During this year's International Day Against DRM we asked people who want to put an end to Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to take action with us, and so many of you did.
In addition to the other activities of the day, we penned a letter to Netflix, asking them to remove DRM from their original productions. Since then, we've emailed the letter to the Netflix board, and sent a copy of the letter to their offices.
The U.S. Copyright Office finally published its study on the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions, and is launching into the next round of the exemptions process. ** We need your help by July 30th to support our comment to the Copyright Office calling for renewal of all previously granted exemptions.**
UPDATE: The petition has been sent to Netflix. Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this action against DRM!
Through the creation of original work, Netflix can no longer hide behind the excuse that they only use DRM due to requirements from the film and television industries. Netflix needs to work for their subscribers, and their subscribers are mistreated by DRM. Please sign the petition below, insisting that Netflix respect the rights of its subscribers!
Digital Restrictions Management. DRM. the software that comes
bolted to your digital media and computerized devices and tries to
police your behavior. The major media companies are its masters, and
they justify it as a necessary evil to prevent filesharing, calling it
Digital Rights Management. But it does more than that, and worse than
that. Giving its owners power over our cars, medical devices, phones,
computers, and more, it opens a deep crack in our digital rights and
While Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) isn't a thing to celebrate, the work people are doing against it is. This is part of why we organize International Day Against DRM (IDAD), a day to raise awareness about DRM, take community action, and celebrate what is being done by activists, artists, booksellers, farmers, filmmakers, musicians, and publishers.
Signs from a demonstration at Cambridge, MA city hall last week.
The inventor of the Web is considering allowing corporate interests to change its underlying technology, extending their ability to control users' computers with DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), undermining Internet freedom, and exposing people to surveillance and criminal threats online.
As Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee considers this decision, people around the world are placing hundreds of phone calls urging him not to allow the change. Now a small artist-led group called Ethics in Tech is taking it to the next level—this Saturday, they will march to Berners-Lee's office in Cambridge, MA, to demand he heed the call of human rights groups, tens of thousands of Web users, and his fellow Web pioneers: reject DRM in Web standards and stand up for the free, fair Web that everyone except a handful of big companies wants.
Perzanowski (far right) answers skeptical comments from industry representatives.
When people buy an ebook, do they expect to be able to read it for the rest of their lives? How about the ability to make a backup copy of a movie before their hard drive breaks? For most digital media purchases, these reasonable activities are prevented by DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), but it appears the vast majority of customers don't know it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Boston, Massachusetts, USA—Thursday, April 13th,
2017—Today Defective by Design granted Tim Berners-Lee the first ever
Obedience Award, recognizing his work to help wealthy corporations add
DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) to official Web
standards. Inspired by the MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award, the
Obedience Award highlights activity upholding the status quo despite
an overwhelming ethical case against it. Today is the first
opportunity for the addition of DRM to become final as per the formal
process for setting Web standards.
Since the beginning of the Web—the age of dial-up Internet connections—the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) has kept the Web's technical standards tuned in a careful balance that enables innovation while respecting users' rights.
We have fought the practice of Digital Restrictions
(DRM) for almost two decades. This year, we made breakthroughs in
two important DRM battlegrounds: the US Copyright Office and the
World Wide Web Consortium. We are gaining ground against the
offenses of DRM: malware and spyware foisted on users, remote
deletion of cultural works, good-faith security researchers muzzled,
and more. Now we need to push the advantage.
Defective by Design is supported by memberships and donations to our
parent organization, the Free Software Foundation. On Monday,
the Foundation launched its yearly fundraiser with the goal of
welcoming 500 new members and raising $450,000 before December
31st. If you have the resources, please support our work against DRM:
make a donation or join as a member today.
Twenty-five years ago, Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Back then timbl -- as he's known online -- declined opportunities to lock down his creation and established himself as an advocate for a freedom-affirming, interoperable, and universally accessible World Wide Web. Now he's considering turning his back on this vision to make Netflix, Google, Apple, and Microsoft happy.
This week, the chief arbiter of Web standards, Tim Berners-Lee,
decided not to exercise his power to extend the development timeline
for the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) Web technology
standard. The EME standardization effort, sponsored by streaming
giants like Google and Netflix, aims to make it cheaper and more
efficient to impose Digital Restrictions Management (DRM)
systems on Web users. The streaming companies' representatives within
the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) were unable to finish EME
within the time allotted by the W3C, and had asked Berners-Lee
for an extension through next year.
Next week, demonstrators will gather at a meeting of the World Wide
Web Consortium (W3C) in Lisbon, Portugal. They will make the same
demand that we made at the last major W3C meeting in March: stop
streaming companies from inserting Digital Restrictions Management
(DRM) into the HTML standard on which the Web is based.
Have you ever purchased a digital product, only to discover that you
couldn't use it as you wish? Maybe you bought your favorite musician's
new album and realized that you couldn't make a copy to share with
your friend, or you downloaded an ebook that you couldn't read on both
your tablet and your desktop computer. Those are both forms of
(DRM) -- technological handcuffs that control how you can use digital
Microsoft made the news last week when it announced that its Edge Web
browser could deliver a better Netflix streaming experience than the
other three most popular browsers. On Windows 10, Edge is the only one
that can play Netflix's video streams — which are encumbered with Digital
Restrictions Management (DRM) — in 1080p high definition. A
PCWorld article confirmed the claim, but no one writing online
has been able to give a clear explanation for the discrepancy.
Following the tone of Microsoft's announcement, most writers seem
content to imply that Edge's "edge" in Netflix playback on Windows
derives from technical superiority, and that intelligent Netflix
users should switch to Edge.
Despite dedicated resistance by tens of thousands of Web users and
civil society groups, Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee has allowed
Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) to move to the next phase of
development within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Anti-DRM activism first sparked in the 1990s, as media and technology companies wielded digital restrictions more and more blatantly to lock-in customers and control people's access to computers. There are countless examples of the collateral damage DRM has caused to culture, privacy and security, but just over ten years ago, Sony accidentally gave the anti-DRM movement special inspiration. By infecting thousands of its own customers with a DRM that spied on them and broke their computers, the company spurred public awareness of DRM's menace to society. The burgeoning anti-DRM movement combined old-school free software activists with newcomers who were concerned with the digital books, games and other media increasingly being locked down. The Free Software Foundation started the Defective by Design campaign as a home for the movement. On October 3rd, 2006, we launched the first International Day Against DRM.