Today, we join the Free Software Foundation in celebrating a Day Against DRM. DRM software restricts the way users can interact with content, which hits close to home for an organization like EFF. Even worse, "anti-circumvention" laws that regulate whether users can bypass DRM, like section 1201 of the DMCA, effectively give that software the force of law.
A decade ago, most of the major players in the music industry were committed to using DRM on their products, restricting the devices users could use to play the songs they had purchased. Since then, that practice has all but disappeared, giving choice back to users and opening the market for more innovation.
But the fight continues in other media. Today, as e-books become increasingly popular, many publishers continue to use DRM, and many retailers are opaque about labeling e-books that are restricted with it. That's beginning to change, though: in just the last few weeks the science fiction publishing giant (and Macmillan subsidiary) Tor/Forge has committed to DRM-free e-books in 2012, joining independents like Sourcebooks and Smashwords are also putting their readers first.
These publishers join O'Reilly, a publishing house that's always been a vocal opponent of DRM. To celebrate the holiday, O'Reilly has announced a promotion of 50% off all of their e-book titles for using the promo code DRMFREE. And no surprise, it's good for business: today's Day Against DRM is already shaping up to be their biggest e-commerce day ever.
(O'Reilly is not alone, either: Angry Robot is also offering 50% off today with the same code. Weightless Books has also thrown their hat in the ring. Know others? E-mail us at email@example.com.)
If you want to get involved in the fight against DRM, the FSF has resources available for you. For our part, EFF fights for the users and against DRM every day, whether it's defending the right to jailbreak devices locked in "digital handcuffs" or working against the expansion of anti-circumvention laws around the world.