Amazon came out with their newest line of Kindle ebook readers today, including the appropriately named "Kindle Fire".
To quote their TV commercial: "The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all."
This device does not kindle that fire -- it extinguishes it, with more of the same digital restrictions.
Let's look at the facts:
If you haven't seen Sharing by xkcd, it's worth a look.
In the strip, some friends discover a tree with a USB port sticking out of it. Upon connecting a computer to it, they discover an ebook -- Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree, as a DRM'd Amazon Kindle file.
The book cannot be opened and sharing is not allowed.
A few weeks ago, we asked you to reach out to Barnes & Noble about their Nook eBook reader. Many of you did, and while Barnes & Noble have yet to formally respond, we can continue to put pressure on them.
The current news is that Amazon plans to launch a color Android device, much like the Nook color. If we continue to put pressure on B&N, we can use this increased pressure from Amazon as a reason to make the Nook a device for everyone, not just large book publishers.
American book retailer Barnes & Noble have launched the third model of their Nook ebook reader. We've previously written about the Nook, but until recently the Nook did not get much attention due to the limited options available.
Things have changed and now the Nook represents a real threat to users because of its invasive DRM, close relationship with DRM champions Adobe, and because of its use of the Android operating system -- which might lead many to think the Nook is not defective by design.
The music streaming service Spotify uses Digital
Restrictions Management (DRM); push back by saying NO to
After being available in Europe for some time, Spotify has
launched in the United States with a publicity campaign
inviting people to use the service.
Our conclusion: Spotify is using DRM to prevent things
legally permitted even by overly strict US copyright law,
making Spotify defective by design.
If you've logged into YouTube recently, you've probably noticed that they're pushing their Rental service pretty hard. YouTube Rentals brings full-length independent movies to YouTube, at a price -- they use Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to severely limit how the videos can be used. Many devices, including certain Android phones, are unable to access them at all.
This about-face goes against exactly what made YouTube useful in the first place -- the unencumbered sharing of video.
Over a period of 10 days, 138 people from twenty different countries made donations of $10 or more in order to send Nintendo's President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime, a total of 220 bricks.
This year's Day Against DRM on May 4th was an overall success. Thanks to all of you who participated! Some of the highlights include:
14 blog posts in 4 languages — it was especially nice to see our friends over at Creative Commons joining us in the celebration.
In a little over a week, we surpassed our goal of taking 200 brick orders for Nintendo, to protest their claim that they have the right to "brick" (disable) users' devices when used outside of Nintendo's outrageous Terms of Service.
UPDATE: We surpassed our goal of 200 bricks! But, if you would still like to place an order, it is not too late. So, order your brick now.
Here are some quick and easy ways you can help!
In mid-April, Sony's PlayStation Network servers were compromised and over 77 million customers had their personal data exposed. Two weeks after Sony learned of the breach, they issued a public apology. As part of this, they also are offering a bribe they are calling the "welcome back" program.
Clear your schedule for a worldwide day of action against DRM. On Wednesday, May 4th, we will be taking action to raise the stakes and increase awareness about the threats of Digital Restrictions Management -- in a very significant way!
We asked you to email Sony CEO Howard Stringer during our last call to action and Sony responded by shutting off his email address. Many of you then sent emails to the next email address we posted, Nicole Seligman, Sony Executive VP and General Counsel. Your action was effective — it was an important part of the overall public pressure put on Sony to back off.
Just because you buy a DRM-restricted game doesn't mean you can play it. An unfortunate forum comment temporarily left a gamer unable to play a single-player game purchased through the EA Store. Bioware forum poster Arno recently had his EA account suspended for 72 hours and then found he could not activate his previously preordered and purchased copy of Dragon Age II.
This month we're focusing our attention on Sony. Sony has been in the news a lot recently: suing developers for figuring out how to run free software on their PlayStation 3 consoles.
Both George Hotz (geohot) and more recently, Graf Chokolo — operator of the PS3 Hypervisor Reverse Engineering blog have been harrassed by Sony, with Graf Chokolo having his home raided on Feb 23rd.
As TorrentFreak reported earlier today:
An existing digital restriction comes back for a second attack. We have three ideas for action to take against the streaming media giants.
"The Free Software Foundation and Richard Stallman's work represents the most important work for freedom that this culture, the American culture, has seen in many many generations because it takes the ideas of freedom and it removes it from the ivory tower, and it removes it from lawyers, and places it in a community—a technology community—that is one of the most important communities defining the contours of freedom that most people in our culture and increasingly around the world will know."
Please send this page now to people who might buy gifts for you, to make sure they don't get you a gift that would be bad for your freedom.
Well, it's official. Apple has now announced it's bringing the App Store concept to the Mac and it looks like they'll be restricting apps with FairPlay DRM too for good measure. When we first began talking about the problems with the App Store on the iPhone and iPod Touch, people wanted us to drop it and stop talking about the DRM tricks being pulled by Apple on the grounds that the iPhone wasn't a general purpose computer (it is, and the iPad is too) but rather an appliance.
In 2007, Amazon announced their music store. It would, they promised, deliver DRM-free music to U.S. Amazon users. And they did just that. With much fanfare, they rolled out Amazon MP3, touting music downloads for any device. On their website, they explain what's special about their music sales. "DRM-free means that the MP3 files you purchase from Amazon.com do not contain any software that will restrict your use of the file."
Natale Vinto writes:
"I'm a student from University of Calabria (Unical) , Cosenza Italy. I write you because for the journey against drm on 4 May we (students) have done a small event to raise the academic world to the problem of DRM and I've sent you link of pictures of it (with a very large delay!)."
This is our favorite:
Once again, we're seeing boneheaded reactions to the failure of a DRM scheme. DRM is largely ineffective against large-scale unauthorized copying going on in Eastern Europe and Asia, and yet the large media companies are happy to parade the opposite as the truth. Instead of admitting their real goal of disrupting legitimate uses and restricting customers as much as possible — forcing them to repeatedly purchase the same records, movies and TV shows again and again — they pretend that this is technological progress.
Apple has a long history of imposing innovative restrictions on its users. The Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) used in the iPhone to prevent users from installing what they want or tinkering with their devices are well-known examples.
Yet not so many people expected their latest move in that direction -- Apple's recent patent application on a new spying technology revealed their plan to dedicate users' devices to their unlimited control.