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NYC LOCAL: CHANGE OF DATE NOTICE, NOW: Thursday 27 October 2005 NYU Free

From: secretary
Subject: NYC LOCAL: CHANGE OF DATE NOTICE, NOW: Thursday 27 October 2005 NYU Free Culture Club: Protest DRM at Virgin Record Store 14th Street and Broadway New York City
Date: 25 Oct 2005 11:54:14 -0400

The NYU Free Culture Club will protest DRM on Thursday 27 October 2005 at
the Virgin Record Store on 14th Street and Broadway in Manhattan, starting
at 7:00 pm.

This protest was originally scheduled for Tuesday 25 October 2005.

For more information see:

Below is the body of the notice already sent out.  Exhortation remains in
effect and on schedule.

Jay Sulzberger <>
Corresponding Secretary LXNY
LXNY is New York's Free Computing Organization.

 Exhortatory Note from Jay Sulzberger

 Below my signature is a copy of the announcement by the NYU Free Culture
 Club of the protest.

 DRM is more than an annoyance, and more than an assault on "consumer
 rights".  DRM is larger and worse:

 The next few months offer several opportunities to take the battle to the
 other side.  In particular, in early December 2005 the Library of Congress
 will accept proposals for exemptions to the DMCA Anti-Circumvention
 Clauses.  Let us prepare and let us propose and let us rebut and let us
 attend the hearings.

 And let us, oldbies and GNUbies and free BSDians, and all of the Free
 Software Movement, help at this protest!

 Let us help by showing up.  And let us explain that the issue is not a
 matter of convenience, but rather of fundamental human rights.

 Jay Sulzberger <>
 Corresponding Secretary LXNY
 LXNY is New York's Free Computing Organization.

   what="official NYU Free Culture Club announcement">

 ---------- Forwarded message ----------

   Subject: Washington Square News -

                       DRM technology injures consumer rights

      by Laura Berger
      October 18, 2005

      On Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., the Free Culture Club is holding a protest in
      front of the Virgin Records store at 14th Street and Broadway. The
      purpose of this protest is to educate customers about the use of
      digital rights management technology that might be be placed on CDs
      unbeknownst to the customer and to encourage Virgin to use a label
      that clearly indicates and explains DRM technology on CDs that have
      DRM technology blocks.

      Many CDs currently on sale have DRM technologies on them in order to
      prevent the customer from duplicating copyrighted music. The
      technology can work in a number of ways, anything from scrambling the
      legitimate audio data to sneakily installing software onto users
      computers. But the intention is always the same: to prevent the
      consumer from making a digital copy of the content.

      The problem with DRM is that this technology actually restricts
      consumers from transferring their new CD onto their computer, or even
      making a backup copy. As a college student who loves her iPod and uses
      her computer as a jukebox more often then not, this restriction struck
      me as deeply unjust. There's a provision in U.S. copyright law about
      fair use, which establishes that if there is a reasonable and
      legitimate legal use for a technology, it should be legal.

      The fair-use doctrine allows ripping CDs to a computer so that
      people who purchase music can put their music onto their iPods. This
      is also what allows people to use their computer to play the music.
      College students, who often don't have the space to keep both a
      computer and a sound system in their dorms, tend to have just the
      former. They are especially harmed by DRM, which prohibits ripping and
      prevents them from playing CDs on their computers.

      Fine, you might say. So I won't buy a CD that uses DRM.
      Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to tell a CD with DRM from a
      regular one without using it first. There is no requirement that these
      CDs to be sold with a special label or warning, and because most music
      stores won't allow customers to return a CD after it has been
      unwrapped, customers can find out for themselves for $15. Pirates,
      whom this technology is designed to hinder, are usually
      technologically savvy enough to get around the DRM software, but the
      average customer won't be able to use the CD that was legally
      purchased. This technology is designed to prevent illegal duplication
      of music but, in the end, all it ends up doing is harming the innocent
      and technologically naive.

      DRM restrictions have also made an impact on buying music from the
      iTunes music store. The DRM attached to the iTunes music allows users
      to copy a song a certain number of times. If the customer wants to
      make more copies than is allowed, they could "hack" the DRM (using a
      program called FairTunes), but unfortunately, according to "The
      Customer is Always Wrong", the Electronic Frontier Foundation=E2s guide,
      breaking the DRM or distributing the tools to break DRM may expose
      you to liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act even if
      you're not making any illegal uses.

      Organizations like Free Culture and the EFF support your fair-use
      rights to the music you legitimately purchase and thereby object to
      technologies like DRM. While we support artists rights, we also
      contend that consumer rights are just as important. DRM constricts, if
      not totally undermines, the doctrine of fair use and there is
      currently little opposition toward more record companies implementing
      it. Record companies and stores need to hear from the people who
      count, namely consumers, that we notice and care about the substantial
      negative consequences of DRM.

      If you want to find out more about DRM and other copyright, technology
      and cultural issues, check our website or come to our protest. We'll
      be handing out flyers, talking to consumers and raising awareness
      about DRM and new technologies. Copyright should be about helping
      artists make music that consumers want to support and participate in,
      not about helping record executives fatten their revenue streams and
      lock consumers into backward technologies. The point of copyright law
      is to protect the artists, not the record labels, and it's not
      supposed to hurt the general law-abiding, music-purchasing public.

      Laura Berger is an op/ed contributor for WSN. E-mail responses to

      Note: Most newer browsers don't need a print-friendly version of this
      article. Just click File, then Print from your browser's menu at the
      previous page.

                          2005 Washington Square News


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