p2p news / p2pnet: An all-out campaign against DRM (digital rights mismanagement) is to be launched by the Free Software Foundation later this year, says executive director Peter Brown.
"We haven’t got the campaign organised yet, but we’re going to be employing a professional campaigner," he told ZDNet UK.
"There is a real potential for people power, whether it’s boycotting devices, or picketing certain places – there are a lot of lovely targets out there. We have thousands and thousands of free software supporters out there and they will be deeply involved in the campaign."
He says people should, "instinctively believe in free software" and one of his roles at the FSF is to get the message of free software outside the hacker world.
"It’s very easy to get into the IT press, but we’re not about getting freedom for computer programmers, we want freedom for all computer users," he states, but, "How do we get the message out of the hacker community into the real world?"
Good question, considering the entertainment cartels, among the prime instigators of DRM, own the bulk of lamescream media outlets.
But, "This is the perfect time to get the message out about free software as you have a confluence of situations," Brown says in the ZDNet interview, "There is a growing realisation among the general public that certain CDs won’t play in your CD player, or you can’t play them in your computer. Then we have the upcoming release of [Microsoft's Windows] Vista, which has DRM up to its gills.
"It is time to show a contrast. GPL v3 is the first stake in the ground against DRM. For the first time someone has said, ‘that’s it, we’re stopping it’. When we release the second draft of GPL v3 sometime in June, we’re going to be campaigning to end DRM. We will be campaigning with manufacturers and to get computer users to care about this issue – to not buy their hardware from certain manufacturers and to pinpoint the fact that if you’re downloading music, there are a lot of restrictions on how you can use it.
"For example, you can’t share it with friends and the next device you buy may not allow you to play music you have already downloaded and paid for."
Finally, Brown adds, "we’ll be telling device manufacturers ‘do you want to have control over your destiny, or do you want content providers to have control over your destiny?’ The music industry is tiny, compared to the device industry.
"But it’s the music and movie industry that control the manufacturers. The manufacturers should be in control of their devices and there should be a close communication between the manufacturer and the user. Do manufacturers want their destiny to be with their customers or the music industry?"