The statement at the DefectiveByDesign website is so true:
There is no more important cause for electronic freedoms and privacy than the call for action to stop DRM from crippling our digital future.
This was brought to our attention by Specmon at ScotsNewsletter Forums through the following InformationWeek article entitled: “Campaign Against Digital Rights Management Heats Up – Calling themselves freedom fighters, a group of protesters is taking its battle against DRM to the streets.“:
Calling themselves freedom fighters, members of the Free Software Foundation are engaging in a campaign against Digital Rights Management, which they emphatically refer to as Digital Restrictions Management.
Members donned yellow hazardous materials suits to kick off the initiative, called DefectiveByDesign.org, in Seattle earlier this week to protest Bill Gates’ keynote speech on the future of Microsoft. The direct action campaign, targeting “big media and corporations peddling Digital Restrictions Management,” plans more flash protests.
Peter Brown, executive director of the FSF, is encouraging technologists to get involved.
“We see this as the tip of the iceberg and it is our duty to do something about this,” he said in a prepared statement. “We know about the collusion of Big Media, device manufacturers and proprietary companies to lock us down. Their aim is to put Digital Restrictions Management into all our computers and homes.”
The group contends that computers, high-definition screens, phones, music players and video players do not respect users’ rights to make private copies of their digital media. That means art, literature, music and film cannot fall into the public domain and that user viewing and listening habits can be monitored, DefectiveByDesign argues.
“In any other industry, such limitations or invasions would be considered major flaws,” Brown said. “A media player that restricts what you can play is like a car that won’t let you steer.”
(bold emphasis mine) – More in the article.
The above link to sign up is at Defective By Design
EDIT: And here’s just one more reason…
If your HDTV does not have an HDMI port, or an HDCP-compliant DVI port, you won’t be able to watch HD movies in high definition. Bad news for the 3 million people in the US who don’t have digital HDTV’s and will only be able to connect over analog (component) cables – your movies will be downsampled to 1/4 their resolution, making them essentially the same as a standard DVD. The studios are understandably scared of an open, high quality, digital video interface, so they are insisting that your TV supports digital encryption to fully enjoy its new movies. This helps them to sleep better at night, but realistically only the honest people will be inconvenienced. Someone will likely figure out a way around it, given enough time. Some studios have said they won’t enable this restriction for their initial movie launches, but remember they can enable it at any time in the future.
On a similar note, you will also have problems playing these movies on your computer with an internal Blu-ray or HD-DVD drive. If you don’t upgrade to an HDCP compliant video card and monitor, you’re screwed. An HDCP compatible video card is different than a compliant one, and will not work.
AACS means that Blu-ray and HD-DVD will never be compatible with free software, affecting nearly everyone that wants to view these movies on their computer but isn’t running Windows or Mac OS X. While this is a minority of computer users, they should not be ignored. Some might say history is doomed to repeat itself.
MUCH more on the site.
EDIT: Be sure to check out the links. Here’s a sample from one of the links (HD DVD Part 2 on page 2. Just a small portion of this two page interview with Mark Knox):
CEN: How is this different from whatâ€™s on Blu-ray?
Knox: There is an option, and apparently this is not a requirement, but there’s an option that the content owner can use an additional technology, which Blu-ray calls â€œBD Plus,â€ which my understanding came from another company called CRI, Cryptography Research Inc. The idea of BD Plus is over and above everything that AACS does, that the content owner can essentially write an anti-spyware program and put it on to the content disk. Then, that program is in a language that is run by what’s known as a virtual machine that resides within the Blu-ray player. You can think of it like Java running in your browser, for example. So in this case, the content disk would run this program in it with a sniffer on your machine and try to determine whether you’ve been a bad boy or not. If it thinks youâ€™ve been a bad boy, it will refuse to play that disk. Exactly how it does that — exactly what Blu-ray needs to do to those players to enable this virtual machine — is not terribly clear. But what I can tell you is when that third-party company approached both the AACS committee and the DVD forum suggesting that they include that technology is part of those standards, both of those parties said no way, JosÃ©.
CEN: But proponents of Blu-ray might say that you’re just planting fear, uncertainty and doubt here. They would probably give me a pretty good answer if I asked them how that system works, wouldn’t they?
Knox: They probably would, and if that pretty good answer includes a full specification on BD Plus, I’d love to get a copy.
CEN: Because they’re not offering the full spec, that’s what you’re saying?
Knox: No, they’re not offering that. We do have fears and doubts, because fear and doubt is created by uncertainty. What we do know, though, is, many, many months ago, more than a year ago, CRI did make a very detailed technical proposal that said how that works. At that time, the engineers within the AACS, and the engineers in the technical working groups in the DVD Forum declined to adopt that technology because they were concerned that the virtual machine idea could ultimately open up windows for people to get at the guts of the system, and potentially compromise the robustness and security of AACS.