11.22.20

Cory Doctorow at Privacy Week 2020 on DRM, Freedom/Software Freedom, Regulation, Etc.

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Videos at 1:51 pm by Guest Editorial Team

“This presentation warrants increased attention,” a contributor said, “because he summarizes the issues so clearly in today’s context.”

Summary: “We Used To Have Cake, Now We’ve Barely Got Icing” by Cory Doctorow.

Back then, free software was icing on the cake. Then they stole the cake and left us hoping for a little icing every now and then. Now, software has eaten the world and shit out a dystopia.

When free software licensing was born, software copyrights were essentially nonexistent, software patents didn’t exist at all, terms of service weren’t enforceable and there was no anticircumvention law. In other words, you were legally permitted to clone or interoperate with any digital product. Today, we think of free software as a way for a company to say, “We probably won’t sue you if you write code that can interoperate with ours” – but when free software started, it was more like, “I know I’ve got the absolute legal right to reverse engineer all your code and make a competing product, but that’s such tedious work. Please, make it easy for me by giving me your sourcecode.” Back then, free software was icing on the cake. Then they stole the cake and left us hoping for a little icing every now and then.

This makes a huge difference because software has eaten the world and shit out a dystopia: a place where Abbot Labs uses copyright claims to stop people with diabetes from taking control over their insulin dispensing and where BMW is providing seat-heaters as an-over-the-air upgrade that you have to pay for by the month. Companies have tried this bullshit since the year dot, but Thomas Edison couldn’t send a patent enforcer to your house to make sure you honored the license agreement on your cylinder by only playing it on an Edison phonograph. Today, digital systems offer perfect enforcement for the pettiest, most bullshitty, greediest grifts imaginable.

11.13.20

The Free Software Community Saw It Coming

Posted in DRM, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Videos at 12:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yesterday: Jeffrey Paul: Your Computer Isn’t Yours

Jeffrey Paul: Your Computer Isn't Yours

Summary: 19 years ago Free software advocates foresaw the misuse and obscene misapplication of DMCA to outlaw and censor applications, including Free software that does nothing illegal (but Microsoft censors that software anyway)

Marcia K Wilbur spent a lot of time preparing for publication these old videos she had taken 19 years ago. The timing could not be better.

Further to the prior parts with Richard Stallman, Larry Lessig, protesters against DMCA injustice etc. we’ve decided to post a final pair of videos, which are increasingly relevant because the RIAA attacks Free software based on a lie, helped by its close ally, Microsoft. They claim DRM circumvention, but in reality it’s just a plain text URL lookup, not DRM. Facts don’t seem to matter.

“They claim DRM circumvention, but in reality it’s just a plain text URL lookup, not DRM.”“DRM is the future,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO. They don’t care about users, they just care about the copyright monopolists (same as Biden for that matter). “Get me into that,” Bill Gates once said “and goddam, we’ll make so much money!”

Bigger and longer version of this clip below.

11.12.20

Just-Released Footage of Dr. Richard Stallman (RMS): Open Source People “Treated Me Like Shit”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Interview, OSI, Videos at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: This Richard Stallman video from 2001 was released earlier this week; in it, Stallman explains what the Open Source ‘movement’ did to him just a few years earlier (and then there’s some more stuff like his speech about DMCA and less related stuff in between because it’s raw and uncut)

Previously in this series: Newly-Published Richard Stallman Video From 2001, Where He is Explaining “Open Source” 3 Years After OSI Was Established | New Video Release by Marcia K. Wilbur: Richard Stallman (RMS) and Larry Lessig

Codes of Conduct for Grown-ups

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Videos at 12:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A new segment from this new video about Codes of Conduct

11.11.20

Newly-Published Richard Stallman Video From 2001, Where He is Explaining “Open Source” 3 Years After OSI Was Established

Posted in Free/Libre Software, OSI, Videos at 5:32 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Summary: “I hope this video piece inspires others to demand freedom,” Marcia K. Wilbur said about this video she made two decades ago and has just belatedly published

Marcia K. Wilbur recently published her old footage of Dr. Richard Stallman (RMS) and Prof. Larry Lessig.

“Well,” she has told us, “the videos are posted and my site is holding up (so far so good).”

“I hope this video piece inspires others to demand freedom!”
      –Marcia Wilbur
Wilbur is technical and she has spent a lot of time on this lately. “While there [were] a lot of videos of RMS interviews in the past available to view online,” she said, “the rally interview the night before the San Francisco march [see context regarding the Dmitry Sklyarov situation] where RMS discusses open source and demanding freedom is not only historically significant, but inspirational.”

DMCAThis video isn’t long. There are much longer videos.

She said, “I hope this video piece inspires others to demand freedom!”

“Those issues are very much relevant right now because of DMCA takedowns at Microsoft’s GitHub, demanded by allies of President-elect Biden.”“I’m glad to place this content in the public domain,” she added. “Video editing was done with vlc, ffmpeg and some kdenlive. Video editing does take some time. What day is it again? My first attempt to convert the analog video in 2001 was using xawtv with ffmpeg. The video and audio did not sync too well then. A little better now, but the camera was a sony hi-8 and the person behind the camera… was a novice without a tripod! Enjoy.”

The overall/total set seems to contain 7 new videos in total (thus far), including the one we linked/embedded already. Maybe can do one post about each pair of related videos, giving the necessary context and exposure to each. Better a release two decades late… than never. Those issues are very much relevant right now because of DMCA takedowns at Microsoft’s GitHub, demanded by allies of President-elect Biden. DMCA was correctly foreseen back then as a massive threat to Free/libre software.

11.05.20

Richard Stallman’s Talk at the 35th Anniversary of the FSF

Posted in GNU/Linux, Videos at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Uploaded 4 hours ago by the FSF

10.31.20

New Video Release by Marcia K. Wilbur: Richard Stallman (RMS) and Larry Lessig

Posted in Videos at 9:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A decade and a half before Professor Lessig became a presidential nominee/candidate the following footage was captured; it was published yesterday for the first time

The backstory: “This took longer than expected to post,” Marcia explains, “as I had to retrieve video from old backup machine.

“I have 3 videos of archive interest.

“The first is posted at dmcasucks.com [and soon I] will update with others.”

10.15.20

Linus Torvalds on GNU When His Ego Was Still Smaller

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Kernel, Videos at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Source video (clipped from 1:26 onward, raw bits from Revolution OS, the documentary film)

Summary: More than two decades ago the creator of Linux explained the relation/connection of his project to GNU (which predates his project by almost a whole decade and also inspired him); nowadays he pretends GNU barely exists and the Linux Foundation pretends that GNU is just some part of Linux

THE Linux Foundation has just sold another keynote to Microsoft. It was advertised in a press release earlier this week. We suppose that this so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation fails to recognise Microsoft’s role in derailment of Linux, just because Microsoft now pays this self-acclaimed ‘Linux’ Foundation…

“They are, in effect, offering GNU training, but they call it “Linux”.”Not so shockingly, the ‘Linux’ Foundation nowadays loves Microsoft more than it cares for GNU. Microsoft pays. Unlike the FSF. Earlier today I spent two hours going through “LinuxFoundationX LFS101x – Introduction to Linux” — an online course that’s perhaps the most popular among the Foundation’s courses. I went through about 400 pages (lots of time spent on this!) only to find that this course is misnamed because it is mostly about GNU utilities and non-Linux stuff; I checked all the pages there (18 chapters in total, including pictures and videos). More GNU than Linux in there! They are, in effect, offering GNU training, but they call it “Linux”. They also add revisionism (like it all started in 1991) to the mix… and top that off with chapters about programming, networking and other stuff that in no way relates to Linux (not directly, anyway). They focus on systemd and GNOME, acknowledging openly that there’s a controversy around/surrounding systemd being favoured.

Here’s a screenshot with some annotation (chapter 15):

LinuxFoundationX LFS101x cropped

Two decades ago (slightly more) when Linus Torvalds participated in the making of Revolution OS — as did ESR, RMS, Michael Tiemann and Larry Augustin (now working for Jeff Bezos) — he made the above statement. It’s raw in the sense that questions are heard; it’s not quite the same as the film. The above is Fair Use, as per the following statement (attached to the original).

Linus Torvalds talks about Linux and GNU/Linux. Selected clips from Revolution OS.

Copyright 2001 Wonderview Productions

Note: This video may only be used for purposes such as criticism, review, private study, scholarship, or research.

What’s noteworthy about this section of the video is that back then (late 1990s) Torvalds still publicly acknowledged — however hesitantly and begrudgingly — the importance of GNU, the GPL, and the FSF. The Foundation called (or misnamed) “Linux” has worked really hard to purge all 3 from history, sometimes even under the veil/guise of ‘training’ (with exams, scores and digital certificates). Training people to recite falsehoods…

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