Hal Halpin, ECA on Hand For Today’s FTC Town Hall Meeting on DRM in Seattle

The Federal Trade Commission’s much-anticipated Town Hall Meeting on digital rights management (DRM) will take place today at the University of Washington Law School in Seattle.

The all-day event begins at 8:30 A.M. Pacific and will be webcast live.

Among other participants, Entertainment Consumers Association President Hal Halpin will serve on the 1:15 P.M. panel "Informing Consumers." According to the FTC’s agenda, "This panel will discuss how companies communicate the existence and effects of DRM protections on products and services to consumers. It will explore ways of providing consumers with better notice."

In advance of his panel appearance, Halpin issued a statement on the Town Hall Meeting:

Over the past year we have witnessed a growing concern from gamers about the issues of increasingly invasive Digital Rights Management (DRM) and End User Licensing Agreements (EULAs). While we respect the careful balance that must exist between the content community and the customer, and agree that piracy is an ever-present challenge for the trade, it is also becoming evident that consumer rights are being diminished in the process…

The law, in the area of EULAs in particular, is not as clear as it once was. And the software industry’s potential side-stepping of the First Sale Doctrine’s protections – by terming their products as “licensed” rather than “sold” – leaves us concerned about the future of interactive entertainment, generally…

Halpin also noted that the ECA is preparing new position statements on both DRM and EULAs. You can read the full text of his statement here.

Among others known to be appearing at the Town Hall on behalf of consumers is Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

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