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Google strong-arms indie musicians into accepting brutal, crowdfunding-killing deal for streaming service

A strong but honest headline about Googe’s new bullshit:

  • Participation in the new service requires that your entire catalog be available for streaming, at high resolution.

  • Participation requires that you not release your music elsewhere earlier, e.g., no early releases for fans or backers.

  • You no longer get a choice of whether to do nothing, block a video, or run ads. Ads are mandatory.

  • Five year contract.

  • If you don’t participate in the new service, then the option to obtain Content-ID ad revenue from the free version of Youtube no longer exists.

  • If you had previously been getting Content-ID ad revenue and choose not to participate in the new service, your channel will be deleted and all videos using your music will be blocked.

These are all non-negotiable and mandatory, btw.

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W3C green-lights adding DRM to the Web’s standards

This is pretty close to the worst possible thing they could’ve done:

Here’s the bad news: the World Wide Web Consortium is going ahead with its plan to add DRM to HTML5, setting the stage for browsers that are designed to disobey their owners and to keep secrets from them so they can’t be forced to do as they’re told. Here’s the (much) worse news: the decision to go forward with the project of standardizing DRM for the Web came from Tim Berners-Lee himself, who seems to have bought into the lie that Hollywood will abandon the Web and move somewhere else (AOL?) if they don’t get to redesign the open Internet to suit their latest profit-maximization scheme.

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Defend the Open Web: Keep DRM Out of W3C Standards

The EFF is on the right side of this one, if there was any doubt:

All too often, technology companies have raced against each other to build restrictive tangleware that suits Hollywood’s whims, selling out their users in the process. But open Web standards are an antidote to that dynamic, and it would be a terrible mistake for the Web community to leave the door open for Hollywood’s gangrenous anti-technology culture to infect W3C standards. It would undermine the very purposes for which HTML5 exists: to build an open-ecosystem alternatives to all the functionality that is missing in previous web standards, without the problems of device limitations, platform incompatibility, and non-transparency that were created by platforms like Flash. HTML5 was supposed to be better than Flash, and excluding DRM is exactly what would make it better.

Adding DRM to HTML5 would absolutely enable new web apps to be made, but guess what: The kind of apps it would enable are across-the-board worse apps than the apps that we already build without DRM. A vote for DRM is a vote for worse in every possible way.

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Compiled list of suggestions and bug reports to report to Maxis for SimCity

A Reddit mega-thread on what appears to be a really broken game, and not just the DRM.

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Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theater

Louis C.K. is one of the best, hardest-working, comedians alive right now. His new hour-long show is a $5, DRM-free (!), download from his website. Support.

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Aspyr Thinks This Is A Totally Reasonable Way To Treat Paying Customers

Aspyr, who are publishing the Mac OS X port of Civilization 5, have a page linked in their primary navigation for their store entitled “About DRM”. The contents are remarkable for how not-a-big-deal it is written:

Customers may download the game up to 10 times. This includes if you mess up and “re-download.” If you run through those 10 downloads, call our customer service folks (support.aspyr.com/ 512.708.8100) and they’ll help you out. Impatience and a poor network connection could lead to using up more than a few.

They admit that the odds are high their YOU ARE A CRIMINAL lockout system will kick-in for no good reason at all, and they’re pretty ok with this, so why aren’t you?

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U.S. Copyright Office Declares Some Forms of DRM Circumvention Legal

This is good news, and a big step in getting consumers rights back over the things they own. Here is the full ruling (via Gruber). Ars Technica has a more non-lawyer-friendly rundown of the changes.

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Turning down Netflix

Netflix refuses copyright holder’s request to stream her film without DRM. Nina Paley (the filmmaker) owns the film outright. There are no rights issues whatsoever. I believe the issue here is related to this culture we have where we assume everyone is a criminal. It’s actually more work for Netflix to let people watch a movie without digitally encrypting it than it is to just encrypt everything. I doubt Netflix’s service was designed to even support sending a movie in the clear, without DRM. It’d probably cost them tens of thousands of dollars to modify it.

Either that, or Netflix thinks their job is protecting copyright holders from themselves. Must be hard, knowing what’s best for everyone.

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iPad (Supposedly) Jailbroken

Less than 24 hours after the product launch. The jailbreak isn’t in the wild, yet, but here’s something I’ve been wondering: How much do you think Apple spends patching Jailbreakable security holes?

Obviously, most problems that they fix are general security fixes. The Jailbreaks go in through the same vectors as malicious code might, and that makes sense. But there’s got to be things they do in the name of simply stopping the jailbreak. In other words, there’s got to be a dollar amount on this. I wonder how many man-hours the jailbreakers retroactively piss away on Apple’s behalf?

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Why DRM Doesn’t Work

22 simple steps to borrowing an audio book from a public library.

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Tal Leming on Embedded Web Fonts

A rare take on embedded web fonts from someone who actually makes fonts and sells them for a living. He suggests a DRM system using a “root table” that says what fonts can be used on what domains, but then says this:

There is nothing that can be done about this. All we can do is present a person with a fork in the road. The person can license the font to give the designer the respect he/she deserves for creating something that the person likes and wants to use. Or, they can ignore the Golden Rule and hack the font.

If that’s the case, and he knows it’s the case, then why not forget the DRM entirely? Why not trust people to do the right thing from the start, and call them out on it when they don’t?