October 3, 2006: DRM lovers' day of reckoning?

Summary:Through its domestic and international Web sites, the Free Software Foundation is calling those who oppose digital rights management (DRM) technologies (eg: technologies found in products that are put out by Apple, Microsoft, and others) to arms in hopes of making Oct 3rd a global Day Against DRM.

Through its domestic and international Web sites, the Free Software Foundation is calling those who oppose digital rights management (DRM) technologies (eg: technologies found in products that are put out by Apple, Microsoft, and others) to arms in hopes of making Oct 3rd a global Day Against DRM. Under the guise of a campaign the FSF has dubbed Defective By Design, the FSF is encouraging those who are concerned about the harmful effects of DRM to globally unite for one day and take the sort of action that sends a clear message to the purveyors of DRM technology that it's not welcome here (or there, or where ever you may be). The site encourages visitors to get involved in one of four-pages worth of anti-DRM "actions" that are planned to take place around the world tomorrow, Oct 3. Or, if they don't see an action that appeals to them, to start one of their own. 

In essence, the call is giving rise to what can best be described as loosely organized anti-DRM "cells" each of which is encouraged to take whatever action they deem necessary.  The actions range from the relatively benign (add a badge to your Website) to activities that are certain to get some people arrested. For example, for actions that will be taking place in many cities (as can be seen from the list), members of the campaign plan to distribute and strategically place Defective by Design warning labels (see photo, above left) on the packaging of new products on the shelves of retail stores like those run by Apple. Personally, I don't condone that practice and I believe there are more constructive ways than vandalism to get the dialogue going. But I get the sense that those who vociferously oppose DRM feel as though they are out of options and that time is running out before a certain point of no return (where DRM leaves an indelible stain on the world's culture) comes and goes. On that point, I definitely agree.

Topics: Apple

About

David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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