Boing Boing 

An Internet of Things that do what they're told


California's phone bricking bill seems to have reduced thefts in the short run, but at the cost of giving dirty cops and wily criminals the power to wipe-and-brick your phone at will.

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If dishwashers were Iphones


My latest Guardian column is design fiction in the form of an open letter from a dishwasher company whose kitchenware marketplace and Dish Rights Management system is under fire.

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Tor.com announces new line of novella-length books

Starting next Sept, the company will publish 3-4 new, DRM-free, original science fiction novellas as ebooks, audiobooks and print-on-demand paper books per month, and they're launching strong, with titles by Seanan McGuire, Mary Robinette Kowal and Paul Cornell, as well as a slate of first-time authors.

Modern farm equipment has no farmer-servicable parts inside


Ifixit's Kyle Wiens writes about the state of modern farm equipment, "black boxes outfitted with harvesting blades," whose diagnostic modes are jealously guarded, legally protected trade secrets, meaning that the baling-wire spirit of the American farm has been made subservient to the needs of multinational companies' greedy desire to control the repair and parts markets.

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Humble Brainiac Book Bundle: tech books for kids!


Get more than 15 DRM-free kids tech ebooks from No Starch Press, including the amazing Lauren Ipsum, as well as a wealth of killer Lego books, books for young makers, and kids' programming guides -- support EFF and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, too!

Free "freedom clip" turns off K-Cup DRM


Rogers Family Company Coffee and Tea is offering a free "Freedom Clip" that disables DRM in your new-model K-Cup machine, letting you use it with anyone's coffee pods.

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Snooper's Charter is dead: let's hammer a stake through its heart and fill its mouth with garlic

We killed the dreadful Snooper's Charter last week, again, for the third or fourth time, depending on how you count -- now how do we keep it from rising from the grave again and terrorizing Britain with the threat of total, ubiquitous, uncontrolled state spying?

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How to fix copyright in two easy steps (and one hard one)

My new Locus column, A New Deal for Copyright, summarizes the argument in my book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, and proposes a set of policy changes we could make that would help artists make money in the Internet age while decoupling copyright from Internet surveillance and censorship.

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Consumerist on Information Doesn't Want to Be Free


Consumerist's Kate Cox has turned in a long, excellent, in-depth review of my book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, really nailing the book's thesis. Namely, that extremist copyright laws don't just mess up artists, but actually endanger all our privacy, freedom and whole digital lives.

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Eradicate DRM within a decade!

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Apollo 1201 will target it with code, law, norms and markets.

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What David Cameron just proposed would endanger every Briton and destroy the IT industry

David Cameron says there should be no “means of communication” which “we cannot read” — and no doubt many in his party will agree with him, politically. But if they understood the technology, they would be shocked to their boots.

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War on General Purpose Computers is the difference between utopia and dystopia


My Wired op-ed, How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us to Greater Harm, warns that we've learned the wrong lesson from the DRM wars: we've legitimized the idea that we can and should design computers to disobey their owners and hide their operations from them in order to solve our problems (and that we should protect this design decision by making it a felony to disclose flaws in devices, lest these flaws be used to jailbreak them).

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Jailbreaking your cat litter: welcome to the Internet of Feudal Things


Jorge loves his Catgenie automated cat-litter tray, but doesn't love spending $350/year on "Sanisolution" (perfumed gunk that makes the litter stick to his cats' feet and gets tracked all over his apartment), but he discovered that the manufacturer uses DRM to stop him from filling the empty Sanisolution reservoir with water.

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DRM screws blind people


Any digital text can be read aloud through text-to-speech, granting people with visual impairments the basic human right to read -- unless there's DRM in the way.

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Mozilla breaks our hearts, adds DRM to Firefox


For months, I've been following the story that the Mozilla project was set to add closed source Digital Rights Management technology to its free/open browser Firefox, and today they've made the announcement, which I've covered in depth for The Guardian. Mozilla made the decision out of fear that the organization would haemorrhage users and become irrelevant if it couldn't support Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Video, and other services that only work in browsers that treat their users as untrustable adversaries.

They've gone to great -- even unprecedented -- lengths to minimize the ways in which this DRM can attack Firefox users. But I think there's more that they can, and should, do. I also am skeptical of their claim that it was DRM or irrelevance, though I think they were sincere in making it. I think they hate that it's come to this and that no one there is happy about it.

I could not be more heartsick at this turn of events.

We need to turn the tide on DRM, because there is no place in post-Snowden, post-Heartbleed world for technology that tries to hide things from its owners. DRM has special protection under the law that makes it a crime to tell people if there are flaws in their DRM-locked systems -- so every DRM system is potentially a reservoir of long-lived vulnerabilities that can be exploited by identity thieves, spies, and voyeurs.

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Podcast: What happens with digital rights management in the real world?

Here's a reading (MP3) of a recent Guardian column, What happens with digital rights management in the real world where I attempt to explain the technological realpolitik of DRM, which has nothing much to do with copyright, and everything to do with Internet security.

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