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  • Thousands Sign iPad Anti-DRM Petition


    Supporters of free software picketed the iPad launch last month, designating the Yerba Buena Center For Arts as an "Apple Restriction Zone." The Free Software Foundation was protesting Apple's ongoing efforts to control what can run on its devices through restrictive digital rights management (DRM) and a closed operating system. The online petition set up at the event has swelled to over eight thousand signatures, and the FSF sent off the first five thousand as a postcard to Steve Jobs.

    The Defective by Design campaign, organized by the FSF, was successful in pressuring Apple to remove all DRM restrictions from music on iTunes. John Sullivan from the FSF said at the iPad launch that his group wanted "to send the same message about the other restrictions Apple is imposing on software, e-books, and movies." Sullivan cast aspersions on Apple's claims that the company supports creative expression. "If Jobs and Apple are actually committed to creativity, freedom, and individuality," he said, "they should prove it by eliminating the restrictions that make creativity and freedom illegal," he said. According to FSF director Peter Brown, Apple's shift from the open model of current computers to the closed model of the iPhone OS creates a dangerous precedent for the future of computing. "Your computer should be yours to control," he said. "By imposing such restrictions on users, Steve Jobs is building a legacy that endangers our freedom for his profits."

    The FSF pointed out two main categories in which the iPhone/iPod/iPad model was overly restrictive:
    • All media in the iTunes store (with the one exception of music) is wrapped in Apple’s DRM. That means films, TV shows, movies and audiobooks (NB: books are in an open format ePub) are locked to Apple’s platform, taking away your right to share.
    • All applications must be signed by Apple if they are to run, an unprecedented level of control for a general purpose computer. On top of this, Apple can push updates to the device over its wireless connection, letting them add or remove capabilities at any time.
    The petition, which describes the iPad as "a computer that will never belong to its owner," is up to 8,800 signatures as of this writing. The text is available at the DefectivebyDesign website.

    image via Free Software Foundation
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Thousands Sign iPad Anti-DRM Petition started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 93 Comments
    1. Doppler's Avatar
      Doppler -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rota View Post
      Your argument is useless. DRM has not, and will never work. If your product is only $7, I start to get images of those programs out there that delete duplicates in your iTunes library, but the full version that actually does more than three songs costs money. This leads me back to my original point. Make something worth paying for if you want to make money. Just because you developed something doesn't entitle you to profit from it. What most likely happened is that a number of people downloaded it, realized it sucked, and told others, and the word spread. Happens all the time. I don't care how much you personalize it, I have no sympathy. If you want to make a living, go make one, don't ***** and moan about things that you will NEVER control. Make a better program. Get a day job. Basing your living on selling a $7 program is just stupid.
      You know nothing of me and how many applications I produce. Let alone how much I make. Please DRM will always be around as it is some way for us to protect our property.

      I hope those are legitimate keys btw. If they are not then you have no candle to me, and to other developers.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Doppler View Post
      You know nothing of me and how many applications I produce. Let alone how much I make. Please DRM will always be around as it is some way for us to protect our property. I hope those are legitimate keys btw. If they are not then you have no candle to me, and to other developers.
      In several of your posts you have asked why no one here as offered a better DRM, but I do not see you even attempting to do the same. Why don't you attempt to create a better solution that actually makes things more difficult for the pirates instead of your paying clientel. Because that is why nearly all forms of DRM are, like most gun laws, just something thats something more difficult or annoying for the legit buyer but does nothing to actually stop the pirates.

      As long as developers like yourself continue to embrace DRM that's more and more controling, the more you'll see people will find people looking for ways to circumvent it, and you'll likely be wondering why.


      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      I have no intention in buying that car over there, and its got an Alarm (DRM) but I found a way to disable it so if I steal it, I'm doing no wrong cos I never would have paid for it anywho
      While I agree stealing is stealing, I feel the need to point out a critical error in your analogy. A car is a physical object, computer software (or anything else in digital form, like music or videos/movies) are copies of an original, and not the original itself. So for your analogy to work, you'd have to say that, instead of stealing the car, you'd some how construct an exact (or nearly exact) duplicate of said car, leaving the original completely untouched. Or even one furthur; you'd be making a copy of someone else's copy, which would be just like the original.
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      As far as the car example goes, how often do car alarms actually prevent car thefts? They are failing attempt at convincing people their cars are better protected. Most just find them simply as annoying background noise these days. Also, stealing that car, a physical, limited supply asset, and prevents you from making money from the sale of said car to another person. Stealing a copy of software, though equally wrong, does not prevent you from selling it to the next customer.


      Doppler, it is wrong to try and claim that piracy has taken significant amount of money from your pocket as the majority of those pirates would not have bought your software in the first place (like multiple posters have already stated). They are in the wrong, but you're lying to yourself if you believe that it keeps anymore than a relatively negligible amount of money out of your pocket. I'm pretty confident that any amount that it potentially keeps out of your pocket could be completely counteracted by better marketing. Furthermore, you even noted that pirating has been around since file sharing was created yet you chose to be a self-employed developer. No offense but if the piracy is that big of a negative to your business then you can always try another career.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way advocating the pirating of software, but at least get the facts straight about it. Pirating music on the other hand is an entirely different story.
    1. dale1v's Avatar
      dale1v -
      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      That's because we have kids here that have never heard a bad word. This site is obviously not for adults, adult language or dissenting opinions of Apple. This site is a joke sometimes, all the crap 'stories' that are written as 'news' and mods taking down things that are no worse than what you hear on TV.
      Then you can always:

      or take it to the feedback forum. but at the moment there's no doubt that your post is completely irrelevant to the debate I was enjoying.
    1. Doppler's Avatar
      Doppler -
      Quote Originally Posted by paganizonda83 View Post
      As far as the car example goes, how often do car alarms actually prevent car thefts? They are failing attempt at convincing people their cars are better protected. Most just find them simply as annoying background noise these days. Also, stealing that car, a physical, limited supply asset, and prevents you from making money from the sale of said car to another person. Stealing a copy of software, though equally wrong, does not prevent you from selling it to the next customer.


      Doppler, it is wrong to try and claim that piracy has taken significant amount of money from your pocket as the majority of those pirates would not have bought your software in the first place (like multiple posters have already stated). They are in the wrong, but you're lying to yourself if you believe that it keeps anymore than a relatively negligible amount of money out of your pocket. I'm pretty confident that any amount that it potentially keeps out of your pocket could be completely counteracted by better marketing. Furthermore, you even noted that pirating has been around since file sharing was created yet you chose to be a self-employed developer. No offense but if the piracy is that big of a negative to your business then you can always try another career.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way advocating the pirating of software, but at least get the facts straight about it. Pirating music on the other hand is an entirely different story.
      You guys have not shown me that ALL will not buy it if they couldn't pirate it. No matter how you guys look at it. You guys are looking at it YOUR way and EVERYONE thinks like you.

      Piracy is ILLEGAL of course it is a NEGATIVE. The one example of the $7 application it has NO DRM and every update gets downloaded 4 times what it I have sold. My $30 application which has DRM has a lot smaller piracy rate, and 5 times the amount of customers of the $7 and from what I have gathered through my server numbers 17% of them are pirated and those keys are banned from my server.

      What you guys are looking at is what is best for you with NO actual figures, and real world numbers like I have with my servers. DRM is a deterrent that works as intended like how the police is for crime. You are not going to stop them all, but if you can stop as many as you can then it is worth having.
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Two apps is nowhere close to a reasonable size sampling of the industry needed to try and gain any statistical insight to pirating.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Doppler View Post
      The one example of the $7 application it has NO DRM and every update gets downloaded 4 times what it I have sold. My $30 application which has DRM has a lot smaller piracy rate, and 5 times the amount of customers of the $7 and from what I have gathered through my server numbers 17% of them are pirated and those keys are banned from my server.
      Quote Originally Posted by paganizonda83 View Post
      Two apps is nowhere close to a reasonable size sampling of the industry needed to try and gain any statistical insight to pirating.
      Yes, that is way too small a sampling, but also, what is always been interesting to me is how some people think they can just guess at how much what they've made has been pirated. You have no way of knowing how many have downloaded from, even if you have some sort of license/registration server; even Microsoft has had numerous problems with false positives with there so-called "geniune advantage" program since it's launch.


      @Doppler: what you failed to mention was if there were any key differences between the $30 and $7 applications. What were each of these programs, what were their primary functions, what did they do? It sounds like they were two different apps, so, say, if the $7 app was something that more people would want, then of course it's going to get more attention.

      Without knowing more about the actual apps in question, you can't just draw this sort of blanket comparison in any sort of meaningful real-world way.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      If Apple breaks the law by stealing Nokia's technology without paying, why does it expect users of its product to pay to use them? Can we not also say Apple's licensing fee is unacceptable I will use it until they change it to $1 per app, because that is what I wanted to pay similar to what Apple said to Nokia's accusation. After all what is good for the goose is good for the gander right?
      I pay for my apps, apple approved or not. I am only stating this because Apple think they can get away from stealing why do they expect law to enforce their copyright?
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Doppler View Post
      You guys have not shown me that ALL will not buy it if they couldn't pirate it. No matter how you guys look at it. You guys are looking at it YOUR way and EVERYONE thinks like you.

      Piracy is ILLEGAL of course it is a NEGATIVE. The one example of the $7 application it has NO DRM and every update gets downloaded 4 times what it I have sold. My $30 application which has DRM has a lot smaller piracy rate, and 5 times the amount of customers of the $7 and from what I have gathered through my server numbers 17% of them are pirated and those keys are banned from my server.

      What you guys are looking at is what is best for you with NO actual figures, and real world numbers like I have with my servers. DRM is a deterrent that works as intended like how the police is for crime. You are not going to stop them all, but if you can stop as many as you can then it is worth having.

      You want examples? Here's an example:

      A game that doesn't work because of DRM

      And they don't understand why it doesn't work, after all the servers were 'constantly monitored'

      Those people that bought the game at full price can't play their games. Because of DRM. Here's what the people that DON'T pay for games, or try and circumvent DRM to play the game they paid for already, without someone treating them as a criminal, get:

      A game that does work because of stripped DRM

      If I had this game (no more space in my boot camp partition) you bet your *** I would strip that crap off of it. But I had a better idea, not buy from developers that treat me as a criminal. Look what happened, they put these draconian measures in place, AND IT DID EXACTLY WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG. Screwed the paying customer. You have not given any examples to support your arguments other than some sob story about how you need to make a living yadda yadda yadda. I feel for you, but the measures you stake your well-being on have failed time and again to accomplish the goals it has set. Nice try.

      And the police don't deter crime or even stop it. Example? I was robbed just before Christmas in 2006. Did the police prevent that from happening? NOPE. Did they catch who did it, and the other 6 break-ins in my neighborhood over a span of three years? NOPE. It wasn't the local police departments responsibility to make sure my belongings were well protected, it was mine. I failed. But my .45 Kimber will assure that if I get broken into again, they will be either dead or deaf, and that might deter them from doing it again. Not some overweight POS cop that likes to exercise his authority muscle whenever he gets the itch. There is no money in stopping crimes, it all about minor drug offenses, not small robberies. Again, you are making failed arguments. When you can come up with something that is based in fact, and not emotion, maybe I'll look at your point of view in a different light. Right now you just seem to desperately cling to an emotional need to believe in a failed system.
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      This is a very good summary of what DRM is to people. Stolen from MaximumPC about C&C4 and it's stupid constant internet connection DRM. That failed even EA employee, and former EIC of EA.com Jeff Green.

      Quote Originally Posted by MaximumPC View Post
      Because if you’re expecting our anger to cool while we warm up to your DRM over time, it’s not gonna happen. It’s like when little kids are playing, and one of them adds a series of increasingly ridiculous, self-serving rules to the game. You know what the other kids do? They find a new friend.
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Looks like Ubisoft has seen the egg on it's face and is trying, somewhat belatedly, to right the problem. They should get rid of the DRM altogether though. This is a very small step in the right direction though.

      Ubisoft Giving Assassin?s Creed 2 PC Owners a Free Game
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Here's another article for Doppler to ignore. I see he hasn't come up with any concrete evidence to support his claim that DRM actually benefits the developer AND the consumer. Guess that's what you get for desperately clinging to a failed system.

      US government finally admits most piracy estimates are bogus
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by thisisasticup View Post
      MMI is also an Apple community. It's not JUST for jailbreakers.
      I really have to disagree here. MMI is about modding Apple products, and also serves as a news site for Apple and other related technolgy. This is a distinct difference from a site whose sole purpose is to praise and promote Apple products. You could also say MMI is about getting the most out of such products.