DRM-Free logo: like "certified organic" for DRM-free media

Defective by Design -- the Free Software Foundation's campaign against DRM -- has cooked up a new badge for technology, media and devices that are provided without DRM, a kind of "certified organic" logo that lets you know when you're getting stuff that doesn't try to use technology to limit your choices.

New DRM-Free Label (via /.)


      1. and if this were printed on a product, at first glance, it would appear like *DRM comes free* with said product.

  1. please get a designer on to that…… not sure this is the first incarnation of the same idea…

  2. quick! somebody fix it!

    “All files are provided” could be a touch further from the circle. I’m wondering about the use of lowercase letters, too.

  3. So, just like the “organic” label, it has the potential to become utterly useless and without teeth.

    1. not really. With food labeled organic you really have no idea if it is or not, even  after you “use” it. If you purchase a “drm free” labeled file/software/device you will find out very quickly if it is or not. I don’t think you’d need it to be legally binding in any manner. Why the hell would anyone label it DRM free and have it be with DRM? They would find out very quickly that the public does not appreciate that and I doubt whoever they have agreements with regarding the media in question would permit them to label the product as such.

    1. It wouldn´t look official unless it looks like shit, because someone on top of the food chain has “approved” it (= fucked it up or watered it down beyond recognition).

  4. I think it’s the opposite of the “certified organic” label: it doesn’t certify jack.

    In contrast to “certified organic,” which requires being actually, you know, certified in order to legally apply it, the creators of this logo just tell anyone at all that they can use it. There’s nothing what-so-ever preventing Apple from sticking this on the DRM-ed music. The logo itself is even CC-by-sa, so they have no grounds at all to tell someone not to use it.

    So this is useless, because seeing it tells you nothing at all, and may even maliciously lead you to buy something you otherwise wouldn’t have.

    I’d say, rather than “certified organic,” this is much more akin to “Boosts you immune system!!!“*

    * this statement not certified by the FDA

    1. Apple wouldn’t stick a DRM-free label on a DRM’ed product because it would bring attention to the deficiency of that product. I don’t think that’s really much of a worry.

      1. I wasn’t literally thinking Apple itself would use this, just pointing out that there’s nothing preventing them from doing so, and that smaller companies with less reputation to use certainly could apply this to gray-area products, and then stretch the truth over whether they really had DRM or not.

    2. Lets see. Apple sticks DRM-free on their DRMed stuff and gets away when a customer wants to use it on another system… how exactly? 

      „oragnic“ may be a wishy-washy term, but I don’t see how this wouldn’t be a clear case of false advertising.

    3. Surely that would be dealt with under false advertising laws. DRM Free does have a meaning, and if you advertise a product with DRM as being DRM Free, you’d have to face the consequences.

      Side note, though, Apple actually could use this label on their music. All of that is actually DRM free now. It’s just the other stuff, the video content, that unfortunately still has DRM.

  5. This is even better than a certified organic label. I can’t tell whether something earned that label or someone bribed their way into it, but I’m a few clicks away from verifying this.

  6. I feel there is a broader issue regarding the definition of DRM, because it varies.

    A user above mentioned how Apple removed its FairPlay DRM from iTunes a few years ago. However, they then began embedding user data within the files so they can later be traced back to the original purchaser if they end up on a torrent somewhere. Some refer to this sort of practice as ‘social DRM’. (And, like all other DRM, it was broken shortly after it was noticed.)

    Anyway, I’m sure many would be against the idea of ‘social DRM’ products carrying the new DRM-FREE logo. And many still would probably be fine with it.

    Further complicating this, one of the reasons I stopped buying music from eMusic – a very popular ‘DRM-FREE’ seller – is because they silently instituted a new practice where they would only let you download a track once. This, to me, is a form of DRM – managing their digital rights in a way that restricts the legitimate user – but I don’t think this, or social DRM, fit the common usage.

    The Defective by Design page linked to states, “we’ve created this logo for suppliers to to proudly advertise that their files all come unencumbered by restrictive technologies.” The important question is, who decides whether content and/or services qualify as being unencumbered by restrictive technologies?

  7. But perhaps this will all work out. If a content publisher/supplier uses the logo and that conflicts with someone’s opinion about whether they qualify to use it or not, it could start a conversation. The publisher/supplier may reconsider its methods or the use of the logo in order to do the right thing (or to save face) and issues surrounding DRM would have been talked about more.

    I guess I’m an optimist.

    (This should have been a reply to the above comment of mine. No idea why it created a new thread.)

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