Sparse turnout for anti-DRM Apple Store flash mobs; FairPlay DRM survives

The weekend saw a number of sparsely-attended protests outside Apple retail stores across the US where a consumer group called Defective By Design (DBD) launched a wave of ‘flash mob’ protests outside eight Apple retail stores across the weekend. Protests took place between 10am and noon. Protestors dressed in hazardous-material-protection suits and stood outside the shops carrying placards and handing out leaflets.

From the various photos and videos now online, it looks like DBD had trouble recruiting “flash mob” participants resulting in something more like “flash ten-people-randomly-milling-about” at various Apple Retail Stores.

A quick check of iTunes Music Store this morning shows that the DRM mandated by the music labels is still being used for songs sold via Apple’s iTunes Music Store.

See some video from the Chicago store here. Some photos are here.
Like we said last week, if you don’t like DRM, 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 were obviously shooting for maximum publicity by going after Apple, that still does not excuse their misguided aim.

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Related article:
Group plans ‘Flash Mob’ DRM protest at Apple Retail Stores – June 08, 2006


  1. Has anyone noticed these people appear to be defective by design? Yikes…

    More observations:
    A. Get a life.
    B. They look more like people trying to get their face on some website with lots of hits, than the nuclear train activists, or hate Bush no matter what crowds…
    C. On a more serious note, DRM was driven by the labels, but in the end it paid off for Apple. Apple is not whom they should be picketing, but far too many people believe that the ends justify the means, which, in the end, is completely counter to the motive and ultimately destructive.

  2. d –

    The biggotry of pinheads like you is perfect evidence that the “homos” have a legitimate gripe. Further, the “homos” have the support of more than a dozen people, and stage their demonstrations in relevant locations to address grievances that have serious impacts on people’s lives. They don’t protest in front of Apple Stores. They protest at City Hall over such trivial matters as equal tax status for couples and the rights to make medical decisions for a domestic partner and to inherit property.

    Please, try to know something about what you’re talking about before you open your yap.

  3. Whoops, looks like d’s post is gone. Gee, I didn’t know my words were so influential. Maybe I should post about the regressiveness of US self-employment taxes.

    For those who didn’t see d’s post, it compared the relevance of the DBD protests to that of campaigns for gay rights.

  4. @ Norway Has Issues

    “No company should be able to change DRM restrictions after the fact– Apple or anyone else.”

    So, if we get to the point that DRM restrictions are to be relaxed or removed, then Apple shouldn’t have the right ?

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