Federal Trade Commission
Digital Rights Management Town Hall
March 25, 2009
Proposed Topics for Discussion:
Introduction and Overview:
- What is DRM?
- What types of DRM systems have been and are being used?
- In what contexts have they been and are they being used?
- How do they work and what sorts of limitations do they impose?
- How are DRM systems and limitations being disclosed to consumers?
- What are the potential benefits to consumers and commerce from use of DRM systems?
- What are the potential burdens on consumers and commerce from use of DRM systems?
Legal Landscape of DRM:
- The Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
- Copyright Office triennial rulemaking
- Impact of DRM on fair use and the first sale doctrine
- End User License Agreements / Terms and Conditions
- FTC Act – Section 5
Consumer Information Issues:
- What do consumers generally know about DRM systems used in connection with the products and services they buy and use?
- What do they (and should they) expect about the use of DRM systems in connection with various products and services?
- What additional information would be helpful to consumers?
- How can information about DRM systems and use limitations be effectively communicated to consumers?
- What aspects of DRM appear subject to misunderstanding?
- What is the potential for consumer harm from such misunderstanding?
Other Consumer Issues:
- Are DRM systems being used in contexts that consumers might not expect?
- What can be done, and by whom, to protect consumers or mitigate harm to them if content they purchase is protected by DRM systems that become archaic or obsolete?
- Are DRM systems being designed in a way that will require consumers to purchase the same content multiple times? Are consumers aware of this and how can they be made aware?
- What security and privacy issues are associated with the use of DRM systems?
- How might bad consumer experiences with DRM-limited content harm the marketplace?
- Can current practices be improved? Would attempts to improve them have unintended consequences?
The Future of DRM:
- What are some current issues, controversies, situations, and trends involving DRM?
- In what contexts are DRM systems and limits likely to persist?
- In what contexts are they likely to perish?
- What are the trends in the marketplace that indicate consumer acceptance or rejection?
- Are DRM systems evolving in ways that can lead to more consumer choices and mitigate potential harms?
- What challenges face consumers and content (or other DRM-limited goods) vendors in the future?
- What steps can be taken to protect consumers and the marketplace?
- Are new laws or regulations needed to protect consumers?