Defective by Design


Newsforge: Canadian Privacy Advocates proclaim 'DRM Spyware'

Submitted by PeterB on Tue, 2006-06-27 05:56

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.

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Peter Brown on BBC World Service

Submitted by Henri Poole on Fri, 2006-06-23 22:59

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

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CEO of BPI "sounded tired"

Submitted by lev on Fri, 2006-06-23 10:34

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."

Topic:  Anti-DRM RIAA action BPI

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"It's been hellacious"

Submitted by lev on Fri, 2006-06-23 10:29

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."

Topic:  Anti-DRM RIAA action

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

Submitted by lev on Fri, 2006-06-23 10:23

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

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Canadian Exec Gets The Message!

Submitted by lev on Fri, 2006-06-23 10:19

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

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BPI Spokesperson Deluged By Calls

Submitted by lev on Fri, 2006-06-23 10:09

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

Topic:  Anti-DRM action

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Canadian Linux Nerd: Plays for Sure--NOT!

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2006-06-22 08:54

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.

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"Apple are the friendly face of DRM"

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Wed, 2006-06-21 21:35

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.

Topic:  apple ipod itune

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Next Action: Freedom Rings at the RIAA

Submitted by PeterB on Wed, 2006-06-21 14:29

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**
First Name Last Name Mobile (SMS)***
Topic:  Anti-DRM nodrm RIAA

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Video of the SF Apple Action from Kent Bye

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2006-06-20 17:15

Kent Bye of the Echo Chamber Project and Ebb and Flow posted this video of the SF Apple Action. It is very well produced, and does a good job of presenting our position WRT Apple/iTunes.

Topic:  apple itunes ipod video

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Reuters: iTunes at centre of digital rights protest

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-19 09:29

Over the weekend, Reuters foregrounded the DefectiveByDesign direct action in their DRM roundup. News about DRM keeps popping up everywhere, which is great news for the campaign. Keep spreading the word!

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Vitanuova: Adding some nuance to the conversation

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-19 09:21

Over at Vitanuova, Seth Schoen breaks down some of the recent discussions of DRM and the DefectiveByDesign campaign He takes a more nuanced approach than I've seen in other outlets. Thank goodness for the blogs.


Topic:  Anti-DRM

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TechNewsWorld: iTunes Protesters Crank Up the Volume

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-19 09:13

TechNewsWorld has a decent overview of DRM-related news in the last two weeks. Two paragraphs are devoted to the hard work of the DRM Elimination Crew - good work freedom fighters!

Read the whole story...

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The Corruptibles, targetting your freedoms

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-19 09:09

The EFF has a great new animation up. Pass it on to your friends, and keep spreading the word. The Corruptibles: mild-mannered copyright legislation by day, infringers of our freedoms by night!

Topic:  Anti-DRM EFF video

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

Submitted by Henri Poole on Wed, 2006-06-14 10:36

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.

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Financial Times: Crunch time for Apple’s music icon

Submitted by Henri Poole on Tue, 2006-06-13 12:10

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.

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Seattle: DRM Elimination Crew denied entry

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 14:04

Local Seattle website Seattlest published a story about Defective By Design volunteers facing resistance from University Village security guards on June 10th.

Read the full story...

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Macworld UK labels DBD "savvy"

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 13:13

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...

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plasticboy: Apple Store Action

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 12:57

Over at, Ben weighs in with his impressions of the June 10th event: The event was a lot of fun, and with similar events going on in cities across the country hopefully it will raise awareness and get people talking about DRM.

Read the post...

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Digital-Lifestyles: Anti-DRM FlashMobs Hit Apple Stores

Submitted by Henri Poole on Mon, 2006-06-12 12:52

Simon Perry of 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.

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Activists investigate DRM contamination in Cambridge, MA Apple store

Submitted by JohnSullivan on Mon, 2006-06-12 12:48

ipodnn: Protestors zero in on Apple stores

Submitted by Henri Poole on Mon, 2006-06-12 12:46

ipodnn writes: Protestors over the weekend gathered at eight Apple Stores across the U.S. to inform the public about the company's Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme."
Read the story.

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June 10th Flashmobs: news is spreading

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 12:35

David Chartier reports on the nation-wide, coordinated flashmobs over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog. People are starting to talk about Digital Restrictions Management. We can all add our voices to the comments and discussions taking place.

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BoingBoing: Local freedom fighters pull out all the stops

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 07:56

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.

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NewsForge: June 10th flashmobs a success

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 07:43

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, " 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."

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Flash Mobs Covered in Business Week

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 07:15

Once again, Freedom Fighters make the frontpage of 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.

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San Francisco: Video of the Action

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Sun, 2006-06-11 13:03

Just saw this video of the action in San Francisco up on Google Video.

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Chicago IMC: Video of Today's Action

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Sat, 2006-06-10 13:51

StopDRM Coalition takes to the Paris Streets

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Sat, 2006-06-10 08:36

The StopDRM coalition took to the streets last night to protest legislative action in the French Senate. The action coincided with a visit by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation. read the press release at Musique-Libre (english translation) or this one in French at

Topic:  stopdrm paris

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