Raspberries to @timbl

Boston, Massachusetts, USA——Yesterday (Thursday, April 13th, 2017) Defective by Design granted Tim Berners-Lee the first ever Obedience Award, recognizing his work to help wealthy corporations add DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) to official Web standards. Inspired by the MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award, the Obedience Award highlights activity upholding the status quo despite an overwhelming ethical case against it. Today is the first opportunity for the addition of DRM to become final as per the formal process for setting Web standards.

As the director of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Berners-Lee previously fought to advance Web users’ rights, supporting net neutrality, privacy and universal access. Born in the UK, he was knighted by H.M. Queen Elizabeth in 2004 and awarded the Order of Merit in 2007. Most recently, he received the Association for Computing Machinery’s A.M. Turing Prize.

Though he was previously critical of DRM, Berners-Lee decided not to take a stand against Netflix, Microsoft, Google, and Apple when they began developing a Web standard for streaming video DRM, instead encouraging them to do so within the W3C. These wealthy companies supply copious membership dues to the W3C.

Their proposed standard, EME (Encrypted Media Extensions), will be the first W3C specification designed specifically to control and restrict users. As of today, EME has progressed through the entire W3C development process, and awaits Berners-Lee’s final decision to approve or veto it as an official part of the Web.

Defective by Design and a coalition of organizations have warned that standardizing Web DRM would lead to an increase in the amount of restrictions encountered by users, as creating them becomes cheaper and easier. They argue that EME will invite more abuses of users like the Digital Editions DRM, which was found to be exposing user information to snoopers, and more digital restraints preventing important, legal things that people do with media, such as accessibility modifications, translation, commentary, and archiving. Many are concerned that, should Berners-Lee allow the W3C to add DRM to video standards through EME, existing efforts to DRM-encumber text and image standards would be accelerated.

Since the beginning of EME’s development, the proposal has faced dissent from within and outside the W3C. In the last month, hundreds of concerned Web users have telephoned Berners-Lee to demand he reject EME, while a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) official, two members of the European Parliament, and a coalition of human rights groups published statements urging him to reconsider. In 2016, demonstrators protested against EME at the W3C’s meetings in March and September, as the Open Source Initiative and a group of high-profile security researchers urged Berners-Lee not to ratify EME without additional protections for those harmed by DRM. In 2013, a coalition of organizations led by Defective by Design wrote a letter opposing EME and more than 34,000 people signed an anti-EME petition.

Presenting the Obedience Award, the Defective by Design team issued this statement:

“Overcoming his lifetime history of visionary work and his initial ethical concerns with DRM in Web standards, Berners-Lee turned a blind eye to the diverse groups opposing Encrypted Media Extensions. This man persevered to champion the interests of wealthy media and technology corporations. For his commitment to obedience, we recognize him today.”

Defective by Design requests that readers who are impressed with Berners-Lee’s tenacity take five minutes to call him about EME, giving him a chance to further prove his commitment to obedience.

The Obedience award echoes a 2013 “Oscar for Best Supporting Role in The Hollyweb” granted to the W3C as a whole for beginning work on EME.

Learn more about Encrypted Media Extensions and the campaign to stop it.


About Defective By Design

Defective by Design is the Free Software Foundation’s campaign against Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). DRM is the practice of imposing technological restrictions that control what users can do with digital media, creating a good that is defective by design. DRM requires the use of proprietary software and is a major threat to computer user freedom. It often spies on users as well. The campaign, based at defectivebydesign.org, organizes anti-DRM activists for in-person and online actions, and challenges powerful media and technology interests promoting DRM. Supporters can donate to the campaign at https://www.defectivebydesign.org/donate.

Defective By Design: Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 License (CC By-SA)


I really don’t understand why anyone would cross over to the dark side and do this to his reputation ~ LLR  

C-11 ~ What *are* TPMs anyway?

pie chart 61.9% voted "Yes" 28,57% "No", the rest don't know.

The majority of those Canadians who took my unscientific poll  understand (or think they understand) what DRM is.

Yet very few taking my poll had any idea what TPMs are.

Friday May 4th was the International Day Against DRM. Although Canada has been talking about changing copyright law for well over a decade, DRM (Digital Rights Management, or Digital Restrictions Management) isn’t even mentioned in Bill C-11, the draft legislation currently before parliament.

pie chart: 77.27% said NO 9.9 13.64% were NOT SURE and 9.09% said YES

Interestingly enough, many Americans are just as confused by the acronym TPMs as Canadians are, because, especially in the tech sector, TPM is more often an acronym for Trusted Platform Module.

If you search for “Technical Protections Measures” on Wikipedia, you will be redirected to the “Copy Protection” page.    And oddly, although people talk about “Technical Protection Measures” the language in Bill C-11 is actually “Technological protection measures.”

Wikipedia will tell you that there is no “Technological Protection Measures” page, but provides a list of search results. Unsurprisingly, the first on the list is the Digital Rights Management page, which is appropriate since “Technical Protections Measures” or TPMs are pretty interchangeable with DRM.

Curiously, DRM is not mentioned in the American Digital Millenium Copyright Act either. The phrase “technological measures” is used to describe DRM in that bit of legislation.

`Sec. 1201. Circumvention of copyright protection systems …
(3) As used in this subsection–

`(A) to `circumvent a technological measure’ means to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner; and

`(B) a technological measure `effectively controls access to a work’ if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work.

Digital Millenium Copyright Act

Bill C-11 defines TPMs thus:

“technological protection measure” means any effective technology, device or component that, in the ordinary course of its operation,

(a) controls access to a work, to a perform- er’s performance fixed in a sound recording or to a sound recording and whose use is authorized by the copyright owner; or

(b) restricts the doing — with respect to a work, to a performer’s performance fixed in a sound recording or to a sound recording — of any act referred to in section 3, 15 or 18 and any act for which remuneration is payable under section 19.

Bill C-11

Short answer: TPM is Bill C-11 legal language for DRM.

If Bill C-11 becomes law as written, it will become illegal to circumvent DRM, even if the DRM is “protecting” work that does not infringe copyright.   Work that is in the public domain. Work that qualifies as fair dealing. Work that is licensed to share. Work that doesn’t infringe copyright.

Bill C-11 will give DRM super powers in Canada.

If Bill C-11 becomes law, I expect DRM will appear on everything destined for the Canadian market.


WSIC (Waterloo Students for the Information Commons) has set up a DRM/TPM wiki

C-11 ~ Canadians Don’t Know From TPMs

Forget that TPMs/DRM/Digital Locks have radically shifted the foundations of property law … legal precedents that have evolved over centuries.

Or that Bill C-11 will make circumventing digital locks illegal.  Even when copyright is not being infringed, so Canadians can be prevented from using/watching/playing/reading the software, movie, music or book that we have legally purchased.   It will even be possible for manufacturers to prevent us from accessing works that are in the public domain.

Don’t worry that C-11 has within it the legal authority to stifle innovation, and worse, impede Canadian Independent production by raising artificial barriers.  Artificially making it difficult or impossible for Canadian creators to self publish our own work.

The worst thing about digital locks is that most people don’t even know they exist and worse,

most Canadians won’t even realize they are breaking the law.

Although I dislike polls on principal, I did a few this past week to try to get a handle on the the issue.  So I asked a “question” on Facebook, and got a few replies before deciding to give PollDaddy a try. I asked the same set of questions in both places so would be able to combine the results.

Keeping it simple the first question was “Do you know what DRM is?”

pie chart 61.9% voted "Yes" 28,57% "No", the rest don't know.

DRM has been getting a bit of press every year.  Even so, nearly 30% of my respondants don’t know what DRM is.

I think it was just this past year that animator Nina Paley turned down a Netflix distribution deal for her animated feature film “Sita Sings the Blues” because Netflix would only carry it with DRM.

Although self publishing authors have been able to choose whether or not our digital editions would be encumbered by DRM for some time now, most mainstream publishers have routinely applied DRM to all their offerings. Baen Books has been publishing DRM free for 13 years, and J.K.Rowling‘s Harry Potter ebooks were launched DRM free through her Pottermore site earlier this year. Just this week science fiction publisher TOR announced that it would be going DRM free.

DRM stands for “Digital Rights Management,” although I’ve also read “Digital Restrictions Management” and “Dishonest Relationship Misinformation,” all of which refer to digital controls placed on media and devices that control how the consumers who purchase them can use them.

The right to read – publishers who drop DRM

Imagine if each book in your library had a padlock with a different key for every single book. DRM – Digital Rights Management or Digital Restriction Management – are such padlocks. Not the best library solution you have heard of? Well, you are beginning to get publishers on your side. eBooks published by science fiction publisher Tor UK drops DRM. Tor UK, Tor Books and Forge are divisions of Pan Macmillan. They are not alone – science fiction publisher Baen Books, genre publisher Angry Robots, and even J.K. Rowling offer her Harry Potter books DRM-free. If you know of other publishers, please add them below. Protecting the right to read, we need to encourage publishers who drop DRM and use the open ePub-format and buy our books at their stores.”

Haakon Meland Eriksen

To understand why mainstream publishers are beginning to reject DRM read Charlie’s Diary: More on DRM and ebooks

My first Day Against DRM was in 2010. And May 4th — Friday next week — is this year’s “International Day Against DRM — May 4, 2012

My second Poll question was “Do You Know What Digital Locks Are?”

Pie chart: 36.6% Yes 36.6% No and 27.7% Not Sure

Anyone who has been following the Canadian government’s push for copyright reform will have been hearing and reading about digital locks for more than a decade. Canadian governments have been trying to change the Copyright Act since the American government passed the the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). The first attempt at a “Canadian DMCA” was the Liberal Bill C-60, and when the Conservative Party formed the subsequent government they carried the torch with Bill C-61, then C-32 and now C-11. But until now Canada has been blessed with minority governments. Unfortunately, now that we have a majority government determined to appease the Americans there is every reason to believe that this time it will pass, even though the majority of Canadians oppose the digital lock provisions.

And you guessed it, a “Digital Lock” is another way to describe “DRM.”

The final question in my poll was “Do you know what TPMs are?”

pie chart: 77.27% said NO 9.9 13.64% were NOT SURE and 9.09% said YES

Wow.

Bill C-11 doesn’t talk about DRM or Digital locks, but rather TPMs, which are “Technological Protection Measures”.

Technological Protection Measures take a step beyond digital locks, or DRM, because they encompass DRM/digital locks but can also be applied to non digital locks.

Some appliances or hardware are screwed closed with specialty screws that require proprietary screw drivers. Without the proper screwdrivers, these things can’t be opened to modify or repair them. Since this is a “technical protection measure”, it is reasonable to assume that Bill C-11 will make it illegal to repair any such equipment unless you have the proprietary tools.

This is a Poll

I’m not a professional pollster and my poll sample is very small. With only 22 responses, it isn’t very scientific poll. Still, it gives an idea. Because I’m a free culture advocate, a lot of the people who read my blogs or talk to me online, or even read my novel are going to be much more aware of these issues than the average Canadian. So I’m surprised; I would have expected more people to understand the terms. Or at least think they do.

77.27% said they don’t know what TPMs are.

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[Correction of fact: "Technical Protection Measures" has been amended to the term used in Bill C-11 "Technological Protection Measures"]