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Cellphones Your Rights Online Technology

We Should Be Allowed To Unlock Everything We Own 317

Posted by Soulskill
from the with-our-minds dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When cell phone unlocking became illegal last month, it set off a firestorm of debate over what rights people should have for phones they have legally purchased. But this is really just one facet of a much larger problem with property rights in general. 'Silicon permeates and powers almost everything we own. This is a property rights issue, and current copyright law gets it backwards, turning regular people — like students, researchers, and small business owners — into criminals. Fortune 500 telecom manufacturer Avaya, for example, is known for suing service companies, accusing them of violating copyright for simply using a password to log in to their phone systems. That's right: typing in a password is considered "reproducing copyrighted material." Manufacturers have systematically used copyright in this manner over the past 20 years to limit our access to information. Technology has moved too fast for copyright laws to keep pace, so corporations have been exploiting the lag to create information monopolies at our expense and for their profit. After years of extensions and so-called improvements, copyright has turned Mickey Mouse into a monster who can never die.' We need to win the fight for unlocking phones, and then keep pushing until we actually own the objects we own again."
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We Should Be Allowed To Unlock Everything We Own

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  • AMEN! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maliqua (1316471) on Monday March 18, 2013 @12:44PM (#43204235)
    thats right brother yell it in the streets spread the good word
    • Re:AMEN! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SpaceMonkies (2868125) on Monday March 18, 2013 @02:00PM (#43205223)
      You OWN your home, even though its mortgaged. You are not leasing it. You are not renting it. It is yours to do with ANYTHING you please. The bank has a lien on your home if your are mortgaged. They do not own it, nor can they tell you in any way what to do with it. You can sell it for any price you wish or burn it down, but before the government will grant the deed to someone else, they must verify the lien has been removed. Likewise, when I purchase a phone + contract, I own the phone immediately. The phone company counts it as an immediate sell on their books and all other accounting, which is why you pay taxes for it immediately rather than over time. The sell of the phone is complete at that time in every legal way that matters. Its not a lease, its a sale. If it was a lease, you would be required to buy it at the end of your contract ... that is a LEGAL requirement for leases, they can't automatically be 'given' at the end. The purchase price can be one dollar (which you'll find on all sorts of deals, Lease at XXX amount, buyout for $1, great corp accounting cheat ;), but a new transaction must take place for the lease to become a sell. They aren't doing that, again making it clear the sale happens at the start of the contract. If I were renting or leasing, the price of my monthly bill would go down when I stopped leasing or renting, like if I bought a unlocked, no contract phone. But it doesn't. My bill remains the same regardless of where my phone comes from. Again, it can't be a lease or rental if there is no transaction and length of terms. They have structured it as a sell in every way for their accounting purposes, but they want to pretend its not, again for their own financial interests (keeping you tied in to their service). As far as 'defaulting', they are not the legal framework designed to deal with that situation. They are not supposed to be enforcers either. They have early termination charges attached as an agreed on termination cost. Not allowing your phone to not work on another provider ISN'T IN THE CONTRACT AT ALL, so its not something you agreed on ever. If I pay $600 cash in $100 bills to Joe Smith who happens to own an unlocked iPhone on the street corner, the phone company treats me the same in EVERY SINGLE WAY as the guy who gets a contracted iPhone. So you get treated like you bought it ... again, they treat it as a sell for their benefit. Only when it may benefit you is it suddenly not a sale to you but some other rental term bullshit they made up.
      • Re:AMEN! (Score:5, Informative)

        by sribe (304414) on Monday March 18, 2013 @03:38PM (#43206481)

        I agree with your position on allowing unlocking. But your arguments are so wrong in so many ways that you'd really do better to shut up. "Our side" does not need such ignorant easily disproven drivel clouding the issue.

        You OWN your home, even though its mortgaged. You are not leasing it. You are not renting it. It is yours to do with ANYTHING you please. The bank has a lien on your home if your are mortgaged. They do not own it, nor can they tell you in any way what to do with it. You can sell it for any price you wish or burn it down...

        So, you've never actually read a mortgage and are completely unfamiliar with the laws pertaining to them...

        Likewise, when I purchase a phone + contract, I own the phone immediately. The phone company counts it as an immediate sell on their books and all other accounting...

        No, they do not--they recognize the revenue on the subsidized part of the phone as they receive it.

        ...which is why you pay taxes for it immediately rather than over time.

        No, you do not. You pay taxes on the part you pay, not the part that is deferred.

        If it was a lease, you would be required to buy it at the end of your contract ...

        No, you would not--in fact you've got this one exactly backwards. A lease means you return the item (in good condition) without further obligation at the end of the contract.

        ...that is a LEGAL requirement for leases, they can't automatically be 'given' at the end.

        It is a legal requirement in order to be able to deduct certain leases as business expenses that there be no pre-negotiated sales price at the end of the contract, that you pay fair market value at that time, that you receive no special consideration as the former lessee. Now you are right that if you get the item for free at the end, it's not a lease--because that's the very definition of a lease, that you don't take ownership. But getting this point only partly wrong still leaves your argument resoundlngly muddled.

        They have early termination charges attached as an agreed on termination cost.

        Yes, and that should be enough.

        Not allowing your phone to not work on another provider ISN'T IN THE CONTRACT AT ALL, so its not something you agreed on ever.

        Of course it is in the contract--the questions are: 1) whether or not such a term should be enforceable at all, and 2) if it should be enforceable, should it be a criminal act to unlock, or a civil issue between you and the carrier in the event you do not pay the early termination fee.

      • Re:AMEN! (Score:4, Informative)

        by Dahamma (304068) on Monday March 18, 2013 @03:50PM (#43206657)

        You OWN your home, even though its mortgaged. You are not leasing it. You are not renting it. It is yours to do with ANYTHING you please.

        Actually, that's completely incorrect. If you have a mortgage, go read what you signed and initialized (about 25 times in various places). A contract is a contract. They can put what they want in it if it's legal, and if you sign it you have to follow it.

        Here's one specific statute (Maine... it was first on Google search :) -

        http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/33/title33sec769.html [mainelegislature.org]

        Provided nevertheless, except as otherwise specifically stated in the mortgage, that if the mortgagor, his heirs, executors or administrators pay to the mortgagee, his heirs, executors, administrators or assigns the principal and interest secured by the mortgage, and shall perform any obligation secured at the time provided in the note, mortgage or other instrument or any extension thereof, and shall perform the condition of any prior mortgage, and until such payment and performance shall pay when due and payable all taxes, charges and assessments to whomsoever and whenever laid or assessed, whether on the mortgaged premises or on any interest therein or on the debt or obligation secured thereby; and shall keep the buildings on said premises insured against fire in a sum not less than the amount secured by the mortgage or as otherwise provided therein for insurance for the benefit of the mortgagee and his executors, administrators and assigns, in such form and at such insurance offices as they shall approve, and, at least 2 days before the expiration of any policy on said premises, shall deliver to him or them a new and sufficient policy to take the place of the one so expiring, and shall not commit nor suffer any strip or waste of the granted premises, nor commit any breach of any covenant contained in the mortgage or in any prior mortgage, then the mortgage deed, as also the mortgage note or notes shall be void, otherwise shall remain in full force.

    • People actually believe that property rights still exist? Ever since that VT Eminent Domain ruling, property rights is virtually dead, since anybody can cite that as a precedent for making the case that it doesn't exist, before proceding to confiscate someone's property.

      So with property rights alreay pawned, this issue should come as no surprised. But honestly, the way cell phones are sold by carriers is an exercise in sophistry. The reason for locking is so that the subscribers can't switch carriers

  • Obviously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday March 18, 2013 @12:47PM (#43204255) Journal

    Our property is our property, and we should be able to do with it as we please. Further, breaking encryption is just math. Prohibitions on any sort of math amounts to thought crime. They want to make it illegal to figure things out.

    The standard excuse for all this bad policy is that without DRM, our music, movies, and video gaming industries would collapse. I say, let them. It's just entertainment, which is a surprisingly small part of the economy (Google could buy the RIAA outright easily). Much better to let that happen than to enshrine bad policy as law for decades to come. And I'm willing to bet that people will find ways to entertain themselves anyway.

    • by alen (225700)

      google can't buy RIAA, its not a company. its a lobbying organization made up of member companies

      • by Ultra64 (318705)

        So buy the member companies.

        • Re:Obviously (Score:4, Interesting)

          by DarkOx (621550) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:33PM (#43204871) Journal

          Not without gathering a army of lawyers like never before seen, first to dot every I and cross every T; and I say that well aware Google probably has more lawyers than I could count. The content industry types are experts at separating even the most sophisticated investors from their money and leaving them with nothing to show for it.

          Just look at every tech firm that has ever attempted to buy a content company. Its almost universally the case that some how the former owners manage to outright abscond with or otherwise impair any intellectual property or talent. Hollywood folk CAN'T BE TRUSTED to deal fairly; the tech industry never gets what they think they are buying. Which is why Netfix is smart to build their own content production capabilities rather than try and buy an existing studio.

          Google would more likely be better off simply out record company-ing the record companies. Google has access to eyeballs to promote talent; they have outlets to market product directly to consumers, and can afford to let the artists have a bigger cut. If they really smart they make that cut almost 100% of the direct revenue (sales of music files; licensing of content to other media companies) and just draw their own profit from ads. The existing record industry probably could not match the dollars, Google with get the artists, and the RIAA ilk will get court dates for the bankruptcy hearings.

          Google, Amazon, and Apple or some combination there of is well positioned to simply gut the existing record industry. Google probably the best because they have the least to loose in terms of reprisals.

             

      • Re:Obviously (Score:4, Informative)

        by Hatta (162192) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:44PM (#43205017) Journal

        That was shorthand for "Google could buy the companies that comprise the RIAA". e.g. the RIAA "big three" are Sony Music Group, UMG, and Warner. I could only find market capitlization for Warner (1.3bn [thestreet.com]), but the entirety of Sony (not just the music group) is valued at 16bn [google.com]. Google has $50bn cash on hand.

    • Re:Obviously (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jason Levine (196982) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:00PM (#43204405)

      Exactly. I can take the dozens of CDs that I own, rip them into MP3 format, and put them on a large hard drive on a network in my house in such a way that my kids could easily select which song they want to listen to. Penalty for doing this? Nothing. It's fair use.

      However, if I take the dozens of DVDs that I own, rip them and put them on a large hard drive on a network in my house in such a way that my kids could easily select which movie they want to watch, I could (theoretically) be sued for thousands of dollars (if not more). I could find myself bankrupt over it.

      Note that in neither example did I put the ripped CDs or DVDs on the Internet or give them to anyone else. Neither did I borrow CDs/DVDs (from Netflix, the Library, a friend, etc) and rip them. I legally own a CD and a DVD. I bought them from a store with my own money. Why can I copy one set of those bits to a format/medium that works better for me but not another set? Especially because ripping DVDs to a hard drive in this purely theoretical manner would make owning DVDs a lot more desirable (because it would be easier to watch them) and thus would lead to more DVD purchases.

      • by Golddess (1361003) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:30PM (#43204815)

        Why can I copy one set of those bits to a format/medium that works better for me but not another set?

        Simple. Because the RIAA doesn't own a time machine. Otherwise they'd go back in time and make sure that copy-protection gets built into the CD standard too.

    • Re:Obviously (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jonsmirl (114798) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:05PM (#43204483) Homepage

      Limit this 'obviously' to consumer goods. There are whole classes of embedded items that should not be unlocked - medical devices, utility meters, safety systems, casino games, ATMs, airplane navigation systems........ Anything that a third party is being held liable for it accuracy. You can't have it both ways - third party liability and unlocked devices.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:19PM (#43204671)

        There's nothing 'obviously' about this. It's not a grey area. Either you limit everything or you limit nothing.

        Medical devices, utility meters, safety systems, casino games, ATMs, airplane navigation systems should all be secured, by the hardware, in such a way that NOBODY can unlock them once they leave the manufacturer's hands. Pretending that some copyright law will protect these devices does nothing more than feed homeless lawyers.

      • Re:Obviously (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:19PM (#43204683) Homepage
        Of course they should be possible to unlock. Maybe a tamper proof seal on them while they're in service but eventually they'll be on the scrapheap somewhere. The embedded system might be useful to someone and we shouldn't waste good chips for legal reasons
      • Re:Obviously (Score:5, Insightful)

        by interval1066 (668936) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:24PM (#43204735) Homepage Journal

        There are whole classes of embedded items that should not be unlocked...

        Why? If I buy a medical device or a utilty meter, its mine, I own it, why shouldn't I be able to open it? I think you're mistaking regulated service providers with consumer markets. For example, if I buy a casino game there's no reason in the world I shouldn't be able to open it and modify the hell out of it. If I were to try to install it in a public place to actually make money off of it, modified or not, I'm going to get stopped in my tracks. Gambling is regulated by each state, you can't just set up a gambling machine and go to business. Same thing with all the other devices you mentioned. If your not a state licensed provider of the service connected to the device in question, all the pristine, above board, fully functioning devices in the world aren't going to do you any good.

        • by jonsmirl (114798)

          You'd need some kind of system for individually unlocking the devices. If you want your device unlocked you'd call up the manufacturer, agree to release them from liability for the device's function and then they'd give you the key to unlock the device. But as long as the manufacturer is being held liable for the function of the device it is reasonable for them to keep it locked.

          Note that this is far different than locking down consumer devices. Apple isn't making any guarantees to you about the performanc

          • Why? If you're not licensed to provide the service the device is tied to, why does it matter how well the device works?
        • by Belial6 (794905)
          Of course you should be able to open a utility meter you own. The one on the outside of most of our homes are not owned by the homeowner though. At least around here, the meter is owned by the power company and I support their right to open the meters also. Of course, they need to follow any applicable laws to use them in commerce, but it they take the meter back to their office and open it up, more power to them.
      • by Vario (120611) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:25PM (#43204743)

        Especially sensitive devices such as medical and safety relevant devices should not be a black box where it is illegal to look into the inner workings. While third-party liability is nice this is still just based on trust and not on tests. My trust into these system would increase quite a bit if a hacker plays around with a utility meter and finds no obvious vulnerability.

        I want all my devices unlocked, the liability can be linked to a tamperproof soft/hardware seal as it is already done today. This is fine with me, I do not expect the manufacturer to be liable if I took it apart, hacked it and reassembled it but I do not see any advantage in making hacking illegal.

      • I would take the opposite side. It is more important to have access to the machines that drive the real economy then to consumer toys. Locked out devices help lock in customers – from the costs to business to the impediment to innovation (all of which will trickle down and hit us) – would be much higher.

        I would argue that it is much more invidious that only Oracle can service oracle machines then unlocking Blue Ray disks. Do we want 3D printers that can only run the manufactory’s OS

      • by sjames (1099)

        Actually, no. If *I* own the smart meter, I should be free to hack it (but not if the power company owns it).

        There are, of course, consequences to that. If you replace the firmware, it's misbehavior becomes your responsibility. If you want the third party to remain on the hook, leave it as it was. But that should still be my decision. Perhaps I have an old casino game and want to hack on it for personal use. That should be just fine.

        So you can't fairly have it both ways, but you should be free to choose whi

    • Perhaps google SHOULD buy the RIAA. They seem to get a lot of headaches from those idiots through youtube. Even if google went evil with it... would it really be worse than the RIAA right now?
      • Google buying them would solve nothing, only make room for the next round of upstart trolls who can batter google and the rest of us with the same archaic laws
    • EU disagrees (Score:2, Offtopic)

      Our property is our property [...]

      Apparently the EU disagrees with your statement [businessinsider.com]

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Prohibitions on any sort of math amounts to thought crime. They want to make it illegal to figure things out.

      Of course they want to make it illegal to figure things out. Smart people are always a danger to those in power. Almost every time some power-hungry bastard takes over a country by force, some of the first people they get rid of is the intelligentsia.

      And I'm willing to bet that people will find ways to entertain themselves anyway.

      Also something they want to prevent. The idea is to keep people miserable and thinking that the only way they can sooth their misery is to buy stuff, ideally going deeply into debt at 26% interest to do so. Otherwise, the masses might start having wealth, and t

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 18, 2013 @12:47PM (#43204261)

    >We Should Be Allowed To Unlock Everything We Own
    I think there is a misconception here: You only own everything you are able to unlock.
    If you can't do that, you don't "own" it, you're "owned".

  • by aglider (2435074) on Monday March 18, 2013 @12:51PM (#43204295) Homepage
    Sometimes reading the documentation with a "product purchase" can enlight you. The fact that you pay for something doesn't mean it's truly yours. Sometimes it means you are allowed to use it under some restrictions. It's called EULA [wikipedia.org]. If you own an XBOX, an iPhone or a Wii, you'd already know about it!
    • We *should* own all of those things. EULA's are a joke, you should either own it or lease it (or rent it), there should be no middle area.

      Also your sig makes no sense whatsoever.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:01PM (#43204431)

      That's sort of the point, though, isn't it? An EULA that governs a service is one thing, but an EULA that governs a physical product is something else entirely. A manufacturer exercising ownership rights over a piece of hardware that you have purchased outright, to which said manufacturer holds no obligation beyond addressing manufacturing defects, is patently (heh) absurd. That we're even having this discussion is a testament to the sad state of affairs in which we currently find our copyright/patent laws.

    • by An dochasac (591582) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:07PM (#43204535)
      I'd vote for truth in advertising laws making it very clear that much of what you "buy" you don't really own. When consumers are treated as criminals and not trusted the use of the products they"buy", call it what it is, rental. So you don't own your Wii, Xbox, Playstation or any of your video games, Blue Ray disks (can't play them overseas), iTunes downloads, Android apps, iPhone apps, your car, your TV, your Windows 8 laptop, your printer. And you certainly don't own your iPhone, iPad, iPod, Macbook or any other Apple products.

      Now that Joe sixpack has happy bent over and submitted to this state of affairs, corporate giants are free to expand this subscription model to everything from your refrigerator to your clothing. And if you're a citizen of the US, your tax dollars are paying for FBI and other law enforcement agencies against the likes of you. As Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan put it, "We have billionaires to protect!"
    • by bobbied (2522392)

      It's called EULA [wikipedia.org]. If you own an XBOX, an iPhone or a Wii, you'd already know about it!

      Some may not already know, but EULA's provide the terms under which you can use the intellectual property your latest gadget is dependent on. You may own the hardware, but software is not usually "sold" but licensed, and sometimes licensed only on the *hardware* you purchased. Of course, your hardware is likely useless without the licensed software so you are pretty much stuck with the EULA....

      I'm not sure this is necessarily a bad thing.

    • by ggraham412 (1492023) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:15PM (#43204633)
      Any EULA must be enforceable. Just because it is written down doesn't make it so. For example, the EULA can't say that the buyer must provide a webcam feed from their bedroom, or is required to deliver up their firstborn son on demand.

      And that's what this is all about. What is valid and enforceable in a EULA and what is not. Hopefully the pendulum is swinging back to a common law conception of ownership, and damn all the restrictive EULAs. And if Apple or Microsoft or anyone else with restrictive EULAs wants to bow out of the marketplace because they can't fathom how to make a phone or a videogame console without restrictive EULAs, I say let them take their toys and go home. Their market shares will be taken up in a microsecond by plenty of companies willing to make a buck actually **selling** such things.
  • We own you. There is no other 'own'.

  • by Keruo (771880) on Monday March 18, 2013 @12:55PM (#43204355)
    Can someone explain to me what the fuss is about unlocking?
    If I understand it right, you are not allowed to unlock a phone which you are buying with monthly contract.
    Well, makes sense to me, you haven't paid the device fully, it's not yours to hack.
    Once you've paid the (24 month?) contract you're free to do what you want with the device.
    If you don't like those terms why did you even buy the phone with contract rather than directly with cash?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:03PM (#43204463)

      You are actually not free to do with your phone as you like after the contract runs out in th US, it is still a violation to unlock your phone yourself. You need the carrier to do it for you.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      You own it at that point, the contract termination fee is there to recover the cost that hasn't yet been paid.

      And, you pay that fee whether or not you get a phone in most cases. The whole thing is a scam designed to make it hard to change carriers.

    • by gurps_npc (621217)
      What you describe would be OK. But it is not accurate.

      There is no release after the contract is up.. It doesn't matter if you have owned it for one month or 10 years, you NEVER gain the right to do what you want with the device.

    • Whilst your argument hold water to a certain extent the fact exists that once you enter into a contract you are bound to pay the monies due under the contract regardless of what you do to the phone.

      If the phone is uninsured and you lose or break it, you still have to pay the contracted fees. So, what loss is there to the supplier if you unlock your phone?

      As for the fuss of unlocking - well, if you own a device you should be able to use it unfettered. It would be like purchasing a chest of drawers only

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      >Once you've paid the (24 month?) contract you're free to do what you want with the device.
      That's just it, you're not. Unlocking a phone which you paid for free and clear still requires circumventing DRM, which is illegal under the DMCA

    • by RattFink (93631)

      Phones from cell phone companies are sold locked regardless of if they are with a contract or not. At least one provider (t-mobile) forced me to subscribe 6 months before they would unlock it.

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      1) You're buying the device. What you're essentially doing is paying in small increments over a certain period of time, but the device is still yours. If you terminate the contract at any point, you have to pay the remaining balance (in the US, it's usually even more than that). It's more some sort of loan that the telecom provider is giving you to lock you into their service than anything else.

      2) Even after the phone has been "paid back", you're still disallowed to unlock it. Even if you buy the phone in
    • by xiando (770382)
      I bought my phone for cash. It came with a prepaid SIM card. It did not say anything anywhere about the phone being locked to the Swedish Comviq corporation. It took me about 5 minutes to root and unlock the phone, but still, I found that very annoying. The ICA Maxi grocery store should have had a sign or something that said the $90 Samsung GIO phone was locked. For for laws against unlocking, it's apparently better to be in the completely undemocratic European Union than being in the United States of Fasci
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 18, 2013 @12:56PM (#43204361)

    0. The freedom to use software however you wish.

    1. The freedom to change software to suit your needs.

    2. The freedom to distribute the software to anyone else, and in
    doing so "to help your neighbor".

    3. The freedom to distribute altered versions of the software,
    and in doing so cultivate a community centered around the evolution of the
    software.

    Call it what you will, unlocking is an expression of Freedoms 1 and 2.

  • Fortune 500 telecom manufacturer Avaya, for example, is known for suing service companies, accusing them of violating copyright for simply using a password to log in to their phone systems. That's right: typing in a password is considered "reproducing copyrighted material."

    I'd like to see a valid citation for this example, it smacks of hype. How do you copyright a single word? This isn't a logo or trademark. I don't see that flying well in court.
    Other than that, I agree cellphones should be unlockable once the contract term is up, or if the phone is bought outright.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:02PM (#43204445)

    Seriously Boycott Apple and Microsoft, that are locking hardware. Its not hard to support companies that have open hardware. The fact that your xbox, and iDevices are locked down is only part of the problem...and soon your general purpose computer.

    I'm sorry your favourite abusive mega corporation wants to lock you into their self styled ecosystem. Its easy to walk away...I did.

  • by oGMo (379) on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:04PM (#43204473)

    We Should Be Allowed To Unlock Everything We Own

    This sentiment is so wrong on so many levels. Stuff should not be "locked" in the first place.

  • "Manufacturers have systematically used copyright in this manner over the past 20 years to limit our access to information. Technology has moved too fast for copyright laws to keep pace, so corporations have been exploiting the lag to create information monopolies at our expense and for their profit."

    It's been more like 15 years for most of the abuse, and the majority of the problem is due to bad recent laws like the DMCA and CFAA. Granted, CFAA is from 1984 law but it has been amended several times, even recently.

    In the case of CFAA, I agree that the law is outdated and needs serious change. But (as clearly shown by DMCA), it is NOT a matter of technology moving too fast for law to keep up. On the contrary: corporate lobbying has deliberately twisted the law into a corporate profiteering tool, rathe

  • by macraig (621737) <mark DOT a DOT craig AT gmail DOT com> on Monday March 18, 2013 @01:08PM (#43204539)

    This tactic of hoarding information and claiming copyright - aka Divine mandate - is called shamanism. It's a very VERY old tactic. Copyright is just a new twist on the tactic that lets opportunists without a Divine birthright get in on the action.

    Information has always been a commodity, for better or worse and "right" or wrong.

  • The UltraViolet movement of the movie industry is an attempt to control your ownership of the DVD you purchased.

  • I feel like the blurb (at the bottom) from http://fixthedma.org/ [fixthedma.org] is just not enough. This article goes further...

    Let's go even further.

    Anti-circumvention technologies should be ILLEGAL in general consumer devices. They are anti-competitive, restrict consumer choice, and usually have to spy on users. The LAW already protects those corporations copyright interests (and to an insane degree, but that is a slightly different rant).

    It seems like we've given up on what a government for and by the people is su

  • Provide a EULA with your payment that explicitly defines the terms in which they may use the monetary service you are providing them in exchange for their goods and/or services.
    Then file claim when they fail to comply.

  • One approach which would encourage companies to do the right thing would be to tax products based on the amount of e-waste they produce but then allow for a small discount if the product is open and repairable. And no I don't care about Apple's and similar company's greenwashing "recycling" campaigns, their 8-12 month planned- obsolescence cycle is an enormous and unnecessary impact on the environment. All I ask is that the companies which benefit enormously from irreparable short-lived products pay for thi
  • Would you pay (guesstimates) $1200 for an xbox or $700 for a cell phone.. I am as against this locking crap as much as the next guy but you have to realize the hardware, software, support and infrastructure cost a few more dollars than the free phone or the $199-$399 you pay for xbox etc..

    My guess is we would have a squeel-fest if the price was a real market retail price for these items.

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