Defective by Design

Tell Netflix: No DRM

Submitted by JoshuaGay on Tue, 2007-10-16 08:52

If you subscribe to Netflix, here's an easy way to let them know that you will not be using their DRM download service. All you need to do is...

Music now Video

Media companies have worked with proprietary software vendors to create Digital Restrictions Management schemes that prevent you from having control over your computer and your data so that they can control how and where you can play your music. They are attempting to prohibit sharing and other activities such as sampling songs, copying the music onto a CD, or moving the files onto another computer or portable device.

The Defective by Design campaign and millions of others have stepped up and told vendors that they will not purchase audio files with DRM. And, the vendors have responded positively. Ian Rogers, the head of Yahoo! Music has stated that he "won't let Yahoo! invest any more money in consumer inconvenience." Amazon.com has capitalized on the fact that they do not use DRM by advertising their service as "Play Anywhere, DRM-Free Music Downloads." And even Microsoft and Apple have been playing a charade speaking out against DRM, while pretending that music companies have forced their hand to support DRM in their proprietary software.

DRM free video

Just as music companies do not like MP3-formatted audio because people can share it, they do not like free video formats like Ogg Theora, because it would allow people to save and share their videos. But, as with audio DRM schemes, video DRM schemes not only prevent sharing, they take control of your computer and data, and prevent you from doing any of the normal activities that have traditionally been done with VCR tapes and DVDs: the ability to sample, to copy the movie onto a disk or tape, and to move it onto another computer or portable video device. Giving up control of your computer and software is unnecessary, and there exist free software and open formats that not only respect your freedom to do what you want with your computer and your data, but they are also technically superior to their proprietary counterparts.

Now, just as we've told music vendors that we will not buy DRM audio, let's tell movie vendors the that we will not buy DRM video.

Tell Netflix: No More DRM

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When it comes to online video distribution companies, Netflix is second to none. They ship over 1.6 million DVDs per day to over 6.7 million customers. They now also make 5,000 movies and TV Shows available for download. However, there is a problem, these videos are tied down by DRM.

So, just as we've told music vendors that we will not and cannot download audio files laden with DRM, let's tell Netflix that we cannot and will not download or stream their videos until they remove the DRM.

If you subscribe to Netflix, here's an easy way to let them know that you will not be using their DRM video service. All you need to do is:

  • Download, print, and cut out the mini-letters.
  • Sign one and put it in the sleeve of the DVD you are returning.
  • Mail it off.

When these small letters start piling up at Netflix distribution centers around the country, they will start a conversation in the company from the distribution centers all the way up through the management chain.

We encourage anyone who would like to write their own letter to use our template and to share it with us. Attached is an ODT file that can be edited in OpenOffice.org. Send emails to info@defectivebydesign.org.

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netflix-business-card.pdf37.36 KB
netflix-business-card.odt14.72 KB
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