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RMS's Bio | The GNU Project
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 surveillance system: it demands customers identify themselves to pay, and thus records what each person watches. Protect your privacy — reject Netflix!
Netflix is a typical streaming media dis-service: it requires a nonfree client program that imposes digital restrictions mechanisms (DRM) intended to stop users from using the data sent by Netflix other than through nonfree software designed to restrict what users do with it. For your freedom's sake, 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 legitimizing it in this way.
Rejecting streaming DRM is an ethical imperative because this streaming technology is intended to divide people and make them antisocial.
Netflix makes customers sign a restrictive antisocialization contract (usually called an "End User License Agreement", meaning that users are compelled to agree) 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 even under copyright law to give, lend or resell it. With Netflix, those actions are not only obstructed by DRM, but also explicitly forbidden. Of course, these contracts typically also include a commitment not to share copies of the work, and that requirement is unjust also.
Educators speak the mission of "socialization" of children, meaning teaching them to be good, cooperating members of their community. That includes being willing in general to give things to others, lend things to others, and share copies with others. This contract aims to do the exact opposite, so we call it "antisocialization". More informally, I call it "jerkogenic", because it makes people promise to act like jerks.
If you have agreed to a contract to be an antisocial jerk, that is no excuse to be an antisocial jerk. Therefore, if you have clicked "I agree" on such a contract, you must not carry out the antisocial commitment.
However, since I would feel ashamed to have agreed to an agreement I know I would be morally bound to break, I decline to agree to them. This is why I will never use Netflix unless it changes drastically. Please join me in refusing to agree to Netflix's antisocialization contract, or others of the same nature.
Netflix has joined with the MPAA to campaign for repression of sharing on the net.
Every time you hear that some video is produced specifically by Netflix, it is appropriate to feel a wave of disgust and resentment. Those feelings 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.
Copyright © 2014, 2018 Richard Stallman
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