Eradicate DRM within a decade!
The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Apollo 1201 will target it with code, law, norms and markets.
I have gone back to the Electronic Frontier Foundation to work on a project called Apollo 1201, which will use a combination of code, law, norms and markets to eradicate DRM within a decade: we choose to do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard.
The details of the project are still under wraps, but in broad strokes, we will use the incredible skills of EFF's lawyers, technologists, and policy specialists to challenge the law that protects DRM, section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and, in so doing, set in motion a chain of events that will discredit the whole idea of designing computers to control their owners, for any purpose.
We're the resistance in the War on General Purpose Computing, and we'll be asking for your help, stay tuned.
In the meantime, as of January, and until further notice, I'm half-time on Boing Boing, and mostly focusing on larger investigative pieces. Please make sure that you don't send suggestions or queries about Boing Boing to me (use this form for suggestions; and see this list for other queries).
For many years, EFF has fought the use of DRM technologies, explaining that such technologies—as well as the laws that support them—impede innovation, security, and basic user rights and expectations, while failing to inhibit copyright infringement. One example of this lose-lose proposition is Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which generally prohibits unlocking "access controls" like DRM. That ban was meant to deter illegal copying of software, but many companies have misused the law to chill competition, free speech, and fair use. Software is in all kinds of devices, from cars to coffee-makers to alarm clocks. If that software is locked down by DRM, tinkering, repairing, and re-using those devices can lead to legal risk.
Section 1201 has also put a dangerous chill on security researchers, who face potential legal penalties for finding and disclosing critical flaws in systems—from smartphones to home automation. As a result, the public gets to find out about compromising vulnerabilities too late, or not at all.
"We've seen DRM misused again and again, whether it's to thwart competition in printer-ink cartridges, to prevent videogame fans from modifying their consoles, or to block consumers from reading the parts' specifications on their own cars," said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. "Cory has an unparalleled ability to show the public how bad copyright policy tramples on everyone's rights."
Doctorow worked for EFF for four years as its European Affairs Coordinator, and in 2007, he won EFF's Pioneer Award for his body of work on digital civil liberties. He's the originator of "Doctorow's Law," which has helped many around the world understand the dangers of DRM: "Anytime someone puts a lock on something you own, against your wishes, and doesn't give you the key, they're not doing it for your benefit."
Cory Doctorow Rejoins EFF to Eradicate DRM Everywhere
Ten years ago, Apple released the Ipad. I was in a hotel room in Seattle, jetlagged and awake at 4AM while my wife and daughter slept.
Last year, the EU adopted the incredibly controversial Copyright Directive (it passed by only five votes, and afterwards 10 MEPs said they'd got confused and pushed the wrong buttons!): now, EU member states have to create rules that require online platforms to filter all user-generated content and block it if it matches a secret, unaccountable […]
Three years after the W3C approved a DRM standard, it's no longer possible to make a functional indie browser
Back in 2017, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) approved the most controversial standard in its long history: Encrypted Media Extensions, or EME, which enabled Netflix and other big media companies to use DRM despite changes to browsers extensions that eliminated the kinds of deep hooks that DRM requires.
When you were 10 and your mom demanded you finish your vegetables or go to your room, you were mad. Even as kids, we hated it when we were ordered to do something. Car insurance is a federal mandate, yet that’s only one of the reasons why most Americans would rather do just about anything […]
We all know the drill. As the overlords of the smartphone and tablet markets, the braintrust at Apple very seldom hold sales on their signature devices. So rather than spending almost $1,000 on a brand-new iPad Pro, the folks in Cupertino are instead giving you the opportunity to score one for about a third of […]
Entrepreneurs looking for new avenues to reach customers may not have considered one of the fastest-growing content mediums today: podcasting. And we don’t mean just dropping an advertisement for your product or service in the middle of a popular show. Right now, there are about 850,000 active podcasts reaching 165 million Americans. Those listeners are […]