International Day Against DRM (IDAD) is almost here: Stand with us on Dec. 4

Although many of us are in quarantine, that doesn't mean that we have to cease our fight against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). The International Day Against DRM (IDAD) is just two days away, and we're here to let you know how we can all stand up this Friday, December 4th, against the latest encroachments from one of DRM's major players: Netflix.

As pandemic response measures all over the world forced so many people to stay home, we've seen a corresponding and dangerous increase in dependence on streaming media for entertainment. Streaming media has gone from an ethically problematic pastime to being a playground for dystopia. In a world where media is served over ephemeral streaming, these services can delete things from history, or rewrite them, sometimes without any announcement. Besides deciding what people can and can't view with their service, corporations like Netflix also dictate what can and can't be made, now that they're one of the heavyweights in television and film production and distribution. This rise in control is in part due to their constant mistreatment of their subscribers, having used DRM to prevent legitimate uses of their media and dictate which devices can play it.

December 4th marks the start of Netflix's "StreamFest" initiative in certain countries -- letting users have a taste of the poison apple before they commit to taking the bite. It's at times like these that we as a community need to step up and say that enough is enough, and let them know that DRM is unacceptable no matter where it appears or how it's being used. We may not be meeting in person, but that doesn't mean we can't come together and let our voices be heard. We hope you'll join us in this year's IDAD by following one or more of the suggestions we've provided below.

What you can do

  • Join us in sending a clear message about Netflix's use of DRM by phoning their feedback and support line at 1-865-383-3330. Need help on what to say? You can follow our sample call script on this year's IDAD page. If you're not a Netflix subscriber, you can tell them that you never will be one until they get rid of their DRM.

  • Join us for a BigBlueButton session on Friday for an informal chat on the anti-DRM movement, where we'll talk strategies, share stories, report on activities happening around the globe, and plan for the future.

  • Post on social media using the hashtag #DayAgainstDRM to let us and others know how you're celebrating the Day Against DRM. If you're on social media, keep an eye out, and share, our own posts and those of organizations around the world who are partnering with us, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Framasoft, and La Quadrature du Net.

  • Living outside the US? Help us update important information about your country so we can direct people around the world to updated resources. Let the DBD campaign know what DRM-related issues need attention in your area and how we can help on the LibrePlanet wiki.

  • Join us on the Freenode IRC network in the #dbd channel for real-time discussion on anti-DRM activism.

  • Challenge yourself to go a day (or even longer!) without DRM, and call on your community to join you. You can use our Guide to DRM-free Living as a way to read, watch, and listen to new media without compromising your freedom. While you're there, you can check out DRM-free media sales from Libreture, Leanpub, and other partnering organizations of this year's IDAD.

  • Support our comments for new exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anti-circumvention rules by sending your name and state (or country, if you are outside the US) to

Defective by Design is a campaign run by the Free Software Foundation, and it's your support that keeps us moving forward. You can support our vital work against DRM by becoming an associate member: the support of our members ensures we can confidently combat the movement's next threat. Right now, the FSF is in the middle of our annual fundraiser, and we depend on you to help us keep our vital work against DRM going strong.

Streaming media services like Netflix have a stranglehold on entertainment, especially during times like these, but it doesn't have to be this way. In the last few weeks, we've been celebrating thirty-five years of the Free Software Foundation's past accomplishments, but now it's time to achieve new ones for the future. A key part of that is protesting technology being used as an instrument for unjust power. DRM is only one of the harmful ways technology is being used, but this Friday, we'll be tackling it head-on. We hope to see you there with us.

Illustration Copyright © 2020 Free Software Foundation, Inc. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.