Defective by Design


35 Days Against DRM — Day One: MacBook

Submitted by mattl on Wed, 2008-11-26 13:39

In February 2007, the CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs posted an essay, <

Topic:  Anti-DRM apple

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BBC iPlayer Protests

Submitted by JoshuaGay on Thu, 2007-08-02 09:40

Free Software Magazine: "Many people were walking around with DefectiveByDesign stickers"

Submitted by PeterB on Tue, 2006-08-22 07:22

[img_assist|nid=537|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=240|height=228]More than one thousand technologists in San Francisco wore DefectiveByDesign stickers proclaming their stance against DRM - that for free software developers DRM represents an attack on Freedom #1, the freedom to modify the code.

David Sugar reports from the conference: "Many people were walking around with DefectiveByDesign stickers.... I love this particular campaign. In fact, I believe it is one of the best grass-roots activist efforts the FSF has undertaken in recent years."

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Linux Journal: "the [DefectiveByDesign] campaign introduces a degree of activism previously unkown in the FOSS communities"

Submitted by PeterB on Thu, 2006-08-03 07:03

Bruce Byfield at Linux Journal writes "Starting from scratch, in less than three months, the [DefectiveByDesign] campaign has grown to 7000 members. This number is impressive, especially since the campaign introduces a degree of activism previously unknown in the free and open source software communities."

Bruce gives us his Five minute guide to opposing DRM.

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Tough questions for Sony

Submitted by lev on Wed, 2006-08-02 08:08

Ken Fischer, over at Ars Technica, has a great breakdown of a Q and A session at Siggraph that got a little heated. Apparently Mitch Singer, executive director of the digital policy group at Sony, had to endure some awkward questions about DRM. Ars Technica has that story.

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Apple copy-protection bad for business

Submitted by lev on Wed, 2006-07-26 08:12

Cory Doctorow has written a spot-on new column over at Information Week on how Apple iTunes' DRM is bad for business (not just customers). It's a great overview of the problems associated with DRM, in language that is fairly accessible. What's interesting is his tone, though, which seems to target big record companies -- laying out for them how their insistence on DRM is shooting them in the foot, putting them at Apple's beck and call.

Read Cory's article...

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Transcript of Ray Beckerman talking about the RIAA law suits

Submitted by PeterB on Thu, 2006-07-20 11:23

If you couldn't make it to the conference call with Ray Beckerman, a lawyer representing clients in cases against the RIAA, you can listen or download the audio from


Gregory Heller DefectiveByDesign Campaign Manager:
So without further ado I turn it over to Peter Brown the Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation

Peter Brown:

Thanks, Gregory. And welcome, everybody.

Continue reading 'Transcript of Ray Beckerman talking about the RIAA law suits'.

Awkward questions for the RIAA and MPAA

Submitted by PeterB on Mon, 2006-07-17 06:30

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has an excellent list of "Frequently Awkward Questions for the Entertainment Industry".

An example for the RIAA is:
"DRM has clearly failed to stop songs from getting on file sharing
networks, but it does prevent me from moving lawfully purchased music onto my iPod and other portable devices. Unlike the major record labels, many popular indie labels offer mp3 downloads through sites like eMusic. Why won't you let fans purchase mp3s as well?"

An example for the MPAA is:
"Why are there region-code restrictions on DVDs? How does this prevent copyright infringement? Is it illegal for me to buy or and use a region-free DVD player, or to modify a DVD player to be region-free?"

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Anti-DRM Children's Book

Submitted by lev on Fri, 2006-07-14 06:41

Inspired by the entertainment industry's strategy of training children to accept their vision of a DRM'd future, a father in Victoria, Canada published "The Pig And The Box," a children's book all about how DRM is Defective By Design. The book is available as a freely downloadable PDF under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus license. I love that he's countering the actions of the entertainment industry by telling a story about DRM in the most literal way possible -- a children's book. As more and more of us tell a different story about DRM, our voices can drown out those who favor this insidious technology.

Topic:  Anti-DRM

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Richard Stallman meets with French presidential front runner Ségolène Royal

Submitted by PeterB on Wed, 2006-07-05 06:21

Free Software Foundation (FSF) President Richard Stallman, met with French presidential candidate Ségolène Royal, and they agreed a joint statement. On DRM and the recent French copyright bill they say, "By giving a privileged legal status to digital restrictions (DRM), the bill "copyrights and related rights in the information society" (DADVSI) is going in the wrong direction. It will thus be necessary to examine from scratch the legal framework created by the DADVSI law at the French level and to contribute to the development of a European and international legal framework more favorable to the sharing of works and knowledge."

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Bono Delegation?

Submitted by PeterB on Tue, 2006-07-04 20:08

It's time for technologists and artists to form a coalition against DRM

With the launch of the Bono 10,000 signature petition, we achieved one of our main goals, discussion of DRM in the mainstream press. In the first 24 hours we had over 1,000 signatures added to the petition, and now we are looking to arrange an appointment with Bono.

One question that has come up is who would we send to represent us all? Should we send artists who have already taken a stand against DRM? lists the artists Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne and Sarah McLachlan. Or how about artists who have been leaders in digital activism, like Grateful Dead lyricist and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) co-founder, John Perry Barlow.

Continue reading 'Bono Delegation?'.

Newsforge: Canadian Privacy Advocates proclaim 'DRM Spyware'

Submitted by PeterB on Tue, 2006-06-27 05:56

Bruce Byfield writes A coalition of public interest groups and academic privacy experts has released a public letter and background paper to the Canadian government stating their concerns about digital rights management (DRM) technologies and their legal status."

They write,"DRM is used by some copyright holders ostensibly to control access to and use of copyright works. In fact, DRM technology can be used to override fundamental privacy protections. DRM typically uses surveillance to monitor and collect detailed information about people’s access to and use of creative works.

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CEO of BPI "sounded tired"

Submitted by lev on Fri, 2006-06-23 10:34

One Freedom Fighter called up Peter Jamieson, the CEO of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Apparently, Mr. Jamieson had been getting quite a few calls that morning:

"He said that I was the 17th call he had received :) he sounded tired. I asked what he thought about DRM. He said, "I only found out what it meant a few days ago". I told him that I didn't want DRM in my music or technology. He said "DRM was allowing music to be made available online". I said I don't want locks on my culture. He said "DRM allows you buy your culture", and said I should "go and educate myself."

Topic:  Anti-DRM RIAA action BPI

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"It's been hellacious"

Submitted by lev on Fri, 2006-06-23 10:29

I think this is one of my favorite stories. Earlier this morning, a kind-hearted and intrepid Freedom Fighter tried to call Cary Sherman, the President of the RIAA, to let Mr. Sherman know about the dangers posed by DRM. This is his story:

"Spoke to secretary. The poor lady complained that she hadn't even had coffe yet and that it was too early for all of this. I asked her about DRM and gave my case concerning it to her. She said its been hellacious so far with the calls but that everyone have been nice and respectful. The suits are throwing their secretaries under the bus today."

Topic:  Anti-DRM RIAA action

Continue reading '"It's been hellacious"'.

Canadian Exec Gets The Message!

Submitted by lev on Fri, 2006-06-23 10:19

One successful caller stayed on message with Graham Henderson, CEO of the Canadian Recording Industry Association. "I basically explained that I am a music lover who owns about 300 CDs and that I would like to be able to buy music online. However I was not willing to do that unless it enabled me to do the same lawful uses that CDs do. I asked him to reconsider his position on DRM and to ask Apple to sell DRM free music."

Way to go, Freedom Fighters! If you'd like to get involved, visit http://defectivebydesign.or

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BPI Spokesperson Deluged By Calls

Submitted by lev on Fri, 2006-06-23 10:09

One Freedom Fighter reports calling an exec at the BPI in Britain. After leaving a message on the bloke's mobile, the exec actually rang back, confused, and "asked [me] what...was going [on] and why he had been receiving so many phone calls from "freaks" today. I told him it was [a] demonstration going on and that we wanted to express our hatred towards DRM."

Want to join the fun? Visit

Topic:  Anti-DRM action

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Next Action: Freedom Rings at the RIAA

Submitted by PeterB on Wed, 2006-06-21 14:29

Freedom Rings at the RIAA Update: June 23rd, 9:30am Eastern -As of last night, over 3,600 people have joined this campaign to stand up for freedom and against DRM. Join today and give a piece of mind to executives at the IFPI (Germany), BPI (UK), SNEP (France), CRIA (Canada) and the RIAA (US). The action has begun and will continue until late tonight. When you sign up below, you will be given a page that provides information on executives at the these orgs, their phone numbers, and results from our calls! Join NOW to participate in this action:
Postal Code**
First Name Last Name Mobile (SMS)***
Topic:  Anti-DRM nodrm RIAA

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Reuters: iTunes at centre of digital rights protest

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-19 09:29

Over the weekend, Reuters foregrounded the DefectiveByDesign direct action in their DRM roundup. News about DRM keeps popping up everywhere, which is great news for the campaign. Keep spreading the word!

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Vitanuova: Adding some nuance to the conversation

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-19 09:21

Over at Vitanuova, Seth Schoen breaks down some of the recent discussions of DRM and the DefectiveByDesign campaign He takes a more nuanced approach than I've seen in other outlets. Thank goodness for the blogs.


Topic:  Anti-DRM

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TechNewsWorld: iTunes Protesters Crank Up the Volume

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-19 09:13

TechNewsWorld has a decent overview of DRM-related news in the last two weeks. Two paragraphs are devoted to the hard work of the DRM Elimination Crew - good work freedom fighters!

Read the whole story...

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The Corruptibles, targetting your freedoms

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-19 09:09

The EFF has a great new animation up. Pass it on to your friends, and keep spreading the word. The Corruptibles: mild-mannered copyright legislation by day, infringers of our freedoms by night!

Topic:  Anti-DRM EFF video

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Seattle: DRM Elimination Crew denied entry

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 14:04

Local Seattle website Seattlest published a story about Defective By Design volunteers facing resistance from University Village security guards on June 10th.

Read the full story...

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Macworld UK labels DBD "savvy"

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 13:13

Jonny Evans, reporting for Macworld UK, places the recent DefectiveByDesign flashmobs in an international context: "The group is perhaps a little more savvy than European regulators. The group contends that by restricting how software or files can be used, DRM-equipped products are 'defective by design'."

Read the rest of the article here...

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plasticboy: Apple Store Action

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 12:57

Over at, Ben weighs in with his impressions of the June 10th event: The event was a lot of fun, and with similar events going on in cities across the country hopefully it will raise awareness and get people talking about DRM.

Read the post...

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Activists investigate DRM contamination in Cambridge, MA Apple store

Submitted by JohnSullivan on Mon, 2006-06-12 12:48

June 10th Flashmobs: news is spreading

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 12:35

David Chartier reports on the nation-wide, coordinated flashmobs over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog. People are starting to talk about Digital Restrictions Management. We can all add our voices to the comments and discussions taking place.

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BoingBoing: Local freedom fighters pull out all the stops

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 07:56

A hilarious picture from the San Francisco flashmob on June 10th is up at BoingBoing. Freedom Fighters dug out the following quote from Apple CEO Steve Jobs: "If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own." Local DBD volunteers printed the quote out as a large banner, and brought it with them to the June 10th event. Way to go, fellow technologists!

The quote in question, from a 2002 Wall Street Journal interview, can be found over at Macworld.

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NewsForge: June 10th flashmobs a success

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 07:43

Over at NewsForge, Bruce Byfield gives an in-depth examination of the June 10th flashmobs organized by volunteer members of Defective By Design around the country. The article notes that, " a complex issue," and quotes FSF Executive Director Peter Brown, who points out that the topic "deserves time and space to [be discussed] rationally. When this discussion happens, we win."

Brown also stressed that Defective By Design is a coalition. "We don't ask that everyone who turns up for these events should be aligned with what we stand for," Brown stresses. "A lot of people turn out to these demonstrations just because they don't like a particular use of DRM. Or they may have their own ideas about DRM. Defective By Design is there to be an action center for anyone who has a reason for disliking DRM. [All] we stand for is a very clear message: DRM needs to be stopped."

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Flash Mobs Covered in Business Week

Submitted by lev on Mon, 2006-06-12 07:15

Once again, Freedom Fighters make the frontpage of In an article analysing the growing response against Digital Restrictions Management across Europe, Arik Hesseldahl draws attention to the successful, nation-wide demonstrations held on June 10th, 2006.

STATESIDE PROTESTS. As the outcry in Europe is spreading, there is some opposition to Apple's business practices in the U.S. A group called the Free Software Foundation carried out protests on June 10 at seven Apple retail stores in cities that included New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle.

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Seattle anti-DRM flashmob

Submitted by Henri Poole on Tue, 2006-05-23 13:41

There is no more important cause for electronic freedoms and privacy than the call for action to stop DRM from crippling our digital future. The time is now. Join us.

By joining the DEFECTIVE BY DESIGN community, we commit to each other that together, as our numbers grow, we will use our collective voices to demand that governments, corporations, and politicians take the steps necessary to protect our rights. Today I join this community and I request to be immediately notified of direct actions that I can join in my local community.
Postal Code** (required)
First Name Last Name Mobile Phone (SMS)***

* A password and instructions will be sent to this e-mail address, so make sure it is accurate.
** We'll SMS you with urgent actions in your area
*** International Codes OK

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