Group: Defective by Design/AppleTablet

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This is for coordination of an action at the Apple Tablet event in San Francisco on Wednesday, January 27, 2010.

People confirmed

  • John Sullivan
  • Mike Linksvayer
  • Thomas D. from 9:30am
  • Pavel
  • Ryan D.
  • Ozzy
  • Henry Poole?

Mails sent

  • Berkeley Students for Free Culture
  • freeculture-discuss
  • FSF info-member list
  • Seth Schoen at EFF
  • 50+ FSF members in SF
  • Lots of GLUG mailing lists
  • DbD list in SF

The action

We'll be setting up a TSA-style security screening zone outside the entrance to the Theater (as close as they will let us). It will inform people entering that they have to leave certain freedoms at the door.

John will likely be dressed as Steve Jobs. Others should wear turtlenecks and jeans too if they want!

We'll be asking people to sign a petition (and sign up for the DbD campaign) saying that they will not support any device that is locked to an App Store with DRM. This will be not only for the people entering the event but also for people walking by.

We'll be handing out cards that parody Apple's invite, which have text explaining DRM and Apple's support for it on the back.

Messages for the action

Amazon's recent actions suggest that the Apple Tablet may have a strong ebook reader component, which undoubtedly will be DRM-infected, and probably closely coupled with the iTunes store. We shouldn't let Apple decide what we read.

The device will have a proprietary OS, of course. But will it go even further and be tethered to an App Store like the iPhone? We shouldn't let Apple tell us which software we can and cannot install.

Announcements may also be made about iPhone OS 4.0.

They say "Come see our latest creation", but it's really "Come see our latest restriction".

"Think differently -- just like us."

Materials for the action

Apple's invitation:

Parody of Apple's invite with text on the back

What is Free Software flyer

Sandwich boards with TSA-style "restriction zone" sign

Petition sign-up sheets


  • Get mention of DefectiveByDesign and the negatives of DRM and proprietary software into the mainstream press coverage of the event.
  • Create striking visuals and accounts that will give the action a persuasive online presence.
  • Raise awareness about the consequences of DRM and proprietary software among the people attending the event as well as passersby.

Places to publicize the action in advance

News stories about the event

News sources to contact to arrange coverage

  • BoingBoing
  • Gizmodo
  • Engadget
  • Ars Technica
  • San Franciscoist
  • Other SF blogs?


  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • poster
  • Talking to law enforcement: John
  • Talking to media: John


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.


The main goal is to catch people on their way into the event. So if you can only come for a little while, try to come between 9:00am and 10:00am. The more people who can come at 8:30, the better off we'll be, but if you can only miss a little bit of work then the 9-10 hour is the most important.

  • Wednesday 8:30am: Meet outside the Theater.
  • 10:00am: Apple event scheduled to start

Background reading