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NEW 'Off The Hook' ONLINE
25 November 2015, 7:57 pm

NEW 'Off The Hook' ONLINE

Posted 26 Nov, 2015 3:57:16 UTC

The new edition of Off The Hook from 25/11/2015 has been archived and is now available online.

NEW 'Off The Wall' ONLINE
24 November 2015, 6:01 pm

NEW 'Off The Wall' ONLINE

Posted 25 Nov, 2015 2:01:26 UTC

The new edition of Off The Wall from 24/11/2015 has been archived and is now available online.

6 November 2015, 10:42 am

It's official - we're taking it to Eleven.

For the eleventh time since 1994, we will be hosting a Hackers On Planet Earth conference in New York City. The dates are July 22-24, 2016 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City.

Our last conference featured Edward Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg as keynotes along with over 100 other awesome speakers. It'll be hard to top that, but we'll surely think of something.

We offered 100 tickets for sale on 11/11 at 11:11 ET and they sold out within three seconds according to reports. Don't feel bad if you didn't get one - we will be offering more next month. Stay tuned for more details on the conference and how you can participate.

14 October 2015, 8:48 am

The Autumn issue of 2600 is now available! Those of you who subscribe probably already know this. Those who visit the magazine section of their local bookstore or newsstand may have also seen the brand new issue there. If you want to start getting the latest in hacker news delivered to your home and/or device, simply subscribe to our printed edition, subscribe to our Kindle version (for the U.K., click here), or subscribe to the Google Play version for digital versions in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Netherlands, Russia, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and Australia. And there are still more methods of getting issues digitally that we've outlined here. We intend to expand even more in the digital world and in the physical one wherever there's space.


18 September 2015, 7:31 am

We have received the following apology from Melissa Kelly, the Chief Operating Offier at Trunk Archive, for their mistaken accusations against us. It reads as follows:

Dear 2600,
   As COO of Trunk Archive, I would like to offer my sincere apologies for
   “Ink Splotch-gate”
   Artist attribution and copyright protection are very important to us,
   so we truly regret this case of “mistaken identity”.
   Using a digital copyright infringement service is a relatively new
   thing for us and we have learnt a lot about what can go wrong through
   the comments made by 2600 and the community at large.
   Thanks for all the feedback and please feel free to reach out to me
   with any questions or thoughts on this matter.
   Once again.. very sorry for our error.
   Best regards

Receiving this from an actual person at Trunk Archive is an important step and we appreciate the sentiment. It's especially promising if they truly are listening to the community. We know there is a huge difference in opinion and an awful lot of changes that will be necessary (such as most of the business model of Trunk Archive and similar organizations), but if there's even a chance that our voices will be heard, we would be wise to take it.

If you have thoughts on this issue, please put them together in a concise and coherent manner and send them here.If we get some decent ones, we'll put them online in the near future. Please sign your submission with whatever name/handle you want the world to see. We thank everybody for their tremendous support throughout this whole incident and hope we can play a part in making some much needed changes.


15 September 2015, 9:12 am

We were hoping for more. But on Monday afternoon, we received an email from, which read as follows:


Subject: Case #373018082 , Ref #4440-1159-6664

Hello, I just wanted to take a moment to inform you that after further review this matter has been closed.


Madison Streete

License Compliance Services

P. 1.855.387.8725


605 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 400

Seattle, WA 98104


Apart from the cool email address, there is little here to impress. The letter ends with a graphic of their slogan: "Creations Are Valuable." Oddly, there is no mention at all of Trunk Archive, the organization that LCS was acting on behalf of.

This impersonal resolution shouldn't really be a surprise. From the beginning, these people have acted with all of the human touch of a perl script. If there are any humans involved at all, they know how to stay well hidden. And by having so many possible entities involved (Trunk Archive, Picscout, Getty Images, LCS) who all use the exact same address, it becomes difficult to even know where specifically to direct one's ire. And that makes it particularly hard to fight back.

Our case was absurd and everyone knew it. Trunk Archive et al matched an image on one of our covers with one of their images and concluded that we were using their material. In actuality, they were the ones using the material of an artist in Finland and claiming it as their own. So we can all see why it would be very much in the interests of Trunk Archive to just pretend this whole incident never happened. But it did. And equally absurd and more harmful cases are launched by them every day. People without resources are coerced into paying them and the entire culture of art and creativity suffers.

This is not about blatant copyright infringement, which most can agree causes problems and should be dealt with. We're talking about the attempts to license everything under the sun, using high technology to match the tiniest of images, and crushing the very concept of fair use. Art has always been derivative and transformative - our cover at the center of all this is a great example of such a work (just not with any of Trunk Archive's material). But by making people look over their shoulders whenever they try to create something unique using elements of existing works, a chilling effect is created that will result in less works being created. This is also bad for the original artist, who is robbed of the opportunity to see how their creation can be adapted and transformed into something completely different. But in the end, we are all hurt by this kind of thing. Creations such as remixes of music, mashups, new arrangements and interpretations, parody, patchworks of images, logos and pictures captured on film, snippets of code - they can all be identified and monetized. That neat little app on your phone that can identify music? Imagine that going out and automatically charging a fee for anyone who has captured a bit of that music on something they created. Every corporate logo you capture in a picture would also have to be paid for. Imagine where this technology can take us in the next few years if this unbridled greed isn't reigned in.

This has nothing to do with art as most any artist will tell you. It's about control and intimidation, using the prospect of payoffs to lure in unsuspecting contributors. With that in mind, the LCS/Trunk Archive slogan of "Creations Are Valuable" makes sense in a much more opportunistic light. That's why we need to make sure this derivation of art never catches on. Our case may be over, but this is a fight that is only just beginning.

9 September 2015, 11:13 pm

The just-printed 2016 Hacker Calendar is now out! This calendar follows in the tradition of our previous editions with 14 full color 12x12 glossy photographs of payphones all around the world. In addition, nearly every single day of the year is marked with some bit of history that is of interest to hackers everywhere. If you can find a blank date, odds are it won't stay that way for long. There are fewer of them in this edition than ever!

This full size wall calendar can be hung up immediately, as the last few months of 2015 are also included. And if you get it through our new online store (we take all major cards, Bitcoin, PayPal, and Google Wallet), we'll cut a third off the normal retail price. Pictures, dates, history - it's all here. All you need to supply is a wall.

See our new 2016 Hacker Calendar at our new online store.


7 September 2015, 8:00 pm

Honestly, we were going to let this one go. After all, 2600 gets so many threats and warnings that we simply don't have the time to give personal attention to each. We wish we could.

However, this little gem we started receiving a month or so back has earned the right to be shared. And in so doing, perhaps some real action will be inspired.

The threatening letter comes from License Compliance Services, on behalf of Trunk Archive, using an entity named Picscout, which is owned by Getty Images. In it, they claim that we somehow engaged in copyright infringement with the cover of our Spring 2012 issue.

As evidence, they showed us this image:

We thought it was a joke for almost an entire day until one of us figured out that they were actually claiming our use of a small bit of ink splatter that was on one of their images was actionable. Here, take a look.

That's right, they're coming after us literally for a few splotches of ink. What companies like this do is broker works of art on behalf of actual photographers, but then engage in copyright trolling by threatening anyone who uses even a small piece of them. Increased computing power and more sophisticated algorithms allow them to do this with improved speed and "efficiency." The original artists see next to nothing for their efforts and companies like Trunk Archive make out like bandits with their intimidation tactics. Needless to say, we're not big fans of this.

But it gets even better. You see, not only are they trying to get us to pay them for using a few ink splotches, but as it turns out, the ink splotches don't belong to them in the first place! Our cover artist happened to keep meticulous records (probably not something they anticipated) and traced the source of the ink splotches to a Finnish artist at this page.

And as you can see below, the Loadus image (which is at least five years old) is a background to both our Spring 2012 cover and "Harry Potter in a Vest" or whatever Trunk Archive is calling their image (which also may not even be theirs).


So not only is Trunk Archive trying to scare people into paying them for images, but they're apparently doing this for images they have absolutely no connection to. This insanity needs to end. In the first place, our use of such an image easily qualifies as a transformative work under the fair use doctrine. The absurdly minimal amount of the image used also would qualify it for protection. And then there's the little fact that they have no right to be telling anyone what to do with this image in the first place since they don't even own it. By their own rules, they ought to be cutting a sizable check to Loadus for what are undoubtedly countless uses of his art.

It's indeed impressive that Trunk Archive managed to match these little ink splotches. That's where the coolness factor ends. We cannot tolerate artists being threatened for creating derivative or transformative works. If this were to stand consistently, all forms of art would soon grind to a halt as none could be created without constantly paying off these people. Most others aren't like us - they aren't lucky enough to have lots of people defending them and spreading the word. What happens in their cases is that they are forced to either pay up, be hounded, or hire an attorney that will wind up costing more than the settlement being demanded. If we allow that to happen, creative expression will suffer across the board.

For now, calling attention to these abuses is what's needed. Joining with existing legal action or beginning new challenges to stop this sort of thing in the future is essential. We intend to continue with all of this. We thank Trunk Archive for opening our eyes to this abuse and helping to get us actively involved.


4 September 2015, 6:59 am

If you're truly interested in hacker history and want to have it all at your fingertips, then you'll be interested to know that we just released Volume 8 of The Hacker Digest from 1991. This is a complete collection of our issues from that historic year in the world of hacking - all in non-DRM PDF format for you to read and share on as many devices as you wish. Those of you who are serious should consider the lifetime plan, the one sure way to guarantee that you get EVERYTHING we've ever published and ever will publish - all in electronic format. From our first year in 1984 to the present and beyond, you'll find the hacker culture to always be interesting and never without controversy and worldwide attention.

You can have ALL existing volumes of The Hacker Digest downloaded in seconds and future editions delivered to you as they come out by clicking here.

You can get the latest volume by clicking here.

3 September 2015, 11:11 am

After 16 long years with Yahoo, we have moved the 2600 online store over to Shopify.

What does this mean? A completely new and different look, for one thing. We have an expanded catalog as well, with more cool stuff to come. (For instance, you can now download DVD quality MP4s (no DRM) of your favorite HOPE talks, something we've never been able to offer before due to space limitations.) We expect to be able to have more digital content of all sorts online here. The new site moves a lot faster and smoother, and the navigation is also a lot of fun.

In addition to all of the usual payment options (all major credit cards and PayPal), we are now able to also accept Bitcoin and Google Wallet. Many people have been asking for these options and we're happy we can finally do this. Lastly, we've been able to lower prices on a number of items to make things even more pleasant.

So please stop on by at and have a look. We plan on offering all kinds of new features and we welcome your suggestions at


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