Blogs

Richard Stallman meets with French presidential front runner Ségolène Royal

Free Software Foundation (FSF) President Richard Stallman, met with French presidential candidate Ségolène Royal, and they agreed a joint statement. On DRM and the recent French copyright bill they say, "By giving a privileged legal status to digital restrictions (DRM), the bill "copyrights and related rights in the information society" (DADVSI) is going in the wrong direction. It will thus be necessary to examine from scratch the legal framework created by the DADVSI law at the French level and to contribute to the development of a European and international legal framework more favorable to the sharing of works and knowledge."

Bono Delegation?

It's time for technologists and artists to form a coalition against DRM

With the launch of the Bono 10,000 signature petition, we achieved one of our main goals, discussion of DRM in the mainstream press. In the first 24 hours we had over 1,000 signatures added to the petition, and now we are looking to arrange an appointment with Bono.

One question that has come up is who would we send to represent us all? Should we send artists who have already taken a stand against DRM? MusicCreators.ca lists the artists Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne and Sarah McLachlan. Or how about artists who have been leaders in digital activism, like Grateful Dead lyricist and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) co-founder, John Perry Barlow.

ABC News: Bono Asked to Support Digital Freedom

May Wong of Associated Press writes

The Boston-based advocacy group launched an online petition Thursday asking Bono to take a stand with them against copy-protection technologies that they say unnecessarily restrict consumers' rights to freely use the music and art they've purchased. Digital rights management technology is commonly used by companies such as Apple Computer Inc. or Microsoft Corp. to support the companies' own business strategies and satisfy the music industry's concerns about unfettered distribution of songs over the Internet.... [Defective By Design] contends that more liberal access and usage models will actually help increase sales by widening the base of art lovers."

Take French Copyright Battle to the Streets

Peter Sayer at ComputerWorld writes "Free software campaigner Richard Stallman said French youth should protest against a draft law on copyright that will be voted on Friday.

The bill threatens their freedom to watch DVDs using free software, and is designed to make French citizens submit to the will of media companies, he said, delivering the closing keynote address at the Paris Capitale du Libre conference on Monday night.

Asked what could stop the law, Stallman replied: "Thousands of French youth in the streets."

Newsforge: Canadian Privacy Advocates proclaim 'DRM Spyware'

Bruce Byfield writes A coalition of public interest groups and academic privacy experts has released a public letter and background paper to the Canadian government stating their concerns about digital rights management (DRM) technologies and their legal status."

They write,"DRM is used by some copyright holders ostensibly to control access to and use of copyright works. In fact, DRM technology can be used to override fundamental privacy protections. DRM typically uses surveillance to monitor and collect detailed information about people’s access to and use of creative works.

Peter Brown on BBC World Service

This morning (6/23/06), an interview with Peter Brown Executive Director of the FSF, was aired on BBC World Service. The segment with Peter begins at 8 minutes 20 seconds into the news report. "This protection [DRM] doesn't protect against the real threat that the big media companies supposedly face, which is the large mafia like organizations that pirate stuff and distribute it through their black markets. What we're talking about here is you, an individual a

CEO of BPI "sounded tired"

One Freedom Fighter called up Peter Jamieson, the CEO of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Apparently, Mr. Jamieson had been getting quite a few calls that morning:

"He said that I was the 17th call he had received :) he sounded tired. I asked what he thought about DRM. He said, "I only found out what it meant a few days ago". I told him that I didn't want DRM in my music or technology. He said "DRM was allowing music to be made available online". I said I don't want locks on my culture. He said "DRM allows you buy your culture", and said I should "go and educate myself."

"It's been hellacious"

I think this is one of my favorite stories. Earlier this morning, a kind-hearted and intrepid Freedom Fighter tried to call Cary Sherman, the President of the RIAA, to let Mr. Sherman know about the dangers posed by DRM. This is his story:

"Spoke to secretary. The poor lady complained that she hadn't even had coffe yet and that it was too early for all of this. I asked her about DRM and gave my case concerning it to her. She said its been hellacious so far with the calls but that everyone have been nice and respectful. The suits are throwing their secretaries under the bus today."

RIAA Staffer Familiar with "DMR" (Digital Management Restrictions?)

When trying to call Brad Buckles (head of the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit, and former head of the ATF), one Freedom Fighter had an odd run-in with Mr. Buckles' secretary:

"Mr. Buckles secretary was quite rude when I asked for Mr. Buckles. She said, "Is this for DMR?", [this is what she said]. Upon answering "yes", she without comment transferred me to a voice menu. I left a message."

See what kind of response you get by visiting http://defectivebydesign.org/actions/freedom_rings_riaa.

Canadian Exec Gets The Message!

One successful caller stayed on message with Graham Henderson, CEO of the Canadian Recording Industry Association. "I basically explained that I am a music lover who owns about 300 CDs and that I would like to be able to buy music online. However I was not willing to do that unless it enabled me to do the same lawful uses that CDs do. I asked him to reconsider his position on DRM and to ask Apple to sell DRM free music."

Way to go, Freedom Fighters! If you'd like to get involved, visit http://defectivebydesign.or

BPI Spokesperson Deluged By Calls

One Freedom Fighter reports calling an exec at the BPI in Britain. After leaving a message on the bloke's mobile, the exec actually rang back, confused, and "asked [me] what...was going [on] and why he had been receiving so many phone calls from "freaks" today. I told him it was [a] demonstration going on and that we wanted to express our hatred towards DRM."

Want to join the fun? Visit http://defectivebydesign.org/actions/freedom_rings_riaa

Canadian Linux Nerd: Plays for Sure--NOT!

Tim over at Canadian Linux Nerd mentions the DefectiveByDesign Freedom Rings day of action in post that highlights some of the problems with DRM in music.

...he'd bought a new CD but it refused to play on his Mac. I asked him to read me all the labels on the CD and sure enough it had a "Plays for sure" label. I explained that this meant it would for sure not play on his Mac and advised him to return to HMV where he bought it. He was of course enraged by this, I pointed out that he had in the past told me I was being unreasonable for fighting DRM and that he thought that the Digital Restrictions Management on his iTunes music store music was reasonable even though such music can only be played in iTunes or on his iPod. Since then he has converted all his iTunes music to CD and signed up for Defectivebydesign.

"Apple are the friendly face of DRM"

Yesterday, Ian Clarke, one of our LA Freedom Fighters wrote:

Attacking Apple effectively will have much more impact than making a smaller impact on a number of companies/organizations that include Apple. Apple has built a brand based on user and creator friendliness. They should not be permitted to bathe in the glow of helping creators and user-friendliness while propagating user-hostile technology like DRM. Apple needs a strong incentive to use their leverage with media companies to roll back DRM restrictions - right now, very little such incentive exists.

Our June 10th actions at Apple stores across the country continue to get press, even as much as a week after the fact. The chorus of activists dissatisfied with Apple's current position on DRM continues to grow.

Next Action: Freedom Rings at the RIAA

Freedom Rings at the RIAA Update: June 23rd, 9:30am Eastern -As of last night, over 3,600 people have joined this campaign to stand up for freedom and against DRM. Join today and give a piece of mind to executives at the IFPI (Germany), BPI (UK), SNEP (France), CRIA (Canada) and the RIAA (US). The action has begun and will continue until late tonight. When you sign up below, you will be given a page that provides information on executives at the these orgs, their phone numbers, and results from our calls! Join NOW to participate in this action:
Postal Code**
(required)
First Name Last Name Mobile (SMS)***

US News: Apple fights bid to allow iTunes on rival players

Kit Roane of US News writes:

At issue is the software embedded in the songs bought from the iTunes music store that prevents them from being played on rival devices.

Norway, Denmark, and Sweden have demanded that Apple strip the blocking software from its iTunes service. France is readying legislation that enforces such interoperability, and Finland may follow suit. Although no action has been taken in the United Kingdom, the record industry's trade body there has called for a removal of the software.

Financial Times: Crunch time for Apple’s music icon

Tom Braithwite and Kevin Allison from the Financial Times write Pressure on Apple Computer to open its closed system of the iTunes digital music store and the iPod music player is spreading across Europe.

...there are early signs of a concerted consumer campaign. Customers at Apple’s shiny new 24-hour store on Fifth Avenue in New York were last week treated to the spectacle of men and women dressed in fluorescent radiation suits protesting against the “digital rights managment” (DRM) software that stops iTunes tracks being played on other players.

Macworld UK labels DBD "savvy"

Jonny Evans, reporting for Macworld UK, places the recent DefectiveByDesign flashmobs in an international context: "The group is perhaps a little more savvy than European regulators. The group contends that by restricting how software or files can be used, DRM-equipped products are 'defective by design'."

Read the rest of the article here...

Digital-Lifestyles: Anti-DRM FlashMobs Hit Apple Stores

Simon Perry of Digital-Lifestyles.info writes: Saturday saw anti-DRM protests at eight Apple stores across the USA organised by DefectiveByDesign, who are running an on-going 'Campaign to Eliminate DRM.'...It's the first time we've heard to a flashmob being used for anything approaching useful."
Read the story.

BoingBoing: Local freedom fighters pull out all the stops

A hilarious picture from the San Francisco flashmob on June 10th is up at BoingBoing. Freedom Fighters dug out the following quote from Apple CEO Steve Jobs: "If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own." Local DBD volunteers printed the quote out as a large banner, and brought it with them to the June 10th event. Way to go, fellow technologists!

The quote in question, from a 2002 Wall Street Journal interview, can be found over at Macworld.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs