Anti-DRM campaign calls for MacBook boycott
Each day for the next 35 days, the "Defective by Design" campaign by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) will name and shame a different product it says consumers should boycott because of the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM). The FSF has launched its campaign with an attack on Apple. Although Apple boss Steve Jobs spoke out against the use of DRM in iTunes Store in early 2007, most of the music sold through Apple's online shop still comes with Apple's FairPlay DRM. The iPhone and iPod Touch have been criticised by the FSF on a number of occasions for adding "even more layers of DRM". With its new MacBooks, Apple takes protection even further.
With its new MacBooks, Apple takes protection even further. High definition videos purchased from the iTunes Store played using these machines will only work on external displays capable of High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). In place of the usual DVI connector, Apple is equipping its latest MacBook with a miniature version of the modern DisplayPort connector, which includes optional DPCP (DisplayPort Content Protection). Anyone who tries to connect an older Apple Cinema Display to the MacBook to view an iTunes movie on a larger screen will see the message: "This movie cannot be played because a display that is not authorized to play protected movies is connected". As HD videos are not available to European iTunes Store customers, the problem does not occur here.
The FSF is hoping to gain publicity for its DRM boycott by asking its supporters to use the internet and printed flyers to draw the problem to everyone's attention.
It is calling for stories of how DRM has proven itself particularly stupid and for examples of products which are defective or crippled due to what it calls "Digital Restrictions Management". The Foundation will pick the best submissions for publication and reward their authors an anti-DRM T-shirt and a free MP3 album download.