DRM: Three dirty letters you won't hear in a CES keynote

DRM: Three dirty letters you won't hear in a CES keynote

Summary: Doc Searls pans Paul Otellini's CES presentation of Intel's ViiV for the media cartel it's bound to create: Some of us (myself included) have been concerned about the DRM capabilities reportedly built into ViiV, but in his presentation Otellini made clear that Viiv has been in development with Microsoft, as a new Wintel platform for home entertainment...It's being presented as the Complete Replacement for TV....

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TOPICS: CES
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Doc Searls pans Paul Otellini's CES presentation of Intel's ViiV for the media cartel it's bound to create:

Some of us (myself included) have been concerned about the DRM capabilities reportedly built into ViiV, but in his presentation Otellini made clear that Viiv has been in development with Microsoft, as a new Wintel platform for home entertainment...It's being presented as the Complete Replacement for TV...."A chance for broadcasters and rights-holders to extend their franchise"...This is an Intel-Microsoft story. All about Windows Media, but barely mentioning it....What about non-OEMs? Good luck. This is a juggernaunt.

With apologies to Doc (and in the name of transparency), the editor in me changed the order of those last two sentences.  It doesn't change the context and instead only makes for a much clearer picture. I couldn't agree more with Doc (and be sure to read the bottom of this post where I repeat the OEM question in graver terms).  So much so that I created a special category here on Between the Lines for that unstoppable media juggernaut

As far as Wintel or Apptel (Apple +Intel: Doc says Apple will undoubtedly leverage ViiV too.  Agreed.) becoming the central platform for home entertainment, this audiophile still thinks they have a long way to go.  Just go check out a McIntosh amplifier.  No, not Apple's Macintosh.  The real Mcintosh.  Real home entertaintment  requires real sound which requires heavy metal the likes of which today's computer's don't have.  If they did, they'd be triple or maybe quadruple the size and weight, draw significantly more power, and cost at least $5,000.  Even more for centralized entertainment where you need something like a Xantech MRC88 that can simultaneously route both audio and video to multiple rooms, each of which is tuned into a different content source (cable box, digital audio server, DVD player, etc.) and each of which requires significant channel wattage to get sound that's half-way decent out of your speakers. 

Will Apptel and Wintel will get there? Eventually.  And DRM is what buys them time against the boutique entertainment gear makers who'll be driven out of business by patent driven royalty structures or even worse, refusing to even give those gear makers access to the DRM technology needed to playback all future content in the first place as Apple is doing to companies like Escient and Sonos (also see Sonos responds to Declaration of InDRMpendence) that are innovating circles around the larger slower 800 lb. gorillas.  For example, at CES, Sonos just one-upped its already inventive wireless mesh network based solution with its new ZonePlayer ZP80 (makes Apple's AirTunes look like a toy).  In a bit of news, that new gear supports Apple's lossless codec, but not Apple's FairPlay DRM (net net: iTunes purchased audio content won't work on Sonos' gear).  Perhaps now the folks at McIntosh Labs are wishing they stood up for their trademark 20 years ago.  

One final sidenote: In his story, Doc writes:

The best screens you can get in the next year will be 1080p full-HD displays. And the best source of "content" (man, I hate that word) for those screens will be high-definition camcorders. Fiber to the home is still a rarity, and even high-def digital cable and satellite aren't due to deliver 1080-grade resolution. Meaning the best source of the best-looking stuff will be: ourselves.

Meanwhile, just in case the bandwidth is there, perhaps ATI's OCUR CableCARD-compliant HDTV card (also debuted at CES) will be a market winner.  But buyer beware.  Before Microsoft was allowed to support CableLab's CableCARD specification (CableLabs is a consortium of cable television companies), it had to guarantee closure of the proverbial analog hole through which content pirates often sneak. Enter -- you guessed it -- Microsoft's DRM.  This of course goes back to the elephant in the room question that Doc asked: "What about non-OEMs?" As far as I can tell, there's basically no way for Linux to support something like CableCARD because there is no official DRM that's built into Linux and there's no one that can sign (on behalf of Linux) on such a guarantee's dotted line.

Topic: CES

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17 comments
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  • Boycott DRM based products!! Stand up for your fair use rights!!!

    I got 3 words for you: DRM will fail. Plain and simple. People are not as stupid as the industry believes. ATI's new cablecard will fail. Any hardware that restricts fair use will fail. Any OS that attempts to shove DRM down our throats will fail. As soon as the evil HDCP switch is turned on, people will throw their HDMI cables in the trash. In addition, you will never be able to stop the pirates, if they can playback the content, even once, then they can EASILY rerecord the audio/video signal back into non-DRM digital content. The history of DRM has done nothing but piss off the consumer who every time has felt cheated.
    xunil skcor
    • Disagree

      Most people will accept it although begrudgingly.

      Most people are not experts and know little about such things. They will tolerate the extra costs and inconvenience for continued access to their favorite reality shows. They will be too tired from battling the kids (who expect the latest and greatest regarless of the underlying costs or limitations) to also take on such issues.

      Most people, while not necesarily happy about it, will go along with the program.
      Tim Patterson
      • Yeh, it's call APATHY!!!

        :|

        nuff said
        btljooz
    • You're right about ONE thing ...

      ... DRM will not stop the pirates! As for FAIR USE ... you're "Fair Use" rights to digital content disappeared when the Digital millenium Copyright Act was passed by Congress. You have no "Fair Use" rights under the DMCA. The best we can hope for is that a bunch of Congressmen get pissed because their kid's won't quit complaining about DRM and their right to play the music they have bought whenever and wherever they want! Unless the DCMA is amended, DRM is here to stay. That is not to say that DRM vendors won't settle on a DRM mechanism (or better yet, digital signatures) which can be used everywhere and which ignore casual "Fair Use" but target wholesale piracy!
      M Wagner
  • No choice

    It's clear from a multi-media perspective that users will have one choice (really no choice) and that will be Microsoft. I believe this was always the true motivator in forwarding DRM.

    With Linux there will always be way around it all but it will of course, be illegal. As much as my use of DeCSS to access my substantial, legally purchased DVD library has made me into a criminal thanks to the DMCA.

    The question is; will Linux users give-up and join the windows world (not likely) or will they live with less capability and compatibility or will they choose to become criminals in order to access their legally purchased media? Most likely the latter. Especially outside of the U.S.
    Tim Patterson
    • YES Choice = BOYCOTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      See my MAIN post ;)
      btljooz
    • This Linux User

      >The question is; will Linux users give-up and join the windows world

      I can tell you about this Linux user: I will NEVER purchase any equipment that requires DRM in order to function.

      Folks, I think there will be an every growing market for pre-DRM equipment: so don't trash it! You may someday be glad that you didn't.
      ccobb_z
  • Look at the back of that Xantech

    Look at the back of any audio or video device and you will see why consumer electronics have become a Hydra that even Hercules can't slay. The Xantec PDF is 2MB so I'll spare you the link, but this back-panel is similar:

    http://www.timefordvd.com/images/hardware/Denon_AVR-5803_back_large.jpg

    I agree that DRM is bad, but the D part (digital) is good. That whole back-panel mess can be replaced with a bank of Ethernet or Firewire ports. Sadly, that deprives Monster Cable of a lot of revenue from suckers who buy $100 cable sets of oxygen-free copper and solid-gold connectors.

    The problem seems to be that all the big players are set on a bundling deal; they won't give us the D without the RM. We need to demand a la carte D. With oxygen-free copper, of course.
    dmethvin
  • Hoist by their own petard

    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/09/drm_keeps_spielbergs.html

    Spielberg may miss out on a Bafta for reasons of Digital Restrictions Management
    nmacehiter
    • GOOD!!!!! When MORE artists get stymied this way

      then just MAYBE the RIAA, MPAA and others like them will be declared the TERRORISTS they ACUALLY are and the DMCA will finally be repealed as it SHOULD be.
      btljooz
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) = ROOT of DRM EVIL!!!

    http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf#search='DMCA'

    The above ^^^^^^ link is in PDF format :|

    Be SURE to shred your cookies after visiting there ;)

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/27/dmca_takedown_regs_abused/

    Us 'little guys' can only BOYCOTT all members of these organizations in the mean time.

    The RIAA:

    http://www.riaa.com/about/members/default.asp

    Cruise that site thoroughly and find out what Fascists the RIAA REALLY are!!! Along with their member list(s), pay close attention to the physical address given on the page where 'you' can "Join the RIAA".

    The MPAA/MPA:

    http://www.mpaa.org/home.htm

    I only just found that site but am sure by what others in these message boards have said about it that it's just as bad as the RIAA. I'm going to check it out. I suggest you do the same. :)

    EDUCATION/KNOWLEGE is power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THEN go and actually join the EFF:

    http://www.eff.org/

    to help fight the RIAA.

    These sites will also be of interest to those who want the RIAA, and those like them, brought down:

    http://www.anti-dmca.org/

    http://www.ricoact.com/

    http://p2pnet.net/story/6489

    About Patti Santangelo, the working mom of five kids being targeted by the RIAA:

    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20051225/ap_on_en_mu/music_download_suit_1

    How to HELP her:

    Join the p2net 'community' and donate to her cause. PHVVVVVKKKK her GD 'lawyer' that ripped her off ...in addition to RIAA/Sony!!!!!!

    http://p2pnet.net/story/7467

    If you can't contribute there then pass all this info along to all you can any way you can. Thanks @;}-

    PS: If p2pnet's links don't work properly it's because they're changing servers. Just keep trying and trying until you get there. ;) Their MAIN URL is:

    http://p2pnet.net/
    btljooz
  • DMCA=Do Not Make Content Available

    Thus, Digital Restrictions Management is an appropriate term.

    Someday, they may change the law so that corporations won't have to make profits over ethics. Then they won't be so hell-bent on DRM. Maybe.

    With DRM, Microsoft has found the ultimate vendor lock-in tool for violating the media companies. What will media companies do when they have a disagreement with Microsoft but they're locked into MS DRM? I wonder, if Microsoft is so great, why do they need vendor lock-in? How do they explain Linux? TiVo anyone?

    And finally, GPL 3.0 looks like it's about to lock horns with the Big Media conmpanies. If the Big Media companies want to use Linux/FLOSS, but are unwilling to let Linux/FLOSS use their patents, they may be out of luck.

    These are interesting times.

    Scott
    Scottman_z
  • RE: DRM: Three dirty letters you won't hear in a CES keynote

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  • RE: DRM: Three dirty letters you won't hear in a CES keynote

    I agree, I'm not a fan of DRM products


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  • RE: DRM: Three dirty letters you won't hear in a CES keynote

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  • RE: DRM: Three dirty letters you won't hear in a CES keynote

    That's funny, but I don't think they like to avoid those 3 words that much!

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  • RE: DRM: Three dirty letters you won't hear in a CES keynote

    I don't think those 3 words are so dirty :)

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