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Netflix commits the three usual injustices of digital publishing: Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), End User License Agreements that restrict the customer beyond the restrictions of copyright law, and identifying and tracking the customers.
To tolerate any of these predatious practices is to surrender our rights without a fight. Please join me in refusing: Flick off Netflix.
Netflix is a typical streaming media dis-service: it requires a nonfree client program that imposes digital restrictions mechanisms (DRM) intended to stop the user from saving a copy of the data being streamed through her own computer. You should never use DRM that you can't break, so you should not use these dis-services unless you can break their DRM.
A friend once asked me to watch a video with her that she was going to display on her computer using Netflix. I declined, saying that Netflix was such a threat to freedom that I felt uncomfortable with promoting its use in this way.
Rejecting streaming DRM is an ethical imperative because this streaming technology is intended to divide people and make them antisocial.
Netflix is a surveillance system: it demands customers identify themselves to pay, and thus records what each person watches. Don't stand for this!
Netflix makes customers sign a restrictive contract (End User License Agreement) that denies them rights that they would normally have under copyright law if they bought a copy. If you bought a copy on a tape or disk, you would be free to give, lend or sell it. With Netflix, those actions are not only obstructed by DRM, but also explicitly forbidden.
Every time you hear that some video is produced specifically by Netflix, it would be appropriate to feel a wave of disgust and anger. That will help you refuse to watch it, refuse to feed the monster.
Netflix in cahoots with the movie companies is attacking users' privacy by blocking access through VPNs.
Android's practice of forcing use of Google DNS, which apparently has been designed to help companies such as Netflix do this, is collusion with DRM.
Copyright © 2014 Richard Stallman
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