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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:22PM (#15390172)
    Our concerns will definitely be taken seriously if we protest against copyright and fair use restrictions by parading around in bunny suits. Way to go.
    • I'm all for consumer rights, but... Sure it may be a great attention grabber for the media, but it poses as an even greater tool for people who are pro-DRM. Look at those "crazies", "liberals", "communists", etc. All I'm saying is, it makes for a great labeling scenario.

      I hope this does educate a lot of people, though.
      • by eln (21727) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:29PM (#15390206) Homepage
        The FSF gets stuck with those labels anyway. The point of a protest is to get people to pay attention to your cause. If the press coverage of a protest is such that at least some people learn more about your cause than they knew before, then it can be considered a success.

        I think this type of flash protest has been shown to be effective. It has garnered press for all sorts of causes, particularly political causes. Whether or not the hazmat suits were a good idea or not depends on if you think the protest would have gotten more or less coverage without them.
        • The point of a protest is to get people to pay attention to your cause. If the press coverage of a protest is such that at least some people learn more about your cause than they knew before, then it can be considered a success.

          We had a protest around here where a bunch of jerk-holes got together and stood on a five-lane highway during rush hour, blocking traffic for miles and miles, to protest something, I no longer remember what (a comment on the effectiveness of this crap on its own) (I think it had some
          • by killjoe (766577)
            "So because I support the cause, here's a tip for aspiring protestors: Be unobtrusive (no assaulting strangers with pamphlets), be unrepetitive, be respectful, and be funny. Being liked is way more important than being right. If they like you, they'll look into your problem."

            So in other words don't protest at all.

            All protests are inconvenient to somebody. It seems to me that you are not the type to care about any protesters. I don't think you are reachable by anybody who wants to disturb the status quo.
            • by CosmeticLobotamy (155360) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @08:49PM (#15390872)
              All protests are inconvenient to somebody.
              Yes, but let's just do our best to only make them inconvenient to whoever we're protesting against. I'm guessing we don't like them much anyway.

              It seems to me that you are not the type to care about any protesters.

              That is largely true, but only because they almost always preach to the choir, and by the time you get significant numbers of protestors, the choir is usually already singing pretty loudly.

              So in other words don't protest at all.

              A comprehensive guide to protesting was beyond the scope of my comment (as was accuracy, apparently. The picture doesn't show them handing things out, it shows them showing signs. Oops. My bad), but it should certainly not be taken as encouragement not to protest. Just protest better. Put some thought into whose mind you're trying to change and what the best way to do that might be. My personal favorite plan, to be implemented just as soon as I have a cause with co-supporters and some cash at the same time, is a protest party. Subsidize the beer, invite your supporters and those you hope to convince (with careful planning so as to ensure they're a minority), and let them mingle. Invite a reporter or two. Get the Foo Fighters to play, they'll support anything.

              Kidding about the Foo Fighters. And obviously that's not a full plan, since there are some obvious (but solvable) problems in this synopsis form. But there's one suggestion.

              Or do what you feel like, I'd just try real hard not to tick off any passing newspaper opinion writers is all, 'cause the ones that are there because they were sent by their press-masters will probably just scratch the surface of your issue when they're forced to report on it. The passer-by reporter might actually care.

              And obviously, there are exceptions to everything I've said. Sometimes the shouting Bible guy works. I just wouldn't do it.
              • by killjoe (766577)
                As I said you will not be convinced by any protest. YOu are the type of person who feels that stirring the pot is itself wrong.

                The purpose protests is to make people aware and to make them motivated to push for change. This is not an easy thing because so many people are like you. They just don't care about anything that doesn't effect them directly and they only care when it becomes inconvenient for you. If I protest that I or my friends are being harmed you don't care. The only way to make you care is to
          • by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @08:02PM (#15390679) Homepage
            Well, so, what then?

            I don't buy your "be funny and people will agree" bit. People smile and laugh and then forget. That works great if you're talking about getting 2% of people who drink Coke to buy a Pepsi - the free market has both options clearly available.

            But when you are opposing a corrupt system of backscratchers that has more systemic power than you do, a dramatically tilted market, a gov't that gets paid to not care about the free market, and an apathetic/sheeplike populace, you've only got two options. There's nonviolent protest and the other kind. You just crapped all over nonviolent protest, but you can't possibly mean what that implies.

            I guess there is another option - try to think about baseball and hope it's over quickly, but that doesn't sound to pleasant.
      • by wsherman (154283) *
        You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink...

        The most you can hope for in a situation like this is that some people will notice and say "Hmm, this is something that some people seem to care about so maybe I'll learn more about it."

        No matter what you do, you aren't going to reach the people who have already decided that they have all the answers and are so threatened by alternative viewpoints that they resort to labeling.

        Basically, if they're calling you a commie, a reasoned argument isn't goi

        • Like how communism technically can be far superior to democracy when implemented correctly and fairly? Of course, given the right population, anarchy is the best way to go. With most people and implementations, that's a no-go but think about it. Most people think I'm nuts for thinking so, and I'm probably not going to convince them otherwise. You're quite right though - for instance, I've labelled Bush as an idiot, and you're not going to convince me otherwise easily.

          All things considered, we're proba

      • Sure it may be a great attention grabber for the media, but it poses as an even greater tool for people who are pro-DRM. Look at those "crazies", "liberals", "communists", etc. All I'm saying is, it makes for a great labeling scenario.

        Hmm... you mean like those "other guys" who wore the bunny suits in their TV commercials?

        I think this was a really smart move; those HazMat suits are already strongly identified with one of the companies they're protesting against. Either way, they win.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I agree, trollmeister. Sitting on our butts will solve the problem.
    • Because you're exactly right. Shouldn't we be copying a winning stratety, rather than a losing one? Because PETA hasn't had much success pulling stunts like this. Unless you believe there is no such thing as bad press, anyways.

    • I wonder if Ghandi was viewed with the same kind of attitude. "Yeah sure. Sitting there and getting slapped will FOR SURE change a thing. Yeah. Some masochist, that baldy guy."

      To make people want to change a situation first of all requires them to actually SEE that the situation exists. Walk out on the road and ask a random person about DRM.

      "DRM? That something for my car to make it go faster and use less gas?"

      First they gotta get aware that a problem exists. Then we can care about them taking it serious.
      • There's no real comparison; Ghandi was fighting for the right for he and his people to live in their own country, free of occupiers -and he was demonstrating that he was willing to put his life on the line for that cause.

        These people are bitching because they can't make copies of the latest slipknot tune, and they're looking like shrill tools at best.

        A reasonable person can see the vast devide both between the severity of the struggle, and the sacrifices being made.

        The constant comparison to ghandi serves o
        • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @07:53PM (#15390639)
          The issue is the same: freedom.

          The implications are different. While Ghandi was facing imprisonment for crimes that are none, people violating DRM are ... ok, the implications are the same too.

          Without trying to get cocky here, it's not about making a copy of a Slipknot album or if you want a Robby Williams one. The issue is freedom, and that this freedom is being ripped away. Not by being unable to copy a meaningless tune, but by the ability to rewrite history at will. That's what DRM is about.

          Copying issues is a vessel that allows you to "sell" that issue to those who don't care about liberty but only care about getting free music.

          DRM does not only prevent copies. It allows you to retroactively void information, provided you have power over the keys to that information. If an information is no longer to be viewable, it can be erased. Including the copy you have on your computer. Its key is no longer valid, you can no longer view it. No, you couldn't print it in the first place to have a hard copy that can't be erased.

          DRM is, in fact, the ability to recreate and reshape statements. While it won't be as blatant as in 1984, where the announcer changes the name of the enemy mid sentence, it is going to be used, albeit more subtle. Whistleblowing will be incredibly hard, since you won't have any evidence to back up your claim. The evidence you had will vanish, since there won't be a key to unlock it anymore when you need it. Your key, the key you used when you were still allowed to view the information, will be deleted.

          DRM is BY FAR more than the "threat" that we won't be able to use our CD writers anymore. The real danger is that you can commit a crime and pretty much flush any evidence, if you're in a position of power to create and delete keys to it.
        • by ewhac (5844) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @09:15PM (#15390966) Homepage Journal
          There's no real comparison; Ghandi was fighting for the right for he and his people to live in their own country, free of occupiers -and he was demonstrating that he was willing to put his life on the line for that cause.

          These people are bitching because they can't make copies of the latest slipknot tune, and they're looking like shrill tools at best.

          A reasonable person can see the vast devide [sic] both between the severity of the struggle, and the sacrifices being made.

          The disparity between the struggles is vast only if you look at it in the most superficial of terms. You look and see only "tools" and "pirates" [sic] looking to get stuff for free. But scratch deeper, and you'll find more similarities than even I'm comfortable admitting.

          The British Empire walked into India, unwanted and uninvited, planted a flag and, without regard to what went before, proclaimed, "We will now dictate how things shall be done here," Gandhi raised the awareness of his people (and the Britons) and said, "Your authority is illegitimate, and derives solely from threat of force. It is immoral and unethical for you to be here. Please go away."

          Today, we find a struggle with disquieting similarities -- an invading force is occupying territory and proclaiming that they shall now dictate how things shall be done. Except that, instead of an imperial nation, it's multinational media corporations; and instead of occupying someone else's country, they're occupying our computers.

          Our computers.

          You may find the comparison fatuous. But, once you finally drill down to the core issue, you must ultimately acknowledge that what's at stake is nothing less than your freedom to do with your property as you please.

          My interests are not served by ceding control of my computers to a self-appointed authority -- to have another man acting as master in my house. It is an affront to my values and my personal sovereignty, and I will not stand for it.

          You are, of course, free to differ, and invite unaccountable corporate control over the computer you bought and paid for. But, in such a case, one is prompted to turn the "tool" ad hominem back at the accuser and ask: Who here is the greater "tool"?

          Schwab

    • by Intrinsic (74189)
      Actually, thats a pretty cool idea, it makes a statement much more than just protesting in street cloths. If I saw someone in a Hazmat suit, I would be alert and wondering what the hell is going on.
  • by idonthack (883680) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:23PM (#15390174)
    Few people have the resources or even the courage to do something like this. Thank you, protestors, for getting peoples' attention and informing them of the issue.
  • The are no rights (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Instine (963303) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:23PM (#15390179)
    I'm not an anarchist But, who exactly ordains us with rights?
    • We do (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:31PM (#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.
    • You are born with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the United States of America.

      If you want to draw a circle in the sand, you are free to do so with your finger.
      If a company has a copyright on the 'circle©' you would be infringing on their right to provide you with the official circle when you make that circle in the sand and you would be 'pirating' their copyighted image.

      That effectively is what DRM is doing. Not able to tap a tune on your desk with your fingers or hum a fe
      • That's not DRM, that's excessive copyright enforcement. It'd be DRM if it were digital sand and you were somehow prevented from drawing certain copyrighted shapes.

        And on that bombshell, I realise that my life has reached a new low point. Slashdot is destroying me.

    • Artificial rights (Score:3, Insightful)

      by XanC (644172)
      It's important to remember where the "burden of proof" is here. The right to "own" ideas is not one of the fundamental human rights with which we are endowed by our Creator. It's an artifical right, created for the specific purpose of furthering progress.

      So the default is for ideas and information to be "free". It's up to those who would lock them away to prove, in each case, why a bit of information should NOT be free.

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:41PM (#15390284)
        Actually, yes, IP laws were created to provide people with an incentive to publish their findings and give them a reward for doing so, to spur innovation and progress. Currently, though, they're used AGAINST progress and inventions.

        The law has turned upside down and NEEDS to be changed. The sooner the better.
    • Re:The are no rights (Score:4, Informative)

      by gid13 (620803) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:40PM (#15390278)
      I disagree with whoever modded you off-topic. Shrug.

      Anyway, there are many answers to your question. In Canada or the US, the constitution grants us rights. Obvious further questions include "Who created it?" and "Who enforces it?" and ultimately these boil down to the writers of the constitution, elected officials (since they can change the constitution with a large enough majority) and police/armies that enforce it. At a low enough level, it's just "might makes right" since the combined force of police and army is stronger and/or more passionate than any organized resistance. Additionally, there are groups like the UN that purport to grant us rights, but the question of enforcement ability is even more obvious there.

      With regard to this article specifically, copyright law originally granted the creators of content an exclusive right to profit from it for a short period of time. Recently, depending on location, this has been changed to become "an exclusive right to profit as well as the right to prevent others from copying it freely". If you disapprove of this change (and I do), then you may either blame the politicians that made the laws, the voters that elected the politicians, the media companies that financed the politicians, the consumers that financed the media companies by purchasing their product, or the founding fathers for setting up a system so easily corrupted by money. Take your pick.
      • > and police/armies that enforce it. I disagree with the assertion that only police and military forces enforce the Constitution. I think the Constitution is defended by anyone who believes the Constitution lays the framework for a good government, i.e. a government that balances justice, compassion, fairness, and liberty. Yes, this is a libertarian view.
      • In Canada or the US, the constitution grants us rights... [emphasis mine]

        *cough* Notwithstanding Clause *cough*.[1]

        [1]More like, *choke*, *gag*, *retch*, *gasp*.

      • Re:The are no rights (Score:5, Informative)

        by Puff of Logic (895805) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @07:49PM (#15390621)
        In Canada or the US, the constitution grants us rights.

        I've always understood that the Constitution enumerated our rights, but that the rights themselves were considered God-given or innate (depending on how you prefer to phrase it). Similarly, the Bill of Rights is not the source of Freedom of Speech etc., but rather is just a specific enumeration of the rights the Founding Fathers thought deserved specific mention against possible incursions by future governments. -PoL
        • by metternich (888601)
          The reason a Bill of Rights was not originally included in the Constitution is that the authors worried that people would beleive it to limit the rights they had to just the ones listed. Unfortunately, despite the ninth amendment, this as proven to be the case. The situation would have probably been far worse without the Bill of Rights, so it's a good thing they changed their minds.
      • by Wylfing (144940) <brian&wylfing,net> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @07:59PM (#15390663) Homepage Journal
        In Canada or the US, the constitution grants us rights.

        No no no no no no no no. The U.S. Constitution recognizes rights that you inherently possess by dint of being a human being. It is strictly impossible in the United States to "grant rights" to the citizenry. What might happen is the citizenry grant rights to the government (theoretically, very sparingly), but never ever the other way around.

        When new bits and pieces are amended onto the Constitution, it is properly viewed as an act of clarification, not fabrication.

      • Re:The are no rights (Score:3, Informative)

        by gg3po (724025)

        In Canada or the US, the constitution grants us rights.

        Wrong. You are perpetuating a very common and unfortunate misunderstanding of the philosophy behind the concept of rights. I can't speak for Canada, but in the U.S. Constitution, no claim is *ever* made that the Constitution itself grants *any* rights. It is made very clear that the rights are only enumerated as preexisting things that are already inherent to humankind by "the Creator" (I'll leave it for you decide who or what "the Creator" is). On t

    • Rant (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rewt66 (738525)
      "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 t

      • by JimmytheGeek (180805) <jamesaffeld&yahoo,com> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @10:04PM (#15391109) Journal
        If something is inalienable, it's not because something/someone flagged it as such. In fact, you have it backwards - if something has been granted, it can be revoked. You just want to tie your particular superstition to my rights, which have no need of your theological support.

        And whose the biggest threat to liberty right now? Theocrats in the U.S. and the arab world.
      • Uh, no... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by maillemaker (924053) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @10:10PM (#15391137)
        "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.

        I believe in God, but I don't buy it.

        First of all, the only reason the word "inalienable" disappeared with the word "God" is because you chose to omit it. One could just as easily argue that right is right (and rights are rights) regardless of whether or not there is a god. I bet you there are a hundred different religions that are radically different in their interpretaton of god and religion and yet are consistent in what is considered moral behavior. Since they can't all be right, how would it be that all of the wrong practioners have secured the idea of "right" and "rights"?

        Also, let's face it - no matter what god was in vogue at any point in history, MEN, with agendas, and NOT a god, have constantly been trying to tell other men what rights they think their god conveys unto other men. With the clarity of 20/20 hindsight, it's clear that in many cases the dictation has merely been to further an agenda, and not to secure rights for others.

        Rights erode because of apathy, nothing more.

        Steve
      • Re:Rant (Score:3, Interesting)

        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 r

  • by crotherm (160925) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:24PM (#15390186) Journal

    Do these type of protests help or hinder? Sure, wearing a hazmat suit will get you noticed, but will they remember you because of your voice, or your suit? Will they agree with you, or think you are a kook?

    • Irrelevant.

      Some crazy kids get to wear silly outfits, plus their pic in the paper and on the ubernet.

      Impossible to stop, IMHO.

    • by s20451 (410424) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @07:03PM (#15390389) Journal
      Which protest gets you a picture in the paper?

      1. Normal-looking people wearing normal clothes, speaking politely
      2. Crazy people wearing HAZMAT suits, shouting and carrying on

      Face it -- politics is theater. If you don't get noticed, you don't get heard.
      • Being in the newspaper is not the same as being heard; in short, if you're in the paper in an "hey ma, look at the silly freaks" article which glosses over the cause you're agitating for (assuming it mentions it at all) then you're actually harming your cause (for example, how much good will does your average person feel towards PETA? Outside of liberal enclaves the answer is: exactly none).

    • by joe 155 (937621)
      you should look into the work on pressure groups in the UK by Wynn Grant. He's done a lot of stuff about the insider/outsider distinction in pressure groups which is interesting and applicable here. Outsider groups are often thought of as being less succesful, but then some of these ideas are being challenged because they are seeming to work periodically. I personally don't like outsider stratergies because it makes us (as open source proponents) look like nut-jobs... but I guess if people don't know tha
    • Will they agree with you, or think you are a kook?

      Maybe both. Effective protest requires audacity and boldness. It requires not worrying whether people think you are a kook. Inevitably some will.

      But more importantly, you will get attention for the issue.

      Terrorism and violence [epix.net] do tend to hurt a cause, but nothing of that sort is going on here.
  • Because nothing says, "Let me explain the complex ramifications of this very, very complicated issue..." like a shrill, costume-oriented protest by people who clearly don't have a job to be doing. Honestly, I wonder sometimes what professional protesters really think about who they're reaching with stuff like this. It completely trivializes the discussion to trot out the amateur theatrics. Now, if they started smashing their iPods with Open Source Sledgehammers, that would be fun. But, like, dude, we'd have
    • Perfect example... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by maillemaker (924053)
      Do you think you would have ever heard about these protesters if they weren't wearing hazmat suits?

      Protesting is nothing but advertising. Advertising is about getting and holding attention long enough for a message to stick. Sensationalism sells. About the only thing that sells better is sex.

      Next time they should try naked chicks.

      Steve
  • Slashdot FAQ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:30PM (#15390214)
    The Slashdot FAQ explains exactly what is going on here:

    From The last question in the Slashmeta section [slashdot.org]:
    "I thought everyone on Slashdot hated the RIAA, the MPAA, and Microsoft. Why do you keep hyping CDs, movies, and Windows games?
    Big corporations are what they are. They sell us cool stuff with one hand and tighten the screws on our freedoms with the other. We hate them every morning and love them every afternoon, and vice versa. This is part of living in the modern world: you take your yin with your yang and try to figure out how to do what's right the best you can. If you think it has to be all one way or the other, that's cool, share your opinions, but don't expect everyone else to think the same."

    We hate that "Big Media" is using ever "improving"/"tightening" DRM restrictions, but we have to accept them if we want the latest music, video, and computer content. These people deserve to get paid, and this is their way of blocking the free providers of their content. If you don't like what they're doing, do without their content.
    • Re:Slashdot FAQ (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:39PM (#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)
      • 1. Government should not be involved in encouraging and helping DRM.

        They should only be involved in prosecuting offenders. Also, get rid of that McGruff the Crime Dog crap. The government has no business encouraging the use of doorlocks or rape whistles. The government isn't in the business of preventing crime.

        2. One could make the argument that company in a monopolistic position such as microsoft shouldn't be activly pushing DRM

        Yes, an argument could be made that Microsoft should refrain from adding value
        • The government has no business encouraging the use of doorlocks or rape whistles.

          Rape whistles, is that like "whistle while you work"?
        • hey should only be involved in prosecuting offenders. Also, get rid of that McGruff the Crime Dog crap. The government has no business encouraging the use of doorlocks or rape whistles. The government isn't in the business of preventing crime
          Funny, don't know if you are trolling or not.
          But yes I agree the government should be helping women install clamps onto each and every mans genitals who consentually engage in a relationship with them, so that later the woman or other women can use those clamps in case
          • 1. Government should not be involved in encouraging and helping DRM.

            They should only be involved in prosecuting offenders. Also, get rid of that McGruff the Crime Dog crap. The government has no business encouraging the use of doorlocks or rape whistles. The government isn't in the business of preventing crime.

          Are you arguing that DRM is a crime, and the Government should only be involved in prosecuting offenders? Isn't that a little bit hard-line?

          • 2. One could make the argument that company in a mon
    • Re:Slashdot FAQ (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TedTschopp (244839) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:43PM (#15390297) Homepage
      I agree with this.

      DRM can not only protect a musician's songs, or a film makers movies, but if it is rolled out fully it could protect your own data. For example using DRM to protect your personal information that is in the hands of a large corporation or government. Just think about the ability to turn on and turn off the access to your ID and personal info, based on who looks at it, not just based on who copied it out of one database and into another.

      Think about moving from one cell phone company to another, and when they get down to your record in the database all they see is random noise, because they no longer have the DRM to your phone number and can't call you.

      I really don't get how all this Anti-DRM / anti-crypto think that is out there. DRM is just another type of technology that should be used rightly. Much of the antics pulled off by groups like this remind me of the groups which protest the genetically modified foods or the peta folks who throw paint on people. Gaining headlines doesn't equate to changing the hearts and minds of people.
      • Sounds great...

        But do you honestly think that the big boys won't have the resources to circumvent DRM as they please?
        • Properly applied crypto is a pain to crack. Sure, it can be done, but is dedicating a government supercomputer for a few weeks worth it if all they get out of it is one e-mail message?
      • Re:Slashdot FAQ (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @08:01PM (#15390676)
        For example using DRM to protect your personal information that is in the hands of a large corporation or government.


        Yeah, because laws like DMCA that criminalize circumvention technology will be observed by and enforced against the executive branch of the government by, erm, the executive branch of the government.

        I really don't get how all this Anti-DRM / anti-crypto think that is out there.


        Most anti-DRM people I know are very much pro-crypto, and pro-DRM types tend to be anti-crypto in many other contexts -- particularly, they tend to be for strong controls on who can use cryptography, and what mechanisms can be publicly used.

        So, AFAICT, the thing you have trouble understanding doesn't actually exists, in the first place.

        DRM is just another type of technology that should be used rightly.


        DRM is pretty much impossible to use "rightly" because the "rights" its "manages" often don't, and should not, exclusively belong to the controller of the DRM: particularly, while the right to copy in some manners and for some purposes is, properly speaking, an exclusive right of the copyright holder, there are plenty of existing, necessary, and publicly beneficial exceptions to that exclusivity -- including, but not limited to, fair use -- that DRM is utterly incapable, by nature, of distinguishing.
    • Re:Slashdot FAQ (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)
      "..., but we have to accept them if we want the latest music, video, and computer content."

      no, we don't. They have abused there copyright 'PRIVLIDGE' granted be the people.
      Copyright is not a right.

      Thay have attacked the citizens with the courts without evidence, harrassed people, coluded, violated RICO, and treated their customers like criminal, and lock up chains of devliery systems. Enough.

      If the people making content don't like it, fit you business to meet what the consumer wants, the way the consumer wa
  • Microsoft has released the fix for the Freeme software [microsoft.com]

    Before Microsoft liberated me, I was having nightmares about awful, awful freedom. But I'm all better now.

  • Seems to Me... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:40PM (#15390279) Homepage Journal
    That the first thing you need to do is educate consumers as to why they should care. You need a series of nationwide TV commercials to gently introduce them to the idea. Currently average consumers only find this stuff out when they get burned by it and ask someone who reads slashdot to explain what the hell is going on.

    Unfortunately Joe Average Consumer doesn't have the foggiest idea about Copyright in general, much less the new mechanims being put in place to "protect" it. There's a pretty solid volume of information that the average consumer needs to know that they can only discover by talking to someone who's been dealing with this sort of thing for a while. Actually that's been the case for quite a while now -- I doubt the general public would have stood for Sonny Bono's Copyright Extension Act if they really knew the score. Much less the DMCA.

    It seems to me that Copyright issues should be taught in public schools at a fairly early grade level. The course should include history, fair use, recent events (The Sonny Bono act and the DMCA,) and the Walt Disney Corporation. Perhaps if we did that we'd have a consumer who is both more likely to respect copyrights and who would be a lot less tolerant of extending the scope of the copyright well beyond what anyone (other than a big corporation) would consider "fair."

    • http://www.ideensindetwaswert.at/ [ideensindetwaswert.at] (German page)

      Unfortunately, it's heavily biased and guess to what side of the balance it's tipping.
  • Hyperbole much? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:41PM (#15390286) Homepage Journal
    There is no more important cause for freedom than the call for action to stop DRM from crippling our digital future. The time is now. Join us.

    Uhhh, WTF?

    I thought I had the most alarmist views on DRM [slashdot.org] around.

    Jesus guys, this doesn't help.

  • by styryx (952942) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:46PM (#15390314)
    At least they did go out there and protest. Arguing on the internet is like running in the special olympics....

    It doesn't matter what the protestors are wearing, it's the point they're protesting and it's the number of them.

    If you are against DRM then you shouldn't criticise these people if the only protesting you have done is posting on /.

    I do not exclude myself from this rant, fair play to those people. It's something, not nothing.
  • protests (Score:2, Funny)

    by a803redman (870583)
    so thats what it looks like when old white dudes protest
  • Maybe they parade around in those outfits AND sell/give-away stickers and tee shirts. I'd buy one if they sold 'em.
  • Because normally, wearing such suits out in public would be like yelling "fire" in a theater. I mean, what's the first thing that goes through your mind when you see a bunch of people in hazmat suits? Well, I sure as hell wouldn't think I'm standing in a bio or radioactive free zone at first glance.

    I'm suprised homeland security angents haven't dropped-kicked their ass already.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @07:29PM (#15390499) Homepage
    Protest the LAWS that allow these measures to be more than a nuissance. It's all well and good for media publishers to make playback annoying to the end user. So long as it can be played back, it can be media-shifted for any and all consumer use. However, since there are laws like the DMCA which make certain aspects media-shifting and other fair uses criminal or otherwise in violation of the law, we have a problem with the existance of the law.

    No one can expect media publishers to respect their consumers any more than their consumers demand. The consumer at large doesn't care about any of this and doesn't yet feel damaged enough to protest. But when they finally do, they will find that it's the LAW that is the offender and not the publishers.

    Microsoft and others are simply doing what is considered to be in their best insterests. It is to their advantage that their stuff be able to access the media from these publishers. If it couldn't, the consumers would dislike it. So if it means creating and sustaining DRM per publisher demands, then so be it as far as they are concerned. It is very rare when issues like "right and wrong" or "good and bad" actually play a role in corporate decision making. Slave labor isn't cheap enough for them and I doubt there is a point that isn't too low for them so long as their products and services continue to make a profit.

    Protesting people who don't care while trying to gain the attention of people who don't care is a complete waste of time and resources.

    Finding ways to get people to care isn't.
  • by Maxwell309 (639989) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @09:22PM (#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 )

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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