3d printing, the new frontier of piracy?

We’ve all heard the countless arguments about piracy in digital media. However, it appears that 3d printing or other rapid prototyping systems are bringing legal issues to a more physical world. The story goes like this: [Thomas]  bought a 3d printer. He’s a big fan of warhammer figurines. He spends tons of time creating some custom warhammer figures, and uploads them to thingaverse. Games Workshop, the owners of Warhammer, unleashed the lawyers and had the items removed.

There are so many angles to this story, the mind boggles. If I were an artist, and someone else was uploading copies of my work, essentially stopping my revenue, it would suck. Then again, if I were lucky enough to have a fanatical fan base that spread the love for my product with excitement and zeal, I might want to encourage them. Neither of those thoughts however, cover the legal issue at the base here. We don’t have an answer for you. Sorry. You’ll probably be seeing this issue pop up more and more often in the future.

We encourage you to make our logo. Though we haven’t bothered to ask our lawyers.

The pirate box

One of the most fun aspects of a LAN party was exploring the shared files of all the other users on the network. There were people that would show up, solely for the file swapping. That is exactly what this project is about. From the projects wiki, the Pirate box is a mobile p2p sharing and collaboration platform. Basically it is a wireless hotspot with a slick interface and a shared folder. It doesn’t connect to the internet, and it doesn’t log any connections. You can have a file swapping session simply by flipping it on and sharing its space with other people. They’ve included a step by step guide to setting up your own, but if you’re going to do some subversive file swapping we might suggest putting it in a less conspicuous enclosure. Imagine this as a portable verion of dead drops.

You’re stealing it wrong: a speech by Jason Scott

slipped disk in all of his glory

[Jason Scott], data historian extraordinaire gave this fantastic speech at Defcon 18 about the history of inter-pirate piracy. At an hour long, it is an enthralling journey through computer history, especially pertaining to piracy. Take a seat, no matter how much you know about security and piracy, you are likely to learn a few things. We find the lesser discussed issues like pirates stealing other pirates work interesting, as well as the part where pirates have to crack really boring software to have a release when there’s nothing better out there. Also worth noting, according to [Jason], the demoscene evolved from the little opening sequences from cracks. There are just too many interesting aspects to note here, even some porn related stories during the BBS days.

This is a great lesson from someone who is both knowledgeable and entertaining. [Jason] teaches this stuff without ever sounding stuffy, boring, or overly technical. Catch the video after the break.

[Read more...]

Microsoft anti-piracy solution backfires in China

There’s no doubt that software piracy is rampant in China. Microsoft attempted to remedy the problem with its new version of Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy program, which will turn the screen black every hour if the system fails the validation test. Previous versions just notified the user that they were using pirated software. You can imagine this didn’t go over too well with the Chinese, who were outraged by the inconvenience and more than one even accused Microsoft of hacking into their computers. A genuine, unpirated version of Windows costs over 1000 RMB, which is more than most Chinese make in a month. Contrast that with the 5 RMB (less than one US dollar) for the pirated version, and you’ve got a no-brainer.

[via MetaFilter]

PS3 hacked for backups?


The video above supposedly shows a Playstation 3 booting a game from the hard drive by booting a legitimate game from disc. There aren’t many other details besides a comment that backing up Blu-ray discs takes a lot of space. So, if this does actually work, it’s doubtful we’ll see much piracy because of it.

[via PS3Scene]

Hackit: Ripping DVDs


A recent report from Futuresource Consulting states that just under 1/3 of Americans and just over 1/3 of UK residents have engaged in some form of DVD ripping in the last 6 months. Though [Jacqui Cheng] of Ars Technica was unphased, we were very surprised to learn that one of the most common methods is possibly the most low-tech, yet certainly cross-platform: hooking a DVD player to a DVD recorder via coaxial cable or composite. Our toolbelt is somewhat different, as we imagine yours is.

[Read more...]

Mr. Modchip ruling released


In an unexpected development, [Neil Stanley Higgs], aka Mr. Modchips, was cleared of his previous convictions in British courts for selling modchips for the Xbox 360 as well as modded consoles.

Notably, the prosecution did not argue that he infringed copyrights, but merely facilitated copyright infringement by selling modchips that circumvent the Xbox’s ETM. Since the copyright infringement argument was not made, existing law continues to hold sellers of pirated games and owners of modded consoles responsible for infringing the copyrights of game developers, as they are the ones who illegally copy the software. Pirated game sellers’ violation of the law is plain to see, but owners are still held responsible the moment they place the pirated disc into the loading tray and boot it up. The infringement in these cases occurs exactly when any part of the pirated game is loaded onto the console’s RAM, as this is considered another illegal copy.

[Higgs]‘s charges hinged on whether the Xbox’s piracy prevention methods were intended to completely prevent pirated games from being played or merely act as a hindrance. The court felt it was the latter, and so they reversed the charges.

[via Xbox-Scene via Team Xecuter]
[photo: Raybdbomb]

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