Florida's prisons change tech providers, wipe out $11.2m worth of music purchased by prisoners

For seven years, Florida state inmates could buy a $100 MP3 player from Access Corrections, the prisons' exclusive provider, and stock it with MP3s that cost $1.70 -- nearly double the going rate in the free world. Read the rest

Audible puts the screws to indie authors

Audible -- Amazon's audiobook company -- dominates audiobooks, controlling 90% or more of the market; their ACX platform is tailored to indie, self-published authors, and, until recently, it paid them handsomely for any new customers they brought into Audible's fold. Read the rest

Why would a company give free tablets to prisons for inmate use?

Spoiler alert: to steal from prisoners and their families. Read the rest

Google DRM for Email can be disabled by ticking a few boxes in Firefox

Last week, I linked to a critique of Google's new "confidential mode" for Gmail and Google Docs, which purports to allow you to send people documents without letting them print, copy or forward them. Read the rest

Google launches a DRM-free audiobook store: finally, a writer- and listener-friendly Audible alternative!

A decade ago, when Amazon acquired Audible, the two companies promised that they'd phase out their DRM, which locked listeners into using their proprietary software and devices to enjoy the books they purchased. Audible never made good on that promise, and stonewalled press queries and industry requests about when, exactly, this fairtrade version of their industry-dominating audiobook store would finally emerge.

Gmail rolls out DRM for email and office documents, calls it "Confidential Mode"

Google has rolled out a "Confidential Mode" for Gmail and Google Docs attachments, promising users that they'll be able to send emails to their contacts that can't be shared, printed or copied. Read the rest

DRM, the World Cup, and what happens when a red team plays a green team

Before the W3C green-lit its DRM for web-video, we at EFF made a plea to allow bypassing the DRM to add accessibility features like shifting colors to accommodate color-blind people; the leadership dismissed the idea as a mere nice-to-have that companies could be relied on to fix themselves. Read the rest

Infographic: buying games vs pirating them

Back in 2010, I linked to a superb infographic showing all the ways that official DVDs were worse than their pirate equivalents (unskippable ads and FBI warnings, etc); now Dnd01 has updated the graphic with a version highlighting all the ways that the games industry has encrufted their products with DRM that make them into a worse deal than the pirated versions. Read the rest

How do we fix IoT security without blocking interoperability and creating monopolies?

Jonathan Zittrain (previously) writes, "There’s reason to worry about security for the ever-growing Internet of Things, and it’ll be tempting to encourage vendors to solely control their devices that much more, limiting interoperability or user tinkering. There are alternatives - models for maintaining firmware patches for orphaned devices, and a 'Faraday mode' so that iffy devices can still at least partially function even if they’re not able to remain safely online. Procrastination around security has played a key role in its success. But 'later' shouldn’t mean 'never' for the IoT." Read the rest

My science fiction story about EFF's proposed jailbreaking exemption

Every three years, the US Copyright Office lets the public beg for limited exemptions to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which bans bypassing DRM, even in your own property, even for strictly legal reasons. Read the rest

Mur Lafferty wrote a science fiction story about the DMCA to help EFF's fair use for vidders campaign

Every three years, the US Copyright Office asks America about the problems with Section 1201 of the DMCA, which bans breaking DRM even for legal reasons, and America gets to answer with requests for exemptions to this rule. Read the rest

FanFlick Editor: an entry in EFF's Catalog of Missing Devices

Wonderful EFF supporters keep on coming up with great new entries for EFF's Catalog of Missing Devices, which lists fictional devices that should exist, but don't, because to achieve their legal, legitimate goals, the manufacturer would have to break some Digital Rights Management and risk retaliation under Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Now, EFF supporter Rico Robbins has sent us the "FanFlick Editor," a welcome addition to the Catalog, alongside of Dustin Rodriguez's excellent list of missing devices like the Software Scalpel and MovieMoxie; and Benjamin MacLean's Mashup Maker.

If you have your own great ideas for additions, send them to me and maybe you'll see them on EFF's Deeplinks!

Meet the FanFlick Editor. With this revolutionary video editor, you can directly rip your favorite movies from DVDs or Blu-rays or even digital copies from iTunes, Google Play, and any other service. Edit the film to your heart's content and then distribute the edit decision list (EDL) -- a file that contains instructions that other people can use to edit their own copies during playback while they watch, so they can experience your vision for the movies you both love (or even the ones you hate!).

Used your own footage, graphics, or audio? No problem! FanFlick Editor keeps track of what you made and what you ripped, and packages up your other content with your FanFlick EDL. That way, you only distribute material whose copyright you control, or that is in the public domain, or that fair use permits.

Read the rest

Humble Bundle Nebula Showcase: great, DRM-free science fiction, benifitting the Science Fiction Writers of America

The latest Humble Bundle features dozens of Nebula-winning and Nebula-nominated novels and short stories from past and present, everyone from Octavia Butler and Ursula K Leguin to Samuel Delany and John Brunner, to say nothing of Kate Wilhelm, Joanna Russ, and four titles from Serial Box. Read the rest

To do in LA, April 24: come hear from the people fighting for Right to Repair, freedom to tinker and the right to know

Update: due to popular demand, we've moved to a bigger space! We'll be at UCLA Moore Hall, Room 3340 (Reading Room), 457 Portola Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095. There's 20 new spaces open: RSVP today!

A law intended to stop people from making off-brand DVD players now means that security researchers can’t warn you about dangers from the cameras in your bedroom; that mechanics can’t fix your car; and that your printer won’t take third party ink. Read the rest

A proposal to stop 3D printers from making guns is a perfect parable of everything wrong with information security

Many people worry that 3D printers will usher in an epidemic of untraceable "ghost guns," particularly guns that might evade some notional future gun control regime that emerges out of the current movement to put sensible, minimal curbs on guns, particularly anti-personnel guns. Read the rest

Vendor lock-in, DRM, and crappy EULAs are turning America's independent farmers into tenant farmers

"Precision agriculture" is to farmers as Facebook is to publishers: farmers who want to compete can't afford to boycott the precision ag platforms fielded by the likes of John Deere, but once they're locked into the platforms' walled gardens, they are prisoners, and the platforms start to squeeze them for a bigger and bigger share of their profits. Read the rest

Juicero spotted on slightly dirty thrift shore shelf

Photo: anfael_

Juicero was a fantastically over-engineered $400 juicing machine whose key innovation was DRM fruit slime that you can just squeeze out the bag anyway. The company went out of business six months ago, and Juiceros are now turning up in thrift stores, as observed by anfael_ on Twitter. Even so, there's no point buying one: they're useless without the no-longer-available DRM packets and are too complex to bother hacking.

"oh wow it's finally here," wrote anfael_, "in the goodwill with the busted keyboards and crusty printers"

The genius behind Juicero is now selling "'raw water' packed with all the microbes and amoebas you can stomach". Read the rest

More posts