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Mon, 09 Feb 2009

EFF wants protection from DRM

EFF Calls on Federal Regulators to Protect Consumers from
DRM

DRM Technologies Impede Innovation and Thwart Consumers'
Rights

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today to
mitigate the damage that digital rights management (DRM)
technologies cause consumers.

In public comments submitted to the FTC today, EFF
explained how DRM, backed by the anti-circumvention
provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA),
impedes innovation and thwarts consumers' rights to make
full use of their digital music, movies, software, and
videogames.  EFF urged the commission to study DRM's effect
on competition in the marketplace, investigate whether the
effects of DRM are fully disclosed to consumers, and
promote a set of "Best Practices" that, if followed, would
help alleviate the burdens of DRM for consumers.

Industry leaders argue that DRM is necessary to protect
sales of digital media, but DRM systems are consistently
and routinely broken almost immediately upon their
introduction.

"DRM does not prevent piracy," said EFF Staff Attorney
Corynne McSherry.  "At this point, DRM seems intended to
accomplish a very different purpose: giving some industry
leaders unprecedented power to influence the pace and
nature of innovation and upsetting the traditional balance
between the interests of copyright owners and the interests
of the public.  The best way to fix the problem is to get
rid of DRM on consumer products and reform the DMCA, but
the steps we're suggesting will help protect technology
users and future technology innovation in the meantime."

EFF's comments were filed in conjunction with the FTC's
Town Hall on DRM, set for March 25 in Seattle.  The Town
Hall is free and open to the public.

For EFF's full comments to the FTC:
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/DRM/DRMCOMMENTS_final.pdf

For more on the FTC Town Hall on DRM:
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/12/drm.shtm

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