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Category Archives: Digital Rights

Is DRM evil?

The Long Tail: “EFF organizer, BoingBoinger and Wired contributor Cory Doctorow, perhaps the best-informed person I know on the subject of Digital Rights Management, argues that Wired should be taking a more activist stance against it:

Wired seems to be a little soft on DRM these days; the recent Wired spin-off, Wired Test, featured page on page of reviews of music players, media PCs, and PVRs with hardly a mention of the fact that all of these devices were fundamentally crippleware, and all controlled by entertainment companies who can and do arbitrarily remove functionality from them after they have entered the marketplace, so that the device that you’ve bought does less today than it did when you opened the box. If you’re publishing a consumer-advice magazine, it seems like this is the kind of thing you should be noting for your readers: “If you buy this, your investment will be contingent on the ongoing goodwill of some paranoid Warners exec whose astrologer has told him that your pause button will put him out of business and must be disabled.”

The Race to Save Our Secrets From the Computers of the Future

The New York Times: Quantum technology could compromise our encryption systems. Can America replace them before it’s too late? [read free] “They call it Q-Day: the day when a quantum computer, one more powerful than any yet built, could shatter the world of privacy and security as we know it. It would happen through a… Continue Reading

Your Personal Information Is Probably Being Used to Train Generative AI Models

Scientific American: “Artists and writers are up in arms about generative artificial intelligence systems—understandably so. These machine learning models are only capable of pumping out images and text because they’ve been trained on mountains of real people’s creative work, much of it copyrighted. Major AI developers including OpenAI, Meta and Stability AI now face multiple… Continue Reading

The US library system, once the best in the world, faces death by a thousand cuts

Brewster Kahle – The Guardian: “The US library system, once the model for the world, is under assault from politicians, rightwing activists and corporate publishers. Book bans are at record levels, and libraries across the country are facing catastrophic budget cuts, a fate only narrowly avoided by New York City’s public libraries this summer. In… Continue Reading

Libro for audiobook

“ is an employee-owned Social Purpose Corporation that shares profits from your audiobook purchases with your chosen bookstore, giving you the power to keep money within your local economy. Whether you are paying for monthly membership, giving an audiobook gift to a friend, or buying audiobooks for yourself or your organization, shares the profit… Continue Reading

Reclaiming Control: The Internet Archive Empowers People. Gatekeepers Keep Suing

Tech Dirt: “…About a year and a half later, the Internet Archive was sued for providing books in this manner to the public. The suit was triggered by a short-lived, well meaning program that made books available to students during a dark part of the pandemic by lifting certain restrictions on how many people at… Continue Reading

Zoom May Use Your Calls and Data to Train AI

Cyber Kendra: “…Recently, the popular video conferencing platform, Zoom, brought in a significant change to its terms of service which has sent ripples of worry across its vast user base. With this revision, Zoom has brought under its wing the permission to use users’ data to train Artificial Intelligence (AI). While this has undoubtedly sparked… Continue Reading

It’s Time to Rethink Digital Ownership

Wired: “In his quest to watch every Nicolas Cage movie in chronological order, law professor and author Aaron Perzanowski confirmed that he owns nothing—and that you probably don’t, either.” This is a podcast that includes a transcript…. Lauren Goode: “And do you own that music in the cloud? Gideon Lichfield: Well, that’s an interesting question… Continue Reading

Cory Doctorow is a Bestselling Author, but Audible Won’t Carry his Audiobooks

Editorial by Cory Doctorow: “Audible is a monopolist. The audiobook giant – a division of Amazon – controls more than 90 percent of the audiobook market in most commercially significant categories. Audible built that monopoly the old-fashioned way: by cheating. Audible is part of the Amazon conglomerate. Like all tech giants, Amazon’s growth strategy was… Continue Reading

How to Tell If an Image Is AI Generated

How to Geek: AI photos are getting better, but there are still ways to tell if you’re looking at the real thing — most of the time. An AI-generated photograph is any image that has been produced or manipulated with synthetic content using so-called artificial intelligence (AI) software based on machine learning. As the images cranked… Continue Reading

‘Not for Machines to Harvest’: Data Revolts Break Out Against A.I.

The New York Times [free to read]: “Fed up with A.I. companies consuming online content without consent, fan fiction writers, actors, social media companies and news organizations are among those rebelling…Fan fiction writers are just one group now staging revolts against A.I. systems as a fever over the technology has gripped Silicon Valley and the… Continue Reading

Digital Privacy Legislation is Civil Rights Legislation

EFF: “Our personal data and the ways private companies harvest and monetize it plays an increasingly powerful role in modern life. Corporate databases are vast, interconnected, and opaque. The movement and use of our data is difficult to understand, let alone trace. Yet companies use it to reach inferences about us, leading to lost employment,… Continue Reading