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

Stories from the most revered brand in tech

A normal day for an Apple customer:

my nine-year-old daughter, Flora, bought a new £39 iPod shuffle with her pocket money, and I treated myself to an iPhone 4. I connected the shuffle to our computer, but a message came up saying the iPod “cannot be used because it requires iTunes version 10.0 or later”. So I downloaded iTunes 10, but then another message popped up: “Open Failed … This package type requires Mac OS X 10.5.” It was the same story with the iPhone 4.

[… Apple support said] I could solve this by buying Leopard […] though it would cost £87.

When Microsoft does stuff like this the normal customers get very upset. Apple with its cult followers can do this and more evil stuff. Look at the comments on the original article Apple upgrades leave bitter taste on The Guardian to understand how lucky/good Apple has been at creating a cult for its brand.

Nintendo is evil and they admit it too

I can’t believe what Nintendo just said! In a statement to respond to information campaign launched by Defective by Design the company said:

Nintendo would like to reassure any concerned consumers that under our European terms and conditions and in compliance with European requirements Nintendo does not have rights to user content, such as comments, messages, images, photos or movies, which are shared in private communications between users or simply stored on Nintendo 3DS.

So, they’re admitting that parts of the terms of service of Nintendo 3DS are so horrible that they’re not even legal in Europe! No mention about the rest of the world, where such terms may be legal but equally immoral!

And the company doesn’t mention the fact that even if you buy the hardware they can wipe it out remotely and make it impossible for you to use it anymore.

Shame on you, Nintendo, shame on you.

via Outcry leads to 200 bricks ordered and reprehensible Nintendo response | DefectiveByDesign.org.

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.

Apple and software freedom clashing again

Another app has to be removed from the Apple iTunes mobile App Store. This time, after GNU Go, it’s the iOS port of the popular free VLC Player because the terms of the GNU General Public License are incompatible with those of Apple’s store.

Difficult situation and I still think that the best way out is for FSF to sponsor a mobile app repository for free software applications. What would be better?

via How to avoid public GPL floggings on Apple’s App Store | ZDNet.

iPad DRM endangers our rights

The Free Software Foundation guys are ready to remind us the real threat that iPad furthers:

The iPad’s unprecedented use of DRM to control all capabilities of a general purpose computer is a dangerous step backward for computing and for media distribution.

Yesterday a group of FSF volunteers set up “Apple Restriction Zones” along the approaches to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, informing journalists of the rights they would have to give up to Apple before proceeding inside.

Well done guys and thanks. Join FSF today.

via iPad DRM endangers our rights | DefectiveByDesign.org.

Get the facts of DRM, don’t buy CRAP

Did you think Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) can be good for society? If that’s your opinion, you better start looking at facts. Ars Technica reports that

Some Kindle users are angry because Amazon blocked them from their Kindle accounts, thereby blocking them from accessing their already-purchased media. Even if these stories are exaggerated, they once again highlight the caveats that come with DRMed media. You don’t own your content—Amazon does.

Do you think this sort of problem never happened before and it’s an exaggeration? Well, look again at facts because those tell a different story. When Yahoo Music ceased to exist so did the files that people bought. And to get music bought from iTunes liberated from DRM, people had to buy it again.

Facts say that DRM are constantly being used to extort money from customers, and to artificially create scarcity in order to inflate prices. DRM should really be called CRAP as in Cancellation Restriction and Punishment (or Content Restriction Annulment and Protection, if you prefer). Think better and don’t buy CRAP.

via Kindle owners find out about DRM’s ever-present threat – Ars Technica.

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