Take Action: Tuesday May 4th, is the Day Against DRM | DefectiveByDesign.org

Today is about taking time out of your usual routine to speak out in favor of a DRM-free society. We do not have to accept a future where our interactions with computers and published works are monitored and controlled by corporations or governments.

Here’s my suggestion for an action item: free yourself completely from iTunes. I can’t even begin to tell you how much easier it is dealing with all my media since I got completely off of iTunes over a year ago.

Refuse to continue to buy DRMed media and it’ll go away. eMusic, the Ubuntu One Music Store, and Amazon’s MP3 store are all great places to get the music you want without putting up with DRM.

Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either) – Boing Boing

The model of interaction with the iPad is to be a “consumer,” what William Gibson memorably described as “something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It’s covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth… no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote.”

The way you improve your iPad isn’t to figure out how it works and making it better. The way you improve the iPad is to buy iApps. Buying an iPad for your kids isn’t a means of jump-starting the realization that the world is yours to take apart and reassemble; it’s a way of telling your offspring that even changing the batteries is something you have to leave to the professionals.

These two paragraphs sum up my opinions about the iPad (and Apple in general these days) better than I ever could. I did find it curious that Doctorow left “Or by voting in presidential elections.” off the end of the Gibson quote, but it’s amazingly appropriate despite the omission of what I see as the punchline.

There’s another great reference in the post to the “Maker’s Manifesto,” which states that if you can’t open it, you don’t own it. “Screws not glue.” I used to like Apple, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that over the past 5 years or so they’ve locked down their products well beyond the point of ridiculousness. They want you to buy early and often, and spend spend spend on apps and content. Great business model for people who don’t care or don’t know any better, but definitely not for me.

MPAA wants to control your TV | DefectiveByDesign.org

The MPAA is pressuring the FCC for the authority to cripple recording devices using so-called “Selectable Output Control” (SOC).

Basically, SOC would enable Hollywood to actually shut off the video outputs on your cable box, DVR, or other recording device when particular movies or shows come on. When the movie’s over, the outputs might turn back on. Your devices would dance to Hollywood’s tune.

Most cable boxes and DVRs already include Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and operate using proprietary software — both of which we need to work to eliminate. But just because many of these devices already use DRM, that doesn’t mean we should let Hollywood and the FCC keep adding more. This new form of control would take even more freedom away from people using those devices, would restrict people using free software like MythTV to watch broadcasts and record them, and would set a dangerous precedent elevating Hollywood’s desires over the public’s freedom.

There’s a link in the full article to submit a comment to the FCC, which I encourage everyone to do.