Group plans ‘Flash Mob’ DRM protest at Apple Retail Stores

“Defective by Design (DBD) is planning a protest at many U.S. Apple Stores Saturday, June 10th at 10:30am. Their protest is against Apple’s DRM which makes it possible to purchase music legally via iTunes and listen to it on your iPod and up to 5 computers,” iMacazine reports. “DBD has made similar protests against other forms of ‘Digital Restrictions.’ During their protests they show up in yellow Hazmat suits and inform passers-by of their cause. According to the DBD site targeted cities include San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Long Island, and New York.”

Defective by Design’s Gregory Heller writes:

Two weeks ago we launched – the Campaign to Eliminate DRM – since then, more than 2000 technologists have joined us and taken the pledge to stop DRM through direct action. Now we are taking the campaign to a national stage in an effort to increase discussion of DRM. This Saturday, June 10 at 10:30am (local time) Flash Mobs will gather in San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Long Island and New York converging on Apple stores to warn customers of the dangers of DRM in the iPod and iTunes.

Apple claims that people would steal from them if they didn’t use DRM, and that they have to protect themselves. This is how they would like to portray it, but it’s not how it is. Inclusion of DRM in products sold by Apple and other companies is inspired by their greed and desire to control us. To accomplish their goals, they want to monitor, report, and regulate your every interaction with your computer and electronics.

All music purchased from the iTunes music store has DRM in it. That means, at the moment, you can only have a certain number of copies. It used to be you could have 10, then Apple changed it to 7. Nothing stops them from changing it again, to 5, or 3 or 1. With DRM Apple can change the rules AGAIN, and at any time. DRM gives them that power over you. Your devices will have to do their bidding. That is what DRM is about, taking the control away from you, and giving it to Big Media and companies like Apple. The hardware and software they sell you will enforce their rules, by removing your rights. As the largest distributor of DRM infected technology, Apple has set a new low in the mistreatment of our freedoms.

Take back your technology. Say no to DRM in your computer, in your home, and in your pocket.

More info here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Defective by Design” sounds like the perfect name for this group and, as an added bonus, also splendidly describes Heller’s prose. An aptly-titled “twofer,” if you will. You don’t like DRM? Then dress up in your yellow suits and hats and protest outside the headquarters of the “Big Four” music labels: Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI Group. They’re the ones responsible for DRM and for treating their customers like criminals, not Apple. While DBD are obviously shooting for maximum publicity by going after Apple, that still does not excuse their misguided aim. Protesting against DRM at Apple retail stores is like protesting against federal gasoline taxes at the corner gas station when you should be marching in Washington: wrong target and wrong venue, “Defective by Design.”

Introducing the super-fast, blogging, podcasting, do-everything-out-of-the-box MacBook.  Starting at just $1099
Get the new iMac with Intel Core Duo for as low as $31 A MONTH with Free shipping!
Get the MacBook Pro with Intel Core Duo for as low as $47 A MONTH with Free Shipping!
Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.


  1. Yeh-heh-hehessssss, only in America could you have a group that purposely names themselves ‘Defective by Design’! I think the defects start at de top with these guys.

    Come onnnnn . . . what’s next? A protest outside your local TV station because Leno sucks? A gathering outside McDonald’s to complain about fattening food and no real meat in de burgers? A ‘Flash Mob’ in front of Scores to protest de high price of lap dances?

    Hey, wait a minute . . .

  2. This time MDN is 100% right on. Apple fought with the record industry to get the least annoying DRM they could.

    When the recording industry tried to coerce Apple to raise prices on new releases (without lowering prices on old releases!), Steve called them on their greediness and stood his ground.

    If you really can’t handle DRM, then you can either buy the damned CD or obtain the non-DRMed music illegally.

    I’m happy paying one or two bucks for the one or two songs I want from any typical album that comes out. If I REALLY love the WHOLE album, I go and buy the CD for $17 at the local music store.

    How can people be so completely naive that they argue that they should be able to buy music online with no DRM? Have we transcended the need for policing all of a sudden? Are we now ready to get rid of the legal system, the police, the government and the military, and the locks on our doors, now that everyone is totally honest and considerate? I think not.

  3. talk about shooting the messenger.

    I hate DRM but MDN is correct. The music labels are responsible for forcing it on us.

    I’m having trouble with iTunes and now I’m locked out of my purchased music if I use another music player. So much for “owning” my iTunes music.

  4. Whoa . . . this is serious.

    I think they can do it . . . I mean, they’re using “flash mobs”.

    There’s no defence against that.

    DRM is goin’ down in about 3 weeks . . .

  5. Hm… Obviously, none of you get the point of public protestation: raising maximum awareness about a political issue. Or, “shooting the messenger” is a very effective means of getting the point across.

    If the DBD people where to protest outside any of the major label’s HQs, which arguably WOULD be the right thing to do, there’d be a lot less visibility brought to the action. The mere fact that Apple is garnering a lot of press is VERY good for DBD’s bottom line.

    Consider this: FairPlay DRM is “not that annoying”, granted, but any DRM is annoying in any case. Apple has the first and foremost market share in DRM’d music online sales, therefore Apple (FairPlay) seems like a reasonable target.

    Just a question of loudly raising an issue.

  6. “What’s the ‘alternative solution’?”

    The alternative solution is even more lawsuits from the MPAA. Personally, I’m not convinced this is a bad idea–don’t make everyone suffer, just those who illegally copy music.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.