# International Day Against DRM 2016
Today is the [10th annual International Day Against DRM][day-drm]---a day
where activists from around the world organize events in protest against
[Digital Restrictions Management][drm].
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DRM is a scheme by which tyrants use [antifeatures] to lock down what
users are able to do with their systems, often cryptographically.
your media player might tell you how many times you can listen to a song,
or watch a video, or read a book;
it might [delete books] that you thought you owned;
it might require that you are [always online][always-on] when playing a
game, and then stop working when you disconnect, or when they decide to
stop supporting the game.
If you try to circumvent these locks,
then you might be [called a pirate][pirate] and be thrown in prision under
the ["anti-circumvention" privisons of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act
These are all things [that have been long predicated][right-to-read], and
are only expected to get worse with time.
That is, unless we take a stand and fight back.
I had the pleasure of participating in
the [largest ever protest against the W3C][w3c-protest] and their attempts
to introduce DRM as a _web standard_ via the [Encrypted Media Extensions
This event was organized beautifully by Zak Rogoff of the [Free Software
Foundation][fsf] and began just outside the Strata Center doors where the
W3C was _actively meeting_,
and then continued to stop outside the Google and Microsoft offices,
both just blocks away.
We were [joined outside Microsoft][eff-protest] by Danny O'Brien,
the EFF's International Director,
who stepped out of the W3C meeting to address the protesters.
Afterward, most of us [traveled to the MIT Media Lab][media-lab] where
Richard Stallman---who joined us in the protest---sat on a panel along
with Danny O'Brien, Joi Ito of the MIT Media Lab, and Harry Halpin of the
The W3C was invited to participate in a discussion on EME, but they never
As a demonstration of the severity of these issues,
[Harry Halpin vowed to resign from the W3C][hh-resign] if the EME proposal
ever became a W3C Recommendation.
I can say without hesitation that the protest and following discussion were
some of the most powerful and memorable events of my life---there is no
feeling like being a part of a group that shares such a fundamental
passion (and distaste!) for something important.
And it _is_ very important.
[DRM is pervasive][dbd]---the Web is just one corner where it rears its ugly
The [International Day Against DRM][day-drm] gives you and others an
excellent opportunity to hold your own protests, demonstrations, and events
to raise these issues to others---and to do so as part of an
to send a strong, world-wide message:
a message that it is _not_ acceptable to act as tyrants and treat users as
slaves and puppets through use of digital handcuffs and [draconian
punishments for circumventing them][dmca].
[^photos]: The EFF has some [great photots][eff-protest]; I'm the one in the
hoodie between the giant GNU head and Zak Rogoff.