The FTC's public hearing on DRM is a smash sensation -- they're being flooded with anti-DRM comments, mostly from gamers:
The Federal Trade Commission wants to know about DRM, and it's hosting a March conference on the topic. The agency looks set to get an earful–today is the final day to file public comments, and more than 700 individuals have already done so. Surprisingly, the main concerns in the comments don't appear to be about DVDs or protected music files but about video games. If FTC staff didn't know much about SecuRom, Spore, install limits, and activation codes before the conference, they will soon be experts on the topics.
The big players in these sorts of public hearings follow a predictable plan: they hold their filings until the final day for submissions, apparently out of a desire not to tip their hand to opponents and give them a chance to directly address their arguments. The strategy appears to be in play in the DRM proceeding, with only a fistful of corporate or think thank names appearing among the 700 current submissions.
Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy.
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