DRMHonestly, I hadn’t even heard about this until I woke up this morning and checked my phone, but apparently today—that’s Friday, May 3, 2013—is something of a holiday in the digital publishing community. It’s the fifth annual International Day Against DRM. Huh.

The organization behind the holiday—which in reality is more of an awareness-raising movement—is known as Defective by Design. As the DBD website explains, “We are a participatory and grassroots campaign exposing DRM-encumbered devices and media for what they really are: Defective by Design. We are working together to eliminate DRM as a threat to innovation in media, the privacy of readers, and freedom for computer users.”

Each successive year of the campaign focuses on a specific aspect of DRM—or rather, a specific sort of media that has been negatively afflicted by its effects. The main focus in 2012, for instance, was e-books. This time around, the film industry and HTML5 is the cause célèbre. “Hollywood,” according to the group, “is at it again,” [using] its influence at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to weave Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) into HTML5—in other words, into the very fabric of the Web.

There’s much more information about that particular initiative on the website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, for those of you who are so inclined. But if you’d rather just jump into the fray and do your part to help destroy the encroaching DRM threat, scroll to the bottom of this page on the Defective by Design site, where you’ll find a list of nine different actions you can take today. (Or just about any other day, I suppose.) They range from the somewhat labor-intensive (“write a letter to the W3C”) to the quick-and-dirty (“share Day Against DRM links on your social networks”).

There doesn’t seem to be anything about exchanging gifts with friends and loved ones, though. That’s a shame.


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