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DRM Protest in Hazmat Suits

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the containing-the-drm-outbreak dept.

385

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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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390158)

fp

double you tea eff ?!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390165)

This hazmat suits, they have pink triangles on them?

Yep, that'll do it. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Yep, that'll do it. (2)

Namronorman (901664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390191)

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.

Re:Yep, that'll do it. (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390206)

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.

Re:Yep, that'll do it. (3, Insightful)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390349)

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 something to do with construction hiring or something). But I do remember it placed me squarely on the "screw those f***ers" side and by no means made me want to investigate the problem and form a reasoned opinion, and I wasn't even on that road that day.

That, of course, is a much crappier way to protest than bunny suits that don't block traffic, but they're still (in the picture, at least), handing out pamphlets to people who probably don't care and are going to be annoyed at the inconvenience.

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.

And please make sure you're actually funny if you're going for funny. Not-funny funny is worse than just standing in the commons and reading the Bible at the top of your lungs.

Re:Yep, that'll do it. (2, Insightful)

wsherman (154283) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390275)

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 going to reach them either.

Re:Yep, that'll do it. (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390357)

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 probably not going to see the end of any copy-protection while we remain capitalists. Money buys laws, and those laws tend to keep the money flowing towards the rich. I wish it weren't so, but until that changes we've got allofmp3 and bittorrent for media that's free of copy-protection (and most CDs). Till something major changes (read: consumer outcry that results in a boycott of protected media), a parade of 'extremists' in bunny suits just makes them look like a bunch of morons.

Re:Yep, that'll do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390430)

We have Bittorrent _now_. What are you going to use when your computer's hardware refuses to allow you to rip a CD to an unprotected format?

Re:Yep, that'll do it. (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390460)

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.

Re:Yep, that'll do it. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390204)

I agree, trollmeister. Sitting on our butts will solve the problem.

Re:Yep, that'll do it. (2, Informative)

eurleif (613257) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390434)

Please read this article. [wikipedia.org]

Sorry about your negative mod (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390252)

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.

Re:Yep, that'll do it. (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390266)

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.

We need a new "godwin" for ghandi comparisons (3, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390452)

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 only to cheapen the sacrifice and the very dire struggle he had to go through in order to liberate his country. Whining about not being able to do something with something you don't even have to live with in the first place isn't even in the same league; it's not even close.

Re:Yep, that'll do it. (2, Insightful)

Intrinsic (74189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390354)

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.

Thank you and congratulations (4, Insightful)

idonthack (883680) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Could it be??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390265)

That we have been graced with not one but TWO corrupt politicians by the name of William Jefferson in the span of a decade?

Re:Thank you and congratulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390328)

Courage???!! Let's not go overboard here. It doesn't take much courage to dress up in a bunny suit and jump around like a jackass. I guess if you think standing up to being ridiculed by passersby amounts to courage, but most people wouldn't.

Real courage is the men and women serving in the police, fire departments around the country or serving in the military facing real danger or risk to their own lives. Protesting in the US does not require courage.

Re:Thank you and congratulations (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390330)

Interesting sig.

The are no rights (4, Insightful)

Instine (963303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390179)

I'm not an anarchist But, who exactly ordains us with rights?

Re:The are no rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390196)

They are "self evident" according to at least famous document [indiana.edu] .


One could say there are only rights, which a few people try to take away and re-label as priviledges.

Re:The are no rights (1)

idonthack (883680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390205)

The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and various laws. Our copyright law allows fair use like format shifting and use of excerpts, but DRM blocks any sort of copying and it's illegal to break it.

Re:The are no rights (2, Informative)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390223)

Wrong. According to the founders, "the Creator" endowed us with these rights. This is why they are called human rights, and not American rights. The Constitution serves as a means to protect these rights from the government, not as a means to grant them to anyone, as they already belong to every person. Unfortunately, the government has proved more adept at getting around the Constitution than the people have been at defending it.

Re:The are no rights (1)

Senzei (791599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390340)

Unfortunately, the government has proved more adept at getting around the Constitution than the people have been at defending it.

I think that is because they know the root password. It used to be "child porn" but I think it was just changed to "terrorism".

We do (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#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:The are no rights (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390232)

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 few bars of a song without paying a fee each and every time to the copyright holders.

Artificial rights (2, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390233)

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.

Re:Artificial rights (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390254)

"Rights" are the point of compromise between two people who both want the maximum freedom possible. That point falls where an additional power, if claimed by both people, would diminish the net power of both.

Finding this point is how we cooperate to coexist in society, and ideally society will gradually (over the course of millenia, with setbacks all the time) find the optimal point where everyone has the most rights, the most potential for existence.

We are intrinsically ordained with rights by the nature of this balance; by transferring power from one party to another it is corrected or disrupted, and the imbalances can be recognized (though perhaps only on the scale of centuries or millenia).

Re:The are no rights (3, Informative)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:The are no rights (1)

Slithe (894946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390449)

> 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.

Is this a good thing? (4, Insightful)

crotherm (160925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390186)


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?

Re:Is this a good thing? (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390216)

Irrelevant.

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

Impossible to stop, IMHO.

Re:Is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390227)

Do these kind of posts help or hinder? Sure, making negative comments about people who actually do something will get you modded up on /., but the question remains, will these kind of post help to achieve anything?

Re:Is this a good thing? (1)

crotherm (160925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390348)

Sure, making negative comments about people who actually do something you modded up

What negative comments? I tend to agree with their views. And I, being a geek, liked the hazmat idea. But I also know that the things I like tend do not mesh well with the rest of the world. My concern is that wearing hazmat suits is preaching to the choir and not the rest of the world.

but the question remains, will these kind of post help to achieve anything?

Hopefully people will think about who their audience is and tailor the presentation to them and not themselves.

Re:Is this a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390256)

Do these type of protests help or hinder?
Hinder.

Sure, wearing a hazmat suit will get you noticed, but will they remember you because of your voice, or your suit?
Suit.

Will they agree with you, or think you are a kook?
Kook.

Re:Is this a good thing? (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390380)

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?


I'd love to think that these protests would 1. help and 2. get noticed. However, judging by the photos it looks like nearly 3 ordinary people saw the protests.

Maybe it is a beginning though. D-ReaM is a senseless futile waste of everyone's time and money and it shouldn't be difficult to convince the public of that, especially with the likes of Sony aiming-at-their-own-feet-when-pulling-the-trigger. That got lots of publicty, it should have been capitalized upon more at that time.

Re:Is this a good thing? (4, Insightful)

s20451 (410424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390389)

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.

Re:Is this a good thing? (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390465)

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).

Re:Is this a good thing? (2, Informative)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390391)

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 that there rights are being eroded then they won't do anything about it... so maybe we should support them?

Re:Is this a good thing? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390396)

The one thing that someone must take from this is that they have a choice as to whether content they buy has digital restrictions or not, because in the end it's not companies who make or break these restrictive technologies; it's the buyer (or lack thereof).

Re:Is this a good thing? (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390419)

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.

Boo hoo hoo (-1, Flamebait)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390203)

So a bunch of piraters that want to copy music and share it decided to protest. Get over it people, the days of Napster are long gone.

Re:Boo hoo hoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390213)

Microsoft, Disney, and big corporations are the pirates here. They are stripping us of our rights to fair use, to our privacy, and they have the nerve to claim it's for the artists. They've been ripping off artists and consumers for years. They are the real pirates.

Re:Boo hoo hoo (4, Insightful)

kz45 (175825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390370)

Microsoft, Disney, and big corporations are the pirates here. They are stripping us of our rights to fair use, to our privacy, and they have the nerve to claim it's for the artists. They've been ripping off artists and consumers for years. They are the real pirates.

you aren't forced to use the products of Microsoft, Disney, or any large corporation. Fair use is not a right. If you don't agree with their tactics, STOP FUCKING USING THEIR PRODUCTS!

on the other hand, people sharing their software illegally are pirates. The large companies have no choice in the matter, unlike you.

Why not use open source alternatives?

Re:Boo hoo hoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390406)

Microsoft, Disney, and big corporations are the pirates here. They are stripping us of our rights to fair use, to our privacy, and they have the nerve to claim it's for the artists. They've been ripping off artists and consumers for years. They are the real pirates.

you aren't forced to use the products of Microsoft, Disney, or any large corporation. Fair use is not a right. If you don't agree with their tactics, STOP FUCKING USING THEIR PRODUCTS!

on the other hand, people sharing their software illegally are pirates. The large companies have no choice in the matter, unlike you.

Why not use open source alternatives?


Don't be stupid. They are enforcing their rules on everyone just to protect their profits and their control of the artists.

Try buying a piece of hardware from intel in a year and tell me you'll be able to run free software. Try fixing the machine so that you can run your remixed piece of code. You'll be breaking the law courtesy of the DMCA. Disney's police will come get you.

These guys are criminals and they are changing the laws to suit their bottom line. They are using their power to create images to coerce equipment manufacturers into thinking that they won't have a future without them.

Control/Alt/Delete is on the vista for our home television...

Re:Boo hoo hoo (0, Troll)

BenHoltz (909754) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390459)

You are preaching to the chior... They will never listen.

Re:Boo hoo hoo (1)

idonthack (883680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390217)

So a bunch of consumers that want to use the rights gauranteed to them by the U.S. Government decided to protest the violation of those rights.
There. Fixed.

Re:Boo hoo hoo (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390247)

When was the right to copy music from the Internet granted by the US Government?

Re:Boo hoo hoo (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390272)

I have the right to use my music in certain ways that DRM prohibits.(For example, American Edit [wikipedia.org] is fair use that, if all copies of the music used were DRMed, would be impossible without breaking the DRM) Fair use is fully protected. Go back to kissing Overly Critical Guy's feet.

Re:Boo hoo hoo (4, Informative)

zoloto (586738) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390313)

You poor lost soul.

Rights are not granted to us by the government.
We grant rights to the government.

Any attempt to reverse this will, in effect, start a bloodbath that I would be happy to participate in to preserve what is rightfully ours. Even if some of those rights are things I do not agree with. They are ours and ours alone. The government is merely a keeper for the majority and it's sole obligation is for our collective protection and our collective benefit, long and short term.

That is all.

Re:Boo hoo hoo (1)

no_opinion (148098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390385)

To nit pick, it's not a keeper for the majority. As you say in your final sentence, the purpose of the government is to protect everyone, and this includes the minority. The majority usually does not require protection.

Re:Boo hoo hoo (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390464)

You're correct. Bad choice of words and a lack of using the "preview" button were my fault. I should have more clearly stated:

"The government is merely a keeper for it's citizens, soon to be or otherwise protected by natural inalienable human rights and its sole obligation is for our collective protection and benefit, long and short term"

Re:Boo hoo hoo (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390321)

Dunno exactly about the US government (despite its claims and bloatedness, it's still spelled with a lowercase g), but we do have "fair use" laws.

Unfortunately they're being undermined completely with copyright laws, leaving them as an empty shell sitting in the books, being completely irrelevant.

Re:Boo hoo hoo (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390402)

You mean, the right to freely move music YOU OWN AND HAVE PURCHASED (from, say, iTunes) from one device to another? That's part of US law, y'know. You're also allowed to transfer things like music between medias - so you can make a tape copy of a CD if your car doesn't have a CD player. DRM IS PREVENTING THIS. DRM prevents you copying music for _legitimate_ purposes.

The question is: Do the legitimate purposes outweigh the illigitimate purposes? These people believe so. That is why they are protesting.

Ah, mature, rational discourse! (2, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390208)

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 no tunes to listen to inside our bunny suits... and plus, I'd have to go back to my day job to afford another one.

Re:Ah, mature, rational discourse! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390289)

I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of protesting in hazmat suits, and I do agree that rational discussion is the ideal way to go, but it's also true that rational discussion often gets absolutely no attention. How many times have you recently seen a TV news report that gave ample time for both sides to present their cases in well-thought-out fashion? You're lucky to get a 10-second sound bite, and the news crew won't even show up unless there are interesting visuals they can videotape. It's truly a sad state of affairs, but that's the current situation.

Re:Ah, mature, rational discourse! (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390342)

I absolutely agree. And this is exactly the problem with a lot of the protests that happen today -- they turn into shrill, partisan name-calling conventions, and the only thing they're remembered for is that "Damn, those kooks really effed up traffic today, didn't they?"

I think they're seriously underestimating the capability of people to understand, and care about, issues that affect them. What hasn't been made clear is HOW, exactly, DRM affects them. And you won't get that out on a placard. "DRM is bad because you won't be able to listen to your music!" makes for a shitty slogan -- the response of the average consumer is, "But my iPod (or whatever) works just fine, and I can burn CDs, and listen to my ipod anywhere I want."

This really is a "long-term" type of issue, and as such, it's not really effective to go out there with a placard and wear a cute costume. If you want to educate people, start finding ways to drive people to your web site, where you have a 2-page explanation in clear terms of how DRM can (and will) harm consumers. Remember, for the average user:
  1. DRM is a meaningless acronym.
  2. DMCA is a meaningless acronym.
  3. A Hazmat suit is likely to bring thoughts to mind like, "Holy shit, did somebody blow up a dirty bomb or release a bioweapon?" NOT... "WOW, my iTunes songs may not work properly in the future because of copy protection technologies."

There's lots of smart marketing and advertising people out there... I'm sure somebody could put together a 30-second commercial that would be dramatic & effective. I'd imagine ending a commercial fading out to a black screen which simply says: "Digital Rights Management: Bad for consumers. Bad for music. Visit EFF.org today to find out how you can make your voice heard.", while the end of Don McLean's "American Pie" plays: "The day... the music... died..." If you make it topical & relevant, people will notice, and once you start defining the issue as more than "a sound bite by some long-haired hippy in a hazmat suit," it's a lot harder to dismiss.

Slashdot FAQ (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (4, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390268)

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)

Re:Slashdot FAQ (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390329)

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 to their products by adding features that their users might want because I don't like those features.

Well said.

Re:Slashdot FAQ (1)

Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390350)

The government has no business encouraging the use of doorlocks or rape whistles.

Rape whistles, is that like "whistle while you work"?

Re:Slashdot FAQ (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390448)

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 of rape. My point is that the government has defined copyright as a balance of fair use and the right to protection fir a limited time. DRM abuses access priviliages you have to give for this relationship and procedes to scew the relationship for all future visits.

Don't listen to parent, just take their content. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390287)

It's not like it "supports" them, unless you believe in voodoo.

Re:Slashdot FAQ (1)

TheJediGeek (903350) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390291)

...These people deserve to get paid...

While I agree that one should get paid for a work, the statement must be used with care. Remember, the RIAA thinks that they "deserve" to get paid just on GPs.
While I understand that the point was for people to get paid for their work being sold as opposed to their copyright being infringed on, the statement that someone DESERVES to get paid is a tricky one.

Re:Slashdot FAQ (3, Insightful)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390297)

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.

Re:Slashdot FAQ (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390307)

"..., 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 wants it.

It ahs been shown over and over again that people don't mind paying for goods, but it has to be availible in the way they want it or they find other means.

If the current industries can't adapt, then they should go away and not waste taxpayer dollars making laws that prop up their industry.

Re:Slashdot FAQ (1)

Oblio (1102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390331)

www.marriedtothesea.com

"Everytime you let your friend listen to your gramaphone without paying listening tax, your favorite bandleader will be unable to eat for a day."

Pay your listening tax. :) I guess its cool if they DRM everything up, as long as they leave a simple out so that we can enjoy our fair use rights; If they get rid of fair use, then maybe we'll start seeing constitutional attacks on the copyright regime again.

Get real... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390267)

None of my LP's have DRM. If people don't care for restrictive license, just stop buying items with the license. Eventually things will change. No one needs a copy of the latest block buster DVD to live. Apparently DRM hasn't stopped most from buying.

Nope (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390311)

We already see what happens when people refuse to buy crippled media. The industries behind it will claim it's because of "pirating" (which, I thought, was impossible... but logic and politics mix as well as water and oil), their lobby will press for stricter laws and they'll get them.

Don't believe me? Look it up in your law books, it's already there.

Big Media are Crooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390269)

Remember the MAP Settlement [blogcritics.org] - Five of the largest U.S. distributors of pre-recorded music CDs and three large retailers agreed to pay millions of dollars in cash and free CDs as part of an agreement on price-fixing allegations.

The companies will pay $67,375,000 in cash, provide $75,500,000 worth of music CDs, and not engage in sales practices that allegedly led to artificially high retail prices for music CDs and reduced retail competition as part of the agreement. Tennessee's share is an estimated $993,948 in cash and $1,507,852 in CDs.

Big Brother likes Big Brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390273)

Might be worthwhile at this point to recall the part of "Fahrenheit 9/11" that covers a trade-show type conference of Federal contractors intent on cashing in on the War on Terror. Mike's narration stated that the conference was sponsored by Microsoft.

Who fucking cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390276)

What big business wants, big business gets. They own (or 'pwn'; both apply) the judiciary, they own the legislators, they've split the two political parties between themselves and shut out regular citizens.

Having the right to speak is not the same as being heard.

The people who make the decisions are not going to care one whit about this, and the people doing the protesting pose no danger what so ever to the establishment (hell, what are they going to do, vote for the other corporate party?)

This shit is stupid, and it's a waste of fucking time.

In the words of one of the roman emperors, what will it take for you people to realise you've been conquered?

Obvious Simpsons quote (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390353)

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos

Re:Obvious Simpsons quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390417)

>In Soviet Russia, the government controls the commerce.

In Capitalist America, the commerce controls the government!

Re:Obvious Simpsons quote (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390433)

*sigh* That's the point behind "in Soviet Russia" jokes. That it's the other way 'round in the "free" world.

Seems to Me... (4, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390279)

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."

Re:Seems to Me... (0, Troll)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390316)

That the first thing you need to do is educate consumers as to why they should care.

Has it ever occurred to you that the mass of people don't really give a crap if they can't pirate music? Most people are content to listen to music that they purchased for their own use. Most people don't mind paying for books. The tinfoil hat crew has to come out of the woodwork and warn us that our rights are going to hell in a handbasket if we maintain the status quo, that is, we continue to pay for content. Well, it hasn't happened yet.

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.

And why should they care? DRM isn't keeping them from enjoying the content they've paid for. It isn't an issue for "Joe Public". If DRM is ever a problem, you can bet that the average American will stand up for their rights, but as such, no infringement has taken place. Get over your self-importance.

 

Re:Seems to Me... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390339)

had it occured to you that this isn't about pirating music?
hmm? even for a second did that though manage to bounce around you brain?

"And why should they care? DRM isn't keeping them from enjoying the content they've paid for. "
Broadcast flag, recording thing to different mediums, tivo, these are the thing people enjoy, and they will go away with DRM.

Of course, from your point of view we should just let them make laws, and if they decide to use it fight them.

Fucking brilliant, Genius.

Re:Seems to Me... (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390438)

You still haven't shown any examples of how the average person feels infringed. This is still just a minor-league, tinfoil-hat-crew issue. Believe it or not, the public is quite willing and able to speak for itself, thanks.

Re:Seems to Me... (4, Insightful)

deque_alpha (257777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390399)

And why should they care? DRM isn't keeping them from enjoying the content they've paid for. It isn't an issue for "Joe Public".

That is true. If you ignore the people who want to make backups of their DVD's so the kids don't scratch up the originals, but can't. And if you ignore the people who want to format shift their music from CD's to some other player, but can't, or run the risk of having their computer disabled by buggy DRM software. And if you ignore all the people who buy eBooks and then want to view them on a device other than which it was orginally purchased on, but can't. And if you ignore the people who buy music online and then want to move it to another computer, but can't.

If I thought harder, the list could get longer. And if Big Media gets its way, it will get a lot longer. This isn't an issue for the majority of the Joe Publics out there, but there are some, and it will be a big issue if we stay on the course we are on now. However, most people will just accept those limitations once they are in place, forcing all of us to live to the lowest common denominator. Also, don't forget about all the interesting gadgets that may never be in an environment where media is so tightly controlled. There is a strong argument that the diversity and low prices that we now enjoy with DAPs would have never been created if the controls that Big Media propose now were in place 5 or 10 years ago.

That's why public awareness needs to be raised now, so that this trend can be stopped. It's easier to prevent negative changes than it is to reverse them. It is short-sighted to assume that just because something isn't a problem now, or isn't a problem for you that it isn't a problem. I want my kids to enjoy at least as much freedom as I do, if not more. That's why things like this are important, and that's why trends like this need to be fought.

The problem: It IS being taught (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390373)

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

Unfortunately, it's heavily biased and guess to what side of the balance it's tipping.

I thought FSF was about software, not content?? (0, Troll)

i am kman (972584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390281)

FSF used to be about "creating" free software, not stealing original "content". This is a fairly significant, but relatively subtle evolution.

And I definitely think the hazmat costumes detract from their message. You'd think they would've learned from PETA and brought some naked folks to protest instead of dressing up like idiots to make their point.

Re:I thought FSF was about software, not content?? (2, Funny)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390347)

I am a huge fan of the FSF, but the more clothes their protestors wear the better life is for all of us.

Re:I thought FSF was about software, not content?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390418)

Dude why would you suggest such a horrid thing, have you actually seen some of them [stallman.org] ? Heck, I think the HAZARD suites would-be/are a great improvement.

Now I am going to have a hard time geting images of them NAKED out of my mind.

Hyperbole much? (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390286)

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.

Rumsfeld made them wear the suits (0, Offtopic)

ugmoe (776194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390294)

Rumsfeld made them wear the suits.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/0 5/1432203 [democracynow.org]

RAY McGOVERN: Well, talk about that disingenuity. I mean, sure, they wore chemical [suits], because Rumsfeld and his generals ordered them to. This proves nothing, other than they went through with this charade. The Australian troops wore no such protective covering, because they knew there were no weapons there. The Australians knew these weapons were a figment of the propaganda put out by our Defense Department, so they blithely went in there without any protective covering. So it was all a charade.

Re:Rumsfeld made them wear the suits (1)

BenHoltz (909754) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390439)

ARE YOU ON CRACK?!? The story has nothing to do with Rumsfeld!?! Goes to show that there are people that only think about taking down the "other" political party... Stupid People.

Gates must be envious (0, Troll)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390305)

He witness first hand that there are people more eccentric than he is. He is beside himself in grief! Hazmat costumes? Were they trying to bluff the attendees into believing the building had a hazardous leak and thus not attend? Oh yes, they were making a statement! Well, at least, they left their Star Trek costumes at home.

Oh yeah, I know you are ready mod me troll or flamebait. But wait, "DRM is evil!!!" Now you have a conundrum on your hands. Good luck sorting that out

Re:Gates must be envious (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390320)

WHat is the notion that people who feel strongly about this are some sort of star trek freak?

Many of us are pretty mormal people who don't walk around in star trek costumes.

Something not nothing (5, Insightful)

styryx (952942) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (2, Funny)

a803redman (870583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390334)

so thats what it looks like when old white dudes protest

You haven't seen IMPROVEEVERYWHERE then? (0)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390415)

FSF should have arrived, with supporters, all dressed as Microsoft exhibitors. The more knowledgable they are about Microsoft technology, would be the more untrollish their arguments could be. Just by arriving at an event to protest is an absolute example of what will be avoided. After all, the people that attent such events are there because their minds were already convinced and the expensive preparations were completed for their appearance.

The recent deploy of IMPROVEEVERYWHERE was at Best Buy [improveverywhere.com] (woof).

Does this mean that I am bad? (0)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390359)

Am I a bad person because I bought a monitor that has builtin HDCP?

Re:Does this mean that I am bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15390447)

No, you are a bad person because you are a stupid, evil son of a bitch!

where are the #$%#$%! stickers/tee-shirts.... (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390378)

Maybe they parade around in those outfits AND sell/give-away stickers and tee shirts. I'd buy one if they sold 'em.

They have balls! (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15390442)

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.
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