Supporters of anti-circumvention legislation often dismiss consumer concerns by arguing that "if you don't like DRM, don't buy the product." In other words, no one is forcing anyone to buy products with DRM. Leaving aside the fact that this may not be true – students may increasingly find that they are required to buy electronic texts for their courses that come in DRM-only packages – consumers often don't know that they are buying products with technological restrictions. Most consumers know little if anything about DRMs and the limitations that may be placed on consumer entertainment products such as CDs, DVDs, video games, or digital download services. While there may some limited disclosures – DVDs indicate the region code, if your eyesight is good enough you might notice that some copy-controlled CDs warn on the back corner that they may not play on all computers, and digital download services all feature lengthy user agreements that few consumers will ever read – they are plainly insufficient and the government should not support the legal fiction that "informed" consumers are knowingly purchasing products that contain a host of limitations.
Archive for August 14th, 2008
Yesterday I posted a link to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association's letter to the editor responding to my recent text-message column. The letter claims that my comment that "consumers pay more, but get less" is inaccurate. Yet consider the claims made in the letter: "recent figures from Merrill Lynch confirm […]