Thursday, January 04, 2007

The true cost of content "protection"

Peter Gutmann, in the above-linked article, describes many of the insane requirements that Microsoft and movie studios are making in order to try and prevent piracy of HD content. He points out that the requirements are draconian, vague, physically impossible, extremely expensive, and will make you want to throw out your computer and go back to using clay tablets.

But if you want to play any "Premium Content" (DVDs, HD movies, SACD audio discs, etc.) on Windows Vista, you will be forced to go through all this BS. This means buying new, very expensive hardware, running software that no currently-shipping processor can run at full speed, and watching/listening to it only in a highly-degraded form. And if any software on your computer tries to bypass this, Microsoft can disable all of it without notice, leaving you with a box that may not even be able to boot again.

Sounds too stupid to be true? It does to me, but Mr. Gutmann backs up all his claims with primary source documents straight from Microsoft. This is real. And your only way of saying no is to refuse to play any HD content on your PC (refusing to upgrade to Vista would also be a good idea.)

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