Sunday, September 7, 2008

Summary: Why Vista's DRM is Bad For You

Direct Link to the Article:

According to Bruce Schneier, there are several aspects of the Windows Vista operating system that are undesirable for the users. Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been programmed into Vista to protect new media, such as HD-DVD and Blu-Ray technologies. Unfortunately, these DRM features don't do anything other than hinder the security and performance of the machine.

The software uses the processor to monitor the user to decide if the user is doing something the perhaps shouldn't be doing. "If it does, it limits functionality and in extreme cases restarts just the video subsystem." -Schneier

Much of today's media is protected and can only be used by certain hardware or software; iTunes, for example.

Schneier claims that Microsoft's reason for "intentionally crippling" their operating system is because they want to conrol the entire industry. However, Microsoft claims its because "Hollywood is demanding DRM in Windows" to make sure that people are still paying for new movies in their original format.

However: "Like every other DRM system ever invented, Microsoft's won't keep the professional pirates from making copies of whatever they want. The DRM security in Vista was broken the day it was released. Sure, Microsoft will patch it, but the patched system will get broken as well. It's an arms race, and the defenders can't possibly win." -Schneier

Schneier says that Microsoft is trying to pull what Apple did with music with entertainment in general, but on a much larger scale. Microsoft not only wants to control the industry on the internet, but also external individual hardware companies.

The driver developers are being forced to create drivers in accordance with certain rules and regulations set by Microsoft or their software will be useless.

The DRM negatively affects the users and their machines, even with "fair use" rights for purchased media. Users are essentially forced to live with DRM features interfering in everything, even actions with no involvement with copyright.

Consumers and the Hollywood industry are all starting to realize how DRM systems are bad for them. However, Microsoft is still trying to control the industry.

Schneier believes that if enough people "say no to Vista" then Microsoft will actually have to listen to the public.

**Everything in "" is quoted from Schneier's article**

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