19 Jan

Electronic Frontier Foundation – Sony v. Hotz: Sony Sends A Dangerous Message to Researchers — and Its Customers

Not content with the DMCA hammer, Sony is also bringing a slew of outrageous Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claims. The basic gist of Sony’s argument is that the researchers accessed their own PlayStation 3 consoles in a way that violated the agreement that Sony imposes on users of its network (and supposedly enabled others to do the same). But the researchers don’t seem to have used Sony’s network in their research — they just used the consoles they bought with their own money. Simply put, Sony claims that it’s illegal for users to access their own computers in a way that Sony doesn’t like. Moreover, because the CFAA has criminal as well as civil penalties, Sony is actually saying that it’s a crime for users to access their own computers in a way that Sony doesn’t like.

That means Sony is sending another dangerous message: that it has rights in the computer it sells you even after you buy it, and therefore can decide whether your tinkering with that computer is legal or not. We disagree. Once you buy a computer, it’s yours. It shouldn’t be a crime for you to access your own computer, regardless of whether Sony or any other company likes what you’re doing.

via Electronic Frontier Foundation – Sony v. Hotz: Sony Sends A Dangerous Message to Researchers — and Its Customers. Oh silly companies, let’s attack security researchers for finding exploitable holes in our software/hardware.

02 Jan

Thomas Hawk – Miami’s World Erotic Art Museum Fraudulently Uses the DMCA to Take Down Items in Their Collection From the Web

While this is troubling to me personally, I’m even more troubled by the precedent that it sets and am going to try and fight this takedown of my photos. While a museum may object to their work being shown online, misusing the DMCA by submitting a sworn statement under perjury that they own copyright on 100% of the items in their collection is an abuse of the DMCA. The DMCA is meant to give content creators (not physical content owners) an ability to remove their copyrighted work from the web. While a museum may own paintings, sculptures, drawings, etc. It generally speaking does not own copyright on these items. Copyright is generally retained by the original creator of a work. By taking down my entire set of images from the museum’s collection, they are asserting ownership of copyright that they do not have. The collection includes works by people like Picasso for example. I guarantee you the museum does not hold copyright over the Picasso in their collection.

via Thomas Hawk – Miami’s World Erotic Art Museum Fraudulently Uses the DMCA to Take Down Items in Their Collection From the Web. Another in a long list of DMCA abuses.

16 Nov

Electronic Frontier Foundation – Legal Attack on Internet Music Storage Threatens ‘Safe Harbor’ Rules for Online Businesses

MP3Tunes offers a locker service where users can sync their personal digital music and video up to "the cloud" to access from any web browser or many mobile and home entertainment devices. Recording giant EMI claims that MP3Tunes should be held responsible for infringing content stored in the lockers of some of its users. MP3Tunes contends that it is immune from liability because it does not engage in, encourage or benefit from copyright infringement and it quickly removes material identified in a copyright holder’s complaint against its users, as required by the "safe harbor" provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In the amicus brief filed Tuesday, EFF and its co-amici argue that EMI is trying to rewrite the "safe harbor" provisions and hold service providers liable for the actions of their users.

via Electronic Frontier Foundation – Legal Attack on Internet Music Storage Threatens ‘Safe Harbor’ Rules for Online Businesses. Sounds to me like a totally legal and awesome business. Even better the service isn’t all that expensive compared to buying the same amount of storage through something like Dropbox.

27 Jul

Electronic Frontier Foundation – EFF Wins New Legal Protections for Video Artists, Cell Phone Jailbreakers, and Unlockers

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) won three critical exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anticircumvention provisions today, carving out new legal protections for consumers who modify their cell phones and artists who remix videos — people who, until now, could have been sued for their non-infringing or fair use activities.

via Electronic Frontier Foundation – EFF Wins New Legal Protections for Video Artists, Cell Phone Jailbreakers, and Unlockers. Not only do the new rules include the ability to unlock your cell phone, but also includes the ability to break copy protection on a DVD for either educational or parody purposes.

12 Jul

Boing Boing – Brazil’s copyright law forbids using DRM to block fair use

It’s a fine and balanced approach to copyright law: your software locks have the power of law where they act to uphold the law. When they take away rights the law gives, they are themselves illegal.

via Boing Boing – Brazil’s copyright law forbids using DRM to block fair use. Finally some balanced copyright and DRM laws.