# Coalition of readers, authors, journalists, and public interest groups
launches petition demanding that Amazon drop DRM from the Kindle
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Monday, August 3rd, 2009 -- The Free
Software Foundation's DefectiveByDesign.org campaign, supported by
prominent authors, journalists, and librarians, has launched a petition
against the Amazon Kindle's use of digital restrictions management
"The freedom to read without supervision or interference is central to a
free society," said FSF executive director Peter Brown. "When ebook
products like the Kindle use DRM to restrict what users can do with
their books, that is a clear threat to the free exchange of ideas."
Signatories to the petition include prominent academic and industry
names like Creative Commons and Change Congress co-founder Lawrence
Lessig; author, poet and MacArthur Fellow Lewis Hyde; Harvard Law
Professor and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources John
Palfrey; and Christopher Hayes, Washington, DC editor for *The Nation*.
The petition, published at <http://defectivebydesign.org/amazon1984>, is
now open for others to add their signatures as well.
"The level of control Amazon has over their ebooks conflicts with basic
freedoms that we take for granted," said Palfrey. "In a future where
books are sold with digital restrictions, it will be impossible for
libraries to guarantee free access to human knowledge."
On the heels of disabling the text-to-speech feature on many ebooks,
Amazon drew even further wide-ranging criticism for the remote deletion
of Ayn Rand novels and two George Orwell books (*Animal Farm* and
*1984*) from the devices of hundreds of users.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apologized for the deletions, saying that Amazon
would handle such situations differently in the future. But so far no
substantive changes have been made.
"Amazon should never have had this power to begin with, and imposing it
broke promises they had previously made. The only dependable way to
preserve people's rights to free thinking and free expression is for
Amazon to remove their DRM," said FSF operations manager John Sullivan.
### Additional comments from signers
"This incident shows that the law gives radically more control to the
company than it ought to." --Lawrence Lessig, author and Harvard Law
"Any time someone puts a lock on something you own without your
permission, they're not acting in your interests." --Cory Doctorow,
author and blogger
"Our future needs Orwell's books, but it does not need Orwell's
predictions." --Evan Katsamakas, assistant professor in the School of
Business at Fordham University
"You shouldn't need a license to read." --Lewis Hyde, author, poet and
### About the Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting
computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute
computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as
in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its
GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF
also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of
freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org
and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux.
Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at
<http://donate.fsf.org>. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.
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