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Intel to Build DRM into Next-Generation CPUs 952

mdecerbo writes "The Boston Globe is reporting that next year's Intel processors will include hardware support for Microsoft's "Palladium" DRM system. There are chilling privacy implications. AMD, here I come."
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Intel to Build DRM into Next-Generation CPUs

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  • I have an idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Taylor_Durden ( 605279 ) <> on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:17PM (#4228876) Homepage
    Let's all just keep our current computers.
  • by purplebear ( 229854 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:20PM (#4228905)
    I mean if you do not plan to run Palladium, where's the problem? This would not stop you from doing anything you do now. Doesn't the OS have to support DRM also in order for this to have any effect?
  • Point/Counterpoint (Score:3, Insightful)

    by limekiller4 ( 451497 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:23PM (#4228947) Homepage
    I think that the obvious reaction for the average Slashdotter will be (a) there will always be someone putting out non-DRM hardware (perhaps) and (b) I'll be able to use my current 2.5Ghz hardware for a loooooong time before it's "slow" (gamers obviously do not fit in here). This assumes that two things will not occur:

    The vast majority of people (read; the EULA oblivious) will not adopt it anyway and;

    Microsoft will not make it impossible to talk to untrusted machines.

    I won't draw any conclusions from this and I won't talk about how the world is going to hell in a digital handbasket, but it's food for thought.

  • by gsfprez ( 27403 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:25PM (#4228975)
    Intel and Microsoft, between Windows Media Center and the forthcoming Palladium might as well just tack on "if you don't want all this crap, please see" at the end of each ad.

    While i've been telling my Windows colleagues that this was coming - none of them believed.

    And now - bonus - XP.5 and Intel both, in the same week - prove me right.

    God.. its good to buy from the "most dangerous company to Intellectual Property today"
  • Re:Sorry but... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by denisbergeron ( 197036 ) <> on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:25PM (#4228984)
    Via Here I Come.
    I will buy Taiwan Hardware, I scrap My Harley Davidson and Buy and Daewoo right now :-)
  • by exhilaration ( 587191 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:25PM (#4228988)
    Did you guys forget AMD's CEO testifying on behalf of Microsoft in their antitrust case?

    Did you guys forget the rumors that Microsoft's support of X86-64 was due to AMD standing behind them?

    If Intel is doing this, AMD will be right behind them. They'll do anything to preserve their relationship with Microsoft.

    Don't get me wrong, I love AMD, but they're just as corporate as the rest of the semiconductor industry.

  • by dusanv ( 256645 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:26PM (#4228993)
    AMD, here I come

    I don't think you'll find much comfort in AMD. They are in that DRM working group with MS & Intel. They are also much more eagar to suck up to MS. Their ex-CEO Jerry Whatever said something like: "Wake up, MS has won. I ain't supporting Linux.." in that interview a couple of months ago (it was posted here). I think more appropriate response is: VIA/Apple here I come!
  • by Roached ( 84015 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:26PM (#4228998)
    I had thought that this "feature" was able to be disabled in the BIOS. If that were the case, the rest of this problem is a software crack and then DRM isn't an issue. Am I wrong about the simplicity of this?
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by sucko ( 257144 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:27PM (#4229004) Homepage
    the grand majority of hits to slashdot come form windows machines.
  • overhead (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jeepee ( 607566 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:29PM (#4229036) Homepage Journal
    im curious about the processor/memory overhead that will be associated with palladium.... bored about that microsoft take more and more processor power with each of their os version..... i mean my freebsd can even run on a toaster :-)
  • Time to bug out! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by davecl ( 233127 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:29PM (#4229037)
    All the more reason to stop using the Wintel platform (or should that be wintelamd now?).

    This will only encourage my move towards Apple stuff - or Motorola and IBM announced hardware DRM as well?
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <.teamhasnoi. .at.> on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:30PM (#4229049) Journal
    if you are reading Slashdot, then the odds are REALLY good that you run an alternate OS like Linux.

    You might want to look at the poll today. At this time only 34% are Linux users and 47% are using 95 thru XP.

    Besides, eventually Linux will not be 'allowed' to run on this processor. So you *better* care.

  • Re:I have an idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mirko ( 198274 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:30PM (#4229053) Journal
    Exactly, not so long ago, we'd stay for ages with our existing machines, my first (personal) one was an atari 520ST that I used for 6 years before buying something else (an Acorn RiscPC).
    So, yes, the best way to stop this technological inflation is simply to exploit what we have to the most of their capicities :-)
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lendrick ( 314723 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:33PM (#4229082) Homepage Journal
    First off, the odds, according to today's poll, are about 30%.

    That said, this affects everyone. Mind you, I'm told that Palladium will always be able to be shut off via the BIOS, so you can always buy a Palladium-enabled processor and make it act as if it isn't. That's not the problem, really.

    The problem is that Palladium is hardware-embedded Digital Rights Denial. It's paving the way for music and movies that won't play at all unless you have a Palladium-enabled processor. And if you do enable Palladium, you'll be subject to the same restrictive crap that the media cartels have been trying unsuccessfully to push over the last several years. Movies that you can't move to other computers, and that only work as long as you remain subscribed to or wherever your got them.

    Will this all work out in the long run? Well, it depends on how people react. If they continue to reject hightly restricted content, we should be fine. If not, well, say goodbye to the Open Internet. It was fun while it lasted.

  • by Dalcius ( 587481 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:33PM (#4229086)
    Damn, how you never cease to amaze me, Knox. =)

    Just because we're not required to use it doesn't mean it won't do anything. When Microsoft controls 95% of the desktop market, and they're regulating those desktops, that gives them a lot of power. And they've proven that they'll stoop low to push out competition.

    I won't go any further than that, it would be speculation, but don't tell me that because we're not forced into buying it that it doesn't affect us.

    That also doesn't take into account the wonderful people in Congress who are looking at the TCPA as law.
  • by Arakonfap ( 454732 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:34PM (#4229096)
    First, I think the first virus that somehow manages to protect itself from an antivirus program will show that this scheme is unworkable.

    Also, I think the adoption rate of people Using this will be low. I know MS will want everyone to run only certified and signed code - but will a critical mass of companies actually agree to (pay?) MS 'approving' there software? And how is this going to work with security breaches in software? What if a piece of software is found to be exploitable, and hijacked into spreading viruses?

    I don't think enough software will be signed to allow the average user to only run signed software.

    Also, ppl like to own things they purchase. Video On Demand is an interesting idea, but there are lots of problems that keep people away from it. Worries about losing the connection, a crash and having to reboot (and losing the 2$ spent to do it), watching things on a computer screen, archiving, connection speed problems.. the list goes on, and when you add in the whole DRM stuff, it's a lot less attractive..

    So I don't see enough people trying to get content that will rely on this feature either.

    All in all I think it will kill itself - though I admit to still being worried it succeeds. The possible bad future is too severe to be ignored.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:37PM (#4229145)
    > If Intel is doing this, AMD will be right behind them.

    You mean "right in front of them" right? AMD already announced they were supporting this.
  • by Winterblink ( 575267 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:39PM (#4229161) Homepage
    If DRM and Palladium take off in a big way and all motherboard manufacturers get on the bandwagon with MS and Intel (and I can't think of a reason why they wouldn't, being motivated by $$$), AMD would quickly find themselves without a piece of the pie. Chances are pretty good they'll fall in line.

    Suffice to say, all of this is going to blow.

  • Re:Sorry but... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:41PM (#4229186)
    Hey, as long as they don't put serial numbers into their CPUs though, right?

  • by BonThomme ( 239873 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:43PM (#4229212) Homepage
    I don't suppose you're familiar with the V-chip and the fact that it's impossible to buy a new television without this asinine and needless expense? This was accomplished with a comparatively tiny V-chip lobby.

    Now consider the fact that there will be a huge amount of money (i.e. the content providers) pushing legislation to make certain that ALL computers are sold with DRM. How long do you think that will take? I'm sure they'll be doing it 'for the children', too.

  • Re:I have an idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jonathan the Nerd ( 98459 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:46PM (#4229249) Homepage
    That won't work forever. I have a 75 MHz pentium that's practically useless. It takes forever to do anything in Win95, and even Linux is unacceptably slow. (As for KDE or GNOME, I can just forget about those.) The only way I get an acceptably fast response is if I don't run X at all. It's still good for low-volume file serving and Web serving, but as a desktop machine, it's pretty much useless. If we all stop buying new processors, we can keep our old computers going for a while with more memory and other upgrades, but eventually the time will come when we have to upgrade the processor, and by that time there may not be any non-DRM processors left.

    This could be a good way for smaller chipmakers to break into the market. If they refuse to quit selling non-DRM processors, they'll guarentee themselves plenty of geek customers.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:53PM (#4229310)
    You're not kidding. I start reading stuff like this and I start wondering if its not too late to go analog and give up on computers and do something else.

    I mean, once they hammer all the fun out of it by making it like cable TV what's the fucking point?
  • by anonymous loser ( 58627 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:53PM (#4229322)
    Not everyone in the world is enamored with DRM. China already distrusts Microsoft products enough to fully embrace linux as their OS of choice. Will the same thing happen to Intel products in China?

    It doesn't seem like a very smart business decision to lock yourself out of the fastest-growing market in the world.
  • Re:I have an idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptDeuce ( 84529 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @12:58PM (#4229376) Journal

    Let's all just keep our current computers.

    I have a better idea: just don't buy a computer with Intel Inside. Let 'em incorporate as many DRM gadgets as they want. Then we buy as many non-DRM compliant gadgets as we want.

    In other words, let 'em spawn a whole new market and let theirs wither on the corporate cube vine -- the only place you'll find DRM 'puters in large numbers.

  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @01:06PM (#4229454) Journal
    Or buy new computers and turn off Palladium. Or just ignore the Windows people and keep using Linux.

    Palladium comes down to copy protection of *Windows* software and music in *Windows*, and can, in any event, be disabled.

    Worst case Windows users can crack software to make it play even with Palladium turned off, which is pretty much what people already do to attack copy protection on software.

    How does it affect us? Why should we care?

    And answering "Because MS will make Windows not talk to Linux and isolate it", as some other poster did in these responses, is not good enough. MS has been trying to keep Windows from talking to Linux for a long time.
  • by Kwil ( 53679 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @01:06PM (#4229457)
    I mean if you do not plan to run Palladium, where's the problem? This would not stop you from doing anything you do now. Doesn't the OS have to support DRM also in order for this to have any effect?

    In short, no.

    Consider that if you ever need to pass data from DRM equipped computers to yours, you may need to have DRM installed in order to simply view it.

    When everything from a word-processed document to e-mail is encrypted with DRM technologies, and only DRM equipped machines can unencrypt them, you have a *serious* problem.

  • Re:Sorry but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @01:08PM (#4229482) Homepage Journal

    That's the craziest thing that I have ever heard. The processor guys should be happy when someone "borrows" software or uses their computer to rip their CDs to Oggs. Every cent that Intel's and AMD's customers spend on software and media content is one more cent that they aren't spending on computer hardware. More importantly, sharing media and software is increasingly what people want to do with their computers. Given the choice of an old slow PC that allows them to rip MP3s and a new computer that doesn't (and that costs a pile of money) many folks are going to choose to stick with their old hardware. If AMD and Intel think that the PC market it soft now, just wait until they start treating their customer like criminals. Especially since you don't really need a new computer unless you are working with multimedia. If all you want to do is some word processing your old machine is almost certainly fast enough.

    You want to know when Linux is going to be truly ready for the home desktop? It will be ready when Microsoft starts really pushing Palladium. Until that time users in North America and Europe will gladly pay a little extra to stick with what they already know (Windows). When Microsoft makes it impossible for people to use their computers like they want, all of a sudden folks are going to realize that Linux isn't that hard to use after all.

    These companies are writing their own epitaph.

  • Re:redhat and AMD. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ink ( 4325 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @01:17PM (#4229583) Homepage
    The beauty of Palladium and the TCPA is that it can all be done in open-source. Microsoft Palladium will be open-source as well (senator Hollings thought that would make us all happy). You will still be unable to circumvent the system because a good chunk of it resides on a remote machine, and it will go all the way down to the CPU on your local box (hence this news story).

    Welcome to the future, where you have to get permission to run computer instructions. The penalty for "hacking" this system is $500,000 and 5 years in prison. That's right. If you figure out a clever way to play an MP3 file on your TCPA machine, you're eligible for more time than a drunk driver that killed someone is.

  • by ivan256 ( 17499 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @01:21PM (#4229630)
    Soon you will see web pages that you cannot load without Palladium enabled. Don't beleive me? You can bet that any media related plugin will support it, and stupid content providers will enable it. You'll see palladium enabled image formats, movies, interactive flash apps, all that will refuse to load without palladium enabled. The web will become largely text only for people without a new machine and windows.

    Shortly thereafter, expect MS "enhancements" to IE that can allow web sites to disable the view source, copy, paste, and print functions on web pages. You'll have to have palladium enabled to view those sites.

    You'll start see processor ads relating the processor to the internet that aren't lying. "See more of the internet with the new Intel Pentium 6 processor."

    Welcome to the Microsoft only internet. You'll have to purchase a new computer and OS license to participate.
  • by Ralph Wiggam ( 22354 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @01:27PM (#4229691) Homepage
    It's not just that American business don't trust the US government. Europoean (and other foreign) businesses really don't trust the US government. I don't how much of it was proven, but people say that the NSA was stealing internal Airbus information and sending it to Boeing. Then on top of that, do you think that any foreign government would think for two seconds about buying software that the FBI had back door keys to?

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @01:36PM (#4229789) Homepage
    It's really an OS issue, or a Microsoft one. Palladium hardware is easy to disable. In fact, the whole point is that any "tampering" with the boot process disables the hardware-stored authorizations. This only matters if the OS cares about it.

    The real question is how obnoxious Microsoft will make the OS restrictions.

    Incidentally, we ought to be seeing some Palladium-enabled games soon, ones where modified clients can be detected by the server. That will be how the technology gets debugged.

  • And you think that in 4 years, when the new DVD-replacement format is what all new movies, music, etc. is being released on, is palladium/DRM only, that Apple won't follow suit and enable that feature into their OS/hardware. If you think that, then you are blind. Especially considering by that point, Hollings will have gotten something through congress that ensures that only DRM capable equipment is sold in the US. Saying this is a Wintel only problem is like saying that Macs are immune from viruses. Its blatantly false.
  • by xant ( 99438 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @02:07PM (#4230094) Homepage
    Microsoft monopoly+Media Monopoly=Palladium for everyone.

    Very simply:
    1. Palladium-encrypted (broken) content media helps keep Content Industries (contrast with: Artists) alive by giving them control, so they like it.

    2. As soon as it's profitable to do so, the CIs will Palladium-encrypt (break) every piece of media they can.

    3. When Palladium is available everywhere, it will be profitable for the CIs to digitally Palladium-encrypt (break) every piece of Mass Market Content that they create.

    4. Any piece of Palladium-encrypted content--DVD, Music CD, software program--that is not signed will fail to play unless Palladium is there to decrypt it.

    5. The MS monopoly (and Intel's and AMD's respective complicity in that monopoly) can make sure that Palladium is available almost everywhere at once.

    6. When broken content is the norm, Mac and Linux will not be able to use that content any more without supporting Palladium.

    7. Mac and Linux will have to either support Palladium or (illegally!!, in the US) circumvent it to be useful.

    8. Linux is not an organization, so it will likely go in both directions at once.

    9. Mac is an organization, and it will probably not support circumvention.

    This is very, very bad. Our best hope is for a severe Microsoft anti-trust penalty, and for our legislators to wise up and stop passing laws to prop up business plans.
  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @02:25PM (#4230303) Homepage
    I have a friend who spends lots of time on newsgroups, Kazaa, etc. copying movies. At the same time, I read articles like this, and spend $10 sending certified delivery confirmed letters to congressmen like Mr. Hollings and businesses like Intel and AMD. This is highly counterproductive. My friend saves $10/month on movie rentals, and I spend $10/month on letters.

    I've talked to this person and they say "Oh, I just copy movies I wouldn't rent anyway." (I assume because they are too expensive) They have a valid point since some products are just ridiculously expensive. But they are not helping the problem. If they spent their effort protesting, or finding alternatives as they did pirating, we would be in good shape. I would probably be better off paying them $10/month and having them rent the movies, than to spend it writing letters.

    What should I do? Do I turn them in? Do I hassle them? Do I pay them to stop doing it? It's my rights they are taking away, but turning them in seems ridiculous. Is there somethnig we can do in mass that could prevent this problem?
  • by Gryffin ( 86893 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @02:54PM (#4230541) Homepage

    "I mean, once they hammer all the fun out of it by making it like cable TV what's the fucking point?"

    Hey, it was inevitable. Really.

    Let's look at how the other "media" have fared:

    • Print: While it requires a printing press to reach a large audience, people communicated on paper, one-to-one, since writing was invented. And as recently as the 19th century, it was fairly common to print and distribute pamphlets, if you had a message you wanted to get out, and most towns and cities had several thriving newspapers, each with a unique voice. Today the art of writing has been lost by nearly all but those paid to do it, people handing out leaflets on streetcorners are widely considered whackjobs, and all but a handful of cities have but one major newpaper.

    • Radio: I think it's asafe bet that Marconi never envisioned ClearChannel. In fact, I doubt he ever thought that millions would actually sit and listen en-masse to a single broadcaster. Radio was originally intended as a one-to-one communications medium, potentially the first long-distance P2P medium. But the vast majority of people were quite content to merely listen to what others broadcast, rather than broadcast themselves. Control of broadcasting consolidated quickly, and by the 1920's a handful of broadcasting networks controlled much of the medium, aided and abetted by the government. Want to broadcast your own station? Good luck. Just ask the FCC for a licence, and you'll find you can't play with the big boys. Sure, a few bands are reserved for "public" use (FRS, CB), but are strictly limited in wattage (hence, reach) and content (did you know it's a federal offence to broadcsat music over CB?), lest you actually provide an alternative to the conglomerates.

    • Television: 75 years ago this past May, AT&T demonstrated the first television transmission in the US. British researchers had staged a similar demonstration a couple months earlier. It was over wire, but was soon working over the airwaves. But, like radio, it was never intended to be a broadcast medium. For some time, the only television installations were point-to-point, videophones essentially. It took David Sarnoff of RCA (Radio Corp. of America) to realize the potential of television to become yet another corporate broadcasting medium, and that's exactly what he did.

    • BBSs: Even before the 'net, people had begun to network using local dial-up BBSs, which later gained regional, national, and even international reach via FidoNet and the like. There were no corporate conglomerates dumping "content" into waiting eyeballs; anyone who had something to say or share could buy a modem and put up a BBS. People geographically distant could exchange words and ideas freely. Then came the corporations: CompuServe, Prodigy, America Online. Their improved networks, broad capacity and professional management put an end to the amateur FidoNets. As time went on, each of the nationwide BBSs migrated from merely allowing their customers to interract, and succumbed to the temptation to broadcast to them, to spoonfeed them corporate "content." For an advertising fee, of course.

    • The Internet: Not long ago, it seemed that everyone had a web site, or at least a home page. People would spend hours just following links in hopes of stumbling across the interesting, the wild, the thought-provoking, the just plain dumb. As the volume of such pages grew, the sheer volume created a demand for an easy way to find sites that fit the viewer's interest. Two methods came about: Web rings and search engines.Web rings were strictly amateur; but investors saw the potential of search engines to "aggregate eyeballs" for sale to advertisers. Then came (and went) "push," a brutally clumsy attempt at TV-style broadcasting; but then the search engines became "portals," attracting users with actually useful functionality. These relatively few "onramps" to the Internet attracted the media corporations, and after several years of consolidation and buy-outs, a mere handful of corporations control what are for many people the only way they know of to get online.

    "Knowledge is power." But knowledge doesn't travel by itself, it must be communicated. He who controls that communication controls everything. The wealthy and powerful know this, and will always strive to control what we see, hear, and hence, what we think. That's why every means of communication will inexorably move from one-to-one to a broadcast paradigm.

    Why should networked personal computers be any different?

  • by lynx_user_abroad ( 323975 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @02:58PM (#4230582) Homepage Journal
    I mean if you do not plan to run Palladium, where's the problem? This would not stop you from doing anything you do now. Doesn't the OS have to support DRM also in order for this to have any effect?

    Their model is not based on locking people in at the hardware level. Rather they're trying to build a web of interdependence.

    You need to decide if there's something you can't live without which is tied into Palladium (or anything else, for that matter.) If you decide you can't live without the latest Video game, which runs only under Palladium, then you'll be running Palladium. If some Top 40 boy band hit is your only reason for living, you'll either buy the DRM-protected CD, or you'll do without. Microsoft's strategy is to build a web (no relation to html or http) of interdependence which involves your paying money to them at some point. You can always choose to avoid microsoft, but you'll have to also choose to live without everything tied into them as well.

    Some examples: Perhaps you've decided that you can't live without a call phone. So Microsoft builds a dependency between having a cell phone and using windows: an earlier slashdot story relates how this was done through Verison using the requirement for a Microsoft Passport.

    Another common example is the proliferation of Internet Explorer-only web pages. If you can't live without a certain web site, and that site goes IE-only, then you'll be running Microsoft software for as long as you need that site, and you'll be running IE under Windows just as soon as Microsoft feels they can drop support for other operating systems.

    It begs the question of how long it will be before such common necessities as voting, cashing a paycheck, getting a drivers license, applying for a job, paying your bills, accessing healthcare, etc will require an active account with Microsoft? I suspect it will happen rather sooner that most of us expect, after all, for the majority of people who already use a Microsoft product at home or at work, such a requirement is not a barrier because it's already met. For them that day has already passed, and we didn't even notice as it flew by.

    It's the same model Red Hat is using to maintain and build their customer base, despite the claim that all of their software is free and open. Try installing a kernel source package from the Red Hat 7.3 distribution onto a system using Red Hat 7.2 without forcing against the dependencies. The package dependencies are built such that eventually you have to upgrade RPM itself to the 7.3 level, which cannot be done (AFAIK) using RPM on a live system. To use 7.3 packages, you have to install (or upgrade to) 7.3.

    We already have the same dependencies built into the telephone; try to get a job, access government services, or get emergency assistance without a telephone. The result there was a monopoly (for decades) in a single, highly regulated, provider. The phone company was authorized to charge you out the wazoo for basic phone service, and develop new innovations at a snails-pace, prevent you from attaching unapproved equipment to their system (at one time it was illegal to attach a plastic cone to the receiver to block outside noise).

    But I wonder: If we hog-tie our technology innovation as much as we did with the development of telecommunications, will the tech industries of our foreign compettitors be as willing to wait for us to get our act together? Or will they just write us off as yet anoyther former technology leader who couldn't keep their act together?

  • by agedman ( 452916 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @03:17PM (#4230761)
    I am certainly concerned about DRM and how it is curtailing our choices.

    However, when you say

    The countermeasure that we MUST be prepared to do is this: we must configure our web pages, content, and programs to require that it be off. That is, we must force users to choose whether they want to see our stuff or DRM stuff.

    well, I get nervous.

    You're forcing average consumers to pick between seeing their HotMail accounts, cruising various Disney sites and playing cool games vs seeing the websites of a few malcontents who don't want to keep up with progress (and that is how we'd be labeled by the powers that be).

    At best this would polarize the camps even more than they are today.

  • by kasperd ( 592156 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @04:01PM (#4231178) Homepage Journal
    Are you willing to violate laws to run Linux?

    I don't have to. Even if Microsoft owns some patent, it doesn't change anything. Their patent is not valid where I live. It even seems to be the case, that I'm allowed to reverse engineer their software, if that is the only way to get Linux running.

    And then you might say, Microsoft can do enough lobying to get other products forbidden by law. Now I'm gonna compare this to countries that already have laws limiting peoples freedom. What do we say about people breaking the laws in those countries? Do we call them criminals? No, we don't, we say they are fighting for their freedom.

    I guess in case laws are changed in favour of Microsoft, I'm willing to violate them, because I think that is the right thing to do.
  • by bwt ( 68845 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @05:17PM (#4231797) Homepage

    You can hide your head in the sand and pretend that you don't want to polarize people over this, but that will result in an "optional DRM" becoming the non-optional standard, and then in a few years DRM will become mandatory.

    The critical factor is that we must have better content value than them. Disney and the "cool games" sites you refer to will be for pay, so I definitely think this is possible.

    The other side has chosen the route of polarizing, not us. They will only deliver content to people who adopt a certain subserviant mentality and technology. We must make people understand that in addition to accepting shackles, they lose access to things they like.

    The only route that leads to information freedom is to polarize and then extinguish the other side.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @05:51PM (#4232063)
    DMCA would only make that illegal in the USA,
    which is quickly becoming irrelevant in the worldwide technology landscape. The world is
    a very big place, with more than just one country.
    Those other countries want a piece of the action.
  • Re:I have an idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Strych9 ( 126433 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @08:54PM (#4233612)
    I just keep reading all this very depressing news about the DRM and DCMA, etc etc It is nothing less than an direct attack against people's rights and freedoms for free speech just to ensure that some people with executive-class($$$) speech ( to coin an airline phrase) get better service.

    I don't live in the US, so no matter what I do an say, I cannot affect anything that happens within its borders, especially its laws and technology that will eventually get pimped out to where I reside.

    The more and more that I read on, I realize that unless you too can buy a senator / congressman or outbid the RIAA, or Disney. The US will be nothing more than a government for hire.

    We (those of us who read sites like /. and others) who realize what is happening have no power unless we either form a more powerful lobby than those currently buying off the ears of the politicians. But how realistic is that? I mean really for us to say even form up a million dollar "encouragement" donation to a candidate's fund in the primaries is nothing compared to what the current lobbyists can drum up without blinking.

    That leaves really no options to fight any of this, save one:

    We can code, we can design, and we can still use our power as consumers. I'm saying look at projects like Open Office, and KOffice. Those are potential MS killers if they are brought up to speed, as right now they still need work and can't really do what the MS Office can do with the same ease of use that joe user can understand and use without frustration.

    This is our power that we can all use to make a far bigger dent and threat to the MS Wintel empire that we all know and (i'm sure ) just love to pieces. I really feel that this will make a much stronger impact, than the occasional ignored letter to the senator (as much as I do appreciate the effort, I think unless that letter includes a 3 million $$$ campaign contribution, it might fall upon deaf ears)

    Just my .02
  • Re:I have an idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bill Privatus ( 575781 ) <last_available_i ... m ['yah' in gap]> on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @09:16PM (#4233784)
    Sorry, but MS isn't the evildoer here. MS is the medium, the vehicle.

    This is the MPAA, and the RIAA. They 'reached' MS and Intel and AMD and...

    MS will take advantage of this; of that there is no doubt. Every vendor will jump on the bandwagon, as software piracy is a thing of the past once HW+SW DRM arrives and becomes mainstream. What vendor would turn away from the chance to either eliminate piracy of their software or to bring in additional revenue from those who would take it, and who cannot do without product ABC?

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern