcoming Federal Trade Commission Digital Rights Management Forum. The speaker can address how, in today’s world, with globalization driving unprecedented communication and collaboration, the complex task of getting multiple technologies to smoothly work together is increasingly critical. Many are asking for more when it comes to interoperability – this ability to seamlessly connect people, data, and diverse IT systems. The speaker will discuss a commitment to be more open in engineering and intellectual property, and with industry, standards, and policy bodies. This is helping increase competition and choice, and it is driving advances in real-world interoperability across open source, and various other environments. As a result, people can take better advantage of strengths such as ease of use, familiarity, cost-effectiveness – within complex IT environments that involve many vendors and standards, while gaining even more flexibility to use the best tools for any job.
Comment Number: 539814-00766
Received: 2/13/2009 4:14:10 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Lombardi
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 bought a CD with Copy Control protection. The argument by record companies is that any copy you have needs to be licensed. I (any many others) disagree. More to the point, the software often doesn't work. The aforementioned CD causes a PC to install a junk audio player that makes the music sound awful and be unable recognize the audio tracks on the CD. Ironically, on older model CD drives, the Copy Control protection fails utterly and the computer recognizes it as a regular audio CD. This method of DRM does not harm those with older PCs, only those with newer ones, and of course would not stop a pirate. In a similar vein to this, I've avoided online music stores for the sole purpose of being told that I'm restricted from using purchased music where I like it and instead opt to buy discs. I would like to take this space here to laugh at online music stores that have opted to close their licensing system down, leaving customers who bought music from them with silent files, or other such DRM schemes that require licensing systems to be online at all times for customers to access content. It is not hard to find reasons why this DRM model is bad. Another example, the PC version of the game Bioshock installs software without the user's consent and is quite difficult to remove as it does not come with an uninstaller and is not removed by the game's own uninstaller. I refused to buy the game knowing about the software limitations (install limits before you have to call up, activating the game, etc.) after experiencing the uninstall pains of the demo trying to remove Securom. I was also disgusted that, again, I was not informed of software installing without my knowledge. After experiencing DRM from various mediums, it would appear in general that DRM projects from individual companies are both badly designed and badly written and are sometimes hidden from the customer in an effort to be more effective. This includes the rootkit scandal from Sony, Securom in general, and many other DRM schemes that often prove to be ineffective. This has come to a head in the release of the game Spore, which was flooded with negative comments solely based on the DRM on Amazon.com to the point that it has over 3000 comments and as of this writing stands at 2 stars. In the context of software DRM, if a piece of software that controls the user's experience has to be hidden from them to be effective, whether to simply not make itself known or to keep its operation mechanics a secret, does it not stand to reason that if it was not hidden, it would deter buyers, thus proving itself a wasted effort? This was often the case in older DRM schemes such as Copy Control and I believe older versions of Securom. They have given rise to more visible DRM schemes in software and thus, more resistance to it. This point is also evidenced by the fact that DRM schemes have gone through a vast amount of revisions in the years since its introduction to the consumer market and how many companies, such as EA, have given in to customer demands and changed the scheme in some fashion after release. Finding a happy agreeable point between consumers and the industry has thus far proven arguably futile and would be better served by offering content that can only be experienced by legal copies rather than picking at the consumer market for scraps of sales in aging markets and sales models. In an age with so much available at the fingertips of consumers, it would be better served to feature content to keep those fingertips busy in what they purchased rather than trying to access their purchase. I believe DRM to be the resistance to a changing marketplace of digital content, to keep things as they are rather than to advance the medium.
Comment Number: 539814-00767
Received: 2/13/2009 4:14:50 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Norris
State: OK
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 no secret that computers crash and information must be formatted and reinstalled from time to time. If a computer must be formatted a consumer should not have to worry that a piece of software with DRM restrictions will not allow a reinstall of the product that was legally purchased. Technology changes quickly and it becomes necessary to purchase newer equipment because of compatibility issues. It is unreasonable for DRM restrictions to dictate where we can move the products that we legally purchased for our own use. You would not expect a consumer to purchase a chair that could not be moved to another room or another house if you moved. Why would it be reasonable to expect consumers to purchase software that can't be moved.
Comment Number: 539814-00768
Received: 2/13/2009 4:15:18 PM
Organization:
Commenter: gerald normandin
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, or digital restrictions management, only serves to restrict the rights of a consumer. Business interests are trying to make it so that you no longer own what you buy digitally, but rather rent it for the duration the company lives. Companies like walmart, ruckus, and even AOL have tried running DRM music stores and had closed them up. When these stores closed up, the "rights" to play the media also closed up. Consumers lost out here as well. The current trend in the music marketplace seems to be that DRM is bad, please allow this trend to continue, if not help push it further. Apple and Amazon, for instance have either moved totally to a DRM free store, or are in the process of migrating. Other industries current utilizing digital restrictions management include Video and Gaming industries. The video industry for instance, with bluray, has made it impossible for me to watch high definition content on platforms other than microsoft windows. Can I watch high def content on macs? No. Linux? No. Thank you for saving me money Video industry. I will not buy content I cannot play, simple as that. As for games, I am of the opinion that if I buy a game, I own it. I should be able to play it on as many systems as I personally own. Games like EA's spore have restrictions that limit the activation limit to 3 systems. Reinstall more than 3 times? Call ea and if they feel like it, they'll let you re-register. Has the company failed? No luck playing the game now! All in all, I ask you, the FTC, to take a very hard look at the downsides being imposed on the consumer as a whole. I ask that you create a form of Consumers digital bill of rights, that sets forth requirements in DRM. The best case, in my opinion however, would be eliminating these restrictions. I thank you for reading my rather long post, and look forward to reading about this conference.

Comment 769 - PDF


Comment Number: 539814-00770
Received: 2/13/2009 4:29:00 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Mike Tetreault
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 is a first step towards striking a balance between the needs of consumers and the interests of content producers. Done properly, taking Valve's Steam as an example, it is beneficial to both consumers and content producers. Unfortunately, due to wildly overstepping their boundaries, as Sony did with their rootkit, changing DRM standards, forcing a repurchase of already licensed materials, or simply pulling the plug on the authorization server, as MLB did with their licensed game replays, content producers have consistently shown that they cannot be trusted to use DRM in a manner that is consistent with a positive customer experience, let alone in the consumer's interests. Even when implemented well, there are still sometimes onerous limitations placed on consumers. With high definition video gear, some systems purposely degrade the quality output to analog devices. This forces consumers to needlessly spend money to replace functional equipment simply because the content producer doesn't want their content played on analog devices. Recently, Microsoft's Gears of War video game ceased working. Because of the DRM in the product, put in to stop cheating, the product stopped working due to the expiration of a certificate. Companies have consistently (MLB, Wal-Mart, MSN, etc) shown they are unwilling to support authentication servers and existing applications after they have stopped making the company money, in spite of consumers desire to continue to use the media they've rightfully paid for. When the business decision is made to turn off the authentication servers, consumers may no longer be able to legally access their properly licensed content. Circumventing DRM, in the United States, is illegal. There are some specific exemptions, but all are of limited use when it comes to works entering the public domain. If a work that enters the public domain is protected by DRM, it may be technically infeasible to access it. If an authentication server isn't available or if the encryption is sufficiently strong, the public may never exercise their rights with the content. Some DRM systems dramatically overstep the boundaries of what most consumers would expect. From Sony's music CD rootkit debacle to Blu Ray players' BD+ DRM system, content producers routinely interfere with consumers' rights to use their legally purchased hardware. In the case of Sony, software was secretly installed, without the consumer's consent or knowledge, that exposed consumers to being hacked. The BD+ DRM system modifies itself, based on commands embedded in BluRay media. If one of these modifications renders the hardware inoperable, is it reasonable to expect that the content provider who distributed the disc will accept responsibility and provide a new BluRay player to the consumer? All of these measures also impede fair use. I'm working on a professional presentation that uses scenes from movies to illustrate computer security concepts as seen in the movies. While I am legally allowed to include brief clips to illustrate my points, I need to use some potentially illegal tools to access the audio and video, due to DRM restrictions placed on DVD's. Even with all of these restrictions, at best, DRM only keeps honest people honest. Nearly every DRM system out there, from Apple's FairPlay to Microsoft's WMA, from the AS Consortium's AACS DRM (used by many Blu Ray content producers) to DVD CA's CSS (used on DVD's), even including VHS tape's Macrovision, all have been successfully bypassed. What is an inconvenience to consumers is a challenge to hackers, one that they have roundly met and won in nearly every instance, bypassing most major DRM systems. Simply put, DRM is an inconvenience. It is one that penalizes honest consumers, who have to deal with it, and content providers, who have to keep coming up with new and novel schemes. It does little to stop piracy, as it's also merely an inconvenience to those who seek unauthorized access to media.
Comment Number: 539814-00771
Received: 2/13/2009 4:31:55 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Reprogle
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:

Digital rights management (DRM) is what I like to refer to as "defective by design". DRM allows content to be used on only one device, and if you lose the device, you lose the ability to use content you legitimately paid for. If the DRM involves a license server provided by a third party, say Apple, or Wal-Mart, and that third party decides to cease operation of the license server, you lose the ability to use content you legitimately paid for. In theory, DRM is supposed to reduce piracy. In practice, it reduces usability, and does absolutely nothing to reduce piracy. Ask anyone who has taken a licensed piece of content and burned it to an audio CD, and then ripped the CD to a non-DRM'ed mp3. Ask anyone who has changed computers only to learn that their music won't work on the new one.
Comment Number: 539814-00772
Received: 2/13/2009 4:32:47 PM
Organization: None
Commenter: P. David Kopp
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 has many severe problems. It is a way of allowing companies to dictate usage and bypass the right of first sale. It is designed to not allow playing of content on "unapproved" players such as on Linux or other non-mainstream systems. DRM is also ineffective and creates an inferior product for the people who actually purchase the product. For example, high-definition video DRM systems are designed to be able to lock-down content if it's going through an unapproved display path, through unapproved devices. So if the consumer wants to play high-def video from his computer using a VGA output instead of using an HDMI cable, he's out of luck. "Pirated" video has no such problems, so it is a more useful product to have. DRM does not prevent piracy, as a quick search of "screener" on The Pirate Bay would turn up many movies even before they are released. If The Pirate Bay disappears, another site would eventually follow in it's footsteps. DRM also prevents people such as myself from being able to use media as we see fit. I pay for a cable subscription, but I am forced to pay an extra $5 per month in order to use a DVR. I have the hardware to record video in my computer, I have the ability to set it up, yet DRM prevents this. On top of that, there are no options I can even buy for my system that would allow me to use solutions such as the CableCARD, which only works on commercial alternative DVR's which still require a fee. Assuming I didn't want a DVR, I couldn't even plug my cable feed directly into my TV to watch it live, even though my box has a digital tuner in it. There are some channels sent un-DRM'd, but I am still required to use an additional electricity-sucking appliance that I have no other use for other than decrypting my paid-for product. Another tax on the consumer purely for DRM. Then there are music DRM limitations. Multiple problems such as Wal-Mart and Microsoft taking down their DRM servers which means they disabled rightfully-purchased content. There were "workarounds" such as needing to pay for a CD, burn said tracks to CD, and then ripping them (copying the CD to a DRM unencumbered computer file), but that quickly becomes unreasonable in the face of a large collection of music. Assuming a very generous average of 15 tracks per CD and a consumer owning 30 albums, a consumer would have had to buy 30 blank Audio CD's at approximately $15. Assuming the consumer then had speedy 32x CD-RW drive it would still take 5 minutes per CD to write them to CD for a total of 2 and a half hours of swapping CD's every 5 minutes. And then ripping them back to the computer would take between 2-10 minutes again for each CD. Average of 5 minutes, that's another 2.5 hours. A minimum of 5 hours of time if discs were changed instantly and the consumer did nothing else. All to simply preserve the content they rightfully purchased under a DRM scheme that was having the plug pulled. If they even got the permission via the DRM scheme to burn their files to a CD. DRM is only being used as a way of extracting a secondary tax upon consumers, and is ultimately damaging traditional understanding of "ownership". In a DRM-filled world, the consumer no longer owns their TV, their media, their games. They simply rent them for as long as companies deem it profitable, and the lease is unilaterally torn up as soon as the DRM owners want you to buy a newer version.
Comment Number: 539814-00773
Received: 2/13/2009 4:41:19 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Tom Uellner
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 stops honest consumers from using the CDs, DVDs and games they buy in legal ways. If it stops the consumer from making a fair use copy or backup, how is this serving the consumer? It does NOT stop pirates from making copies because hackers usually break the DRM in anywhere from a few months to a few days of release. The only one who doesn't get to use the content in all legal and fair use ways is the average consumer who just wants their movie to play everywhere they would like. Or to be able to copy a CD or downloaded music onto their MP3 player. It's time to stop treating EVERYONE like criminals because of what some people do.
Comment Number: 539814-00774
Received: 2/13/2009 4:42:12 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Bruce Pennypacker
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:

Whenver I buy a music CD, DVD movie, or software I like to be able to make a backup copy of it. I don't see why I should be forced to shell out good money for a new copy if I happen to damage or lose the original medium. Title 17, chapter 1, § 117 of the US Code explicitly gives me the right to make such archival copies. However the DRM in many newer software products, movies, etc. makes it very difficult to make these legal archival copies. People like me are forced to either buy software that bypasses this DRM or find other ways to circumvent the DRM if we want to make these legal archival copies. I have actually reduced the number of DVD's and software packages that I buy simply because I am fed up with the DRM and the restrictions and problems it imposes. I have encountered DRM that has prevented movies from playing on DVD players or software from running properly on computers. I have made a conscious decision to avoid buying DRM-laden products because I have no idea if it will work when I attempt to use it, and many companies are reluctant to accept opened DVD's or software products for returns. DRM is also a wasted effort. In order for it to work the end user must be provided not only the media but the keys to unlock that media. The might of people throughout the world demonstrates the futility of DRM. Apple's iPhone uses DRM in many ways, and yet the DRM has been defeated and so-called "jailbroken" phones run many applications that Apple otherwise would not allow. Analysts claimed that the DRM technology in Sony's Blu-Ray high definition DVD's would be uncrackable for at least 10 years, but a company called Slysoft broke it in under a year, giving people their legal right to back up those DVD's instead of buying new ones if they are damaged or lost. As long as DRM exists large portions of the global community will continue to find ways to dismantle it. It is a losing battle, as the Blu-Ray DRM and subsequent rapid cracking of the DRM demonstrates.
Comment Number: 539814-00775
Received: 2/13/2009 4:47:45 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Gemma Dearing
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 DRM I come into contact with most frequently is on ebooks. I hate it. DRM forces me to use different software. It limits an ebook's accessibility. It leaves me vulnerable in the event a supplier switches off a DRM server, effectively stealing my purchase from me. It insults me and gives me, a paying customer, a *worse* product than I would get if I downloaded a pirate copy. I generally purchase ebooks from Fictionwise.com. [I have bought 324 ebooks from them and counting.] If I buy a non-DRM title, I tend to download it in .pdf format. I used to prefer .lit format, but it was no problem to re-download my non-DRM ebooks in .pdf instead of .lit when I made the switch. Similarly, if I buy an ebook reader or change my preferences again, I don't have to worry about my Multiformat book files. I can just download them again in whatever file type is most suitable. I bought a Book, not a File Format. When I purchase secure ebooks I end up having to use: a different file format; a different browser; and different software to read the ebook. DRM forces me into using Internet Explorer instead of Firefox and MS Reader instead of Foxit reader and forces me to have a Microsoft account. Fictionwise will not allow me to switch between different DRM file types if my habits or platform changes. Once I have downloaded a secure .lit file I am stuck with it, even if in future I am no longer able to open it. A DRM .lit file is burdened with the weaknesses of MS Reader. I can choose between three font sizes only. [People who need large print need not apply.] In fact, the re-sizing of fonts is unreliable in MS Reader. I have several ebooks which will not resize at all, and are stuck in a typeface I find too small for comfort. A DRM .lit file is actually more burdened than a normal MS Reader file. It has text-to-speech functionality disabled. Great: if the text is too small or I have other problems with vision or reading, I cannot even fall back on a robotic voice to access the content I legally purchased and paid for. The final insult is the issue of providers no longer supporting their DRM servers, or no longer allowing certain people to access files they paid for. Overdrive used to supply many DRMed ebooks to Fictionwise. With one month's notice they cancelled that relationship and stranded their paying, law abiding customers. There will inevitably be similar issues in the future. Imagine if I bought a book for a bookshop and it goes bankrupt in the credit crunch: I still have that book and can keep taking it with me each time I move house. If I buy an ebook shackled with DRM from a bookshop that goes bankrupt, or no longer cares to talk to me, next time I change computers I have lost it.
Comment Number: 539814-00776
Received: 2/13/2009 4:49:22 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Tara Atkisson
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:

DRM does not protect products against theft or piracy. It prevents legitimate users from accessing their lawfully-purchased product, making legitimate fair-use copies or backups of their products, transferring a legally-purchased product from one format to another for ease of use, or moving a legitimate copy of a product from one computer to another in the instance of hardware failure. The tools used in DRM are not impenetrable and in certain cases contain code that is harmful to the legitimate user's hardware. The very mention of these security failures is punished by threats of lawsuits and illegal detainment under a process called 'anticircumvention' - google RIAA v. Ed Felten and Adobe v. Dmitry Skylarov for two examples of this. Cory Doctorow said it better than I could: "..anticirumvention lets rightsholders ... write private laws without accountability or deliberation -- that expropriate your interest in your physical property to their favor." It's hurting commerce. I, personally, won't buy a DVD I can't play on my computer as well as my DVD player. I won't buy a game that insists on disabling any of my legitimate DVD burning software before I can play it, or games that I can't move from one computer to another in my own home. I won't buy CDs I can't rip to MP3s to play on my portable music player. I refuse to buy an iPod because I refuse to own something that demands I purchase my software and music through their store only and played in their format only. I believe in supporting the people who produce my entertainment. I prefer to buy legitimate products, however, once I've purchased the product, it is MINE to do with what I will, and the distributor's authority to dictate the hows and wheres and what I do with the product should end the minute money changes hands. If I knit a unique design of a scarf and sell the scarf, I do not retain the right to tell the person who purchased it what clothes they can wear it with, when they can wear it, and how many times they can wear it. It is my resentment against the media distributor's dictatorial treatment of free commerce that has caused a significant decline in the amount of goods I purchase - not piracy. I don't believe in supporting them at all, even by fostering interest in their product. I refuse to be treated like a criminal for purchasing a product that, by the time it's released in physical format, has already been hacked, cracked, ripped, burned, and made available on the internet for free. The only people being punished or affected by DRM are the people that actually BOUGHT the product. Thank you for listening.
Comment Number: 539814-00777
Received: 2/13/2009 4:52:55 PM
Organization:
Commenter: D Blakey
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:

I go out of my way to avoid DRM-enabled products, for example I will not buy Spore (which you undoubtedly heard about in other comments). I also refuse to buy from iTunes Store for the same reason (although I understand that DRM will be removed...maybe I'll change my mind then). DRM does little to avoid piracy, it just presents a fun challenge for a few folks for a few minutes until they crack it.
Comment Number: 539814-00778
Received: 2/13/2009 4:53:28 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Joshua Graessley
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 as it exists today does nothing but keep things from working. As technology gets more and more complicated, any solutions that make things not work should be seriously scrutinized. DRM based on encryption isn't just a problem for consumers, it's a problem for companies trying to make innovative products. Look at happened with the iTunes and the iPod. Apple was forced to use DRM to get the rights to sell audio content over the internet. The audio content was encrypted such that only Apple products could play the content back. Microsoft went with a slightly more open approach by licensing the DRM. The DRM licensing requirements are often onerous and give too much power to the companies that own the DRM. I would like to see an open DRM that places a priority on interoperability over security. Most digital media formats these days provide for extensible meta data. Such meta data often contains information such as artist and song name for songs or series and episode information for television shows. Players that don't know how to handle various bits of meta data can skip that meta data and still get access to the content. DRM could be implemented as licensing meta-data. Compliant players that understand the licensing meta-data could notify the user if they're viewing unlicensed content and provide information on how to purchase a license. Non-compliant players would simply play the content. Interoperability is king. It increases the value of the content. The people that will not pay for content will always find a way around encryption. When all legal content is burdened by encryption, it decreases the value of the legal content to the consumer. By focusing on consumers that are interested in legally obtaining content, the industry could turn its image around and allow for fast innovation. Companies could produce whole house entertainment products. It would be possible to put DVDs and BluRay movies on a home server so anyone in the house can watch it in any room without getting off the couch or bed and that same content could be moved to a laptop. DRM is really holding the tech industry back. There needs to be a balance between the needs of the rights holders and the needs of the consumers. Current DRM focus entirely on the needs of the copyright holders and totally shafts the rights and needs of the consumer.
Comment Number: 539814-00779
Received: 2/13/2009 5:06:34 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Michael Fox
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 bought a Bluray player for my computer and a couple of discs. I took it home, installed it and after many frustrating hours learned that the player and the discs would never work because the DRM scheme in Bluray: * Excludes Linux * Requires you to replace your motherboard and video card with a motherboard and video card that has paid the proper royalties to the DRM authority. So the hardware the the media went back to the store. No sale. Nobody wins.
Comment Number: 539814-00780
Received: 2/13/2009 5:17:50 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Brenda Sherman
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 do not buy anything with DRM on it, because that means I have not purchased the item, I have rented it. It is unfair to limit my use of an item I have purchased - that infringes on my ownership rights of the item I have purchased.
Comment Number: 539814-00781
Received: 2/13/2009 5:18:59 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Adam Marquis
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: 539814-00781.pdf

Comments:

I've attached my comments as a simple text document, as this comment field wasn't preserving my formatting.
Comment Number: 539814-00782
Received: 2/13/2009 5:20:32 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Joseph Webb
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:

DRM technologies in their current incarnations are intrusive and in some cases destructive to the user experience, and the platform which the DRM technologies are deployed on. There are only a few implementations of DRM at this time I am aware of that actually allow the consumer to fully utilize a given product or work of art within the bounds of copyright law as it is currently written. When DRM technologies are deployed software applications, for example, they generally require the application to contact licensor's network to "authorize" use of a that application, even though in the context of purchasing a given piece of software, license for use is already explicitly granted in the end user license agreement of the product. Should we have to get "authorization" to use the product every time we use the application, or the DRM controls have problems, or if we have to remove the application and reinstall it, or remove the application and reinstall it to a new computer system? Then again when the "authorization" process fails, and the software company in charge of the authorization process all of a sudden says we are no longer able to use the application because it has been activated too many times, or because they think the user has installed an "unauthorized" license. Based on the aforementioned items, we have a dilemma. How much can we allow individuals and organization enforce IP rights, while disallowing an individual the right to use the product they purchased a license for. By default, an IP holder who asks for a second payment from an individual for usage of a piece of software who has already paid for a license in the first place is at best dishonest, and at worst extortion. When the Sony "rootkit" scandal hit the internet, people were wholly unaware that the audio CD that they had purchased, had surreptitiously installed a program designed to control the use of the CD, and prevent copying the disc. First, decision in copyright law by the Supreme Court of the United States provide for a fair use clause in the case of using audio, or video recordings. Specifically it allows for a single backup of said media in case of loss or damage. Second, the installation of a piece of software which, theoretically, allows for unlimted control of a computer, is in part a definition of malware. Malware is an application installed on a computer (either hidden or otherwise), that is designed to control, report on activities of, and/or damage the computer it is installed on. The Sony DRM fisaco facilitated the installation of malware on the computer, and in it's own way could be considered a form of malware. This caused an untold amount of damage to many peoples computer systems, and costs of repairs were likely in the millions. There are many good implementations of DRM as well. Steam (www.steampowered.com) is a great implementation of DRM. The process of the DRM, and it's intent are clearly stated in the terms of service, as well in everyday language directly on the advertisement for the services. This is a good example of DRM, one of the few in fact. There needs to be tighter controls on what IP holders can actually do to protect their rights. There has to be a limit to which a computer or media appliance can be modified or changed to accomidate said protections. And IP holders cannot be allowed to trump existing US copyright law, and court decisions to make an extra buck.
Comment Number: 539814-00783
Received: 2/13/2009 5:23:07 PM
Organization: History of Art Dept, UC Berkeley
Commenter: Joni Spigler
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 will not buy products with DRM. DRM prevents me from ever really owning the product for I am forever at the mercy of the company that created the file to provide updates to keep it open and active. As we can see, in a faltering economy, businesses fail, and had I purchased DRM products, I would now be left with a waste product instead of the product I purchased in good faith. I would rather OWN a pirated copy of something without DRM than throw my hard-earned money after bad basically RENTING a product with DRM. I really hope that my legislators actually represent me and the millions of people who feel the way I do rather than taking bribes from the Music and Gaming Industries etal. to uphold their unsavory racket. I will never buy a product with DRM ever (See: Spore -- I waited for Spore to come out for 2 years and in the end refused to buy it because of the DRM). If a DRM product is not made available by the industry, and I really want the product and cannot figure out how to obtain a pirated cracked copy, I can always find a 9 year old kid who knows how to get it for me. This is the future.
Comment Number: 539814-00784
Received: 2/13/2009 5:24:56 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Salazar
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:

It seems impossible to briefly describe what is so terrible about DRM, so I will try to speak from a broad perspective. As communication technology increases, humanity is going to discover that controlling digital information, which is really just ideas encoded into a more tangible form, is a ridiculous and impossible task. We have functioned for centuries now under the premise that ideas / information are commodities to be bought and sold, that they can be owned just like anything else. Technology is quickly turning this fairly recent notion into a joke. The sooner we remember, as our ancestors innately understood, that ideas and information exist beyond the control of any person or persons, and the sooner we make a collective goal of a global society where all ideas are freely exchanged without interference, no matter how odious or dangerous we may deem them to be, the better chance we shall have of surviving and evolving as a species. I could get into the specifics of DRM, as I'm sure others have, but just on this basic, conceptual level, DRM is an unhealthy way of thinking about information, one who's time should have long been past. The FTC's resources would be better used in helping, not hindering, a global exchange of ideas. My attempt at discussing this in a more verbose and creative manner can be found here, if interested: http://foolfactory.com/haus/comics/2gtech.html Thanks.
Comment Number: 539814-00785
Received: 2/13/2009 5:27:32 PM
Organization: The Esoteric Teaching
Commenter: David Hughes
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:

Comments:

DRM is a plague of corporate greed that constricts, inhibits and attempts to destroy the value of the commons. As a publisher of public-benefit cultural, spiritual and religious material, we strongly support a durable, robust and fair FTC policy limiting the types, applications and duration of DRM technology. The lack of such policies has allowed unscrupulous publishers to shortchange customers and resell products unfairly. DRM and copyright restrictions on music and ebook sales, especially of historically significant cultural material, should be prohibited, leveling the playing field for small, independent publishers and permitting the spread of minority commentaries on standard religious reference materials.
Comment Number: 539814-00786
Received: 2/13/2009 5:33:43 PM
Organization: Private Citizen
Commenter: Bob Ready
State: IA
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:

For a period of four years, I worked as a Geek Squad technician at a local Best Buy. As the resident computer geeks and generally technologically-adept employees, we dealt with a large number of both problems with and questions about media affected by DRM. I wish to submit some problems I had to help customers with during the last 4 years surrounding Digital Rights Management, to give an idea of how the general public, those not terribly familiar with, adept with or interested in technology, are affected by DRM when they attempt to try a new technology. - Broken Media: Customers purchasing PC games were occasionally locked out due to DRM restrictions from playing the game. These were people, often children, who had been given the game as a gift. Sometimes, false positives by the DRM software caused the game to lock out, rendering the game worthless. These people generally lacked technical know-how to resolve or even know the source of the problem, so they were forced to either try to return the game or pay extra to have the problem resolved by Geek Squad. "Try" to return the game is important, because they could not return the game, either. Publishers of games, CDs, DVDs and other media do not accept returns at the point of retail, so the customer had to pay to have the game installed or incur cost to mail it back the publisher, all because the publisher's DRM was non-functional, through no fault of the customer. - Collateral Damage to Devices: Some DRM methods, most notoriously Sony's rootkit that came along with their music CDs without notification, actually damaged computers that customers had to pay to have repaired. In Sony's case, the optical drive was often completely non-functional because Sony's replacement of upper and lower driver filters on the optical drive either was not robust software or flagged a false positive. These drivers are easy to fix...but only if you are a professional. Regular customers cannot rectify these issues, and had to pay for the repair. - Device/Vendor Lock-In: DRM that locks individuals to certain devices prevents customer choice in future purchases. iTunes has been the most obvious example, as customers purchasing hundreds or thousands of songs since the iPod debut could not port those songs to another service or put them on any non-Apple device. I had customers ask about other devices, and after learning that their songs were purchased from iTunes, they could not use any of their music if they purchased a new, non-Apple device. - Prevention of Original Media Protection: Customers with children wanted to purchase a DVD of a movie, but did not want to risk damage to the original disc in order to let their young children handle the discs themselves. The inability to make a cheap copy of a DVD instead of risking destruction or loss of the original was often confusing and restrictive of their desire to protect their property, but still allow children to use it. There are other examples, but the main thing I saw, as an employee selling services who was also familiar with many aspects of the use of DRM by different companies, was that while many people were never affected by Digital Rights Management, others were absolutely affected in a negative fashion. These non-tech-savvy individuals did not know what DRM was, did not know it was present (in most cases never being informed their purchases used DRM) and were confused and upset when it restricted what they thought were legal and legitimate uses of their purchases. As someone who knew the answers and could help, but for a price as an employee, I saw the frustration of these people who made purchases of movies, music, games and software that was not returnable at the place they purchased it, did not inform them of the restrictions it placed upon use and sometimes did not function at all, requiring them to pay extra money to get the exact use of something that they thought they'd paid for in the original purchase.
Comment Number: 539814-00787
Received: 2/13/2009 5:38:37 PM
Organization:
Commenter: PARKER
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:

Thank you for this opportunity. DRM has become a major stumbling block for people with games they have purchased and then find out they only can install it 3 times before they will be required to BUY it again! And the requirements for NEED to install can be as little as replacing a video card to as much as having to reinstall the operating system. Games are not the only problem with this. Operating systems are also a problem, particularly Windows. In addition, music DRM (not my music since I do not do DRM) can be very problematic and incompatible between platforms like iTunes (although to Apple's credit they are removing the DRM), Zune and other music online stores that might use DRM. Personally I buy only from places that do not have DRM like Amazon. But movies are the worst. Everyone just assumes that DRM is part of having a movie. With Internet streaming, and local networking, it is absolutely ridiculous for the movie companies to say you can't put your movies on your own network attached storage to view on your computer system, or networked entertainment center's computers, or just make smaller versions of your movie DVDs for use on your portable devices without the DMCA getting in the way and the MPAA saying you can't do that. I think that fair use for your own personal use should be allowed in all of these situations. I can understand going after pirates who are making money off the bootleg copies, but to hamper the fair use of what a person buys for their own personal enjoyment is ludicrous. It is not a good thing to create laws that stifle innovation, prevent fair use of what one buys, and create an atmosphere where most anything you do with what you buy would turn you into a criminal. It is not wise to create that kind of atmosphere for children growing up, or for adults trying to make use of what they buy and desire to do the right thing but are put in a bad situation where they may have a device that they can't use, or can't share what they bought between their devices and/or computers and/or entertainment centers. I strongly sugges
Comment Number: 539814-00788
Received: 2/13/2009 5:51:24 PM
Organization: Individual
Commenter: Chaue Shen
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: 539814-00788.pdf

Comments:

Please see the attached document.
Comment Number: 539814-00789
Received: 2/13/2009 5:55:05 PM
Organization: Authentic Films
Commenter: Charles Lyons
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:

Speaking as a creator and someone who believes credit and fair compensation for one's work are extremely important, I strongly OPPOSE digital rights management technologies. Not only is there tremendous potential for abuse and the erosion of fair use rights, DRM also cripples technology and innovation. We're already seeing corporations weilding DRM laws to deny people their rights and force behavior that benefits them rather than the public as a whole, and that will only get worse as time goes on. In their lust to control how people use their products, DRM-favoring corporations will have to pursue an endless, futile, and destructive quest: first our computers must be DRM-compliant, then our media players, then our televisions, our speakers and headphones, our microphones and cameras. Every part of the chain will have to be crippled by digital Thought Police systems to monitor every signal and ensure "compliant" use, strangling innovation, reducing performance, and interfering with more and more legitimate creative uses until we all begin to look like Harrison Bergeron. Furthermore, the fear that drives this is irrational and pointless. Sheet music companies opposed player pianos, record publishers opposed the radio, movie studios opposed television and VCRs and cable TV, the RIAA opposed mp3s - again and again throughout history the corporations who control the means of creative communication have opposed new technologies that made possible new media and new sources of revenue, and in every single case they have been dead wrong. DRM is a dead end, a destructive idea, and a failure of imagination.
Comment Number: 539814-00790
Received: 2/13/2009 5:56:50 PM
Organization: n/a
Commenter: Alexander Kemmler
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:

Only large content providers have the opportunity to benefit from DRM technologies. Period. DRM is patently anti-consumer and generally is highly effective only at removing or unilaterally restricting fair-use rights of paying customers. Interoperability and portability must be defended in all forms of media. Any move otherwise is simply a transfer in valuable property rights to content providers away from consumers, and often, artists.
Comment Number: 539814-00791
Received: 2/13/2009 6:02:08 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Mark Boyd
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 pretty simple for me. If any media comes bundled with DRM, I will not purchase it. Period. None of my music CDs have DRM on them. I purchased most of my music CDs in the 80s and early 90s. Since then I purchase individual pieces of music online from garage bands with creative commons licenses. I'm usually happy to pay a buck a song. None of my written materials have DRM on them. Either I purchase paperback books and magazines, or I download from publishers that use creative commons licenses, or I get it from Project Gutenberg or Manybooks.net. A lot of my movies DO have DRM on the DVDs - but since I built my own TIVO, I'll be stopping that too. If I can't archive all of my movies on my home server, available at the push of a button, then I don't want them. It's really very simple. If I buy something, then I own it. This means I can read or watch it anywhere, on any piece of equipment that I own for that purpose. This means I can loan it to a friend. This means I can sell it at my next garage sale. This means I can destroy it, tear it up, repair it, or combine it in ways the original creators never thought about. I can read a book, trade it, sell it, lend it, or tear it into pieces, mix it with glue and turn it into a pinata. Unless I am able to do the equivalent with a purchased bit of media (song, movie, book or video game) I can not truly say that I really own it - no matter how much I've paid for it. And if I can't own it, then I refuse to pay for it. I won't risk the possibility of a DRM licensing server crash rendering my entire library useless. As far as I care, the providers of DRM-locked media can go to Hell without any of my money. There's plenty of open source software and creative commons works to replace DRM material. This should scare traditional media providers. Open source software has already surpassed commercial software in quantity and quality, and creative commons media is fast catching up to traditional media too. Media providers have to heed this warning - they have to change before they become irrelevant and extinct. Sincerely Mark Boyd
Comment Number: 539814-00792
Received: 2/13/2009 6:25:26 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Chris Taylor
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 simple THEFT of personal property rights. When I purchase something it is my PROPERTY. DRM is theft of my property. When I steal something I get arrested. DRM is "legal" theft. I can buy a car. I can modify and resell that car. I can hack it to pieces and rebuild it any way I want (safely) and resell it. I can put Citgo gas in it or Exxon gas. I can put Ford parts in it or "no name" brand parts in it. I can use Dollar store or Or Mobile 1 synthetic. The dealer with very few exceptions has NO SAY in what I do with my own personal property. Why? its simple. Its my Property. NOT theirs. What is so hard to understand about this concept? Its been working fine for thousands of years. When I purchase a CD. I do not LICENSE anything I do not RENT anything. I accept NO EULA I accept NO terms of service. its my Personal Property I can and will do with it as I please. NOW if I try to copy that CD and SELL the copies now its NOT personal. NOT I am infringing there property rights. Just like if I bought a ford went over to china and said "copy" this and put my own logo on it. Again I am violating their property rights. DRM is THEFT of my property. Especially current day DRM. it effectively means I am "renting" with NO option to purchase because they can "turn it off" anytime they please. It is also physically IMPOSSIBLE for DRM to ever have any real impact on piracy. DRM effect only one person. the Legitimate customer. You see when you download a "hacked" game the DRM is gone. its been "hacked" out of the game. Its a pretty scary thing when legitimate users download the "hacked" copy of games because the "legit" copy they bought does not work properly because of the DRM. DRM is a self full filling prophecy. Someone who is used to pirating games is always going to pirate the games. Nothing you do is really going to change this. Ever. That is a fact of life. The problem with DRM is it turns LEGIT customers "into" pirates. Once they go online and complain about the problems with a program and some other user (the pirate) says hey just download this and you won't have any problems (and it will be the truth) well the NEXT time a new game comes out this legit user may simply decide why put up with the headache's and just go get the pirated copy. When the free pirated copy is a SUPERIOR product to the purchased copy you have a problem. Myself. I refuse to cross that line. For example I WANT spore. I refuse to buy it. I refuse to allow them to install invasive and dangerous software onto MY computer. I refuse to allow them to cause MY property to dictate TERMS to me. This is literally tantamount to you buying a Chevy and it REFUSING to run unless you buy CHEVY gas to go with it. We would never tolerate that. SO why is it tolerated in our Computers. On mine it is not. My computer is my property. I set the terms. NOT apple or EA or whoever. The problem is most people simply have no idea and this invasion and THEFT of property rights gets worse by the day. DRM should be outlawed. Its immoral and it is illegal (theft is illegal regardless of whether its recognized as such by the state) Please put an END to it. BAN DRM in ANY "active" roll. ANY copy protection is wrong but at least with PASSIVE copy protection I stay in command of my property.
Comment Number: 539814-00793
Received: 2/13/2009 6:32:37 PM
Organization: N/A
Commenter: Patrick Gonet
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:

Comments:

As an electrical engineer and professional in the software industry for the past several years, I have evaluated digital rights management carefully. ---------------------------------------------------------- The unreasonable limitations (you can't play the legally purchased media where you want, when you want, how you want, even though you bought it) delay the development of new methods of content distribution and consumption. They are bad for innovation, bad for citizens, and bad for the country's economy. ---------------------------------------------------------- Over the past several years I have heard time and time again from colleagues and strangers alike that DRM has become so restrictive, and demanding that it is, in almost all cases not only easier, but also safer for the consumer to PIRATE their media than purchase it legally. ---------------------------------------------------------- Sony's XCP is the most heinous and well known example. XCP was a root kit (a sort of open door for viruses) that Sony CDs installed automatically without warning the user. It was intended as a method of DRM, but instead it served as a perfect platform for malicious attacks on netowrks across the globe. Not only did it compromise the computers of thousands of innocent and law abiding Americans, but it also created severe security risks across many of the secured networks used by the Department of Defense. ---------------------------------------------------------- DRM, wielded as a tool to allow price fixing and collusion on the part of the major content distributors, has created a war between consumers and content publishers, and needs to be suppressed so that the market that balance itself out. DRM is bad for business, and bad for citizens.
Comment Number: 539814-00794
Received: 2/13/2009 6:38:18 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Smith
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:

DRM has prevented me from moving songs from one portable music player to another. Apple's DRM prevents me from loading songs on my new music player, which is not of the apple brand. I payed for these songs, I should be able to play them on any device I want to! Another issues I take with DRM is it being on my games. If I lose my key, or upgrade my computer x amount of times, I can no longer play it! This is unacceptable, again, I payed for this product, I should be able to play it on any machine I own! I've been sold a BROKEN product. The short term solution I have come is just pirating everything. It's not broken, it's almost always higher quality when it comes to movies and music, oh yea and the games don't BREAK on me when I get a new fucking computer. Not to mention they all run faster without SecureROM, and I don't have any goddamn malware installed on my computer, because that's what it is. I hate being treated like a criminal by the people I give money to!
Comment Number: 539814-00795
Received: 2/13/2009 7:00:19 PM
Organization:
Commenter: E. Mapstead
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:

Hello, Digital Rights Management (DRM) would be more correctly written as Digital Control Management. DRM technologies are snake oil sold to companies who irrationally fear losing control of their works. DRM is used by these companies to assert more control and "rights" over their works than is granted to them by copyright law for no other purpose other than to assuage their unfounded fears. DRM relies on numerous faulty technologies like phoning home to the parent company over the internet, timing out at a certain date, and downloading digital keys from parent company servers which may (and have) go offline at a later date rendering the work (which has been lawfully purchased) inaccessible. The snake oil DRM technologies do not stop illegitimate users from accessing works if they are so determined. DRM snake oil harms normal businesses and consumers who lawfully purchase works by brokenly restricting access to works they have legally obtained. There are numerous examples of this from Adobe and Amazon eBooks to Macrovision and Microsoft software to Sony and BMG music CDs to Ubisoft and EA video games. One need only do a search on the web for "broken DRM" to be bombarded with hundreds of cases of DRM gone awry. DRM has kept legitimate purchasers of works from accessing material which has been legally purchased. Some examples of such can see seen in a variety of venues. People who are blind use special software to read digital books. In some DRM restricted eBooks they are unable to read the books they have legitimately purchased. Some video games (Spore) and operating system software (Windows Vista) lock users out after X number of uses. This creates huge headaches and lost productivity for users and the companies that deploy these broken DRM schemes. I personally have opted to not buy or have anything to do with the video game Spore (a $50 value) because of it's use of snake oil DRM technologies. If DRM snake oil had not been deployed with the Spore video game I would have gladly purchased it. Even the Spore: Creature Creator Demo (which I did purchase) was apparently infected with DRM which is probably slowing down my computer at this very minute. The copyright pact with citizens guarantees that at some point the work will revert to the public domain to spur the creation of more works. DRM exerts more control and rights than are granted by copyright law and in most cases hinders the reversion to public domain from occurring. DRM has an adverse effect on the economy due to wasted man hours both in deploying and dealing with the fallout from broken DRM schemes. I urge you to take action to mitigate the overreaching control that companies exert on our past and future culture using failed snake oil DRM technologies. Thank You, E. Mapstead
Comment Number: 539814-00796
Received: 2/13/2009 8:30:02 PM
Organization: n/a
Commenter: C. T.
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 think DRM needs to be made more clear to the consumer about what exactly is installed on said user's computer system. Many people do not read the "terms of service" or "agreement" before clicking "I agree" when installing PC software. This leads to unfair practices. Why does a company have the right to install software on my computer that has nothing to do with the software I am purchasing in the first place? Pirates and people who steal software already have ways of circumventing DRM practices, why do companies keep wasting money on DRM software like Securerom? If anything it slows down my computer by using up more memory or creates more problems like bugs in Windows XP and Vista. All this does is punish people like me who do NOT steal software and buy it instead. What needs to happen in my view is find a better way to fight against piracy. Secondly not punish those who do not pirate software because of those who do. Third, perhaps form a standard once said method is found to be successful. One way of fighting piracy is to make software more affordable via digital distribution. This has proven a very effective way during the last 5 years for company to attract new customers and secure their software via an account based system. In conclusion please do not punish those who do not steal with DRM software and find a way to stop those that do.
Comment Number: 539814-00797
Received: 2/13/2009 8:38:23 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Pradeep
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:

It is insane if I can't donate ebook just like paper book I give/donate to another person. What is wrong with this DRM picture? http://www.amazon.com/Why-Kindle-idea-till-now/forum/Fx2EGRL42MHF15D/Tx1ZO2CS92TGY1Q/1/ref=cm_cd_ef_tft_tp?%5Fencoding=UTF8&asin=B00154JDAI
Comment Number: 539814-00798
Received: 2/13/2009 9:04:00 PM
Organization:
Commenter: David Tamang
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:

My primary concern with DRM is that consumers are being told they own a "product," but the rights to use the product can be taken away at any time for any reason. Examples include the music stores by Yahoo (Music Match) and MTV (urge) where services were shuttered and people who purchased digital music files were left without any reasonable way to use them. Would you buy a refrigerator that would turn itself off if the company didn't like the food you put in it? What about a TV that would stop working if the company that manufactured it went out of business? These are the kind of draconian limitations that DRM place on users of digital files. To add insult, the only thing DRM does is harm people who actually do the right thing and purchase digital content through authorized channels. Any P2P network or torrent tracker can pull just about anything one wants without the restrictions. It is in the public interest to limit the scope of DRM, if only to protect our culture and allow curiosity to advance the state of the art. People should be allowed to tinker with devices and make them do curious things they weren't designed to do. We shouldn't have to worry that a piece of hardware or software won't work 5 years from now because a server hundreds of miles away was unplugged. Enough is enough; DRM is harmful.
Comment Number: 539814-00799
Received: 2/13/2009 9:34:34 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Sarah Ferraro
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:

I am opposed to all forms of DRM for the simple reason that it only adversely affects those who wish to purchase content legally. It does not in anyway stop nor dissuade those who wish to acquire content without paying. In fact, often it seems to spur them on. DRM is treated as a challenge to overcome by those who won't pay for content. For those who do wish to pay, it causes no end of problems up to breaking their system. It is ineffective and pointless.
Comment Number: 539814-00080
Received: 1/8/2009 10:08:59 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Carter Chamberlin
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:

Like many folks, I have taken many VHS home movies of my children over the years. Wanting to avoid degredation of the tapes, as is often publicized, I undertook to dub them onto DVDs to preserve the material. I purchased a typical dual-deck device, as sold in many many 'normal' retail outlets, to accomplish this. Suprisingly, the DVD recorder claimed that a number of my home movies were 'copyrighted material' and would not record them onto DVD, no matter how many times I tried. I have spoken with other people, undertaking similar projects, to whom this has happened. This type of false-positive identification/accusation is particularly destructive in my situation, as I am left with very few options to digitally preserve the movies that I shot myself. Apparently, the overzealous 'protection' methods employed in today's technology are not without innocent victims.
Comment Number: 539814-00801
Received: 2/13/2009 11:06:17 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Hennen
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 is an archaic and inefficient system of preventing piracy. If anything, it encourages piracy. The recent release of the video game by EA Games, "Spore," has proved that. GamePolitics.com cites Spore as the most pirated game of 2008, with 1.7 million pirated copies of the game. This was in fact due to the inclusion of DRM into the game, and the effort by EA to limit the amount of times a person could install the game on their computer. This was, in effect, stealing the game back from the people that bought the game in the first place. This instance is one of the most recent tangible evidences supporting the argument that DRM negatively affects goods and causes people to resort to piracy, if for nothing else, to ensure that they have a copy of a good that will not be limited in its use. DRM aggressively discourages potential buyers from purchasing a digital item and is harmful to the sale of digital goods as a whole. Installing DRM in digital goods is a draconian practice that persists today and is evidence that the market has not yet shifted to accommodate dynamic markets and goes against the very core of the internet, open access and freedom.
Comment Number: 539814-00802
Received: 2/13/2009 11:07:27 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Aurigemma
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:

The newest DRM trend in relation to video games is installation limits, whereby you are only permitted to install the video game a limited number of times. Unfortunately this absurdity is only the latest in a series of ever-broadening restrictions placed upon the legal, paying consumer. A number of points should be noted about these blatant and disgustingly anti-consumer practices: 1) People who illegally download these games are NOT subject to any of the DRM's restrictions. DRM is fully stripped from ''pirate'' copies of games that are freely, widely available on the internet. DRM is commonly and readily removed from these games by the pirate hackers who freely distribute them; thus, the ONLY people to suffer these restrictions are those who lack the technical knowledge to remove it. This point does not even touch upon the issues with legality. 2) Thus, as we can infer, DRM is explicitly -- despite the claims put forth by the publishers -- intended to restrict the rights of the paying consumer. DRM is almost entirely a matter of control over the consumer; it does virtually nothing to deter copyright infringement. 3) Installation limits are especially a scam. After the consumer pays full retail price for their video game, the publishing company then uses DRM to dictate how they may and may not use the product. Of course ''pirate'' copies are immune to such restrictions. While I can only speak for myself here, however; I personally STILL occasionally re-install and play video games from the early-to-mid 1990s. Some of these games I have re-installed dozens of times over the past 15 or so years. 4) This general form of DRM -- with or without installation limits -- entirely relies on the company's DRM servers to authenticate your copy. Internet trouble? Too bad for the consumer! Company's servers overloaded on launch day? Too bad! Traveling and cannot access the internet? Too bad! Company decides it's more economical to shut down DRM servers for old games? Too bad! Company has technical difficulties for possibly days on end? Too bad! Company simply goes out of business? Too bad! (Note: In relation to online music stores, such DRM servers HAVE been scheduled to be shut down for economical reasons, which would permanently prohibit access to legally-bought music. The consumer would have to repurchase the products!) 5) These forms of DRM also commonly forbid you to install various kinds of software. Some of this software CAN be used for pirating (e.g., DAEMON Tools), much in the way a simple hammer can be used to destroy, or build, or repair. However another piece of forbidden software, Process Explorer, is very commonly used by IT professionals or other advanced users, AND IS DISTRIBUTED BY MICROSOFT. ( http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx ). Yes, these companies have the audacity to dictate what software you are allowed to use on your own computer. Remember: So-called software ''pirates'' are IMMUNE to all of these restrictions. The supposed reason for all this DRM, these illegal downloaders?, they do not suffer from ANY of the restrictions that paying consumers are now being forced to tolerate.
Comment Number: 539814-00803
Received: 2/13/2009 11:10:02 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Stian Oksavik
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:

DRM has gone far beyond protecting the rights of copyright holders to infringing on those of consumers. DRM prevents lawful actions; whether that be the inability to view a DVD purchased abroad, the inability to move a piece of software to a new computer or other limitations on how a product may be used.
Comment Number: 539814-00804
Received: 2/13/2009 11:22:41 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Bruce Albrecht
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:

I am writing about DRM and electronic books. Some or all of these issues are applicable for other forms of DRM with electronic media. 1. DRM tends to tie ebooks to specific devices. If the device dies, or the ebook owner wishes to replace the device, the ebook becomes useless if either the DRM service goes out of business, or chooses not to continue the DRM service. Examples of this are ebooks from Embiid, which went out of business, and some books sold by Fictionwise which had Overdrive as the DRM service. Overdrive and Fictionwise did not renew their contract, and books sold by Fictionwise could not be modified to be usable on new devices. Some non-ebook examples are Microsoft, Yahoo, and Wal-Mart's music DRM authorization servers all getting shut down. 2. DRM can prevent people from using their ebooks because the device is tied to a key and the owner. For example, EReader ties DRM to a credit card, and if one doesn't access the ebook for several years, one might forget which credit card it was tied to, and the book then becomes useless. 3. DRM is used by companies to lock in usage to their device. Examples of this are the Amazon Kindle and Sony Readers. They do not provide or license viewers of their DRM for alternate viewers. I don't know if this is still true, but I believe Apple was doing this with iTunes and the iPod. 4. DRM limits fair use, by making it hard or impossible to create short clips of the material for quoting, review, or other fair uses. 5. DRM does not respect copyright limits, and automatically disable when copyright expires. For example, an ebook from material originally published in 1923 will have its copyright expire in 2018, but DRM generally has no way to detect that the copyright has expired. Also, some companies falsely claim copyright on public domain works and lock up public domain content under DRM. Other problems I'm aware of: 6. Sony rootkit fiasco, where their music CD DRM installed a rootkit on PCs even if the buyer rejected the license. 7. Several Blu-Ray discs fail to be playable on certain players because the DRM keys require firmware updates, and the firmware updates do not become available for months, if ever, after the Blu-Ray disc gets released. 8. Many forms of DRM are easily broken, so for people with the right technical skills, DRM easily stripped, regardless of the legality. 9. Many pirated ebooks have never had a commercial release, and with scanners/cameras and optical character recognition programs, it is trivial for pirates to scan a book and generate an ebook. For example, pirate ebooks for the final Harry Potter book were released before the paper book was officially released, and of course no commercial ebook has been sanctioned. DRM may prevent some piracy, the fact that most paper books can be converted to an ebook in an hour or two means that DRM is generally irrelevant to the prevention of piracy. 10. Several publisher have found that reasonably priced ebooks with no DRM encourage social resistance to piracy (i.e., response to piracy requests are ridicule and suggestions that they just go out any buy it). 11. Many people who acquire pirated works are hoarders, and would not be buying the work anyway. Therefore, many cases of piracy of software/books with cracked DRM or no DRM have no economic impact to the IP owners. While I have no proof, I suspect a lot of these hoarders only have interest in software with cracked DRM is because of some anti-authority mindset. If so, fewer items with DRM would make these pirates less interested in pirating software/books/music/etc.
Comment Number: 539814-00805
Received: 2/13/2009 11:44:56 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Luke Abel
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:

If there is one thing that must be learned from the Industrial Revolution, it is that technology will invariably alter every aspect of the social, political, and economic landscape. To resist already widely-accepted technologies through proprietary controls such as DRM and the brute litigation that pursues its violation will only serve to forestall the changes that the Internet has begun in our society. The companies that use methods such as DRM belong to a business model that predates this change. In this model, information is treated much like any other product: discrete, finite, and thus needing controls over its distribution to preserve its value. The Internet, on the other hand, has presented a new model of distribution, one that encourages distribution to be as unfettered as possible. It is that very model that has made the Internet the incredible economic and social resource it has become, and what has made it an essential part of today's economy. I do not oppose companies and individuals being able to operate profitably using the Internet, but I do believe that if they do, there exists an imperative to adapt to this new model, not to try and destroy it.
Comment Number: 539814-00806
Received: 2/14/2009 12:18:19 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Andrew Slayman
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:

I am writing to urge the FTC to adopt regulations--or ask Congress to pass laws, as appropriate--to protect consumers from the ill effects of DRM. Among other things: 1. Consumers who purchase DRM-protected works (including songs) that require access to servers provided by the seller to continue using those works must rely on the goodwill of the seller to continue operating those servers. As we learned in 9/08 (http://boingboing.net/2008/09/26/walmart-shutting-dow.html), when Wal-Mart announced that it was shutting down its DRM servers, sellers cannot be trusted to keep their servers running indefinitely. Thus purchasers of DRM-protected works face the potential loss of their purchases at the arbitrary whim of the seller. This is unfair to the consumer. Sellers who insist on using external servers to manage DRM--whether music, software, or anything else--should be required by law to make keys available to all purchasers when and if they decide to shut those servers down, so that purchasers can continue to use their purchases. Anything less is patently unfair. 2. DRM allows sellers of protected works to control the use of their works beyond what copyright law permits--by, for example, preventing buyers from using works in ways that would be protected by the fair use doctrine. This presents a risk to the freedom of journalists, artists, and others to express themselves in ways protected by the Constitution and by copyright law. 3. The intersection of DRM and the ill-conceived Digital Millennium Copyright Act actually could be construed actually to make it illegal for people to exercise their fair-use rights, as the DMCA makes it illegal for anyone to attempt to circumvent encryption or other protection technologies. Thus a video artist who could, under the fair use doctrine, have made use of a clip from someone else's video, cannot do so if to use it thus would involve circumventing DRM technologies, because to do so would involve a breach of the DMCA. Thus the use of DRM technologies actually usurps the right to fair use, which is otherwise guaranteed under federal law. An exception should be carved out permitting anyone to circumvent such technologies provided that the ultimate purpose of the circumvention is legal. 3. DRM is just plain bad business. For movie studios and record labels to attempt to sell a product that they can arbitrarily deactivate, leaving the consumer unable to use what they have purchased, is simply idiotic. How many people would buy a car that the maker could deactivate by remote control at its whim? I would not, and I have never--and will never--buy any music or other intellectual property that is so encumbered. As a photographer, I have a great deal of respect for others' intellectual property rights and for the concerns of the rightsholders. However I do not embed DRM in any of my images sold online because I believe it is unfair to the buyer, and I urge the FTC to take action against those that do. Sincerely yours, Andrew Slayman
Comment Number: 539814-00807
Received: 2/14/2009 8:43:52 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Marian Routh
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 am not in the general demographic of the music and games industry customers, but I am the person who pays for their products for the general demographic customers (the kids). Here's what I want: When I buy music, whether it is a CD or from a download service like iTunes or a physical CD I buy at a brick-and-mortar store, I want to: a. Back up that music onto another CD so I can play it in the car. b. I want to be able to play the music on my computer without anything being installed. c. I want to be able to rip the songs off the CD to play on my computer if I don't want to use the CD. d. I want to be able to put the music on whatever handheld portable player I have, whether it is an iPod or something else. When I buy a movie DVD, I want to be able to back it up once so that if the original gets ruined, I don't have to buy another DVD. Sorry, but I just don't want to buy the damn thing twice. I guess the movie people will just have to cut down on their cocaine use and buy a slightly less expensive grade of caviar for the evening. When I buy a computer or console game, I want to do the same thing. I'd love to have the ability to make one backup copy and maybe pay a little extra ($10-20 or so) for the license to put the game on more than one computer. The technology is available to do this. I do not want to be limited to the number of times I can install a program or game and I do not want to have to activate anything. There should be no time limits as to how long I can use the game or program WHICH I BOUGHT. I might want to play the game or use the program years after the company has folded and/or the original activation servers decommissioned. And I don't want to be treated like a criminal. After all, I'm not pirating any of these things. I'm actually putting out great wads of cash for these products. And I'm not stooping to calling the music, movie, and game industry greedy bastards, am I? We could be civilized about this.
Comment Number: 539814-00808
Received: 2/14/2009 10:56:25 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Karl Plesz
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 are many reasons why DRM is bad, but I will limit my examples to a few. Consumers don't buy products, even electronic ones, with the desire to have their use of the product restricted in any way. When you buy a sandwich, you do not have to agree to an EULA that promises not to copy the sandwich recipe or share your sandwich with others, or make your own sandwich. When you buy a car, you do not have to check in with a license server every day to validate that you are the legitimate owner of the car. But because of the current business model of the creators and distributors of electronic content, consumers are being forced to accept more and more restrictive measures placed on their purchases in the interest of protecting against piracy. Once the argument that piracy is the root of all under performing profits has been won in the government circle, businesses will use this excuse as a justification for the inclusion of ever more restrictive measures on content and electronic devices. But what only a few businesses are beginning to realize is that consumers only take abuse for so long before they abandon a failing model and move to an alternative. But not all consumers are informed enough to realize they are being abused. So while it could be argued that letting market forces decide whether DRM is bad for consumers, this does not protect those who fall victim to the effects of DRM in the first place. When content requires a DRM infrastructure in place to function, and if the creators of that DRM no longer support that infrastructure, the consumer is left holding content or a device that no longer functions. They have no obvious legal recourse. No means of getting their money back. They are never sufficiently warned that the DRM that is necessary for the supposed viability of the content creator can be cancelled, without warning. Nor is this abandonment an expectation of the consumer. The owner of any product expects that their ownership and rights to continue using said product do not expire prematurely. While I sympathize with content creators in that modern technology has made it possible to copy everything as a byproduct of the inherent abilities of the technology, this doesn't give creators the right to fool consumers into thinking that when they buy a product, in reality they are now only leasing it or renting it - for a large sum of money. If the terms of our relationship with creators must change to preserve their profitability (an argument I don't accept at face value), then creators need to be honest with us regarding the actual rights we have regarding the product. Users should not be legally bound to cryptic EULAs that cannot be challenged or analyzed before purchasing the product. It is the role of government to protect the consumer, but it seems that once government sides with the creator of content, the consumer's rights become secondary. DRM does not prevent piracy. But it sure does make criminals out of ordinary consumers and punish those who would use what they purchase the way they expect to. For DRM to be allowed to exist, it should be mandatory for content creators to prove that DRM actually works, and for the most part it does not. DRM should preserve the rights of consumers and it does not. DRM should not interfere with the normal expectations of consumers to use their devices and content in a reasonable manner and it does in fact interfere. So why should it be allowed?
Comment Number: 539814-00809
Received: 2/14/2009 11:59:28 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Forsythe
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:

Throughout the years I have purchased many big-name video games. On many occassions, the game has refused to run until I have uninstalled a piece of software it decided I shouldn't have on my computer. In another case, some games will refuse to run if I have run certain applications before running the game. For example, I am a computer programmer by trade and sometimes use an application called Process Monitor. If I open this application and then close it completely but then try to launch Overlord, the game will refuse to run citing Process Monitor as the culprit. I have to reboot before the game will launch. It is ridiculous that I should have to uninstall certain legal pieces of software, or even stop using one related to my trade altogether, just because a game thinks I shouldn't. Note that I was not informed before buying the games that they had these limitations, nor was I offered compensation when the game discovered I didn't comply with it's completely unknown rule-set. I wasn't able to return the games because store policies are very strict about opened software. My only resort is to not play at all or uninstall the "offending" software. It's not ok for a game/product to dictate what legally purchased software I am allowed to have on my own computer without being informed of the condition beforehand. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Comment Number: 539814-00810
Received: 2/14/2009 12:00:23 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Dale Vawter
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:

Hello. It is my personal opinion that DRM should NOT, repeat NOT be allowed on ANY media, whether video, audio, games, or any other form. It is a violation of the rights of ownership of the purchaser. Thank you. Dale Vawter
Comment Number: 539814-00811
Received: 2/14/2009 12:31:30 PM
Organization:
Commenter: J Nicholson-Owens
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:

All DRM needs to be disclosed to the consumer before purchase, just as side-effects in drugs are advertised in drug ads. All DRM needs to be listed on websites, boxes, and any other materials used to distribute the product or service to the consumer. Consumers must have multiple ways of easily understanding what DRM is involved in the product or service so that they will be informed about the product or service before buying or using the product or service. Non-commercial products and services should not be exempted from full disclosure requirements. Consumers must also have the freedom to disable and describe DRM techniques to others. Defeating DRM on our own gadgets and services is critical to preserving our media so we can play the media even in the absence of the DRM manager (DRM publishers/controllers go away and often leave users with no means to play the media they paid for). Libraries should not buy DRM-encumbered media but if they do, they must have the freedom to make DRM-disabled fully-functional copies of these works in perpetuity. DRM is more accurately and fairly known as Digital Restrictions Management because of its effect on the user, the majority of people involved. Framing the issue as Digital Rights Management means adopting the perspective of the publisher, the minority. For more on why DRM is harmful, read http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/opposing-drm.html an article published in BusinessWeek magazine and written by Richard Stallman.
Comment Number: 539814-00812
Received: 2/14/2009 2:06:24 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Travis Harper
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:

A story about how ridiculous DRM is. I purchased a game online from Direct2drive about 6 mos ago called Supreme Commander. It is protected by Securom and an activation limit. (I'll explain downward) So, about a week ago I go to install this game again because I haven't played it in a while and had an itch too. Lo and behold, I cannot play the game because of an "activation limit" and I "need to contact customer support". Keep in mind this is a week ago. I still have not heard back from customer support, and haven't been able to play my game. Legally. The only resolution I had was too, yes, pirate the game all over again. See who this DRM affects? It's not the pirates -- but the legitimate consumers. Just to play a game I PURCHASED, I had to go through illegal channels because the game was infected with DRM. Theres clearly something wrong when the illegal version of the game works and the legal one doesn't.
Comment Number: 539814-00813
Received: 2/14/2009 6:51:12 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Tanya McHenry
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:

I have installed and had to re-install many games and other type of software after upgrading computer components, updating other software or having some sort problem with either hardware and/or software. Installation limits is just a illegal attempt by the industry to destroy second-hand market sales, of which they have been complaining about for years, and to punish paying customers into buying software again and again, later down the road. DRM limitations are rarely clearly written on a retail box, if they are mentioned at all, difficult to read when they are as the print is tiny, and difficult to understand in wordy, "legalize" text of the End User Agreements. Forcing consumers to to rely on servers that must be accessed online with those servers having the potential to become unsupported at the whim of the company ensures purchases cannot last longer than the company itself. As we enter a period where companies are filing bankruptcy and are ceasing to exist, it important to note that the companies that bought and sold products, or created products that were sold to consumers are not disabling the said products as they exit the market. DRM is a means for corporations to ensure revenues they know will not continue if that revenue was reliant upon quality products being produced and good customer service alone. The software industry as whole, doesn't even stand up to it's own advertising as it is, often releasing poor quality products, products that do not perform as advertised, and products consumers cannot return for refund. It is our right as consumers to not only legally resell our products as we see fit, but to continue to use the products we legally purchased without having to beg permission from the company for the right to utilize our games and our software after we have already paid for it. It doesn't matter if the company intends to give frequent installs, or more installs, or keep servers running. Promises are not contracts. And there should be, under no circumstance, a market that allows an industry this much control of their product after it is sold to the point where their consumers become reliant upon their good graces to continue to use what we, the consumers, purchased. It also is important to note the digital distribution does not address the reselling limtations or the reliant on existing servers to still exist in some form even in the near future.
Comment Number: 539814-00814
Received: 2/14/2009 8:16:35 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Mark Savage
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:

Artists Need to be compensated. Period. Producers and distributors need to be compensated, too, otherwise they'll go somewhere else to do business and music will die. If DRM isn't going to work, then find another way: License fees from ISPs? Licenses from users like the British TV license? A public music fund, distributed to artists in proportion to their popularity? It could be possible to track every play of every work on public and private machines and report use. Artist would be paid from a fund based on play,public and private. Users would have a slight incentive to opt into the program because every time they play a song they love, they're benefiting an artist they love. But this is pie in the sky. Artist deserve compensation. Keep DRM
Comment Number: 539814-00815
Received: 2/14/2009 9:00:58 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Myles Uhlir
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:

DRM is not bad in general. Protecting ones product from piracy is a right companies have. However, they should not punish legitimate customers with restrictions such as a limited number of installs, programs like Starforce that can damage a customers computer, or requiring a customer to be connected to a server to authenticate legitimacy every time a user want to play a game. Companies like Stardock and Valve, with their distribution systems Impulse and Steam, respectively, are on the right track with protecting their product while not excessively restricting legitimate customers. Instead of enforcing restrictive measures to thwart piracy, they require little to no authentication to play the game out of the box. In fact, Stardock requires nothing to play their games unless you want updates or to play online and I feel it is not unreasonable to expect customers to prove legitimacy to access this extra content. Valve is a bit more restrictive, requiring at least one online authentication to play most of its games, but once you do prove legitimacy once you can play most games without this continued authentication. The fact is, unless game produces and computer producers collaborate to make PCs similar to gaming consoles such as XBOX360 or Playstation3, games will always be pirated despite any DRM present. Look at the recent release of 'Spore' by EA. Despite all the restrictive DRM present, it was still pirated and in fact probably pirated more since consumers who bought it legitimately faced enormous restrictions such as limited installs and a DRM program 'SecuROM' which until installation, the consumer is never informed of. Pirates, on the other hand, did not have to deal with those problems, and as such actually receive a better gaming experience then those who are legitimate customers. It is this kind of backward thinking that leads to public outcry and more pirating instead of less. The future of DRM should lie in companies like Stardock and Valve mentioned above that reward legitimate customers instead of punishing them. They understand the piracy is not something you can stop with programs and limited installs as pirates simply remove these features and circumvent DRM all together. Strategies such as limtied installs and backdoor programs such as SecuROM or Starforce actually drive away customers and encourage pirating since the pirated version often offers a better gaming experience then a legitimate copy.
Comment Number: 539814-00816
Received: 2/14/2009 10:01:46 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Alway
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 is an inconvenience to customers' ability to make use of a product they have paid for. I have heard many, and indeed personally experienced, cases in which a lost CD or CD key causes the inability to either play or install a game; specifically when installing an old game on a new system. Another concern is the lack of notification before the installation of DRM, some of which negatively affects system stability and overall system quality. Most DRM is also difficult if not impossible to uninstall without a complete wipe of the hard drive. Use of DRM is an illogical choice for gaming companies. DRM only drives away potential customers, since pirated versions are completely DRM free, which means most gamers see the pirated version as superior quality. As shown by the EA Spore debacle, DRM drives piracy up, and sales down. Some companies use only a CD key, which is only required to download patches and not required to play the game. Most gamers see this as an acceptable balance between protecting the company's interests and protecting the rights of the consumer who purchased the game.
Comment Number: 539814-00817
Received: 2/14/2009 11:00:58 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Anonymous Swede
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 will be brief. A fundamental problem with the implementation of DRM is that it is done without the consumers' consent or awareness. No matter what type of DRM is utilized, the consumer must have that information available. Secret rootkits installed by privately owned companies with unlimited access to personal files - this is DRM today. DRM is a necessity in the fight against piracy. But it must not come at the expense of consumer privacy. The consumer must be made aware BY THE PRODUCER OR THE PUBLISHER of digital goods, what DRM will be utilized to ensure the legal / authorized use of the good. If the DRM information is available, then it becomes a consumer choice. If it is not, then DRM will remain a small step away from criminal acts of invading privacy. Software producers have had the opportunity to produce DRM that is commonly accepted. Some have failed. The DRM of today has grown so powerful, that admitting it is implemented in a digital good is simply no longer possible. Now legislation is needed, that demands that full information is easily available to the consumer regarding DRM in a good, to ensure that the companies stop tricking the consumers. How this is best implemented, I leave in the hands of better minds.
Comment Number: 539814-00818
Received: 2/15/2009 12:03:56 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Kyle Tay
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:

Simply put DRM is inherently broken. We the consumer get the short end of the stick because we get punished for being honest. The whole point of DRM is to prevent piracy, and it has been shown time and time again that it is not capable of even that. Hardcore pirates can crack DRM in a matter of days or even hours. At the same time DRM has gotten more and more secretive and intrusive. It has gotten so bad that many people will forgo paying money for a game simply because it has the DRM in it. DRM drives the costs of games up and drives the number of games sold down. A losing combination no matter how you look at it.
Comment Number: 539814-00819
Received: 2/15/2009 12:38:53 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Erik Larsen
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:

Depending on who you are, DRM is either a boon (to publishers) or a bane (consumers). A publisher can lock their content to any hardware they want, and a consumer must buy that hardware in order to view/play that content. And of course, DRM can prevent a file from being used on any other device. Otherwise it wouldn't be DRM. Do I believe that DRM is harmful to the American economy? Yes. Do I think it is beneficial to the American People? No. But it is benefical to the 'gatekeepers' wanting to control the world's access to our own cultures. Pay-Per-Read/Access/View is the ultimate dream of DRM. What becomes of American cultural history and intellectual freedom if the ability to access that culture and freedom is tightly controlled by those who have a vested interest in making money off of it? Should commerical organizations that have had only limited influence in the creation of our heritage be allowed to completely control our access to our heritage? Are we doomed to a future where Johnny can't read a history book because he doesn't have the appropriate reading license?
Comment Number: 539814-00820
Received: 2/15/2009 1:22:51 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Benoit Tremblay
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 would like to comment to say I have personally been wronged by DRMs found on material I legally purchased in brick and mortar stores to use on my unaltered equipment. DRMs have prevented music from playing properly in my car, they have prevented games from playing properly on my PC as well. The DRM program was creating a conflict with another application, preventing me from playing my game. The trouble resulted in loss of data over reinstalling my Operating System to correct the situation. They also offer no warranty or support in the long run for the consumer. If someone bought a vynil and had a deck to play it on 30 years ago, it would still work today. Items purchased today offer none such warranty and without warning products using a DRM may become unusable. A solution would be to encourage proprietary formats and legislate the sale of publicly sold copy making devices. Legislate peer-to-peer networks and application as it seems they are above the law and encourage criminal file sharing. DRMs do not do anyone any good but the people who are selling them. They are like ticking bombs ready to wreck medias (see the Gears of War for PC for a recent example). They punish legal customers and hardly limit people with illegal intents. Regards, Benoit Tremblay
Comment Number: 539814-00821
Received: 2/15/2009 3:43:24 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Smith
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:

I will not buy this game if DRM is anywhere near this game. Which would make me sad because I was looking forward to this game. On another note STEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. If the game is good it will sell. EA complains about piracy because they put out shitty games riddled with bugs and then ask you to pay for DLC. So if you have no faith in the quality of your game then by all means put DRM in it. It will get cracked before release date and cost you dearly. You will lose respect from the pc community, you will lose any chance of increasing your fan base, most importantly you will lose money.
Comment Number: 539814-00822
Received: 2/15/2009 3:53:00 AM
Organization:
Commenter: jason powell
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 lost $30 and hours of my life buying a video game called crysis warhead at the circuit city going out of business sale do to DRM. The game would not install or activate and it installed a virus called securom onto my pc which corrupted my operating system forcing me into hours of a microsoft vista 64 reinstall. I thought I was getting a bargain it turned into a living hell and I didn't have get to play use what I had paid for. What these companies are doing is illegal and must be stopped I had no warning or notification that a simple video game loaded with this trojan would ruin my computer. No where on the package was there a warning. This is criminal and fraud. I took the game and smashed it into bits and am also considering a lawsuit against the game makers over the loses I have incurred. Just look at the reviews on a shopping site 90% of paying customers have been defrauded, http://www.amazon.com/Electronic-Arts-15775-Crysis-Warhead/review/product/B001ATHKVC/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
Comment Number: 539814-00823
Received: 2/15/2009 4:38:09 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Evan Combs
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:

Basically this comes down to do companies have the right to control the media they sold after the consumer has bought and payed for that media. The answer is no. Once the person has payed for the media he/she should have the ability to do whatever he/she pleases with it short of selling or distributing copies of the media. In the case of video games there are other ways to prevent people from installing a game onto a friends computer, allowing the friend to play the game without actually transferring ownership. One of these ways is through having a disk check when starting the game, so that only the person with the disk could play the game. If piracy is to stop the only way to do it is by going after those who distribute the pirated media. If people can't find a source to download a pirated copy of any kind of media they don't have a way to get their hands on the media short of actually paying money for that media. Finally I would like to add in the case of music the reason for so much piracy is because of poor business practices and overpricing of material.
Comment Number: 539814-00824
Received: 2/15/2009 5:36:00 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Prendergast
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:

There are two main problems with DRM schemes: 1) Incompatibility 2) Truth The first issue means that digital rights management will inevitably not work at some point in time either through a conflict with another piece of legitimate software (such as CD or DVD-making tools) or because of a lack of access to a particular service (such as activation servers). The second issue comes from the fact that the people using DRM schemes are hiding the true nature of the sale of a product to their customers. Some companies (especially in highly specialised areas such as short-hand computer software in legal areas) make it easily apparent to the consumer the legal and literal limits of the purchase whether that is a short-term rental license or a one-time purchase of an expensive hardware 'dongle' to enable the software to work. However, in more mass-market areas, companies are less forthcoming with the truth behind a sale: they hide behind click wrap agreements and non-refundable/returnable purchases (e.g. Video game and software sales) which effectively lock the consumer into buying a full priced rental copy due to the DRM restrictions that are never fully disclosed on the packaging at the point of purchase. Companies that have revealed the exact limitations on their DRM schemes in the past have not faired well in under the public eye - DivX, a company that provided fairly expensive, one-time or limited use disc-based movies which would become unusable after a short period quickly removed itself from the consumer market in this area: DVD rentals were cheaper and allowed repeated viewings. Therefore it can be interpreted that the general consumer does not like and will not tolerate DRM schemes of this nature on their full-priced purchases and that the reason why these schemes are still ongoing today is because the majority of consumers do not know they exist or how they limit their purchased goods until this limitation is met. In fact the CEO of EA (John Riccitiello) has stated as much (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/riccitiello-i-personally-dont-like-drm) "We implemented a form of DRM and it's something that 99.8 per cent of users wouldn't notice. But for the other 0.2 per cent it became an issue, and a number of them launched a cabal online to protest against it." Having performed a brief survey of my social group (none of whom are hugely technologically literate) none of the surveyed people would wish to pay for items which cost the same as a similar or same product in recent history but had a DRM scheme applied to it once the term DRM and the specific limitations of that DRM were explained to them. However, some of them had unwittingly done so. This issue is further compounded by the fact that the majority of online retailers fail to display the DRM limitations at the point of sale and once a piece of software has been opened it cannot be returned. In fact many DRM schemes on videogame and home-use software have been discovered by the users themselves only for these schemes to be denied and then finally confirmed by the companies responsible. I'm a big advocate of consumer choice but when companies fail to trust consumers with the knowledge that allows them a fair choice then the burden of employing a fair outcome falls on legislation. I may not live in the USA, however, many of the companies employing these techniques are headquartered within the USA or have a large proportion of their business based within the USA and thus any positive consumer decision will also affect the world outside of the USA.
Comment Number: 539814-00825
Received: 2/15/2009 7:02:08 AM
Organization: None
Commenter: Dean Roberts
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 refuse to be treated as a thief everytime I purchase a game for my PC. Once I have bought it there should be NO limits on how many times I install/reinstall it or whether I lend it to other people etc. as it is MY game which I bought with MY money.
Comment Number: 539814-00826
Received: 2/15/2009 7:08:49 AM
Organization:
Commenter: lakatos
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 is uncalled for and is quite useless. DRM neither stops nor discourages pirates, infact it's the opposite. By using DRM companies are giving crackers/hackers something to do, offering them a challenge if you will, to beat there coding. By removing DRM crackers have nothing to crack making it more likely they'ed go out and buy the game/program. Companies claim that DRM helps protect sales however consumers who are fed up with companies telling them how to use products they bought dont buy items with DRM decreasing sales, further more products like games sell on the fan base of that certain genre, franchise, publisher, and development team. As of late games from companies that dont use DRM have been more successful as the companies are focused on the content and not on piracy, which increases sales as the end product has more substance. Companies like Stardock and IronClad (the makers of Sins of a Solar Empire) continue to put out great games with out DRM. DRM should be removed from games, removing the challenge to crackers. Its time that the little guy, the buyer, doesnt get screwed by the big corperations that only care about there profits.
Comment Number: 539814-00827
Received: 2/15/2009 7:40:17 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Vicki Trosper
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:

Securom changed my anti-virus settings. This left my computer vulnerable. It also was installed without my knowledge and did not uninstall when the game was uninstalled. Took someone with tech knowledge to remove it from my system.
Comment Number: 539814-00828
Received: 2/15/2009 8:45:52 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Ron Watkins
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:

Comments:

(||| marks paragraphs)||| Bruce Schneier, one of the leading security experts worldwide, said it best: trying to make bits not copyable is like trying to make water not wet.||| In the era of physical books and CDs, you could read a book or listen to music wherever you wanted; you could take them to a friend's house and read or listen to them there, and leave them behind if you wished. But you couldn't easily create copies of it and share those; you couldn't give your book to a friend and keep it yourself too.||| Unfortunately, like it or not, we can do that now. The world is changing. Manufacturers try to use DRM to make bits work like old media, but they don't stop there, instead going far further. It's quite normal, for instance, for modern DRM-laden computer games to lock themselves to a specific piece of hardware; you can only play the game, EVER, on three computers. After the third one, the game won't activate anymore, and you can't play it. And you generally can't resell your DRMed goods, even if you give up your only copy. Once you've bought it, you can no longer transfer it. This, all by itself, destroys the used market, which has been a major force for cultural dissemination pretty much since Mr. Gutenberg had his bright idea. In a all-DRM world, there will be no more used media.||| DRM, in other words, has been a profound invasion of consumer rights; it abrogates the First Sale Doctrine, and attempts to control HOW a customer can use a product.||| Further, DRM systems are inherently fragile, because the customer must get both the encrypted bits AND the key to decode it, or he/she can't use it. It's easy to see why piracy would be impossible to stop in this circumstance; if you can see it, you can copy it somehow. And once it's been copied that first time, all further copies are perfect and nearly free.||| The producers and distributors of the world are based on the idea of scarce media, of duplication and distribution having value. These functions are almost free on the Net. There's very little reason for the record companies to exist. Their business model, that of mass duplication and distribution of high-quality music, has evaporated. Anyone can do what they do now; even a used, $50 computer can make perfectly good, playable CDs or DVDs, and transferring a bitperfect copy of a CD to most places in the world can be done in under an hour on a residential net connection.||| I'm not sure they've realized that, and they're trying very hard to get you, the government, involved in their travails. We can be fined HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS for online copyright infringement, but if we'd shoplifted the same CD, actively depriving the owners of real goods, we face a few hundred dollar fine and maybe a little jail time. The penalties have been increased to the point of insanity, and yet people are still copying media like crazy.||| It's time for private industry to adapt to the new reality that distributors *have no further function* in a world with the Internet. They are trying to use the regulatory power of the government to preserve an obsolete business model. This will be enormously expensive, it will pit the government against its own citizens, it's not an area that you should be involved in, and it won't even work!||| So what's the solution? I don't know. I know that DRM is clearly bad, and that if the industry wants to continue to make money, they need to figure out a way to prosper in the 21st century, without involving the police. If you have to use the police to scare people into giving you money, your business model has failed. The industry needs to be focusing on new business models, not hijacking your good offices to try to avoid adapting to market realities.||| At the very least, get the First Sale Doctrine re-enshrined in all DRM products. And get online copyright infringement penalties back to something reasonable. In its current form, the law is a travesty.|||
Comment Number: 539814-00829
Received: 2/15/2009 11:14:36 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Michael Soldwisch
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 software limits the consumer's options in purchases while hackers are able to easily remove every DRM ever released and continue using pirated data at their leisure. These measures only hurt the honest consumer who doesn't use hacks or cracks. - DRM does not stop or slow down piracy, look at the PC game Spore. I can obtain an illegal copy DRM-free within a couple hour download. If I purchase the game, I have to deal with DRM issues that range from the small "I can only install this on a couple computers" to the more extreme "my CD-ROM drive won't read the disc because of the DRM". - I completely understand the desire to protect intellectual property. If there is no protection at all, many people won't earn the money they've worked very hard for, and in the future others won't step up if they feel it would just be stolen. DRM software makes a developer or producer "feel better" but that's all it does. It makes the consumer infuriated and if possible they will obtain your software DRM-free (read illegally). - As for DRM in music files, I think the majority of the music world has figured out it doesn't work. With all of Itunes plus giving their music DRM free now, you can see the sales climb. The first time I purchased a digital music download I was unable to burn it to a CD to listen to in my car. I was also unable to play it in one of my favorite games that uses music - Audiosurf. - I didn't buy another piece of music until they offered it DRM-free. I now buy Itunes music regularly. I can feel comfortable that the music will play in any device I choose, and that leads to more purchases.
Comment Number: 539814-00830
Received: 2/15/2009 11:21:07 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Jason Batten
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 writing to you today to urge you to consider regulating the anti-consumer technology known as DRM. StarForce DRM, in particular is one I will specifically comment on. This DRM is used to protect PC titles such as DCS: Black Shark developed by the Russian firm Eagle Dynamics. In general, this software allows a maximum number of (5) installs of the software in conjunction with a new operating system install. For the majority of users, this is not an appropriate limitation. Because of shortcomings by Microsoft and computer hardware vendors, Windows computers may sometimes require multiple operating system installs. These installs are usually attempted as a troubleshooting method for various reasons, hardware and software related. When this install limit is reached, StarForce will no longer allow installation of the protected software. Eagle Dynamics, will then at their discretion decide if the user is "allowed" install the software again. To many consumers, this form of software distribution is more comparable to a rental, instead of a sale. This form of DRM is echoed amongst many major PC game publishers today. My recommendation, as a PC developer and gamer is twofold. Formulate a strategy that will serve to better inform consumers about DRM, and heavily restrict the use of install limits for PC game software. I understand this submission is late but would be grateful to see it entered into the record. Thank you for your time.
Comment Number: 539814-00831
Received: 2/15/2009 11:31:36 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Michael Anders
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:

DRM is useless to fight piracy, and only works to prevent paying customers their ability to use their purchases. My wife and I refuse to purchase DRM "protected" anything and encourage our friends and family to do the same. We are much better off in the long run by choosing to buy DRM-Free merchandise, and that's how we're going to keep it.
Comment Number: 539814-00832
Received: 2/15/2009 11:54:07 AM
Organization:
Commenter: James Freeman
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:

Until a perfect DRM is made, they will punish the consumer, while providing only a minor annoyance to a pirate.
Comment Number: 539814-00833
Received: 2/15/2009 1:56:29 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Henry Velick
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 simply is not worth the trouble. Its trade-offs help no one. The "piracy" it prevents is only that of casual sharing between friends. The commercial bootleggers find a way around DRM, and always will. And those users who are prevented from sharing with their friends are also subject to many unintended problems, including reduced reliability of their systems, increased vulnerability to malware, and complete loss of their purchases when the vendor can no longer support the DRM. Add to this the intangible loss of giving up some measure of control over one's computer, music player, game system, or other technical device to some unknown party. Who knows what they may decide to do with that control? If they won't trust their customers, why should their customers trust them? No consumer wants DRM. It makes products more complex, less reliable, and more expensive. Vendors of easily-duplicated goods have been complaining for over a century (look at the label of the old Edison phonograph cylinders), and still making a great deal of money. There is no need to give them even more control, especially at the expense of their customers.
Comment Number: 539814-00834
Received: 2/15/2009 2:22:09 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Bruce Springston
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:

DRM was created to stop piracy. It doesn't work. Pirates put the games with DRM up in a matter for hours. What DOES work however, is the game companies ability to spy on people using DRM, limit the number of installs on their LEGIT customers who do keep the DRM on, and other things they never tell you beforehand. It's pointless, and a scam.
Comment Number: 539814-00835
Received: 2/15/2009 2:34:56 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Guillaume Klein
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 am not a US citizen but i know that anything of importance happening in the USA will have an impact in my country shortly after. So i am writing my concerns about DRM systems to you. I understand the need for hardware manufacturers and publishers to protect their content and make sure people using their products have the right to do it, unfortunately DRM have serious limitations that, in my opinion, harm consumers a lot. Normally, when consumers buy a product whether physical product or pure digital over the internet, consumers gain some rights over the product they buy : first they own the product, they have the right to use it the way the product was designed to be used but also in any other way the consumer wants to use the product (legal fair use), and consumers have the right to resell the product whenever they want, to whoever they want, at the price they want, etc... Current DRM systems do not allow consumers to do all this. So in order to be legal, they force consumers to accept the end-user-license-agreement (EULA). Unfortunately, these EULAs are so long and complex they can't fit on the box. Reading the EULA after having bought the product is very time consuming and most consumers feel so eager to use the product they have already bought that they just accept the EULA without reading it. This issue happens both for retail products (where consumers buy the product before being even prompted with the EULA) and online shops (where consumers buy the product at the same time or almost the same time as they are prompted with the EULA) So when consumers finally want to use the product in the way consumers think they have the right to use it : the DRM system applies the restrictions provided by the EULA and blocks the consumer. Therefore the consumer considers the DRM the be at fault. An other issue comes when the consumers still keep their rights but DRM system is incomplete and isn't able to provide the consumer some of his rights. In order to be able to access his rights, the consumer needs to contact the product manufacturer or publisher in order to unlock the DRM system : the simple fact of having to contact anyone in order to benefit from a personnal right is not normal and can be intimidating for consumers. There is a very strong probability that the consumer will be so intimidated by the process that the consumer will resign from benefiting of his rights. Last is about the future of DRM systems and consumers rights. Consumer rights over intellectual property used to be set by national and international intellectual property laws and agreements. These were good because they allow consumers to buy products protected by Intellectual Property laws without having to sign annoying paperwork : an equivalent contract is automatically established by law. They also ensure that consumers get fair rights against publishers who have a monopoly over their work and who might be tempted to reduce consumers rights. The issue with DRM is that they allow the blind and automatic enforcement of unfair EULAs to circumvent consumers rights. I am afraid that, in the future, publishers and hardware manufacturers will use DRM systems to force consumers to accept even more restrictive and unfair EULAs and resign from their legal rights. I hope you will be able to find a way to make sure next generation DRM systems will not harm consumers for example by making mandatory for DRM systems to manage all the legal rights of consumers, or if DRM systems are not able to provide consumers with their rights, to make sure the products are not sold in the same way than traditional products, and be clearly labelled on the product that the DRM system does not allow the consumer to use all the rights provided by law. I wish you good luck ! Thank you.
Comment Number: 539814-00836
Received: 2/15/2009 2:38:04 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Willaim Faust
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 needs to be clearly outlawed. It steps all over the first-sale doctrine and acts as a big brother holding every customer -yes customer not consumer nor subscriber, hostage to the media companies whims and balance sheets. How many DRM systems have been implemented then abandoned when they were not longer a profitable venture or no longer worked for the company strategic plan? Nearly a dozen if memory serves. Guess what happened to the customers who "purchased" those products? They got ripped off - nay stolen from in my opinion when the product they thought they purchased stopped working! DRM is just plain wrong. We have police to enforce the laws of the land, companies should not be allowed to assume even a degree of the role of such agencies since such a system is a serious conflict of interest on so many levels as well as a slippery slop as we have already seen. For example, if you want proof of this, just look at the RIAA after assuming the copyright "enforcement" role and how it has twisted the civil courts - not criminal ones (which is where any such action should take place first in my opinion) via the law into a ten ton hammer to wield over the populous. Yet DRM on music is pretty much dead now and oddly enough to the amazement of the RIAA DRM free music sales are setting record levels year on year! The rest of the media world should follow suit and very quickly. There were many, many products I have not purchased over the past few years that I could have easily acquired but chose not to because of the Stalinistic DRM policy employed by the developers and publishers. Moreover when most customers try to complain about such things on official public forums they get shut down quickly by the companies. If DRM is so great and needed then why keep it covered in such secrecy? The answer is simple. It is because the people doing it know it is inherently wrong or they are using it for other purposes. There are many other issues such as privacy, black lists, damage to hardware and other software -etc... that I have not even touch on yet to also consider and of course when one looks at all of it, the baggage that comes with DRM, one can only conclude that it is a bad thing for everyone and the more draconian it becomes the more the public will rebel. In short, stop DRM here. Stop DRM now! It does not do what it is publically claimed to do but it does have many other nefarious profit driven uses. Simply put DRM does not serve the public interest one iota.
Comment Number: 539814-00837
Received: 2/15/2009 2:52:56 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Erik Bergman
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:

Computer games companies in particular seem determined to circumvent consumer rights in a failed attempt to prevent a small portion of the public from violating their copyright. Their products often include DRM programs that must be installed to use them and can not be easily removed from a computer, even after the primary software has been uninstalled. In some cases a special program must be downloaded from an official website. In other cases the program can never be removed without completely erasing or replacing a computer's primary hard drive. No regard is given to the consumer's time or money that must be taken to remove these invasive programs. Further, the requirement to install these programs are never clearly stated on the game's box. This leaves an unaware owner in the unfortunate position of either having to install invasive software or attempt to return the now opened game. Most stores are extremely reluctant to accept returns on opened computer products. Further, these programs almost completely fail at their intended goal. For example Spore had some of the most invasive and extensive copy protection software in computer gaming history. Within days it was also the most pirated game ever. Even legitimate consumers downloaded the pirated copy to avoid subjecting their computers to the potentially damaging software included in the retail product. I personally have passed up numerous games I would otherwise have purchased at launch due to these invasive procedure. Two titles that I was highly anticipating but never bought were Freedom Force Versus The Third Reich and Spore. I had been very excited for these games but did not buy them for the reasons stated above. I did not pirate them either. I simply spent my time and money on products produced by companies that show more respect and consideration for their customers. The DRM software included on many modern computer games has several effects. It lowers sales. It encourages piracy. It punishes honest consumers. The one thing it does not do is prevent piracy. It is time for game companies to look to the music industry. They have dropped their most stringent DRM models in favor of the consumer's right to use legitimately purchased products. Why should computer games be treated so differently.
Comment Number: 539814-00838
Received: 2/15/2009 3:29:55 PM
Organization: Self
Commenter: John Hughes
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:

My issue with DRM is that it makes it impossible for users of the Linux operating system (an alternative to Windows or MacOS) to use many forms of online and purchased media. The strictness of DMCA and the fact that companies treat Linux, and even MacOS users, as business not worth pursuing. They will also not work with the Free/Open Source software (FOSS) developers to create versions of the software to use their media that work with Linux. Again, the DMCA restrictions serve as a legal barrier to FOSS. This has been a continuing problem: difficulty watching DVD movies, total lack of BlueRay support, few video games. DMCA and any other laws that cover DRM should be amended to require that companies must either provide versions of their media, and/or player software, for all PC operating systems that are capable of using their product, or alternatively provide sufficient documentation, with no licensing fees, to FOSS developers so that they can write and maintain the software for that works with that media. The penalty for not doing this should be that they lose any right to prevent FOSS developers from reverse engineering their products and software to produce FOSS versions.
Comment Number: 539814-00839
Received: 2/15/2009 3:42:09 PM
Organization:
Commenter: David Downer
State: OK
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:

We are all told that DRM exists in computer games to curb piracy. This isn't funny at all - I don't like being called a pirate. The people that have cracked computer games for the last few decades are still doing it today, DRM included. So, while I'm an honest customer of my favorite game producing companies (Stardock), and Ex-favorite companies that now use this "technology" (i.e. EA Games), I am the one who is hurt by it. I pay my hard earned $50 for a new game, but I don't own the game anymore. Now it's like paying $50 to rent the game, because the next time Microshaft Windows crashes and I have to reinstall my operating system, or the next time my computer gets so sluggish, I format my drive and reinstall the OS (usually every 6 months to a year), or the next time I upgrade my computer (every chance I can afford it), I use up one my my installs according to DRM, while the real pirates have been enjoying the game hassle free all along. So what is DRM really accomplishing besides punishing honest customers??? If nothing else, it's actually promoting piracy in my opinion. I'm not even getting into the root kit installations without my consent. Are they serious????? This is a horrible way to control piracy, and I'm sure companies that use this "technology" are already feeling it's effects in their wallets...at least I hope so. I know I will not be buying any more games/software with DRM. I'll go without.
Comment Number: 539814-00840
Received: 2/15/2009 4:47:37 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Karen Gebbie
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:

As a player of games mostly sims 2 I was subject to having my brand new computer reformatted due to Securom the new DRM that EA now uses on all its games and which is not easily uninstalled,I was not aware that it was installed on my computer until I was seeking help at a sims 2 website and became aware of it due to other simmers who had been having problems with their computers due to this form of DRM,I was a lucky one due to getting the securom off my system before any problems arose, but unfortunatly others were not so lucky.I find it wrong and immoral that such a program installed itself on my computer without my knowledge and one that cannot be removed easily.Therefore I think any form of DRM such as Securom should not be allowed to be used as protection from piracy due to the many problems it has caused and continues to cause even today.
Comment Number: 539814-00841
Received: 2/15/2009 5:22:43 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Daniel White
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:

As a user with several computers and electronic devices, DRM is a rather irritating to me. After I've already bought and paid for a product, I should no longer need the company's permission to use it, provided I use it legally, and they are providing no further services. More to the point, DRM is not effective, and never will be effective. It does not, in any way, prevent piracy. Rather, it promotes it, since the pirated product, without DRM, is in many cases superior to the one legally sold. This, the fact that the pirated good, is superior to the purchased good, because of technology designed to prevent people from pirating the good, is the ultimate flaw of DRM as a concept, and a cause of injustice to consumers everywhere. I sincerely hope that the FTC does American consumers a service and outlaws such absurd practices.
Comment Number: 539814-00842
Received: 2/15/2009 6:03:33 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Jesse Vindiola
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 way I feel about DRM is that when I buy a product, a computer game, a piece of software, etc. I should be able to install the product on my computer, remove it, install it, remove it, and play it 5 years from now, 10...having a product that can only be installed 3 times, or for 1 year, or anything like that is infringing on my rights as a consumer. It's more like an extended rental than any real ownership of a product. If there is software in addition to what I paid for when I installed the product, I deserve to know about it, and I deserve to be able to know how to remove it.
Comment Number: 539814-00843
Received: 2/15/2009 9:03:31 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Sandy Warnstaff
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 has been the sole and only reason I no longer purchase almost any software. I have been locked out of over a dozen computer games due to faulty DRM systems, had my computer system adversely effected, bother performance and operating wise and encountered unwanted, unwelcome, and secretly installed drivers and services from DRM software. When bringing these issues up with publishers and/or developers on public forums, the typical response is that "anyone who is having problems with the copy protection is a pirate or illegitimate user". I no longer buy up to 25 new pieces of software per year, now rarely more then 4 per year. As a direct result of this, I have lost all confidence in the software industry as a whole, and I do not believe that I can safely buy any software. I no longer buy up to 25 new pieces of software per year like I used to, now rarely more then 4 per year.
Comment Number: 539814-00844
Received: 2/15/2009 11:23:00 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Manzanares
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:

I quote my own story, which I have told to others: The PC game Mass Effect did not work on my computer despite tech support. One email even insinuated that the SecuROM DRM would not let the game run because I had Norton Antivirus running. The game didn't work with Norton turned off, either. Eventually (About two weeks after I first contacted them), they told me to take back the game and buy the Xbox 360 version. No store here takes returns on PC games or even buys them used anymore, and EA wouldn't take it back. Plus, I am not buying an entire Xbox for several hundred dollars when I have a perfectly good PC. I was angry, so I downloaded a crack from online. In ten minutes, the game played perfectly. When pirates provide better service as well as a product that actually works, and the legitimate company does not, there is a problem. Not only that, but SecuROM is not the worst form of DRM either.
Comment Number: 539814-00845
Received: 2/16/2009 1:24:09 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Tuyen Tran
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:

With the most popular machines being the x86/x64 platform, DRM is currently unworkable, as it cannot effectively hide code and data sufficiently from other software. Even encryption cannot effectively protect content, as the decryption algorithm must expose itself in memory during decryption of the content. Rootkits and virtual machines can bypass OS memory restrictions. With hardware modifications, it may be theoretically possible to hide data in a way that virtual machines and rootkits cannot bypass, but it is currently not possible with the current x86/x64 platform. So why punish the legitimate consumer when you're trying to thin out the illegitimate ranks?
Comment Number: 539814-00846
Received: 2/16/2009 1:53:01 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Timothy Deffes
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:

It's a barbaric system and treats us customers like criminals. Just take a look at the Spore fiasco and how many negative reviews it received on amazon in just a few days. Originally Spore's DRM only allowed you to install it 3 times on any machine. How ever if you made any changes to that machine, like a hardware change it would be used up. In the end I paid 50 dollars just to rent a PC game? WTF. DRM fails in the end any ways. Spore was cracked and released to pirates a day before it came out any ways. So what can you conclude about DRM? 1. It treats customers like criminals and drives some to piracy 2. It is an epic fail and will always be bypassed, hacked and cracked in the end.
Comment Number: 539814-00847
Received: 2/16/2009 4:27:40 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Saari
State: WI
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:

DMR is a waste of both the producer and consumer's time, most studies I've read have stated that DRM only delays pirates by days. I understand that they have a right to protect their intellectual property, but when i buy something i don't want to feel like i spent 60 dollars and it's more like I've rented. Some of the DRM that has been used recently seems more like it punishes the consumer than preventing piracy.
Comment Number: 539814-00848
Received: 2/16/2009 4:27:56 AM
Organization:
Commenter: Matthew J. Wouters
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 not the answer. It only punishes the legal buyers. Requiring registration to access patches/updates encourages buyers to register for the patches/content. This also encourages companies to make quality games and provide a minimum level of service for their products.
Comment Number: 539814-00849
Received: 2/16/2009 11:39:58 AM
Organization: Command Computer Consulting
Commenter: Gary Petersen
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:

Digital Restrictions (DRM) frustrate my customers. They buy music on Itunes and want to transfer it to their laptop but it only plays on their desktop. If they try to sync their Iphone to both the laptop and the desktop, it gives errors. They can't just copy the files over as they won't play unless they learn how to authorize the songs they've already purchased. They can't take songs they bought and put them as ringtones on their other phones. They're confused why they buy music but still can't listen to it on their different devices without hassles. When I tell them its a purposeful limitation, they're just annoyed as I have been since the start. I have bought Microsoft Windows and other Microsoft products and after a few installs, I have to call up MIcrosoft and get permission to reinstall the product on another computer. What happens to this product that I own when Microsoft stops supporting it such as they're threatening to do with XP? Do I lose the product I bought? Will they still be kind enough to let me use the product I paid for? There should be no DRM on retail purchases. If I buy Windows, it should run as long as I choose to run it. If Microsoft wants to lease me a copy, then sell it as a lease, not a retail sale. If they want control over installed copies, then they can have me sign up for update services like the Antivirus companies do. If I buy music, I should be able to listen to it in my car, my house, on my computer, and on my phone. Restricting it so I can't do this is just propping up a dead business model of greed and corruption. Its time to stop it. Already the first inroads are being seen but still, it should be LEGAL to do this and not allowed by the grace of the recording industry.
Comment Number: 539814-00850
Received: 2/16/2009 5:17:12 PM
Organization:
Commenter: Matthew Taylor
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:

I have had a number of issues with DRM in the past. Apart from the inconvenience of having to hunt down CD's or DVD's even though the entire contents of the program are installed onto the hard drive, DRM can prevent access to even legitimately purchased programs. For example, I purchased a boxed copy of a game titled "King's Bounty: The Legend" a few days ago. After installing the game, I found myself unable to play it due to the DRM system. I was required to find a "cracked" version of the program to play it. This is only one of the more recent problems I've had. In general, the DRM systems are ineffective at stopping actual piracy of the programs, as they are quickly cracked. The only lasting effect of the DRM is to inhibit a customer's resale rights (with online activation) and ability to use their legitimately purchased software in a time and place of their choosing. Please take action to protect the public against the increasing encroachment of DRM.
Comment Number: 539814-00851
Received: 2/17/2009 1:02:55 AM
Organization:
Commenter: William III Knowles
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 has no purpose but to punish law-abiding citizens and deprive them of their rights. It rarely if ever proves more than a momentary inconvenience for "pirates". There is no reason for it to exist, and certainly no reason for it to be legislated. It is an inconvence at best and a danger at worst. It's that simple.

Comment 852 - PDF