Defective by Design


MSN Music to shut down, leaving DRM customers in the lurch

Submitted by JohnSullivan on Wed, 2008-04-23 13:05

Microsoft is ceasing support for its MSN Music service. After August 31, 2008, people who have bought music from the service will no longer be able to move that music to different computers, or even change the operating system on their current computers.

Topic:  Microsoft drm music

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CBC to offer popular TV program as a DRM-free download

Submitted by JohnSullivan on Thu, 2008-03-20 10:05

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has some excellent news for DRM-free living.

The CBC will be the first major North American broadcaster to release one of its programs without Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). On top of that, they will be using BitTorrent to distribute the program, which is "Canada's Next Great Prime Minister".

Topic:  drm tv

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Apple says you can't read data on your own computer

Submitted by mattl on Fri, 2008-01-25 08:15

It's yet another example of what we just talked about -- DRM doesn't just restrict copying of music files, it infects your entire system and turns it against you. Apple is explicitly preventing DTrace from examining or recording data for processes which don't "permit" tracing -- processes like, say iTunes.

Topic:  drm apple dtrace

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Apple DRM obstructs legal creativity

Submitted by mattl on Thu, 2008-01-24 16:02

People are seeing Digital Restrictions Management for what it is this week, thanks to Apple's "Fairplay" DRM scheme.

Topic:  drm apple

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Another nasty DRM surprise from Netflix

Submitted by JoshuaGay on Thu, 2008-01-03 14:56

Netflix DRM won't stream to HDD

When you buy into DRM technology, you put control over your computer in someone else's hands. This guarantees that unpredictable and unpleasant things will happen. Those with the DRM keys can decide that you no longer have the right to access the media you bought unless you agree to some new terms or buy some new tech, like Major League Baseball and Google Video have both done recently.

Topic:  drm netflix hdd

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iPlayer is still Defective by Design

Submitted by mattl on Mon, 2007-12-17 06:52

Today the BBC announced that iPlayer is now available to non-Windows users, via a streaming service. Once again, we must ready ourselves to ask the BBC why they are still forcing users to install proprietary software in order to watch BBC content.

Adobe's Flash Player restricts your freedom by refusing to allow you basic freedoms. You cannot even run Flash Player on certain machines without Adobe's permission, and yet the BBC is forcing the British public to install and run this software, without consideration for their rights.

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The Kindle Swindle

Submitted by JoshuaGay on Wed, 2007-12-12 07:36

Jeff Bezos, CEO of - Photo by O'Reilly at Flickr

. Tag the Kindle and Kindle ebooks on Amazon.

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Warner Waking Up?

Submitted by JohnSullivan on Fri, 2007-09-21 13:28

It's taking a while, but maybe Warner Music is finally starting to get the hint. They didn't get it after Steve Jobs showed initial signs of comprehension, so we decided back in April that someone needed to initiate a

Topic:  drm music warner

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DRM - Trash Vista, Not Your Computer

Submitted by PeterB on Wed, 2007-08-29 07:48

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.

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News reports and response from the BBC's Ashley Highfield

Submitted by PeterB on Wed, 2007-08-15 03:40

Read the protest report

Topic:  drm bbc iPlayer

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BBC iPlayer protest report

Submitted by PeterB on Wed, 2007-08-15 01:08

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.

Topic:  drm bbc iPlayer

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BBC Corrupted

Submitted by PeterB on Fri, 2007-07-27 09:33

Zune DRM Cracked

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Wed, 2007-07-18 23:43

Wired and others are carrying the story that Microsoft's ZUNE DRM has been cracked. Proving again, that just about any DRM scheme will be cracked sooner or later.

Topic:  Microsoft drm zune

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Awesome Anti-DRM T-shirts

Submitted by JohnSullivan on Fri, 2007-07-13 13:41

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!

Topic:  drm t-shirts

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

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Wed, 2007-07-11 22:12

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:

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More on Tivoization, GPLv3 and the iPhone

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-07-03 14:24

We've gotten a few questions about our iPhone related messages last week. People have asked, "What exactly do you mean by Tivoization?" or "Why is that bad? Why does it make the iPhone bad?"

From Richard Stallman's statement on the GPLv3:

Topic:  drm iphone gplv3

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HMV joining online DRM Free MP3 Sellers

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-07-03 12:48

HMV seems like the latest big name to join the DRM Free MP3 sales market. Looks like they plan to undercut iTMS in an attempt to increase sales.

HMV and other bricks and mortar music stores haven't been doing so well of late as sales of physical CDs have been dropping.

Topic:  drm music mp3

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Apple iPhone and DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-06-29 07:59

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.

Topic:  drm apple iphone

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Early Results Are In: DRM Free Music Sells!

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Wed, 2007-06-20 20:45

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.

Topic:  drm EMI itms plus

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Free The BBC Site launched

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Sat, 2007-06-09 17:08

Binary Freedom just launched with an open letter to the BBC regarding their decision to use proprietary formats and DRM despite overwhelming public comment early this year in support of open formats and content free of DRM.

Digg the Story!

Topic:  drm bbc

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Jeremy Allison on DRM not ever working

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-06-07 13:56

Just read a good piece by Jeremy Allison over on ZDNET. Why DRM won't ever work is a good explanation of the fundamental flaws with the concept and implementation of DRM. It is a great piece to share with folks who don't understand DRM.

Topic:  drm

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DRM Free Clasical Music Downloads

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-06-07 13:44

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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Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-05-29 10:52

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.

Topic:  drm mp3 amazon itms

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DRM Elimination Crew Hits The Streets

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Sun, 2007-05-27 22:41

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

In Boston a large group composed of DefectiveByDesign members, and activists from and gathered, at Boston's main cinema on Boston Common.

Topic:  drm disney ippa

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IPPA Disney DRM Fact Sheet

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-05-25 08:01

We created this fact sheet (PDF)for use at May 25th Actions around the world. Download your own copy, print some out and give them to friends.

Topic:  drm video DVD disney ippa

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FSF Launches

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-05-17 11:51

Now that the record labels are starting to drop DRM, major retailers like Amazon are announcing their plans to distribute music unencumbered by DRM. This is a huge victory!

Topic:  drm music ogg

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

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Wed, 2007-05-16 13:11

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".

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HBO wants us to stop using "DRM"

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-05-11 17:15

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.

Topic:  drm hbo

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BBC Chooses DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-05-11 16:37

Earlier this week Boing Boing covered the BBC Trusts poor decision to opt for proprietary formats and DRM in their online offerings. Ars Technica has a good article on the decision. If you are a UK resident, you should continue to make your displeasure with DRM known to BBC.

Topic:  Microsoft drm bbc

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Over 1200 Signers to Bronfman Letter

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-05-03 11:13

In a little over 2 days over 1200 people have signed the open letter to Edgar Bronfman, Jr. of Warner Music.

Spread the word to your friends or sign it today if you have not yet. We'll be sending it out Friday afternoon.

Topic:  drm music warner

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