Will Corpos try to force all computing on the to cloud and make privately owned local storage illegal?

Seems like the next logical step. Most big games are always-online Games as a Service where your local storage is useless if the company server doesn’t handshake. A lot of business and productivity software already requires subscriptions and is partially online. Every single fucking company wants to have an app on your phone so they can watch you in the bathroom. And there’s talk that MSFT might start moving Windows off the PC entirely and in to the cloud.

I figure at some point it’s in the shareholder’s best interests to prohibit users from actually storing anything locally. Storage is really just stolen subscription revenue, when you think about it. Every time a user accesses something on a local drive they’re stealing the chance for you to extort them in to paying a subscription fee.

What do think, too distopian? Back when tapes, CDs, MiniDiscs, all the old generations of data storage that you could write to at home were first circulating the media industries tried real, real hard to make them illegal to privately own. We’ve been fighting an escalating battle against digital (and analog I guess) IP regimes ever since then. Streaming has pretty much killed physical media afaik. I have no idea if blu-rays or DVDs are still printed for sale.

Idk, just a thought. Let me know what you think.


Back when tapes, CDs, MiniDiscs, all the old generations of data storage that you could write to at home were first circulating the media industries tried real, real hard to make them illegal to privately own.


I have no idea if blu-rays or DVDs are still printed for sale.

Is this a serious take? It’s a 5-second search on Google or any large store.

@Frank@hexbear.net avatar

Gimme a sec I’ll see if I can hunt down an article.

Okay here are some start points

techcrunch.com/…/how-the-content-industry-almost-… - Broad overview

en.wikipedia.org/…/Sony_Corp._of_America_v._Unive…. - Here’s the wiki on a really critical case that basically decided the future of media

I love that Fred Mother-Fucking Rodgers, ie Mr. Rogers, ie “I fought the Klan and I won” Fred Rogers, had a critical role testifying in front of the supreme court in favor of allowing people to record things at home for later viewing. Such an incredible man. |

If you’re not familiar with it check out the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, probably one of the most destructive censorship regimes in terms of sheer scope in human history


Another one to check out if you weren’t around for it, the Sony BMG Rootkit Scandal back in ought-5.


Is this a serious take? It’s a 5-second search on Google or any large store.

I just don’t have any installed physical media drives anymore. Haven’t for years, so I haven’t bothered to look.


Citation for the drama around betamax recording, including Mr. Rogers testifying to Congress: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/29686/how-mister-rogers-saved-vcr

@emptyother@programming.dev avatar

Stop giving them ideas!

Nah just kidding, I think they have been working on this idea for a long time already. It just isn’t feasible yet. When it becomes possible to stream a screen in high quality, high resolution, relatively low bandwidth, to most of their customers, all big cloud providers will jump right on it. And I think it can be possible soon, if someone figures out how to make an AI-based streaming compression method that works better than streaming compressions we have today.


Silicon Valley middle out compression, but for real

Frog-Brawler avatar

I’ve come to terms with the reality that if you can think up something shitty that fucks end users and consumers, it will happen.


I've come up with a few novel ideas that were pretty bad, and I have never discussed them online out of caution of someone actually running with them.


Maybe at some point. More practically from their perspective they will try to make hosting one’s own data increasingly inaccessible and unaffordable. The Internet is the landlord’s final frontier as there is no more physical space left to enclose on Earth.


They don’t make things illegal. They just make them the default option and most people don’t have enough knowledge to change it.

@queermunist@lemmy.ml avatar

They won’t have to make it illegal.

Data storage is going to become a niche. Apple and Microsoft will stop supporting data storage in their software, and once every business and the average person stop buying data storage mediums then the commercial availability will drop off a cliff.

The only people who will store data will be Linux nerds that build custom machines from parts imported from other countries. For 99% of people data storage won’t exist, no laws required.

@Frank@hexbear.net avatar

Yeah, that’s a good analysis. I’ve gotten in to it with friends over “consumer choice”, where they tell me “Oh, the customers didn’t want x thing that’s why you can’t get x thing” and I’ll hit back with “The manufacturers decided they didn’t want to support x thing for whatever reason, or that they could squeeze people for more money without x thing, and they have hegemonic control over the market share for that kind of product, so they can force the consumers to do what they tell the consumers to do” and they look at me like I have three heads. : p

Makes me think of the guy who, afaik, is the only guy in the world who is a reliable source for working floppy disks. The little ones, the big ones, the really big ones that are from before even my time. He works really hard to track down any intact ones he can get, then re-sell them to people who have ancient, ancient systems running key infrastructure.

Dammit someone turned on accessibility features and now there’s confetti on my screen whenever I click. fedposting Ted stop messing with my machine! fedposting


You just gave me horror shivers, what a dystopian idea. But I can totally see devices coming with just 64-128GB of built in flash for the OS and system files and all storage for anything else just defaults to their own cloud services.


Good analysis! It fits perfectly into this emerging techno-feudalist “you will own nothing” trend.

NumbersCanBeFun avatar

Just one highlight of how this is ridiculous and an obvious slippery slope fallacy.

How can you even legally enforce this? In the US you can’t just walk into someone’s house and start searching for hard drives. You need a warrant and probable cause. Since it’s likely going to be a misdemeanor this is highly unenforceable. Nobody is willingly going to let their home be searched by the police for the gain of some corporate shithead.

Also you can’t retroactively make all drives illegal, so older devices like floppy’s, tapes, CDs and other storage media. Where do they fall into this spectrum? You would have to specify a lot of what is considered legal local storage and what isn’t. It would be a litigious nightmare.


Ok, but at this point you're not arguing they're wrong. Only that enforcement will be tricky.

Also, I can predict exactly how it's going to work, because I've been seeing the same trend. A new forced Windows update will just make it so that storage no longer connects because it's "unsafe".

NumbersCanBeFun avatar

What about Linux? What about Mac? What if the user is using a “no longer supported” version of windows. Those won’t be getting updates.

This issue is extremely problematic and these are some of the variables that need consideration. Nothing is as simple as flipping a switch.


Most people don't know that Linux even exists and Mac usage is something like 2%. Those are effectively rounding errors. A lot of people would switch away from Windows, but many might not.

NumbersCanBeFun avatar

Linux is 2% and mac is higher but I don’t know that figure off the top of my head. The amount of users still on Windows XP is shockingly high overseas. In any case. There is no easy way to implement, enforce or otherwise enable compliance on this. Hard drives are a core functionality of a computer ecosystem and there is no way I can see local storage being disabled so a handful of cloud based software solutions can turn a bigger profit. It just causes way too many issues.


Not commenting on the content, but you should not dismiss an argument because it contains a slippery slope. A slippery slope fallacy is an informal fallacy, meaning it’s existence does not inherently mean an argument is flawed.

@waspentalive@lemmy.one avatar

A slippery slope is only slippery until it becomes a real slope.

NumbersCanBeFun avatar

Correct, but this one absolutely is a flawed argument.

@Dirt_Owl@hexbear.net avatar


A valid concern, tankie, but did you stop to think that NORTH KOREA BAD?!?!

I bet you’ve never been hit with THAT little factoid, commie

@Frank@hexbear.net avatar

North Korea Down BAD?

This is an emergency



What a fuckin weirdo. Yeah NK is very very very bad but that’s not relevant here.


I think bandwidth and data caps are a hindrance to this. Looking on the bright side, at least something would have to be better in this dystopian future.

@housepanther@lemmy.goblackcat.com avatar

I’m no Nostradamus but I don’t see this happening because the companies that make their revenue on storage would be crying foul. I don’t see any successful pushes to make local storage illegal. Put it this way: I hope I’m right.


i dont think itll be possible to enforce esp in the globalised world.

like piracy is supposed to be illegal but even in the west you can do it perfectly fine with a VPN/Seedbox. Outside west, you can do it without any protection.

aebrer avatar

FWIW the Canadian supreme court made piracy laws unenforceable on purpose, so you also don't need a VPN in Canada.

@a_statistician@programming.dev avatar

I’ve never used vpn even in the US. Private trackers and encryption have been enough for me. Also, it seems like my ISP doesn’t care. Some basic caution is sufficient to avoid consequences.

@Frank@hexbear.net avatar

I think a lot of it depends on your ISP. Some of them are nosier than others.


I think that ISPs care insofar as they don’t want to piss off copyright holders which are enormous companies. My last 3 ISPs have messaged me about brief periods I was accidentally off VPN while downloading TV shows. I think they just wanted to stay on HBO’s (and other huge media companies’) good side.


I think you succinctly described the problem the internet is facing. I am not even sure making it illegal to have information is really necessary anyway. Consider Googles Web Environment Integrity, DRM that can effectively control access to websites, a single company controlling the information we are allowed to consume. An economic system based on capital will always work against our interests.

This is why piracy is not only ethical, it is good for humanity to share information as widely as possible.


Taking the logic too far, I think. There is also a business interest in selling you storage and storage devices, it’s not just Hollywood calling the shots.

Of course, in a totalitarian system (North Korea style) the ownership of storage media will probably be tightly regulated and controlled, but that’s a wholly different scenario.

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