Posted on November 12, 2006 in Uncategorized by Sarah DaviesComments Off

In honor of Freedom for IP’s partnership with Defective by Design to crash tomorrow’s Zune release party in Seattle, I’ve composed a little consumer warning to hand out to all the eager music fans who clearly haven’t been warned about getting zuned….


Remember the 8-track? Neither does anyone else under 30. Investing in technology can be risky. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell which flashy new products will immediately saturate the marketplace and which will flop.

And sometimes it’s easy.

Tomorrow, Microsoft launches an attack on consumer rights and free culture, and they expect us to pay $249.99 for the privilege of helping them. Don’t get zuned!

Microsoft abandoned their last attempt to provide online music. They shut down their MSN music store, and any tracks bought by consumers there won’t play on the zune.

Do you remember what you were doing the day Microsoft launched its last operating system? Neither do I, because it was over five years ago. If you’re expecting them to update zune software, or add new features, you’d better take a closer look at Microsoft’s track record.

Microsoft has designed this product to generate profit for them by means of a monopoly. Your itunes music won’t play on a zune. Your Napster music won’t play on a zune. Podcasts can’t be updated on a zune.

Ever thought about making a song or recording that you want people to share and distribute? You’d better look forward to talking with Microsoft’s lawyers, because the only way to get a shared song to stay on a zune for more than three days and be able to share it with other people is by buying it from the zune marketplace, and even if you do that, there’s no way for your fans to share it with other people without it disappearing in three days.

If you were even hoping for standard portable device features, like an alarm clock, games, or a calculator, you’re out of luck. The guy with a paper and pencil has a better chance of remembering the phone number of the girl of your dreams than you and your zune.

Despite the zune’s large, bright, energy-sucking display, the zune marketplace doesn’t sell tv shows or movies, and standard movie formats like divx won’t play on a zune.

Would you buy a car where all the best features are disabled? Don’t get zuned!

Posted on November 11, 2006 in Uncategorized by Brian RoweComments Off

FFIP will be attending and blogging about afterwards.

Event: Special Guest Cory Doctorow, “What’s the Point of Copyright?”

starting November 16, 2006 Starts: 5:00pm Ends: 6:00pm

The Department of Computer Science at PSU’s Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science presents special guest Cory Doctorow, speaking on What’s the Point of Copyright?

Title: “What’s the Point of Copyright?”

Speaker: Cory Doctorow, science fiction novelist and co-editor of the weblog, Boing Boing

Date: Thursday, November 16, 2006

Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Location: Room 338 (Vanport Room), Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 SW Broadway Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97201 (map)

This lecture is free and open to the public. For further information, contact the Department of Computer Science, (503) 725-2416 or [email protected].

Cory Doctorow will also be the guest of honor at OryCon28, held in Portland, Oregon on November 17-19, 2006. For more information on OryCon28, visit


Does copyright exist to promote creativity or to protect the current crop of creators? How can you tell if a copyright system is working? When the barriers to entry for creative industries go away, what should copyright do to adapt? Are universities in the copyright business or the education business?