The Fight Against DRM is Just Beginning

The Fight Against DRM is Just Beginning

Everyone's proclaiming victory now that iTunes will be selling EMI's music library sans DRM, and why shouldn't we be? One of the earliest enemies of the anti-DRM causes has come to our side. I don't want to pee in anyone's Wheaties, but this doesn't mark the end of our revolution. This is the last grasp of a dying industry, embracing its former foes in a desperate bid for survival. The battle against restrictive copy-protection is just heating up, and the foes are better equipped, and better educated--they've learned important lessons thanks to the blunders of the music mafia.

The bad news is that the other fronts in the war against DRM--cable TV, next-gen optical discs, and downloadable video--the picture is just as grim as ever. The CableCard situation alone is appalling. Not only does the CableCard spec lack functionality (you can't watch on-demand TV with them), PC enthusiasts won't be able to buy standalone CableCard readers for their PCs. The only way to purchase a PC-compatible CableCard reader is to buy an entire rig from a big-box OEM, like Dell or HP. That's right, the cable companies and Hollywood content producers are so afraid that you--the guy who builds his own PCs--will discover a way to steal high-definition content, that they're willing to completely exclude you from their market. Brilliant.

The battle to free movies stored on Blu-ray and HD DVD discs continues as well. Although it's possible to bypass the content protection on high-def discs that are available now, AACS LA (the company that created the copy protection used on next-gen optical formats) will be deactivate compromised software, and is working with the vendors to ensure that such leaks don't happen again. The scuttlebutt is that discs shipping later this month won't work with the old decryption tools.

Don't declare victory, yet. We still have a long way to go.

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whelderwheels613

DRM is not just on music and videos, but on games too. i wonted to make an image file of Sid Meier's Railroads on my computer so i dont scratch up my disc. When i mount the image file, it says that i HAVE to use the original cd. what a waste of money when you are protecting something you bought and it won't let you.

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xxandar

dont that suck for the people that work away from home that dont want to take the stor purchased movies with them. we like to back them up so the original wont get scratched or destroyed while traveling. isnt there some fair fights user agreement that the companies are forgetting there. would be fantastic if evryone that has a pc just quit buying movies and music all together to make them feel the hurt that they are trying to make us feel. who pays them anyway? dont we?

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