FTC to Address Consumer Disclosure on DRM

The Federal Trade Commission will be holding a workshop on DRM at the University of Washington Law School in Seattle on Wednesday, March 25.  The main purpose of the conference will be to inform the FTC on possible actions it could take to mandate disclosure of information about digital content rights to consumers — rather like it requires ingredients lists, warning labels, and so on.  The event is free and open to the public, and it will be streamed live.

I will be speaking on the opening panel of this workshop, occupying my typical role as the man in the middle between two rather more partisan panelists — in this case Fritz Attaway of the MPAA and Jason Schultz of Berkeley Law School (formerly of the Electronic Frontier Foundation). 

I’m supposed to summarize how current and projected future developments in DRM should inform decisions on consumer disclosure.  I have all of 8 minutes to do this.  (When I did something similar at Consumers Union five years ago, at least I had half an hour.)

To help inform what should be a very interesting discussion, here is a quick poll.  If I get enough response, I’ll present the results in Seattle.  Please vote!

In the meantime, I recommend a white paper on consumer disclosure of DRM done by the Center for Democracy and Technology in September 2006.  CDT’s David Sohn will be at the Seattle workshop and will undoubtedly cite this important work.

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