Tag: DRM

A celebration of Libro.fm: the indie, DRM-free Audible alternative that helps your local bookseller (with giveaway!)

(Neither Boing Boing nor I have received any compensation for this post: Libro.fm asked me to post this and I did so because I want to see them succeed -Cory) Libro.fm (previously) is an independent audiobook store that sells all the same audiobooks you can get on other platforms like Audible, Google Play, […]

Read More

Google’s Widevine L3 DRM, used by Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, has been broken

Today’s theme seems to be DRM. Security researcher David Buchanan has managed to crack open Widevine L3, one of Google’s less secure Widevine DRM implementations used by apps like Netflix and Hulu. Once decrypted, streams using the DRM method can be played back in “plain old ffmpeg” — trivially easily, in other words. On the […]

Read More

USB Type-C Authentication Program gets started, sounds like it’s effectively DRM for Type-C devices

Today the USB-IF, the non-profit behind the USB standard’s marketing and specifications, revealed the formal launch of its “USB Type-C™ Authentication Program,” originally announced back in 2016. The optional program “defines cryptographic-based authentication for USB Type-C chargers and devices.” If that sounds like a thinly veiled euphemism for hardware DRM to you, that’s because it […]

Read More

The audiophile MQA format really doesn’t have DRM, but that doesn’t mean it’s not on the toxic rainbow of locked tech

After watching a CCC presentation that claimed that the MQA audiophile format has “stealth DRM,” I decided to investigate, and I’m pretty sure MQA is not DRM. But MQA is proprietary in several important ways that audiophiles should consider before they invest in the tech. Its overlapping patents, combined with extreme secrecy about […]

Read More

Podcast: “Sole and Despotic Dominion” and “What is the Internet For?”

Here’s my reading (MP3) of my Locus column, “What is the Internet For?” (which asks, “Is the internet a revolutionary technology?”) and my short story for the fiftieth anniversary of Reason Magazine, Sole and Despotic Dominion, which builds on my 2015 Guardian column, If Dishwashers Were iPhones. MP3 <!– Cory Doctorow I write […]

Read More

Unlocking the bootloader on Sony phones no longer wrecks the camera in Pie

Sony has been kind enough to let Xperia device owners unlock their bootloaders for years. That’s an option that fewer and fewer OEMs offer, but it comes with some very real drawbacks in Sony’s case. Unlocking an Xperia device would clear all DRM keys, thus turning your camera into hot garbage. There’s good news, though. […]

Read More

Thousands of sleep apnea sufferers rely on a lone Australian CPAP hacker to stay healthy

An Australian developer named Mark Watkins painstakingly reverse-engineered the proprietary data generated by Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines and created Sleepyhead, a free/open piece of software that has become the go-to tool for thousands of sleep apnea sufferers around the world who want to tune their machines to stay healthy. CPAP machines […]

Read More

Analyst: Apple’s poor earnings will recover now they’ve switched from innovating to rent-seeking

Apple just had a really poor Q3 earnings report, with hardware sales falling off as people figure out that they just don’t need to get a new phone every year or so; writing in Bloomberg, Leonid Bershidsky tries to soothe investors by pointing out that Apple is still seeing growth in “services” and that […]

Read More

US Copyright Office says circumventing DRM to repair certain electronics, including phones and smart speakers, is now legal

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a law passed in the United States over 20 years ago, criminalizes the production of technology intended to circumvent DRM. While most people equate this with pirating movies, the law has also drastically affected the technology repair industry, as more and more manufacturers implement DRM designed to limit repair […]

Read More

The Copyright Office just greenlit a suite of DRM-breaking exemptions to the DMCA

Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act bans bypassing “access controls” for copyrighted works — that is, breaking DRM. This was stupid when the DMCA passed in 1998, and it only got stupider since: back in 1998, DMCA 1201 was used to punish people who made region-free DVD players or homebrew […]

Read More

You can buy the Pocophone F1 in the US, but you probably shouldn’t

Xiaomi is a huge smartphone maker in many parts of the world, but not in the US. When the company announced its Pocophone sub-brand, there was some hope it could come to American shores. That doesn’t appear to be the case, at least not officially. You can already purchase the Pocophone F1 from several US eBay […]

Read More

Pocophone F1 lacks support for Widevine L1, HD playback in Netflix and other apps don’t work

Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1 has already made waves in the smartphone industry for being incredibly affordable; a ~$300 phone with a Snapdragon 845 processor is virtually unheard of. Budget phones are inherently going to have some tradeoffs, and a less-obvious one has been discovered: lack of support for Widevine L1 DRM. Android supports a wide range […]

Read More

Audible puts the screws to indie authors

Audible — Amazon’s audiobook company — dominates audiobooks, controlling 90% or more of the market; their ACX platform is tailored to indie, self-published authors, and, until recently, it paid them handsomely for any new customers they brought into Audible’s fold. If your audiobook was the first one that a new Audible customer downloaded, […]

Read More