Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Encryption Security Media Movies

Microsoft Licenses Analog Anti-rip Technology 270

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the sharing-is-for-communists dept.
photojournaliste writes "CD copy-protection specialist Macrovision is to work with Microsoft to ensure their respective DRM and anti-rip technologies are interoperable, the two companies said this week. Sounds straightforward enough, but the deal runs deeper. Microsoft agreed to license a number of Macrovision's patents, in particular those relating to analogue copy protection technology and more recent extensions to that system that cover video-on-demand, pay-per-view content and support for the US 'broadcast flag', which determines whether consumers will be able to record digital TV broadcasts."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Licenses Analog Anti-rip Technology

Comments Filter:
  • by TheLogster (617383) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:11AM (#11571078) Homepage Journal
    People hack their Tivo's to go "Broadcast flag - very nice - I'll ignore that and record it anyway"..

    Same for Myth TV etc

    TheLogster
    • MythTV doesn't have the concept of a broadcast flag, as libdvdcss has no concept of a DVD geographic zone... what are you talking about ?
      • by Tassach (137772)
        The problem with the broadcast flag is that it will be illegal to sell hardware which does not honor the broadcast flag, so (in theory) any hdtv card you buy after this summer won't be able to be used in a mythTV box.

        Of course, any programmer knows that if you can write the decoded video stream to the screen device, you can write it to a disk device just as easily. However, you can pretty well count on the fact that the law (DCMA and others) will be used to criminilize any software which can be used to wo

        • by Dayflowers (729580) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:29AM (#11571177)
          Well, its not like that's really a problem. You can easily just publish the software online and claim to be from outside the US. US users will download and use it.

          The fact that it'd be illegal to use the software would not bother anyone...
          • by Tassach (137772) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:53AM (#11571305)
            The fact that it'd be illegal to use the software would not bother anyone...
            You must not have been paying attention. It'll bother a lot of people; generally the same kind of people who're bothered by "crimes" like visiting a prostitute or smoking a doobie.

            Marijuana possession is illegal in most of the US. While the law is widely ignored, there are still people who are serving time in PMITA prison for violating it. How'd you like to be Tyrone's bitch for 3-5 years because you got busted for "posession of software with intent to distribute"?

            • I think it would be more like the speed limit law, especially since using "illegal" software would be less noticed then any of those "crimes". It is much easier for the Police to catch someone visiting a prostitute or buying a little pot than for them to catch someone downloading "illegal" software off of some foreign web site. (Yes, it is possible, but you are looking at an effort equal to the "great firewall of China" to attempt to Police this).

              Yes, there would be some people who will not use the softw

        • Of course, any programmer knows that if you can write the decoded video stream to the screen device, you can write it to a disk device just as easily. However, you can pretty well count on the fact that the law (DCMA and others) will be used to criminilize any software which can be used to work around the broadcast flag.

          If you add TCPA to the mix then it seems like the media companies are trying to either seriously cripple, or get rid of, the PC platform as we know it.

          As everyone knows while non-DRM medi
        • by Grishnakh (216268)
          The problem with the broadcast flag is that it will be illegal to sell hardware which does not honor the broadcast flag, so (in theory) any hdtv card you buy after this summer won't be able to be used in a mythTV box.

          Of course, any programmer knows that if you can write the decoded video stream to the screen device, you can write it to a disk device just as easily.


          A lot of people are buying the new HDTV decoder cards right now because they don't honor the Broadcast Flag, and they want to use them in thei
      • I've never seen this MythTV before. I don't think it exists.
    • by jxyama (821091) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:20AM (#11571124)
      >People hack their Tivo's to go "Broadcast flag - very nice - I'll ignore that and record it anyway"..

      i think the key is, it's not all (or even most), but only some would hack.

      • by sxpert (139117) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:23AM (#11571138)
        yet, some are way too many already. as only one is required for something to show up on the P2P networks...
        as usual, this is just another way by the tech industry to steal money from the idiots in the content industry that are way too stupid to understand that they really are dinosaurs on the brink of extinction, and that using 30 seconds commercials to finance dubious tv shows is about to be as obsolete as dodos
        • Are they really idiots? How else do you propose for them to finace their dubious content? If it is worth downloading for so many people it is obviously worth something. If they are dinosaurs, who will replace them and how?
          • by Catbeller (118204) on Friday February 04, 2005 @10:27AM (#11571564) Homepage
            "Are they really idiots? How else do you propose for them to finace their dubious content? If it is worth downloading for so many people it is obviously worth something. If they are dinosaurs, who will replace them and how?"

            Let's go all Young Republican: Who cares if they can't survive? They can get new jobs if they aren't lazy. Who said we owed them an industry? We haven't signed any contracts stating we must watch their commericals. If the Free Market says that we don't have to pay for the content, then they will go out of business. Sometimes a market really can be free. It's not the government's job to force people to watch TV commercials.

            Content will either dry up, or it won't. If it does, the market will have instructed people that downloading stuff for free destroys the golden goose, and they will self-correct. If it doesn't dry up, and the content creators thrive (which seems to be the case so far, manipulated RIAA figures to the contrary), then the dubious content providers were wrong and the downloaders are right: downloads don't hurt the business model.

            Either way, let them eat cake.
            • You have signed a sort of contract. More, you've accepted a license. If they have it so in the license that you agree to by watching their content that you mustn't do the things Tivo does with that content, then you've agreed not to. "Shrink-wrap" licenses are still licenses. It's their content and by watching their content, accepting their content, you must agree to a licence which they distribute it under for you. Enforcing those licences would be something that the government does.

              Opposing libertarian
              • by Catbeller (118204) on Friday February 04, 2005 @11:41AM (#11572425) Homepage
                "You have signed a sort of contract."

                No, I haven't; and there is no such thing as a "sort of contract" :)

                "More, you've accepted a license."

                No, I didn't. I didn't sign anything.

                "If they have it so in the license that you agree to by watching their content that you mustn't do the things Tivo does with that content, then you've agreed not to. "Shrink-wrap" licenses are still licenses."

                No, they are not. I always, as a precaution, chant "No, I do not accept your terms" as I open any package with some sort of sticker on it. It's not my fault they provide no means of communications with them on this matter :) The EULA is still not legally tested, and even if a pro-business Supreme Court eventually does uphold it, I will not abide by shrink wrap licenses. If I buy an object, I own it, by common law and hundreds of years of precedent. I'll do what I like with it.

                "It's their content and by watching their content, accepting their content, you must agree to a licence which they distribute it under for you. Enforcing those licences would be something that the government does."

                It's not "their" content. They own the physical media on which they store their masters. They don't own the "content". They possess copy rights, not property rights, on the content. However, I have fair use rights over the content, because I have such under law, and because the media is my property, if property rights are to enter such a discussion. I do not accept any licenses as to how I use a machine I purchase, and the government be damned if they are paid to violate my rights by breaking down my door to stop me using my own property.

                "Opposing libertarianism against this problem of your's doesn't work...because, sometimes, companies can get so rich they can begin to own the rulebook of the market itself, so to speak."

                You're absolutely right, and I don't mean to criticize you, by the way, merely the idea of these new "rights" these rich people have recently purchased. If the U.S. manages to inflict this new idea of property on the world, its all over for freedom as we know it. Copyright and licenses and property rights will be used, ARE being used, to silence dissent in the U.S. and abroad. Petty dictators are a horror, but they eventually die and become dust. This new regime is corporate, immortal, and unkillable.
        • i won't dispute your overall sentiment - i agree with you that the traditional commercial financing method is probably fast becoming obsolete.

          one is enough to get it on the p2p, you say... and you are right. but p2p is another piece of technology majority of content buyers will not be familiar with, or can easily be "scared" into not using by companies threatening lawsuits, don't you think?

          as the computer literacy increases in general, i completely agree with you that hacking will become more common and

        • Dodos weren't obsolete. They survived everything except hungry Europeans who didn't give a damn about species preservation. It's hard to evolve a defense against hundreds of godwillsit types with guns in a few years.
      • by rokzy (687636)
        the other reply talks about only 1 hack needed for p2p so I won't repeat that (oops)

        I don't agree that only some would hack. sure not all, but the concept of getting rid of DVD zones is very well established in the general (DVD-using) public's mind. I expect this to be similar - people will almost expect broadcast flag hacks as standard.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        http://msl1.mit.edu/ESD10/docs/darknet5.pdf

        A Microsoft Research document that explains why it does matter even if only a few people can hack it.
    • HDTV equipment manufactured or bought before July 1 without respect for the broadcast flag will be grandfathered in.

      If you ever thought you wanted a hdtv pvr, buy a card now or you will not be legal.

      http://www.pchdtv.com/

      I just got mine, and I am working through the mythtv setup...

      I assume they have to allow for future tivo / pvrs for HDTV that will respect the broadcast flag. But what kind of respect does that entail? Some programs cannot be time-shifted at all? I really dont' know what is to come.
      • by gatzke (2977) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:31AM (#11571193) Homepage Journal
        From http://www.eff.org/broadcastflag/


        The Broadcast Flag:

        The essence of the FCC's rule is in 47 CFR 73.9002(b) and the following sections: "No party shall sell or distribute in interstate commerce a Covered Demodulator Product that does not comply with the Demodulator Compliance Requirements and Demodulator Robustness Requirements."

        The Demodulator Compliance Requirements insist that all HDTV demodulators must listen for the flag (or assume it to be present in all signals). Flagged content must be output only to "protected outputs" or in degraded form: through analog outputs or digital outputs with visual resolution of 720x480 pixels or less--less than 1/4 of HDTV's capability. Flagged content may be recorded only by "Authorized" methods, which may include tethering of recordings to a single device.

        The Demodulator Robustness Requirements are particularly troubling for open-source developers. In order to prevent users from gaining access to the full digital signal, the FCC ties the hands of even sophisticated users and developers. Devices must be "robust" against user access or modifications that permit access to the full digital stream. Since open-source drivers are by design user-modifiable, a PC tuner card with open-source drivers would not be "robust." It's not even clear that binary-only drivers would qualify.

        Together, these rules mean that future PVR developers will have to get permission from the FCC and/or Hollywood before building high-definition versions of the TiVo. The products that they do build will be epoxied against user experimentation and future improvement. The rules mean that open-source developers and hobbyists will be shut out of the HDTV loop altogether.
        • Anybody else read that a couple times and read it as Riscombabulator Remodulator Requirements?
        • Would it be really that hard to reverse engineer an HDTV tuner, possibly enough to be able to flash the card with custom software that ignores the flag? I don't think so, and I would love to have an opportunity to attempt it, just for the mere educational value of doing so...

          Of course doing that would be illegal in the US, so would have to be done subvertly inside the US, or outside the US (no purpose to do it outside the US ;-))

          *sigh* guess I need to makes plans to immigrate back to the land of my f
          • I'm going to do it just becose I want to. I refuse to let somone tell me what I can and cant do with my own equipment even if theres a chance of landing me in prison. I dont like that fair use of my system is impared by the logic that just ebcose I can do it must mean I will do it. If I hook my xbox or PS2 to my capture card the macrovision of those devices will kick in imparing my rightfull use of there DVD playback features and thats just total bullshit and I wont stand for it.

            Some people in this subje

        • The rules mean that open-source developers and hobbyists will be shut out of the HDTV loop altogether.
          That is, the developers in the US will be shut out. There are no laws permitting developers everywhere else developing the appropriate drivers, and making them available online.
          It would probably be illegal for US citizens to download such drivers, so I guess they won't... :-)
    • More and more people are moving over to HD sets. While some lucky people might live in an area where they can get a half dozen OTA channels, people who get satellite or cable can't use those products.

      Cable companies are already moving to simulcast all analog channels in digital form. At some point to reclaim bandwidth they'll drop all but the 2-13 channels from their analog service anyway, and people will have to use CableCard-compatible sets or digital cable boxes.

      MythTV will never support those, as the
  • New Name (Score:5, Funny)

    by R0UTE (807673) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:13AM (#11571086)
    I hope Microsoft take over Macrovision, then we can have Microsoft and Macrosoft. Microsoft can deal with insecure software and Macrosoft can deal with securing copyrights, what a world it will be then!
  • Broadcast Flag (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:13AM (#11571089) Homepage Journal
    I like the broadcast flag. If we couldn't record stuff off the television, perhaps the nation would find better things to do with their time that watching endless television programs. Like extra exercise, or socialising. We'd all be a whole lot better for it...
    • Or perhaps they'll just sit down and watch the programmes at the time they're aired in stead of doing something else and watching them when they come back.
    • I agree. TV programming is crap enough already. But as the actual process becomes more hostile, perhaps people will be encouraged to watch less. I mean, I don't have a DVR ( or cable for that matter ) but if there were something I'd like to see but I have to work late or I'd prefer to be a bar with friends, and my DVR told me I couldn't record it to watch it, well frankly I'd be pretty ticked.

      I'm not a high-falutin kill-your-TV type, but frankly, we all could do with a little less TV and a little more read
  • by Idimmu Xul (204345)
    what a waste of money on Microsoft's part :(
    • Not Exactly.

      The VOD, PPV and the Broadcast flag make sense for their MSTV service that their trying to sell as an addon to Media center.

      The analog is probably the biggest waste overall however. The only thing I can think of that they are using it for is to Macrovision the AV jacks on your PC so you can't put Media center content on a VCR. Why you would want to do that when most of these systems have DVD burners is beyond me outside of maybe to protect Broadcast Flagged content.
  • Interoperable? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:15AM (#11571097)
    Since when was interoperability a goal for access protection systems? Surely they mean inoperable!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:16AM (#11571102)
    I'm sorry but that song you can't get out of your head is in violation of copyright laws. We are going to install a little chip now to ensure we are compensated.
  • by DenDave (700621) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:16AM (#11571104)
    Imagine Provider A sells music and other media content without restrictive technology. Provider B has strong restrictions. Artists who publish with B will not benefit from "bootleg cassettes" to gain popularity (think of Metallica...)... Artists who publish with A become popular, Provider A ends up selling the most popular artists....who makes the money?

    • Lars after he sues everyone else.
    • The problem being that _no_ major publishers are making their work available without DRM.

      If they were, the others would follow, but none of them are moving in that direction.
    • Imagine Provider A sells music and other media content without restrictive technology. Provider B has strong restrictions... who makes the money?

      The provider with a strong backlist and the most wanted artists and titles.

      Provider A is not Pixar or Warner Brothers, which means that it won't be shipping The Incredibles or the next Harry Potter.

    • Who cares? The PHB running company B will still make enough money before it goes ka-boom and after it does go ka-boom he will surely find a new (no less paying) "managerial" job much easier than some sys-admin/programmer who worked for the same company B that he drove into ground. The difference is that the PHB would be able to afford a nice vacation on exotic islands in between. The "long-playing" companies business model is _sooo_ obsolete. The groove of the day is to make money on the "establish-up-down-
  • by exnuke (734919) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:16AM (#11571105) Homepage
    What is this television thing anyway? Does it involve moving away from my computer?
  • Protecting Analog? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by malcomvetter (851474) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:18AM (#11571111)

    from TFA:
    "An Internet-delivered movie, downloaded to a PC, can now be protected on analog video playback out of a PC"

    They're actually concerned with someone outputting a digital format (MPG, DIVX, WMV, etc.) to an Analog source like a VCR? C'mon ... who does that?

    I thought the purpose of ripping the media was to have a perfect (or near perfect) digital copy ...
    • by BorgDrone (64343)
      I guess this is about legal video-download services with all kinds of nasty DRM stuff. They're trying to close the 'analog loophole'.

      Which, offcourse it bullsh*t, there have been 'video signal enhancers' for ages that filter the macrovision protection out of the signal.
  • by imr (106517) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:18AM (#11571113)
    The master of the eye-killer blinking videotapes gets in bed with my unfair lady of blue screens of death.
    If there have any offsprings, shoot'em.
  • It's coming. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DoubleDangerClub (855480) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:20AM (#11571128) Homepage
    Instead of the XBox and a PC in a home, I think they're on the way to the XBoxPC. It would make sense. The XBox plays games at a great speed with great graphics, so what's to stop MS from making their operating system run out of the XBox ONLY? They could drop licenses with other companies and force everyone to beg and pay more if they want a non-XBox version of Windows. Scary thought, but I think they might be taking a hint from apple and I think they're going to try this "digital lifestyle" thing with making proprietary hardware for Windows. Time to move to Linux I guess. *shrug*
    • M$'s revenue stream will collapse, due to a fairly large number of pissed off corporate customers.

      Any other questions? :-)
      • M$'s revenue stream will collapse, due to a fairly large number of pissed off corporate customers.

        I bet that's why they are switching to G5 processors too. They're making the XBox less like PCs to keep them away from being in direct competition with PC makers.

    • making proprietary hardware for Windows.

      If I recall right another computer company did this back in the 80's and didn't fair as well as the software-only Micrsoft. What was there name pear, orange, grapfruit....

      ;-)
  • by Pofy (471469) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:28AM (#11571174)
    So, how will this work outside US? Or will they just assume the laws are the same in every country? And if it only applies to US, how do one determine properly if the computer in question IS in the US? I guess they simply implement it for everyone and won't care about laws in different countries.
    • that really is a damn good question, but unfortunately i think i know the answer. if other countries refuse to product the HDTV shows from the US, they just won't agree to liscense them until said country has laws protecting their content. in essence they will bully the other countries into adopting similarly fucked up laws.
      • bullying (Score:4, Insightful)

        by willCode4Beer.com (783783) on Friday February 04, 2005 @01:24PM (#11573675) Homepage Journal
        However, the bullying may backfire. Like when the UN forced the US to change the laws on steel tariffs. This was basically done by the European Union. Spain may have only one vote to the United States one vote. But Spain backed by the EU has 26 votes. We've also seen the EU do things to Microsoft that no single country could.

        We may see this as other regions with similar socio-economic cultures decide to get together for their common benefit. My near term predictions are a Latin-American Union and an Asia-Pacific Union.
    • So, how will this work outside US? Or will they just assume the laws are the same in every country? And if it only applies to US, how do one determine properly if the computer in question IS in the US? I guess they simply implement it for everyone and won't care about laws in different countries.

      Well, since this whole thing is in the interests of copyright, I suspect other countries will find they've already signed up with their new IP treaties with the US.

      I'm sure there will be trade delegations going t

  • by pdaoust007 (258232) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:29AM (#11571178)
    I find it amusing to see these companies invest millions in technology and licensing to fight a battle they know they are not going to be able to win.

    All it takes is one person to circumvent the protection (we all know how good macrovision has been in the past...) or to have access to source material to distribute it to millions using P2P.

    They need to change their business model, give us what we want (DRM free mp3 or similar) for a reasonable price or eventually suffer the inevitable... (which could be a good thing too, the music industry reborn)
  • ...flag until July 5th?

    I actually am so apothetic on this issue (I rarely watch TV).

    I would like adecent mythtv setup (in the works) for recording the odd stuff, the rest of my associated like to watch tv, so it gives me a platform to tinker.

    I say, buyer beware, don't go paying the cost of these patents, which give little value to you.

    Why should we pay the cost of DRM, i'd happily by DRM music at 25% of the cost of the non-DRM version.

    The distinction? I wouldn't pay 400% the costs for a non DRM versio
  • Same old story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Writer (746272) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:33AM (#11571202)
    They're focusing on how to prevent consumers from accessing material when they should be focusing on making it easier for consumers to pay for material. In the days of Napster's popularity, if the record companies decided to integrate a payment subscription system with high-speed downloading servers, then they wouldn't have to worry about piracy. People would pay to be able to download MP3s with no proper tags and no errors at the maximum speed their connections could handle rather than unreliable and unstable P2P sources. They could have worked on producing software for ISPs to use for automating the billing process. They could have bought into Napster during it's popularity and turned it into a subscription service, and even if other P2P applications were around, Napster had brand-name recognition that people would go for. But instead on focusing on how to use the technology's potential, they sent in the lawyers to block it. Brand name has more pull for consumers than cost-effectiveness. Just look at sneakers- people don't try to buy the cheapest ones around but go with expensive brand names instead.
  • Best Move Ever! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Luscious868 (679143) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:38AM (#11571227)
    This would be the best move ever ... for open source that is. The minute my friends can no longer rip their CD's to mp3's, they'll ditch Windows and move on to something else. I'm serious. None of my friends are techies. They use their systems to browse the web, write email and the occasional word processing document and to manage their music and photo collections. If Microsoft ever were to cripple their OS in such a manner, they'd jump ship in a heartbeat. Especially if the alternative OS and supporting software is free and can be installed on their current systems.
    • None of my friends are techies

      Liar :)

    • Until Microsoft lobbies the US government to make Linux illegal because it circumvents Copy protection methods...

      I agree though, what they are proposing only, of course, affects the Operating System with a 99% home user share. Other small, but alternative OS's well obviously be able to circumvent this technology, that is until more people start using them. This is just what happened with Napster, Kaaza, eDonkey, and bit torrent.

      Of course what would really help Linux is if the EU, China and other count
  • Sigh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by huge colin (528073) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:44AM (#11571253) Journal
    If it's perceivable, it's copyable. They never seem to learn.
  • It sounds almost as funny as Microsoft security.
  • by BCW2 (168187)
    M$ gets more involved with copy protection. M$ is pushing their "Media Center" version of Win XP Home. Sooner of later they will be able to break an old VCR by remote.

    Why anyone would take things that work well and reliably like, TV, Radio, Stereo, and hook them to something with M$ track record for reliability, performance, and honesty.....? Are people really that dumb? With their push for DRM You will be lucky to record a commercial without paying some ridiculus fee.
  • Where can I see exactly what the possible values for the flag are (e.g. "cant record this show at all", "can record it once then not move the recorded copy" etc)?
  • by gelfling (6534) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:48AM (#11571276) Homepage Journal
    All of this 'sue them until they bleed, and put a coin slot on the very air they fucking breathe' mentality I think will drive people to more live performances. Now unless the MPAA thinks it can license me my own ears we're probably going to be ok.
  • So they put even more protection on it. Does anybody really care. If they are going to want to sell this at all, they are going to have to put Composite (RCA) cables on it. Otherwise, it won't work with 95% of the equipment out there. Now, plug those into your VCR. To record use a second vcr hooked up through Coax. It won't give the best quality. But does anybody really care. I mean, for hollywood movies I want high quality. But for weekly episodes of the O.C. I could care less.
  • by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:48AM (#11571283) Homepage
    But I'm still unclear about the concept of DRMing analogue signals.

    I mean heck! At one point you have to disseminate an analogue signal to which we are able to listen to.

    Methinks that the only feasible technology is to pour tar into the ears of every citizen on earth.

    And that really seems a bit intrusive.

    • It's probably some kind of watermarking that may be just above or below the audio band or hidden using the spectral masking effect or something. I'm guessing here.

      This is probably why MS is key in this. They effectively own most of the worlds home computers so, as far as most poor souls are concerned, they decide what the computer can and can't do on behalf of Macrovision.

      This is great news for open source though because no one else's software is going to take the slightest bit of notice of any watermarki
    • by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2 AT earthshod DOT co DOT uk> on Friday February 04, 2005 @11:35AM (#11572352)
      No ..... the ultimate rights-management solution is PharmaGard (TM). Unlike conventional scrambling and encryption technologies, which work by unscrambling the picture and taking a leap of faith that nothing can intercept it on its way to the screen, with PharmaGard (TM) there is never a recoverable, unencrypted signal: the final decryption takes place in the viewer's brain.

      The secret of PharmaGard (TM) is a special pill, containing a phenylethylamine-type {= ecstasy-like} drug that you have to take before you watch the film. The first few minutes of the film are neurolinguistic programming -- basically, reprogramming your mind so that, under the perception-distorting influence of the drug, it unscrambles the picture -- embedded into an advertisement sequence. There is no possible way for the viewer not to see this sequence if they are going to see the film, so this advertising space would be worth a fortune. As long as the drug's effect lasts, the film appears unscrambled through your altered perception. When it wears off, your eyes go back to normal.

      Anyone can copy a film protected with PharmaGard (TM). But only people who have taken the special drug can watch it. If viewers invite friends to watch with them, their friends will have to take some too. A stash of pills are provided with the movie; if you want to watch it again, you have to buy more of them from your local retailer.

      PharmaGard (TM) also provides built-in age-restriction. The pills for different-certificate movies are formulated slightly differently. The pills provided with an "18" film will contain an additional substance which reacts with Human Growth Hormone at the levels found in under-18-year-olds to induce undesirable side-effects e.g. nausea, breathing difficulty, loss of balance &c. There will be less of this substance in a "15" film pill to account for the fact that a 15-year old's body will contain a higher level of growth hormone; but the "15" pill will not be a powerful enough psychedelic to allow the consumer's brain to unscramble an "18" film.
  • by Darthmalt (775250)
    Wait until Ms. Soccer Mom finds out that she can't tape American Idol or survivor and Joe Sixpack cant tape the game while he works the late shift.

    We may finally get the public outcry we need to get rid of the broadcast flag and it's ilk.
    • By the time that Soccer Mom and Joe Sixpack find they can't tape their favorite shows (assuming it ever got to that point), it would be too late.
  • Macrovision (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Matrix2110 (190829) * on Friday February 04, 2005 @10:10AM (#11571418) Journal
    I would like to weigh in with a comment on these assholes.

    Macrovision has been touting their "Secure" tech for a number of years.

    It has been broken time and time again.

    I have a hard time believing that Microstupid is dumb enough to buy into this.

    After the early efforts to get a halfway good anti-spyware package together via the buying of Giant. They have to sink down to the low-lifes like Macrovision.

    This is why I keep refusing the DRM "upgrades" to my media player 7.

    Firefox just kicks IE up one side and down the other IMHO.

    Put it this way, in the big trade shows. Macrovision employs a very humble booth.

    I had such high hopes for the Bill Gates security speech.

    Oh, well.

  • Well, normally I would make a comment stating that it's a bad thing to make a deal with the devil, however in this case, we have 2 devils making deals with each other.
  • by colinleroy (592025) on Friday February 04, 2005 @10:21AM (#11571512) Homepage
    Looks like they didn't listen well enough to Cary Doctorow explaining them the basics of cryptography. Cryptography is used to protect secrets exchanged by Bob and Alice and protect them from Carol's prying eyes. When the recipient of the message, Bob, is also the pirate, Carol, it means the pirate gets the cypher, the cypher text, and the key. As Doctorow explains, better than me, this simply cannot work, end of story.
    • When the recipient of the message, Bob, is also the pirate, Carol, it means the pirate gets the cypher, the cypher text, and the key. As Doctorow explains, better than me, this simply cannot work, end of story.

      I think the idea here is that "Box" is the recipient, who prevents "Consumer" from accessing the decoded plaintext in re-digitizable form.

  • Broadcast Issues (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tarsi210 (70325) <nathan&nathanpralle,com> on Friday February 04, 2005 @10:22AM (#11571528) Homepage Journal
    The real problem with the broadcast flag is that no distributor is ever going to err on the side of openness. What modern company would? Look at the EULAs and contracts and so forth that companies pad themselves with in order to avoid frivolous lawsuits and issues with IP and ownership!

    Do you really think that there are going to be lots of broadcasts conducted where the operators go, "Ya know, we probably don't need to prevent someone from recording this. Let it go."

    No, we're screwed. Every program has at least something that the producer or the distributor will consider "theirs" and will therefore decide to limit it. Even something as simple as a logo overlay (a-la SciFi Channel, USA, et al) might be considered a "branding" and therefore something that would prevent redistribution. Probably the ONLY thing that would even come close to being open would be things like the State of the Union broadcast -- but even that would be considered proprietary, because it was a *particular* broadcast by a *particular* station with their *particular* boneheaded reporters struggling to come up with something intelligent to comment about.

    I dunno. I just think the broadcast flag is a false sense of fairness when it'll turn out to be nothing but solid DRM that everyone will get screwed with.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2005 @10:29AM (#11571581)
    You know, I just realized why, in TNG, they never listened to anything but classical music and never watched anything other than plays.

    Copyrights and analog locks trapped all modern culture in outdated media that ended up being lost to the ages.

    And people say that series lacked foresight.

    All I needed to know about digital rights, I learned from Star Trek.
    • I thought it was because the crew and officers of the starships were paid so poorly that they couldn't afford the exhorbitant license fees on modern (post "Steamboat Willy") content, so they just stuck with stuff that was free.

      This also explains why the Federation doesn't seem to have much of a civilian presence, and only Starfleet ships are out running around: everyone is slaving away at mindless jobs planetside to make enough money to pay their license fees.
  • Boring... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TractorBarry (788340)
    And assuming they somehow manage to come up with a technological miracle and I actually can't rip it (unlikely) I'll re-record it via my amps digital out. Failing that I'll use my DAT machine to do the DA conversion from my amps output and transfer that to my PC.

    Hell... in the very case worst I'll rerecord it using my amps analogue outs. And you bet I'll p2p this stuff out of spite if nothing else.

    SCMS/DRM/Copy protection etc. etc. etc. What a waste of time.

    Still at least I suppose it's keeping some te
  • Microsoft IPTV (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Shuasha (564968) on Friday February 04, 2005 @10:58AM (#11571862)
    The whole reason they're doing this isn't so Windows can do DRM. Both SBC and Verizon are going ot be using MS software on their set top boxes to deliver IPTV. I guess they need some kind of DRM in the box.
    This is no different from encryption on HDMI signals from the current crop of HDTV boxes. As far as I know, nobody has turned on the encryption, but the option is there.
  • by webzombie (262030) on Friday February 04, 2005 @11:34AM (#11572332)
    Ok so these things called the PC were created and over time consumers really started to dig the FREE, or mostly FREE things they could do with them...

    Eventually this PC thing found a way to communicate with other PC things and then something wonderful happened... they all got connected and the internet was (re)born...

    Some new things were a little too close to breaking the law but were mostly tolerated because the big players... Microsoft especially were making and continue to make insanely gross amounts of money...

    This internet thing really started to catch on and consumers found LOTS of really cool uses for it. Email, games and sharing. Sharing jokes and greeting cards eventually became photos and music... in the meantime lots of folks realized that they didn't need big guys like Microsoft and they unleashed alternatives and Open Source software was (re)born... its mascot quickly became Linux.

    Back to the big guys... Most big guys missed the many opportunities the internet could offer their business models and instead turned to the "wise" politicians to see if this "sharing" thing could be stopped... The politicians thought long and hard and after a significant amount of cash-for-thought was spread around the DMCA was born.

    Ah the DMCA... pure genius... this gem makes tinkering, copying, sharing and most fair uses illegal... its pretty broad in scope and isn't well defined in intent but the big boys loved it because now they now had the perfect club to start smacking down any innovation that even appears to be threatening their empires.

    Well... all the money in Washington was just a bump in the road for free use, sharing and innovation so now the big boys have decided that everything must be locked down from start to finish... back to Washington for more spreading of the cash-for-thought and voila... the broadcast flag is born!

    This things is even more genius then most of the other road blocks to innovation any of the big boys could have thought of. The flag (required by ALL recording devices) will be controlled by whomever has the rights at the time... movie guys, software guys, distributors... hell even the cable guys can turn off recording access. Of course the cash spreaders assure this is NOT going to be the case but history proves otherwise. The flag will eventually bring us to the era of pay-per-recording at home... now how fuckin' sick is this concept. Oops... hope the charma cops were blinking!

    In the end what the legislators and big boys don't seem to realize is that without free and FAIR use and yes sharing, the internet would not have grow to its ginormous size and influence, without free and FAIR use and sharing the big boys like INTEL, Microsoft, game companies and even the movie boys would not have grow to such seemingly unstoppable empires... so if they take away the free and FAIR use of these technologies consumers will either find or create free and FAIR alterntives despite what laws these robber barons of the 21st century buy from those hopelessly corrupt legislators in Washington.

    There just doesn't seem logical that business is going to continue to grow by locking consumers out their right to fair use and by restricting access.

    In my country, copying and sharing for personal use is very much LEGAL and we still have BILLIONS made from the consumers herds. Yes, unfortunately there is still and large majority of the herd that doesn't realize the feed is free. Oh well... MOO!
  • A New Hope. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Java Ape (528857) <mike.briggs@ 3 6 0 . net> on Friday February 04, 2005 @12:22PM (#11572938) Homepage
    I read the headline as

    ...ensure their respective DRM and anti-rip technologies are inoperable,. . .

    The day suddenly seemed brighter, and hope arose in my heart. Then I read it again - (*SIGH*).
  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Friday February 04, 2005 @12:57PM (#11573366) Journal
    So, MS is going to license MV stuf to prevent analogue copying, eh? WHO THE FUCK CARES?

    All you need do is buy a cheap Time Base Corrector, and it strips all that crap out.

    So you have your player (to) your TBC (to) your recorder, and YOU'RE DONE.

    Sure - you lose a generation through analogue distortion, but we're talking analogue striaght from the gate here anyway!

    Here's a question, though: does anyone know what HDTV TBC units go for lately? The last time I looked, it was WAY expensive. I can usually find NTSC units of very decent quality (component in and out) for less than $400, crappy units (composite in and out) for around $200 and change.

    What MS and the MPAA and RIAA don't realise is that we professionals in the field- the people who MAKE the crap these weasels sell - Don't Do DRM. WE REQUIRE clean, clear, free signal, unencumbered by mythical notions of Intellectual Property extending beyond point of sale and NOWHERE to be found in a professional studio (except in the narrow case of certain software packages that require dongles and whatnot). And by extension, SO DO THE WEASELS - this whole RIAA/MPAA nonsense is such utter hypocrisy, it's painful to watch. It's like watching a belligerent retard beating up his pets...

    RS

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

Working...