Originally Posted by Robotech_Master
And here I thought I was explaining in simple non-jargon language.
I'll try to break it down.
The FTC won't wave a magic wand and make the DMCA go away. They can't overrule Congress, and Congress says it's illegal to break DRM (with certain exceptions, etc.).
What they can do is spank companies that do bad things with DRM. (Well, worse things than normal anyway.) Like, say, outright lie in advertisements about what their DRM will allow, or make DRM that does bad things to your computer (Sony rootkit).
By and large, the Town Hall meeting ended up being a lot of ranting about aspects of DRM that the FTC can't do anything about. (And I'm as guilty as anyone of that, with my Mobi/Amazon question.) In the end, it's a pity that the FTC can't do anything about those aspects. But on the bright side, at least a lot of the problems with DRM got a good public airing, and people might at least feel a little better their views have been heard.
While the FTC can't make DRM illegal, nor the DMCA, it can, I think make the current model essentially unworkable. Essentially, they seem to be saying that DRM has to be set up such that when someone buys a digital product they must know about any DRM involved and further, that companies essentially can't stop supporting older DRM schemes if they choose to move on to new ones. Essentially, it might make the current model of DRM used by Mobi/Kindle, Adobe Digital Editions and others unappealing. How would you like to be Amazon and told that if you decide to chenge DRM 5 years from now, you can't orphan the users of the existing DRM? Maybe it will make more companies look at eReader style DRM.