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F & F


Aibo-Lovers Entice Sony to Drop DMCA Case, But For How Long?
posted by CopyGuru on Friday May 03, @02:16PM
from the what's-popular-isn't-always-lawful;-what's-lawful-isn't-always-popular dept.
Copyright Do you own an Aibo? Don't you wish everybody did?

Conceived only three years ago, the Aibo robotic pet has gained popularity not only in people's homes but also in the eyes of DMCA-case watchers. Perhaps Sony's engineers couldn't keep up with owners' demands that their robotic dogs do more than bark, sit, and fetch pink-colored objects. In walked the hacker known only as AiboPet, who cracked the encrypted Aibo code and created programs that taught the dogs to dance and speak, and enabled owners to view the world through their pets eyes. "If it had not been for AiboPet's information, his invaluable knowledge and his generosity in sharing it with the Aibo community, I would not have purchased an Aibo," one Aibo owner said.

Sony sued AiboPet for violating the DMCA. Aibo-lovers boycotted Sony. Sony conceded to its customers, apologized to AiboPet by rescinding the lawsuit, and the AiboPet-hacked code is back, available for downloading. Now, this doesn't mean that AiboPet didn't violate the DMCA, as this Scientific American article pointed out; rather, it means the Aibo-lovers, aptly described in this New York Times article, won a battle. Drawing on that logic, if Aibo's popularity were to wane, would Sony take up the DMCA arms? Seems that AiboPet is safe only as long as his hacking contributes to Sony's bottomline.

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    Aibo-Lovers Entice Sony to Drop DMCA Case, But For How Long? | Login/Create an Account | Top | 1 comments | Search Discussion
    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
    The AIBO saga continues... (Score:1)
    by redlaw on Wednesday May 08, @08:46PM (#60)
    User #103 Info
    Sony seems to have two minds on copyright and innovation. On Tuesday, the company announced an upcoming software development kit that will allow AIBO owners and others produce software similar to what AIBOPET has produced. See http://www.us.aibo.com/clubaibo/news.php If you take a peek at the press release, you'll notice something called "GNU Development Tools." I don't know whether that implies an open source or free software license will be attached to the new SDK. Unfortunately, Sony is not unknown for using words that, for them, have the opposite of their common meaning. Hence, the Open-R interface used to create software for the AIBO is not an open technology even though Sony has issued press material stating that Open-R is an open technology. At any rate, it sounds like there is an interesting sequel to the aibopet mishap coming in June.

    Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov

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