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"The Right to Read" is a short story by Richard Stallman, the founder of the free software movement. It is a cautionary tale set in the future, when DRM-like technologies are employed to restrict the readership of books: the sharing of books and written material is a crime punishable by imprisonment.

In particular, it touches on the impact of such a system on the requirements of university students, one of whom is forced into a dilemma in which he must decide whether to loan his computer to a fellow student, who may or may not illegally access his purchased documents.

It is notable for being written before the use of Digital Rights Management technology was widespread (although DVD video discs which used DRM had appeared the year before, and various commercial software since the 1970s had made use of some form of copy protection), and predicting later hardware-based attempts to restrict how users could use content, such as Trusted Computing. Also, in 2005, the Princeton University bookstore (not affiliated with the university itself) announced that they planned to offer DRM controlled e-book format textbooks, restricting reading of said books to the computer that downloaded them, and expiring after 12 months.

External linksEdit

ca:El dret a llegir es:El derecho a leer

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