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What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

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  • Nikita
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
    {psst...it's SHRDLU, no C}

    Really, IMNSHO, if no one noticed until now, I don't personally see any reason to change. Anyone that needs to have more can *always* email the author, who can make those decisions at the time. No sense in adding to your work load. I'd love to see a DVD, anyway, with more stuff.
    Oops, I was really tired, sorry. I also am excited for the DVD versions!

    Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
    I would, however, appreciate having authors who find it amusing to have a PDF that is nothing but goatse have some sort of marking, so that those of us who hope to avoid such images get to make that choice. I was rather surprised to see it, and found it a bit unprofessional. I'm not going to name it, it serves no purpose to do so, but I seriously think that there should have been a warning in the directory, or perhaps not been converted to a PDF at all.
    I got it, went through the CD to figure it out....You scared me half to death! For those of you curious.....The slide in question is an ASSci representation, however it is related to the talk, also the talk title, and he did warn me he didn't have much by way of slides and that was it,, I let it go through, especially considering his talk content and the prank nature of the hack as a whole.

    By the way you said it, I thought someone, somehow got an actual real goatse onto the disk. I am not afraid to draw the attention to mister Joe "Kingpin" Grand on that one, as he chose that for his backdrop and aside from social reticule there won't be much by way of retaliation, since he was not intending to be malicious.

    I'm truly sorry if that bothered you, I didn't think to slap the censorship sticker on that one, some find it more distasteful than others and I was the latter.I simply didn't find it that offensive, to me it was part of the talk itself, as I figured it fit the talk and that people may want the image to add more to the hack itself, not to discount the feelings you had at all so I'm sorry for that. In the future perhaps I will take this as a lesson learned and be more critical of the material which could be considered socially or politically incorrect, but then again.....that would bring up a whole 'nother issue...

    Right now, although you can't see it, I have a really big smile on my face for you Shrdlu.
    Last edited by Nikita; August 19, 2008, 22:49. Reason: Posted too soon...

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  • shrdlu
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    Originally posted by Nikita View Post
    My statement was in relation to the question asked by Schrdlu, If that question was asked of me and I failed to answer it previously my apologies. To answer your question Yes, I am aware...
    {psst...it's SHRDLU, no C}

    Really, IMNSHO, if no one noticed until now, I don't personally see any reason to change. Anyone that needs to have more can *always* email the author, who can make those decisions at the time. No sense in adding to your work load. I'd love to see a DVD, anyway, with more stuff.

    I would, however, appreciate having authors who find it amusing to have a PDF that is nothing but goatse have some sort of marking, so that those of us who hope to avoid such images get to make that choice. I was rather surprised to see it, and found it a bit unprofessional. I'm not going to name it, it serves no purpose to do so, but I seriously think that there should have been a warning in the directory, or perhaps not been converted to a PDF at all.

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  • Nikita
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    Originally posted by Europus View Post
    That statement makes me wonder if you comprehend the meta-issues at play here. Seriously. Like, do you know what the EFF does, what the DMCA is, have you ever heard of "Fair Use" and how DMCA urinates on it after trampling it?
    My statement was in relation to the question asked by Shrdlu, If that question was asked of me and I failed to answer it previously my apologies. To answer your question Yes, I am aware.

    You should know the locking of the PDFs were not in consideration of the above and was not something we thought of on that level. Also I now know of the underlying and completely 200% unintentional result this seemingly innocuous task has been taken by the community. Please understand that when I am up at 4am preparing the master CD and getting presentations seconds before the press deadline, I am/was not considering this protocol to be offensive/annoying/trite to attendees. Nor was I locking them to make some kind of "statement" or hidden agenda as to whose side we were on. I was only doing my job in continuing on with a process we have done for several years. Many of you may not have noticed cut and paste was disabled, because no one has complained until now.

    Cotman, to answer your question.... The presentations no matter how many are all converted to PDF after they are checked/edited by myself. It is several days worth of work and can be tedious, but it is a worthwhile asset to the con, and makes me feel good when completed.

    For as far back as I know, we have been instructed to compile the CD with LOCKED PDF's as converting them from their original formats makes it extremely easy for attendees to view them. Especially if they are bringing a freshly wiped laptop to the show, makes it so that any os can read them without special annoyances, and readers are free and available to download if they don't have a default pdf reader already.(MOST DO) The same can not be said for using existing formats and despite it popularity open office is one slow download and not everyone is a hippie and or likes it. Not to mention, It makes the files A LOT smaller after they are converted. This means more content on the CD. Next year we *might* try for a DVD as we had to cut content from this years CD as we had more presentation material than usual. (we always like more) There are many other rules/protocols I follow to try to take any issues out of the CD so it wont cause problems for attendees, PDF's are just one of them.

    As for asking speakers...that is another issue and although I am not unwilling to do so at all, it will make the entire process longer for me as there is no real way to explain how hard it is sometimes to get answers from the hundred + people I nag to get things by deadline. Not that I am complaining, I'm just stating how it is. Making it a part of the submission processes does no good either as we all know how well "terms" are actually read. I am all for making it unlocked, however I need to make sure my speakers are happy and feel satisfied that we at least made a trivial effort to protect their slides from plagiarisms and other bumps in the night.

    As for adding the text in the presentations, I would have to check to make sure that all the speakers added the text to their slides, on top of my other "checks", adding it myself would also take time and I may have to reconfigure slides and blah blah blah. I can see it from both perspectives, I really can. However there are logistical headaches involved with coming up with an entirely new way of doing things, these are growing pains. No one meant any ill will, in fact it was a courtesy to speakers as some really really do want there slides locked. We will have to develop a new system if this a genuine outcry of disgust from attendees. If this truly makes many people raise an eyebrow and say WTF, then we of course will do whatever we can to make the complainants stop. even less obviously.. we really do want to try to make everyone happy.

    Hope that helps....
    Last edited by Nikita; August 19, 2008, 22:17. Reason: Bad Nikita....no C in Shrdlu

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  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    Moving forward, unless we edit submitted PDF, or alter them in some way, why not leave the choice of including such protections to the person presenting the PDF?

    This solves several problems:
    1) No need to document what each speaker's licensing preference is, and lets them include copyright, Creative Commons, or whatever licensing they wish from within their own documents.
    2) Documents get published "as-is" allowing each presenter to answer the question, "why did you publish your documents with 'X' restrictions?"
    3) This would permit the Defcon people processing these papers an, "out," since they would not be enforcing a unilateral decision that causes attendees unhappiness.
    3) Accountability is passed on through to the people responsible for wishing to restrict access to their content. (Responsibility follows control.)

    Of course, this relies on there being no need to "re-render" submitted documents into new PDF.

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  • mfreeck
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    I think this issue is another symptom of Defcon growing up. I am not judging whether it is wrong or right. I agree that in early Defcon lore, this probably would not have been tolerated (or would it?). Then again, attendees were dumping concrete down toilets and questioning authority within the con, rather than peaceably waiting for someone else to organize stuff. I have been going to Defcon only a few short years and even I have noticed the change.

    If somone encrypts their wifi with WEP only, it is still simple for anyone to get in. And yet, it lays out a clear unwelcome mat that asks the outside person to respect the network owner's wishes. Clearly, they don't want you sending spam or looking at child porn from their wifi. Similarly, locking the pdf is asking viewer to please respect the speaker's work while knowing that people can still get into the pdf if they really want to.

    Yes, that still doesn't address the argument of whether it should be open and simply ASK for respect rather than requiring that people break into it to use c/p rather than type up a small portion. I think the answer has more to do with who we are than an absolute moral.

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  • TheCotMan
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    Originally posted by Europus View Post
    That statement makes me wonder if you comprehend the meta-issues at play here. Seriously. Like, do you know what the EFF does, what the DMCA is, have you ever heard of "Fair Use" and how DMCA urinates on it after trampling it?
    For anyone just tuning in, the above is a good example of constructive criticism and is totally allowed in the forums. It includes a comment on issue, an observed conflict or suggested double standard, and opens the door for more discussion.

    Such dialog is good, and healthy to have on a forum, but for people just tuning in, please don't jump on a bandwagon and begin a flame-fest, or issue empty, "me too," comments. If you have new constructive thoughts to add, and suggestions on how things can be improved, and considerations for inclusion in future Defcon, that is great!

    This thread is still quite healthy. Just don't let it devolve into simple flaming which hinders any process towards resolution and fixing problems.

    Thanks!
    :-)

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  • Europus
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    No problem, sometimes things just appear to be silly before a detailed explanation is given :-)
    That statement makes me wonder if you comprehend the meta-issues at play here. Seriously. Like, do you know what the EFF does, what the DMCA is, have you ever heard of "Fair Use" and how DMCA urinates on it after trampling it?

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  • gurneyh
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    I was the one that brought up the issue of the locked PDF's on the dc-stuff discussion list. Shrdlu was kind enough to relay and anonymize my comments here since I didn't have a forums account at the time.

    This seems so ironic to me. At Defcon 9 Dmitry Sklyarov was jailed for distributing a tool that broke Adobe eBook DRM. Today, Defcon distributes its presentations using Adobe PDF DRM. I understand that eBook DRM and PDF DRM are very different but breaking a copy protection mechanism is a violation of the DMCA. It doesn't matter that PDF DRM is lame and can easily be broken.

    DRM doesn't change the author's rights to their material. They are fully protected under copyright law. DRM doesn't change the right to fair use. What is the purpose of using DRM on the presentations? What message is being sent?

    Defcon has long been a gathering for the free exchange of information. I guess it is the idealist in me that thought this would never be compromised. I'm sure to many this all sounds very melodramatic and trivial but I think it deserves a bit of reflection.

    Thanks.

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  • Nikita
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
    Thanks again for the explanation.
    No problem, sometimes things just appear to be silly before a detailed explanation is given :-)

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  • ßobÇat
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    Originally posted by shrdlu View Post
    Oh, no reason to change what already works. I note that a few people have suggested methods to unlock it, but getting around it was never the issue. Understanding why it was done was what I was after.
    Might I suggest that if a speaker does not want to at least CC license their presentation, we don't need to hear them? This one is pretty restrictive http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ and in any case

    EVERY HACKER KNOWS DRM DOES NOT WORK - except to get people arrested.

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  • shrdlu
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    Originally posted by Nikita View Post
    To officially answer this question....
    I appreciate your answer. Makes perfect sense. Truthfully, I'd have never noticed. It was only a comment from someone else trying to write a report; I'm sure he's already just typed in whatever it was he was working with.

    Originally posted by Nikita View Post
    If DT wishes, we may go with "unlocked" presentations for next year so long as we have received the authors consent.
    Oh, no reason to change what already works. I note that a few people have suggested methods to unlock it, but getting around it was never the issue. Understanding why it was done was what I was after.

    Thanks again for the explanation.

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  • 0x58
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    Mac OS X:

    Apple + P -> PDF -> Save as PDF.

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  • Dark Tangent
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    I knew you had the answer. Thanks for clarifying for everyone!

    Originally posted by Nikita View Post
    As of now, this years content will remain "locked" to disable cut & paste as many speakers appreciate the gesture and have not consented otherwise.

    Thank you,
    Nikita

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  • Nikita
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    To officially answer this question.... for the past several years Dead Addict, Black Beetle and myself have been locking the presentations on CD. This has been protocol on the past several Defcon CD's mastered by myself and any updated materials on the website. This has never been a reported issue or complaint before. The information is still readable, viewable and printable in high resolution as well. ONLY the Cut & Paste rights have been disallowed. In order to change this going forward the speakers would have to consent to making their presentations "unlocked". Time does move forward and so does the ability to unlock these PDF's via software, etc. I do realize this, however please respect the wishes of the speakers who have requested their presentations be locked to disable cut & paste. If this is an issue that greatly frustrates and agonizes the community please understand it is not our intention nor the speakers. If DT wishes, we may go with "unlocked" presentations for next year so long as we have received the authors consent. However this may also mean that we do not get speakers consent and therefore the results will be inconsistent. As of now, this years content will remain "locked" to disable cut & paste as many speakers appreciate the gesture and have not consented otherwise.

    Thank you,
    Nikita

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  • shrdlu
    replied
    Re: What's up with the locked PDFs on the Defcon CD?

    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
    time to fire up the tools from Elcomsoft
    There are those for whom that would be a problem. Personally, I can think of any number of ways, but my preference would be to see it made right on defcon's side.

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