*The following is a letter written to Choice, the leading Australian consumer advocacy organisation.
I urge Choice to speak out against products like the Amazon Kindle electronic book reader. They use Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) technology to restrict your basic freedoms.
The Kindle uses DRM technology to give Amazon full control over what the customer can and can’t do with the product. It allows many freedoms of traditional books to be stripped off, such as sharing the book with friend or giving the book away when you’re finished with it. DRM also allows monitoring and censoring of what you read. For example, Amazon recently remotely deleted copies of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and “1984″. The customers involved were given no notice or choice. The breathtakingly irony is that “1984″ describes a fictional society where citizens are under constant surveillance and control.
Understandably, devices like the Kindle are widely considered to be unethical. DRM is also being added to many products like phones, music players, digital music, films and books. The result is we consumers lose. Please help defend our rights by considering these issues in future reviews and campaigns.
More information about DRM is available at the Defective By Design website.