Defective by Design

Join Amazon authors' "drmfree" effort

Submitted by JohnSullivan on Wed, 2009-04-15 07:55

DefectiveByDesign activists have been tireless in finding and labeling DRM-infected products on Amazon with tags like "defectivebydesign" and "drm".

Topic:  drm ebooks kindle

Continue reading 'Join Amazon authors' "drmfree" effort'.

Nintendo DSi: Defective by DESiGN.

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2009-04-07 13:26

In November, Nintendo released the DSi console in Japan. Next month, the rest of the world will be hit by this console. Similar to the previous Nintendo DS and DS Lite consoles, the DSi has two screens and the ability to access WiFi networks. However, in an effort to heavily control what gamers can do with their consoles, Nintendo has chosen to encumber this new version with Digital Restrictions Management (DRM).

Nintendo DSi -- defective by design

Continue reading 'Nintendo DSi: Defective by DESiGN.'.

HMV supports MP3

Submitted by mattl on Fri, 2009-03-13 09:52

We've had a report that HMV's music download service is now at least partially DRM-free and works with Firefox. While their jukebox still requires Windows, regular track downloads are compatible with free software operating systems like GNU/Linux, albeit in the MP3 format, rather than Ogg Vorbis.

See our guide to DRM-free living

Continue reading 'HMV supports MP3'.

iPod Shuffle...

Submitted by mattl on Fri, 2009-03-13 09:51

Apple has released a new revision of its iPod Shuffle, and in a general sentiment against buttons that began with the iPod and its solitary button, the new iPod Shuffle has no buttons whatsoever. Just a switch.

Apple has unhelpfully put these controls on the headphone cable, so now, you have to use their proprietary headphones. They've also added a feature that Rockbox has had for some time -- sadly, not the ability to play Ogg -- no, instead, a recording of each song's artist and title will be read aloud, before each track.

Continue reading 'iPod Shuffle...'.

DRM petition

Submitted by mattl on Thu, 2009-03-12 09:17

A petition against DRM in Europe has come to our attention.

Please sign the petition

Continue reading 'DRM petition'.

Gears of War is defective by design

Submitted by JohnSullivan on Fri, 2009-01-30 14:53

Epic Games's Gears of War title apparently includes a cut-off date, enforced via DRM. Ars Technica is reporting that the game ceased to function for everyone who bought it on January 28, 2009.

While it's not rare for games to ship with bugs every now and again, it's pretty shocking when one ships with an issue that causes the title to stop working for everyone who paid.

Topic:  drm games epic games

Continue reading 'Gears of War is defective by design'.

Join the new Defective By Design microblogging group

Submitted by JohnSullivan on Fri, 2009-01-23 09:15

For more Defective By Design discussion and updates, please join us at the microblogging site

The official Defective By Design group to join is "dbd".

See you there!

Continue reading 'Join the new Defective By Design microblogging group'.

Microsoft defends DRM, badly

Submitted by JohnSullivan on Thu, 2009-01-22 12:22

While others are waking up to the problems with DRM and moving away from it, Microsoft is embracing and defending it.

Do they think we forgot about MSN Music already?

I buy these songs on your service - and they're locked to my phone - what happens when I upgrade my phone in six months' time?

Well, I think you know the answer to that.

Topic:  Microsoft drm music

Continue reading 'Microsoft defends DRM, badly'.

Day 35 -- DRM in 2008

Submitted by mattl on Wed, 2009-01-14 09:00

With our 35 Days Against DRM campaign ending, how about a 2008 recap to end things off...


In 2008, Apple released the iPhone 3G, new iPods and the new MacBook with an HDMI display output. A persistent rumor finally came true at the early 2009 MacWorld -- iTunes is now going DRM free, at least for music. Movies, TV shows, Audiobooks and Applications remain encumbered by DRM.

Continue reading 'Day 35 -- DRM in 2008'.

Day 34 - MOB TV

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2009-01-13 11:28

Koh Choon Lin writes:

I am very frustrated by my local media provider, MOBTV, who provides video-on-demand service. It is a subscription-based service that provides viewers with immediate access to their favorite programmes.

Topic:  mobtv singapore

Continue reading 'Day 34 - MOB TV'.

Day 33 - Blu-Ray and the PlayStation 3

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2009-01-13 11:27

Jonathan Wilson writes to us to suggest the PS3, because...

Topic:  bluray ps3 failray

Continue reading 'Day 33 - Blu-Ray and the PlayStation 3'.

Day 32 -- RIAA

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2009-01-13 11:26

The RIAA has changed its tactic. No longer will they sue random people for file sharing. Now they're going after the ISPs. While many of the large media company ISPs such as AOL, Comcast, etc., will almost certainly comply, what will the smaller, independent ISPs do? How will large telcos like Verizon react?

Internet News reports:

Topic:  RIAA

Continue reading 'Day 32 -- RIAA'.

Day 31 -- Bono

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2009-01-13 11:25

Early on the campaign, we began an open letter to Bono, asking him to stand with us in calling for the elimination of DRM. Seven thousand people signed that petition and wrote messages asking him to support the cause. We have been in contact with Bono and his "people" at various points in the past, and have been told that he will not respond, and that we should accept this as a rejection of our appeal.

Topic:  Bono

Continue reading 'Day 31 -- Bono'.

Day 30 -- "Trusted" Computing

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2009-01-13 11:22

Who should your computer take its orders from? Most people think their computers should obey them, not obey someone else. With a plan they call "trusted computing", large media corporations (including the movie companies and record companies), together with computer companies such as Microsoft and Intel, are planning to make your computer obey them instead of you.

Continue reading 'Can you trust your computer?' by Richard Stallman

Continue reading 'Day 30 -- "Trusted" Computing'.

Day 29 -- Edgar Bronfman, Warner Music

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2009-01-13 11:19

The notion that music does not deserve the same protection as software, film, video games or other intellectual property, simply because there is an unprotected legacy product in the physical world, is completely without logic or merit.

Nothing like a crazy quotation to open an article...

This at a time when even Apple had publicly declared their distaste for DRM on music. Of course, that took them about two years to realistically implement, but they weren't the only ones saying it.

Topic:  warner bronfman

Continue reading 'Day 29 -- Edgar Bronfman, Warner Music'.

Day 28 -- Digital Copy

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2009-01-13 11:15

A recent tactic, in an effort to stop people downloading movies from the Internet, is the "Digital Copy" -- an extra disk containing an iTunes or Windows Media DRM copy of the movie, which can be copied to a supported DRM-player, such as the iPod or Zune.

We've had a few people write in and tell us more about the Digital Copy...

The Windows Media version allows for playback on exactly ONE computer and can only be transferred to said computer ONCE. In one case I accidentally deleted the video in question. Now it is gone for good.

Topic:  digitalcopy

Continue reading 'Day 28 -- Digital Copy'.

Americans! Let the FCC know how you feel about DRM...

Submitted by mattl on Thu, 2009-01-08 22:40

DRM refers to technologies typically used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, and copyright holders to attempt to control how consumers access and use media and entertainment content. Among other issues, the workshop will address the need to improve disclosures to consumers about DRM limitations. Interested parties may submit written comments or original research on this topic.

If you're in the USA, please submit your own response.

Continue reading 'Americans! Let the FCC know how you feel about DRM...'.

Apple announces all music on iTunes to go DRM-free -- no word on movies, TV shows, games, audiobooks and applications

Submitted by mattl on Thu, 2009-01-08 15:11

As you've no doubt heard, Apple, the last major retailer of DRM-encumbered music announced, live at MacWorld, that all iTunes music will be going DRM-free. Today, some 8 million songs and music videos are already available DRM-free, via iTunes Plus.

Continue reading 'Apple announces all music on iTunes to go DRM-free -- no word on movies, TV shows, games, audiobooks and applications'.

Belgian anti-DRM petition

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2009-01-06 11:35

If you're in Belgium, or from Belgium at least, please consider signing this petition against DRM.

Continue reading 'Belgian anti-DRM petition'.

Day 27 -- Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2008-12-23 12:56

Not content with producing a DRM-laden operating system in Vista, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have been hard at work, producing the Zune -- yet another piece of Redmond junk you wouldn't want in a million years. Not only do they seemingly fail to get it, repeatedly, but Microsoft under their leadership continues to produce overly fascist products, such as the Windows Media Center -- implementing the Broadcast Flag at the whim of NBC, one of their media partners.

Continue reading 'Day 27 -- Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates'.

Day 26 -- ACTA

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2008-12-23 12:55

ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, is a proposed enforcement treaty between United States, the European Community, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Mexico, with Canada set to join any day now.

Continue reading 'Day 26 -- ACTA'.

Day 25 -- Biden and Leahy

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2008-12-23 12:54

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont -- paid puppet for the media industry, sponsored the controversial S.3325 bill, aka the "PRO IP" bill.

We've covered the bill in some detail already:-

Continue reading 'Day 25 -- Biden and Leahy'.

Day 24 -- SDMI

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2008-12-23 12:54

SDMI, the Secure Digital Music Initiative was one of the first modern DRM schemes came about ten years ago -- a direct response to the widespread success of the DRM-free MP3 file format.

SDMI would use a watermarking feature and wanted to ensure this could not be detected. As such, they announced a challenge, inviting hackers and crypto experts to remove the watermarking.

Continue reading 'Day 24 -- SDMI'.

Day 23 -- Erik Huggers

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2008-12-23 12:50

The man who took over from Ashley Highfield had a tough job -- it wouldn't be easy filling his shoes. Afterall, Highfield's baby, the iPlayer, was already a failure by the time he arrived, it really had no chance of succeeding, especially for a Microsoft player like Huggers.

As it stands now, Highfield is at Microsoft, presumably working hard to combat all 600 of the GNU/Linux users in the UK, and as such as offer this hastily-drawn and poorly-concieved look into Erik Huggers' first day at the BBC.

Continue reading 'Day 23 -- Erik Huggers'.

Day 22 -- TiVO

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2008-12-23 12:45

When we told you about the iPhone, one of the problems we listed was that iPhone implements what we refer to as 'tivoization' -- that is, refusing to run software that has not been deemed appropriate by the ruling body, even if the software is permitted to be changed, legally, by its developers.

Continue reading 'Day 22 -- TiVO'.

Day 21 -- HD-DVD

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2008-12-23 12:45

Oh nine! F nine! One one Zero. 29D! 74E! Thirty Five! Bee Dee! Eight Four Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty Six. The Sinclair C5. When I'm 63. Oh, to be 56. Two Fat Ladies. Sea? Zero.

Confused holiday ramblings from Defective by Design or the key to something bigger? It's all part of something called the AACS encryption key controversy -- way back in April 2007, the MPAA and its cronies sent takedown notices to websites which dared to feature the magic number.

Topic:  hddvd

Continue reading 'Day 21 -- HD-DVD'.

Day 20 -- Vista

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2008-12-23 12:44

Here at DefectiveByDesign we have been working towards the goal of making Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) a socially unacceptable technology practice. That message is spreading.

By highlighting the threat DRM posses not just to consumer rights but to our freedom to be in control of our computers and electronic devices, we have been able to gain widespread political support.

Continue reading 'Day 20 -- Vista'.

Day 18 -- DMCA

Submitted by mattl on Tue, 2008-12-23 12:42

As we mentioned briefly yesterday -- we should never forget that Adobe used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to have a Russian programmer, Dmitry Sklyarov, arrested and imprisoned. His "crime"? Distributing a product designed to remove locks from eBooks so that they could be fully used like regular books.

Topic:  dmca adobe

Continue reading 'Day 18 -- DMCA'.

Day 17 -- Adobe

Submitted by mattl on Mon, 2008-12-22 12:42

Ah yes, Adobe, bastions of the creative world, and pain in the neck to all. Currently, as always, Adobe are up to some pretty dirty tricks. We're already seeing millions of users stuck with their deliberately crippled software -- Adobe Acrobat, Flash Player. Now comes Adobe AIR hand in hand with another sad story about the BBC:

Topic:  adobe

Continue reading 'Day 17 -- Adobe'.

Day 16: The Kindle Swindle

Submitted by mattl on Sun, 2008-12-21 12:39

The Amazon kindle provides convenience, but at the cost of freedom. When you purchase a kindle, you must agree to use the Digital Restriction Management (DRM) system. Since all of the Kindle ebooks you purchase from Amazon are in their proprietary DRM format, you are also promising to not share them with friends. And, because you promise to not circumvent the DRM, there is no way to move them to another device or a computer. You are locked into the Kindle and you are locked into Amazon.

Continue reading 'Day 16: The Kindle Swindle'.