These DRM offenders tried to squelch anti-circumvention exemptions; let them know that DRM is always wrong.
The commenting period for the DMCA's broken anti-circumvention exemptions process has drawn to a close. As the Copyright Office mulls over all the filed comments before determining which exemptions to grant or uphold for the next three years, we want to take a moment to draw attention to those organizations and individuals scheming to promote Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). These groups filed comments opposing exemptions to the DMCA's draconian anti-circumvention provisions—provisions that can land users in jail simply for sharing tools that allow others to enjoy the software and devices they own.
While most DRM supporters hid behind the veil of trade associations, some companies publicly threw their weight behind the nastiest provision of the DMCA. Many have made note of John Deere's absurd attempts to prevent farmers from repairing—let alone modifying—the tractors they purchased. General Motors, still reeling from the many deaths caused by faulty ignition switches, likewise took the time to let the Copyright Office know that they don't want drivers to have basic access to the software running their cars. While the ignition switch issue was purely physical, General Motors hid the problem for years. This example clearly demonstrates that users cannot trust a single company to be the sole guardian of their safety. Users should be free to have the software on their vehicles audited or fixed by anyone, and not be forced by law to simply trust the manufacturer.
Like trucks and tractors, many appliances and devices we use in our daily lives rely on software to function. If we don't control our own devices and software, then we give that control up to the companies that make them. If we can't access the software in our vehicles, we leave control of our safety to car companies. If we can't turn off restrictions on our software and media, we could be left with a future where access to our cultural heritage is simply not possible. If we can't turn off controls on our medical devices, then security researchers won't be able to protect us. Every company or trade association that supports DMCA anti-circumvention controls is supporting a system where they are in sole control of the software we all rely on to live. Every comment opposing exemptions is an affront to freedom and self-determination that goes beyond arguing against one specific exemption. To deny any exemption is to support the coercion fundamental to all DRM.
While the DMCA is a U.S. law, that regulation has worldwide impact. Devices and software locked down in the U.S. are sold globally and the companies and organizations pushing DRM in the States are also conspiring to spread the regulatory damage elsewhere, including via the secret TPP negotiations. These are global organizations who threaten user freedom everywhere, and they must be stopped.
We need to let these organizations know that supporting DRM in any format will not be tolerated. We have listed below contact information for the companies, organizations, and individuals who opposed exemptions to the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions. Please take a moment to contact one or more of these DRM supporters and let them know what you think about their actions. We've prepared a template email message you can use, or you can craft your own. And please CC us on your email at email@example.com.
Dear [Offender Name],
I am writing to you in regards to your comments sent to the Copyright Office in opposition to proposed exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) anti-circumvention provisions. The DMCA's anti-circumvention rules penalize and potentially criminalize users' rights to avoid Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). DRM threatens the autonomy and safety of users. Users shouldn't have to rely on the manufacturer or developer for their own security; they have the right to have that software audited by another company or organization. Threatening those users for freeing themselves from controls over their own software and devices is outrageous. I cannot support any individual or organization that would actively seek to
undermine the right of users to control their own computing. Rather than trying to restrict what users can do with the devices and software they own and control, you should defend their right to do so by asking your legislators to repeal the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions altogether. I support the Defective by Design campaign to end DRM and you should too. You must renounce your support for DRM and for the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions. Until then, I cannot support anything that you do.
[Your Signature Here]
If you microblog, please share the following message (or your own) with the hashtag #DRMshame. We strongly suggest that if you use Twitter to publicly call these people out, you do it in a way that avoids using proprietary software:
@[offender name] You should be ashamed of yourself for supporting Digital Restrictions Management #DRM-shame (shortened link to post)
Contact info for each commenter is listed below. Each contact also contains a list of links to the comments made in favor of DRM.
|John Deere||Samuel Allen, CEOfirstname.lastname@example.org||@JohnDeere||Exemption 21, Exemption 22|
|General Motors||Mary Barra, CEOemail@example.com||@mtbarra, @GM||Exemption 13, Exemption 17, Exemption 21, Exemption 22, Exemption 25|
|Advanced Access Content System||Founders: @IBM @Intel @Microsoft @Panasonic @Sony @Toshiba @Disney @WarnerBrosEnt||Exemption 1, Exemption 2, Exemption 3, Exemption 4, Exemption 5, Exemption 6, Exemption 7, Exemption 8|
|DVD Copy Control Association||Form email||Exemption 1, Exemption 2, Exemption 3, Exemption 4, Exemption 5, Exemption 6, Exemption 7, Exemption 8|
|Joint Creators and Copyright Owners||Motion Picture Association of America||ContactUs@mpaa.org||@MPAA||Exemption 1, Exemption 2, Exemption 3, Exemption 4, Exemption 5, Exemption 6, Exemption 7, Exemption 8, Exemption 10, Exemption 19, Exemption 20, Exemption 23, Exemption 24|
|Joint Creators and Copyright Owners||Recording Industry Association of America||@RIAA||Exemption 1, Exemption 2, Exemption 3, Exemption 4, Exemption 5, Exemption 6, Exemption 7, Exemption 8, Exemption 10, Exemption 19, Exemption 20, Exemption 23, Exemption 24|
|Joint Creators and Copyright Owners||Entertainment Software Association||esa@theESA.com||@ESAGovAffairs||Exemption 1, Exemption 2, Exemption 3, Exemption 4, Exemption 5, Exemption 6, Exemption 7, Exemption 8, Exemption 10, Exemption 19, Exemption 20, Exemption 23, Exemption 24|
|TracFone Wireless||@TracFoneCalls||Exemption 11|
|Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers||Jessica L. Simmons, Attorney||JSimmons@autoalliance.org||@auto_alliance||Exemption 13, Exemption 15, Exemption 17|
|BSA The Software Alliancefirstname.lastname@example.org||@BSAnews||Exemption 16, Exemption 17, Exemption 25|
|Entertainment Software Association||esa@theESA.com||@ESAGovAffairs||Exemption 19, Exemption 23|
|Association of Equipment Manufacturers||@aemadvisor||Exemption 21|
|Association of Global Automakers||Ellen J. Gleberman Vice President & General Counselemail@example.com||@GloblAutomkrs||Exemption 21, Exemption 22|
|Eaton Corporation||Kevin M. Hinmanfirstname.lastname@example.org||@eatoncorp||Exemption 21|
|AdvaMedemail@example.com||@AdvaMedUpdate||Exemption 25, Exemption 27|
|Intellectual Property Owners Association||Herbert C. Wamsley, Executive Directorfirstname.lastname@example.org||@IPO||Exemption 25, Exemption 26, Exemption 27|
|LifeScience Alley||Shaye Mandle, CEOemail@example.com||@LifeSciAlley||Exemption 25, Exemption 27|
|Medical Device Innovation, Safety and Security Consortium||Dale Nordenberg, MDfirstname.lastname@example.org||Exemption 25|
|Software & Information Industry Association||@SIIA||Exemption 10, Exemption 25|
|STRATASYS||Soonhee Jang, VP & Chief IP Counselemail@example.com||@Stratasys||Exemption 26|
|Jay Schulman||Jay Schulman||ME@JAYSCHULMAN.COM||@jschulman||Exemption 27|
|National Association of Manufacturersfirstname.lastname@example.org||@ShopFloorNAM||Exemption 27|
You can browse through all the opposition comments here.