The Free Software Foundation has produced a logo that can be used to identify products that are not subject to digital rights restrictions. Early adopters of this label include O'Reilly Media and Pragmatic Bookshelf.
Richard Stallman's Free Software Foundation has been campaigning against DRM (Digital Rights Management) for many years with events such as the International Day Against DRM.
According to Stallman,
”The motive for DRM schemes is to increase profits for those who impose them, but their profit is a side issue when millions of people’s freedom is at stake; desire for profit, though not wrong in itself, cannot justify denying the public control over its technology. Defending freedom means thwarting DRM.”
The anti-DRM campaign is waged on the DefectiveByDesign website which was started in 2006 with the goal of raising awareness of the way in which DRM deprives users of full access to movies, music, literature and software and ultimately of eliminating DRM.
The new DRM-Free logo is an indication that the message is getting through. According to the blog post announcing it:
Awareness has been spreading among individuals, businesses and other organizations that DRM is a completely unnecessary restriction of freedom, and it drives people away. As that awareness spreads, going "DRM-Free" becomes more and more valuable for patrons. To really build upon that image and to provide a resource for people to learn about why being DRM-Free matters, we've created this logo for suppliers to to proudly advertise that their files all come unencumbered by restrictive technologies.
Initial adopter of the logo include Clearbits, a BitTorrent-based distributor of free culture licensed digital media; Go Faster Stripe, a distributor of downloadable versions of DVDs; music sharing sites ccMixter and TuneTrack, and record label Magnatune.
Recent anti DRM activity has focused on ebooks, an issue also highlighted in the Stone Tapes blog, so it is good to see that a number of publishers and e-book distributors are among the early adopters, in particular O'Reilly Media which has been a prominent supporter of the DefectiveByDesign campaign. Pragmatic Bookshelf, which has always been DRM-free is also sporting the logo on its site.