The story earlier today about B&N vanishing a purchased ebook reminded me of a link I was going to include in tomorrow’s morning coffee post.
It seems the EFF is about to launch a campaign to lobby the US gov’t on the problems inherent in DRM, and they are asking the public to contribute horror stories:
Have you ever bought music, movies, games, ebooks, or gadgets, only to discover later that the product had been deliberately limited with Digital Rights Management? We want to hear from you!
We’re preparing a petition to a government agency on fair labelling practices for DRM-restricted devices, products and services. DRM used to be limited to entertainment products, but it’s spread with the Internet of Things, and it’s turning up in the most unlikely of places. As the Copyright Office heard during last summer’s hearings, DRM is now to be found in cars and tractors, in insulin pumps and pacemakers, even in voting machines. What’s more, the manufacturers using DRM believe that they have the right to invoke the “anti-circumvention” rules in 1998’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to prevent competitors from removing DRM in order to give you more choice about the products you own.
If, for example, Apple or Amazon has blocked you from opening your ebooks on your iPhone/PC, the EFF wants to hear about it. Or if you found out the hard way that Epub isn’t the universal format some claim, they want to hear about that as well.
If you’ve ever encountered a DRM that mucked about with the text of a book as a “watermark” you should definitely forward that to the EFF (fortunately this never hit the market – I hope). They’d probably also want to read about your experiences with DRMed litter boxes, coffee makers, light bulbs, or cars – the more infuriating and insane the better.
I myself have spent the last few years avoiding any DRM I couldn’t break, so I don’t have very many horror stories to share.
How about you?