The sixteenth International Day Against DRM (IDAD) is next week, and all of us that contribute to 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 16, 2022.
In this year's IDAD, we want to celebrate and call attention to an increasingly rare, almost magical ability that most forms of media used to have, and which all ethical digital media still does today: the ability to be shared with a friend.
In our year-end fundraiser, we've been stressing the importance of sharing. Though sharing is the basis of human culture, the most staunch defenders of unjust copyright legislation would have you believe that every creative work is dropped wholesale out of the sky, without influence from anything that came before it. In 2022, monolithic mega-corporations would have you believe that these creative works should be "temporary," something that "expires" after it's seen once or twice under a restrictive license on restricting technology. (See, for example, section 3.a.ii of the Disney Plus Subscriber Agreement.)
This year, let's remind everyone that things didn't use to be this way, but more importantly, that they don't have to be this way. Just as DRM crept into our lives one choice at a time, it can be weeded out in the same way: with one conscious decision after another and support from a community of like-minded activists.
What seems like a small act of lending on your part can be the perfect springboard for a conversation on why it's important to avoid DRM, even if that means forgoing a popular Netflix series or streamed film in favor of something produced by companies that sell their works in a way that doesn't trample your freedom. As inundated by advertising as we are, we often forget just how many works of art are still distributed ethically. Lending one of these to a friend or family member could be a great start.
On this year's IDAD, we'll be working to put focus on sharing, taking to the streets of Boston on the day of the event and recording videos we hope will be helpful in understanding people's thoughts and perspectives on sharing in contemporary digital life. This insight, gained through outreach, is useful because it helps us anti-DRM activists understand how we can better educate people on the problems and ethical pitfalls of DRM.
You can have your own effect on the fight for our freedom to share all while staying at home by recording a brief video on why you think the #FreedomtoShare is important and posting it to social media. As with any social cause, even the smallest of actions (or refusals to participate in an unjust system) help the movement as a whole.
What you can do
There are many ways you can educate others about the freedom to share. Some ideas that we came up with, which you might find useful, are:
Share a physical or digital DRM-free work with a friend (you can use the DRM-free Guide!) and use it to start a conversation about DRM;
Let us and the world know why the freedom to share is important in a short video posted to social media. You can use the hashtags #FreedomtoShare and #DayAgainstDRM;
Challenge yourself to go a "Day without DRM," and refuse to engage with media peddled by Disney+, Amazon, Peacock, and others that don't respect your digital autonomy;
Be on the lookout for the videos that we'll be recording on this year's IDAD, and please share them.
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.
Are you an organization or project interested in supporting or sponsoring IDAD?
We're looking for vendors of DRM-free media, organizations that support the building of a DRM-free world, and those who believe in the mission of DbD to participate in this IDAD. You can do this by offering sales, writing blog posts, organizing events, and sharing with your members about IDAD. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you are planning, so we can amplify your actions, or if you need more information. If you're an organization interested in sponsoring IDAD, please contact us at the same address for more information. If you're hosting your own event, please let us know, and we'll do what we can to promote it.