30 Oct 2001 jtjm   » (Journeyer)

Busy couple of days, slightly frustrating, as now have three very nearly completed mini-projects of varying sizes, none of which yet quite ready to show to their intended audiences.

Been working on an internal website for a non-profit I'm associated with- initially was just going to be a project document sent via email, but whole thing became so unwieldy that it would have been unmaintainable and a few web pages seemed more sensible. Now have basic structure, just filling it in. Hope to have that finished tonight.

While working on that yesterday, got called up for a quote for the New Scientist on the AiboHack nonsense from Sony. Have exchanged emails with author of AiboHack code. Part way through turning this into a brief opinion piece for the CDR website, but a few loose ends to tie up. Sony have him to rights on the basic distribution of modified software issue, but this still looks like a blatant attempt to prevent the creation of a compatible program, with " circumvention of a copy-protection mechanism" just a convenient excuse.

David Touretzky is on the case, and has mirrored one of the files concerned (copyprot.htm) on his DMCA Gallery page (linked off the bottom of the page). As David implies, a pretty clear case of the DMCA being used to censor free speech.

The author could have published his software as patches to the original Aiboware (instead of redistributing modified versions) - but won't do so since the tool necessary to apply the patches would have to break Sony's copy-protection in order to do its job (still leaving him open to prosecution under the DMCA). His email to me quoted in this post on the CDR mailing list.

And a key member of CDR who's been trying to get hold of me for a couple of days finally did, only to tell me he's going to be sent to Canada until Christmas. C'est la vie!

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