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13/09/2020 00:38:44  

Science fiction writer Cory Doctorow (also a former EFF staffer and activist) explains why he's crowdfunding his new audiobook online. Despite the large publishers for his print editions, "I can't get anyone to do my audiobooks. Amazon and its subsidiary Audible, which controls 90% of the audiobook sales, won't carry any of my audiobooks because I won't let them put any of their digital rights management on it. "I don't want you locked in with their DRM as a condition of experiencing my work," he explains in a video on Kickstarter. "And so I have to do it myself." He's promising to sell the completed book through all the usual platforms "except Audible," because "I want to send a message. If we get a lot of pre-orders for this, it's going to tell something to Amazon and Audible about how people prioritize the stories they love over the technology they hate, and why technological freedom matters to people. "It's also going to help my publisher and other major publishers understand that there is an opportunity here to work with crowdfunding platforms in concert with the major publishers' platforms to sell a lot of books in ways that side-step the monopolists, and that connect artists and audiences directly." it's the third book in a series which began with the dystopian thriller Little Brother (recommended by Neil Gaiman) and continued with a sequel named Homeland. ("You may have seen Edward Snowden grab it off his bedstand and put it in his go bag and go into permanent exile in Hong Kong" in the documentary Citizen 4," Doctorow says in his fundraising video.) The newest book, Attack Surface, finds a "technologist from the other side" — a surveillance contractor — now reckoning with their conscience while being hunted with the very cyber-weapons they'd helped to build. "There are a lot of technologists who are reckoning with the moral consequences of their actions these days," Doctorow says, adding "that's part of what inspired me to write this... "Anyone who's been paying attention knows that there's been a collision between our freedom and our technology brewing for a long time." Just three days after launching the Kickstarter campaign, Doctorow had already raised over $120,000 over his original goal of $7,000 — with 26 days left to go. And he also promises that the top pledge premium is for real.... $10,000 You and Cory together come up with the premise for his next story in the "Little Brother" universe. $75 or more All three novels as both audiobooks and ebooks $40 or more All three novels as audiobooks $35 or more All three novels as ebooks $25 or more The audiobook and the ebook of Cory's new novel, Attack Surface $15 or more The audiobook for Attack Surface $14 or more The new book Attack Surface in ebook format as a .mobi/.epub file $11 or more The second book in the series, Homeland, in ebook format as a .mobi/.epub file $10 or more The first novel in the series in ebook format as a .mobi/.epub file $1 or more Cory will email you the complete text of "Little Brother," the first book in the series, cryptographically signed with his private key

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

11/09/2020 01:38:18  

Several organizations have asked the Copyright Office to renew the exemption to the DMCA's DRM circumvention restrictions. This would allow, they argued, abandoned online games to be preserved for future generations. In addition, the Software Preservation Network and the Library Copyright Alliance have asked for an expansion to allow these games to be made available more broadly.

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30/08/2020 20:35:34  

Oakland's nonprofit "Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment" housed 40,000 historic pieces of videogame memorabilia — including 11,000 playable games. In 2017 they were the ones urging America's copyright office to allow museums and libraries to circumvent DRM to preserve abandoned online games like FIFA World Cup, Nascar and The Sims. The museum's sponsors include GitHub, Google, PlayStation, and Dolby Digital. But now the MADE is "set to close its doors, with uncertainty ahead about whether it'll ever be able to reopen," reports GamesIndustry.biz: Founder and director Alex Handy said in an interview with GamesBeat that the group managing the museum couldn't reach an agreement on rent for the place during the COVID-19 crisis... 80% of its budget comes from admissions, its website says, and since it's been closed since March due to the pandemic, it's now forced to shut down and move its collections to storage. Storage will be paid for thanks to donations — still open on this page and will also go towards eventually finding a new space for the museum. "The current plan is to stay in storage for two years while we raise the funds and make plans to create our dream video game museum," the museum's website reads. "When we're ready, we will be back and better than ever, mark our words."

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26/08/2020 20:34:47  

Jim Salter, reporting for ArsTechnica: A reader tipped us off today that HBO Max stopped working a couple of weeks ago for Linux users, under any Web browser. Any attempt to play back a video on the streaming service on a Linux system -- regardless of distribution or browser -- returns an error saying, "We're having trouble playing this video. Please try again later." Unfortunately, trying again later won't help -- the root cause of the problem is that the Widevine DRM attempting to protect HBO Max's content from pirates is refusing to recognize any Linux system as a known platform. We saw the same thing happen in January, when CBS All Access suddenly stopped working on Linux in the same way. When we asked CBS executives if they had enabled the Verified Media Path (VMP) requirement on their Widevine server, they suddenly clammed up -- but later that day, the service miraculously worked for Linux users again. We did verify that HBO Max will not work on Linux browsers and that the problem is -- once again -- Widevine DRM refusing to issue a license. Although HBO Max has not returned requests for comment at press time, it seems very likely that the cause here is the same as it was for CBS All Access back in January. It seems like somebody enabled Verified Media Path on the Widevine server, and since the Linux kernel is not a verified media path, Linux users can't get a license and can't watch the content.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

17/08/2020 21:32:56  

Since its 1996 PC release, id's seminal shooter Quake has been ported to everything from flip phones and smartphones to game consoles and Web browsers. But even many serious fans of the series don't know about Quake Arcade Tournament Edition (Quake ATE), an officially licensed version of the game that ran on custom arcade cabinets. From a report: Even among those who know about it, few ever got a chance to play it during the brief time it was in arcades, and hardware-based DRM built into the cabinet meant the game wasn't playable on home emulators. That state of affairs now seems set to change thanks to the recent release of a Windows executable that can decrypt the data dumped from those aging arcade hard drives for play on a modern home computer.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.