Archive for January 23, 2006

melvin – lockpicker

A business card made of metal. A business card made of lockpicks.

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New Senate Broadcast Flag Bill Would Freeze Fair Use

For your viewing pleasure, while I still can, I present an EFF article concerning yet another attempt to limit what you do with content. This latest draft legislation wants to allow “customary historic use of broadcast content by consumers to the extent such use is consistent with applicable law.” How very generous of them. All that stuff you used to do? We guess you can keep doing it. All those cool new ideas? Bugger off.

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Freedom to Tinker » Analog Hole Bill Would Impose a Secret Law

So the Sensenbrenner/Conyers Analog Hole bill requires almost all analog video devices to comply with 2 technologies: CGMS-A and VEIL. What are these technologies that a new law will be required in your TV and your PC? Nuh-uh, not telling.

After some discussion, the company helpfully explained that I could get the spec, if I first signed their license agreement. The agreement requires me (a) to pay them $10,000, and (b) to promise not to talk to anybody about what is in the spec. In other words, I can know the contents of the bill Congress is debating, but only if I pay $10k to a private party, and only if I promise not to tell anybody what is in the bill or engage in public debate about it.
Worse yet, this license covers only half of the technology: the VEIL decoder, which detects VEIL signals. There is no way you or I can find out about the encoder technology that puts VEIL signals into video.

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