Stop the Noiz

Apple Caves to Hollywood with DRM on iTunes Videos

Frank Fox - 2008.11.20 - Tip Jar

The seeds were planted way back in 2005 when Intel started the process of embedding DRM technology into its Pentium D and 945 chips. After that, it was only a matter of time before Microsoft - and eventually Apple - would use this in computers in order to make the entertainment industry happy.

Sure, they could refuse or drag their feet for a while, but each year that they renewed contracts, the issue would be brought up again. Wired reported this future Hollywood request back in 2005 when the DRM news first came out.

Maybe "active management technology" (AMT) didn't have everything it needed to be used for DRM back in 2005. Hacks to encode the video and audio signals coming out of the computer were not prevented.

Obviously Intel did not loose their interest in the issue. It continued with development of various technologies until it had a more complete solution.

Fast forward three years, and the Pentium D is now a Core 2 Duo processor that is in every new MacBook model. Intel has licensed its High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) to Apple and others. Suddenly the predictions of three years ago are here. Digitally protected content on a MacBook will not play on a monitor or other device that doesn't cooperate with the HDCP protection scheme.

We may have known the problem was coming three years ago, but now that it is here, it is still a shock.

Apple has sold out to Hollywood. Can we blame them? No, people want the latest and greatest new movies to be on the iTunes Store ready for purchase.

Did it come with a high price? Yes, we are all soon to be temporary holders of the movies we buy until the next round of technology updates sends us back to repurchase again. There will be no transferring or copying over to the next format. They are working hard to lock us into their system and lock us out of choices.

Will the cracking of the copy protection on the Blu-ray discs brings some choice back, not only to Chinese pirates but also average users? Who knows? The game is still on.

All I see is that one important talking point for why Macs are better has been lost. LEM

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