An anonymous reader quotes the Free Software Foundation’s Defective By Design site: The “Netflix of textbooks” model practiced by Pearson and similar publishers is a Trojan horse for education: requiring a constant Internet connection for “authentication” purposes, severely limiting the number of pages a student can read at one time, and secretly collecting telemetric data on their reading habits.
Every year, we organize the International Day Against DRM (IDAD) to mobilize protests collaboration, grassroots activism, and in-person actions against the grave threat of DRM. For IDAD 2019, we are calling on Pearson and similar companies to stop putting a lock on our learning, and demonstrate their alleged commitment to education by dropping DRM from their electronic textbooks and course materials. At the same time, it is our plan to show that a better world is possible by encouraging people to contribute to collaborative and DRM-free textbooks, and resist the stranglehold these publishers are putting on something as fundamental as one’s education. To help us, join the Defective by Design (DbD) coalition as we organize local and remote hackathons on free culture educational materials, and an in-person protest of Pearson Education on Saturday, October 12th.
The group is joined in this year’s event by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, and The Document Foundation (as well as 10 other participating organizations). Here’s some of the site’s suggestions for ways to participate:
- In Boston, we’ll be leading the way with our own demonstration on October 12th, 2019, at Pearson Education’s corporate offices, followed by an evening hackathon on collaborative, freely licensed educational materials… We’ll be providing activists around the world with support on how they can stage their own local in-person event, as well as how to join us online while we help improve the free and ethical alternatives to educational materials restricted by DRM.
- The easiest way to participate is to join us in going a Day Without DRM, and resolve to spend an entire day (or longer!) without Netflix, Hulu, and other restricted services to show your support of the movement. Document your experiences on social media using the tags “#idad” or “#dbd”, and let us know at email@example.com if you have a special story you’d like us to share.
- Print and share our dust jacket design, which you can slip over your “dead tree” books (while you still have them) to warn others of the dangers of ebook DRM. Pass them out at coffee shops, libraries, and wherever readers congregate!