It is my New Year's Resolution to refuse to purchase any media which is protected by a digital rights management system. DRM restricts me from controlling my media and my devices. If I do not have full control of my device, I do not own it. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience purchase anything which is restricted by DRM.
Others have made the same resolution, too: Colin Dean from Pittsburgh, PA
Join Me. Resolve to purchase content which you control for devices you control. Refuse to support DRM in any way possible.
Thanks for resolving to avoid DRM this year!
Questions regarding DRM
- What is DRM?
DRM is a technology which effectively prevents consumers from enjoying their legally purchased music, movies, and software—content—in ways which the content producer, owner or seller did not intend. At its core, DRM prevents users from copying content to and from devices of which the content owner disapproves. For more information, read the Wikipedia article on Digital Rights Management, or as it is often called, Digital Restrictions Management.
Content is not the only thing protected by DRM. Devices such as the Apple iPod and Microsoft Zune are similarly protected by DRM. Content uploaded to either of these devices cannot be downloaded freely to any other computer. The hardware restricts what can be done with it!
- What does this resolution really mean?
- For most folks, this means avoiding DRM-laden sites such as Apple's iTunes Music Store and devices such as iPods and Zunes. For others, it also involves avoiding software and movies which are protected by DRM. Unfortunately, this includes most store-bought forms of these, including DVD and Blu-Ray. Apple recently unveiled iTunes Plus tracks without DRM, but these iTunes downloads still contain users' personal information. While not true DRM, this is still a form of content control.
- Where can I buy music without DRM?
- Some of my favorite places to legally purchase and download music are such as Amazon MP3, emusic, Jamendo, and Magnatune. iTunes does have some content without DRM, but it may cost more and/or be difficult to find, and certainly contains personally-identifiable account information. Others have more recently verified that iTunes Plus tracks contain personal information.
- Where can I buy movies without DRM?
- So far, I know of no place where consumers can purchase movies without DRM. Please suggest some!
- What devices do not have DRM protecting the content?
- Personally, I use a Meizu M6 4 GB MP3/Video player as my regular personal media player (there's a white 8GB version , too). I also have had a few simple USB-plugging devices. Lately, though, I find myself using my T-Mobile G1 with Google Android for my media-playback needs. It has Amazon MP3 as an application, too! I can purchase and download songs on my phone while on the go, then freely copy them to my computer when I get home. This is how it should be: I control my content; I control my device; I control my entertainment.
- Where can I find more information about DRM?
- I recommend reading the Electronic Frontiers Foundation's Defective by Design campaign information. It recently held a "35 Days Against DRM" campaign which exposes and criticizes DRM schemes in a variety of popular products, including most of Apple's products, Netflix, Windows Media, HDTV, Amazon Kindle, and the Nintendo Wii.
- Does this resolution mean I should dump my existing protected media?
- If you want to do so, that's pretty hardcore. Personally, I'm not—I have several hundred dollars of games bought through Steam and I know others who have spent thousands on iTunes Music Store.
- How can I spread the word about YEARwithoutDRM?
- Why not wear your resolution on a T-shirt? You could also proclaim your resolution on Twitter or join us on Facebook.
Wear the resolution
Purchase a DRM-free T-shirt. This design will be available under the terms of the Creative Commons By-SA license. This means you are free to share it as long as you attribute it to me. You can also modify it, as long as you share your derivative version just as I have shared my version. While I'd prefer that you referred folks here to purchase a shirt with the design from YearWithoutDRM.com, you are allowed by the license to print and sell your own shirts. Download the SVG. You may need to have the FreeSans font to view it properly.