Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 25th Feb 2016 01:01 UTC
In the News

The primary weapon manufacturers wield to keep consumers running for the dumpster rather than the screwdriver is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Passed in 1998, its purpose was to bring copyright law into the digital era. Among other things, this law makes it illegal for owners and unauthorized repair people to break technical locks over copyrighted content, including software. Fixers have been fighting for exemptions to the DMCA, and in October 2015 the United States Copyright Office finally adopted a new set, making it legal to unlock carrier-activated phones, tablets, wearables, and mobile hotspots. Owners can also jailbreak phones, tablets, and smart TVs, and modify the software on 3D printers, cars, tractors, and heavy equipment. Nevertheless, software in many electronics, including game consoles, is still protected by the DMCA. At-home modifications or repairs can constitute a copyright violation. At the least, it will void a device's warranty, but it potentially carries up to a $1,000,000 fine and 10 years in prison, and numerous researchers, hobbyists, and companies have been taken to court.

Isn't the future fun?

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Weapons Manufacturer?
by allanregistos on Thu 25th Feb 2016 04:44 UTC
allanregistos
Member since:
2011-02-10

Confusing remarks about weapons manufacturer, unless you intentionally mentioned it to refer to tech gadget manufacturers.

Weapon manufacturers should have the right to impose restriction on their products including software. The real-time operating systems behind jet fighters, warships and other military equipment should not be opened and released under a GPL or any of the free licenses, for obvious reasons such as national security.

Edited 2016-02-25 04:44 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Weapons Manufacturer?
by Alfman on Thu 25th Feb 2016 06:30 UTC in reply to "Weapons Manufacturer?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

allanregistos,

Confusing remarks about weapons manufacturer, unless you intentionally mentioned it to refer to tech gadget manufacturers.


Haha, this is a very creative interpretation of the following sentence:
"The primary weapon manufacturers wield to keep consumers running for the dumpster rather than the screwdriver is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act."

I see why you read it that way, however a native english speaker would not even think about a "weapons manufacturer" when reading that even though it is there as you point out. The theme of the article is that the DMCA is a weapon used by (normal) manufacturers against the modding community.

The EFF keeps a list:
https://www.eff.org/pages/unintended-consequences-fifteen-years-unde...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Weapons Manufacturer?
by Pro-Competition on Thu 25th Feb 2016 18:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Weapons Manufacturer?"
Pro-Competition Member since:
2007-08-20

Not to be nit-picky, but I'm a native English speaker, and I had to read that sentence twice because my brain interpreted "the primary weapon manufacturers wield" in the same way as the OP at first (until the grammar didn't make sense after that).

This kind of ambiguity can usually be eliminated by wording the sentence a little more clearly. (In other cases, a well-placed comma or two can help.) In fact, it happens often enough in web articles that it's getting a little irritating.

I would suggest the following:

The primary weapon that manufacturers wield ...

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Weapons Manufacturer?
by Alfman on Thu 25th Feb 2016 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Weapons Manufacturer?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Pro-Competition,

I would suggest the following:
The primary weapon that manufacturers wield ...


You are right, you could suggest it to the verge. Once you encounter it enough your brain just glosses over it without a second thought. Here in NY there are many linguistic differences that would strike new residents as extremely odd when they first arrive even from a neighboring state. After many years of adjusting I can still recognize differences, but if I'm not paying attention they don't register like they used to.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Weapons Manufacturer?
by Lennie on Thu 25th Feb 2016 08:37 UTC in reply to "Weapons Manufacturer?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Why not ?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Weapons Manufacturer?
by cb88 on Thu 25th Feb 2016 14:29 UTC in reply to "Weapons Manufacturer?"
cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

Not so... these systems just shouldn't ever be networked and should have sufficient physical protections and lockouts.

Many of these systems already run Operating systems you can get the source code for at some level even if it isn't GPL... not being GPL doesn't really buy you anything because the source code either does exist and you can get it... or it's trivial enough to reverse engineer an exploit from binaries.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Weapons Manufacturer?
by KrustyVader on Thu 25th Feb 2016 18:25 UTC in reply to "Weapons Manufacturer?"
KrustyVader Member since:
2006-10-28

"National security", a term used by U.S. government as excuse to break others countries and international laws.

And used to break it's own laws since 2001.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Weapons Manufacturer?
by darknexus on Thu 25th Feb 2016 18:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Weapons Manufacturer?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

"National security", a term used by U.S. government as excuse to break others countries and international laws.

And used to break it's own laws since 2001.

Glad you remembered that last bit. We get screwed by it ourselves just as much as everyone else does. Too bad we have no real say in it and our "voting" is pure theater.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Weapons Manufacturer?
by ilovebeer on Thu 25th Feb 2016 19:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Weapons Manufacturer?"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

You got that right and it's especially obvious now they we're in a presidential election cycle. If you've caught the mainstream media reporting of it, it's like a telenovela version of Survivor that get's re-runned every 4 years. Sadly it seems the only place people don't think American politics is a complete joke is in America! Doesn't speak highly of a large segment of our population.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Weapons Manufacturer?
by darknexus on Thu 25th Feb 2016 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Weapons Manufacturer?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Agreed. It's amazing the level of brainwashing the American public has been subjected to. I challenge anyone to find an American mainstream news source which actually presents news rather than opinions. Even our so-called news is created as entertainment rather than reporting. The public eat it up though because they've become so used to being entertained nonstop that they don't know what to do without it. The media, both social and otherwise, acts upon their minds like an addictive substance.
Disclaimer: I'm American myself. I'm speaking from the inside.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Weapons Manufacturer?
by tylerdurden on Fri 26th Feb 2016 18:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Weapons Manufacturer?"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

The scary part is that's a universal condition, not something exclusive to the Americas.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Weapons Manufacturer?
by Kochise on Thu 25th Feb 2016 19:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Weapons Manufacturer?"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

You forgot "in the interests of the USA"

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Thu 25th Feb 2016 05:32 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

No, the future is still fun. It is a temporary practice that will be washed away some day.

Reply Score: 2

Yes..maybe.
by dionicio on Thu 25th Feb 2016 16:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by ddc_"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Lots of consumer meddling and overseeing required :-)

Reply Score: 1

The future is...
by shotsman on Thu 25th Feb 2016 08:10 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

here now(well almost)
I won't take much for a device maker to put 'stuff' inside their device that when opened it

- Phones Home to the manufacturer saying 'I've been opened'
- Included the GPS Locatino of where you are
- If 'Home' responds with 'This is not an authorised repair centre' the device self destructs.
- Two hours later the copyright police arrive and arrest the people who opened the 'thing' and carts them off to jail.

Far fetched?
Well if we get Robots or Androids (no not phones running Android but what SF stories really mean by Androids) everywhere then the lawyers won't be far behind in getting them rules as sentient beings. You can't have unskilled people openeing up a person now can you? If a robot or android is riled 'sentient' then IMOH the same rules will apply.

Actually, you don't need it to be sentient for the first two to apply
Then it would be easy for device makers to put timed 'Self Destruct' components inside so that even if it was working fine but got old it would just stop working thus forcing you to go and buy a new one.

I'm sure that are some SF stories that have plots like this.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The future is...
by Ithamar on Thu 25th Feb 2016 08:39 UTC in reply to "The future is..."
Ithamar Member since:
2006-03-20


I won't take much for a device maker to put 'stuff' inside their device that when opened it
<snip>


<sarcasm>
Device manufacturers? Please do not paste stuff like that, and give our governments even more ideas of what they could do to police us.... *cough*NSA*cough*
</sarcasm>

Reply Score: 2

RE: The future is...
by Kochise on Thu 25th Feb 2016 15:45 UTC in reply to "The future is..."
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Automata
Repo Men : more about leasing

Edited 2016-02-25 15:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: The future is...
by ricegf on Thu 25th Feb 2016 16:42 UTC in reply to "The future is..."
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot" is a good example. "The Bicentennial Man" even more so. Both highly recommended!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The future is...
by tylerdurden on Thu 25th Feb 2016 20:17 UTC in reply to "RE: The future is..."
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Meh. He's one of my favorite authors, but Asimov could not write about the human condition, or women, for shit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The future is...
by Johann Chua on Thu 25th Feb 2016 22:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The future is..."
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Ditto. His non-fiction is sometimes more interesting than his fiction, though his science books are probably all out of date by now.

Reply Score: 2

Tractors a 3 year exception
by Lennie on Thu 25th Feb 2016 08:42 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2016/01/13/copyright_law_sh...

http://www.wired.com/2015/02/new-high-tech-farm-equipment-nightmare...

The DMCA exception is valid for 3 years, than the whole process starts again.

Edited 2016-02-25 08:44 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Disposable non-recyclable tech has to go
by ezraz on Fri 26th Feb 2016 17:03 UTC
ezraz
Member since:
2012-06-20

Another reason to get into single-purpose pure quality tech devices like the ponoplayer and now the freewrite word processor.

this is tech built to last decades instead of years and can be easily serviced. oh and they also outperform the mainstream do-everything devices.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by stormcrow
by stormcrow on Sun 28th Feb 2016 02:54 UTC
stormcrow
Member since:
2015-03-10

I think the article writer over looked something fundamental to copyright that the DMCA doesn't actually address. Tinkering with gadges and reverse engineering software and firmware in your basement or garage isn't really addressed by the DMCA. What's addressed by it is *publishing* that information, releasing the software and/or hardware hacks to the public.

You can tinker all you want in private, you just can't publish the results under the DMCA.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by stormcrow
by darknexus on Mon 29th Feb 2016 15:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by stormcrow"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

As I understand it, you could still be in legal trouble even if you never publish your work if it later discovered. It's unlikely, but possible if, let's say, your home was searched for evidence in connection with another crime and your modifications were found in the process.

Reply Score: 2