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Protesting Apple's DRM 148

tedet writes "On the heels of the recent DRM news from Bruce Perens, the UK Parliament, and the Norwegian Omsbudman, Defective By Design is planning a flash protest this coming Saturday targeting Apple Stores throughout the United States. Defective by Design is targeting Apple because '[a]s the largest distributor of DRM infected technology, Apple has set a new low in the mistreatment of our freedoms.' We can expect more hazmat suits, and they created some art specific to this action. Hopefully these direct actions by Defective by Design will get the U.S. up-to-speed with its continental counterparts." (Of course, some people are happy with Apple's DRM as a compromise which helped legitimize online music sales.)
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Protesting Apple's DRM

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  • Flash Protest? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:19PM (#15495735) Journal
    It can hardly qualify as a flash protest if you announce it to the world days in advance.
  • by HRH King Lerxst ( 79427 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:22PM (#15495755)
    Since Apple's implementation is the least obtrusive and most user friendly, does it make since to protest? Why not go after more draconian DRM?
  • Pipe dream (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:27PM (#15495800)
    Hopefully these direct actions by Defective by Design will get the U.S. up-to-speed with its continental counterparts.

    Yes, a bunch of random people in hazmat suits passsing out flyers is really going to make a HUGE difference. Really!
  • apple not that bad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gaminRey ( 569220 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:29PM (#15495816) Homepage
    IMO, apple has one of the least obtrusive DRM setups available. Sure the fact that it isn't open to other players makes things difficult, but compared to the rediculous systems the RIAA/MPAA has come up with, Apple's stuff is great.
  • Why blame Apple? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:35PM (#15495870)
    People should be blaming the record companies who wouldn't put their music up on the store unless Apple implemented some kind of DRM. And fairly weak DRM at that.

    But nobody is forcing people to use the iTMS. If you don't like it, then just buy the CD which can be ripped and used in any device.
  • by therealking ( 223121 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:39PM (#15495901) Homepage
    DRM exists because the RIAA wants it there. Apple is contractually bound to sell thier music with DRM on it. They can't just remove it at thier own discresion.

    Go protest the RIAA membership companies, oh wait then you'd have to deal with the real problem. Nevermind.

  • by Mateusz Misko ( 980942 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:40PM (#15495909) Homepage
    You don't have to buy it from them if you don't agree to their terms.
    Now it seems like a valid argument. But I think many people are afraid that if the DRM technology spreads they won't have a choice anymore.
  • by TheRealStyro ( 233246 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:50PM (#15495982) Homepage
    Apple's Fairplay DRM scheme is one of the best I've used. Apple allows you to make audio CDs and doesn't have a problem with file/image backup applications.

    Do I wish Apple's DRM were better and less restrictive - you betcha! The price per song should be lower and with public disclosure of how much each party receives from each sale. The bitrate should also be higher to handle some more complex pieces of music. The number of CD burn times for each song should also be increased, not decreased. Video content should be able to be burned onto a standard and/or HD/BD DVD.

    Too bad emusic cannot charge on per song basis; non-DRMed content is great (subscriptions suck).
  • What is the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:55PM (#15496009)
    If you want to protest, the usual method is by "voting with your feet." That doesn't mean marching in the streets, it means walking out and choosing another vendor. If you don't like iTunes DRM, then don't use it. Buy something else, like an unprotected CD and rip it yourself.
  • by TheGavster ( 774657 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:59PM (#15496043) Homepage
    Ask someone to name an online music store, they'll name iTunes. Ask them to name an MP3 player, they'll name iPod. If you want to target the biggest guy in the business, Apple's it.
  • by ElleyKitten ( 715519 ) <kittensunrise@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @02:08PM (#15496113) Journal
    Since Apple's implementation is the least obtrusive and most user friendly, does it make since to protest? Why not go after more draconian DRM?
    Because they believe that all DRM is bad. Maybe it doesn't seem so bad now, but once people are used to the "friendly" DRM, then the less and less friendly DRM will be more palatable, and pretty soon everything you do on a computer is controled by the "content providers", kinda like in this scenerio []. I'm not sure if it'll get that bad, but a little DRM can go a long way.
  • by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) < minus city> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @02:12PM (#15496152) Homepage
    They are much more numerous than iTunes tracks, and are equally DRM restricted!
  • by Incongruity ( 70416 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @02:13PM (#15496169)
    oh i see, DRM's fine so long as the software is easy to use... riiight..

    To a point, yes, actually. DRM is hated so much by many people because it makes software very difficult to use even when you're not doing anything that would violate anyone's rights. If someone could offer a mystical, magical DRM solution that never so much as made a peep unless the user was actually (and let's say blatantly) violating copyright and not protected by fair use exemptions, etc. etc. and it was 100% accurate, the only people who would care would be those who are breaking the copyright law (as to the validity/fairness of those laws, I'll leave that for another time...) because everyone else would not even know the DRM software was there... And that's almost what Apple's DRM software does. I've only been aware of it once and that was when I had made a few too many copies of one of my playlists that contained iTMS purchased songs (which I was, in fact, backing up (mmm hmm)).

    Now where Apple's DRM scheme fails the usability metric is in that music protected by it is unusable with other music players/systems -- that's a huge crimp in usability but at the moment it's mitigated by the fact that Apple makes the best (IMHO) portable players out there and they dominate the market so in practical terms, a minority of people are affected by this. Nevertheless, as I said, this does make Apple's DRM scheme fail my usability test and therefore it's short of that perfect ideal, of course.

  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @02:50PM (#15496557)
    I agree with you that DRM is an inherently bad technology, but I can't help but agree that the protests are better directed at more draconian schemes. The RIAA doesn't need Apple: should Apple pull out of the DRM game, the RIAA will simply move to stores with even worse models; God knows there are enough of those to keep the RIAA satisfied.

    If the protests are to be truly effective, then they need to recognize that RIAA will always be as draconian as they possibly can. Thus, the protests should be focused to push RIAA to less draconian schemes than the status quo, not more. You don't do that by targeting moderates like Apple; you do it by targeting the more draconian stores. Then, as RIAA is forced to become accustomed to less draconian schemes (because the market won't stand for more draconian ones), you tighten the noose, continually pushing RIAA toward better schemes until you finally get them off of DRM completely.

    Is this more difficult than simply targeting the largest vendor? Of course it is. It's also much slower. But it has a far lower chance of unintended consequences.
  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @04:08PM (#15497243) Homepage Journal
    Well put!

    What the grandparent asks is a little like "Shouldn't the police be going after the crack dealers producing the expensive, crappy crack noone wants, rather then the dealers with the pure, cheap crack?"

    (to extend the always brilliant DRM vendors / drug pusher analogy)
  • by mr_matticus ( 928346 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @04:24PM (#15497378)
    Yeah, but topple the well-meaning and unobtrusive big guy and what you end up with is the coronation of a dictator. I wonder if Sony will be buying SanDisk's mp3 player division soon...
  • Why this is Dumb (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 08, 2006 @04:32PM (#15497447)
    I have a pretty good understanding of DRM and yes, APPLE is the market leader in online (drm'd) music sales. However, this is all due to the trickle down effect created by groups like the RIAA.

    No major label will sell drm-free music. Emusic, the number 2 online store sells mostly drm-free indie label and back catalog stuff b/c no major label will allow them to sell the next Britney Spears album without some alleged protection.. And- if they did allow this, it would cost a pretty penny.

    Apple just happens to be the number one player in the market due to their success with the IPOD. The labels had online stores and failed in the past. Every legit apple competitor, outside of emusic, sells DRM'd files. I don't think this is by choice.

    If you want change, you need to start with the source. THE RIAA. THE MPAA. They set the terms that allow Apple to sell their content.

    If I'm wrong, please enlighten me.
  • by bjohnson ( 3225 ) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @06:56PM (#15498534)
    You're equally locked in with Plays For Sure: that ONLY works with Windows.
  • Thank You! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nuckin futs ( 574289 ) on Friday June 09, 2006 @04:56PM (#15505477)
    That was the first and last purchase I made from iTMS.

    THAT is how you protest DRM!
    Seems like these guys want to hang around Apple stores and bitch to every customer who walks in trying to buy an iPod.
  • by SteeldrivingJon ( 842919 ) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @03:06PM (#15510049) Homepage Journal
    "My issues with iTunes DRM is because I cannot buy music from iTunes and play it on my computer, which runs Linux"

    Burn it to CD, and re-rip it as MP3. iTunes lets you do that.

    Apple is not obligated to satisfy every possible use case of every possible user. iTunes doesn't support linux. It also doesn't run on Windows-based cell phones. The iTunes music store doesn't support Linux users. it also doesn't support the far more numerous population of music listeners without computers or iPods.

    They have a business to run, not a charity.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.