The fifteenth International Day Against DRM (IDAD) is next week, and we here at the Defective by Design campaign are calling on you to help us send a message to purveyors of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) around the world, letting them know that DRM is unacceptable in any and all of its forms. This year's Day Against DRM will be held next Friday, on December 10, 2021.
The ongoing pandemic has only tightened the stranglehold streaming services have as some of the most dominant forms of entertainment media, and Disney+ is among the worst of them. After years of aggressive lobbying to extend the length of copyright, based on their perceived need to keep a certain rat from entering the public domain, they've now set their sights on "protecting" their various franchises in a different way: by shackling them with digital restrictions. If Disney's stated mission is to keep "inspiring hope and sparking the curiosity of all ages", using DRM to limit that curiosity remains the wrong move.
This year, we'll be using one of Disney's own means of spreading their "service" and the DRM bundled with it: their mobile app. If you're an existing user of the Google Play (Android) or Apple App Stores, you can support the International Day Against DRM by voicing your objection to Disney's subjugation of their users. Streaming services like Netflix and Peacock have the same issues, but by targeting a newer one with such massive investment and capital behind it, we can make sure that we're heard. Disney+ is new: that gives it time to change.
Disney+ is placed near the top of the most frequently downloaded apps on both the Google Play and Apple App Stores. We invite you to write a well-thought objection to Disney's use of DRM, with a fitting review. It is the perfect way to let the corporation, and other users intending to use its services know Disney's grievous mistake in using DRM to restrict customers who already want to view their many films and television shows. It will give you a chance to give them the exact rating that any service that treats its users so poorly: a single star.
DRM isn't the only problem with the Disney+ app. It's also nonfree software. If you're not already an Android or iOS user, we don't recommend starting an account just to participate in this action. You can also choose to send an email to Disney executives following our template.
What you can do
Leave a review of the Disney+ app on the Apple App Stores or Google Play and give them the rating they really deserve.
If you're an existing subscriber to Disney+ and choose to cancel your subscription as part of IDAD, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can help you share your story.
Join us anytime during IDAD (and beyond!) in the #dbd channel on the Libera.Chat IRC network, to discuss and share strategies for anti-DRM activism.
If you choose to speak out against other streaming services on IDAD, let us know! As the vast majority of them use DRM, you can send a message to the one that affects you the most.
And last but certainly not least, when doing any of the above, be sure to post on social media with the hashtag #DayAgainstDRM!
We hope to see you taking part in this year's IDAD as we prepare more anti-DRM actions through the Defective by Design campaign. While some aspects of the struggle have changed, the core principles remain the same: users should not be forced to surrender their digital autonomy in exchange for media.