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Anti-DRM campaign to petition Bono

by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Jun 30, 2006 10:39 AM
Campaign calls upon Bono to take a stand against the digital restrictions found in new technology and music.
The direct action campaign DefectiveByDesign.org, today called for all technologists to sign the petition calling upon Bono, the lead singer of U2, to take a stand against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). The campaign aims to collect 10,000 signatures, at which point they will seek an audience with Bono, and discuss with him the threats posed by DRM.

The group has focused on Bono because of his social activism and leadership in the music industry. Bono and the band U2 have helped encourage the media companies to distribute music online. U2's endorsement of the iPod has led to a huge financial windfall for Apple's iTunes. The problem is, all Apple's iTunes music is distributed with DRM handcuffs. The campaign is asking Bono to take a lead in encouraging the removal of these handcuffs.

"Apple once proclaimed, 'Rip, Mix, and Burn,' but when the Majors offered them an exclusive deal to distribute their music files, they quickly stepped into line and imposed DRM on their customers," said DefectiveByDesign campaign manager Gregory Heller. "Apple is now embarrassed by their once famous marketing slogan, as they try to make excuses for these digital restrictions."

DefectiveByDesign describes DRM as simply a scheme by the Big Media corporations to control consumers and keep artists locked into unfair contracts—reports say many artists receive as little as 7 cents for each 99-cent iTunes track downloaded.  The petition asks Bono to come out in support of technology free of restrictions, and in doing so expose the myth that musicians demand locks on technology and culture.

This petition is the fourth in a series of direct actions that DefectiveByDesign.org have taken. They have already targeted Microsoft and Apple's DRM schemes, and published the telephone numbers of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) executives, encouraging hundreds of consumer complaints against the trade organization.

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About Defective By Design

DefectiveByDesign.org is a broad-based, anti-DRM campaign run by the Free Software Foundation, that is targeting Big Media, unhelpful manufacturers and DRM distributors. It aims to make all manufacturers wary about bringing their DRM-enabled products to market. The campaign aims to identify "defective" products for the consumer. Users are being asked to stand up in defense of their existing freedoms and to take action by joining at DefectiveByDesign.org

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software - particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants - and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software. Their Web site, located at www.fsf.org, is an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support their work can be made at http://fsf.org/join They are headquartered in Boston, MA, USA.
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