Judge Bars ‘Fair Use’ Defense in Xbox Modding Trial

A California man charged with violating the DMCA by installing mod chips in Xbox 360 consoles won’t be allowed to claim “fair use” at his scheduled jury trial next week, a federal judge ruled Tuesday — a decision potentially devastating to the defense, and not particularly favorable to anyone who thinks they have the right to tinker with hardware that they’ve bought and paid for.

Crippen’s lawyer hoped to convince that jury that Crippen’s alleged modifications weren’t intended to enable piracy, but to allow Xbox owners to make lawful “fair use” of copyrighted material, or for other non-infringing purposes. The lawyer compared installing a mod chip to jail breaking an iPhone, an activity explicitly permitted under a recent DMCA exception approved by the U.S. Copyright Office.

But U.S. District Judge Philip shot down that argument Tuesday, noting that the DMCA makes it a crime to “circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access” to copyrighted material, even if there’s no proof that the circumvention was intended to facilitate piracy. The iPhone exemption is irrelevant, he wrote, because the Copyright Office did not extend that exemption to game consoles — just phones.

via wired.com (emphasis mine)

Here’s my million dollar idea: some clever hacker needs to figure out a way to hijack the Xbox’s wifi signal to allow for some over-the-web VoIP calling solution, at which point the “phone vs. gaming system” becomes significantly more complicated.

Given that he’s getting around the recent DMCA ruling allowing for iPhone jailbreaking by claiming the Xbox isn’t subject to that ruling, and referring to the original 1980′s law, my (admittedly shoddy) understanding of legal precedent would force the judge to recognize the newer ruling – given that the Xbox would have become effectively a phone – and could force his hand into applying the recent ruling’s logic to the Xbox.

In either case, Xbox is making a truly bad business decision; stifling your customers’ freedom isn’t the smartest way to go these days. I loved their recent decision to embrace all the Kinect hacking; why not here?

iOS 4.3 To Launch In Mid-December With App Subscriptions

News Corp. has spent the last three months assembling a newsroom that will soon be about 100 staffers strong. The Daily will launch in beta mode sometime around Christmas, and will be introduced to the public on the iPad and other tablet devices in early 2011. It is expected to cost 99 cents a week, or about $4.25 a month. It will come out — as the name suggests — seven days a week. The operation is currently working out of the 26th floor of the News Corp. Building on Sixth Avenue in a space that looks like a veritable construction zone. The staff’s permanent home will be on the ninth floor, and they’ll move down once it’s ready.

Together with details revealed by Fox Business and WWDMedia, the Guardian reported The Daily was the result of a “collaboration that has been secretly under development in New York for several months” between Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch. We speculated that Apple’s involvement in the project might be the first step towards the implementation of iTunes recurring subscriptions for apps.What’s really interesting is the role Apple and iOS are going to play: recurring subscriptions for newspapers might be implemented on a server-side level, on iTunes’ backend, but Gruber speculated they may also require an iOS update to support subscription billing APIs. It is possible that News Corp’s engineers and developers have already been provided these APIs, but it’s important to specify that, according to the rumors, Apple isn’t building an “iNewstand”: instead, it’s a brand new recurring subscription for App Store apps. The Daily will likely be the first app to support it, and this should be announced with a media event.

Hopefully 4.3 will make my iPhone 3G usable again – 4.2 has left it only slightly less crippled than 4.1. Hopefully Apple will collaborate with some non-evil corporations as well.

At least it appears the platform they’re developing will be available to multiple parties in the long run, as opposed to a provider-specific implementation as some very early rumors suggested.  I still believe it’s in Apple’s best interests to approach as many parties as possible with this, though; a News Corp and Apple partnership, for an exclusive and proprietary content and production chain from start to finish, certainly has the distinct whiff of a megamonopoly trust violation to it. Allowing Hollywood to own the studios, and the theaters – thus the entire production chain – didn’t work out very well for them.  Sure, News Corp and Apple are obviously independently owned – but the very fact that Apple is giving them this exclusive access aligns their business interests a little too closely.

More to the point – isn’t Apple missing an enormous business opportunity by not including a few other content pushers here, alongside News Corp?  Do you think they’re making the right call?

Social Networking Trailblazers Pull the Plug on Cliqset

[Now soon-to-be-defunct Cliqset on it's lofty goal of unifying socialmedia API standards:]

Standards across sites for user activity data feeds are aimed to act as a common foundation to provide scale for innovation outside the big mainstream social networks. In other words, if all photos, friends and comments are marked up in a common standardized way, those activities can be viewed across all the small social networking startups – giving them more people and content to display than they would if it was just a random startup alone against the big guys like Facebook.

I’ve compared standards in social networking data to the historical rise of standardized railroad measurements – which allowed trains to ride across different networks and fostered a new era of nation-wide commerce in the United States.

Unfortunately, economic incentive hasn’t driven people to engage with interoperable small networks instead of favoring the big players, Facebook and Twitter. Meanwhile, little Cliqset suffered from a substantially unappealing user experience, which it was never able to overcome.

“The problem is that social aggregation no longer offers any significant value with the Facebook/Twitter market consolidation. The biggest loser from the collapse of Cliqset is Google, as their world of potential social federation partners shrinks even further. Cliqset was a strong supporter and early adopter of many of the core social technologies such as SalmonWebFinger, andPubSubHubbub.”

Unfortunately, all those standards are feeling less viable today than they were in the heady times they were introduced. Independent social Web technical leaders have largely joined up with Google or Facebook and standards organizations have grown quieter. Cauthen and Bounds have not announced what they will do next, but it’s probably safe to assume that it will include working to move social Web data standards forward.

Sent from my iPad.

iPad Newspaper in the Works

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com

Apple is walking a very dangerous line here. I know many of us are still frustrated with Apple’s closed-garden approach to content management; I’m not sure it’s in their best interests to suddenly begin collaborating with a specific content partner – especially News Corporation. Whereas they could simply develop the technology and license it to various organizations, therefore supporting their broaader commercial interests, elevating a single corporation in this way seems just downright unfair.

‘America By Heart,’ New Sarah Palin Book: What You Need To Know

Sarah Palin’s new book, “America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag” hits the shelves Tuesday, in an event that is sure to enliven an otherwise slow political week.

Perhaps the most defining feature of “America by Heart” is Palin’s capacity to boil down complicated political battles into pure political simplicity. The Cold War, for example, was won because “the differences between the United States and the Soviet Union were real — and consequential” and “one of those differences was a belief in God.” Opposition to an Islamic Cultural Center in downtown Manhattan, meanwhile, was hardly an exercise in religious intolerance. “[I]t’s what our Founders called ‘a decent respect for the opinions of mankind’ — or in this case their fellow Americans.” America’s problems, in the end, are partially due to the fact that “we may be creating a generation of entitled little whiners.”

I’m not sure if this can technically be called “literature” – it would probably be correctly filed under “propaganda,” given her (ghost writer’s) stubborn insistence on writing with extremely careful manipulation of facts and well-documented events. You might even find it in the Young Adult section.  Grab some popcorn and treat it like a cheap flick.

GOP Rep. Bob Inglis Slams His Party On Climate Change (VIDEO)

Sadly, HuffPo didn’t reprint one of the most important lines of his very calm, well-argued, speech: “We have some real choices ahead of us. I hope in the future, as we have these hearings, they realize, it’s all on the record. And our grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, can hear… The key to scientific endeavor is what we’re here to discuss today, openness, access to the data, and full challenging of the data, that’s how we advance science.”

It’s honest, well-intentioned republicans like this that keep me independent, when the absurd fantasy world of GOP life as constructed by the likes of Glenn Beck and Anne Coulter, would send me spinning off into a liberal hysteria. Here’s one citizen’s vote for well-reasoned, honest, debate, and the benefits that can come from government transparency.

Hell Freezes Over As MySpace Fully Surrenders To Facebook

The event is less of a partnership announcement and more of a formal surrender ceremony.

MySpace is sending CEO Mike Jones for the announcement. Facebook managed to rustle up a vice president – Dan Rose. Our sources say MySpace is a little more than embarrassed that Facebook isn’t making someone more senior available for the event.

Here’s at least part of what they’ll announce. Facebook Connect integration so that users can associate their MySpace accounts with their Facebook accounts and then log in to MySpace via Connect. Part of that is already live. MySpace will suck in as much profile information as possible and use it to help with advertising and the interest graph (bands you like, etc.)

And they’ll also announce that Facebook users will now be able to push all their Facebook status updates to MySpace. So your Facebook stream will appear on your MySpace profile.

What’s MySpace again?  I seem to remember hearing something about it, last century…
Maybe it’s a new take on the stick-and-hoop game?

Quick Takeaways From Facebook’s Messaging Event

Facebook is aiming to streamline communication between two people by aggregating all your messaging across SMS, external email, Facebook private messages, and Facebook chat, into one threaded conversation, which can be delivered to any number of outlets.

The overall goal is to make people feel even more connected, overcoming some of the fragmentation we live with when using multiple communication platforms. 

How you choose to receive messages can vary based on who you’re talking with. (Text-heavy tweens can get everything by text; choose to receive updates from your business partner only by email, or your hubby everywhere).

Everyone can now own a custom email address at the Facebook.com domain.  Your Facebook.com email address will be based on your custom Facebook Profile URL.  If you haven’t set one up yet, definitely set one up ASAP.  However, it’s not necessary to use the custom Facebook email.

This sits on top of, and is apprently compatible with, most other email clients, so it is in no way a “Gmail Killer”.  Similarly, you can use this tool to communicate with non-Facebook users.  However, when you communicate with people who aren’t in your Facebook social graph, you’ll have to specify that they should be added (to separate them from spam).  It’s unclear what Facebook does with this kind of “data” and both Zuck and Boz danced around the multiple iterations of this question from the audience.

No filtering of conversations within threaded messages.  All your mom’s LOLcat emails will come right on through.

Messages can be deleted on your side, but not on your audience’s side. (If I understood Zuck’s horrible public speaking correctly)

IMAP protocols will be coming.

There will be the option to forward messages, so it’s unclear exactly how “private” your “private” conversation will be.  The “limits” the system uses to determine who is spamming and who is real, are draconian and invisible. “If you’re using it for the wrong reasons, you’ll hit the limits quickly.” 

Ads: “Will content inside conversations be scrapable for advertisers?”  Yes.  Rather than addresss the obvious issue of privacy, Zuck tries to sell us once again on the idea that his advertising is the good kind.