iPhone…idon’t think so

Japanese retailer SoftBank are giving away the 8GB iPhone in a bid to increase take up after terrible sales. According to a report today in the Guardian the low spec of the iPhone in comparison to other Japanese handsets is the problem:

there’s no video function or multimedia messaging, the camera is poor and – with the exception of any about-to-be-launched brand, specific apps – there’s no TV tuner, which is standard on many Japanese handsets. Just one competitor is the Panasonic P905i with its 3″ TV, 3G, GPS, 5.1 megapixel camera and Wii-style motion sensors for games. 

Japan presents a problem market for the firm because of hostility to non-domestic brands.

I am not really a fan of the iPhone as it endorses and supports Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology, and completely blocks free software.

DRM down under

Source: DRM down under

The Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) is Australia’s Federal Government-funded public broadcaster, and has responsibilities under the ABC Act 1983 to provide services to the Australian people.

The new ABC Shop has recently launched, with downloads of TV programs made available — but only to Windows users willing to install Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) software on their computers. Like the BBC iPlayer, and Channel Four’s “4OD”, ABC is using the Kontiki platform — Kontiki uses peer-to-peer technology to deliver the show to other people, so as well as locking you into its restrictions, ABC is using your computer, and your internet connection, to distribute programs.

ABC claims it has a commitment to “respecting legitimate rights to privacy and confidentiality”, yet it is well-known that DRM is vehemently anti-privacy, and forcing Australian citizens to install proprietary, secret software from foreign corporations does not seem a good way to uphold privacy of its viewers.

We do not object to ABC charging money to download programs, only to their use of DRM. DRM isn’t necessary for enabling sustainable production and distribution of media — you don’t have to look any further than our own guide to DRM-free living to see that plenty of artists and businesses are doing it.

Please contact ABC Online, and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Telephone ACMA (toll free) on 1-800-22-6667 or write to them at PO Box Q500, Queen Victoria Building, NSW 1230. If you’re sending any emails, please CC them to us as well at info@defectivebydesign.org.

Let the ABC know you’re writing to them from Defective by Design and that you don’t want these restrictions on programs you’ve downloaded!

Point out that the DRM:

  • locks out people who use free software. A public service should not require citizens to install software that takes away their freedom in order to access that service.
  • forces ABC, a public broadcast service, to become dependent on Kontiki and Microsoft — private, proprietary, secretive and profit-motivated corporations. These corporations, by turning off their DRM systems, can deny people access to the media permanently. This has already happened with Google Video, Major League Baseball, and others.
  • prevents citizens from making legitimate use of the media they’ve funded, such as taking clips for reviews and articles, or sharing interesting programs with friends.

Thanks to Andrew for bringing this to our attention. We try to keep up to date on as many things as we can, but we rely on readers and supporters to keep us informed and tip us off about things like this. Please keep sending tips and updates to info@defectivebydesign.org.

BadVista campaign

In January the Green Party and Greenpeace issued warnings about the tremendous threat posed to the environment by the disposable computer mentality promoted in Microsoft’s $500-million Windows Vista marketing campaign. Vista has steep hardware requirements which in turn means that to use it, most people will have to throw their current computer into a landfill and buy a new one.

Vista is essentially designed to monitor what people do, and in particular to limit what they can do with digital media files. These limits obstruct common and legally protected uses like sharing news story clips and copying text from government documents. Vista has been engineered from the ground up as a DRM and Treacherous Computing platform.

Vista has also been designed for easy updating from a central authority, so that new restrictions can always be imposed, disabling certain features or programs.

Fortunately, people do not have to accept these restrictions on their freedom. Instead, they can reject Microsoft Windows Vista in favour of a free software distribution of GNU/Linux.

The FSF has a petition for anyone who wishes to join them in speaking out against these restrictions, as organizations or individuals.

Day Against DRM

“If consumers even know there’s a DRM, what it is, and how it works, we’ve already failed” – Disney Executive.

People wonder what this has to do with education and I think hackus post on slashdot explains it quite well. Heres what he wrote:

DRM is not about copying songs and video.

This is a much bigger issue than that.

It has to do with education, who gets knowledge, who can pay for knowledge and those that can’t are screwed.

This goes for anything science or technology related.

Throughout history corrupt regimes and governments have known all too well that citizens that can read or write, or are empowered to discover or reorganize information without dogma are “disruptive” to the state as a whole.

Whether you like it or not, Universities, school systems etc are not setup by what one accomplishes or contributes. They are setup for those who want to play “the game” so to speak. Don’t play the “game” and your out. This is painfully obvious if you are in a computer science department and are doing research. If someone doesn’t like your ideas, your out.

See it happen to my prof personally and the process is disgusting because it ties everything to money and corporate contributors and very little of it has to do with any real science.

What Stallman is really advocating is that information and technology should be available for all, free for all and there should be no barriers constructed artifically or legislated by governments.

Since most of his arguments revolve around software this makes sense because software is what directs computers to share or not share information. As the world becomes fully networked, obviously there is going to be a huge divide if something isn’t done about it soon.

The little guy here as you should point out is every Slashdot reader.

I also believe you made a interesting point about governments listening. If it hasn’t hit everyone in the head by now, governments ARE listening quite well to thier citizens. But these citizens are not individuals, they are corporations.

I do not even believe governments such as those in the US for example even listen to citizens as defined as “voter” anymore.

Which brings me to a rather not so nice future painting. The entire globe is one huge computer network. If you don’t work for a corporation, you can’t learn. Can’t learn, can’t get a job. Can’t get a job, your even lower than the guy working for the corporation so you get substandard or next to no healthcare, your kids can’t go to college because it is too expensive. (i.e. every public university will be corporate owned in about 20-30 years anyway at the rate its going. From a buget perspective anyway.) Furthermore, if you are caught making copies of information say about “Calculas” or “American History” DRM books you can instantly be imprisoned for hard labor with no trial.

Sounds absolutely ridiculous if it wasn’t for the fact that it has already happened.

Tell someone about DRM today and visit defectivebydesign.org for more information.

Visit the Guide page:

Welcome to our brief guide to living a DRM-free existence. We want to provide a range of links pointing you toward online stores, video/music players, software and hardware that will help you take back your rights as a concerned customer and citizen.

October 3rd Declared Day Against DRM

October 3rd Declared “Day Against DRM”

Here’s my mate Ash ready to Eliminate DRM. Thanks Ash.

Ash Ninja Kills DRM

Ask Bono to stand with us for Digital Freedoms!

buttons for your site!

Display the ninja on your site.
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Chuck D lays down the law on DRM

Wikipedia: Chuck D

Heres the article Chuck D lays down the law on DRM.

“The problem with corporations is they come into any business with a gold-rush mentality of making a killing and there’s a difference between making a killing and making a living”

If your interested in Information to help Australians support policy to define and defend our digital access rights check out A2K v DMCA in Australia blog, Janet Hawtin is also involved in Campaigns Wikia. Here’s the page on Digital Rights.