In corner offices around the world, those who profit from Digital Restrictions Management are writing their speeches for this Tuesday, "World Intellectual Property Day."1 This global but decidedly not grassroots event is a project of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Yes, those are the same wise folks who convinced governments around the world to make it a crime to circumvent DRM even for legal purposes, undercutting digital freedom, security research, and access for those with disabilities.
But they're not the only ones planning -- activists and technologists, remixers and hackers, musicians and librarians -- we're all gathering for a monumental International Day Against DRM on May 3rd, one week after World Intellectual Property Day. To make the Day a success we need to channel this energy into events where our community can gather and show its strength.
Not sure which event to do? You might draw inspiration from the links to previous events of the last four years in the Event Planning Guide, like 8-bit music parties, public teach-ins, protests outside companies that profit from DRM, movie screenings, and potlucks, to name a few.
We support event planners of all experience levels by supplying printable materials, putting you in touch with other activists near you and online, and publicizing your event for maximum impact. If you're interested in planning an event but looking for help from someone in your area, join the DRM Elimination crew discussion list or the #dbd IRC channel on Freenode and introduce yourself.
Too busy to run an event? There are many other things you can do now to prepare for the Day, including writing a blog post, translating our flyer, or joining the conversation online.
WIPO and their friends have been known to insist that without draconian copyright law and a global network of surveillance and censorship (of which DRM is a crucial component), there will be no way to fund the arts. But our friends in the DRM-free publishing business are living examples that this is not the case. Five companies have already pledged to participate in the Day by offering promotions of DRM-free media and affirming our shared values.
And that's not the only way that WIPO is wrong. They are also wrong to assume that we will submit to DRM and the system it enforces. 2016 will be our tenth year coming together to assert that a world without digital restrictions is possible and necessary, and doing the work of building it together. Will you bring the International Day Against DRM to your community?
1: We disagree with the use of the term "intellectual property" because it is distorting and confusing.