Public Comment Period on Console Jailbreaking Ending Soon

March 1, 2012 -

Video game console makers Microsoft and Sony are squaring off against enthusiast hackers, academics, and organizations such as the EFF who would like to make the act of jailbreaking legal. There is already an exception in place that allows the iPhone to be jailbroken, so supporters of gaining similar allowances for the Xbox 360 and PS3 are urging the U.S. Copyright Office to make these exceptions. The copyright office is currently accepting public input comments on the subject until Friday, and will likely make a decision soon shortly thereafter.

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Federal Appeals Court Says Decryption Court Orders are a Violation of the Fifth Amendment

February 24, 2012 -

A federal appeals court has concluded that a Florida man who refused to decrypt several electronic devices and was subsequently imprisoned, had his civil rights violated. This is the first time an appeals courts has ruled in favor of protections for encrypted devices and software. The court ruled in The United States v. Doe that the man's Fifth Amendment Rights were violated.

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EFF Promises Lawsuits if MegaUpload Customer Data is not Retained

February 3, 2012 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked all parties involved in the MegaUpload criminal case to halt any plans to delete or otherwise dispose of data hosted on severs once leased by file-hosting services. With its assets frozen and its operators in jail, MegaUpload is unable to pay for storage of the data.

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EFF Launches Megaretrieval.com to Help MegaUpload Customers

February 1, 2012 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched a site - megaretrieval.com - dedicated to helping legitimate customers of MegaUpload retrieve their lost data - put in limbo when the Federal government seized the servers and the assets of the file-sharing site. The goal of the site is to help innocent users who used the site to store data that was not in anyway infringing on other people's intellectual property (in other words, they were not engaged in any type of piracy).

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MegaUpload User Data Safe for Two Weeks, EFF Joins the Fight

January 31, 2012 -

Those who have data on MegaUpload and were concerned that it might get deleted on Thursday by the companies that facilitate the site's storage get some good news this morning - the data has been given a slight extension. And on a related note, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has begun a campaign this week to get "innocent users" of MegaUpload’s service to get in touch with them to explore possible legal measures for retrieving their data. MegaUpload’s online storage service was shut down by U.S. law enforcement earlier this month.

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Humble Introversion Bundle Pulls in $778,643.57

December 10, 2011 -

The Humble Introversion Bundle closed earlier this week, selling 190,261 bundles for a grand total of $778,643.57.  The dough will be divided up between Humble Bundle itself, the developers of the games included in the bundle, and two charities: the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child’s Play.

As always seems to be the case, Linux users paid the most, averaging $8.78 with Mac users following at $5.90 and Windows users bringing up the rear at $3.40.

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EFF Asks US Copyright Office to Exempt Jailbreaking, Fair Use from DMCA

December 5, 2011 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked the US Copyright Office to exempt jailbreaking devices such as the iPhone and PS3 from enforcement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

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DailyKOS Takes on SOPA, PROTECT IP

November 29, 2011 -

Left-leaning political blog DailyKOS joins the editorial pages of the New York Times and Los Angeles Times in opposition of the House's Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate's Protect IP Act. In a post titled "Congress is close to destroying the internet (no hyperbole)," DailyKOS says that it is not hyperbole when they say that lawmakers, big Pharmaceutical companies, and the recording, and movie industries are out to destroy the internet.

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EFF Issues Appeal for Help to Fight Against SOPA and Protect IP

November 23, 2011 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is taking up arms against the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and they want your help to do it. The advocacy that supports internet rights and freedom of speech online says that these new bills are "a threatening sequel to last year's COICA Internet censorship bill" and that this legislation "invites Internet security risks, threatens online speech, and hampers Internet innovation."

More Games Added to The Humble Voxatron Debut

November 10, 2011 -

The Humble Voxatron Debut today added more games and an updated version of Voxatron as the "pay what you want" indie game promotion continues rake in hundreds-of-thousands of dollars for its developers and supported charities including Child's Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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Humblie Indie Bundle 3 Adds Atom Zombie Smasher

August 5, 2011 -

The Humble Indie Bundle 3 keeps getting bigger and better. Earlier this week the "name your own price" game bundle added all the games from the last bundle - Humble Indie Bundle 2. Today the bundle adds yet another game: Atom Zombie Smasher. The game is a bonus title, joining the previously announced bonus game Steel Storm: Burning Retribution. If you've already bought Humble Indie Bundle 3, just go to your download page and grab it.

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EFF Joins ECA, DCIA in Opposition of Bill S. 978

July 19, 2011 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has joined the Entertainment Consumer Association (ECA) and the DCIA in opposing the bill S. 978, also known as the anti-streaming bill being fast tracked through the U.S. Congress. The advocacy group issued an alert urging the public to oppose the bill, which it called a "reckless attempt to attack online streaming by focusing on the 'unlawful public performance' area of copyright law." Much like the ECA's letter campaign, the EFF is offering a way for the community to send a strong letter to their elected officials. More from the alert:

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EFF Backs Datel in Microsoft DMCA Case

June 21, 2011 -

This week the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a brief in support of videogame accessory company Datel, which accused Microsoft of using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to take down the competition in the Xbox 360 memory card market.

Microsoft filed a lawsuit in May alleging that Datel's SD-card-based memory cards violate the DMCA's provision against "technologies that can circumvent digital protections," adding that they could possibly be used to change gamer profiles and manually change Xbox Live Achievements. The EFF legal brief argues that the DMCA provision being used by Microsoft was intended to prevent piracy and copyright infringement, and not to block competitors who want to sell compatible products.

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Geohot Donates Legal Defense Fundraiser Leftovers to EFF

April 16, 2011 -

Quick recap:

-Sony sued George “Geohot” Hotz for jailbreaking the PS3
-Hotz asked for donations to mount a legal defense, raising enough over a weekend
-Sony and Hotz settled

Since the settlement, there have been quite a few irate comments from the folks who donated that run along the lines of: “Oh what?  You’re just going to pocket the money we donated you stinkin’ nerf herder?!”

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EFF on Sony v. Hotz

January 24, 2011 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a recent statement that the legal action Sony has taken against George Hotz sends a dangerous message. The groups says that it has been warning of the dangers of the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act including having a chilling effect on free speech and stifling research on security issues.

The EFF says that legitimate security researchers will be afraid to publish results for fear of facing legal action from big corporations. They also added that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could be abused to try to make alleged contract violations into crimes. Here is more from the EFF statement:

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Humble Indie Bundle 2 Adds Humble Indie Bundle 1 Into the Mix

December 23, 2010 -

The Humble Indie Bundle 2 has upped the ante for those who want a whole bunch of cool independently developed PC games at a decent price. Now those that buy the Indie Bundle 2 can get all the games from Indie Bundle 1. The only catch is that you will have to pay the average price currently listed on the site. Still, that is a little over $10 for over 11 games.

Collectively the games include Braid, Cortex Command, Machinarium, Osmos, Revenge of the Titans, World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru HD, Penumbra Overture, and Samfrost 2.

So far, the Indie Game Bundle 2 has raised $1.5 million for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child's Play charities. Get in on the action here.

Source: Joystiq

2 comments

The Humble Indie Bundle 2 Revealed

December 15, 2010 -

The new Humble Bundle has been revealed, and once again, proceeds will benefit the Child's Play charity and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Like last year, the community is asked to pay whatever they want to get a handful of games.

While some will take advantage and pay next to nothing some in the community are proving to be very generous with their pricing. According to the web site one person pledged to pay $1,000 for the bundle. Wolfire's first pay-what-you-want Humble Indie Bundle raised $1 million dollars in ten days, $180,000 of which customers earmarked for EFF.

This year's bundle includes Braid, Cortex Command, Machinarium, Osmos, and Revenge of the Titans. The games are worth around $85. Games in "ongoing development" offer consumers access to all future updates.

For more information, visit the bundle's official web site. Check out the promo video Wolfire put together.

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EFF Offers Aid to USCG John Doe Defendants

August 10, 2010 -

Has the U.S. Copyright Group got you down because you might be a John Doe named in some blanket lawsuit concerning illegal movie downloads? Well buck up little camper, because the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to help you.

The EFF has published "U.S. Copyright Group v. the People," a collection of resources to assist the thousands of individuals accused of online copyright infringement by the Washington, D.C.-based law firm, the U.S. Copyright Group (USCG).

As you are probably already aware, the USCG filed "John Doe" lawsuits on behalf of seven filmmakers against more than 14,000 anonymous defendants for "unauthorized downloads of films including Far Cry and The Hurt Locker. The group is threatening thousands of defendants with a judgment of up to $150,000 per downloaded movie in the hopes that they will settle out of court for a mere $1,500 - $2,500 per person.

 

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EFF Dissects ACTA

November 19, 2009 -

A pair of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Directors penned an article which delves into some of the issues surrounding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations.

The Impact of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement on the Knowledge Economy (PDF) was published in the Yale Journal of International Law. Authors Eddan Katz, EFF International Affairs Director, and Gwen Hinze, EFF International Policy Director, call the secret ACTA negotiations a threat “to undermine the balance of IP at the foundation of sustainable innovation and creativity.”

The EFF is concerned as well with the “unprecedented” secrecy around ACTA negotiations. The organization attempted to gain information using freedom of information laws, but only received 159 pages of information, while 1,362 were withheld due to national security concerns.

The U.S. is negotiating ACTA as a sole executive agreement, meaning that agreements “are concluded on the basis of the President’s independent constitutional authority alone.” The authors note that such agreements are not subjected to congressional vote, thus removing “the inter-branch accountability mechanisms essential to balanced policymaking.”

Circumventing the involvement of organizations such as World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), who typically account for “a range of interests” also removes “checks and balances” from ACTA negotiations.

Why should you and I be concerned about ACTA? The EFF has three responses for that question:

…though it was originally portrayed as an agreement to coordinate best practices on border enforcement of physical goods, ACTA will extend to regulation of global Internet traffic.

...implementation of ACTA may require amending U.S. law and upsetting developments in controversial areas of public policy.

…using trade agreements to set global norms for intellectual property enforcement risks distorting national information regulation.

The EFF authors offer the following proposals as ways to improve the transparency and accountability of ACTA:

• Reform trade advisory committees for more diverse representation;
• Strengthen congressional oversight and negotiating objectives;
• Institutionalize transparency guidelines for trade negotiations;
• Implement the State Department’s solicitation of public comments under the Circular 175 procedure


ACTA negotiations are scheduled to resume in January.

11 comments

Electronic Frontier Foundation Launches School Copyright Curriculum

June 8, 2009 -

A couple of weeks back GamePolitics reported that the Copyright Alliance had developed a K-12 curriculum designed to drill the IP lobbying group's message into school children.

By contrast, the more consumer-friendly Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched Teaching Copyright, a curriculum of its own. As one might expect, the EFF takes a much different approach than the Copyright Alliance.

While I'm not sure that either side in the copyright debate should be permitted to chew up precious educational time, the EFF points out that California law requires such curriculum:

In 2006, California passed a law requiring schools that accept technology funding to educate students about copyright, plagiarism, and the basics of Internet safety. Other states have since considered similar laws...

 

When we surveyed existing digital education resources related to copyright, we were dismayed to find that... the materials focused on drilling students on the prohibitions of copyright... we could not stand by and let this educational opportunity become an excuse to scare young people away from making full and fair use of the digital technologies that will continue to affect virtually every aspect of their lives.

The EFF's curriculum includes:

  • What is legal online?
  • How is creativity being enabled by new technologies?
  • What digital rights and responsibilities exist already, and what roles do we play as users of digital technology?

However, Nate Anderson of Ars Technica expressed some concerns about the EFF's educational prorgam:

The EFF's curriculum rightly says that P2P isn't just for copyright infringement... But the material glosses quickly over the absolutely epic levels of infringement taking place on P2P networks...

The [EFF] curriculum seems to presuppose, in fact, that students have already been bombarded with rightsholder concerns to the point that these can almost be left out of the discussion.

 

8 comments

DRM in Your Car's Engine

May 20, 2009 -

GamePolitics readers are familiar with the Digital Rights Management controversy which marred the release of Will Wright's long-awaited Spore last year.

But DRM and the consumer-unfriendly Digital Millenium Copyright Act are apparently concerns for drivers as well as gamers.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that a proposal before Congress would allow independent auto repair shops to break the DRM which currently locks them out of your car's diagnostic computer:

The Right-To-Repair Act of 2009 (H.R. 2057)... points to a much bigger consumer issue... One underlying legal problem here is the DMCA, which prohibits bypassing or circumventing "technological protection measures..."

And the issue goes beyond the importance of being able to get independent repair and maintenance services. The use of technological "locks" against tinkerers also threatens "user innovation" -- the kinds of innovation that traditionally have come from independent tinkerers -- which has increasingly been recognized as an important part of economic growth and technological improvement...

In short, thanks to the DMCA, we need a Right-To-Repair Act not just for cars, but increasingly for all the things we own.

Via: boing boing

15 comments

Hal Halpin, ECA on Hand For Today's FTC Town Hall Meeting on DRM in Seattle

March 25, 2009 -

The Federal Trade Commission's much-anticipated Town Hall Meeting on digital rights management (DRM) will take place today at the University of Washington Law School in Seattle.

The all-day event begins at 8:30 A.M. Pacific and will be webcast live.

Among other participants, Entertainment Consumers Association President Hal Halpin will serve on the 1:15 P.M. panel "Informing Consumers." According to the FTC's agenda, "This panel will discuss how companies communicate the existence and effects of DRM protections on products and services to consumers. It will explore ways of providing consumers with better notice."

In advance of his panel appearance, Halpin issued a statement on the Town Hall Meeting:

Over the past year we have witnessed a growing concern from gamers about the issues of increasingly invasive Digital Rights Management (DRM) and End User Licensing Agreements (EULAs). While we respect the careful balance that must exist between the content community and the customer, and agree that piracy is an ever-present challenge for the trade, it is also becoming evident that consumer rights are being diminished in the process...

The law, in the area of EULAs in particular, is not as clear as it once was. And the software industry’s potential side-stepping of the First Sale Doctrine’s protections – by terming their products as “licensed” rather than “sold” - leaves us concerned about the future of interactive entertainment, generally...

Halpin also noted that the ECA is preparing new position statements on both DRM and EULAs. You can read the full text of his statement here.

Among others known to be appearing at the Town Hall on behalf of consumers is Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

5 comments

Electronic Frontier Foundation Calls on FTC to Protect Consumers From DRM

February 13, 2009 -

Digital activist group the Electronic Frontier Foundation has called upon the Federal Trade Commission to mitigate the harm caused to consumers by digital rights management (DRM).

An EFF press release quotes staff attorney Corynne McSherry (left) on the DRM issue:

DRM does not prevent piracy.

 

At this point, DRM seems intended to accomplish a very different purpose: giving some industry leaders unprecedented power to influence the pace and nature of innovation and upsetting the traditional balance between the interests of copyright owners and the interests of the public.

 

The best way to fix the problem is to get rid of DRM on consumer products and reform the [Digital Millenium Copyright Act], but the steps we're suggesting will help protect technology users and future technology innovation in the meantime.

The EFF press release adds:

Industry leaders argue that DRM is necessary to protect sales of digital media, but DRM systems are consistently and routinely broken almost immediately upon their introduction.

The group filed public comments with the FTC in advance of the government agency's Town Hall on DRM, which is scheduled for March 25th in Seattle.

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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
 

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