A simple and effective way to protest DRM

If you don’t like DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), there are lots of ways to protest it. One of the simplest and most effective is to pick a massively popular DRM’ed device, and express your dismay to the manufacturer and users. Here’s an idea:

  1. Browse to the DRM-laden Amazon Kindle’s product page.
  2. Look for reviews that mention the problems with its DRM.
  3. Mark them as helpful.

Here is a selection of such reviews, in which the reviewers rightly protest the restrictions, even though some of them are not really educated about DRM per se:

Having invested HEAVILY in Amazon Kindle content, I looked forward to the new and improved version… I have a tremendous volume of Kindle content (public domain and Amazon). I discovered that I could not directly transfer from my computer backup for Kindle 1 to the new K2 (why my backup is on the computer is addressed later in this review). All my content had to be reformatted by Amazon and re-downloaded from their site specifically for and to the Kindle 2… All of my previous issues of magazines and newspapers were lost Another one:

after 13 months the screen on my Kindle simply died.. when I spoke with Amazon customer service they confirmed that it’s a fairly common complaint… there is nothing I can do other than buy a new one… there are books that I have purchased that I now can’t read, and Amazon won’t even refund me my money for those! This person is pretty clear on what’s wrong, even if he/she doesn’t call it DRM:

If your Kindle 1 breaks or you purchase a Kindle 2 all your Newspaper and Magazine issues will be UNREADABLE on the replacement or new device… Think about this for a moment. You BUY these periodicals and obtain the rights for your use, but if you purchase or replace your Kindle you have no further rights to read past issues YOU bought and paid for. . Even people who are giving it 5 stars are noticing:

…e) Not allowing to display normal PDF documents unless sent to Amazon for turning it into Kindle format.

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I'm Baron Schwartz, the founder and CEO of VividCortex. I am the author of High Performance MySQL and lots of open-source software for performance analysis, monitoring, and system administration. I contribute to various database communities such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, Redis and MongoDB. More about me.