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Vista and DRM – *updated*

by tgposzadmin on January 21st, 2007

Recently, Steve Gibson, Leo Laporte, and Peter Gutmann talked extensively about what Microsoft put in the base of the Vista OS.

  • For an introduction on the issue, click here or listen to a podcast by clicking here.
  • The next week, they get into the Vista details here or listenhere.
  • In the 3rd week, they wrap it up here or listen here.
  • ** Microsoft later responded in a blog post, read about it hereor listen here

I’ve just reviewed all of these sessions, and I agree with the speakers:

Two questions do come to mind after digesting all of this.

  1. Why did Microsoft do this? I mean, I wouldn’t think they would be “beholding” to Hollywood for anything, heck the other way around, Hollywood would be interested in getting to 95% of the personal computing screens.
  2. Considering all of the issues around SPAM, and related issues of identify theft, zombie PCs, etc., one would think that the same amount of effort in these latter issues would improve the situation for a very large number of users.

This work appears to do nothing except make users very unhappy, at least once they find out about it and are faced with real issues like the inability to “RIP” legally procured content that you have “fair use rights” to. Or perhaps your display manufacturer went on the “cheap” and didn’t include the licensing keys for the crypto involved. Vista supposedly will not play the HD content on a display that doesn’t “abide” by these rules. The policy that sets this thing is not in the display card or even Vista, it’s in the content itself. People are reporting in forums this simple fact: I’m putting in an HD-DVD and it’s not playing. It’s still beta, so anything might happen between now and February.

As I say, we are left with the basic issue of Why?

** Update 1/21/2007
found via boingboing, click here

“…misses the larger issue: the stark demarcation that will arise between legal vs. pirated movies. On Windows Vista, the only way to get true HD movie and TV content from your $2000 home-theater PC will be to download illegal pirated content!

I cannot believe Microsoft/Hollywood haven’t seen this coming … Blu-Ray and HD-DVD protection schemes are likely to be completely broken in a matter of months, and once that happens, the various crippled features in Vista will only affect one type of user – the law-abiding ones who would never pirate a movie. Those users will suffer, while the pirates will party on. What’s the point, Microsoft?”

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