Windows Vista "Digital Rights Management"

Dan Gayle's picture

Here's an interesting webpage with some really scary info about the HD Copy Protection schemes used in Windows Vista.

A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection

This isn't the first page to denounce the apparently merciless lockdown that Microsoft proposes. I personally think that it is a bunch of crap, and I'll be damned if I'll ever concede the point.

DRM is bad for consumers. DRM is bad for content producers. DRM is only good for content sellers and their cronies.

blank's picture

I'm not too worried about it. Apps can will still be able to circumvent it, Hollywood doesn't want anything to do with Microsoft, and the record companies are discussing dumping DRM entirely. Both of the next-gen DVD formats are already cracked, so that DRM system will be rendered an irrelevant waste. What the Vista DRM is going to do is prove that, even with some of the most qualified experts in the field and a bottomless pit of development funds behind it, DRM is still just a snake oil scam designed to sucker foolish executives into providing a new revenue stream to the scamsters.

Of course, I've used Windows for about two hours total in the last three months, and I'm considering ditching my remaining PC entirely, so hopefully it's a moot point for me.

Dan Gayle's picture

The DVD formats are cracked. But I'm willing to bet that the people who are going to use the cracks are the people who already download illegal content. The only people who are going to get hurt are those end users with consciences, i.e., those who actually purchased everything with cash money. (Not that anyone has been able to play ANY HD content via their newfangled DVD drives anyway...)

As to ditching a PC, that's all well and good, but the longer time goes on the closer the two main OSes and their hardware become. A Mac is now a glorified PC with a nicer form factor and a better OS, but the video cards, etc. relevant to the MS DRM scheme are practically identical. And a lot of these MS changes are going to be forced onto the hardware.

blank's picture

You're forgetting about pain of the movie industry's big backers. They're paying a fee for every movie that goes out with some worthless DRM scheme, only to be cracked and dumped online or counterfeited relentlessly by organized crime syndicates. Eventually the people behind all those dollars are going to look at the books, realize how many billions of dollars were flushed down the big DRM toilet, and wince in pain. It's important that they feel that hurt, because its whats going to sour them on DRM and finally kill it for good.

Dan Gayle's picture

I love that idea. Unfortunately, the DRM being implemented is at the very core of an entire operating system that will be distributed to millions of unknowing lemers before they know what's coming. It's gonna die, but it will be a long, painful death.

aluminum's picture

"DRM is only good for content sellers and their cronies."

It's not even good for them. They just THINK it is.

"and the record companies are discussing dumping DRM entirely"


aluminum's picture

Speaking of DRM:

Norway has just declared iTunes illegal.

Linda Cunningham's picture

Y'know, I read all these threads about DRM and Letterhead's method, and I keep remembering what happened when the U.S. declared Prohibition.

Didn't work then, won't work now.

(Although a lot of Canadian companies -- hello Seagrams! -- did a booming business in rum-running.)

Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it....

blank's picture

“and the record companies are discussing dumping DRM entirely”


Chris Rugen's picture

What always startles me is the MS even needs to bow to these industries. They own home computing. I'm suprised that they gave in as fully as they did, when they probably could've shrugged it all off and forced the hands of the content providers. Particularly now that Apple is pushing so much content through a far less restrive DRMed pipeline on their own OS and store.

The hardware DRM really angers me, as it's completely disconnected from reality.

Dan Gayle's picture

That's exactly what I'm angry about. The software crap can always be bypassed. But hardware? What the heck am I supposed to do about that? I know a lot about computers, but just enough to know better than to be f'n around with hardware settings that I know nothing about.

snsr's picture

From my understanding, Vista's DRM issues apply only to HD-DVD and Blu-Ray content, and only if the content has special flags.

I read that essay by the NZ security researcher, too. I also read this response from someone as Microsoft.

If you're still concerned after reading that, read this; an interview with the guy who first shared his AACS crack with the public.

Dan Gayle's picture

I'm not concerned about the content itself. I honestly don't even buy DVDs now, so I severely doubt that I'll be buying Blue Ray or HDdvds (I don't download them either. If I want a movie, I'll rent it.)

Now, as a photographer, I'd love to BURN to these formats for backup, but that's another aspect...)

blank's picture

What always startles me is the MS even needs to bow to these industries.

Microsoft doesn't need to bow to these industries, Microsoft is part of that industry; it's a member of the HD-DVD group. Microsoft also stands to profit from DRM, for years Microsoft has been trying to lure Hollywood to adopt camera-to-projector Windows Media solutions for digital film production. Hollywood isn't biting, but Microsoft won't stop trying.

Dan Gayle's picture

You know, the one thing funny about this is people's argument:
"Microsoft is a huge company with more power than they know what to do with. Why should they bow to the Movie Industry?! They should just say how things are gonna go and make Hollywood go suck an egg."

I love how monopolies are bad when they're used against you, but good when used for you.

Maybe Microsoft has learned it's lessons about monopolies?

(I think I just threw up in my mouth...)

rcc's picture

As Burnham's Fifth Law succinctly states: "Wherever there is prohibition there's a bootlegger."

Si_Daniels's picture

Does this have anything to do with fonts?

Also JPad you didn't close your CITE tag.

Cheers, Si

Dan Gayle's picture

As computer nerds and graphic designers we tend to have large monitors. I was originally going to ask if there is a possibility of this affecting graphic designers at all. Aside from the monitor issues, it just comes down to a discussion of what rights end users have to their own hardware, etc.

Imagine InDesign shutting down on you if say... Berthold decided that your hardware didn't match their requirements for using their fonts.

That would seriously suck.

Si_Daniels's picture

>Imagine InDesign shutting down on you if say… Berthold decided that your hardware didn’t match their requirements for using their fonts.

Dan Gayle's picture

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Where's my credit card...

Thomas Phinney's picture

Also JPad you didn’t close your CITE tag.

I have just closed it in my message. Remember, the page is a continuous stream of HTML, so you can stop the endless run of italics at will in your own messages.



Grot Esqué's picture

…and now there’s one close tag too many? What about automatic closing of all elements?

Si_Daniels's picture

Thanks Tom, I think I tried it in the past and it didn't work - must have been trying to close a CITE with an EM - doh!

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