My FSFE Blog

What's happening with the FSFE in London…

DRM demonstration in London yesterday

Yesterday my family and I travelled to London to take part in the demonstration against DRM technology.

The event was placed outside of the Apple Store on Regents Street. This worked well for two reasons – firstly Apple are proponents in the push for DRM technology to be accepted by consumers and secondly it is on the busiest junction in London for shoppers.

In just 2 hours and 15 minutes we distributed around 3,200 leaflets explaining the dangers of DRM to the public. Of course a lot of people just took the leaflet without any real thought and kept on walking but a much higher percentage than we had hoped stopped to look at the placards. The 20 volunteers who turned up for the event spoke to hundreds of people about Apple and their part in deploying DRM.

 The highlight for the afternoon was when Tanya (wifey) rushed over after talking to two shoppers on the way into the store. After she explained why we were boycotting the store both shoppers said they didn’t want to shop in there!

I’m positive that we got the message across to a lot more than two people that day but just the fact we had made these people stop, and make a conscious decision to think about their digital rights. They decided that maybe they need to think harder before buying into a solution that isn’t right for them. It was something special.

My other highlight of the day was meeting a young protestor who had come to join us after reading about the event on the Internet. He was a very young guy, maybe 16 or 17 and I struck up a conversation about which operating system he used.

He said that he’d been continually trying to migrate to GNU/Linux from Windows but he couldn’t because of his iPod and his iTunes music collection. He was motivated enough to come and show his feelings based upon his negative experience with Apple. It gives me confidence that the Anti-DRM, pro-Freedom movement has a fighting chance