Senator plans bill to limit DRM [+Ed]


According to this article on CNET, Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) is planning to introduce a bill to the US Senate that will put the control of Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems under the control of the FTC.

The draft of the bill reviewed by CNET also contains provisions that limit the rights under the DMCA to subpeona subscriber information, prohibits the FCC from requiring that digital video products or PCs contain hardware copy protection systems.

As much as I'm generally a very staunch free marketeer, I must admit that having the government regulate the application, and especially the legal prosecution, of DRM seems like a good idea, especially when you consider that Microsoft holds near-monopoly power over the computer industry.

Microsoft should be warned that they can either be broken up, or they can be forced to comply with certain standards that leave open the rights of consumers to access their own work product (i.e. they can't lock up file formats and data beyond your ability to open with any arbitrary competing product), and to have fair use of products that they purchase from others.