Announcing the Catalog of Missing Devices: the amazing stuff the DMCA has strangled in its cradle

For a couple years now, I've been collaborating with EFF to produce a Catalog of Missing Devices: products that do something legal and useful and desirable, but don't exist because to make them, you'd have to break DRM, something US law bans. Read the rest

The year in DRM: seven rotten moments and two rays of hope

My end-of-the-year roundup the year in DRM for EFF's Deeplinks blog hits seven lowlights, from the catastrophic (the W3C greenlighting DRM for the web) to the idiotic ( Read the rest

EFF to US Copyright Office: fix the DRM rules that stop us from fixing our stuff, make fair use, and make IoT gadgets work the way we want

Section 1201 of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (1998) give DRM incredible protections: it's illegal to bypass DRM in products you own, for legal purposes, and merely investigating or revealing defects in products with DRM can land you in jail. Read the rest

One of the net's most important freedom canaries died the day the W3C greenlit web-wide DRM; what can we learn from the fight?

EFF's long, hard-fought campaign at the World Wide Web Consortium over its plan to standardize a universal DRM for the web was always a longshot, but we got farther than anyone dared hope before we lost the web to corporate interests and cynical indifference in September. Read the rest

Sony's new robot dog doubles down on DRM

It's been 15 years since Sony used the DMCA to shut down the community that had sprung up to extend the functionality of its Aibo robot dogs, threatening people with lawsuits and jailtime for modifying their dogs' operating systems. Read the rest

Why electrical engineers should support the right to repair

Writing in IEEE Spectrum, iFixit's superhero founder Kyle Wiens and Repair.org exective director Gay Gordon-Byrne bring the case for the right to repair (previously) to the engineering community, describing the economic, technical, and environmental benefits of permitting a domestic industry of local, expert technologists to help their neighbors get more out of their gadgets. Read the rest

Portugal passes the world's first reasonable DRM law

Last June, Portugal enacted Law No. 36/2017 which bans putting DRM on public domain media or government works, and allows the public to break DRM that interferes with their rights in copyright, including private copying, accessibility adaptation, archiving, reporting and commentary and more. Read the rest

The video game industry's best-of-class DRM is routinely cracked in less than 24 hours

Denuvo is billed as the video game industry's "best in class" DRM, charging games publishers a premium to prevent people from playing their games without paying for them. In years gone by, Denuvo DRM would remain intact for as long as a month before cracks were widely disseminated. Read the rest

A curiously incomplete history of the early years of DRM

Ernie Smith's Motherboard article on the early years of DRM gets into some fascinating stories about things like IBM's Cryptolope and Xerox PARC's Contentguard (which became a patent troll), Intertrust's belief that it is "developing the basis for a civil society in cyberspace" and the DeCSS fight. Read the rest

Canary claws back cloud features from its IoT camera, starts charging $10/month

Canary makes an Internet of Things home security camera that connects to your wifi and sends video to Canary's servers where it is analyzed for suspicious activity (such as motion when you're out of the house) and then you can stream video that video over the internet. Read the rest

DRM could kill game emulators and erase the history of an artform

Video game company Atlus just sent a copyright takedown over the Patreon page for open source Playstation 3 emulator RPCS3, by invoking section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it a felony punishable by 5 years in prison and a $500,000 fine to bypass DRM. Read the rest

World Wide Web Consortium abandons consensus, standardizes DRM with 58.4% support, EFF resigns

In July, the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium overruled dozens of members' objections to publishing a DRM standard without a compromise to protect accessibility, security research, archiving, and competition. Read the rest

HP once again caught sneaking code into printers to reject third-party ink

In March 2016, HP sent millions of Inkjet and Inkject Pro owners a fake "security update" that was really a timebomb: six months later, in September 2016 (one year ago!), the "security update" code started rejecting third party ink, prompting nearly 15,000 complaints from HP owners. Read the rest

EFF will tell the Copyright Office (again) to protect your right to remix, study and tinker

Every three years, the US Copyright Office has to ask America about all the ways in which Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (which bans bypassing DRM, even for legitimate reasons) interferes with our lives, and then it grants limited exemptions based on the results. Read the rest

FTC settles with Lenovo over selling laptops deliberately infected with Superfish spyware

The Federal Trade Commission has announced a settlement with Lenovo over the 2015 revelation that the company pre-installed malware called "Superfish" on its low-end models, which allowed the company to spy on its customers, and also left those customers vulnerable to attacks from third parties, who could exploit Superfish's weakened security. Read the rest

How DRM and EULAs make us into "digital serfs"

Washington and Lee law professor Joshua Fairfield is the author of a recent book called Owned: Property, Privacy, and the New Digital Serfdom, which takes up the argument that DRM and license agreements mean that we have no real property rights anymore, just a kind of feudal tenancy in which distant aristocrats (corporations) dictate how we may and may not use the things we "buy," backed by the power of the state to fine or jail us if we fail to arrange our affairs to the company's shareholders. Read the rest

DRM in web standards creates new barriers to accessibility

The World Wide Web Consortium is pressing ahead with its project to standardize a DRM system for the web, without taking any legal steps to protect people whose legitimate activities would be impaired by the DRM system. Read the rest

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