Archives of October 2005

Of Games and Fame

Yay! In-depth analysis of the little games I occassionally tinker!

GasGames offers a unique take on casual games as illustrated by its creativity in game design and aesthetics.

Thanks, Jay, for the article! I'm honored - and feel surprisingly institutionalized :). However, here is a point I'd like to make.

The site was never intended to be a pure gaming site - it's a platform for artistic experiments unlimited by boundaries of good taste or target audiences. We recognize that our audience could be even bigger than the 400000 monthly visitors if the site was tasteless to no extent. For example, The Rasterbator has missed some huge publicity due to other content on the site, but that's a decision we stand behind. (Reminisce your favourite quote about Picasso, creativity and taste now.) So rather than "many of the games are worthy of mention, despite the site they are hosted on", I feel that "many of the games are worthy of mention, because of the site they are hosted on" - in other words: free creativity equals creative outcome.

I just removed the confirmation dialog that used to come up when changing the game - it was a leftover from a time when the game apps were displayed at a much smaller size and I had received some complaints from people who accidentally ended their game. Thanks also for pointing that out.

Categories: Games, Web
Posted by Matias at 21.10.2005 22.26 (12 years ago) | 21 comments

Leading by Example

This is so ironic. Former Miss Finland, drunk driver, Minister of Culture, Tanja Karpela has been caught sporting a pirated Prada bag in Slovenia in a formal occasion. Here's a short summary of selected recent occurrences.

  1. Ms Karpela dubiously rams through a copyright legislation, which (among other malevolent things) makes the receiver of illegally distributed copyrighted material liable even though several experts and committees held this liability too difficult for consumers.
  2. Ms Karpela buys counterfeited goods.
  3. She justifies this:
    It is very hard for an ordinary tourist to know which is genuine and what is not. The distributor of the goods is liable. This is something that copyright legislation still has much room for improvement.
  4. And regrets:
    If the bag really is a copy, I paid way too much for it.

(Quotes and page image from the 20.10.2005 issue of Iltalehti, here is an image of the article)

Our Minister of Culture, the one responsible for copyright issues, who takes pride in "making decisions using intuition", bought pirated item from criminals and explained that it is too difficult to know which goods are genuine. And what she regrets is that SHE PAID TOO MUCH for a pirated bag. I can think of two options which would explain such a conduct: either she has quite opprobrious double standards or she's a downright stupid git. Way to go, Keskustapuolue, backbone of Finland.

Categories: Advocacy
Posted by Matias at 22.10.2005 20.33 (12 years ago) | 1801 comments

Developments re Copyright Legislation

Since the Draconian law that everyone here except the representatives of Keskusta (Centre Party) and SDP (Social Democratic Party) hates, has been passed, some quite interesting developments in the field of copyright legislation have occured.


Minister of Culture Tanja Karpela claimed that a document from the European Commission exists, which states that circumventing copy protection for personal use must be forbidden by the member states. However, subsequently she has been unable to show any such document. This implies she has been lying to the Parliament and its committees.

At least five complaints have been made to the Parliamentary Ombudsman about the fact that the civil servant responsible for the preparation of the new law text, Jukka Liedes, has a position in Gramex, one of the main beneficiaries of the new law.

Wide renewal imminent?

This is huge if it is going to happen. Presidential candidate of the Green League, Heidi Hautala, writes in her blog (translation to English by me):

I'm now in the middle of a fascinating correspondence with the Ministry of Justice and I'm going to concentrate on changing the problems of the law following the example made by France and Norway. The Grand Committee wants also that Finland will, during it's EU precidency at the latter half of the next year, let the cat, the completely outdated copyright legislation, out of the bag. Oh, minister Karpela could NOT bring out the "very specific information, black on white on what the directive means and what it does not mean". The x-files were not found, which means the minister spoke to the Parliament against better knowledge. I am waiting for an apology.

Seems that the emails, demonstrations and other campaigning have actually started something. And given that different civic organizations have actually learned the methods of very effective lobbying, chances that something good comes out, are good. I'm reminded of what MEP Alexander Stubb said to the industry lobbyists during the software patent schism:

Your lobbying was miserably bad. The Open Source folk beat you hands down, by 100 to zero.
Categories: Advocacy
Posted by Matias at 20.10.2005 20.45 (12 years ago) | 95 comments

Rasterbator now in Turkish

Now available in Turkish also: The Rasterbator. Thank you, Metin Selcuk.

Categories: Art, Creations, Programming
Posted by Matias at 16.10.2005 18.39 (12 years ago) | 171 comments

Breaking the Copyright Law

For Sale

Katamari Damacy PlayStation 2 game, never published in Europe, bought from Amazon USA and imported to Finland with intention to resell.

How to decrypt DVDs

/*     efdtt.c     Author:  Charles M. Hannum <>             */
/*     Thanks to Phil Carmody <> for additional tweaks.    */
/*     Length:  434 bytes (excluding unnecessary newlines)                 */
/*     Usage is:  cat title-key scrambled.vob | efdtt >clear.vob           */
#define m(i)(x[i]^s[i+84])<<
unsigned char x[5],y,s[2048];main(n){for(read(0,x,5);read(0,s,n=2048);write(1,s
,n))if(s[y=s[13]%8+20]/16%4==1){int i=m(1)17^256+m(0)8,k=m(2)0,j=m(4)17^m(3)9^k

How to circumvent audio disc copy protection

If the audio disc is protected using MediaMax CD3, press and hold SHIFT when inserting the disc into a Windows machine. Or use Tweak UI to turn off cd autoplay.

Making your Internet operator liable

Only personal use of the following program is allowed by its author. Under no circumstances may companies make copies of the program, especially internet operators in regard to caching.

// utility to copy images from camera
using System;
using System.IO;

class cp {
  public static void Main(string[] args) {
    string TargetDir=@"g:\pics"+System.DateTime.Now.ToString("yyyyMMdd")+@"";
    if(!Directory.Exists(TargetDir)) Directory.CreateDirectory(TargetDir);

    string SourceDir=@"p:\dcim\101msdcf";
    if(!Directory.Exists(SourceDir)) SourceDir=@"o:\dcim\101msdcf";

    string[] Files=Directory.GetFiles(SourceDir);
    int Count=0;
    foreach(string s in Files) {
      string fn=s.Substring(s.LastIndexOf(""));
      Console.WriteLine("copying "+fn+" ("+Count+"/"+Files.Length+")");
      File.Move(s, TargetDir+fn);

Posted by Matias at 05.10.2005 20.21 (12 years ago) | 149 comments

Demonstration against the proposed new copyright legislation

Here's a press release which I translated from Finnish (with proofreading help from Brian Peary). The youth organisations of Kokoomus and Vasemmistoliitto backing up the same demonstration - I doubt that has ever happened before. The preparations indicate it will be big. Spread the word.

Demonstration in Helsinki against the new proposed Finnish copyright law


On Tuesday 4th of October 2005 at 13:00 we shall organize a demonstration against the new copyright law in front of the Parliament Building. We invite members of parliament and representatives of the media to come to discuss the proposed copyright law and where our society should be directed in regard to immaterial rights.

Problems of the proposed copyright law

The most integral problems of the copyright law are its producer-orientedness, complexity, and inadequate preparation. The law will expand the rights of the producers significantly and unpredictably in regard to technical protective measures. The position of the consumer has not been given enough thought even though it is exceptionally important when it comes to copyright legislation.

Other fundamental problems with the new copyright law are as follows:

  • The forbiddance to disseminate information on how to deactivate copy protection measures, which goes against our freedom of speech.
  • The forbiddance to distribute information or computer programs that can deactivate copy protection measures.
  • The sales ban in Finland on articles that were originally published outside of the EEA.
  • The law will cause harm especially to Open Source software such as Linux.

It is difficult to understand the law - even experts and those who prepared it are confused and divided in opinion on how the law should be interpreted. The law’s current form has set off an outcry amongst our citizens, but this outcry has had no influence on the actions of our government whatsoever. As compliance to the law would be virtually impossible to oversee, the result will be an unsound piece of legislation.

Our demands

We demand that the parliament abandon the current proposition for the new copyright law and start over the preparation of the law from scratch. The preparation of this law must take notice of consumers’ rights. The legislation must be prepared and managed using better form of governance, taking into account the fundamental rights such as the freedom of speech that are provided to citizens by the constitutional law.

The Committee for Education and Culture ignored the remarks of the Committee for Constitutional Law regarding the problems of the law. We demand that the Committee for Education and Culture state why they failed to take into account the standpoints of the Committee for Constitutional Law. We also demand that the decision-makers explain how freedom of speech and other constitutional rights can be realized in Finland, if the changes demanded by the Committee for Constitutional Law are considered only normative and can be skipped as “baffling” when needed.

We demand that the Minister of Culture Tanja Karpela explain why the opinions of consumer interest groups such as the Consumer Agency and numerous civic organizations were not taken into account sufficiently during the law’s preparation, nor noted in the proposition. We also demand an explanation as to why the Ministry of Education has prepared the law so inadequately, as it contains numerous controversies and unclarities.

We especially hope that the members of parliament give reasons for interpreting the large scale awakening of citizens to oppose the poor quality and distorted law as “terrorization” of the MPs.

In the spirit of representative and conversational democracy we demand that different members of parliament explain their standpoints and indicate that they understand the aspects relating to the complicated copyright legislation. If they are going to vote for the new law, we ask that they will state their reasons and answer our questions in public.

In Helsinki on the 30th of September 2005

Mikko Särelä, researcher
040 544 6379

Olli-Poika Parviainen
044 548 1861
Vihreiden nuorten ja opiskelijoiden liitto - ViNO ry

Jussi Saramo
041 503 4000
Vasemmistonuoret ry

Petteri Oksa
0400 934 257
Sosiaalidemokraattiset Nuoret ry

Tuomas Nurmela
040 542 0009
Kokoomusnuoret ry

Johanna Niku
0400 620 772
Suomen Keskustanuoret ry

Toni Heinonen
040 836 1815
Liberaalinen nuorisoliitto ry

Arto Teräs
050 594 1416
Finnish Linux User Group FLUG ry

Further information (in Finnish):

Categories: Advocacy, Events
Posted by Matias at 01.10.2005 17.53 (12 years ago) | 74 comments

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