Defective by Design

Interview with Marcos Marado on the Day Against DRM

Submitted by helen on Fri, 2011-05-27 14:57

The DRM-PT and Associação Nacional para o Software Livre (an associate of Free Software Foundation Europe) groups recently celebrated the Day Against DRM together. They hosted a radio show, and then a free movie event followed by a presentation on DRM. The next day, at Portugal's largest book fair, they distributed flyers and started a lively debate on the subject at the presentation of a pro-DRM ebook retailer. We interviewed Marcos Marado, the creator of DRM-PT, about the recent Day Against DRM events.

You attended a thirty minute presentation by a pro-DRM ebook retailer at Portugal's largest book fair and turned it into a three hour debate (in Portuguese) about DRM issues. How did you begin the discussion?

Well, it started right in the beginning. He started by asking who has ever tried ebooks and what did they think about it, and one of us replied something like "I've tried, and the experience is great except in the cases where the book has DRM".

Not only did we make our point understood and clear to those assisting the debate, but we distributed flyers focused entirely on "DRM on ebooks", and since people going to that fair are typically book lovers, I think there was not even one flyer that wasn't read with attention. Here's a tip for everyone around the world: book lovers are receptive for the message about how DRM is wrong, if put in the right way!

Do you think people are buying products with DRM without fully understanding the restrictions placed on these products?

Of course, I think almost no one knows about this.

What kind of impact were you hoping to make with Day Against DRM?

Making people aware of the problem is the most important thing. Some will keep buying stuff with DRM, some will try to avoid it but still give money to companies like Apple or Sony, but at least they know about it. And once they know, they start noticing things about it and start questioning things. With technological-related things, non-tech-savvy people tend to think that every problem is "their fault". It's important that they know that it's not their fault that the CD or DVD doesn't play correctly on their computer, that the ebook they bought isn't readable anymore, or stuff like that.

What did you talk about in your radio show (in Portuguese)?

In summary, lots of "newbie questions" regarding DRM (what is it, why is it bad, how it affects the average person in their daily life) and some "legal questions" including the Portuguese law, its implementation of EUCD, why is it a badly written law, etc.

Prior to the actual day, what kind of smaller actions were taken to spread the word about Day Against DRM?

Some online discussions regarding the event, mailing list posts, web announcements including in the radio's webpage, and also a 3 minute spot on the radio.

Rui Seabra, the President of ANSOL was interviewed on an Italian radio show (in English and Italian) about the Day Against DRM activities. How did this interview come about?

After the Day Against DRM, an Italian radio show heard about the Portuguese event, in particular about the interview in Radio Zero, so they asked Radio Zero if there was anyone available for a live radio interview about it. Radio Zero contacted me (who was interviewed in Radio Zero), and while I wasn't available at that date, scheduled with Rui and the Italian radio show so that this interview was possible.

How did you get personally involved in DRM-PT / ANSOL? What is your role in DRM-PT / ANSOL?

DRM-PT nowadays is a "workgroup" inside of ANSOL, but acts nationally as a "civic movement against DRM", so we have support from people that aren't ANSOL members, we talk with other organizations and so on. DRM-PT was created by me, and I'm also a member of ANSOL.

For more information on how Day Against DRM 2011 went, see our follow-up post.

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