FSF Targets Apple Stores in Anti-DRM Protests

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 10-03-2006

The Free Software Foundation is wading ever more deeply into the controversial waters of digital rights management, with members of its DefectiveByDesign.org campaign set to descend on flagship Apple stores in New York and London on Oct. 3 to protest the company's embrace of that technology.

"As consumer frustration grows over the DRM technology imposed by Apple through its popular iPod and iTunes store, 10,000 technologists are preparing to take direct action to raise public awareness of the larger threats posed by DRM, with more than 200 'actions' planned across the globe on Tuesday, Oct. 3," FSF Executive Director Peter Brown said in a statement Oct. 2.

DefectiveByDesign.org describes itself as a broad-based, anti-DRM campaign that is targeting "Big Media," unhelpful manufacturers and DRM distributors. Its goal is to raise the level of awareness to the threats posed by DRM technology.

It is targeting Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Disney and technology companies, as well as the film and music industry, which it refers to collectively as "Big Media."

For more on this topic, see Technology: Enterprise Rights Management Aims Digital Rights at Sensitive Documents

The FSF believes that DRM technology is a growing problem for all computer users and, by extension, all of society. "DRM is typically used to restrict individuals' use of their own copies of published works. To enforce these restrictions, DRM software, and now hardware, must monitor and control computer users' behavior. Frequently it reports on what it sees," Brown said.

But the issue of DRM has been a controversial one, even among the free software community, which Brown says is not controlled by the large technology companies.

The DRM provisions included in the draft discussion documents for the next version of the GNU GPL (General Public License), Version 3, which was co-written by Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation, have caused much concern in the free and open-source communities.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: FSF Targets Apple Stores in Anti-DRM Protests