Microsoft's Annual Conference Raided By Protesters in Hazmat Suits

Dennis Faas's picture

On May 23, 2006, Bill Gates was giving his speech on the future of Microsoft, when protesters wearing bright yellow Hazmat suits swarmed the entrance of a convention center. Their message to the software developer was, "your product is defective and hazardous to users." (Source:

The surprise protest marked the launch of, a direct-action campaign that will target Big Media and corporations that market Digital Rights Management (DRM). is a broad-based, anti-DRM campaign that is targeting Big Media, unhelpful manufacturers, and DRM distributors. It aims to make all manufacturers wary about bringing their DRM-enabled products to market. The campaign aims to identify "defective" products for the consumer. (Source:

What Is DRM?

DRM is the term that refers to technologies used to enforce controlled access to digital data (such as software, music, movies) and hardware. DRM handles the description, layering, analysis, valuation, trading, monitoring and enforcement of usage restrictions that accompany a specific instance of a digital work.

DRM has been most frequently used for movies; it is also being used for other media. For example: Apple's iTunes Store uses various DRM schemes in their audio files to limit the number of devices they may be played upon. Many producers of eBooks are using a similar implementation of DRM to limit how many computers a book may be viewed on, and even how many times it may be viewed. Even television producers are requesting DRM of their shows due to the popularity of the TiVo system. (Source:

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