BBC iPlayer protest report

Read the Press Reports and Response from the BBC

We have had beautiful weather in London since I arrived in the UK on August 4. But today with the protest about to kick off it's tipping down. I'm in my hired car and "luckily" I get a puncture right outside BBC television center on Wood Lane. With no parking in the area, this gives me 90 minutes for the road side rescue to come and change my tire without getting towed. With hazmat suits, large signs and flyers to drop off, this makes life much easier.

Awesome Anti-DRM T-shirts

TorrentFreak has announced the winners of their anti-DRM t-shirt contest. You can order shirts printed with the designs, or you can download the source files and print your own. The winners are strikingly effective designs and are a great way to get people thinking about DRM—I just ordered #3 for myself. Kudos to all 50 of the entering artists for taking the time to apply their skills to help communicate this important message, and congratulations to the winners!

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Behind-The-Scenes Look at How DRM Becomes Law from Cory Doctorow

This afternoon Information Week published a great article by Cory Doctorow about how big corporations and shadowy associations and working groups collude to develop DRM schemes and the laws that mandate them.

The piece is very long, and very good. Everyone who is interested in this sort of thing should give it a read and then tell your friends and family about it.

Here is a choice excerpt from the beginning:

Apple iPhone and DRM

The iPhone hype hides a basic problem with the product – Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) inside the iPhone means that it wont be under your control. Apple has built this “smart” phone to dumb you down. They also want you to switch your cell phone service to AT&T – who collaborated with the National Security Agency (NSA) in its massive, illegal program to wiretap and data­ mine Americans' communications.

FSF Releases GPLv3, Strikes Blow Against Tivoization (like the iPhone)

Today the FSF announces the release of the GPLv3. The announcement coincidentally is on the same day as Apple's much awaited iPhone release.

As the GPLv3 press release states:

“Tivoization” is a term coined by the FSF to describe devices that are built with free software, but that use technical measures to prevent the user from making modifications to the software—a fundamental freedom for free software users—and an attack on free software that the GPLv3 will put a stop to.

Early Results Are In: DRM Free Music Sells!

ArsTechnica reports thatEMI's DRM Free tracks on iTMS Plus are selling VERY well with double and triple digit percentage increases. As ArsTechnica points out, some of the increase could be a result of users looking to upgrade already purchased tracks, but that still means that users are willing to pay the extra 30 cents to loose the DRM.

EMI execs are expressing confidence that the trend will continue, and other labels are considering joining them, probably when more data has come in.

The most popular free software license - the GNU GPL - will combat DRM

Last week the Free Software Foundation announced that version 3 of the GNU GPL (GPLv3), will be released on June 29th.

On this date many thousands of free software projects will start to switch to this license. And GPLv3 is squarely aimed at defeating DRM.

Many corporations use GPL covered works to build their products. The successful adoption of GPLv3 will help limit DRM to those products built with proprietary software. Those products will be less attractive to consumers, more expensive, and less useful.

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AnywhereCD and Warner Settle

A few months back, AnywhereCD launched offering a new service, buy a physicals cd AND get the digital download immediately. Anywhere made deals with numerous record companies, including Warner. Shortly after launch, Warner cried foul. The lawsuits started flying.

This week brings news of a settlement. Under the terms, you can get your warner CDs and MP3 from AnywhereCD until September.

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DRM Free Clasical Music Downloads

The Christian Science Monitor has a good article about classical music without DRM.

The article makes the point that digital sales of classical music are pretty high and that classical music fans are willing to spend money on digital music sales for larger files.

Industry figures are hopeful that dropping copy protection – thus allowing for big, clear-sounding and noncompressed audio files – will generate even stronger interest in classical downloads.

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TIME on DRM

Time Magazine ran an article last week about DRM. It gets alot right, and speaks in non geek terms:

Off the record, most executives--on the technology side at least--will tell you that DRM is a dinosaur that's waiting for the asteroid to hit. It's just a matter of when the music industry will stop assuming its customers are all criminals.

DRM Elimination Crew Hits The Streets

On Friday, DefectiveByDesign members hit the streets to tell the public about Disney, DRM and the Intellectual Property Protection Act 2007 (IPPA2007).

UPDATE:
In Boston a large group composed of DefectiveByDesign members, and activists from FreeCulture.org and BinaryFreedom.info gathered, at Boston's main cinema on Boston Common.

Alberto Gonzales Not Satsified with destroying Department of Justice...

On Monday the disgraced Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who has done a pretty good job of destroying the reputation of the Justice Department announced that he wants to destroy computer users rights by proposing laws to protect "intellectual property".

HBO wants us to stop using "DRM"

But they don't want to drop the restrictions! Earlier this week an HBO Executive, Bob Zitter, caught alot of flack in the blogosphere (and rightly so) for suggesting the only problem with DRM is the name, and that renaming the same restrictions "Digital Consumer Enablement" would solve the problem.

We like to point to a quote from a Disney exec from a ways back "If the consumer even knows there is a DRM we've lost." And by all accounts, they've all lost! Through the work of groups like ours, we have informed users about DRM. And now they don't want it.

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