Defective by Design


Gizmodo calls for RIAA artist boycott in March

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-02-23 20:16

Gizmodo is calling for a boycott of the RIAA in March by avoiding purchasing music from record labels/artists that are members of the RIAA.

How do you know what labels are part of the RIAA? Gizmodo points to RIAA Radar for a directory.

Topic:  drm RIAA

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Doctorow on Jobs DRM Dance

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-02-23 15:42

Cory Doctorow had a great article in Salon today about Steve jobs tortured DRM position.

We couldn't have said any of this better ourselves. Here are some excerpts from Cory's piece.

I doubt Jobs' sincerity. I suspect he likes DRM because it creates an anti-competitive lock-in to Apple. I think he's trying to shift blame for the much-criticized DRM to the music industry, whose executives are twirling their mustaches and declaring DRM to be the only way forward for their industry.

Topic:  drm apple ipod itms

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BBC holding public consultation on adding DRM to it's content

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Wed, 2007-02-21 12:37

The BBC is holding a Public Consultation as to whether and how to implement DRM on BBC content. They have a form up on their website that allows constituents to air their opinions on a number of questions.

Advogato has a good post about the issues at hand with some recommended answers.

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98% of Financial Times Readers Agree: Ditch DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-02-20 18:04

The Financial Times is running a poll on their website in which they ask: Should music companies drop DRM? Answer the Poll you can also post a comment.

Topic:  drm poll

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UK Government Responds to Petition to Ban DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-02-20 17:57

A few months ago blogger and Member Neil Holmes set up a petition on a beta site run by the UK Government.

This week the government posted a response, and unfortunately, they are drinking the Big Media coolaid.

Continue reading 'UK Government Responds to Petition to Ban DRM'.

Framing the DRM Debate

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-02-20 17:44

Linux World has a great post on "framing" and offers a good alternative example of why stopping DRM is important.

Topic:  drm language fair use

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Microsoft Execs come out in support of DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-02-09 06:05

Forbes is carrying an interview with an MS Exec who says Microsoft loves DRM and is sticking with it, even as Apple's Steve Jobs rails against it.

Topic:  Microsoft drm

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EMI moving closer to offering music without DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-02-09 06:00

I just read on Gizmodo that the NYT reports this morning that EMI is considering opening up "broad swaths" of its catalog for digital download through online retailers without DRM.

The EMI Group, the British music giant, has been considering a plan to offer a broad swath of its recordings for sale online without anti-copying software, executives involved in discussions with the company said.

Topic:  drm music mp3 EMI

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Jobs (and Gates) should "Put their money where the mouths are"

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-02-08 20:41

In the days since Steve Jobs' open letter basically denouncing DRM and calling for its abolition, we have heard from many of you that Jobs unfairly distances himself from the DRM problem and solution, laying the blame at the feet of the big four music companies.

We wonder if he has forgotten that he is CEO of Pixar, part of the Disney Family. DRM is not just about music, increasingly it is movies and video that are protected by DRM, especially those selections purchased from iTMS.

Instead of laying the responsibility for DRM with the music companies and calling on their customers to influence them, Jobs should ask music fans to join him in directly lobbying the Big Four to drop DRM. He should be joining with Bill Gates and hosting a summit on the issue with Big Media.

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We're winning! Jobs joins Gates in opposition to DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Wed, 2007-02-07 09:59

A year ago I don't think that anyone could have imagined these two stunning announcements from the founders and titular heads of the worlds leading technology and digital music device companies. both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have publicly derided DRM as an impossible mission to secure digital music files with "crippling" DRM.

From Jobs open letter:

The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Topic:  drm apple ipod music itms

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More pictures from the Vista Launch action and BoingBoing Coverage

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-01-29 21:12

Pictures are starting to surface on Flickr

And BoingBoing picked it up too. Check out Technorati for some other blog hits.

Gates will be on the Daily Show tonight. Look for clips on video sharing sites and be sure to comment on them with links to and

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Vista Launch Coverage: Engadget and others

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2007-01-29 14:27

DefectiveByDesign members turned out today in New York City (despite the bitter cold!) to spread the message that Vista's DRM is a danger to computer users. We were joined by folks from the campaign who distributed free software to the guests lining up to attend the launch event.

Engadget got their pictures up before we did.

Continue reading 'Vista Launch Coverage: Engadget and others'.

Join DefectiveByDesign at the Vista Launch Events in NYC

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-01-26 11:22

The Dawn of Vista DRM - On Monday we'll be turning out to share our "Wow Moments" with Bill Gates and his invited guests in NYC. We tried to get an invite to the events, but, alas, were denied access, so we'll be outside greeting guests as they arrive to the two swank events Microsoft has planned to pitch the Vista Upsell.

First, we'll be at the star studded luncheon at Cipriani's on 42nd Street from noon. Sign up now to join us.

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"Wow starts now"? Software Freedom Activists Stand Up To VISTA Launch

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-01-26 11:02

"Wow starts now"? It's more like "Ow starts now", as consumers start to learn what they will lose by choosing Vista.

DefectiveByDesign has been campaigning against DRM since last May. In that time, consumer and media awareness of the restitrictive technology has increased and consumers have largely turned against it. Even the music industry is contemplating dropping it. Yet even against the growing anti-drm chorus, Microsoft is launching the Vista Operating System which, aside from some new bells and whistles, and an increase in base hardware requirements, is largely a platform for DRM, designed to serve Big Media companies more than individual computer users. Vista represents a step backwards in users' freedom, it is an "upsell" not an "upgrade". While user's rights will be trammeled by the DRM and Treacherous Computing features of Vista, the collatoral damage will be environment as users are forced to abandon perfectly good hardware to meet the new requirements of Vista, generating tons of e-waste.

Topic:  Microsoft drm vista

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Hollywood admits piracy not the problem

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-01-25 20:19

Ars Technica reported last week on a Hollywood Exec's admission that DRM, for them, is not about piracy, rather about control over the way people interact with copyrighted works.

If we believe Ronald Grover's sources in his BusinessWeek article of last week, the problem is liberal DRM and not piracy, and this is a startling admission. According to him, an unnamed studio executive said that a major reason why studios weren't jumping on board with the iTunes store and other similar services is that their DRM is too lax. "[Apple's] user rules just scare the heck out of us." It's not piracy that's the concern, it's their ability to control how you use the content you purchase.

Topic:  drm itunes movies itms

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BadVista: Tag Vista "DefectiveByDesign" on Amazon

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2007-01-23 14:37 has just announced an Amazon tagging campaign like the one we launched against DRMd products. Read the full post on, or got to go to Amazon and start tagging!

You can also help call attention to this story by

Topic:  Microsoft drm tc vista

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DRM is dying and MP3 will be the dominant format

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-01-12 18:03

Eliot Van Buskirk wrote earlier this week the seven reasons why MP3 will be the dominant digital music format. Among them, the record labels don't have a choice if they want to regain control of digital distribution from Apple's iTMS.

Topic:  drm music mp3

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Major Labels start Ditching DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2007-01-11 14:46

Alot is happening in the digital music realm these last few week.s We've heard news that Microsoft is abandoning PlaysForSure DRM to focus exclusively on their Zune DRM. EMI, meanwhile, has abandoned DRM in all new CDs which is great news, and they are also starting to offer mp3s with no drm. Including music by Norah Jones on Yahoo and eMusic.

Topic:  drm music mp3 EMI

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The FSF "Bad Vista" campaign

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Fri, 2007-01-05 07:42

In December, the FSF launched the BadVista Campaign to raise awareness about the problems with Microsoft Vista and promote Free software alternatives for computer users.

You can help the Bad Vista Campaign, one way is to create web banners, logos or badges, see the site for details.

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Newsweek on DRM

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2006-11-20 20:06

Newseek ran an article this week on DRM and the growing anti DRM movement that our efforts have been instrumental in over the last few months.

Now, an increasingly vocal grassroots resistance to DRM is cropping up. An anti-DRM campaign called “Defective by Design,” which is organized by the Free Software Foundation, has 15,000 registered members; the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that DRM places limits on “your ability to make lawful use of the music you purchase.” Web sites like and have been launched “to protect individuals’ right to use new digital technologies” and urge boycotts on DRM-tagged content. David Berlind, executive editor of tech trade journal ZDNet, coined his own term for DRM: “Content Restriction, Annulment and Protection.” (Figure out the acronym).

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BBC on UK Copyright law changes

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2006-10-30 14:26

The BBC has an article up about a report by The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) calling on Parliament to revise the UK's copyright laws (currently Brittons do not have even the private right to copy their CDs to their own computers or portable digital music players).

Deputy Director of the IPPR, Dr. Ian Kearns said, "[But] it is not the music industry's job to decide what rights consumers have that is the job of government."

Report author Kay Withers said: "The idea of all-rights reserved doesn't make sense for the digital era and it doesn't make sense to have a law that everyone breaks. To give the IP regime legitimacy it must command public respect."

Topic:  drm music copyright uk

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The Small Print Project

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Sun, 2006-10-29 18:15

From BoingBoing:
Andy Sternberg has launched a great site today, "The Small Print Project," which looks to catalog all the "agreements" we find ourselves "consenting to" when we open a box, install a program, sign up for a service or visit a website. These "terms and conditions," "terms of use" and "end-user license agreements" do terrible violence to the noble agreement, backing us into arrangements that no sane individual would ever agree to.

Topic:  drm eula tos

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Tagging products on Amazon "DefectiveByDesign"

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2006-10-26 20:35

On Thursday afternoon we asked DBD members to start tagging products with DRM on "DefectiveByDesign". The response has been great, with over 500 products tagged by more than 150 Amazon customers.

We're also suggesting that if you own a product that has DRM, go on and review it to let other would be users know about the dangers of DRM. If you do, let us know by posting a comment (include a link to your Amazon review!).

Topic:  drm amazon labeling

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More Anti-DRM sites and organizations

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2006-10-26 11:39

The anti-drm community is growing. Our own organization has nearly 15,000 members signed up. Mainstream press is covering the downside of DRM, and people in the industries pushing DRM are starting to speak out.

DefectiveByDesign members have shown that we can fight against DRM and win.

Other organizations are now joining in the effort to stop DRM. In the last month FSFE has helped launch a coalition effort called a great repository of information and articles about DRM. If your looking for more information so you can hone your "holiday dinner" presentation to your family, this is a great place to stop. And just the other day the Consumer Electronics Association and others launched an advocacy site that allows you to sign a petition to (US) government and send advocacy emails to your representatives asking them to protect your digital rights.

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Stay the Course? The Final Media Revolution...

Submitted by PeterB on Tue, 2006-10-24 07:09

We are starting to hear more and more doubts expressed that DRM can be a viable business model for the media and technology companies. The "stay the course" voices sound shaky. The problem? It seems that we - their users and customers - don't like DRM, and we won't accept it. We refuse to purchase from them, some circumvent the restrictions and most just go elsewhere. Eric Pickard is the director of advertising strategy and emerging media planning at Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, and his message to the Big Media companies is simple: The people are in control...

Topic:  Microsoft drm zune

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DRM not part of a viable business model (Billboard)

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2006-10-19 12:36

Last week Billboard (the music industry publication) ran a great article about DRM and the digital music market. The article was picked up by Reuters and ran in many other publications. An article like this would have been almost unthinkable in a recording industry publication just a few months ago!

What's more, opponents insist that DRM, in fact, does nothing to protect music. Virtually every form of DRM has been hacked, including Apple's FairPlay and Microsoft's WMA encryption of tethered subscription files. Not all digital music consumers are aware of these workarounds, but tend to discover them the minute they find they can't play their music on their device of choice.

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DRM killed the TiVoToGo star

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Thu, 2006-10-12 12:39

As we mop up after all the action and news related to October 3rd - Day Against DRM, we want to draw attention to a couple of items: just announced the winners of the Down With DRM Video Contest.
Digg the DRM Video Contest Winners

Electronic Frontier Foundation's report "Who Killed the TiVoToGo?" which details how Big Media and Cable companies forced TiVo to remove the TiVo To Go service from the new TiVo Series 3 HD.
Digg DRM killed the TiVoToGo!

Topic:  drm EFF tivo cable fcc

Continue reading 'DRM killed the TiVoToGo star'.'s DRM free digital music store wins "BEST MUSIC STORE" at Digital Music Awards

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2006-10-10 08:32

This via a DBD member:

04 / 10 / 2006 (for us int he USA that is October 4, 2006)

On Tuesday night Bleep won the UK Digital Music Award for 'Best Music Store', beating players such as iTunes, Napster and ThreeMusic.

It was a public voted award so we want to give massive thanks to everyone
who took the time to vote for us!

This summer Bleep passed the million downloads threshold, and is now home
to over 300 labels and counting. All new music to the site is now encoded
at the maximum bitrate of 320kbps, with everything still as standard

Continue reading ''s DRM free digital music store wins "BEST MUSIC STORE" at Digital Music Awards'.

StopDRM! activists confess to DRM circumvention

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Mon, 2006-10-09 09:58

France's StopDRM had a great action last week. A few members circumvented the DRM on songs purchased from iTunes Music Store and a DVD and then they turned themselves in to Paris Police. Read the full article on Cnet.

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Keep the pictures coming

Submitted by Gregory Heller on Tue, 2006-10-03 15:21

We have been getting some great reports in and photos too.
be sure to upload pictures of your actions, or send them to us.

Here are a few good ones:
iTunes is DefectiveByDesign


Continue reading 'Keep the pictures coming'.