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DRM Protest in Hazmat Suits 385

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the containing-the-drm-outbreak dept.
johnsu01 writes "The Free Software Foundation launched a new anti-DRM initiative today with a flash protest at Bill Gates's keynote speech to Microsoft developers in Seattle. They're calling the new campaign 'Defective by Design' and have named Big Media, device manufacturers and proprietary software companies as targets. CivicActions is participating as a coalition partner in the campaign. Protesters donned HazMat suits, apparently to emphasize the hazard Digital Restrictions Management poses to their rights." There are also a few pictures available over at Defectivebydesign.org.
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DRM Protest in Hazmat Suits

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  • We do (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @05:31PM (#15390221)
    Remember? "We, the people..."

    We grant our governments the right to administer the country for us. They're our employees. Now, it ain't always easy to make it right for everyone. But the idea of democracy is that government creates a balance that first of all does what is beneficial to the majority, without getting the interests of minorities out of sight.

    Currently, more and more it seems that our governments only work in the interest of a minority and ignore the majority. And this is, by its very nature, not democratic in any way.

    So it is our right and our obligation to tell our employees that they're doing a bad job. Think of it as their personnel review.
  • Re:Slashdot FAQ (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @05:39PM (#15390268) Journal
    Good point for the most part I agree with the general do without idea. There are a few exception I think that should be pointed out.
    1. Government should not be involved in encouraging and helping DRM.
    2. One could make the argument that company in a monopolistic position such as microsoft shouldn't be activly pushing DRM (of course I'm not talking about their own protection from piracy of their own content, more the concern of them creating a platform for easy restrictions of your rights when the average user simply doesn't have a choice of operating systems)
  • Rant (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rewt66 (738525) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:44PM (#15390594)
    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..."

    This wasn't just a political idea. It was a theological statement. God gave us these rights, and nobody - not a judge, not Congress, not the President, not the King of England - has the authority to take them away from us.

    Now take away the creator. What are you left with?

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are equal, that they have certain rights..." Along with "creator", another word disappeared - "inalienable". Because once we don't believe in God, and that He gave us these rights, then we just have them because... well, because we decided that we have them. And that means that we (or the majority of "we") can decide that we don't have them. The rights aren't inalienable any more.

    When our country lost its collective faith in God, it had political consequences. All our rights are up for grabs now.

  • by Maxwell309 (639989) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @08:22PM (#15390985) Homepage
    I am proud to say that I participated in today's FSF event.

    I believe the combination of Digital Rights Management technology and the Trusted Computing initiative are the single greatest threat to a free software desktop. I believe the danger is not just that we will be pushed into a desktop ghetto where we will not be allowed to enjoy the newest movies and music.

    RMS' Right to Read [gnu.org] might seem far out for most folks I believe he is point on. DRM will tie media to an user or possibly an user and a specific machine. DRM will allow corporations to gather unprecedented amounts of information about us. If we are not vigilant we are headed into an Orwellian dystopia where all of our digital habits are carefully monitored and controlled.

    The really interesting thing is that it WILL NOT STOP PIRACY! As long as we enjoy books and movies with our eyes and music with our ears there will be an analog hole and there will be piracy. DRM is not about stopping piracy it is about destroying competition. Competition from small developers, competition from start ups and competition from free software...

    For almost the whole of human history culture has been shared. Imagine if Shakespeare had been controlled by DRM and copyright law so that no was able to sample his plays. What would modern literature be like. I imagine it would be worse. We stand at a moment in history where we have an unprecedented ability to create and share. Do we want to hand the keys of our shared culture to those least likely to allow us to use it in meaningful ways?

    I agree with those who say the problem are the laws such as the DMCA and as well as perpetual copyright. These things should be overturned. However it is my opinion that a motivated group of individuals could raise awareness within the public to create a backlash and prevent a DRM nightmare from fully forming.

    If I did not stand up at this moment in time and let the world know that DRM is wrong I would be complicit in the effort of corporations to steal our shared culture.

    Do I believe that I can stop the DRM juggernaut of Microsoft/Apple/Intel/Etc? I don't know but I don't believe I can just let it happen.

    One note on RMS, you may not agree with him but he serves an extremely important role in both the free software and open source movements. He is the logical extreme of freedom while others serve as the logical extreme of pragmatism. He helps define the spectrum of opinion on all issues related to software freedom and for that (and more) I appreciate him. If we did not have him and the FSF we would not be where we are today.

    I will be posting about my experience at http://psfk.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] (nothing to see there just yet 5/23/2006 @ 6:20 PM )

  • by bhiestand (157373) * on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @09:37PM (#15391253) Journal
    Our Revolutionary war was basically fought over taxation without representation and the right to express unpopular ideas. Both of these grievances were against the current government.

    While a popular belief, it is wrong. Patriots knew that a fair system of representation would make them a small minority of a parliament. "No taxation without representation" was a rallying call, a war cry, not an actual demand for representation.

    I don't think this is an issue having a civil war/revolution over, but if you decide to, please be selective in your targeting. I'd recommend going after the CEOs of some of these corps, their lawyers, and select politicians instead of slaughtering and bombing women and children. Also, the hostage method has met a lot of failure of the years.

    Right now, people are happy and comfortable. They're safe in their homes, they're well/over-fed, they have competent medical care, and they're relatively free. Mass rebellion isn't happening any time soon.

    Also, please take note of the "immigrant" protests of this year. Millions of mexicans gathered on the streets, took down an American flag, raised the Mexican flag, and then raised an upside-down American flag below it. If you want to piss people off and get them to fight you despite agreeing with you, follow their example. Backlashes ROCK!
  • Re:Rant (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @11:24PM (#15391669)
    When our country lost its collective faith in God, it had political consequences. All our rights are up for grabs now.

    It says endowed by their creator, it doesn't say God. My creator is nature and nature's god. My creator is evolution. My creator is my mother and father. Whatever it was that brought me and the rest of mankind into existence is what endowed me with these rights. Whether that 'thing' is a god, a person, or a process, it doesn't matter. I have a mind that can reason, and I can act upon my reasoning; the creator that brought this situation about is also what gave me those rights.

The major difference between bonds and bond traders is that the bonds will eventually mature.

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