Tomorrow, activists in seven cities across the US will picket Apple Stores, handing out information about the dangers of the DRM hidden in Apple's iTunes. iTunes DRM may seem pretty innocuous at first, but every time you invest in an iTunes Store song, you make it more expensive to switch to an Apple competitor's product at any time in the future. You didn't have to abandon your CDs to switch to MP3s (in fact, the more CDs you owned, the better your MP3 experience was, since you could rip those CDs to seed your MP3 collection), but if you want to go from Apple's iTunes to a competing device, ever, you have to be prepared to abandon your whole investment.
Add to that Apple's willingness to remove features from iTunes Store songs in the name of "updating," the absence of any way to give away, sell or loan your iTunes Store songs, and Apple's use of blacklists and legal threats to prevent people from adding functionality to the iPod and iTunes and buying an iTunes song starts to seem like a worse and worse deal (especially since many artists report that they're seeing $0.07 or less from the sale of their music on the iTunes Store, so all your money is doing is lining the pockets of the same recording companies that are busily suing grannies, little kids and everyone else they can get their hands on).
The demonstrations are being organized by the Free Software Foundation's "Defective by Design" group, the same cats who crashed Bill Gates's keynote at WinHEC dressed in toxic waste suits. I can't wait to get to one of their actions -- they sound like a hoot!
Let the fun begin! We will be on-site tomorrow from 10am (local time) getting suited-up and you can expect the action to start at 10:30am - remember to bring those cameras!
Apple Store - 1 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Apple Store - 679 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Apple Store - 4702 NE University Village Pl, Seattle, WA 98105
Apple Store - 100 Cambridge Side Place, Cambridge, MA 02141
Apple Store - 767 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10153
Apple Store - 160 Walt Whitman Rd. Huntington Station, NY 11746h
Apple Store - 6121 West Park Blvd. Plano, TX 75093
Update: Micah sez, "Please add the Apple Store at University Village in Seattle to the list!"
Will of MaximumPC mag sez, " I'll be at the San Francisco Apple store tomorrow morning with some one-sheet printouts explaining why DRM sucks, and as many copies of our April issue as I can carry. The April issue tells people how they can strip DRM from all their media--CDs, DVDs, downloaded music, and more."
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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