Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DRM

Are New DRM Technologies Setting Vista Up For Failure? 407

Posted by samzenpus
from the stand-you-up-to-knock-you-down dept.
PetManimal writes "Computerworld has picked apart the way Vista handles DRM in terms of hardware and software restrictions. Trusted Platform Module, Output Protection Management, Protected Video Path and various Windows Media software components are designed to 'protect' copyrighted content against security breaches and unauthorized use. The article notes that many of the DRM technologies were forced upon Vista by the entertainment industry, but that may not garner Microsoft or Hollywood any sympathy with consumers: 'Matt Rosoff, lead analyst at research firm Directions On Microsoft, asserts that this process does not bode well for new content formats such as Blu-ray and HD-DVD, neither of which are likely to survive their association with DRM technology. "I could not be more skeptical about the viability of the DRM included with Vista, from either a technical or a business standpoint," Rosoff stated. "It's so consumer-unfriendly that I think it's bound to fail — and when it fails, it will sink whatever new formats content owners are trying to impose."'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Are New DRM Technologies Setting Vista Up For Failure?

Comments Filter:
  • no no no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:25PM (#16863414)
    Content owners aren't trying to impose new formats, content providers are. Unless, of course, people are fooled into buying licenses to view content, rather than the content itself.
    • Re:no no no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:42PM (#16863574) Homepage Journal
      No, Vista is going to bring to a head the whole conflict between:
      a) sheepish, complacent unwillingness to explore alternatives, and
      b) childish demand for instant gratification.
      My bet is on b), due to the entropy of the human soul. Once the hatred of the lock-in reaches bloom, the amount of cygwin, dual boot, live CD, and flat out migration will pick up steam.
      It takes time to realize that there is a world beyond Redmond.
      • Re:no no no (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shadowmas (697397) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:43PM (#16864118)
        and don't forget that with all these portable mp3/media players, you tube, etc people are starting to take for granted the ability to rip/share media files and do whatever they wish with them. if they come across a windows version which doesn't allow them to do that they WILL consider it to be a bug not a feature.

        a few years ago Microsoft and media companies would probably have gotten away putting any damn DRM restriction they want without trouble but i think it's a tad bit too late to do that now. the cat's out of the bag...
        • Re:no no no (Score:5, Insightful)

          by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @02:08AM (#16865194) Homepage Journal
          and don't forget that with all these portable mp3/media players, you tube, etc people are starting to take for granted the ability to rip/share media files and do whatever they wish with them. if they come across a windows version which doesn't allow them to do that they WILL consider it to be a bug not a feature.

          This is one of the more insightful ideas behind why DRM will fail. Consumers (eventually) will refuse to accept that the audio from a disc they just bought at the store cannot be played on their portable player. They will not accept that the video they just bought cannot be viewed on their computer. The idea behind DRM makes sense: preventing casual copying and distribution of licensed media, but the problem is how to implement that without infringing on the consumer's basic rights as a licensee.

          The problem is how these companies are trying to go about it. It seems like the current idea is a complete blackout of fair use, and as media with new DRM is distributed like this switching to Linux/OSS will not be a silver bullet. Until the DRM is broken (and these companies investing millions of dollars in it need to understand that it will be broken), the media will be even less available for OSS users than Windows users. However, once the formats are cracked open, users on both operating systems will be able to benefit and reclaim their fair use rights because of the work of people who truly define the word "hacker".

          To borrow a quote, the more they tighten their grip, the more consumers will slip through their fingers--until a critical mass is formed and the entire thing falls apart. Even now, Apple is constantly playing catchup with people who are breaking the FairPlay DRM. Any new method of denying consumer rights will follow a similar path.
          • Re:no no no (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jZnat (793348) * on Thursday November 16, 2006 @03:20AM (#16865700) Homepage Journal
            The idea behind DRM makes sense: preventing casual copying and distribution of licensed media, but the problem is how to implement that without infringing on the consumer's basic rights as a licensee.
            The goal of DRM is to promote vendor lock-in and to make consumers re-buy all their media when the format updates, not to protect against casual copying.
          • Re:no no no (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @06:29AM (#16866870) Homepage
            This is one of the more insightful ideas behind why DRM will fail. Consumers (eventually) will refuse to accept that the audio from a disc they just bought at the store cannot be played on their portable player.

            I think you're rigth, but I unfortunately also think that the pain has to increase by an order of magnitude or so before the average consumer will wake up and smell the coffee.

            People haven't experienced (yet), that they require the permission of the seller to transfer 'their' digital music library to a new computer, and that that won't work if the company in question is out of business.

            People haven't experienced (yet), that closing the analogue hole means banning general-purpose recording-devices.

            People haven't yet seen their collection wither and die when the next "one true format" takes over and Apple/MS brings out new players and new OSes that don't support the old format. (If you're lucky, you *may* be able to convert your collection, but this too only works if Apple *wants* you to be able to do that)

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MemoryDragon (544441)
          It still might work out, the plan is to enable all this features over time and make them as ubiquous as possible. Given the comments I earned here on slashdot warning of all this DRM mumbo jumbo in blue ray (basically: nothing changes compared to dvd was the usual tone). I have huge doubts that this stuff is bound to fail. The DRM is enforced ubiquously and with every piece of drm some sugar comes with. (Enable signal encryption on the cable, get better resolutions etc...)

          The reason alone that a standalo
    • "Consumers are the final arbiters because they can vote with their wallets," Usher added. "This is as it should be in any well-functioning market, and we believe the improvements in Windows Vista play to this strength."
  • by T-Bucket (823202) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:26PM (#16863418) Homepage
    You mean, consumers might somehow be offended by being bent over by major corporation after major corporation??? When did this happen???
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cloricus (691063)
      I'm a bit worried to be honest. Windows people seem to be ready for this rogering from Microsoft and they all have the out look of "oh but the DRM will be cracked within a month and we'll be free to continue doing what we do"...The real question is will it really be cracked (activation never was, well) and secondly do we want it cracked. It looks like a rather good model to me and most of the people who deal with advanced systems like that wouldn't touch Windows anyway - and we can be sure it is out of th
      • by vought (160908)
        Windows people seem to be ready for this rogering from Microsoft and they all have the out look of "oh but the DRM will be cracked within a month and we'll be free to continue doing what we do"...

        In my experience they're all screaming from the rooftops about how Zune is almost nearly as good as the iPod was two years ago, and that makes it better because Apple sucks.

        an even better question would be: "With Microsoft bleeding billion into the Xbox, a billion into the Zune, and with Vista set up for failure,
        • Re:Wait a minute.. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by cloricus (691063) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:02PM (#16863746)
          Windows users are continuing to test the waters of Linux and to be honest I think this is the best way to convert them...Show new users that over a period of time Linux is a manageable learning curve and has some clear advantages. Every one I know that uses Linux full time after being a long time Windows user did it this way including myself and it takes about one to three years. This process is being helped a long now that Linux isn't playing second fiddle to Windows and is now focusing on catching up to OSX and finding its own identity instead of just being a straight (boring and useless) Windows clone. And with compiz/xorg working on everyday hardware without issue and Vista's upgrade costs at least force a bunch of new to Linux Windows users start testing the waters. If this is kept up the rate of users defecting to Linux and Mac will hopefully turn into a land slide in the next five to ten years and then we will truly see the year of the Linux Desktop.

          Note I do hope users go to both Linux and Mac in roughly equal groups as I'd like to see us avoid another monopoly situation like this Microsoft hell we've had to live through.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by quizzicus (891184)
            Note I do hope users go to both Linux and Mac in roughly equal groups as I'd like to see us avoid another monopoly situation like this Microsoft hell we've had to live through.

            Except Linux could never have a monopoly, because it can be forked by a dissatisfied user at the slightest provocation.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Schemat1c (464768)
              Except Linux could never have a monopoly, because it can be forked by a dissatisfied user at the slightest provocation.

              I think it's better for a user to fork an OS than the other way around. Of course that was most likely your point, I'll just go back to drinking my wine now...
        • Re:Wait a minute.. (Score:5, Informative)

          by alshithead (981606) * on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:56PM (#16864230)
          Respectfully, you may be looking at things a little too shaded by your experience. I have worked for only three different companies in the last 20 years so I may also be in the same position but my experience is different. I just don't see broad disdain for systems other than Windows.

          I have worked for a very large, high volume (1500+ stores) retail chain, an international, premier law firm, and one of the largest US based banks. All three of them used non-Windows platforms for very significant parts of their IT infrastructure. From all three here is the list of the ones I can think of quickly: AIX, Solaris, AS400, Xenix, HP Unix, Linux, Novell, Windows of course, and I'm sure I'm missing some. All three used Windows in some capacity be it workstation, server, or both, but critical chunks of their infrastructure were non-Windows. The law firm had it's entire financial and billing system on HP Unix but otherwise employed Windows workstations and mostly Windows servers for all other functions. The retail chain (back in the day at this point) had a couple of Novell servers and some Windows workstations but most folks used dumb terminals to a mainframe. Their point of sale terminals in the stores were Xenix and then migrated to a Linux. The bank's systems spanned the spectrum with Windows only being a majority on the workstation end.

          I think that most larger organizations have a distinct need to be more than just a Windows shop. Windows can't do it all...and there are a lot of people out there who know that.

        • Re:Wait a minute.. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Venik (915777) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @12:18AM (#16864420)

          With Microsoft bleeding billion into the Xbox, a billion into the Zune, and with Vista set up for failure...

          Oh, please... That poor, poor Microsoft. What I find mildly amusing on Slashdot are all these young and idealistic IT "professionals" pretending to be cynical realists; talking about Linux this and Linux that, and about Microsoft's impeding demise (if not next week, then by Christmas for sure). These are the kind of boys and girls who get their first real job and think that somebody actually gives a rat's ass about their opinions and their wonderful programming skills.

          It takes years in the IT field to finally realize that smart ideas and good products don't sell. What sells? Entirely random stuff. Some of it turns out to be not bad, but most of it is crap. Why does it sell? Because people running Microsoft and such know just a bit more about selling stuff than an entire army of twenty-year-old comp sci graduates. Reading all this excited chatter about how badly Windows suck make me feel like I am in a twilight zone. C'mon people, pull your heads out of your asses and try to understand that Windows is not a computer operating system. It IS the computer, as far as the vast majority of PC users understand it.

          So current DRM schemes run into some issues with Vista. Big deal. The entertainment industry will comply with Microsoft, because Windows is how people watch their stupid movies and play their stupid MP3s. What about Linux, you ask? Well, most PC users think that linux is a kind of a wild cat with pointy ears.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by bersl2 (689221)
            It takes years in the IT field to finally realize that smart ideas and good products don't sell. What sells? Entirely random stuff. Some of it turns out to be not bad, but most of it is crap. Why does it sell? Because people running Microsoft and such know just a bit more about selling stuff than an entire army of twenty-year-old comp sci graduates. Reading all this excited chatter about how badly Windows suck make me feel like I am in a twilight zone. C'mon people, pull your heads out of your asses and try
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by vought (160908)
            What I find mildly amusing on Slashdot are all these young and idealistic IT "professionals"

            Thanks for assuming who I am...but did you notice your UID is over 850k after mine?

            I've been in the industry (and reading Slashdot) a hell of a lot longer than you, fella.

            So current DRM schemes run into some issues with Vista. Big deal.

            So tell me - at what point does it get to be too much fucking trouble - and how much money will that strategy ultimately make for the studios?

            The **AA thinks that DRM will save them -
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by igb (28052)
              I think the argument ``I have more industry experience than you because my log10(my/.) is one less than yours'' is pretty weak. Mine's yet another order of magnitude less than yours, but all that says is that I happened to be stood next to esr when he mentioned this website he thought was really cool. A lot of experienced people came to /. later, as it acquired critical mass.

              ian

      • by Bios_Hakr (68586)
        I think it will be cracked. Various mafia-like entities make too much money from selling street-corner software. There is a lot of money to be had for the people that crack Vista.
        • I was talking to some bootleggers on the footpath a few months ago while on holiday. They were very excited about HD-DVD and Blue-Ray. They hope that everyone gets burned at least once trying to play the new media as once people get burned with the legal stuff they tend to be less uppity about buying from the bootleggers.

        • Re:Wait a minute.. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gfxguy (98788) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @12:11AM (#16864352)
          Most people don't care, most people don't want a crack for it. Despite the slashdot demographic, all those business users with site licenses aren't going to care. Most people with legal copies of Vista simply aren't going to care, especially people who use it as a media center. Most slashdotters already don't use an MS based media system.

          And I'm certainly not going to care because I have no intention of using Windows Vista anyway. Two computers in my house have Windows 2000, two (the ones I use) are dual boot and haven't booted to Windows in months. The laptop is the only one with XP and I don't care. The only reason I'll ever own a copy of Vista is if I buy a system that comes with it, and I won't care.

          So you're going to have a majority of people at one extreme who don't care because they don't even realize they're getting screwed, you're going to have a small minority at the other extreme who don't care because they don't use Windows anyway, and then you're going to have a small minority in between... a vocal minority that screams bloody murder about it. But when MS sees 10k or even 100k people whining and complaining, they'll compare that with their 10 million or 20 million or 300 million licenses sold and not give a flying [expletive].

          I think you guys overestimate the people who care about this sort of thing. It's really sad that they don't, but the simple fact is that they don't.

          Here's an example: I know of a lot of people who were screwed when they bought music at iTMS and didn't own an iPod, they owned an MP3 player. They could only listen to the music on their computer or burn a CD. How many Joe users know they can then rip the CD using completely free software? Yes, the tech saavy people I work with, and students perhaps. My parents don't know how to do this. Neither does my sister or even her kids. The secretaries and pointy headed bosses at work don't know or care. So they get annoyed, but all that happens is they figure out what format their player plays and buy that. Problem solved, in their minds. Why on earth would they need to "set it free" when their player will play it? Why waste time and resources taking that extra step?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by timeOday (582209)
            Well, I diagree. I think Sony has flopped in the digital music market for about 15 years now because again and again they keep releasing restricted devices and formats that just don't do what you would expect, starting with DAT, on through Mini Disc, ATRAC, and continuing to this day. Again and again they try, again and again the market takes a whiff and heads for the door in droves.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by westlake (615356)
        Windows users find DRM to much and side grade to Linux or Mac or more likely they will bend over and continue to take it like they did with activation.

        Geek: Activation! Wah!

        Everyone else: Click. Click. Done.

        Geek: DRM! Wah!

        Everyone else: Insert HD-DVD Movie. Play HD-DVD Movie. Done.

        When HD-DVD and Blu-Ray drives become available for the Mac or OEM Linux, (think Linspire systems sold through Walmart or Target) they will enforce the same DRM rules as Windows, the XBox or the PS3. There is no side-grade.

      • by kevinadi (191992)
        I don't think MS is that dumb to let media companies rule their decision making in Vista. After all, it's their future that's at stake.

        Also, in the real world the problem is not as simple as "windows vs linux vs mac". Zealotry toward an OS only exists in slashdot. What if your employer wants you to hand over reports in Word? You have three options: write it up in Wine, or in windows itself on a computer assigned to you in the office, or quit. No sane person would choose #3 (except RMS, maybe). That leaves #
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KwKSilver (857599)
        Yep, Windows users will take it ... because they are told to take it by MS. They will like it, too, no matter how bad it is ... because they will be told to like it. Sheep/slaves ... take your pick. I find it impossible to care. If they are willing to walk over a cliff because they are told to ... that's their business, and not mine.
  • by pegr (46683)
    "It's so consumer-unfriendly that I think it's bound to fail -- and when it fails, it will sink whatever new formats content owners are trying to impose."
     
    Hurray! Finally, Joe Sixpack finally gets DRM! The sooner the better, I say!
    • Are New DRM Technologies Setting Vista Up for Failure?

      Yes.

      This has been another episode of Short Answers to Slashdot Questions.
    • Re:Alright! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:50PM (#16863652)
      >Finally, Joe Sixpack finally gets DRM! The sooner the better, I say!

      Joe and Jane Sixpack have been getting DRM since the opening of the iTunes store and they love it. The idea that the common person will stand up against copyright controls is a little naive. Heck, some of them are looking forward to rebuying their movies and music in the new formats.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Joe and Jane Sixpack have been getting DRM since the opening of the iTunes store and they love it.

        For starters, I don't know that I accept that statement at face value. But even more salient to the discussion at hand, FairPlay is not obtrusive or cumbersome to the typical user; however, much of the DRM associated with nascent digital media formats and Vista is obtrusive and cumbersome for almost all users. That's a big difference - perhaps enough of a one to actually make a difference in how Mr. and Mrs.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by westlake (615356)
        Heck, some of them are looking forward to rebuying their movies and music in the new formats.

        It surprises you that a sci-fi Geek with a plasma TV would be willing to pay Amazon.com $20 for Forbidden Planet in pristine HD digital restoration?

  • by Quantam (870027) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:30PM (#16863450) Homepage
    That's about all I have to say on the matter.
  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:32PM (#16863476) Homepage
    A TPM microchip embedded on the PC's motherboard stores unique system identifiers along with the BitLocker decryption keys. If a system is tampered with -- for example, if the hard drive is removed and placed in a different machine -- TPM detects the tampering and prevents the drive from being unencrypted.
    Great idea! This way if my Motherboard dies, my data essentially dies with it. I'm always looking for ways to increase the impact fanout of my systems failure modes :-)
    • There's a school of thought which holds that unless you have at least two backups of your data, one of them off site, then you don't really have the data.
    • by myowntrueself (607117) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:59PM (#16863720)
      Hey at least it'll save on the cost of backup media;

      You back your DRM movies to tape, your motherboard fails and the hard drives are now unreadable. You reinstall on a new motherboard and restore the data from tape. Only the DRM content 'knows' that its been 'copied' to 'a different machine' and won't play.

      So you give up on backups altogether and save a small fortune!

      See, Microsoft *does* have your best interests at heart!
  • by Lord Grey (463613) * on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:35PM (#16863492)
    ... Rosoff, lead analyst at research firm Directions On Microsoft, asserts ...

    I originally had no intention of looking at this article. Then I saw the above snippet in the post and felt compelled to find out what a "Directions on Microsoft" is. They have an About Us [directions...rosoft.com] page, it turns out. Their first entry is:

    Directions on Microsoft is the only INDEPENDENT organization in the world devoted exclusively to tracking Microsoft. We've studied Microsoft since 1992. Nobody knows the company better.

    Our team of Microsoft experts provides clear, concise, and actionable analysis of shifts in Microsoft strategy, Microsoft product and technology roadmaps, delivery schedules, organizational changes, marketing initiatives, and licensing and other policies so you can quickly assess how they impact your business.

    Thousands of companies worldwide--including corporate purchasers of Microsoft products, system integrators, software vendors, hardware manufacturers, network operators, venture capitalists, and financial analysts--trust Directions on Microsoft for accurate and unbiased Microsoft research and analysis to guide their strategic decisions.

    I knew that Microsoft supported, in one way or another, a lot of organizations around the world but this takes the cake. A professional, corporate stalker? The world must be coming to an end sooner than I thought.

  • by Kpau (621891) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:35PM (#16863498)
    Yet another article that reminds me to get off my butt and convert everything in my house to Ubuntu except for the game machines. We each have two computers (one work, one game) and a few servers. They're all homebuilt. The game machines I'll grudgingly leave as XPsp2 boxes ... but it leaves the annoying thought that they'll force an upgrade to Vista down the road because the new games will require DirectX 10. At that point I may take up knitting.
    • by cloricus (691063) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:45PM (#16863594)
      You never know... By the time the game industry is dx10 mainstream WINE may support it well. WINEs implimentation of dx7/8 is going well and dx9 is getting better all the time. A recent post in the WINEhq newsletter also suggested that adding support for dx10 once 7/8/9 were working nicely would be a doable affair. So in the end you may be able to play more of your Windows games than you can under Windows ;) ...Just like the current state of programs (yes you can run more Windows programs under Linux than under Windows if you include win 3.11 to xp sp2!).
      • dx10 mainstream WINE may support it well

        I hope you are right; however, I have a bit of concern for this happening. DirectX 10 not only opens up the paradox of the pixel/vertex shader pipelines, but is also draws on a new device driver model that pushes GPUs to multi-task and share GPU RAM seamlessly with the System RAM.

        If DirectX 10 wasn't tied to the WDDM, there would be a better shot, however for now I think the best we can expect for quite some time is DirectX9. However, give open source a few years to
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by AVonGauss (1001486)
          If you can write a game to run under Windows w/ DirectX 10 - you can provide a compatibility layer for it through Wine - the only question will be the performance.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by TheNetAvenger (624455)
            If you can write a game to run under Windows w/ DirectX 10 - you can provide a compatibility layer for it through Wine - the only question will be the performance.

            This is not what I am saying. One reason DirectX10 is tied to Vista is the WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model).

            Unlike any other Video driver technology, and past the DirectX10 features, DirectX10 not only uses but also relies on the WDDM in Vista that introduces new features that DirectX10 EXPECTS to be there. One of them is the WDDM's ability to
    • Ubuntu can't play protected HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray discs at all, so what are you talking about?
      If you don't like DRM, just don't play DRM content. Vista will play non-DRM'ed content just as well as Ubuntu. But Vista will play DRM'ed content as well, unlike Ubuntu. Seems like Vista has the edge here.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by xebecv (1027918)
        Same thing was about DVD and their CSS protection. Do you recall what have happened to them in Linux?
  • by weinerofthemonth (1027672) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:39PM (#16863542)
    As long as the DRM is not intrusive, will consumers really care? Most people don't care if Microsoft checks to make sure their music file or movie is legal before it plays as long as they don't see it. As soon as the DRM causes false positives, erodes performance or become otherwise intrusive, people will go nuts. If done right, DRM could be here to stay. The problem is, none of the players have a clue how to do it right.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Kope (11702)
      I specifically use my computer to mix my own music. I have several thousands dollars invested in high end sound cards, mixers, etc.

      My concern is a very simple one -- if I wish to mix my own music on Vista, will it be DRM free, or will simply using that OS taint my final release? The last thing I need is one of my two listeners not being able to play my cd or mp3s.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by teamhasnoi (554944)
        IWBRV (I won't be running Vista), but just like the DRM on iTunes, YOU don't get the 'benefits' of DRM (restricting access), you just get the shaft if you buy something with DRM 'attached', as the deal you agreed to via EULA (I know, that's hilarious! Agree to something after I've bought it! HA!)

        In any case, if you're serious about music on computers, you get your dedicated system set up (mine is XP sp2 with an Aardvark q10 (outta biz a few years ago) and Vegas - remove everything that isn't audio relate

      • See here is where the FUD and articles like this are harmful.

        If you buy music from an online store, and I don't care if you are using OSX, WindowsXP, or Vista, it is going to have DRM.

        If you are using CDs or songs you created, this means nothing to you, as Vista nor OSX nor WindowsXP give a crap.

        So here is some advice, if you are into personal mixing, don't buy single tracks online, they are all going to be DRMed... However, if you do, you do realize you can burn them to an Audio CD, and then re-rip them ba
  • hmmm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:40PM (#16863546)
    I can pay an arm and a leg to be treated like a criminal or...
    I can pay less and have freedom...

    Tough decision...
    • Re:hmmm.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by grcumb (781340) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:44PM (#16864122) Homepage Journal
      I can pay an arm and a leg to be treated like a criminal or... I can pay less and have freedom... Tough decision...

      Tragically, yes, it is. For some reason people find it easier to remain complacent about their environment right up until the very moment when backing away from their mistakes becomes impossible. Human history is really just a litany of such failures. Santayana was just gilding the lily when he stated that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The ironic and painful truth is that the first lesson of history is that nobody ever learns from history.

      People will continue to acquiesce to this charade of 'Rights Management' right up until the point when it becomes too painful to bear, but there's no way to go back to how things were before. I only hope that mavericks like us won't be caught up in their quagmire.

  • I don't think failure of DRM on the PC (which I agree is likley) will take out the new media.

    For one thing, the ICT flag (which controls the ability to display high-resolution video on and unprotected display) is off in media and will be off for some time, so users will not notice that particular bit of DRM,

    Anotehr aspect is that most video players will probably be dedicated HD media players, like the PS3 (at first) and later on standalone players. So people will not notice the restrctions around the media
    • For one thing, the ICT flag (which controls the ability to display high-resolution video on and unprotected display) is off in media and will be off for some time, so users will not notice that particular bit of DRM

      An analogy that describes how I see this goes something like "There's a firing squad deployed outside your front door to shoot at you, but for the first little while they'll be shooting blanks, so you don't have to worry about getting killed."

      Once the means are entrenched, you can be sure they'll
  • Short answer: No (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:42PM (#16863578)
    Longer answer: No, because Vista doesn't mandate the DRM. You can use all your un-DRM'd media just fine in Vista. You can make new un-DRM'd media in Vista. You can even make it in new formats. Vista doesn't care. So while a DRM'd up format might fail, it won't hurt Vista at all because Vista doesn't mandate you use DRM, just provides it for you to use. Also, it's not like the DRM'd content will magically work un-DRM'd on older OSes. You'll have to have all the DRM support to use it.

    So either way it works for Vista. If the DRM fails, oh well, some wasted development money I guess but the OS works as it always has. If it succeds, just another reason for people to upgrade to Vista.
    • by MeNeXT (200840)
      I don't think you get it. The people who loaded their system with their friends XP who copy movies they rent will be affected. That's how I read it. Now that will affect most people I know who run XP.

      It's just funny that way....
    • Re:Short answer: No (Score:5, Interesting)

      by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:17PM (#16863882) Homepage Journal
      I don't think so. The norm currently is that if you ask me for a copy of the new albulm I just bought I might umm and ahh over it for 10 minutes, but ultimately I have the choice of giving you a copy. I might feel guilty about it, because all that propaganda I've seen on tv tells me it is wrong, but I actually have the option of doing the "wrong" thing. But if you ask me for a copy and I say "can't, its copy protected" you might reply with "can't we crack it?" and then we'll go search the net for 20 minutes, not find anything, call our geeky friend and ask him and he might say "as yet, there is no crack for Microsoft's DRM" and by that point you and I will be looking at my computer like most geeks look at this stuff: proprietary software stops me from doing what I want. And that's it man, the geeks have won then, and Microsoft just don't get that.
      • It's very simple. Don't buy DRM'ed music. There are these things called "CeeDees". They are often used to store music. You can buy these "CeeDees" at your local music store. You should try them some time. The only reason the scenario you described will happen is if everybody involved is too fat to get the ass out of their chairs, and can't get out to spend some of your money locally (which is a more important issue than "DRM", if you ask me).
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by QuantumG (50515)
          Or, ya know, they replace CeeDees with a new DRM encrusted format and don't sell any new music without it. Didn't you get the memo?
  • by CrackedButter (646746) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:46PM (#16863610) Homepage Journal
    Why didn't the entertainment empires force this DRM crap on OSX in the same way, they should be small fry compared to Microsoft.
  • my vote counts? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eto_Demerzel79 (1011949) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:48PM (#16863632)
    "Consumers are the final arbiters because they can vote with their wallets," Usher added. "This is as it should be in any well-functioning market, and we believe the improvements in Windows Vista play to this strength."
    Usher assumes that those doing the voting comprehend the problem. Also, with billion dollar corporations voting with their wallets, does my vote truly count? This is a case where other companies such as Apple and (name your fav Linux distro here) have an opportunity to distinguish themselves. I would expect most non-slashdotters to not even give a second thought to purchasing Vista with a new PC or for a business unless their are other truly equal (in performance, ease of use, etc...) choices.
    • "Consumers are the final arbiters because they can vote with their wallets," Usher added. "This is as it should be in any well-functioning market, and we believe the improvements in Windows Vista play to this strength."

      Usher is failing to take into account one important point, however. In some cases, consumers can't vote with their wallets. In cases where there exists a monopoly, for example.

  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:49PM (#16863644) Homepage Journal
    when people are actually forced to honour copyright they might actually start thinking about copyright, and that can only drive people not to want copyright.
    • by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:58PM (#16863708)
      This has nothing to do with copyright. DRM based solutions are not bound to the terms of copyright so much as whatever the producers decide to allow. That means that if we retroactively set copyright to 5 years for software, DRM is unaffected. Likewise, what motivation does the content provider have to help you when the DRM eats your legal stuff? They'd rather you buy it again.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by McGiraf (196030)
      With unbreakable DRM who needs copyright laws to prevent you from copying stuff?
      • by QuantumG (50515)
        Yeah, well obviously people would be thinking they don't want DRM.. that's a given, but the general argument as to why DRM is "ok" is this whole "it's only enforcing copyright" argument.. and that argument might get some people thinking.
    • by PCM2 (4486) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:32PM (#16864014) Homepage
      when people are actually forced to honour copyright they might actually start thinking about copyright, and that can only drive people not to want copyright.

      I fail to see the logic there. I've done a lot of thinking about copyright and I want it.

      Copyright is very important. The GPL, among other things, depends on copyright.

      Corporations lobbying the government to have grossly exaggerated term lengths for copyrights, on the other hand, is another matter entirely.

      • by QuantumG (50515)
        Meh, if it wasn't for copyright, we wouldn't need the GPL.
      • by Dunbal (464142)
        Copyright is very important.

        I agree with you. Copyright is essential, in the form of: it applies to the original AUTHORS only. Not the corporation - the HUMANS involved in the creation. It can only be transferred by DEATH of the author to his/her human heirs. It protects from duplication for COMMERICAL gain. It allows for fair use. And it's for a small, LIMITED amount of time. Time enough to make a reasonable profit - a generation - but not forever. After that it should be public domai
  • by slughead (592713) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:17PM (#16863888) Homepage Journal
    Are New DRM Technologies Setting Vista Up for Failure?

    Nope, it's all that other stuff.
    • by finkployd (12902) *

      Nope, it's all that other stuff.


      WHAT other stuff? All of the really cool features I was looking forward to in Vista have been cut or back ported to XP (infocard, IE7). I don't want just XP with DRM (the only real reason for Vista's existence) and some fancy graphics.

      Finkployd
  • Forced? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OmegaBlac (752432) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:19PM (#16863902)
    The article notes that many of the DRM technologies were forced upon Vista by the entertainment industry, but that may not garner Microsoft or Hollywood any sympathy with consumers
    Funny. It appears to me that Microsoft willingly [slashdot.org] bends over backwards to develop technologies (or patches them quickly [slashdot.org]) that will aid the major content providers in further restricting consumers' freedoms to do what the hell they want with products that they purchased with their own damn money.
  • by ironwill96 (736883) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:25PM (#16863948) Homepage Journal
    I work for a University and we recently went to a conference where Microsoft presented some of their new licensing schemes for Vista. We were quite perturbed to say the least. For one, they don't want us to ever use the "Ultimate" version. Here's how the conversation goes with the Microsoft rep:

    Microsoft Rep: "So as you can see, Windows Vista Ultimate's CD media costs will be very cheap and each copy will have its own CD key for use in activation."
    Us: "So umm..is there volume licensing for the Ultimate version?"
    Microsoft Rep: "No, but the CD Media is very cheap!"
    Us: "So, you don't want us to use the Ultimate version then?"
    Microsoft Rep: "No, you can still use it, you just need to buy an individual CD with an individual key for use with individual product activation!"
    Us: "So, basically, you don't want us to use the Ultimate edition then, got it."

    Not only are they nuking volume licensing for the highest level products, they are also going to require product activation even with volume licensing! In Windows XP, we have a volume-license key that is embedded in the Image during SysPrep and that key does NOT require activation. Activation is annoying when you are imaging thousands of machines every year. No word yet on whether the volume license activation will be requiring an individual key for every copy of Vista you install (if they even let us make an image of it at all!).
    • by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @01:12AM (#16864780) Homepage Journal
      I don't know what is public knowledge about vista SKUs and Vista licensing, but I'll say a few things

      - it is NOT expected that large organizations will be deploying the Ultimate SKU on their desktops. There are business focused SKUs, and those are what most business desktops will be running. Do you want Media center on all of your employee machines?

      - there has been a lot of new feature work in key/activation/whatever handling for the enterprise desktop scenario. AFAIK, this work only applies to the business focused SKU(s). It's what microsoft will be using internally and it has over 100k PCs to manage (not including unmanaged assets like lab hardware)

      Based on what I know (and I don't know everything, nor am I an authority on these specific areas) you can safely assume the following:

      - imaging is a supported and important scenario
      - assuming the right SKUs / supporting infrastructure, individual employees will not need to worry about product keys or activation.
  • Along with DRM, the article gives us some new terminology:

    TPM - Trusted Platform Module
    OPM - Output Protection Management
    PVP - Protected Video Path
    DOM - Directions On Microsoft --oops, W3C may have some problems with that one...
  • by viper21 (16860) <scott@iqfound r y . c om> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:30PM (#16863998) Homepage
    With reports of the Zune not being Vista Compatible--it does make you wonder how hard it is going to be for other manufacturers to get up to speed on things.
  • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:37PM (#16864054)
    So here we are again, and again the same ignorance and FUD is flying...

    Out of all the DRM in Vista, nothing is required, nor even used by MS themselves with the exception of the WGA.

    So rant on about the WGA, as I am not a fan of it either.

    The rest of the stuff is known or existed in Windows for over 6 years and also exists in OSX.

    1.) Music DRM - Already exists in older versions of Windows, it is only used if the online store requires it to be used. Apple iTunes is also DRM, but unlike MS, MS doesn't use the DRM technology in their OS to force you to buy the music from MS as Apple does. If people are POed at DRM, why does Apple get a free pass, when they not only implement the DRM technology but are also the ones requiring it for their own profit in the music industry?

    2) HD DRM - Again this is something that has been known for a long time, and if the content provider turns on DRM, I don't care what OS you are using, you will either be subjected to DRM, low quality Video, or not able to play it at all. Vista at least allows compliant HD systems the ability to play this crap, just as the HD players already on the market ALSO HAVE IMPLEMENTED! So we can complain about MS, but they did nothing more than make it so Vista can play HD DRM content, they did NOT restrict anything whatsoever. The finger needs to be pointed at any content providers that use DRM. The only way DRM HD content is going to play on any OS other than Vista is in a low quality analog mode, period. (Unless there is a quite an elaborate hack on the horizon, that by passes several Hardware layers of encryption.) Also, since Intel is the author of the HD DRM crap, should we be angry at them along with the content providers? To follow logic, to be mad at MS for letting Vista play DRM HD Content, then we also should be mad at Sony and Toshiba that made HD and Blu HDDVD players which ALSO SHIP with DRM locking mechanisms, as ALL CONSUMERS players have this crap Intel stuff installed.

    3) TPC - Well, everyone though MS was using the (again Intel) TPC for applications, content and 100s of other FUD stories... As Vista ships, the ONLY place TPC is used, is for a BitLocker Drive, and it is only used to store the drive's encryption. However, TPC isn't even required for bitlocker, as long as your computer can boot to a USB drive, MS can store the encryption key needed on the USB Dongle and not need TPC even for bitlocker whatsoever. So instead of TPC being used to lock people out of applications or anything else as the rumor mills were wanting people to believe, Vista only uses it to store encryption information for a volume level encryption technology.

    4) WGA - Yep it sucks that MS is using this crap. I know why they are doing it, but I don't fully agree. I understand the mass OEM level copying of the late 90s that prompted the first activation generation with WindowsXP, and sure it hurt both consumers and MS. However by Microsoft using this system, it makes users feel like MS is trying to control them, when it is more the duplication pirate companies out there that this gives the axe to. Also if the OEM or consumers are legit, this doesn't hurt them, especially as MS has backed down on all the EULA crap that had surfaced last month. If you own a real copy you can pretty much do what you want with it.

    I won't defend WGA though, MS should know better that the pirates will still get past whatever they need to, and this only annoys the end users, even though I know good people at MS that think they are protecting users with the WGA... Even if they are misguided.

    So with another round of the big Vista DRM Scare, the only DRM MS is using is the WGA, which is also in WindowsXP. The rest of the DRM in Vista has always been there, exists in other Oses like OSX and is up to the content providers to screw over customers with or not, MS is nothing more than the company that makes the player to use the Toshiba/Sony analogy...
  • I think it's funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tkrotchko (124118) * on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:38PM (#16864078) Homepage
    The author and MS says DRM was forced on MS Vista by the content owners/providers. But that's clearly not the case. XP manages not to have this level of protection and there appears to be plenty of content available for the Windows platform.

    I seem to recall that MS pitched their DRM schemes to content owners and providers to convince them that Windows was the only good platform for secure content and essentially achieve lock-in at the content provider level.

    At the end of the day, it doesn't matter, but for Microsoft to say "Oh poor us, we didn't want to provide DRM, but we had to!" seems disingenuous at best.
  • by Benaiah (851593) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:56PM (#16864242)
    Microsoft will push manufacturers to no longer ship machines with XP.
    They are forcing upgrades with DirectX10.

    The average user is going to end up with Vista, my mum will get Vista with her next lap top.
    No matter what microsoft will make money.

    And we, the technical consumer are going to get fucked. We will have a drm infested piece of shit os forced down our throats to play games and watch HD movies... I for one will be sitting out the next format war. DVD is good enough, DivX is great and MP3s are great.
    I will also be ignoring games that only use directx 10 for as long as possible.

    I think all that we need to sink vista is a directx10 patch for winxp. Then I will never even have to see this abomination of an operating system. I mean honestly why would I buy it. Microsoft has clearly said they arent making the OS for me the consumer but for the Media industry. MPAA/RIAA can go fuck themselves for all I care. If they die there will always be music and movies. Albeit most likely shit movies. I wish microsoft would just protect the rights of their consumers for a change.

    Vote with your wallet. Dont buy vista AND convince as many people as you can to stay away from it aswell.
  • by massysett (910130) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @12:21AM (#16864444) Homepage
    many of the DRM technologies were forced upon Vista by the entertainment industry,

    Absolutely not. There is no way that the entertainment industry is dictating terms to a company with 90% of the market for desktop operating systems. What is this line supposed to do, make me say "oh boo hoo, poor Microsoft, being dictated to by the entertainment industry"? Ridiculous.

    MS wants DRM. MS likes DRM. If content can only be played on Windows, that's another reason to buy Windows and not Mac or Linux. MS is reaping license fees on many of its DRM schemes--Yahoo is not using MS DRM for free when it locks up its music downloads. MS and the entertainment industry are in a symbiotic relationship: DRM gives them both a way to make more money and to control their respective markets.

    Anyone who things DRM has been "forced" on MS is falling for MS propoganda.
    • by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @01:22AM (#16864846) Homepage Journal
      I wish I could disagree with you (I'm an anti-DRM Microsoft employee), but I'm not sure that I can.

      Based on conversations I've had with "the people that know", content protection features in some of our products go above and beyond what is strictly required by the letter of the law. What I cannot get a straight answer on is if it is because of contractual obligations we have or for some other reason.

      It is very frustrating because the people involved (and some of them are lawyers) are not especially helpful or forthcoming when it comes to explaining their decisions. MS is a relatively open company internally - you can candidly ask any employee about what they work on, challenge their judgement, etc. Usuaully you find out they're pretty smart and had good reasons for doing what they did. It's a good system - 90% of the time I can agree with a point of view or a decision I didn't initially agree with, because I replace my (incorrect/incomplete) assumptinos with real data/knowledge from the people that directly attacked the problem. But that hasn't always been the case when trying to understand why certain content-protection behaviors are the way they are. There's a growing undercurrent of employees that are at least as ugly as some slashdot trolls anytime some new person says "i was trying to do thing X with my media and i can't.. why not?". We'll spout off answers like "because MS is the bitch of hollywood, not the company that cares about its customers" and the baiting goes pretty much unanswered/unchallenged.

      I've been barking up a lot of trees in my internal anti-DRM crusades and the answers sound a lot like "we're not talking to YOU about this". I wonder if it is just me, but the people I've tlaked to that aren't quite as obnoxious as I am get about the same treatment.

      So yeah. Some of it, maybe even most of it, is us trying to cover our asses legally. But not 100% of it. And that non-zero amount really pisses me off.
  • To put it simply.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by olman (127310) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @03:41AM (#16865844)
    ..What choice consumers have? You buy a new PC, you will get vista. You want to play a (PC) game in 2008, you need vista.

    So since there's no real alternative as you can't (legally) even transfer the OEM copy of XP you got with your old PC into the new PC, you're stuck with Vista, no matter how it is.

Only through hard work and perseverance can one truly suffer.

Working...