August 21, 2012, 8:45 PM — There are plenty of reasons to object to the restrictive digital rights management (DRM) technologies so often applied to music, e-books, and other digital content, and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has made no bones about its strong opposition to the practice over the years.
I've written on a few occasions about the FSF's annual "Day Against DRM" along with its campaign against Nintendo last year, but recently the advocacy group's "Defective by Design" campaign made another move to further its cause and help buyers avoid DRM, which it refers to as "digital restrictions management."
Specifically, it has created a new "DRM Free" label in part to help buyers of digital content steer clear of those that are sold with DRM restrictions.
'People Often Have Trouble'
"We've created this logo for suppliers to proudly advertise that their files all come unencumbered by restrictive technologies," the group wrote in a blog post last week.
"People looking for e-books in places like Amazon often have trouble figuring out which e-books have DRM and which don't because Amazon does not advertise that information," it explained. "This label is a step toward solving that problem, making it easy for people who oppose DRM to find like-minded artists, authors, and publishers to support."
Several early adopters of the logo have already signed up, the FSF added, including tech books publisher O'Reilly Media, BitTorrent distributor ClearBits, e-book distribution platform Foboko, Momentum Books, programmer-focused The Pragmatic Bookshelf, Obooko, and Project Gutenberg Australia.
Creative Commons Licensed
The Free Software Foundation also recently updated its Guide to DRM-Free Living with an expanded listing of places where e-books, movies, and music without DRM can be found. A page of "worst offenders" is included as well.
The new "DRM Free" logo is free to use for anyone who does not require DRM or other proprietary technologies to access their files, the FSF says; it can be found on the organization's DRM-free page licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.