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Newsvine DRM Boycott Article - DONE


"I will pledge to never purchase a CD containing any form of Digital Rights Management (DRM), but only if 500 people around the world will too." This pledge, started by participatory culture activists at, has become the most successful pledge on PledgeBank. The initial goal was shattered within days, and now the pledge has well over 3000 signatories.

... and the number continues to climb.

The sponsors of this pledge have a simple argument. Why should the music industry get the power to cripple a user's music experience? Today, users are allowed to make backup copies of CDs; the DRM revokes that right and prevents the user from importing high-quality music files from the CD onto a computer. Worse, the music industry claims this power with an 'agreement' that you only get to read when you open the package. The agreement is often inserted into the liner notes without a clear warning on the outside of the packaging. This agreement limits the usage of the media in certain situations and playing the CD in a computer or a car violates the terms that are 'agreed' upon.

Even more intolerable for the sponsors is the automatically installed rootkit software in a recent DRM package distributed by Sony. In general, rootkit software allows an intruder to maintain access to the target's computer and manage processes that are running hidden in the background. Rootkits have historically been used to hide security- and privacy-violating malware, especially programs that "phone home" with information like passwords and credit card numbers. According to the 'agreements' inside CDs, removing that software would make the user a target for litigation. And because of laws like the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, US citizens are banned from disassembling the DRM software to even learn about what backdoors the DRM software contains.