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Censorship Software

Adobe Uses DMCA On Protocol It Promised To Open 203

Posted by kdawson
from the by-some-definitions-of-open dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Despite promising in January to open RTMP, Adobe has issued a DMCA take down request for an open source implementation of the protocol. The former SourceForge project page for rtmpdump now reports 'Invalid Project.' rtmpdump has been used in tools such as get_iplayer and get-flash-videos. Adobe is no stranger to the DMCA, having previously used it against Dmitry Sklyarov."
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Adobe Uses DMCA On Protocol It Promised To Open

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  • Copyright law? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pieterh (196118) on Friday May 22, 2009 @09:46AM (#28052965) Homepage

    How can a copyright law be used to take down a protocol implementation? What copyrights were infringed? This would normally fall under patent law.

    • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@noSPAM.gmail.com> on Friday May 22, 2009 @09:52AM (#28053077)
      MySQL have in the past (not sure about their current stance on it) said that any application implementing the MySQL client protocol is required to either have a commercial license, or be licensed under the GPL as they consider the protocol itself to be part of MySQL and thus under copyright.
      • Re:Copyright law? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:15AM (#28053363)
        That's FUD on their part to sell more licenses. There is not one case-law which agrees with them and plenty that don't. Additionally, there are many interoperability cases and laws (including the DMCA) on our side.
        • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mea37 (1201159) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:26AM (#28053537)

          Well, I believe you're correct, but it doesn't matter unless someone actually stands up to fight the point.

          MySQL or Adobe or anyone else can take whatever legal stand they like, no matter how bizarre. They issue a DMCA take-down notice, and there's a process for conteseting it. But even if the notice is completely invalid, if the other guy compiles and doesn't challenge them, then they get all benefit and no cost for their action.

          Unless and until trial, it doesn't matter what the law says; it matters who blinks.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rtb61 (674572)

          Well not really FUD. This was obviously a whole marketing tactic targeted at M$ silver light. Adobe wanting to create an atmosphere of goodwill and to keep M$ out made a press announcement they felt would be popular and keep their streaming products in the forefront.

          Now as it turned out M$ silver light, turned out to be M$ silverfish, nobody really wants to touch it they just pretty much throw moth balls at it. So Adobe, the greedy little blighters felt they could get away with going back upon their publ

    • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Informative)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples@gm a i l . com> on Friday May 22, 2009 @09:53AM (#28053087) Homepage Journal

      How can a copyright law be used to take down a protocol implementation?

      Ask The Tetris Company. It thinks it owns the exclusive right [patentarcade.com] to make video games that incorporate falling shapes made of four square segments.

      • Re:Copyright law? (Score:4, Informative)

        by pieterh (196118) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:41AM (#28053739) Homepage

        Games (and video games) are explicitly protected by a special kind of design patent. This is what protects the rules and pieces of Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk, and so on. Their look and feel are protected by trademark, and their specific designs by copyright.

        Tetris is likewise protected by design patents, trademarks, and copyright.

        However only the copyright aspect can fall under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

        • by tepples (727027)

          Tetris is likewise protected by design patents, trademarks, and copyright.

          • Design patent: I couldn't find any. I searched uspto.gov for patents whose assignee is "Elorg" or "Tetris" and 0 results. On the other hand, I found a few patents assigned to Nintendo, such as the cylinder mode of Pokemon Puzzle League.
          • Trademark: That's why clones are named differently.
          • Copyright: That's why clones use different decorations around the playfield and different textures on the blocks, if they texture the blocks at all.
          • by dgatwood (11270)

            Design patent: even if there were one, it would have expired approximately 10 years ago.

            Trademark: even if they are named similarly, the company has to show that the infringing product and mark would cause confusion. The name must also be used in a non-descriptive way (i.e. phrases like "Similar to the game Tetris" are prima facie non-infringing).

          • by pieterh (196118)

            Here is a comment [allexperts.com] that maybe explains better:

            "Copywriting the game rules, the board design, the card designs, the packaging, maybe a design patent on the board, possibly a utility patent on the game, perhaps a trademark. (Monopoly was an example of a successful game patent)."

            I'd assume the game patent expires after 20 years, but can be green-fielded by making changes ever decade or so.

            • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gm a i l . com> on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:30PM (#28057265) Homepage Journal

              Copywriting the game rules

              I stopped reading at word one. The verb "to copywrite" means "to write promotional text", not "to secure copyright in". In Berne Convention member states, anything copywritten is automatically copyrighted, but confusing the two words is still a good indicator that one has not thoroughly read the copyright statute (Title 17, United States Code). Even if George H. Morgan is a professional engineer and a patent agent, that doesn't automatically make him knowledgeable in copyright law. Besides, a publication from the Copyright Office [copyright.gov] explains that per 17 USC 102(b), copyrighting a game's manual protects only the expression of the rules in the manual, not the method of operation embodied in the manual.

              the board design, the card designs, the packaging

              Aspects of the board design dictated by the game rules, such as that there are 40 spaces around the outside of a square, are uncopyrightable per the doctrines of merger and scenes a faire. Anything else, such as the background around the playfield, gets changed in clones.

              I'd assume the game patent expires after 20 years, but can be green-fielded by making changes ever decade or so.

              It would have expired in 2005 had Pajitnov and Elorg applied for one in 1985. But as I said, a search of USPTO's database turns up nothing assigned to Elorg or Tetris Holding.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How can a copyright law be used to take down a protocol implementation? What copyrights were infringed? This would normally fall under patent law.

      The DMCA is broken up into parts. The second part talks about "anti-circumvention". When a person attempts to circumvent a "technical protection measure" this is considered to be a violation of the DMCA.

      With that being said, your point is a strong one. Copyright is to protect "creativity", Patents are for "methods and processes". So, can one claim that they wrote creative code to implement the protocol? I would say no. Clearly, the courts would say yes (CSS, Skyloc, etc).

    • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Informative)

      by rmcd (53236) * on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:07AM (#28053265)

      My understanding: Under the DMCA, you can be in trouble for possessing technologies that could be used to circumvent technological protections on copyrighted material So it's not that the technology itself is copyrighted, it's probably that it's part of a copyright protection scheme and thus falls under DMCA.

      The EFF's account of the Skylarov case (which is instructive and chilling) is fully documented here [eff.org].

      • Re:Copyright law? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cruff (171569) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:19AM (#28053427)

        My understanding: Under the DMCA, you can be in trouble for possessing technologies that could be used to circumvent technological protections on copyrighted material.

        Let's just hit everyone living with a DMCA take down notice because they have a brain in their head! You never know, that brain might be used as a tool to circumvent a protection mechanism some time.

      • Re:Copyright law? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Sloppy (14984) on Friday May 22, 2009 @11:08AM (#28054129) Homepage Journal

        No, this can't be it. I think Adobe is saying that the rtmpdump code actually contains Adobe code, and this is merely a "takedown notice," not an actual complaint of a 1201 violation.

        If they are alleging that 1201 was violated, then it's total bullshit and they are just counting on the rtmpdump people not being able to afford to defend themselves, because if they can afford defense, Adobe will lose.

        Here's why: Adobe is just a protocol inventor and media-tool maker. Such people never really have strong anti-circumvention cases. (Go back to the DeCSS situation: notice it was MPAA that won the court cases, not DVDCCA.)

        If Adobe's products are available to the public, then all you have to do is create some content that uses their stuff, then as the copyright holder, distribute your content along with an announcement that you (the copyright holder) explicitly authorize everyone in the universe to bypass any technological measures that limit access to your work. That removes any possibility of 1201 violations. DMCA becomes a non-issue.

        (That's also why there will never be any DRM standards, or at least not any DRM standards to which DMCA applies. Copyright holders in general (as opposed to MPAA members or the subset of Adobe customers that Adobe says they wish to "protect") have the power to tear it down if they have any way to apply the DRM to their own content.)

        • by Yaur (1069446)
          I would guess this is the case. Lots of Adobe's stuff is available online, but requires a license agreement... if the project in question grabbed some of that code and pt it under GPLI could see that being a problem.
    • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:14AM (#28053359)

      How can a copyright law be used to take down a protocol implementation? What copyrights were infringed? This would normally fall under patent law.

      It's not copyright law, it's the anti-circumvention provision. The reference RTMP implements various restrictions that the content provider can specify, for instance, marking it as streaming only. The open-source version, however, did not implement those restrictions and was, in fact, used in various projects whose entire purpose was to download media marked only as streamed -- get_iPlayer being the most notorious as used to rip BBC content.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Anti-Circumvention falls down if there is substantial non-infringing use.

      • by pieterh (196118)

        Are you saying the open source version was taken down for not implementing DRM restrictions, in other words for having missing functionality?

        I do understand the point about anti-circumvention but does this extend to obliging that clean re-implementations implement the same restrictions as closed ones?

        One would think there is a difference between a tool used to circumvent copyright, and a tool that fails to enforce the copyright rules.

        For example, if a DVD player fails to implement a region code, is that cul

        • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Friday May 22, 2009 @11:13AM (#28054227)

          First, this is an unsettled area of law, so really anything anyone says about it should be taken with a grain of salt the size of a small automobile -- if we knew how the Federal Courts would rule in advance of doing so, we would scarcely need them as an institution.

          That said, here's my take. The actual law says (whoa, citing a statute on /.)

          [It shall be illegal to] circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work ...

          Now, the DRM flags in the official RTMP specification are a technological measure designed to control access to the copyrighted work in question -- specifically, the BBC has the right to say "you can watch this but you can't make a copy"*, which is a power granted to them by their copyright**. Insofar as rtmpDump (or whatever) circumvents that restriction by ignoring the DRM flags in the media, they have violated 12USC1201 et. seq.

          One would think there is a difference between a tool used to circumvent copyright, and a tool that fails to enforce the copyright rules.

          My reading of the statute is at variance with yours. The statute makes it illegal to circumvent technological measures, which is a breathtakingly broad term. It basically includes anything that controls access.

          For example, if a DVD player fails to implement a region code, is that culpable under the DMCA? Or if a FOSS PDF reader does not have the code that checks for unprintable documents, a DMCA violation?

          Yes and yes, although the DVD case is much easier since all DVD players have to license the IP and agree to the terms contractually.

          I'm trying to get my head around this. If a specification demands certain restrictions, and those are not implemented, then the implementations can be taken down under the DMCA...

          So if I make a DRM file system and someone implements a simple compatible version but fails to make the DRM work properly, this is illegal. Thus, anyone opening a MS-Office document with a product that does not respect the DRM rules in there is a criminal.

          That was precisely the intent of 12USC120 et. seq. (see ** again) -- to prevent people from implementing versions that circumvent technological measures that control access to the underlying content.

          * Yes, I'm well aware of the fact that technologically speaking, such a restriction is impossible to implement. Simply because a right is enforceable does not negate its existence as a right. This is normally understood in the context of traditional property rights -- I have the right to forbid people from littering on my property, but the fact that the wind blows trash around makes that impossible to enforce in practice and yet no one would claim unfettered right to litter onto private property.

          ** I've tried as much as possible to avoid normative claims for or against the laws in question. This post is a best-effort attempt to describe the state of affairs as they are, not as they should be. I have opinions on how things should be, but it is manifest folly to mix those opinions with a factual question of how things are. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is-ought_problem [wikipedia.org].

          • by neomunk (913773)

            They way you describe it it really sounds like the DMCA can be used to create an Evil Bit standard backed by the full power of legislature...

            • by PetriBORG (518266)

              They way you describe it it really sounds like the DMCA can be used to create an Evil Bit standard backed by the full power of legislature...

              That is exactly what the DMCA is for, the creation of the evil bit - see HDTV's magic flag bullshit, or in this case, a stream flag or whatever. Its all really stupid because ultimately displayable content is copyable and thats what they refuse to realize.

              • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Friday May 22, 2009 @12:28PM (#28055373)

                Its all really stupid because ultimately displayable content is copyable and thats what they refuse to realize.

                What support do you have for the notion that because you can do something, you should be allowed to do that thing. The whole point of The Law is to restrict what we can but ought not to do -- passing laws that restrict actions that people cannot feasibly do ("It shall be illegal to eat the moon") is pointless. So, while I agree entirely on the technical point (displayable content is, in fact, copyable), I disagree very strenuously with the notion that this point alone proves that consumers ought to be able copy content marked 'display only' (perhaps there are other arguments for such an assertion, of course).

                As an example, let me posit this:

                What the GPL writers don't realize, of course, is that any program from which the source code is available can be modified and compiled into a closed source program. Because technological measures to prevent such a thing are impossible, I conclude that people that write GPL code are immoral/stupid/evil for insisting on terms that they cannot enforce by technological constraint.

                It's a classic is/ought problem -- you start with a factual statement and then derive a normative statement when the two are utterly unconnected.

                • by PetriBORG (518266)

                  Maybe it is a classic is/ought problem as you put it, but my comment wasn't directed at your factual grandparent comment. A discussion can have more then just fact but also opinions.

                  In your post you said: this is an unsettled area of law. Since it would be a rather boring discussion without opinion (especially here) I think we can move passed that point eh? Now onto something more interesting...

                  I disagree very strenuously with the notion that this point alone proves that consumers ought to be able copy content marked 'display only'

                  To which I would beg the question, why not? The makers of rtmpDump don't seem any different then those of the

                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by Wrath0fb0b (302444)

                    The makers of rtmpDump don't seem any different then those of the vcr or camera to me.

                    If you actually read 12USC1201, you'd know that it is illegal to sell a VCR that does not respect the macrovision flag. In the exact same way, there are flags in RTMP media that control access to the underlying content. rtmpDump circumvents those flags.

                    and so long as they send the bytes to me they can have no complaint on how I use (display) those bits on my end (as a user).

                    I'm not sure why this is so obvious to everyone as an ethical proposition. If I want to show someone my family vacation photos, I feel like it's quite proper for me to say "look but don't copy" -- same for a draft of a novel I'm writing or a short piece of mu

                • Re:Copyright law? (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Alsee (515537) on Friday May 22, 2009 @04:41PM (#28059029) Homepage

                  What support do you have for the notion that because you can do something, you should be allowed to do that thing.

                  People should not be allowed to commit arson, rape, or murder.
                  The issue, the notion, is that people should have the ability to commit arson, rape, and murder.

                  That is the insanity going on in this issue. The confusion of crimes vs abilities.

                  Say someone owns a pile of logs. They are perfectly entitled to post a "flag" on those logs saying "do not burn". They are also perfectly entitled to cover those logs in fire retardant slime making it more difficult to burn those logs. The insanity going on here is the notion that the "do not burn" flag on those signs will actually prevent those logs from being burned, the insanity is the notion that the flag actually has any effect on whether or not it is legal to burn them, the insanity is the notion that speech explaining how to "circumvent" that slime should be criminal, the notion that having the ability to "circumvent" slime should be criminal, the insanity is the notion that the act of "circumventing" the slime to burn the logs should be criminal.

                  I disagree very strenuously with the notion that this point alone proves that consumers ought to be able copy content marked 'display only'

                  I most strenuously disagree with you there.

                  No, I should not burn your logs. That is arson.

                  Yes, I should have the ability to burn logs with a "do not burn" flag on them.
                  Yes, I should have the ability to burn logs with fire retardant slime on them.
                  Yes, I should have the free speech to explain how to "circumvent" fire retardant slime.

                  You own your logs, you can put flags on them, you can put slime on them, and you can then go ahead and burn them if you like. They are your logs and it is not a crime for you to burn them. It is not a crime for you to ignore those flags, it is not a crime for you to "circumvent" the fire retardant slime.

                  You can also sell those slimed & do-not-burn-flagged logs.
                  Once I buy that log, it is not arson for me to burn the particular log I bought.
                  Just because you sold it with a "do not burn" flag, does not mean it becomes arson for me to burn it.
                  Just because you sold it with fire retardant slime on it, does not make it a crime for me to burn it.

                  Someone can publish a book or a movie with a "do not copy" flag. Yes it is illegal for someone to make infringing copies. However it is not copyright infringement for a student to copy sentences out for a school book report, it is not copyright infringement for someone to make a backup copy of software, it is not copyright infringement for someone to format shift copy music to play on a different device, it is not copyright infringement for someone to copy a movie to edit out violent or sexual scenes for private performance to their children. Just because a movie is flagged "do not copy" does not make it copyright infringement for someone to engage in copying.

                  No, people should not commit infringement.
                  Yes, people should have the ability to "copy content marked 'display only'".

                  Someone can publish a book or music or movie in piglatin in an effort to make it more difficult to copy. Yes, they have publish it in funky super-scrambled-piglatin to make it more difficult to copy. That's all DRM is - a somewhat more complex version of piglatin scrambling up the content.

                  No, people should not infringe that piglatin scrambled content.
                  Yes, people should have the freedom of speech to explain how piglatin works.
                  Yes, people should have the freedom of speech to explain how to descramble piglatin.
                  Yes, people should have the ability to descramble that piglatin.
                  Yes, people should have the ability to copy that content.
                  Copying does not equal infringement.
                  People should not infringe, but yes they should go right ahead and copy when it isn't infringement.

                  The intent of DRM-scrambling is to prevent copyright infringement. What

            • Why do they not make the software such that the blocks of code than handle the rights restriction parts of the protocols are nested in an 'if' statement that checks for a BE_EVIL flag? By default the flag would be unset. The flag would be undocumented. But anybody who happened to open a header file and change it before compiling would bypass the rights restrictions.

              • Why do they not make the software such that the blocks of code than handle the rights restriction parts of the protocols are nested in an 'if' statement that checks for a BE_EVIL flag? By default the flag would be unset. The flag would be undocumented. But anybody who happened to open a header file and change it before compiling would bypass the rights restrictions.

                Totally unsettled law, but if I may reason by analogy, the FCC allows people to sell kits and instruction on how to build non-conformant devices (jammers and such like), so probably OK. On the other hand, a court might see this as a transparent attempt to circumvent the anti-circumvention (hehehe) provision. In general, the law does not allow you to do something that is functionally equivalent to an illegal act but not covered due to some cosmetic reason.

                Of course, any people that

                Incidentally, this came up

                • by Rich0 (548339)

                  I'd think that a lot of this depends on how overt you are about it.

                  If you had a laundry list of code blocks for stuff that could be disabled and one of them was labeled "disable-save-support" I suspect you'd be OK if the default was that the compliance code was in there by default. If the disable-save-support were the only flag in the file you might have a tougher time of it.

                  Or, if you want an even grayer example, if you didn't put any IFDEF blocks/etc around the compliance code, but you just put all of it

          • by surmak (1238244)

            One issue with the DMCA is the way that it is applied to source code. If it was (and maybe it is, if someone could get a reasonable court to hear the case), source code of the following should be perfectly OK:

            /* DO not delete the following under the DMCA */
            if (flags &DRM_NO_SAVE_BIT) return ERROR;
            save();

          • [It shall be illegal to] circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work ...

            [It shall be illegal to] circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work

            Now, the DRM flags in the official RTMP specification are a technological measure designed to control access to the copyrighted work in question

            How about circumventing technological measures that ineffectively controls access to a work?

            Trusting the client can hardly be consider effective unless you control all the clients.

            Also, would this make tcpdump a circumvention tool? How about tr and sed (counting rot13 as access control)? How about emacs? It has a mode which assists you breaking substitution ciphers by hand...

        • Re:Copyright law? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by blitzkrieg3 (995849) on Friday May 22, 2009 @11:23AM (#28054401)

          One would think there is a difference between a tool used to circumvent copyright, and a tool that fails to enforce the copyright rules.

          I fail to see a functional difference

          For example, if a DVD player fails to implement a region code, is that culpable under the DMCA? Or if a FOSS PDF reader does not have the code that checks for unprintable documents, a DMCA violation?

          Yes and yes. Or if a DVD player fails to honor the "no skip" [afterdawn.com] flag for movie trailers.

          I'm trying to get my head around this. If a specification demands certain restrictions, and those are not implemented, then the implementations can be taken down under the DMCA...

          Correct. In fact, this is the DMCA's sole purpose in life.

      • It's not copyright law, it's the anti-circumvention provision. The reference RTMP implements various restrictions that the content provider can specify, for instance, marking it as streaming only.

        Presumably there could still be some open rtmp implemenations that don't allow you to download streaming only content. If that's true, then it's possible that Adobe will make good on their promise to open the protocol to other projects like gnash. As long they make it more than trival to download streaming only content, they are in the clear.

        IANAL, and I still find this turn of events disgusting and the DMCA despicable.

    • Re:Copyright law? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CarpetShark (865376) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:31AM (#28053613)

      How can a copyright law be used to take down a protocol implementation? What copyrights were infringed? This would normally fall under patent law.

      Simple. You threaten someone who's spineless, and they cave. More people need to read:

      http://thepiratebay.org/legal.php [thepiratebay.org]

      • Simple. You threaten someone who's spineless, and they cave. More people need to read:

        Said spineless person may not have the time or money to fight a team of well paid lawyers with all the time in the world.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by geminidomino (614729) *

        How can a copyright law be used to take down a protocol implementation? What copyrights were infringed? This would normally fall under patent law.

        Simple. You threaten someone who's spineless, and they cave. More people need to read:

        http://thepiratebay.org/legal.php [thepiratebay.org]

        Yeah, that worked out so well [wikipedia.org] for TPB...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CarpetShark (865376)

          It's worked out pretty well, considering they're still in business, expect to be in business for another five years while the appeal goes through, have discredited the judge in their case, have launched a new business off the publicity, and have encouraged their supporters to elect people who support them not just at a national level, but at a European level. They're a few guys. Think how far on we'd be now if a few more had taken a similar stance. A critical mass of support for p2p could be reached pret

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            1 year in prison can be very damaging to a person mentally and physically, especially if they are not tough and wise to prison life.

    • by mbone (558574)

      I would assume that

      1.) They claim copyright on the spec.
      2.) They thus claim that whatever was done to reverse-engineer the spec violated the DMCA.

    • by Jurily (900488)

      How can a copyright law be used to take down a protocol implementation?

      DMCA against Sourceforge? You know, the one with the mirrors in 13000 different countries. Good luck taking it down.

    • by Shagg (99693)

      It can't. The open source implementation may or may not count as a circumvention tool, but it clearly is not infringing on Adobe's copyrights, so a DMCA takedown is inappropriate. But, since companies routinely abuse DMCA takedown notices against things that are not under their copyright, and the government looks the other way, they continue to do so.

    • The important thing is Adobe has more lawyers than you, and can bankrupt you from legal bills alone.

  • Ah, Open Screen (Score:3, Informative)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday May 22, 2009 @09:47AM (#28052983)

    Next time, before you open source developers get a hardon for the latest "Open" thing, read the fine print.

    Just because something says "open" doesn't mean it is so. And just because some press release says "giving developers access", it doesn't mean they are giving it to you.

    Why don't they do what they say, say what they mean?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jellomizer (103300)

      The problem people think Open Source they think GNU. It is not the case. GNU isn't the only Open Source (besides what the GNU people wants you to believe). They all really try to balance Original Developers freedom vs. End User/Supplemental Developer Freedom, based on the values of the licence creators depends where on the scale they are. Open Source Software can be Look but don't touch to Public Domain.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by larry bagina (561269)
        The word "open" had established meanings before open source -- OpenGroup, X/Open, Open Software Foundation, etc. GNU doesn't use the word open, preferring FREE (which has it's own multiple-usage problems). I think "liberty" is less ambiguous.
    • That's what they want "open" to actually mean.

  • by javacowboy (222023) on Friday May 22, 2009 @09:47AM (#28052997)

    These kinds of shenanigans will turn off the open source community for good. Their half-hearted attempt to court the community by open sourcing their Flex toolkit, while leaving the underlying Flash runtime closed, will do them no good.

    Here's hoping JavaFX takes off and open sources the remaining proprietary extensions and the open source community has an RIA framework to rally around.

    • by binarylarry (1338699) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:01AM (#28053193)

      JavaFX could great. But Sun has thus far missed a very, very important reason Flash is popular:

      It needs an easy to use, artist friendly IDE tool

      Targeting programmers exclusively with a programming language is half the reason why applets have failed to catch on.

      The plugins for art are a joke really.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mea37 (1201159)

      Maybe so, but this isn't new behavior on Adobe's part.

      They make a big deal of publishing the PDF spec, but (at least as of five years ago) they publisehd only enough information in the spec that you can write a good PDF reader. They leave out details that you would need to make their reader respond correctly to optimizations like linearized PDF (which you really need to do lengthly web-delivered documents "right") in documents you create, and when you call them on it they say they don't support development

      • Uuumm... Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought PDF already was an open standard long ago, and Adobe just had one of a ton of readers out there. So The only things could be strange and stupid extensions, like JavaScript, etc.

        • by mea37 (1201159) on Friday May 22, 2009 @12:56PM (#28055781)

          "Correct me if I'm wrong"

          Ok. You're wrong. [wikipedia.org] PDF is an Adobe proprietary format. There are other readers because (as I noted above) they publish enough spec to let you write readers. Acrobat Reader is the canonical reader implementation, and other Acrobat products are the canonical software for writing PDF.

          Because there are other readers, and because those readers presumably don't know whatever magic incantation makes Acrobat Reader recognize linearization (which is a not an extension but rather is a core part of the spec), you could write PDF-producing software that might work 100% well with those other readers. But in the corporate world, that's not good enough; when a business publishes something as PDF, it needs to work wtih Acrobat.

    • These kinds of shenanigans will turn off the open source community for good. Their half-hearted attempt to court the community by open sourcing their Flex toolkit, while leaving the underlying Flash runtime closed, will do them no good.

      Here's hoping JavaFX takes off and open sources the remaining proprietary extensions and the open source community has an RIA framework to rally around.

      For my money, SVG is (currently) the real hope for a flash killer. It is open, it has momentum, it is original and better in many ways. Plus, it isn't limited to a beginner's language.

      On the down side, it *is* XML :/

    • by demachina (71715)

      The interesting thing here is this instantly elevated the fame of rtmpdump and the tools to rip Flash streams. Many more people will now have increased awareness of there existence, go out of there way to cache copies of them, distribute it all over the planet, etc. This is the forbidden fruit dilemma. By trying to stamp out the fire Adobe just turned it in to a wild fire. It also just highlights how completely not open "Open" Screen is.

      The /. community really needs to band together and push harder with

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday May 22, 2009 @09:53AM (#28053085) Homepage Journal

    I want to see the request so I can find out whether sourceforge was justified in "complying". Did they just knee-jerk? If so, I imagine (and hope) that a lot of developers will be leaving for someplace less likely to terminate their hosting over nonsense. Until/unless we see the request we won't know about that part, all we'll know is what we already knew, that Adobe is evil. Their response to piracy has been to steadily increase the amount of DRM, which of course gets broken almost immediately every time they "improve" it, so they're only harming their customers. So stupid, so very stupid.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by stonewallred (1465497)
      Adobe products are not free as in like beer? I thought they put all those photoshop/acrobat/publisher/etc torrents up as advertising.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Misch (158807)

      I want to see the request so I can find out whether sourceforge was justified in "complying". Did they just knee-jerk?

      I wouldn't classify it as "knee-jerk", but it's essentially what the law calls for. Read up on the "Safe Harbor" provisions of the DMCA [chillingeffects.org]. Basically, it is "shoot first and ask questions later".

    • Under the law, SourceForge is compelled to honor the request to remove the user's content unless and until the takedown letter is contested by the user. If the user contests the notice (basically sending a formal letter stating "Nuh-uh"), SourceForge can put the content back up. If Adobe then proceeds to litigation or files a criminal complaint, a judge might order SourceForge to pull the content, or not.

      This is of course my layman's understanding of the law, not legal advice.

  • Plus for Theora (Score:3, Insightful)

    by should_be_linear (779431) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:06AM (#28053257)
    I tought Theora is useless on the web, given Flash is becoming open, but now I think standard way of video streaming (based on Theora) is *definetly* needed. I don't understand why project was deleted from SF? I mean, DMCA is used only in USA, so I, plus couple of other people, don't give a flying fuck about that. Why we follow least common denominator way of doing things, like accepting software patents, DMCA-shit ... whats next, integrating Chinese internet filters (thats valid law, just like DMCA) right into Kernel? How about reverse approach: making special (crippled) editions of software projects for countries with screwed up laws.
    • by sopssa (1498795)

      SourceForge is based and hosted in USA, so they have to follow USA laws.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrMr (219533)
      DMCA is used only in USA
      Must be thanks to the best legal system money can buy.
      As an old Adobe hater I try to avoid their stuff, but I downloaded a source tarball for good measure anyway.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tepples (727027)

      I don't understand why project was deleted from SF? I mean, DMCA is used only in USA

      SourceForge, Inc. is headquartered in Mountain View, California, USA [sourceforge.com].

      so I, plus couple of other people, don't give a flying fuck about that.

      Then host your projects in your own country, not on a U.S. server.

    • now I think standard way of video streaming (based on Theora) is *definetly* needed

      You clearly don't think very well. Theora is shit. (Vorbis, on the other hand, is very nice.) When you have an alternative that is actually competitive, then you can talk about what standards are "definetly" needed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pavon (30274)

      Even if flash opened up completely, all the codecs it uses for video are still proprietary, and Adobe has no leverage to change that even if they wanted to. So at best opening up Flash removes the need for SVG and the new HTML 5 webapp features. It doesn't change the need for an open video codec at all.

    • by msimm (580077)

      How about reverse approach: making special (crippled) editions of software projects for countries with screwed up laws.

      As a US citizen I have to say there's a brilliance in this suggestion. People don't like being limited, but they particularly don't like limitations when they're aware of them. Kind of like the encryption export laws we had for a while, where a US citizen could feel content/smug believing that they had access to the better encryption (which I'm sure is absolute hogwash, but every war is fo

  • by jdb2 (800046) * on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:16AM (#28053385) Journal
    You get get the rtmpdump v1.5a source [linuxcentre.net] here [linuxcentre.net], although this is not the latest version. AFAIK v1.6 was the last version to be released but it seems to have disappeared from the Web, even on non-sourceforge-affiliated sites.

    jdb2
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:25AM (#28053511)

    Is this really that surprising? Adobe's press release when they announced the RTMP spec even says, "To benefit customers who want to protect their content, the open RTMP specification will not include Adobeâ(TM)s unique secure RTMP measures, nor will the license that accompanies the specification allow developers to circumvent such measures."

    So wasn't the takedown notice sent because they circumvented what the license said they couldn't?

  • Inaccurate summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:26AM (#28053527) Homepage

    "Adobe is no stranger to the DMCA..." That part is true. But the rest isn't true enough. It would be more accurate to say "...because they helped write it and pay for its implementation."

  • where is DMCA valid? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:41AM (#28053747)

    Can somebody they just setup pirateforge in Sweden to host these projects?

  • by mea37 (1201159) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:42AM (#28053757)

    Regardless of the legal merits (or lack thereof) of their claims, and regardless of the general sleeze factor, there's really one lesson we should all learn if we didn't know it already:

    A corporation, legal euphamisms aside, is not a person. You can't rely on its sense of honor, even if you think it believed it was making a true promise. You can't rely on it to have a single, consistent mind on any given issue. In short, a "promise" from a corporation means zero (perhaps less if the "promise" was in a press release). Licenses and contracts (in verifiable form - i.e. written and signed) can mean something, but without one you have no shield from liability if the company decides it didn't really promise what you think it promised.

    • A corporation, legal euphamisms aside, is not a person. You can't rely on its sense of honor, even if you think it believed it was making a true promise. You can't rely on it to have a single, consistent mind on any given issue. In short, a "promise" from a corporation means zero (perhaps less if the "promise" was in a press release).

      The same is true for people. People lie, they renege and they do dishonorable things. You can't rely on them not to change their mind or to keep their promises.

      Licenses and contracts (in verifiable form - i.e. written and signed) can mean something, but without one you have no shield from liability if the company decides it didn't really promise what you think it promised.

      (1) Not quite right as a legal matter -- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estoppel#Promissory_estoppel [wikipedia.org], at least in common-law countries like the US.

      (2) Also true of people.

      Maybe I'm just a cynic, but I've seen just as nasty and noble behavior from individuals and corporations alike.

      • by mea37 (1201159)

        I agree that you're being cynical, but you partially have a point.

        What I should have said is, you can never rely on a corporation to stick to a promise. There are people I trust; there are not corporations I trust in that sense. Corporate inconsistency isn't like a person "changing his mind"; a corporation can hold two contradictory views concurrently in a way most people cannot, because it is not a single person with a single mind.

        As for promissary estoppel... against a corporation? I do wish you luck w

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Wrath0fb0b (302444)

          What I should have said is, you can never rely on a corporation to stick to a promise. There are people I trust; there are not corporations I trust in that sense. Corporate inconsistency isn't like a person "changing his mind"; a corporation can hold two contradictory views concurrently in a way most people cannot, because it is not a single person with a single mind.

          There are corporations that I trust to varying degrees. I let Google host all my personal mail, calendar and contact information (I have a mirror) even knowing that they could read it all and use it to reset my bank, credit card and etrade account password and basically wreck my life. There are corporations that I trust because I know the principals.

          And there are many people I know that hold two contradictory views at the same time -- I do myself! I am Large, I contain Multitudes (Walt Whitman).

          As for promissary estoppel... against a corporation? I do wish you luck with that, but I don't hold out much hope.

          I have succe

          • by mea37 (1201159)

            "And there are many people I know that hold two contradictory views at the same time -- I do myself"

            When writing for a comment format, I keep my text concise, so you would do well to pay attention to each word's function.

            I didn't say that a person can't hold contradictory views. I said a corporation can hold contradictory views in a way most people cannot. If you hold contradictory views in the same sense that a corporation can, you should seek professional help.

      • The same is true for people. People lie, they renege and they do dishonorable things. You can't rely on them not to change their mind or to keep their promises.

        With people you can make individual judgements. You know Alice tends to keep her word and Bob doesn't, so when Alice tells you she'll do something, you can count on it getting done, while if Bob says the same thing, you assume it won't. Sure, Alice might fall down every once in a while and Bob might occasionally exceed your expectations, but you've

  • by blitzkrieg3 (995849) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:48AM (#28053821)
    sf.net may have taken it down, but the other sites are still up and running. Here are some download links:

    get-flash-videos [googlecode.com]
    index of rtpdump-1.3a [silfreed.net], including source rpms
    download [linuxcentre.net] page for getiplayer
    linux/unix tarball [linuxcentre.net]
  • chillingeffects? (Score:3, Informative)

    by asdfndsagse (1528701) on Friday May 22, 2009 @10:52AM (#28053903)

    The project is down here [sourceforge.net] google cache still up.

    Does sourceforge (slashdot's partner site) publish DMCA requests to chilling effects. Allow, I am highly disappointed that it just says "Invalid project" instead of saying that it was removed per the DMCA. Learn something from google sourceforge!

  • Open? (Score:4, Funny)

    by FrostedWheat (172733) on Friday May 22, 2009 @11:01AM (#28054029)
    So it's open, as in a mouse trap... ?
  • by ElmoGonzo (627753) on Friday May 22, 2009 @11:21AM (#28054375)
    As if any was needed. The splash screen took over input while waiting an eon for the plugin to load should have been a capital offense from the outset.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by josath (460165)
      Huh? I think you have Adobe and Sun confused. Flash is the one that loads instantly, Java is the one that locks up your entire browser for 5-10 seconds with the Java splashscreen while you wait for the JVM to load.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    For those looking, this is the most recent release of rtmpdump (1.6): http://www.megashare.com/935955

    You can also find 1.5a here: http://www.easy-share.com/1905295810/rtmpdump-v1.5a.tar_1.gz (http://www.badongo.com/file/15056784)

    They have just replaced rtmpdump support in a new version with flvstreamer, but it has no RTMPE support. This encrypted RTMP support is new in rtmpdump 1.5 and is probably what got them DMCA'd in the first place. You can find 1.3 and 1.4 on a couple sites but those versions do not h

  • What these stupid guys at Adobe think they are doing? Well, I refuse since now to embed any flash video on any site. Go to hell and burn there, bastards.

  • a copy of rtmpdump 1.6 is available here:
    http://lkcl.net/rtmp [lkcl.net]

    also a torrent has been made available at the same location.

    get_iplayer has been removed because it encourages people to download copyrighted material. i'm interested in ensuring that implementations of RTMP and understanding of this protocol are available.

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