Google extends copyright with YouTube Store

Copyright is a set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work (Wikipedia). Google is adding a new right: the right to exclude you from configuring your device the way you want.

Google is excluding jailbroken (rooted) Android phones from accessing the pay-per-view YouTube channel, you won’t be able to play the streamed file on your own device.

Google – the vendor – and the studios – the rights holders – are using copyright to control something much more profound than mere copying. In this version of copyright, making a movie gives you the right to specify what kind of device can play the movie back, and how that device must be configured.

via Cory Doctorow Google’s YouTube policy for Android users is copyright extremism

The horrible Terms of Service in Nintendo 3DS

Free Software Foundation has published a new campaign to inform Nintendo 3DS users that the Terms of Service of the machine are offensive and dangerous.

The 3DS has a videocamera that may be used to take pictures and videos of friends and family: just using Nintendo 3DS you give them the right to do whatever they want with your pictures and videos.

By accepting this Agreement or using a Nintendo 3DS System or the Nintendo 3DS Service, you also grant to Nintendo a worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display your User Content in whole or in part and to incorporate your User Content in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, including for promotional or marketing purposes. (Chapter 1, Nintendo 3DS End User License Agreement)

And there is more: the Nintendo 3DS will send the Activity Log to Nintendo when the wifi is connected, share your information and use it to target advertisements to you. Nintendo states that they “may update or change the Nintendo 3DS System or the Nintendo 3DS Service in whole or in part, without notice to you.” Children under 13 should not use their real names to create their game nickname, take pictures with the built-in camera, or participate in any number of ways the 3DS is set up to encourage. Read the details on Brick Nintendo before they brick you! on DefectiveByDesign.

This awful behavior from such arrogant companies cannot be tolerated! Send Nintendo a brick: the campaign crew of Defective by Design wants to flood Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO of Nintendo of America office with cute bricks to let them know that Nintendo 3DS Terms of Service are unacceptable and that DRM must be dropped. Donate as little as $10 to Brick Nintendo before they brick you.

Do you like the new sticker from Defective by Design?

The campaign to free the digital world from Digital Restrictions Management just got a new sticker. The old one is on my laptop’s screen represents the famous iPod silhouettes with white wires acting as shackles. It was a simple and powerful design. The new one is a the famous 1984 Apple ad, but I’m not sure its message is as clear as before. It also seems to give a sense of ‘victory’ for Apple fans: they now rule the digital world –with shackles, ok, but still winning.

Is it just me or you also think that you’ll have to explain the new sticker to your non-geek friends?

New MacBooks are Defective by Design

The new MacBook not only have reflective screens and miss a FireWire prot, but they also hide a stupid DRM locks in the video signal called HDCP. CrunchGear reports:

What is HDCP? It’s essentially a digital standard that tells your OS what you can display content on. If you connect your device to a project, as one high school teacher discovered while trying to play an iTunes video, the HDCP system will stop video from streaming to that device. If you connect it to an HDCP-compliant monitor then you’re in luck.

This means that even if you buy legitimate content but your TV is not HDMI capable you won’t be able to play the movie on it. The solution? I wish I could say simply ‘buy a GNU system’ that is cool and well designed, but I still haven’t found something I would tell my friends to put in their living rooms (I have my own custom made set-top-box, but it’s ugly).’  I cannot see why Dell or HP don’t bet on VLC+Elisa, which are 100times better than iTunes+FrontRow or the MS Media crap. So for now I’ll repeat what Crunchgear said:

Do a quick search on ThePirateBay. I’m sure you’ll find it in non-HDCP encrypted format.

Support Defective By Design campaign, donate to FSF

CrunchGear » Archive » MacBooks enter a golden new age of anti-piracy cruft: HDCP for all.

Free Software Foundation year end fundraising campaign

I had the feeling that 2008 was an important year for FSF. We’ve seen new campaigns take off, like End Software Patents and Support Open Document Format; the established campaigns Defective By Design, Play OGG, Expert Witness Fund have received good responses (if Google page rank is an indicator).’  We’ve seen also the first FSF Associate Members Meetings outside of Boston and I was lucky enough to participate to the first on in Portland this summer. And the best thing of it all was the FREE BEER! Look at the pictures, the free beer is visible there 🙂

This year marks a change, it shows clearly that’  FSF is reaching out to the wider community. The new structure is very community oriented and outreaching.’  FSF hired two campaign managers (Joshua Gay and Matt Lee), a membership coordinator (Deborah Nicholson). The organization has evolved into a campaign oriented organization and the results are visible. Charity Navigator has published its annual review of FSF fiscal reports assigning 3 stars (Exceeds or meets industry standards and performs as well as or better than most charities in its Cause.)’  Revenues increased 9.5% since last year (previous growth was 5.25%) and program expenses raised accordingly. Administrative expenses remained stable, showing that donations go’  to the operations, to support the FSF goals.

I will renew my membership this year and I think you should do that too. Click the image below, do it now!

Support freedom

Il DRM sulla musica muore ma è presto per cantare vittoria

Notizia di inizio 2008: Sony BMG sta pensando di vendere file musicali via internet senza schemi fastidiosi di restrizione, i Digital Restrictions Management. E così Sony si unisce alle altre aziende del settore: Universal, EMI e Warner che per indebolire Apple danno diritti ai loro clienti. Le major hanno capito che ci piace comprare e spostare musica tra i nostri vari computer e dispositivi senza essere legati ad un solo produttore. A noi piace l’interoperabilità , ci piace comprare sul negozio iTunes, trasformare il file in OGG Vorbis e ascoltare sul lettore Samsung o sul cellulare. Ci piace masterizzare una collezione di musica natalizia da regalare alla mamma o caricare un disco USB da portare ad una festa a tema anni ’70. E ci piacciono le soluzioni semplici: nessun DRM è meglio di un DRM interoperabile costruito ad-hoc (o peggio, obbligatorio per legge). Le major sembrano sulla buona strada, almeno per quanto riguarda la musica.

Sembra sulla cattiva strada invece la malconsigliata Viviane Reding, la Commissaria Europea alla Società  dell’Informazione e i Media, la quale sta considerando la possibilità  di costruire un framework legale per DRM interoperabili. A lei la campagna Defective By Design ha indirizzato una lettera aperta per raccontarle la realtà  dei fatti: i DRM, tutti, sono incompatibili con il Software Libero e i cittadini hanno già  chiaramente indicato alle major che le restrizioni non sono benvenute.

È presto per cantare vittoria perché comunque gli schemi DRM resistono su film (Blu-ray/HDDVD), sui giochi (misto a TPM, sebbene i bug siano sempre presenti e le protezioni aggirabili), nelle trasmissioni televisive (IPTV e digitale, sia satellitare che terrestre) e nella mente di alcuni politici incantati da anni di pianto greco delle major.

Agisci: firma l’appello di Defective by Design e sostieni la FSF. Together we are Fighting DRM

DBD actions posted a list of actions and campaigns activated and run by FSF in the past year. I really like what the strategy they put in place and the results so far. DefectivebyDesign brought the problem with Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to a wider audience, reaching also Newsweek. I loved the real-life events, like the raid in Seattle during Microsoft Vista’s launch: brilliant, Peter looked great in his hazmat suit 🙂 The Expert Witness Fund to help families attacked by RIAA to counter their arguments on technical basis, the Play OGG to support OGG format and the new Kindle Swindle, to inform about Amazon’s crippled ebooks.

Plus the international campaign Free Software Free Society designed to inform all organizations, NGOs, coops, civil society about the values of Free Software. I’m glad to see that Legambiente has joined the campaign: almost 5 years ago they were the first to radically switch from Microsoft Windows to cheap and convenient GNU/Linux terminal based workstations. No trash, more useful computers. I remember how traumatic that was but I was happy to help the ~40 employees and volunteers to understand the values of Free Software and now Legambiente is a fully free environment.

So I join Mako and Peter: give yourself a nice present for Christmas become an FSF associate member or make a donation. With the Euro so high anything you donate from Europe will multiply 🙂