Yesterday I went to the anti-Digital Rights Management (DRM) action organized by Defective by Design. The action was at the Apple store in the Cambridgeside Galleria mall in Cambridge, Mass. We met up at 10:00 AM in a park across the street from the mall. Immediately, we started getting reports from people who had been in the mall that there were several police officers in front of the Apple store.
As we gathered and started to make plans two Cambridge Police sergeants came over to us. John, our event organizer, went to talk to them. They were very polite and friendly and asked what our plans were. I’m not sure how much detail John gave them but they indicated that they didn’t have any problem with it and headed back to the mall.
The plan was to send several people with hidden signs and flyers into the Apple store hang out there until the guys in haz-mat suits entered. Then the signs and flyers would come out and we’d take pictures, hand out flyers, and talk to people until we were asked to leave. I was one of the designate picture-takers so I headed into the mall. Mall security informed us that there was no picture taking in the mall but we headed in anyway. Inside the Apple store there were a couple more police officers and one or two Apple employees who seemed to be acting as security guards.
The “under-cover” group wandered around the Apple store for maybe half an hour before the haz-mat crew showed up. We took out our signs and flyers and started taking pictures. Nobody from the Apple store said a word to us and we had about five or ten minutes before one of the police sergeants told us it was time to go. We headed out and did some additional picture-taking in front of the mall.
The event was a lot of fun, and with similar events going on in cities across the country hopefully it will raise awareness and get people talking about DRM. If you want to learn more about how DRM is affecting you there is a lot of information on the web. Good places to start are Stop DRM Now, Bruce Schneier’s blog, and this Cory Doctorow talk. My photos of the event are up on Flickr.
Update 2: NewsForge has extensive coverage of all of Saturday’s events.