|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] DRm is Theft and the FSF
As Microsoft developers gathered in Seattle to hear Bill Gates's
keynote speech on the future of Microsoft and the coming release of
its updated operating system Vista, protesters wearing bright yellow
Hazmat suits swarmed the entrance of the city's convention center,
delivering an unsettling message to the corporation: your product
is defective and hazardous to usersâ€¦.The surprise protest marked
the launch of DefectiveByDesign.org, a direct-action campaign that
will target Big Media and corporations peddling Digital Restrictions
Management (DRM). "Flash protests, direct actions, and practical ways
that people can get involved and help stop the stupidity of DRM,"
is how campaign manager Gregory Heller described the grassroots
effortâ€¦.An initiative of the Free Software Foundation (FSF),
Defective By Design is urging all technologists to get involved at
the start of the campaign.
Here's the photo (see copyright disclaimer regarding this photo at the
end of this blog post), courtesy of DefectiveByDesign.org:
There are two issues here.
1. Digital rights management is like unsolicted commercial e-mail. UCE
was just never an acronym that resulted in awareness or action. UCE
needed something sexier that the masses could sink their teeth into.
Something like "spam." DRM, as acronyms go, isn't going to make Otis
turn red in the gills with anger. And, with all due respect to the Free
Software Foundation which is behind DefectiveByDesign.org, I can think of
a million things that are defective by design. DRM needs a special name.
A name that you can sink your teeth into like "spam." A name like "CRAP."
Even better, Richard Stallman, the leader of the Free Software Foundation,
likes the acronym CRAP and came up with a better suggestion than I did for
what it should stand for (one that ZDNet's readers approved of)! Stallman
wants CRAP to stand for Cancellation, Restriction And Punishment.
Works for me and it's ZDNet-reader approved. So, to you anti-DRM folks
who want that crap out of your lives, use CRAP to get your point across.
2. Here on ZDNet, and in email, I've been taking some heat for
my idealism, or in this case, my lack thereof, when it comes to
DRMâ€¦ erâ€¦ CRAP. Follow this thread for an example. Some readers
would rather see me stick to the hard line of buying and advocating
nothing that includes DRM. In essence, donning a hazmat suit like the
CRAP-fighters above (personally, what better metaphor can you ask for..
hazmat suits, crapâ€¦get the picture?). So, just to be clear, I haven't
personally purchased any DRM-related material since first figuring out
the downside for myself (not being able to play 99 cent songs on a $20K
whole home audio system). That said, I've had people come up to me
and ask which MP3 player they should buy for themselves or someone else
as a gift and, invariably, they're not open to the idea of not buying
one at all, buying one that takes a lot of work (circumventing DRM,
digitizing music yourself), or breaking the law. I know. They must be
from another planet. Freaks.
OK, back on Earth, these people exist. And so, the question is, do you
stick to your ideals, walk away, and let them suffer from their own lack
of enlightenment. Or, do you at least try to guide them to something
that's a fender bender compared to a fatal accident? I will vote with
my dollars. But, at the same time, if there are people out there that
refuse to heed the ultimate advice, I can't let my idealism stand in
the way of steering people away from the trainwrecks. That's why I'll
try to guide people like that to solutions like Navio or Project DReaM,
only after giving up on convincing them to not buy any of this CRAP.
CRAP is a dirty business and in the end, it's we, the users, who get
dumped on. But there are some things we can do to control the extent
to which that happens.
As a side note, I have begun circulating a note internally here at
CNET Networks that asks those in a position to do so to take a harder
line against DRM than is traditionally taken across all of our Web
properties. It includes some concrete editorial measures that can be
taken in order to better inform our audience members of the consequences
every time they vote for DRM with their dollars.
Copyright notice regarding the photo included with this post: Copyright
2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor,
Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA. Verbatim copying and distribution of site
content permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided
this notice, and the copyright notice, are preserved. 12 Comments |
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* Previous Post * Next Post
Read the latest Talkback post correction... sorry... I meant to say that
nobody could be that clueless UNLESS it was on purpose! (Read the rest)
* DRM Is Spware Dressed Up In A Suit P. Douglas -- 05/24/06 *
At least they demostrated what idiots they are. No_Ax_to_Grind --
05/24/06 * Add your opinionAdd your opinion
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On Fri, Jun 02, 2006 at 02:58:48AM -0400, Ruben Safir wrote: > Free
Software Foundation: Free as in "do what I say" Stallman-headed > group's
increasing politicization leaves a sour taste > > > By Neil McAllister
> > May 29, 2006 > > When Richard Stallman created the Free Software
Foundation (FSF) > in 1985, it was organized around a radical idea:
Software should be > free, not just as in free of charge, but free as
in the concept of > liberty. During the next 20 years that idea turned
out to be not just > radical, but surprisingly practical. Beginning with
Stallman's Emacs > text editor, to the various Gnu utilities, the Linux
kernel, and beyond, > free software has proved to be an enduring success.
> > Much of the credit for that can be given to Stallman himself. Through
> his tireless campaigning, he has transformed this idealistic notion >
into something that the wider world, and even the business community,
> can accept and take seriously. Although it may not always be easy
to > agree with him, his arguments have been rational, and if nothing
else, > intellectually consistent to the last. > > All the more
reason to be disappointed by the FSF's recent, regrettable > spiral
into misplaced neopolitical activism, far removed from its own > stated
first principles. In particular, the FSF's moralistic opposition > to DRM
(digital rights management) technologies, which first manifested > itself
in early drafts of Version 3 of the GPL (Gnu General Public > License),
seems now to have been elevated to the point of evangelical > dogma. > >
[ Talkback: Has FSF gone too far? ] > > The FSF's most recent effort --
an anti-DRM protest staged at Microsoft's > WinHEC conference last week,
complete with demonstrators costumed in > hazmat suits -- was particularly
troubling. It signals a shift in the > FSF, from an advocacy organization
to one that engages in hysterical > activism cut from the PETA mold.
> > Emblazoned across the demonstration's home page is the alarming
statement, > "There is no more important cause for freedom than the
call for action > to stop DRM from crippling our digital future." >
> Sure. And if you buy that one, I've got a bridge to sell you that >
stretches from North Korea to the Sudan. > > For starters, market
realities right here in the United States put > the lie to the FSF's
histrionics. Apple's iTunes Store, which sells > DRM-encoded music and
videos to millions of iPod owners, is going like > gangbusters. Clearly,
despite DRM's widely discussed inadequacies and > regular aggravations,
more than a few consumers are willing to put up > with it when the price
is right. That's just basic free-market economics. > > In a statement
regarding the demonstration, FSF executive director Peter > Brown said,
"A media player that restricts what you can play is like a > car that
won't let you steer" -- a false analogy so patently absurd as > to be
laughable to a grade-school student. > > You know what customers would
do with a car that couldn't steer? Run > like hell. If their MP3 files
were really similarly crippled (though > perhaps not quite as deadly,
Mr. Brown), I'm willing to bet they would do > the same -- to non-DRM
competitors such as eMusic, perhaps, or even to > plain old-fashioned
CDs. For DRM to fail in the entertainment industry, > all that needs
to happen is for customers to choose not to buy it, > which in turn
should convince artists not to use it. > > But the FSF has chosen a
different path. Convinced, perhaps, that average > consumers are too
stupid to know what's good for them, it's embarked > on a mission that's
even more insidious than the DRM it opposes. No DRM > system ever told
an artist what notes to play or what lyrics were OK to > sing. But the
FSF seems intent on doing just that. > > One of the original tenets of
the GPL was that users of software should be > free, not just to run the
software and make copies of it, but to examine > its code and improve on
it. Free software means, among other things, > the freedom of programmers
to write code. > > But not, apparently, under the new FSF order. In
this new worldview, > DRM is Wrong. It is verboten. And who knows what
other algorithm or > subroutine might be cast out next; but who are we
to question? By > abandoning social and economic arguments in favor of
a moral one, the > FSF is in effect telling us that God is on its side.
> > This shift is very troubling. Among its other devices, the FSF has
> chosen to unilaterally re-christen DRM as "digital restrictions >
management." If I were to stoop to that level, I might describe the >
FSF as the "Fundamentalist Software Foundation." But why go there? If >
free software is going to maintain its relevance to the broader user >
and business community, it must resist the temptation toward further >
radicalism, give up the name-calling and demagoguery, and re-embrace >
the rationality that Richard Stallman has demonstrated in the past.
> > Free software has proved its worth. That good reputation can only
be > damaged by turning a movement into a crusade. > > print this`
> -- > __________________________ > Brooklyn Linux Solutions > > So
many immigrant groups have swept through our town that Brooklyn, like >
Atlantis, reaches mythological proportions in the mind of the world - >
RI Safir 1998 > > DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002 >
http://fairuse.nylxs.com > > "Yeah - I write Free Software...so SUE ME"
> > http://www.mrbrklyn.com - Consulting http://www.inns.net <-- Happy >
Clients http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software >
http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/resources - Unpublished Archive or stories and
> articles from around the net http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/downtown.html -
> See the New Downtown Brooklyn....
-- __________________________ Brooklyn Linux Solutions
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town that Brooklyn, like
Atlantis, reaches mythological proportions in the mind of the world -
RI Safir 1998
DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002
"Yeah - I write Free Software...so SUE ME"
"The tremendous problem we face is that we are becoming sharecroppers
to our own cultural heritage -- we need the ability to participate in
our own society."
http://www.mrbrklyn.com - Consulting http://www.inns.net <-- Happy
Clients http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/resources - Unpublished Archive or stories and
articles from around the net http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/downtown.html -
See the New Downtown Brooklyn....