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Aboriginal Archive Uses New DRM

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the serving-the-suser-for-a-change dept.

Social Networks 182

ianare writes "An application that gives fresh new meaning to 'digital rights management' has been pioneered by Aboriginal Australians. It relies on a user's profile to control access to a multimedia archive. The need to create profiles based on a user's name, age, sex and standing within their community comes from traditions over what can and cannot be viewed. For example, men cannot view women's rituals, and people from one community cannot view material from another without first seeking permission. Images of the deceased cannot be viewed by their families. These requirements threw up issues surrounding how the material could be archived, as it was not only about preserving the information into a database in a traditional sense, but also about how people would access it depending on their gender, their relationship to other people, and where they were situated."

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The source (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22228418)

Please, consider linking to the original source, huh? [nimp.org]

cheers

MOD PARENT TROLL! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22229074)

links to a malicious site

Re:The source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22229892)

It really puts faith in the moderation system that that got an insightful mod...

once again (-1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228426)

superstition mumbo-jumba gets in the way or progress.

Look, your rules don't allow you to do what can be done with a computer? fine, don't loko at a computer.

really, the days of secret ceremonies are coming to and end.

Re:once again (5, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228610)

I've read TFA. It seems to me that this is just the result of the very will of those people to respect their own traditions and that this whole thing was made only after it had turned up that they would not accept the archive as easily without provisions for preventing potential embarassment. They seem to be doing it willingly. I'm not sure it's about superstition, it's just about social habits. You think it's silly? Fine, you have the right to have an opinion, but I'd say it's their business. And I don't feel there's a harm, unless TFA is grossly inaccurate, concerning the situation there.

Given your comment, I'm wondering... (2, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228682)

Given your comment, I'm wondering...

Can't they respect their own traditions without imposing technologically enforced access controls? What do they do when someone uses hard-copy information, or, to take an example from the article, a man viewing woman's rituals?

What is the point of building an access control system like this?

-- Terry

Re:Given your comment, I'm wondering... (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228942)

What is the point of building an access control system like this?

You look at an example of why someone wants an access control system like this and you still have to ask?

Re:Given your comment, I'm wondering... (0, Offtopic)

Srin Tuar (147269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229850)



You look at an example of why someone wants an access control system like this and you still have to ask?


The grandparent is correct and you are missing the point.

One of these two must be true:
a) they want to honor their cultural taboos, and they don't need a system to enforce it upon them
or
b) they want to break their cultural taboos, and DRM is powerless to enforce it upon them.

Either way, DRM is useless.

to prevent accidents? (4, Informative)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228968)

These kinds of taboos against men and women seeing one another, against talking about the dead, etc. are very common in the aboriginal cultures of Australia, and they take them very seriously. The Warlpiri language, for example, has a sort of sub-language called the avoidance register, used when people of certain familial relations need to talk to each other (a woman and son-in-law, for example) - the grammar's mostly the same, but the words are dramatically simplified, and often replaced with generic terms. And such phenomena occur in other cultural/language groups too - I believe there's something like it in Zulu.

It seems odd to you, but it's also how they want to live. They're free to leave where they live (and many do), and those that stay want to live the traditional way.

Re:to prevent accidents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22229012)

"They're free to leave where they live (and many do), and those that stay want to live the traditional way."

Yes, they want to live the traditional way! Leave them alone! Of course, finish hooking up that traditional wi-fi so they can access those traditional databases from their traditional homes. Just like their ancestors.

Re:to prevent accidents? (1)

haizi_23 (32026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229066)

What are you crying about? There are lots of similar restrictions in Western culture. Just because we consider ourselves "modern" doesn't mean we've completely divorced ourselves from our cultural traditions. For example, when was the last time you used a public restroom that was co-ed (and not single-occupant) ? They exist, but rarely.

Re:to prevent accidents? (3, Funny)

ChameleonDave (1041178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229254)

when was the last time you used a public restroom that was co-ed (and not single-occupant) ? They exist, but rarely.
I don't think I've even encountered a public toilet that was particularly educational, let alone co-educational for multiple races, sexes, etc.

technology isn't culture (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229120)

When I said traditional way, I didn't mean in terms of the technology they live with, but in terms of the traditional ways in which people interact - culture. And I believe it was perfectly clean from what I wrote that's what I meant.

Apparently you're an idiot, though.

Re:technology isn't culture (4, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229320)

I gotta say, when I clicked through on this story, I was mostly expecting comments along positive lines. This seemed to me as well to be an interesting story of how the old and the new can coexist in new models. I really didn't expect all this player-hating. Weird. I didn't realize we had so many technological absolutists here.

For an interesting story with a similar theme, I suggest this Wired article [wired.com] from '99.

Re:technology isn't culture (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229378)

Interesting article.

I know I shouldn't be, but I'm still mildly surprised by the sheer number of slashdotters with no class, and no ability to envision a view of the world or way of living other than their own.

Re:Given your comment, I'm wondering... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22229050)

I'm sure someone who really wants to can easily circumvent their DRM, but that's not the point. The DRM makes it impossible to accidentaly stumble upon materials that are considered inappropriate for your profile. It's like putting a front door in your house. Most strangers won't come through if it's closed, even though they can easily go in through a window, or get a lock pick, or whatever. Doors are for keeping strangers out. The Super-Duper-Tesla-Coil-anti-Burglar-System 2000 is for keeping burglars out :)

The DRM targets the random people passing by, not someone who really wants the stuff. The 'but once 1 person cracks it it will be out in the open FOREVAR!' thing doesn't apply here, since they don't want to access it anyway.

Re:Given your comment, I'm wondering... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229122)

I'm sure someone who really wants to can easily circumvent their DRM, but that's not the point.
It's not the point, yet. Here's a bet: Within a few years, members of this community will find reasons for accessing the information that is "forbidden" to them, and the efforts to remove the DRM will begin. There will be some aboriginal scholar, or teacher, or 14 year old aboriginal hacker who decides enough is enough and it's time for the information to be free. Soon, no more DRM.

Digital data has a tendency to defeat efforts of control. It's what makes it so wonderful.

Re:Given your comment, I'm wondering... (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229964)

Here's a bet: Within a few years, members of this community will find reasons for accessing the information that is "forbidden" to them, and the efforts to remove the DRM will begin.

If they make the decision to do that, it will be because they have also made the decision to leave the community.

The mores make the community, not the other way around.

Re:Given your comment, I'm wondering... (2, Insightful)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229142)

Can't they respect their own traditions without imposing technologically enforced access controls?

Yeah, not like in our culture - where we don't need such stuff to enforce our tradition of , e.g.,keeping our kids away from pornography, horror etc.:

"CIPA requires schools and libraries using e-rate discounts to operate 'a technology protection measure with respect to any of its computers with Internet access that protects against access through such computers to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors...'" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children's_Internet_Protection_Act#What_CIPA_requires [wikipedia.org]

But seriously, I think it is a good thing that this community adjusted modern information technology to their needs. If their needs or beliefs change they can change their access policy, but that is first of all something they have to decide by themselves.

Re:once again (1)

LooTze (988596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229742)

I think the most awkward aspect of this is that they need some outsider to code the database and DRM. And this guy gets to see everything and according to their tradition most probably this guy should not be getting to view all of it in the first place anyway. Hopefully, one day all individuals will learn enough about computers to upload their own material and then set DRM as they wish.

Re:once again (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228666)

really, the days of secret ceremonies are coming to and end.

So, assuming you have an S/O, you wouldn't mind if there were YouTube videos of you doing the linen fandango with him/her? For that matter, why do you even bother to wear clothing outdoors when the temperature is warm?

Sounds unrelated, but it isn't once you dig deeper...

See, there are, at base, some things which any given existing culture likes to keep secret. Sometimes it's simple stuff like sex, sometimes it's complex stuff like not viewing your deceased relatives for fear that their ghost will come in the night and tear up your house.

Just because someone holds the beliefs that they shouldn't view the rituals of the opposite gender, or that they shouldn't eyeball videos of "hot cheating amateur couples!" on a website, doesn't mean they're supposed to go all Aboriginal or Amish in their lifestyle. And just because you think it's silly doesn't mean that they cannot and/or shouldn't self-censor as individuals or as a community. Odds are very good that this Aboriginal resource DB was rigged by request from the community itself, so why the hullabaloo?

/P

Re:once again (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229014)

Odds are very good that this Aboriginal resource DB was rigged by request from the community itself, so why the hullabaloo?

Jingoism and bigotry posing as rational smug superiority. Nothing more.

Re:once again (4, Informative)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229662)

"Jingoism and bigotry posing as rational smug superiority. Nothing more."

I'd say ignorance even.

The reason why this is important, is due to the critical need for anthropologists to win the trust of many of these ancient tribes to study the practices so we can learn a bit more about how hunter gatherer societies organise. Back in the earlier days of Anthropologists studying Aboriginal tribes, the Aboriginals, knowing "whitefulla" had no real ability to use the dances and rituals in the "magical" way Aboriginal religions see them, they freely cooperated and would show the rituals etc. However a series of incidents, where the rituals where shown on TV and then seen by neighboring tribes, thus unleashing "curses" or whatever, led to most of these tribes stopping from trusting anthropologists to respect the conditions of the cooperation. This particularly occurs with gender specific rituals. "womens business" rituals are not to be seen by men (white men included), and unless the anthropologist can guarantee this, she won't be shown the ritual. But oftentimes she cant, and so anthropology never gets to study it.

Systems like this, where the community gets to decide the 'rules' of accessing the multimedia (a bit like creative commons even) means that the Anthropologist can finally win the trust of the tribe to do the studies needed to piece together the mysteries of traditional Aboriginal life.

Re:once again (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229338)

See, there are, at base, some things which any given existing culture likes to keep secret.

There's one important distinction here.

There is a huge difference between "secret" and "private". What you do when you're sitting on the toilet or between the sheets with your SO is no secret, but it is private.

But the other important distinction here is that the Aboriginal database is consensual, much like flagging "inappropriate content". It's to protect you from accidentally seeing something that you don't want to see, not to prevent you from seeing something that you're not allowed to. I have no problem with that at all.

Re:once again (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229554)

There is a huge difference between "secret" and "private". What you do when you're sitting on the toilet or between the sheets with your SO is no secret, but it is private.

On the surface, that sounds correct... but it's a subtlety at best, IMHO. Someone wanting to keep their sex life away from the public at large is really no different than someone wanting to keep their religious (or other) rituals from being viewed by folks who probably don't want to see or know about it (like parents keeping their nocturnal activities away from the kids, or not really wanting to know that grandma and grandpa still get jiggy on occasion). The motivations are the same - be it a naked couple having sex or a group of women praying for fertility (or whatever it may be). Privacy (at least IMHO) involves keeping things secure from exploitation by others (e.g. credit card info, health records, etc). Secrecy OTOH? Well, it's likely no secret at all that Joe and Jane Sixpack have sex if they have kids. OTOH, the rituals they made to get to that point (positions, foreplay, things shouted during the act, scratches involved, etc) may be (to them) the equivalent of a secret ritual (or not... maybe Joe likes to brag at the locker room?)

But the other important distinction here is that the Aboriginal database is consensual, much like flagging "inappropriate content". It's to protect you from accidentally seeing something that you don't want to see, not to prevent you from seeing something that you're not allowed to. I have no problem with that at all.

I've no problems with it either, and believe it or not I do agree with the distinction, though I'm fairly sure that the practitioners of these female rites are just as eager to not have them seen as the men are to not see them, no?

/P

Re:once again (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229698)

Actually I wouldn't mind, but my point is all secrets will be available to anyone.

"For that matter, why do you even bother to wear clothing outdoors when the temperature is warm?"
Becasue I'll get arrested. I should be able to walk out of my house naked, but people stuck with beliefs that should have been left behind with the middle ages have made it taboo.
And I do understand they are related.

"some things which any given existing culture likes to keep secret."
Yes, but as long as you have the means for that information to become public, it will. I can see people having sex any time with a few clicks of a button. No amount of cultural norm can prevent that.

"And just because you think it's silly doesn't mean that they cannot and/or shouldn't self-censor as individuals or as a community."
I didn't say the couldn't or shouldn't, only that they are putting restrictions on something that, by it's nature, doesn't like these types limitations.

" so why the hullabaloo?"

The only reason there is a hullabaloo is because of a bunch of over reactions by slashdotters.

Mostly I see a bunch of humans being hamstrung by superstition and it is frustrating.How many brilliant Physicists, engineers, geologists have never seen the light of day because there trapped within a society of mumbo-jumbo. Since they are raised that way, they really don't have a choice.

You're kidding, right? (3, Insightful)

robo.cowp (929330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228684)

Alright troll, I'll bite.

You're kidding, right? The material concerned was created by the Aboriginal people, is chiefly of concern to them, and in no way impacts on anyone who doesn't use the service. WhoTF do you think you are to tell them that what they hold sacred is "superstition mumbo-jumba", or that "the days of secret ceremonies are coming to and end"!?

This is news on /. because it constitutes a complex and useful method of regulating user access to the archive based on the users characteristics.

Re:You're kidding, right? (-1, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228844)

It's not a troll. Please learn what a troll is. At worst it's a flamebait, and it's not that. It's an honest statement. Plus, if it was either of those you did the worse thing one could do, reply. Second to that is Moderate.

"or that "the days of secret ceremonies are coming to and end"!?"
One just needs to look around and see the secret ceremonies of all types are coming to an end. 25 years from now they will be quaint.

"This is news on /. because it constitutes a complex and useful method of regulating user access to the archive based on the users characteristics."
I, in no way, indicated it should not be here on slashdot. I understand the challenge.

"WhoTF do you think you are to tell them that what they hold sacred is "superstition mumbo-jumba","

A rational human being. It is superstitious mumbo-jumbo, and will remain that way until someone can prove it works. I suggest applying the scientific model of discovery.

Re:You're kidding, right? (1)

robo.cowp (929330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228956)

Okay, fair point. Perhaps I spoke in haste. Apologies.

I guess what I was trying to express was the notion that the ceremonies do have real value to these people. It is irrelevant to debate the scientific value of such "superstitions"; these practices are valued and respected in certain communities, they don't (directly) cause harm to those that uphold them, and have very little impact on those outside the communities. Why shouldn't they keep them?

And I know that's not the main issue here, but understanding that much is helpful in understanding the need for user access control as put forward in TFA.

Re:You're kidding, right? (1)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228976)

A troll scorned is still a troll, it doesn't matter how many posts you reply to, you were called out for trolling. Please refrain from posting until you take your own advice. Please learn what a troll is.

Re:You're kidding, right? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228992)

We still have yet to determine whether you are sincere. And I'm willing to wager that people will still find ways to have secret ceremonies for the indefinite future. They're considered quaint by those who don't understand their power. Finally, a rational human being wouldn't get their knickers twisted over such a quaint thing, would they? So stop bothering us with vapid talk of how rational you are.

Re:You're kidding, right? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229114)

So stop bothering us with vapid talk of how rational you are.

I always laugh when some geek tries to present themselves as being a completely rational person.

Sorry, but they're human, and humans are emotional mammals first and foremost; rationality is just a useful trick we've learned, but our brains are still fundamentally as emotional -- and thus irrational -- as ever. A person truly striving to be rational would accept this fact. However someone who wants to present themselves as being superior must delude themselves into thinking that they are completely rational. Self-delusion is itself irrational, and thus they are hoisted by their own petards.

Re:You're kidding, right? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22229058)

You sound like a techie who believes that social conventions are a waste of time and effort. You're entitled to your belief, but for your own sake I hope that you can keep your mouth shut when you encounter people in upsetting situations. Telling the wrong people that their rituals are a sign of backwardness could result in your going home in a box. And by the way, this isn't meant as a threat, just a simple statement of reality in many parts of the world.

Re:You're kidding, right? (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229266)

It may very well be superstition, in the same way that all religious beliefs are superstition. That doesn't mean that they're necessarily wrong however, as people's belief systems are often central to their view of the world and their place in it. Further, many people take comfort in their belief systems.

These aren't all secret ceremonies either. There are cultural issues around seeing images of the dead, or speaking about them. It may seem quaint to you, but it's a very real thing to them. An equivalent might be for people to talk disrespectfully about your family, living or deceased. Would you be okay for people to do that? I wouldn't, so I respect the Aboriginal culture in their wishes.

Lastly, I'd point out that Aboriginal Australian culture extends back at least 40,000 years and more likely 60,000 years. While they don't have a civilisation in the same mould as ours, they do have something that works for them and has for far longer than any other known civilisation. The destruction of their culture in the last two hundred years has been a long process of taking something unique out of the world. It may have been impossible to avoid, but with every indigenous culture destroyed the richness of the Human race is lessened, not improved.

(For the record, I'm an atheist and very much supportive of the scientific model to discover and explain the Universe. That doesn't mean destroying other cultures or religions though, as many people need to believe something beyond science. Needless destruction of a culture is often irrational.)

Re:You're kidding, right? (2, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229292)

One just needs to look around and see the secret ceremonies of all types are coming to an end. 25 years from now they will be quaint.

I sincerely doubt that. A group of women performing an aboriginal ritual is no different than a group of Freemasons performing theirs, or Mormons getting married in a Temple ritual for that matter.

Sure, outsiders (like myself in all three cases) may have a somewhat good idea of what goes on during these rituals, and even see televised re-enactments of one of them courtesy of the History/Discovery/NatGeo Channels. That said, I don't know that what I've heard or seen regarding them is the actual deal or not. I (like most) only know from hearsay, which is anything but actual evidence. You and I, by virtue of not being a part of these respective memberships, will never know for certain if the descriptions of them are sufficiently accurate, if they have or have not changed in response to public exposure of their details (possible, not probable), or if all of the details have even been divulged. QED, they remain secret.

Also, there is too much of a collective human need to feel special, to feel that we are individually and in groups, members of some sort of elite, or among the 'chosen', if you will. This is just as much a craving of the urban atheist as of the most isolated aboriginal human being... to 'belong'. Coupled with ritual (which still manages to captivate the human emotion very well), and you have a recipe for something that probably won't die anytime within this anthropological era of human development.

"WhoTF do you think you are to tell them that what they hold sacred is "superstition mumbo-jumba","

A rational human being.

Do rational human beings so easily pre-judge others' acts with incomplete information and no sense of consideration? One would think that a truly rational human being would understand and admit that other cultures, especially those which have survived nicely for longer than one's own, should be given some breathing room with which to practice their separate and harmless belief systems - without such a crass and simplistic label as "mumbo-jumbo", no?

Superstition it might be, but if said form of faith makes a person happy, what's the problem with accommodating him or her as far as possible without intrusion onto our own systems? They asked for this, it doesn't intrude on what you or I might do, and it harms no one in the end.

/P

Re:once again (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228702)

superstition mumbo-jumba gets in the way or progress.
really, the days of secret ceremonies are coming to and end.

On whose say so? The geek's?

There are times when I think that the geek is the last of the imperialists. Believing that every cultural barrier must fall to his "white man's" notion of perfection.

Re:once again (2, Funny)

rkanodia (211354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228824)

Except in this case, it's more like the "pasty man's" notion of perfection.

Re:once again (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229106)

really, the days of secret ceremonies are coming to and end.

Evidently not! Seems like some cultures just don't want to be assimilated.

Just an FYI (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22228432)

Aboriginal is considered a highly offensive term by some. The correct phrase is "spear chucking wogs"

Err, DRM? (1, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228456)

Why wouldn't they simply build user and group permissions into the servers that host the archives and call it good?

If TFA (which went 'splat' on me when I tried to reach it) is implying that the files need DRM to solve what is essentially an administration problem (user & group permissions), then something's fscked. Otherwise, methinks the summary is more than just a little misleading, no?

/P

Re:Err, DRM? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228520)

Okay - finally got TFA... and the offline aspect makes sense now. My bad.

/P

what? (-1, Flamebait)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228468)

"Images of the deceased cannot be viewed by their families."

Grandma died, time to take down her picture and burn it.

Re:what? (1)

sam.thorogood (979334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228568)

It's cultural! Try not to be insensitive.

Re:what? (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229132)

Cultures should by immune to mockery?

Re:what? (1)

largesnike (762544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229478)

as long as you can take mockery yourself

Re:what? (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228714)

Thats nothing.

There are cultures wherein if someone dies then you arn't allowed to use their name anymore.

Not only that, but you arn't allowed to use words that *sound* like their name.

Such cultures have languages in which the lexicon changes very rapidly as people introduce new words all the time to replace sound-alikes.

Sometimes its not hard to see why languages and traditions become extinct as people realise that they don't really *have* to maintain this kind of rubbish (yes call me insensitive. But realistic).

"Oh noes, Mr. Tellingbone died! Have to come up with a new word for 'telephone'!!! Ooops Mrs Hemboyga died! Have to come up with a new word for 'hamburger'!!!"

This kind of thing just doesn't scale well beyond populations of a few hundred.

Re:what? (1)

largesnike (762544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229384)

Honestly, I can't believe this response. There are cultures around the world who thing marrying girls as young as 12 is perfectly acceptable, and probably think we have a ridiculous taboo. Before you start accusing aboriginals of having ridiculous customs, look hard at your own, and don't be so arrogant.

How is this DRM? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22228474)

This doesn't sound like DRM. It sounds like access control.

Re:How is this DRM? (4, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228554)

This doesn't sound like DRM. It sounds like access control.

Depends on how they assembled it. If it's some sort of self-contained website-on-a-box, then yeah, it's probably a local DB (MySQL?) and local PHP with perms based on the profile info.

OTOH, if they rigged it as one big fat binary, then the access controls locked into the binary is similar in concept (though nowhere near as complete as true DRM which looks for a key, IMHO).

/P

Users *want* the rules enforced (2, Informative)

Geof (153857) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228570)

That was my reaction, but they call it a "website that's not online". However, from the sounds of it, the users probably don't own the computers, so I would still call it access control.

If it is DRM, itt appears to have a major advantage of most systems: the users want it to enforce its rules.

she noticed that people turned away when certain images came up on screen. . . .

"The way people were looking at the photos was embedded in the social system that already existed in the community," she said.

"People would come in and out of the area of the screen to look when they could look."

Re:Users *want* the rules enforced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22228732)

"People would come in and out of the area of the screen to look when they could look."
How did they know they could look unless they were already looking?

And if the users want the rules enforced, are the rules really necessary in the first place?

Re:Users *want* the rules enforced (2, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228832)

I don't want to walk in on someone in my bathroom, yet I still keep locks on the door. Sometimes things need protection from stumbling upon them accidentally.

Re:How is this DRM? (1)

DrMindWarp (663427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228800)

It isn't DRM and and it is barely worthy of notice.

Re:How is this DRM? (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228996)

Or maybe DRM is access control, only wildly farcical in it's intent and design.

Access control - Sensible way to keep data secure and allow straightforward heirarchies of access (read only, write/modify/delete, execute).
DRM - Batshit insane coked up record company exec spin on access control containing nutbag crazy ideas (read it sometimes, don't copy it even though you can read it, self destruct in five minutes, install rootkit to spy on you, etc etc). Defective by design.

They are not aboriginal people (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22228476)

They are nigger-roos.

not your ordinary DRM (2, Insightful)

oever (233119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228532)

Strictly speaking, I'd say this is DRM. But it's not DRM as we know it.

The archive, housed at the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre, contains photos, digital video clips, audio files, and digital reproductions of cultural artifacts and documents.


So this is simply a website with user management. Not everybody is allowed to see everything. This is different from DRM as Microsoft advocates it, where people would not be able to save these pages and images unencrypted onto their machines. Because, you know, they might mail them to somebody of the opposite sex!

It's highly unlikely that this website really relies on complicated DRM schemes (which would require Vista).

Re:not your ordinary DRM (2, Informative)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229460)

I know some Koori's, that's how first Australian's (the politically correct term in Australia for Aboriginals) refer to themselves. If you want to see what some of there cultural stories look like check this site out [abc.net.au] .

So this is simply a website with user management. Not everybody is allowed to see everything.
Exactly. I think that if there is an off-line aspect to it then either a custom application that only allows those verified to access/download images OR gpg and a ring of trust as a solution more analogous to their actual requirements. I know it can be a bit convoluted, but surely making gpg easier for the Koori elders to use would be a good thing for everyone, even us whitey's!!! The main problem I see is that their culture is not one that uses writing and shares their stories by telling and by viewing them. There is evidence of their culture all around Australia and I have had personal experiences visiting their physical sites, some are quite beautiful (aside from the natural beauty of the surroundings).

I don't know who sold them on the idea of DRM, if the Koori's understood the philosophy from which it came from (i.e. that which tries to own the community - or land - instead of the land - or community - owning it) is being placed in control of their culture, I am certain they would be horrified as this belief is core to their being, male female, boy girl across the many Koori tribal lands. I think whoever has said "DRM' is the answer is not being true to the Koori's they are advising by not understanding this issue. GPG and the GPL is definitely more in line with the traditional cultural ideals that I know of.

Now the only question is how to make gpg easy for a visually oriented culture to use, especially the elders, which in this case will drive adoption.

One other thing, I think there is a bit of a thin edge of the wedge going on here, as in the advocates of DRM trying to find a cultural fit as a justification to use DRM somewhere, to force adoption by the wider community.

Not DRM at all. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229720)

If it is simply a website with user management, and no actual DRM, then, well...

Think about every non-DRM'd song you've ever bought...

Yep. Case in point. People who have bought that song have access to it. People who haven't, don't. Access control -- but it's un-DRM'd.

However, complicated DRM schemes do not require Vista.

Easily hacked? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228536)

It seems obvious that people could just register fake accounts with different details just to access info their real profile won't give them access to.

Re:Easily hacked? (5, Funny)

Takichi (1053302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228618)

Great, just what the internet needs. More dudes pretending to be chicks.

Re:Easily hacked? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228778)

Not quite correct. At this computer system is disconnected from the Internet, these are going to be intranet chicks.

Re:Easily hacked? (1)

goatpunch (668594) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229234)

From the BBC News article [bbc.co.uk] : It asks every person who logs in for their name, age, sex and standing within their community.. Sounds like it's voluntary from that description, like those "Enter your date of birth" dropdowns that 'prove' your age.

Re:Easily hacked? (2, Interesting)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228622)

Just a case of necessitating identification information upon registering the account. Could do it with a trusted-registrar scheme, where the village elders vouch for the details of those under their jurisdiction.

Re:Easily hacked? (4, Informative)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228646)

Of course they could. But to draw a parallel, in Aztec society there were no doors. A horizontal bar across the entry way, however, acted as the most secure lock imaginable, because of cultural norms. Basically the same thing here about making a fake account.
-nB

Re:Easily hacked? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228720)

No need to do that. They don't have the motivation, they don't want to see pictures they're not supposed to see by accident. The system just asks "Hey, who are you?" and after they respond, it presents them almost all pictures, save for those that would embarass them or make them feel inappropriate. Why would they try to overcome something like that? For perverse curiosity?

Re:Easily hacked? (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228774)

Sounds like the 'net at large could use these profiles--I mean, sure, goatse isn't -that- bad, but do you really want to see it again?

Re:Easily hacked? (1)

Tangent128 (1112197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228748)

I'm guessing it's to prevent them from accidently viewing taboo material- obviously, if they're hacking the filter they don't care about the taboos very much.

Re:Easily hacked? (4, Insightful)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228768)

It seems obvious that people could just register fake accounts with different details just to access info their real profile won't give them access to.
You're missing the point. As other people have already pointed out, unlike with normal DRM, in this system, the users actually want the rules to be enforced on them. It's more to protect them against accidentally viewing stuff that they're not supposed to while searching for other documents.

Consider it like the 127.0.0.1 goatse.ch line in your /etc/hosts file.

Re:Easily hacked? (3, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229068)

Consider it like the 127.0.0.1 goatse.ch line in your /etc/hosts file.

Why, I do believe you have come across the simplest explanation of the system's motivation that a slashdotter would understand.

The hell with them (-1, Flamebait)

m50d (797211) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228578)

Straight down to -1 I'm sure, but if they're going to be that silly and discriminatory, let their culture rot.

Nude ERM? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22228600)

Nude erotic rubenesque mammaries? SIGN ME UP!

who will be using this the most (1)

andyman902042 (782160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228602)

The Aboriginal Tribes would not use such technology if it violated their deep-rooted traditions, and furthermore would see it as 'evil'. So for them to adopt new technology, they must not be offended by it.

Before complaining consider _why_ this was done (4, Insightful)

qaramazov (265399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228636)

Before complaining about DRM, RTFA and spend a bit of time thinking why this was done. The culture in question has a complicated set of rules about who can and cannot see certain images, rituals, etc. The anthropologist wanted to show them to the larger world without violating the rules of the culture that produced them. But wasn't the only reason: the restrictions also allows you the visitor to better understand the culture. Why? You might think that the best way to experience that culture to be shown all of it at once, but you should consider that men who live in this culture never get to see certain things. Think of it as a simulation of a culture. Use it to reflect on the assumptions you make about who is entitled to what information.

Re:Before complaining consider _why_ this was done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22229116)

Nobody is complaining about DRM; they are complaining that this is not DRM, and by inappropriately calling it "DRM" trivializes the bullshit that word always implies, and makes it sound like it's something that is sometimes reasonable and desirable.

It's sort of like calling anybody who loves children, a "pedophile."

Re:Before complaining consider _why_ this was done (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229518)

The culture in question has a complicated set of rules about who can and cannot see certain images, rituals, etc.

Yawn.

So how long do you suppose it would take them to make separate profiles as each gender, as a member of every major "community"?



the restrictions also allows you the visitor to better understand the culture

Concealing information never leads to better information. It leads to tunnel-vision.

The sooner we get over our societally-imposed hangups, whether that mean sex or drugs or national security or "women's rituals", the better for us all.



Use it to reflect on the assumptions you make about who is entitled to what information.

I make no assumptions about what I have access to, but strive for access to everything. And once I have that access, I make sure everyone else has access to it as well. Artificially imposed restrictions on access to information harm everyone. We need to end such restrictions ASAP, to the best of our ability.

"Entitled"? Look up the root of that word, and you'll understand my point.

old world traditions and new world tech (1)

drDugan (219551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228638)


Now instead of getting random users to see goatse, users will be trying to get specific people to view a pic of their now-dead grandma hosted on flickr.

Most of the traditions we have in a non-network-connected world were created and exist because of barriers that now have much less meaning. While I commend them for holding their traditions, it seems a bit misplaced.

First off, people online are going to make friends and connections based on personalities and interests, not physical proximity to their tribal members - very quickly people will be trading accounts and passing information around outside the system. Worse, putting such complex access restrictions in place make it a tempting target for insiders to divulge secrets or for other data breaches and access attacks.

SURPRISE!!!! (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229696)

Dead-grandma goatse!

Not user/admin access rights (2, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228686)

A file that can be viewed by your friend can be emailed to you. Simple userland permissions is trying to replicate.

DRM will only let the person whose profile is signed in view the image, whether it's emailed or whatever. It's a very different thing.

Re:Not user/admin access rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22229896)

Unless they have the ever so obscure ability to take a screen capture....oh noes....drm brokey!

Information just wants to be Free (0, Offtopic)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228754)

I always go into the Dreamtime and become a female Roo when I want to access information about female rituals.

Your mileage may vary, of course.

Not an uncommon issue for archivists (4, Interesting)

Selanit (192811) | more than 6 years ago | (#22228848)

Archivists typically have to respect the rules of the communities they serve regarding access to materials. Sometimes that means, say, putting a bunch of somebody's steamy love letters under lock and key until all of the named parties have died off. Other times it means managing intellectual property rights. And sometimes you run into cases like this one, where the cultural rules regarding the material are more involved.

I still think my favorite example was a living history project - the researchers involved had been recording traditional stories. One of them was an explanatory myth about why it snows. The problem was that there was a strong tradition requiring that the story be told only when there is snow on the ground. There's a doozy of an access control problem, unless you take the cheap way out and declare that there is always snow on the ground somewhere.

Fuckin' Goon Drinkin' Boongs!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22228902)

http://www.peppermintgrove.org/wesley/ [peppermintgrove.org]

Learn what Aboriginals are really like. No, I'm not racist. I'm a realist.

Re:Fuckin' Goon Drinkin' Boongs!!! (2, Insightful)

mikaere (748605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229310)

Learn what Aboriginals are really like. No, I'm not racist. I'm a realist.
No, you're a fucking moron.

21st Century, bitches. (-1, Troll)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229138)

Note to the primitives: y'all lost. Suck it. Suck. It. Hard.

This isn't flamebait, merely an expression of one man's frustration from having to deal with the pathetic primitives that can't accept the fact that the world has evolved past the sillier forms of supernaturalism.

Re:21st Century, bitches. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229434)

Note to the primitives: y'all lost. Suck it. Suck. It. Hard.

This isn't flamebait, merely an expression of one man's frustration from having to deal with the pathetic primitives that can't accept the fact that the world has evolved past the sillier forms of supernaturalism.

I'd use the term "holier than thou" to describe your attitude, but I fear that the phrase alludes to what you likely term as superstition. On the other hand, "STFU you intolerant, elitist, arrogant asshead", while certainly applicable, just seems a bit too harsh.

A bit of a quandary, really...

/P

Re:21st Century, bitches. (0, Troll)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229562)

I'd use the term "holier than thou" to describe your attitude, but I fear that the phrase alludes to what you likely term as superstition.
Wrap it up in a ceremony while you're at it. Maybe include a sacrifice, too?

Let's invade an enemy country, kidnap some virgins, and sacrifice them to the Sky God, okay?! After we're done and we've been arrested by The White Man, we can scream "racism" and blame the American hegemony!

"STFU you intolerant, elitist, arrogant asshead"
I'd consider that a compliment, actually. Thanks. :)

while certainly applicable, just seems a bit too harsh.
Reality is a bitch.

The last thing the primitives need is to have their dead/dying culture kept alive on life support.

The young need textbooks, not textiles.

Re:21st Century, bitches. (1)

largesnike (762544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229436)

It is flamebait, unless you can tell us what "frustration from having to deal with the pathetic primitives" you've personally experienced, and as a bonus, what makes you so fisking superior.

Re:21st Century, bitches. (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229552)

This isn't flamebait, merely an expression of one man's frustration from having to deal with the pathetic primitives that can't accept the fact that the world has evolved past the sillier forms of supernaturalism.

The world?

Outside of the USA which is rife with that form of silly supernaturalism called 'christianity', of course.

You were referring mainly to Europe?

Re:21st Century, bitches. (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229616)

Outside of the USA which is rife with that form of silly supernaturalism called 'christianity', of course.
And Islam and Judaism.

You were referring mainly to Europe?
No, because Europe - Britain, at least - will be Islamic within a few generations. Have fun with Sharia, because it's a helluva lot worse than anything the Christian crazies could ever dream of.

Re:21st Century, bitches. (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229818)

No, because Europe - Britain, at least - will be Islamic within a few generations. Have fun with Sharia, because it's a helluva lot worse than anything the Christian crazies could ever dream of.

For one thing, I'm not in Europe but it was hard to imagine where on earth was being suggested by the OP. Not east asia, certainly not middle east nor south america...

For another, I've known a lot of christians and I doubt strongly that sharia would necessarily be any worse than what 'christian crazies' could dream up. Believe me, they can dream pretty scary.

Re:21st Century, bitches. (1)

gobbo (567674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229634)

Note to the primitives: y'all lost. Suck it. Suck. It. Hard.

How civilized, how enlightened you are! Please explain to us why we should follow your wittily expressed contempt.

This isn't flamebait, merely an expression of one man's frustration from having to deal with the pathetic primitives that can't accept the fact that the world has evolved past the sillier forms of supernaturalism.

That which to us seems perfectly obvious will some day be revealed as silly superstition.

Re:21st Century, bitches. (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229674)

That which to us seems perfectly obvious will some day be revealed as silly superstition.
Like what? Please, great prophet, what truth will be revealed to be false? Have your god(s) spoken to you?

Re:21st Century, bitches. (1)

MvD_Moscow (738107) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229910)

You are retarded? Western and/or American society is full of cultural superstitions that most people follow without knowing. I just love how slashdot's reader get all agitated about some harmless BS like this.. Get over it, every culture has it's stupid shit, as long as it doesn't harm anyone (and this ACL system is 100% voluntary), there is no issue.

Some harmful aspects of American and/or Western culture:

Christianity's crusade against sexuality:
-A photo of a nude person is considered pornography and harmful to minors (even if it isn't explicitly suggestive)
-Walking naked in warm weather can get you labeled as a sex offender
-Prosecution of minors who decided that they want to have sex
-Enforcing moral regulation on private infrastructure (I still don't understand how the Christians get away with enforcing what can be shown on cable, isn't it a private infrastructure and don't you have to specifically opt-in for cable?)
-Limiting sexual minorities from establishing civil unions, let alone engaging in marriage. Did you know something like 30+ state constitutions have an explicit ban on civil unions?
-Sex before marriage is wrong, WTF?

Christianity's crusade against drugs
-LSD/Mushrooms/Weed are considered more harmful than coke/amphetamine (most psychedelics tend be very non-addictive both in terms of physical and mental dependency)
-Alcohol is okay even though it directly kill thousands of people every year. Guess how many people die from weed every year?

Christianity's crusade against progress
-Even though science and religion are mutually exclusive concepts that are in no way related, Christians are shallow enough to view evolution as a threat to their existence.
-What's the deal with stem cells? I know most hardcore Christians are pretty uneducated, but why is a small retarded minority allowed to get involved into scientific research? They should just sign a pledge that they will not be able to use any direct/indirect benefits that arise from stem cell research

Christianity's crusade against life
-A person's life is his own, if he sees no point in existence, it is his right to commit suicide. It is not important what Christianity says.
-Opposition to euthanasia, WTF?
-The "40 million killed babies" myth. Anyone who talks about abortion and the lost generation and BS like that doesn't give a flying fuck about the children. If they would, they would be helping kids who need help NOW, not sucking Christian cock for power/influence/support.

And don't get me started on all the 'free market' bias.

P.S. I have nothing against the free market, I think it should be used whenever possible. That does not mean you should be able to pollute all you want. Pay for any consequences that arise from your pollution, this should include long term consequences.

Talk about behind the times (1)

Spikeles (972972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229282)

This was mentioned weeks ago on Wendy's Legal Blog ( i have it on RSS feed ), she actually had a talk to the creator of the site. http://wendy.seltzer.org/blog/archives/2008/01/11/mukurtu-contextual-archiving-digital-restrictions-done-right.html [seltzer.org]

Re:Talk about behind the times (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229764)

She makes an awesome point on this. The system is designed to allow people to print the images or burn them to a CD , on the assumption that people can be trusted not to deliberately break the customs. She then says that copyright laws are busted because they are not in line with community values, and copyright laws should change to bring them in line with community values, particularly in that people SHOULD be trusted.

One less reason to bother with their art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22229476)

More controls on something not nearly so interesting or lucrative that the artists can afford to do it.

It'll only make people like myself care less about Aboriginal art (if that's possible). If not for the historical significance I'd already have zero appreciate or care about it.

Way to go promoting your culture.

Re:One less reason to bother with their art (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229524)

No boomerang for you

Australian Aboriginese are (2, Interesting)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229538)

anything but primitive. Often westerners (including me) upon seeing these people just see someone who lives a primitive and alien lifestyle. Over the years my whole view of the environment and our relationship with the land and each other has been completely been revised thanks to the knowledge gained gained from these true Australians. When western settlers first visited Australia all they saw were trees and bushes and no agriculture. The reality is far different in fact the Aborigines have for thousands of years been cultivating the land, food is everywhere but a westerner would starve unless shown the food they were standing on. Using fire management and spreading seeds (selection) Australian aborigines created a traveling smorgasboard that spanned thousands of miles. To have such a complex agricultural system (that puts western agricultural methods to shame in an environmental comparison) one must also have a very complex social system based on respect not just for the living but the dead. Many of you who eat your plastic food and live your broken sitcom social lives will sit back and laugh at such a people but the reality is they are laughing at us but are to honorable to tell us. If your after more info go watch a documentary series called "The Bush Tucker Man" [abc.net.au] , well worth watching and a real eye opener.

Re:Australian Aboriginese are (1)

TheDugong (701481) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229708)

Ok, warm and fuzzies from the hunter-gather-one-with-nature lifestyle. However, if you think that Australia could sustain it's current population (and the internet access which you appear to enjoy) if we all reverted to a hunter gatherer lifestyle then you have rocks in your head. Personally, give me modern medicine, communication, education, science, travel etc. I grew up in a country which lacked a lot of it. I will leave the plastic food and sitcoms to others though.

Re:Australian Aboriginese are (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#22229778)

>Many of you who eat your plastic food and live your broken sitcom social lives will sit back and laugh at such a people but the reality is they are laughing at us but are to honorable to tell us.

Yes, a life of marginalization, backwards social mores, lack of medicine and wealth, and no religious tolerance sounds like a grand time.

I find the whole idealization and worship of tribal peoples to be a western fetish. Idealizing them in some fantasy might be a nice psychological crutch but in reality its not quite so hot. I'm certain you wouldnt trade in your privileged and entitled life for theirs any time soon. Not to mention tribalism, historically, is nasty nasty business. I'll take a "broken sitcom" any day of the week.
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