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06.07.14

Don’t Install Pipelight, It Helps Infect the Web With DRM and Microsoft

Posted in DRM, Microsoft, Mono at 7:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nasty DRM pipeline

Rusty pipe

Summary: Putting DRM on GNU/Linux, and especially DRM that Microsoft controls, is a very bad idea

Microsoft tried to break the Web with Silverlight, turning the Web into a bunch of binaries or cryptic blobs that will be run by proprietary software on the user’s computer/client’s end (probably not spiders, except for Microsoft’s). It is worse than Flash and more like DRM, which Silverlight was used to promote. When Silverlight died its key proponent Netflix had to go infect HTML. This is even worse because it means that the Web itself starts requiring proprietary blobs. One site said this is “Good news for folks tired of installing Microsoft Silverlight just so they can stream videos from Netflix: The company now has an HTML5 media player which works without any plugins.

“Here’s the bad news (for now): While Netflix is rolling out its HTML5 player to another platform, you still have to jump through some hoops to install Silverlight if you want to watch Netflix on a computer running GNU/Linux.”

Well, this is about DRM in HTML, which is even worse and has put Mozilla to shame. Mozilla also got a little close to Mono, which does not invite much support.

Now, using the Mono-based Moonlight one could almost get this DRM going, but it helped Microsoft get a foothold on the Web. One project remains which still tries to achieve this. It received coverage in some FOSS sites, which is unfortunate. One site said: “Pipelight is a wrapper for Windows NPAPI plugins such as Silverlight, Widevine or Flash (the Windows version) which allows you to use these plugins in native Linux web browsers and thus, use services that aren’t officially supported on Linux, such as Netflix (Silverlight), HBO Go (Widevine) and so on.”

Another bit of coverage said:

Pipelight is the interesting open-source project to support Windows browser plug-ins within native Linux browsers. Pipelight serves as a wrapper for Windows plug-ins in Linux browsers using Wine and for browsers supporting NPAPI plug-ins. This software, which allows Silverlight and Netflix to work on Linux, is out with a big update.

This is about DRM and it should be rejected or worked around by breaking DRM, not by bringing DRM to GNU and Linux.

The fight here is not just against Microsoft but against DRM. What Pipeline does helps create the perception that GNU/Linux is now compatible with DRM. Some copyright maximalists can use that to impose DRM everywhere. A Slackware-oriented site, writing about a similar issue, noted that support is lacking, so it really is only the illusion of compatibility.

The version 35 of Chromium has a major side effect that many people are not going to like. The support for browser plugins that use Mozilla’s NPAPI protocol to communicate with the browser has been removed and only Google’s own PPAPI protocol is supported as of now (MS Windows users still have a bit of time before the same happens to their Chrome browser – removal of NPAPI support in Windows is scheduled for the end of 2014). This step was of course announced long time ago and many reminders were posted, but if you need Java support in your browser, or want to watch Netflix using pipelight, then you are out of luck. PPAPI versions for these browser plugins do not exist and in the case of pipelight, are very hard to create.

Anything that requires running a blob for access to data/information should be rejected, especially on the Web. We are entering a dangerous era where FOSS become fundamentally incompatible with data. Unless of course we fight back…

05.22.14

New Claims That Brendan Eich Got Abused and Pushed Out for Opposing DRM, Not for Opposing Gay Marriage Some Time in the Past

Posted in DRM, Free/Libre Software at 10:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Brendan Eich
Photo by Darcy Padilla

Summary: A look at Brendan Eich’s musings from some months ago reveals hostility, as a matter of principle, towards DRM and some other items which suggest turf wars might be going on inside Mozilla

This sure is fascinating. Following the widely-chastised decision to embrace DRM it turns out that Eich was against the decision. We congratulated him for being a FOSS proponent who can end Mono dependence back when he was first appointed CEO and even before that. Remember that the patron of Firefox, Mozilla, was quick to embrace Ogg (we love Ogg), but later disappointed many of us by liaising with MPEG-LA (essentially stomping on the whole policy of supporting Ogg at the core). There certainly seems to be a turf war inside Mozilla. This is probably why Eich got ejected (through intense pressure on him).

With DRM and MPEG, Mozilla Firefox is no longer a FOSS browser. According to this one new blog post, DRM was why Brendan Eich had to go. “Eich stood firmly in the way of Mozilla incorporating DRM into Firefox,” says the source. Eich is a FOSS supporter, so this makes sense. Without him, Firefox can become FOSS only in the Chrome sense (FOSS with many blobs on top). Here is what Eich wrote in his site: “I continue to collaborate with others, including some in Hollywood, on watermarking, not DRM.”

He also said “DRM is about gaining leverage over “playback devices” and ultimately “users” in order to jack prices a bit” (source). To quote another take on it:

Eich stood firmly in the way of Mozilla incorporating DRM into Firefox. Now that he’s gone, and his technological authority with him, Mozilla immediately caved to Hollywood interests. It’s also interesting to note that the justification for Mozilla making this change is given as fear that users will abandon them. That demonstrates that the campaign to #uninstallfirefox was based on a sound principle, even if it was not quite as successful as I would have liked it to be.

Well, guess what, Mozilla? The treatment of Eich and promotion of DRM will do huge harm to Firefox and Mozilla. Many people disagreed with a position that Eich held outside his professional field half a decade ago, but those same people strongly disagree with the way some people in Mozilla treated Eich, not to mention the actions taken after his departure. Mozilla seems to be suffering an identity crisis of some kind.

05.17.14

Mozilla Cannot Claim to Teach People About the Web While Facilitating, Defending and Even Promoting DRM

Posted in DRM at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Mozilla makes an error by not staying true to the principles that made it popular in the first place

Mozilla has been trying to sell us a controversial new interface (which many people want to replace [1]) for its flagship product Firefox, changing the controversial plan with ads etc. while it is using a kids-washed marketing campaign and claiming to teach about the Web [2,3]. This is after struggling with a PR disaster (the Eich incident) that distracted from Mono issues. One sure thing is, Mozilla is going through a tough time. This is not a good thing at all because Mozilla has historically been a champion of standards and source code.

Mozilla is seemingly trying to make things worse by ignoring hostile feedback (from months ago) to its DRM plans. DRM and FOSS cannot co-exist, so Mozilla abandoned FOSS instead of rejecting DRM. Mozilla is now contradicting itself. It weakens FOSS as a whole.

Well, Microsoft and DRM boosters make it even worse, trying to bolster the case for DRM using Mozilla. Across the Web there is plenty of anger, including an expression of disappointment at Mozilla’s actions. Prominent DRM foe Cory Doctorow [4] says that this position [5] breaks his heart and Linux-centric sites [6] paint this scenario more properly than most (many journalists don’t really understand these matters). Free software people have condemned Mozilla [7,8], but there is no chance of Mozilla changing course just yet. Two of our readers have said they they would dump Mozilla over this issue (not just Firefox but Mozilla).

Truth be told, the W3C deserves a lot of the blame as well. It has been an utter disgrace in the past couple of years and Tim Berners-Lee let it be so, with Novell’s Jaffe making erroneous decisions that isolate the Web that’s already a surveillance platform of notorious proportions. Most Web browsers in use FOSS code, but the W3C decided to ban FOSS with DRM, promoting proprietary software and hence more surveillance. The W3C deserves much of the flack and it deserves much of the blame for Mozilla’s own actions.

Articles about the fiasco mostly blame Mozilla for this, but some say that it’s not Mozilla’s fault, which is partly true. Sam Dean, who is typically okay with some proprietary software like Mac OSuX, obviously disagrees with Mozilla as he says: “Now, Mozilla–a champion of openness on the web–has teamed up with Adobe to provide a Content Decryption Module (CDM) that effectively hitches its wagon to streaming video DRM (digital rights management) in the Firefox browser after years of eschewing the practice.”

In another article, Dean says that “The FSF isn’t the only organization condemning Mozilla for the move. The Register refers to the decision as an “ankle grab.””

Other sites noted the same alignment in position among “Open source advocates” and some news site wrongly frame this as “bring[ing] Netflix support to Linux with DRM in Firefox” (this is not really what the news should say).

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER MOZILLA has announced the implementation of proprietary HTML5 based digital restrictions management (DRM) in its Firefox web browser, such as that used by media streaming services.

It is much worse than that. It is an assault of Free software, it is not about augmenting support. To save/keep its biggest fanbase Mozilla will need to dump Adobe and abandon DRM immediately. A week ago Asa Dotzler thanked personally me for supporting Mozilla; well, I’m not sure I support Mozilla anymore. I wait for Mozilla to rectify its act.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Firefox 28 theme for Firefox 29 add-on
  2. Mozilla Offers Free Training for Teaching Web Skills
  3. Mozilla wants to teach you how to teach others about the Web

    Almost two years after launching its Webmaker initiative, Mozilla is launching a new online crash-course to give anyone the skills to teach other people about using and building on the Web.

    It’s called Webmaker Training and features four modules covering the basics of the Internet, how to use Mozilla’s current crop of Webmaker tools, nurturing open learning and engaging with other communities on the Web.

  4. Firefox’s adoption of closed-source DRM breaks my heart

    Future versions of the open-source Firefox browser will include closed-source digital rights management (DRM) from Adobe, the Mozilla project’s chief technology officer, Andreas Gal, announced on Wednesday.

    The purpose is to support commercial video streams. But this is a radical, disheartening development in the history of the organisation, long held out as a beacon for the open, free spirit of the web as a tool for liberation.

    As Gal’s blogpost makes clear, this move was done without much enthusiasm, out of a fear that Firefox (Mozilla’s flagship product and by far the most popular free/open browser in the world) was being sidelined by Apple, Google and Microsoft’s inclusion of proprietary technology to support Netflix and other DRM-encumbered videos in their browsers.

  5. Reconciling Mozilla’s Mission and W3C EME

    With most competing browsers and the content industry embracing the W3C EME specification, Mozilla has little choice but to implement EME as well so our users can continue to access all content they want to enjoy. Read on for some background on how we got here, and details of our implementation.

  6. Mozilla’s Route For Implementing W3C EME (HTML5 DRM)
  7. FSF condemns partnership between Mozilla and Adobe to support Digital Restrictions Management

    In response to Mozilla’s announcement that it is reluctantly adopting DRM in its Firefox Web browser, Free Software Foundation executive director John Sullivan made the following statement:

    “Only a week after the International Day Against DRM, Mozilla has announced that it will partner with proprietary software company Adobe to implement support for Web-based Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) in its Firefox browser, using Encrypted Media Extensions (EME).

  8. To Serve Users

    In the old science fiction story, To Serve Man (which later was adapted for the The Twilight Zone), aliens come to earth and freely share various technological advances, and offer free visits to the alien world. Eventually, the narrator, who remains skeptical, begins translating one of their books. The title is innocuous, and even well-meaning: To Serve Man. Only too late does the narrator realize that the book isn’t about service to mankind, but rather — a cookbook.

    It’s in the same spirit that Baker seeks to serve Firefox’s users up on a platter to the MPAA, the RIAA, and like-minded wealthy for-profit corporations. Baker’s only defense appears to be that other browser vendors have done the same, and cites specifically for-profit companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

03.25.14

Microsoft Partners/Allies Are Attacking Net Neutrality

Posted in Apple, DRM, Microsoft at 3:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Transmitting DRM-emcumbered and proprietary software-bound packets first

Vintage TV

Summary: Those who advocate DRM and proprietary software dislike net neutrality, as demonstrated by Apple’s and Netflix’s opposition to the principle of packet delivery without discrimination

Microsoft has, for a long time in fact, been an opponent of net neutrality, based on its actions (we covered those). No company wants to be seen as anti-net neutrality, so they all pretend to be for it while their actions speak for themselves.

Netflix is clearly against net neutrality based on its actions and a reader sent us this article about Netflix’s CEO, noting that “ISPs are already getting paid for both ends of the connection. What ISPs are trying to get now is paying twice at both ends, that is to say collecting four ways for the same connection.”

The corporate press recently ran the story “Netflix Just Opened the Door to Paying ISPs More Access Fees” [1]. Disregard the spin and PR from the CEO of Netflix [2,3], who is basically claiming that he is against what he is doing. Also ignore the nonsense from AT&T [4] and other cable companies [5]; they just fear client alienation, so they tell to the public (existing or prospective customers) what the public wants to hear while doing exactly the opposite.

Apple, being Apple, is a lot more arrogant and selfish, hardly ever trying to hide its real agenda. Apple not only helps Microsoft [6] but it also helps cable companies kill net neutrality [7,8]. Apple is following the lead of Netflix in this case, ending what we once knew as a network which treats packets equally.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Netflix Just Opened the Door to Paying ISPs More Access Fees

    Netflix (NFLX) Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings is seeking your help to keep Internet service providers from charging higher fees to stream all the video its customers watch. In the process, he may have just opened his wallet to any Cox, Time Warner Cable (TWC), Verizon Communications (VZ), or AT&T (T) across the nation.

  2. Netflix CEO lashes out against ISPs like Comcast that do not follow ‘net neutrality’
  3. Netflix CEO Slams US ISPs Over Net Neutrality

    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says it reluctantly pays US ISPs for interconnection fees, but argues providers shouldn’t be allowed to abuse their position

  4. AT&T promises to lower your Internet bill if FCC kills net neutrality

    If the Federal Communications Commission lets Internet service providers charge Web companies like Netflix for faster delivery of content to consumers, AT&T will lower its customers’ Internet bills. That’s what AT&T said Friday in a filing in the FCC’s “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet” proceeding.

  5. Level 3 and Cogent ask FCC for protection against ISP “tolls”

    Network operators Level 3 and Cogent Communications today urged the Federal Communications Commission to prevent Internet service providers from charging what they deem to be excessive fees for interconnection.

  6. Windows 8 picks up an unlikely ally in Apple

    Windows 8 picks up an unlikely ally in Apple

    Apple is dropping Windows 7 support in Boot Camp — and Mac-based Windows users won’t like the reasons why

  7. Apple courts Comcast for net neutrality-evading TV service

    GADGET MAKER Apple and ISP Comcast are planning a joint venture for streaming TV service, in a move that might ramp up the net neutrality debate.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, the companies are in talks to create a service that will provide the Apple TV with a direct connection to a new video on demand (VOD) channel, bypassing internet congestion that could otherwise cause buffering or pixelation to customers.

  8. Apple in talks with Comcast for priority services for its set-top box

    We recently reported Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings talk about the essence of net neutrality saying that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast should not restrict, influence, or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make. If reports are to be believed, Apple is talking to Comcast to get priority services for its set-top box that will bypass any congestion created by internet traffic.

03.18.14

Xbox Last: Chief Product Officer Abruptly Quits Microsoft

Posted in DRM, Hardware, Microsoft at 2:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In Sovietised West, Xbox watches YOU!

Xbox

Summary: Xbox “One” so big a failure — not just a surveillance device — that its chiefs continue to jump ship, leaving Microsoft in disarray

THERE has been an exceptionally major departure of high-level staff inside Microsoft and we mostly covered it years ago (well before Ballmer stepped down). These days we cover additions to this list only when readers send us links such as this one, which says that the Xbox Chief Product Officer is quitting Microsoft and canceling his appearance at GDC. “Infecting wireless Hi-Fi and audio company Sonos now,” says our reader, alluding to a culture of moles such as Elop.

Xbox-related departures are frequent and many. Recent posts noted that Xbox One was failing to sell. It is far behind the competition, which almost doubles it in terms of sales (Sony easily holds the crown).

Why would anyone at all ever buy anything that’s branded “Xbox”? It’s not only burning down houses, killing people inside those houses (due to design flaws in Xbox 360). It’s an abusive piece of DRM in a box. Those who buy Xbox are in essence paying for what we know to be surveillance equipment that spies on the buyer [1, 2, 3] for various governments such as Britain’s. If more people knew what Xbox is really doing, then nobody would be foolish enough to buy it anymore and the whole product line would have to be cancelled, just like Microsoft’s many failed platforms for mobile.

02.24.14

Netflix Killed the Free Web With DRM, Now Kills Net Neutrality

Posted in DRM at 8:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s close partner, Netflix, is quickly turning the Internet into another Big Cable/Telecom-controlled DRM streaming conduit

WHEN Net Neutrality was dying in the US many people wondered why Netflix did almost nothing in response. Well, just like Google, Netflix should not be assumed to be an advocate for Net Neutrality. Both companies, along with Microsoft, promote DRM on the Web. Google pretty much stopped fighting for Net Neutrality several years ago. All Google cared about was itself. If it could make the policies work out for its business model (e.g. not discriminating among users of YouTube), then why should it bother with the interests of the vast majority of the population? The same goes for privacy and the so-called ‘resistance’ NSA faces from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, et al.

According to new reports, Comcast and Netflix sort of collude against Net Neutrality (even though the corporate press will not say it like that). “Comcast,” says the New York Times, “the country’s largest cable and broadband provider, and Netflix, the giant television and movie streaming service, announced an agreement Sunday in which Netflix will pay Comcast for faster and more reliable access to Comcast’s subscribers.”

This is appalling. So Netflix is now actively helping Big Cable/Telecom end Net Neutrality. Suffice to say, the bias from the press of Rupert Murdoch continues shamelessly [1], comparing the situation of Net Neutrality to “Traffic Jam” (right there in the headline) while the Internet’s Net Neutrality is not even mentioned (in the whole article). The corporate press (all of it from New York in this case) is now telling us [2] that Tom Wheeler, the mole inside the FCC, is going to write new rules. Perhaps it’s all about normalising this new status quo. He never really fought for Net Neutrality. The mega-corporations got their way on the Internet (and the Web) yet again. We are losing the battle for free and equal speech. Those in power eliminate it little by little.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. America’s 10-Year Experiment in Broadband Investment Has Failed

    Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, announced Wednesday that there would be new rules written to guarantee net neutrality. It’s a good thing any website can reach any person unimpeded by tolls, and it’s good that Wheeler still wants to make this possible. The Internet service providers will first work to dilute the new rules, of course, and then sue to overturn them. Entire legal departments, lobbying outfits, and public-relations firms live for this moment, the beginning of a now-familiar three-year grind with the FCC.

  2. Netflix Agrees to Pay Comcast to End Traffic Jam

    Deal Ends Standoff Over Streaming, Would Give Netflix Direct Access to Comcast Systems

02.13.14

DRM is Protectionism and Misuse of Laws, Nothing Technical

Posted in DRM at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Interpretation of recent, truly troubling news about DRM and back doors, which are being promoted at a political level

ONE OF the world’s best known critics of DRM recently explained why the W3C lost credibility with its DRM moves. A week ago he explained [1] (getting applause/hat tip from the original Pirate Party’s founder [2] and TechDirt [3]) why DRM without corruption in politics is a pointless exercise of futility. DRM can, by definition, easily be circumvented, but it’s new laws that ban circumvention that make DRM what it is. It’s criminalisation of copying — even copying of what’s legally copyable. It’s a war on sharing. Apple is a big proponent of this and Microsoft became the biggest facilitator when it dumped Vista (and its predecessors) on this world. We need to fight back against those who are waging a war against our rights.

Sony, another infamous DRM booster (going as far as illegally sabotaging people’s computers with rogue DRM), is still fighting to spread DRM to books/literature [4] and Valve proved itself to be equally guilty (like Sony and Microsoft in consoles) by using the courts to prevent passage of digital data [5] (not even copying, just passage of ‘purchased’ — in reality rented — media). Meanwhile, as we learn from the press, “OEM “Kill-switch” anti theft bill proposed by California State” (criminalising devices with no back doors) [6].

If this is where technology is going, namely the enforcement of back doors and suspension of ability to copy and pass data (disguised as ‘technological solution’ when it’s actually political), then we are seriously destroyed. We are losing power over technology to a bunch of tyrannical technophobic plutocrats. DRM is their weapon of choice and it is one among several. DRM helps censor and divide the population, making everyone exceedingly dependent on copyright ‘masters’.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. What happens with digital rights management in the real world?

    In the real world, “bare” DRM doesn’t really do much. Before governments enacted laws making compromising DRM illegal (even if no copyright infringement took place), DRM didn’t survive contact with the market for long. That’s because technologically, DRM doesn’t make any sense. For DRM to work, you have to send a scrambled message (say, a movie) to your customer, then give your customer a program to unscramble it. Anyone who wants to can become your customer simply by downloading your player or buying your device – “anyone” in this case includes the most skilled technical people in the world. From there, your adversary’s job is to figure out where in the player you’ve hidden the key that is used to unscramble the message (the movie, the ebook, song, etc). Once she does that, she can make her own player that unscrambles your files. And unless it’s illegal to do this, she can sell her app or device, which will be better than yours, because it will do a bunch of things you don’t want it to do: allow your customers to use the media they buy on whatever devices they own, allow them to share the media with friends, to play it in other countries, to sell it on as a used good, and so on.

    The only reason to use DRM is because your customers want to do something and you don’t want them to do it. If someone else can offer your customers a player that does the stuff you hate and they love, they’ll buy it. So your DRM vanishes.

    A good analogue to this is inkjet cartridges. Printer companies make a lot more money when you buy your ink from them, because they can mark it up like crazy (millilitre for millilitre, HP ink costs more than vintage Champagne). So they do a bunch of stuff to stop you from refilling your cartridges and putting them in your printer. Nevertheless, you can easily and legally buy cheap, refilled and third-party cartridges for your printer. Same for phone unlocking: obviously phone companies keep you as a customer longer and make more money if you have to throw away your phone when you change carriers, so they try to lock the phone you buy with your plan to their networks. But phone unlocking is legal in the UK, so practically every newsagent and dry cleaner in my neighbourhood will unlock your phone for a fiver (you can also download free programs from the net to do this if you are willing to trade hassle for money).

  2. Because Of DRM, The Entire Copyright Monopoly Legislation Is A Lie

    Would you consider it reasonable if the copyright monopoly legislation ended with the words “but if publishers think this law is too permissive, they can rewrite it as they like, and we’ll enforce that instead”? Because that’s exactly what the law looks like.

  3. DRM Is The Right To Make Up Your Own Copyright Laws

    We’ve written about the problems of DRM and anti-circumvention laws since basically when we started way back in 1997. Cory Doctorow has been writing about the same stuff for just about as long (or perhaps longer). And yet, just when you think everything that can be said about this stuff has been said, Doctorow comes along and writes what may be the best column describing why DRM, combined with anti-circumvention laws, is so incredibly nefarious. Read the whole thing. It’s so well done, and so important, I’m actually going to write two posts about it, because there are two separate issues that deserve highlighting.

  4. Sony and Barnes & Noble look like their ebook days are numbered
  5. You can’t resell Valve games in Germany – court

    A German court has dismissed a ‘reselling’ case in favour of Valve Software, the maker of Steam OS. German consumer group Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv) had filed a complaint against Valve as Valve’s EULA (End User Licence Agreement) prohibits users from re-selling their games.

  6. OEM “Kill-switch” anti theft bill proposed by California State

    As more and more persons become owners of smart phones, thieves have found an ever increasing number of targets to prey on. Theft of cellphones is at an all time high in major urban centers across the US and many other countries, and the Californian government has decided to take a stance against it. With cellphones taking a more prominent roll in our lives, we all store sensitive information on our devices, and this is what the bill proposes to address.

01.28.14

DRM is Coming to the Web (as ‘Standard’). Now What?

Posted in DRM, Europe at 4:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Criminalising Web users for “stealing” “content” won’t work in Europe

Shoplifters

Summary: The W3C is unlikely to pull away from DRM, but a high European court says that DRM can sometimes be legally circumvented

THE outrage over DRM inside Web 'standards' is a thing of the past. It couldn’t last forever and people have moved on to other problems. The MPAA got its way and given the new financial dependence on it (W3C was bribed by the MPAA [1]) we find it hard to believe that the Web’s founder and his colleagues will change course. TechDirt received credit for its coverage of the subject [2] and a new report from TechDirt says that “Europe’s Highest Court Says DRM Circumvention May Be Lawful In Certain Circumstances” [3].

Maybe civil disobedience or even circumvention of DRM on the Web will therefore be legitimate protest. Will that only be permissible in the Europe and, if so, under what circumstances? Either way, it’s good to know that the legal grounds of DRM (claiming that format shifting is an offence) are challenged and the illusion of control over surfers shaken somewhat.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Don’t let the MPAA buy the Web

    Last week, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) became a paying and governing member of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (no, seriously).

  2. Will Hollywood force DRM on web users via HTML5?

    Techdirt has a disturbing report about Hollywood attempting to force DRM on web users via HTML5.

  3. Europe’s Highest Court Says DRM Circumvention May Be Lawful In Certain Circumstances

    One of the many problems with DRM is its blanket nature. As well as locking down the work in question, it often causes all kinds of other, perfectly legal activities to be blocked as well — something that the copyright industry seems quite untroubled by.

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