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Spore DRM to be discussed by the Federal Trade Commission

Posted by ballightning on January 8, 2009

It seems that the contraversy of the last few months has reached the ears of the Federal Trade Commission. And now we finally get out own say. Thanks to Ars Tech for this.


2008 may become known as the year of digital rights management, thanks in no small part to EA’s bringing the issue front and center with Spore and the ensuing backlash. These days gamers want to know what kind of DRM a game employs before they make a purchase, and for many people the inclusion of SecuROM means a lost sale. All of the sound and fury surrounding the issue has gotten the attention of the Federal Trade Commission, and the government agency is planning on holding a town hall meeting devoted to the subject of DRM on March 25. 

The official page describes the meeting and its aim. “Digital rights management (DRM) refers to technologies typically used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, and copyright holders to attempt to control how consumers access and use media and entertainment content,” the FTC explains. “Among other issues, the workshop will address the need to improve disclosures to consumers about DRM limitations.”

The agenda includes demonstrations of DRM-related technology, panel discussions about how these technologies affect consumers, legal issues surrounding DRM, and discussions on the potential need for government involvement to protect consumers. 

You can get involved, as well. “The Commission invites interested parties to submit requests to be panelists and to recommend other topics for discussion. The requests should be submitted electronically to drmtownhall@ftc.gov by January 30, 2009….The Commission will select panelists based on their expertise and on the need to represent a range of views.” If you would simply like to have your voice heard you can submit comments or original research as well. This is an excellent opportunity to make your voice heard on this matter, and to explain your feelings on the state of DRM in the gaming industry.

The town hall meeting will take place at the University of Washington School of Law, and will be free and open to the public, no registration required. 


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