Consumer Protection

Regulation of Content Protection and Digital Rights Management Software

DiMA believes that rights management/content protection software is a valuable tool in the development of digital content business models, and will also promote the introduction and adoption of new consumer entertainment devices.

DiMA believes strongly that the private sector is the right place for decisions about the development and deployment of content protection and rights management software, but that consumers should be clearly informed about the functionality and portability of their legally-acquired content.

DiMA has a long history of opposing excessive government involvement in rights management software.

  • DiMA opposed well-intended legislation to inhibit piracy of digital television because the bill authorized excessive government involvement and threatened one-size-fits-all rights management software solutions.  
  • DiMA opposed thoughtful suggestions to ensure that consumers could play all lawfully acquired digital music on all consumer devices, because resulting legislation would have mandated that rights management software be interoperable which would impose extraordinary burdens on innovators and involve government much too deeply in the music and consumer technology markets.

Regulating Access to Content

DiMA appreciates that consumers deserve conspicuous notice prior to accessing content that some may deem inappropriate for their families, but we believe that government involvement in this area should be minimal as industry content ratings and technology standards have served Americans very well for decades and will continue to improve as digital technologies improve.

  • DiMA works with several entertainment industry organizations in support of Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month (www.ERLAM.org).  In this way DiMA and our member companies promote parental engagement with entertainment content ratings and labeling, which helps them guide family purchasing and enjoyment.
  • DiMA opposed suggestions that the Federal Communications Commission should consider mandating digital technologies to filter content that some may deem inappropriate.  icon DiMA Comments FCC Child Safe Viewing Act

Credit Card Fees Threaten Internet Companies

Online merchants depend almost entirely on credit card payments, so banks controlling credit card fees have extraordinary pricing power.  Moreover, online media companies often process transactions in very small amounts (e.g., 99 cents to pay for a single song), which means that credit card fees eliminate a transaction’s profit margin.

  • DiMA is supporting the introduction of legislation to provide government oversight to the setting of credit card merchant payment fees.

Accessibility to Content for All

DiMA appreciates that all consumers, regardless of their physical challenges, want and need access to media. DiMA participated in the FCC's Video Programming Accessibility Committee, helping to set the standards under which video programming must be delivered, to ensure that all consumers can adequately access media. DiMA strongly believes that while government involvement is welcome, over-regulation in this particular area could actually effect the most undesired result. If Developers and manufacturers face regulations that demand that each new innovation meet extremely rigid standards before they can be distributed, the effect may be to slow innovation and also the adoption of the desirable functionality.

  • DiMA has been working with the FCC in support of the goals of the 21st Century Video Accessibility Act ("CVAA" ) and the VPAAC (VPAAC) to help ensure that regulations do not chill innovation and deter the development and release of new and desirable media applications and devices. DiMA Letters to FCC