The Intellectual Property Revolution – Free Users vs. the Industry

April 17, 2009

The Pirate Bay lost the “spectrial” in Sweden. Some mourn, some rejoice. But one thing is certain: Their fight is not over. And the struggle against “intellectual property” laws never will. The fight between pirates and the industries dependant on IP recognition and enforcement, mainly the record, motion picture and software industries, pulls us into a dilemma. For on the one hand, we need to support the freedom of information. On the other hand, an entire branch of the modern economy, probably one of the most important in modern western economies, depends on just that being supressed. Read the rest of this entry »


Give Me Liberty (II): Why the graphics race sucks.

March 25, 2009

Part two of the “Give me Liberty” series: A collection of thematically unrelated posts about stuff involving the word “liberty”.

Now, this can hardly be connected to a post about our political and personal freedoms, but, as I said, it is all about the word “liberty” with no relation in topic. You guessed it. Well, maybe you did not, but I will just claim you did. It is about Grand Theft Auto, which often takes place in a fictional adaption of New York City known as “Liberty City”. Especially the latest part of the main series, GTA IV. Now, while GTA is a game I love as it is an excellent way to kill time, aggression and pixel people, this somewhat recent entry has been pissing me off when I tried to play it. The reason: its HD-ness.

Read the rest of this entry »

Give Me Liberty (I): Eradicating our Freedom with Fear

March 25, 2009

Part one of the “Give me Liberty” series: A collection of thematically unrelated posts about stuff involving the word “liberty”.

“Give me liberty, or give me death!” – a famous quotation from America’s struggle for independence, spoken by Patrick Henry in 1775. In that age, Benjamin Franklin formulated the principle that “those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”, which, in the modern day, unfortunately does not hold true anymore.

Read the rest of this entry »

Homebrew Lockdown – The Dystopia of Intellectual Property Part One

February 18, 2009

It is me again. Sorry for the long wait for updates, but I have not really found the time and inspiration for another rant. Fear not my friends, the wait is over, and this time, it is a series. No promise that I will update it frequently though.

To start, I do not really like the word dystopia by itself, as it implies that the word utopia is based on “eu-topos” – a good place, instead of “ou-topos” – non-place. Of course, the pun was intended by Thomas More, but still, a dystopia – or bad utopia – is still a utopia. I have nevertheless used that word, mainly aiming at distinguishability. Utopia carries the connotation of Eutopia far too dominantly to use it for a future of suffering if the audience is not guaranteed to know the ethymologic background.

Also, I want to clarify that this series is not about a dystopian fiction by myself, rather than that, it is intended as an analysis of modern development towards the uncomfortable future as described in the dystopia of many a piece of utopian literature, ranging from Huxley to Barry. Of course, I realize that the nature of a dystopia is always an exaggeration, which would make literal comparison a joke. So of course one has to consider principles, not implementations. Starting with the reason why video game companies such as Nintendo have all reason to hate the homebrew scene – beyond the mere issue of “piracy” arising from it.

As I have alluded to in the introduction, a dystopian author that comes to my mind is noone else than Aldous Huxley.  Having been forced to sit through his Brave New World in high school* English class (Yes, I am a high school* student, so what?), it became evident where the “problem” with homebrew in general lies: Consumption. Read the rest of this entry »

Why anti-piracy measures do not work

October 25, 2008

Thank you Nintendo, for your glorious all-IOS-update. Thank you for putting legitimate users of your product in discomfort while not at all affecting the pirates you want to fight. If you want to lock out homebrew because it enables users to pirate, think before you design a system update.

You see, the Shop Channel was a terrible choice to force the update on users. A pirate, and I think those are the group you are after, has no use for the shop channel. They can get their VC and WiiWare games by other means, exactly those you are trying to seal off. So why would a pirate care if he gets locked out of the shop channel if he wants to continue installing pirate downloads? After all, not using the shop channel is what he has been doing all the time in the first place.

The same thing happens with anti-piracy measures on the PC by the way. I am looking at you this time, EA! Does SecuRom prevent the use of unlicensed copies? No. Does it piss off all the other users? Oh sure it does. SecuRom, or SUCKurom as it has come to be known, installs traces of itself all over your system, barely removable, a phenomenon reminiscent of, and “enjoyed” like, a malware infection. The Spore-type is even better. If your system is damaged or has decayed enough and you need to re-install, you can ask for permission to install another time… how nice, you have bought the game and you cannot use it without asking nicely. Yes, I know, multiple installations are permitted, but in some cases, you might run out of them rather quickly.

And although this is so much of an annoyance for legitimate customers, it does not even affect pirates. Even back in the days of SafeDisk 2, pirates have used No-CD cracks in most cases, disabling any of these protections. As soon as the pirate scene gets hold of a game, you can be sure it is cracked in no time. Just checking for the CD/DVD alone is an annoyance in the name of “anti-piracy” measures a pirate does not have to deal with.

Some thoughts

October 5, 2008
  • Someone should make a Wii Laptop with keyboard and microphone.
  • USB hubs are about to become necessary for full Wii enjoyment – where are the Wii-branded ones?
  • I am sceptical about the DSi – DSiware is intriguing, but the lack of a SLOT-2 bothers me, especially with games like Guitar Hero out.
  • Wii Music needs The Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book as a song.
  • MotionPlus + Lightsaber = Win!

The core, the casual and the non-gamers: Different types of players

August 23, 2008

It is me again. My topic today are the different groups of people who play video games, and why I hate some of them.

Starting with my old Smash Pros/Cons post, I have shown my general dislike to what refers to itself as the core gamer. It has been the fundamental driving force of video games in the previous generations and is still responsible for a fair share of sales on all systems. Especially in the light of last E3, the gameplay of Wii Series games and Nintendo focussing more and more on games for the “expanded audience”, the “core gamer” has thrown out claims whose odor alone makes me aggravated, agitated and infuriated. Every month passing without a first-party AAA title containing either a long and epic storyline or a highly competitive online multiplayer mode is seen as an abandonment of this group. They feel withdrawal if there is not at least one, if not more, Zelda titles available a year. Read the rest of this entry »