Florida's prisons change tech providers, wipe out $11.2m worth of music purchased by prisoners

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/09/jpay-evil-part-mmxi.html


Remember, prisons are a test market for schemes that corporations eventually want to roll out to the ever-growing market of American poor people.


So true - especially the medical care and riot control measures.


First World problems.


Cripes. Why not let the prisoners keep the (legacy) device (without services) until they ultimately fail? At least it would be par for the competing Nest devices bought out by Google, where the users get to keep the devices but lose out on the cloud based infrastructure supporting them. At minimum, this would be no different than Microsoft taking their Zune licensing server offline.

This just screams violation of doctrine of first sale, not to mention a violation of the 5th Amendment (federal) and 14th Amendment (state) which prohibits state actors from confiscating the (purchased) legacy devices without “due process.”

Edit: Included Microsoft Zune “Plays For Sure” example.


This is my immediate question. Like, if their (supposed) reason for the switch is because the new devices are better, rather than because the old ones are… I dunno, secretly mining bitcoins and buying heroin on the darkweb or something, then why can’t they just keep what they have?

I mean, I’m sure the real reason is “because we want them to suffer and this makes us more money”, but…


Doing time in the Big House ain’t so great.


Remember, they want us all (who aren’t rich) in prisons, eventually.


Typical liberal hogwash! We want you dead, preferably in a sort of “Soylent Green” scenario.


Dead people don’t produce a ‘free labor’ work force.

‘Soylent Green’ happens once they’ve depleted the world’s food supply.


You forget the robot workers/soldiers/cooks…


The doctrine of first sale doesn’t apply to digital goods because you never buy them, they’re always leased from the company. This is intentional as the doctrine of first sale is seen as a loophole by the industry. This is all covered in that 50+ page EULA they show you when you install an app or buy some product. The right of the company to turn off your access to everything you purchased without warning or recourse is always included in the EULA.

The only good thing is that companies can’t push too hard on those terms without endangering them. Take stuff away from rich people and they’ll get Congress involved. Prisons are a special case because you literally have a captive audience and rampant monopolistic deals.


Not sufficient to completely replace actual manual labor, especially when said tech is often poorly designed… plus the rich need the poor and their menial servants in order to maintain their feelings of ‘superiority.’

I have to end this conversation now, before I end up making myself depressed.

Have a good one.


No worries, the sadness is an excellent seasoning :slight_smile:


Don’t be silly; you can’t torture and assert your superiority over dead peons, you need them alive so you can appreciate the sweet music of their effect-less protests.


Oh, Soylent Green is people too!


If the prisoners were able to keep the “no longer useful/update-able” device but the content is revoked, then they are back to buying pre-recorded audio cassettes (which is a surprisingly thriving market), then I can see the EULA applying. The EULA would need to meet the standards outlined in Fitness For Purpose. This would be a hindrance to future sales if this behavior continues.

This assumes that the devices are capable of being operated in a stand-alone mode with no network connections.

Since the legacy devices are (assumed to be) being taken away (assuming that the hardware was a one-time “purchase”, I would submit that doctrine of first sale applies as 1) device was “sold” (or sale facilitated) to the prisoner by the prison itself and 2) the device is considered “frozen in time” in the present state once the “music stops” on support/updates (sorry, bad pun), and the combination of hardware/software is then treated as piece of fixed media collection.


You might have a case there, but generally prisoners don’t have much in the way of rights. At the very least the prison can declare the old players contraband and confiscate them like anything else.

What happens when the robots decide not to work or soldier or cook?

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if it’s a 1st world problem, it’s only because the prisons won’t let people have a 3rd world ass physical mp3 player that their family can load up with music. A Sandisk clip costs $30 and a $10 32G microsd card will hold around 4000 songs.

this is all about extracting money from prisoners