Macmillan vs Amazon, Round One

According to Huffington Post, after the iPad launch Walter Mossberg cornered Steve Jobs to ask a pertinent question: Mossberg asks why users would want to shell out $14.99 for an ebook on the iPad, when they can buy ebooks for Amazon’s Kindle for $9.99. Steve Jobs’ retort: ‘Well, that won’t be the case.’ Mossberg presses him on whether that means Apple’s prices will go down, or Amazon’s will go up, to which Jobs offers a cryptic, non-committal, ‘The prices will be the same.

Letter to the FTC 539814-00408

This is a copy of my comments to the Federal Trade Commission, who are asking for comments on DRM technologies for a Town Hall Meeting in March. As you are doubtless aware, the Copyright Act of 1976 codifies the First-Sale Doctrine. This states that a purchaser of a copyright work has the legal right to sell or give away the copy, once it has been obtained–so long as no additional copies have been made.

Kindle

Dear Amazon, You’re so almost there with your new Kindle e-book. There are just a few minor details you need to fix to get me on board. First of all, you need Mac support, and preferably Linux support as well, both for content creation and for reading books. There’s really no excuse for not having reader support, as you have a working Mobipocket reader in Java that will run on Mac and Linux, you just haven’t taken the time to package it up properly.

secdrv.sys

For the last 6 years, Microsoft has been quietly shipping Macrovision DRM software embedded in Windows, in order to “increase compatibility and playability” of video games. Unfortunately, there’s a bug in the DRM code which allows privilege escalation. So Windows boxes are now being pwned across the Internet. The best part: this video game DRM has been shipping in Windows Server 2003. Yeah, I bet lots of people need video game compatibility on Windows Server.

Say goodbye to DRM

Today’s the big day. The iTunes Music Store has started actually selling DRM-free music. I decided to vote with my wallet and go find and buy something. I’m hoping that in a few weeks we’ll see a press release stating that EMI’s music sales tripled, or something like that, and the other labels will get that clue they’ve been missing. Unfortunately, it seems as if everyone else has had the same idea, and Apple’s Internet connections anre buckling under the strain.