International Day Against DRM

Today is the eighth International Day Against DRM. I consider DRM unethical, dangerous, threatening our freedom and serving no useful purpose. A lot could be said on the topic, but I’ll try to give just an illustrative example instead.

When I looked for works of George Orwell in Czech e-shops I found that they were mostly out of print. They were also unavailable as e-books — except for his two most important works, which were (and still are) only available with DRM. That means reading Nineteen Eighty-Four or Animal Farm requires installing a secret software on your approved and supervised reader, you are not allowed to read the book without special permission and you may be reported every time you open it. And we all remember the infamous Amazon incident, don’t we? That all happens for “protection” of whoever, but certainly not the more than half a century dead author. Truly Orwellian.

What can we do? Above all, please don’t ignore the problem nor accept the DRM game passively. Tell about the problems of DRM to your friends. Raise your voice against accepting DRM as an official W3C standard. We must fight for freedom otherwise we lose it. There is still hope: This year, it’s possible to buy the first Czech e-book of George Orwell’s writings that may be read without supervision, on non-approved readers and without spyware installed on them. An interesting book, looking forward it!

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