One DefectiveByDesign member phoned up Susan Peacock, Vice President of the Canadian Motion Picture Distribution Association and spoke with her for an hour. She was completely open to having a real, respectful conversation about the dangers of DRM. Give her a call and have a chat.
We've begun work on the Short Guide to Living a DRM-Free Existence. It includes online music stores, producers of eBooks, and portable music players that respect the rights of the user. They give you the freedom to enjoy the media you own on the devices you own, without worrying about whether the latest album you bought will be compliant with a particular flavor of Digital Restrictions Management.
So check out the guide now, and let us know if you have other resources you would like to add.
Thanks to the diligent work of the DRM Elimination Crew, we now have a selection of buttons for use on blogs and other websites. Code snippets for posting these buttons are available. Let the world know you support DefectiveByDesign.org in putting a stop to Digital Restrictions Management.
The engineers have been hard at work in their labs, bringing you a brand new DefectiveByDesign.org! Beyond the cosmetic changes, you'll also notice a "Languages" controller in the right hand menu. Thanks to the hard work of members of the DefectiveByDesign action network, we've begun offering site content in a diversity of languages. But we still need more help! If you would like to submit a translation, fill out a "Site Translation" form at our contact page.
Cory Doctorow has written a spot-on new column over at Information Week on how Apple iTunes' DRM is bad for business (not just customers). It's a great overview of the problems associated with DRM, in language that is fairly accessible. What's interesting is his tone, though, which seems to target big record companies -- laying out for them how their insistence on DRM is shooting them in the foot, putting them at Apple's beck and call.
Inspired by the entertainment industry's strategy of training children to accept their vision of a DRM'd future, a father in Victoria, Canada published "The Pig And The Box," a children's book all about how DRM is Defective By Design. The book is available as a freely downloadable PDF under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus license. I love that he's countering the actions of the entertainment industry by telling a story about DRM in the most literal way possible -- a children's book. As more and more of us tell a different story about DRM, our voices can drown out those who favor this insidious technology.
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."
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."
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.
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
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
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'."
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.
Over at NewsForge, Bruce Byfield gives an in-depth examination of the June 10th flashmobs organized by volunteer members of Defective By Design around the country. The article notes that, "DRM...is a complex issue," and quotes FSF Executive Director Peter Brown, who points out that the topic "deserves time and space to [be discussed] rationally. When this discussion happens, we win."
Brown also stressed that Defective By Design is a coalition. "We don't ask that everyone who turns up for these events should be aligned with what we stand for," Brown stresses. "A lot of people turn out to these demonstrations just because they don't like a particular use of DRM. Or they may have their own ideas about DRM. Defective By Design is there to be an action center for anyone who has a reason for disliking DRM. [All] we stand for is a very clear message: DRM needs to be stopped."
Once again, Freedom Fighters make the frontpage of BusinessWeek.com. In an article analysing the growing response against Digital Restrictions Management across Europe, Arik Hesseldahl draws attention to the successful, nation-wide demonstrations held on June 10th, 2006.
STATESIDE PROTESTS. As the outcry in Europe is spreading, there is some opposition to Apple's business practices in the U.S. A group called the Free Software Foundation carried out protests on June 10 at seven Apple retail stores in cities that included New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle.