Journalists present at Apple’s big event last month, were greeted by volunteers of the Free Software Foundation. The volunteers where protesting the DRM restriction of the iPad, and they said the iPad the iBad for two reasons:
- All media in the iTunes store (with the one exception of music) is wrapped in Apple’s DRM. That means films, TV shows, movies and audiobooks (NB: books are in an open format ePub) are locked to Apple’s platform, taking away your right to share.
- All applications must be signed by Apple if they are to run, an unprecedented level of control for a general purpose computer. On top of this, Apple can push updates to the device over its wireless connection, letting them add or remove capabilities at any time.
Given the fact that the people who attended this event were either journalists or devoted followers of the Apple cult, you would wonder how many of them would care about this. Well, it turns out that thousands of people are against iPad’s restrictive DRM which makes Apple the only available supplier of software for the iPad through the fact that users can only download software onto the gadget from Apple’s App Store.
Sure, since the iPad runs on iPhone OS, it can be jailbroken , but since iPad’s hardware is mostly an unexplored territory it will probably take some time, before you can run outside code on the device.
Anti-DRM group Defective by Design, who staged a protest last month outside San Francisco’s Moscone Center where the iPad was unveiled, told CoM that their online petition is currently up to 8,800 signatures since its inception four days ago; although the first 5,000 signatures were captured within 24 hours. DbD has already sent off their first 5,000 signatures in the form of a giant postcard (that’s it in the photo above).
“What Apple is doing with software is quite different,” Sullivan told CoM. “This is a scary step … as Apple move towards this model in the future.”