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Nintendo Portables (Games) Security Games Your Rights Online

The FSF's Campaign Against the Nintendo 3DS 187

Max Hyre writes "The Nintendo 3DS's terms of so-called service, and the even more grotesquely-misnamed privacy policy, make it clear that you are in the service of Nintendo. Specifically, anything you do, write, photograph, or otherwise generate with the 3DS is Nintendo's possession, for them to use however, whenever, and for as long as they want. On the other hand, if you do something they don't like, they're prepared to turn your device into a doorstop — and you gave them permission when you started using it. And if you have a child's best interests at heart, don't give it to anyone too young to know to never use her real name, type in an address or phone number, or take any personally-identifiable photos. They might, at best, end up in a Nintendo ad."
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The FSF's Campaign Against the Nintendo 3DS

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  • Unsurprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @06:46AM (#36163890) Journal

    Time to burn some karma, I guess...

    There's this strange perception around some parts (particularly around here) that Nintendo are somehow "more ethical" or "consumer-friendly" than the other console manufacturers. This overlooks the fact that Nintendo are the people who normalised console region locking (and who are still trying to push and extend it even now, when Sony and MS have decided they're not interested any more), cracked down on homebrew whenever they can and put out consoles which don't even give so much as a tiny whiff of an "OtherOS" or "PS2 Linux kit" walled garden. In fact, going off their track record, they'll even try to sue you if you have a job they don't approve of and make a post on your blog saying you like one of their games (though I seem to remember they did apologise to the young lady in that particular case after it sparked an outcry).

    Ok, they've probably got a way to go until they beat the Sony CD-rootkit fiasco (which didn't actually stem from Sony's gaming division anyway). But in pretty much every other respect, it's hard to say that they're any better than Sony - and I'd personally say that they're more anti-consumer than MS's gaming division (who don't seem particularly evil these days, even if they do occasionally do "inept" or "stupid" over something like Games for Windows Live).

    I suspect Nintendo get a free pass from many due to a combination of nostalgia and the fact that they were the industry's underdog for two console cycles. One could perhaps draw parallels with Apple, if one really, really wanted to burn karma. It's not always correct to assume that the underdogs are any more ethical than the.. erm... overdogs. Reflexively and uncritically back the underdogs in every case and you may find yourself in a very uncomfortable position when they actually break through (feel free to insert Egypt/Libya comments here as appropriate to your own political persuasion).

  • by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @06:53AM (#36163914)

    DefectiveByDesign.org is run by the FSF You can read the tiny little letters at the bottom of the page.

    Or you can read the great big letters at the top of the page: "Defective by Design.org A campaign by the Free Software Foundation."

  • by Hazel Bergeron ( 2015538 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:05AM (#36163954) Journal

    extreme fundamentalist decisions

    I know that we're reached a point in humanity where culture, politics and lifestyle have globalised and we're accelerating toward a totalitarian's wildest dreams on groupthink... but I don't think we're at the point that the FSF should be called "extreme fundamentalists".

    Examples of extreme fundamentalism:
    - Obey this book or you go to Hell - since you're ignoring the book, let me help you there!
    - Science provides the answer to every question - including the unfalsiable ones!
    - An eye for an eye - so let me burn out your eyes!
    - All property is good - I kill you if you're starving and you take some of my food store!
    - All property is bad - I want your hammer to smash stuff up!

    Examples of positions probably founded in some ideal which are not extreme fundamentalism, and which may apply to the FSF:
    - Don't grant anyone the right to do anything its wants with any information it can obtain off you.
    - Don't grant anyone the privilege to destroy your stuff at will.
    - Expose people who try to do either of the above in order to spread awareness and modify behaviour.
    - Oh, while you're here - if it doesn't harm you, how about sharing instead of hoarding?

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:28AM (#36164000) Journal
    The extra problem, with modern electronic devices, is that the absurd terms can often be enforced automatically, which makes them hard for anybody without significant technical knowledge to avoid, and hard for anybody without significant legal backing to seek redress for after the fact.

    The practice of printing crazy shit vaguely grounded in a wet dream of copyright law on packaging goes back at least as far as Edison cylinders. However, an Edison cylinder wasn't going to phone home to the mothership and automatically enforce the terms whenever it got within range of an internet connection. If you did something in breach of the shrinkwrap EULA, the burden was on them to find out and sue you. Now, many of the terms can be enforced automatically, and it is on you to demonstrate that you were wronged in some legally actionable way and that the clickwrap is unenforceable.

    In this case, Nintendo appears to be claiming the right to hoover up, and use for any purpose, basically anything stored on the hardware, and to brick the hardware if they don't like its state. Both of these activities would be quite easy to do automatically. It may not be entirely true that "possession is nine tenths the law"; but starting from the position where the opposing party has already done unto you, and you have to fight to keep them from getting away with it is not a pleasant business...
  • by Wallslide ( 544078 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:32AM (#36164020)
    Sure, the person who owns the 3DS might have agreed to the terms, but what if a friend comes along and takes a picture using the device? They haven't agreed to allow Nintendo to use their picture.
  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:38AM (#36164050) Homepage

    I have to agree. Where's my Gnu Call software to replace Skype now that there's a massive impetus to move away from MS-owned Skype? We already have all the components in place and it's a "high priority" thing for the FSF apparently but yet - nothing. SIPWitch has been around since 2008 in 0.0000000.0.000.001 releases and there's no sight of how it will replace a Windows binary, how it will become as ubiquitous as they want it to, how well it actually works when scaled up, there's no push to use it or test it or hack on it etc.

    I've always considered the FSF "the petition kid". They like to stand up and shout whenever they see an injustice but, overall, they don't get much done towards showing a better way. Most GNU projects, with the exception of a handful of "huge" projects like gcc, are on the backburners most of the time - hell, the one that pretty much started it all (HURD) "is still some way from being ready for daily use". I always worry when a project I need is on http://savannah.gnu.org/ [gnu.org] because my experience is that most things on there tend to die quicker than they would elsewhere.

    Want to impress me, FSF? Stop faffing about moaning about idiots who voluntarily sign away their lives without checking, and concentrate on a couple of your main core and high-priority projects that are sadly neglected (or even in some cases non-existent).

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:54AM (#36164108) Journal

    Not legal in many jurisdictions, and not enforceable. Check into your local laws, but most countries are sane about that kind of thing: specifically you cannot preemptively sign away your copyright on things you haven't even created yet.

    Legal or not, enforceable or not, this is hostile behavior on the part of Nintendo.

    It really is time that companies pay a price for being hostile to their customers, don't you think?

    And history has shown that legal or not, when a powerful corporation's legal department wants to go after someone who doesn't have endless resources, there is a de facto enforcement.

  • by internettoughguy ( 1478741 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @07:56AM (#36164120)

    Science provides the answer to every question - including the unfalsiable ones!

    Actually science provides falsifiable answers only to unfalsifiable questions. No one should try to answer a false question.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @08:03AM (#36164148) Journal

    but on the other side the tone that the FSF uses comes across as kind of lunatic and thus regularly misses exactly the people they want to target.

    Maybe the FSF is just ahead of its time. I think people's perspective regarding the behavior of these large corporations regarding intellectual property is starting to catch up.

    Why is there still no hardware database of the good stuff that doesn't limit my rights?

    Think about it. The answer may be embedded in the question.

    It has become industry standard to attack privacy and personal ownership. Which is a good reason that FSFs tone is often negative. Maybe it's time to exert the power of the consumer to change the direction in which corporate hegemony is going.

    I'm sorry if that sounds "lunatic" to you. These are crazy times.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @08:12AM (#36164190)

    Not legal in many jurisdictions, and not enforceable. Check into your local laws, but most countries are sane about that kind of thing: specifically you cannot preemptively sign away your copyright on things you haven't even created yet.

    Legal or not, enforceable or not, Nintendo can afford more lawyers than you.


  • Re:Unsurprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @08:42AM (#36164396) Journal

    Nintendo, Sony, etc. are all companies... and they make money... end of story

    A company can make money by acting in their customers' interests. Using the fact that companies exist to make money as an excuse for their behaviour is a cop out. If customers reward companies that treat them well, and avoid companies that don't, then companies that behave badly will make less money. This will only happen if customers are made aware of how companies behave, and that's the aim of this campaign.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @09:05AM (#36164584) Journal
    I eagerly await enlightenment as to how automatically assigning Nintendo a worldwide license to do whatever they want with pictures taken by a 3DS will battle piracy...

    In virtually all relevant jurisdictions(ie. ones where people actually have money) copyright infringement is already illegal, often pretty harshly so, and in a nontrivial subset of those regions, cracking DRM schemes is as well, no clickwrap required. The "rights" that Nintendo is claiming in their EULA are either wildly irrelevant to piracy(except in the sense that grabbing copyrighted material produced by others on hardware they purchased from Nintendo is pretty damn piratical on Nintendo's part...) or not at all clearly legal(destroying somebody else's property because an "unauthorized peripheral" was connected to it) or an uneccessary duplication of existing, non-contractually-based law(copyright violation is illegal even if the clickwrap doesn't say so, DMCA-esque laws hold in a number of areas, again without the assistance of clickwrap).

    This EULA is a mixture of invasive, redundant, and abusive, regardless of how much the evil pirates did or didn't cost them last round.
  • Re:Sure, but ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FatAlb3rt ( 533682 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @09:15AM (#36164698) Homepage
    If it's no big deal, damn_registrars, please post your name, address, and telephone number here.
  • Re:Unsurprising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scot4875 ( 542869 ) on Wednesday May 18, 2011 @02:59PM (#36169426) Homepage

    Too bad Apple doesn't make a console then, eh?

    Or, by your logic, Google/Android must be an even better environment, because it's a one-time $25 registration fee with far less hassle than Apple?


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