AfterDawn: Tech news

Anti-DRM protest planned for Philadelphia on Feb 25th

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 22 Feb 2006 12:42 User comments (46)

Students of Swarthmore plan to stand up against the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) copy protection on audio CDs at the Tower Records store on South Street. The students claim DRM is putting unfair digital locks on CDs that restrict consumers from exercising their fair use rights under U.S. Copyright Law. DRM protected CDs limit the number of backups and how you may "rip the CD", which means DRM crippled in general, cannot be copied to an iPod music player.
The aim according to record companies is to reduce copyright infringement, something the students say simply isn't working. Free Culture co-founder and President Nelson Pavlosky said, "these sneaky DRM schemes endanger users and stop you from doing perfectly legal things like putting your music onto your iPod. It’s ridiculous; consumers don’t even know that they’re buying a broken record." The protest will take place Saturday, February 25th at noon at the Tower Records Store on South Street. It will continue into early afternoon. Free Culture wants to inform consumers of their fair use rights and warn them about the DRM threat.

"We need to get the word out about fair use rights," said co-founder Luke Smith. "No one wants to buy a broken record; if you’re not allowed to put it on your iPod, what exactly are you paying for? We want record companies to replace crippled CDs and pay for the damage they cause to their customers machines. We also want to drive the message home; you can’t do this anymore, because we’re watching you."

Free Culture Swarthmore

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46 user comments

122.2.2006 14:41

Without big money backing, no one is going to give a crap about this or any other protest against the Record Companies. Those companies OWN both houses of the US Congress and with their annual campaign donations, that won't change anytime soon. Money talks, Civil rights walks. Bought and paid for curtesy of your "elected representives"..

222.2.2006 14:45

"We need to get the word out about fair use rights..." The word from the industry is, "The DMCA took your poopy head fair use rights away. We Win. Nanny Nanny Boo Boo!" This is the United States of America damn it! We have the best laws money can buy!

322.2.2006 15:21

hopefully they don't protest tooooo long because they are just wasting their time

422.2.2006 16:54


This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Sep 2007 @ 19:40

522.2.2006 18:35

if i didn't live so damn far away i would go out and protest myself! they are removing our freedoms here!

622.2.2006 19:22

LOOOOOOOOOOL @ SWARTHMORE I can't be the only one who finds that funny

722.2.2006 20:40

Hmm makes you wonder how good our government is when drug dealers can get off easier, than some kid selling bootleg CD's, and DVD's...

822.2.2006 20:41

im not sure what will come of this but I hope it sparks more schools and stuff to protest. It's a good cause, in my opinion, and I would welcome a proactive response from anyone.

922.2.2006 23:25

i do my prostest simply i dont trust the cds any more and dont buy them over fear of crippling my laptop with DRM and the music people get nothing but its there own fault

1023.2.2006 13:16

a protest is a least someone's trying to do something. i'd join them, if i had gas money.

1123.2.2006 16:12

Protest easily by not buying the crap they are selling. If everyone stopped buying the DRM cds then they would eventually remove the DRM protections. They would also think twice if everyone whose pc was damage would actually file a law suit. Imagine the record companies having to have counsel in every little hick town across the country to defend each case. Just a pipe dream but only if.

1224.2.2006 2:31

Well, it's accomplishing something. I'm 1000 miles away and now I know about it.

1324.2.2006 3:06

ChiefBrdy, that's the spirit, sorta like Prayer you don't have to be there when folks are Praying for you for it to work, Prayer has no boundaries and neither does information like this, carry on Soldier.

1424.2.2006 4:15

well its might be a cry in the forest but at least soem well know it happened...

1524.2.2006 5:03

Why are they protesting a record store? They have nothing to do with copy protection on audio CDs. Are they having the protest here to bring attention to this or are they protesting Tower Records? I know most people (and the media will say) that they are protesting Tower Records. Just wondering.

1624.2.2006 5:05

aduckis mabye its a non corp store and trying to boost some non C-P or non corp lable sales?

1724.2.2006 11:11

@ garmoon The only problem with not buying the DRM cds, is that the record companies will still bleme pyracy for low cd sells and then what... They'll think they need tougher DRM software on CDs

1824.2.2006 11:21

@Lundylove You could be right but I think the artists would step in before, to keep their income flowing, to demand that the DRMs be removed. They gotta eat too. Especially if they see their competition sell tons of cds without DRMs.

1924.2.2006 16:41

Somebody should organize a 30 day boycott against buying CD's,........THAT will make someone listen.

2024.2.2006 21:51

QUESTION To "GREY AREA" ,,,,,,,you say that this country of yours has the best "LAWS MONEY CAN BUY"...WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE TO "BUY AND PAY",,,,,,,I TOUGHT JUSTICE WAS SOPPOSED TO BE DISTRIBUTED FREELEY TO EVERY INHABITANT OF THE COUNTRY,,,and without discrimination,,,,would you besupposing that "some" poor and ordinary peoples cannot get fair and free justice ....but i think that YOU have a point ..right on badaboy

2124.2.2006 21:53

QUESTION To "GREY AREA" ,,,,,,,you say that this country of yours has the best "LAWS MONEY CAN BUY"...WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE TO "BUY AND PAY",,,,,,,I TOUGHT JUSTICE WAS SOPPOSED TO BE DISTRIBUTED FREELEY TO EVERY INHABITANT OF THE COUNTRY,,,and without discrimination,,,,would you besupposing that "some" poor and ordinary peoples cannot get fair and free justice ....but i think that YOU have a point ..right on badaboy

2225.2.2006 1:21

Hmm, it's exactly like DVDs. - Sure, we'll let you backup your DVDs, but we'll make sure you got nothing to do it with. And I agree, without big backing, they will get little attention. Yet another reason not to get an iPod eh.. -Mike

2325.2.2006 3:21

Can you imagine the financial damage a country wide boycott would produce. While they're at it. A 1 month boycott of Exxon/Mobile would be nice too. If everyone got gas anywhere but E/M. Watch how fast prices would come down. I realize cars are just a fraction of the equation. But it's big enough. 8 billion profit in one quarter is obscene. The consumer is a sleeping giant. Unfortunately, here in America, a great deal of people have become too fat and complacent. "Somebody should organize a 30 day boycott against buying CD's,........THAT will make someone listen."

2425.2.2006 3:33

On many levels the DRM, RIAA, and MPAA thing could be causing more people to download p2p, torrent or whatever. First, all the headlines are informing 'average joe' that free downloading is an option. Something they may have never been aware of before. Second. The one's who do buy CD's and DVD's are so pissed by all of suits and protections and threats, that they turn to free downloading. Then there's the ones who would do it even if CD's were free. OTOH. Apple just hit the billion mark for song sales. 2 million sold every 24 hours. Who knows what the outcome will be.

2525.2.2006 4:42

Do not buy! One way or the other all theese tunes are last for a week only!

2625.2.2006 5:21

Well, today is the 25th so, lets see if this gets mentioned in any mainstream media outlet. Any bets its 50 people walking in a circle shouting into the cool winter's air about a subject most passersby could care less about? There was a time in the country when people gave a darn about their own rights. Now they're more than willing to sacrifice them as long as it doesn't affect their paychecks.

2725.2.2006 19:14

I don't understand people sometimes. There word isn't going to do nothing.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Feb 2006 @ 16:42

2826.2.2006 0:13

Seems to me the students are wasting their time. I would have thought that a quiet organised boycott of those shops would bring results faster than all this pointless noise.

2926.2.2006 0:36

Someone should take a cue from Nader. When he started fighting the car moguls for what he thought was right, they laughed him out. Took a while, though.....

3026.2.2006 12:22

These students are wasting their time. Unless they file various lawsuits, the fuss of a protest will die down very quickly.

3126.2.2006 15:13

ChiefBrdy, and did you know that Exxon hasn't paid one cent of the 4 Billion or so it is supposed to toward Exxon Valdez clean up and lost income to locals and that was what, 10 years ago?

3226.2.2006 15:34

I agree with ChiefBrdy : much of the "free downloading" by the public was due to the MPAA and especially the evil greedy RIAA who informed the general public about it. If P2P networks had remained in the arcana of hackers and enthusiasts, it might not be such a problem. I laughed at the movie trailer ads telling not to download DVDs - "wow, look, I can download a whole DVD in about 10 seconds! Let's try it!" This ad makes it seem even easier than it actually is, and only gets people interested in trying it! ("looks so easy and quick in that ad...") The second point is, who is more likely to download free material - the college student or the grandmother? and what happens 10 years from now - crackers will keep cracking DRM, and these college kids will be the ones not wanting to buy CDs. We need MORE protests, methinks.

3327.2.2006 0:52

I think we should boycott buying CD's , but not all CD's just the ones with DRM protection. I have friends that are artists and are on Independant labels with no DRM, Boycott the big record labels buy independant......!

3428.2.2006 7:18

This is a good thing. Even if it was noticed or not, it still is getting the point across. Even the smallest groups can eventually accomplish a lot if they try.

If Im online, Im usually on Steam:

351.3.2006 15:11

You should at least give credit for at least standing up and try to make a change. DRM is a reason why we can't put music into our mp3 players. With all this protection in a cd it all reminds me of the time when I couldn't break the protection of the cd. Now with 1 program I am able to break all the protection out of my cds that I actually have "wink wink" and all the protection that my dvd's have. And what really pisses me off is that the program I use is a program that stores sell. In the box it came with it had a big words that said "Burn All Your Media With One Program No Mather What Protection It Had." So I don't really care about what protection DRM puts on because this program is always updated so any future protection will be cracked in a day or two.

361.3.2006 15:16

MrMexican I wonder how long they will keep ignoreing thos programs 0-o

371.3.2006 15:32

See the thing is that they don't want to let you know that they let you burn the movies,cd's, and games with no problem. But when they lost that dollar to a soda machine and can't get it back they blame piracy and hunt down any house untill they find one with a lot of movies,cd's and games so they sue you. I got a question to anyone that has ever had this problem. Who has ever bought soda from the soda machine and took your dollar without giving your soda. I had this problem today and what did I do, well I just kicked the machine untill it got my dollar and what happens I get 2 sodas. Good for me right, but what about the other soda that I got am I gonna get sued for pyracy. Well we would just have to wait and see.

381.3.2006 21:27

Boycotts are excellent, they keep the monopolies in check. We should shout out and say:" Listen, we aren't happy with the prices of your products, we demand better prices or we just won't buy!" Followed by a Bee, Yatch, etches; mold the three together and it forms a colorful word. Lol

392.3.2006 1:28

hot_ice I boyycott by buying used they never see a dime of it. I boyycot Half assed domestic anime by just skiping dubs sicne they only release some in raped dub format,download or ebay *L* you'd be suprised at soem of the Digimon bootlegs pll try and make some arent so bad sicne thier right off the TV,hell the only way to find newer digimon in any English langage on DVD is from the UK 0-o and thats the legit version ><

402.3.2006 1:35

well this is annoying why cant I edit posts in some news threads and not others? 0-o anyway I did some looking...FOX UK might put more content on the digimon rleases(OMG sub's!!) but it looks like they havent done alot of the series's and thier just finish work on movie 4 >>

412.3.2006 3:34

Just another reminder that even though we live in the greatest country in the world, the more money you have, the more freedoms you enjoy.

422.3.2006 3:36

snreu More like the more money you have the more you can get the goverment and the courts to look away as you arse rape the public 0-o

432.3.2006 3:56

ZIppyDSM, don't get me started on that one. I don't know how it could be fixed, but it is amazing,(or pathetic), that one's guilt or innocence in this country rides on the prosecuter having a good day or not. What happened to "Did he do it or not"?

442.3.2006 5:24

snreu *L*

452.3.2006 6:38

ZIppyDSM, Sorry, but I'm not sure what the *L* means. (It does say I'm a newbie.) My lawyer told me years ago at our first meeting, "50% of all lawyers graduated in the bottom half of their class." I guess that's true about most everybody, but it sure strikes home when you start looking into justice the American way. "I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney than ride with Ted Kennedy!"

462.3.2006 11:08

Personally, I am an anime fan and I want to get a season of Inuyasha. The price was around 110 $ without tax! Thats insane. Like come on, why is anime that damn expensive. If they would make their prices more reasonable I would actually buy the damned season instead of waiting for the episodes to surface on the television. 125$ for an anime season, thats unreasonable.

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