Tuesday, September 26, 2006

HDTV comes with a big pile of DRM baggage

The new HD technologies include anti-user nasties like "renewability" -- the ability to remotely disable some or all of the device's features without your permission. If someone, somewhere, figures out how to use your DVD burner to make copies of Hollywood movies, they can switch off *everyone's* burner, punishing a limitless number of innocents to get at a few guilty parties.

The HD DRM systems also include gems like "selectable output control" -- wherein? some programs will refuse to be played on some devices. As you flip up and down the dial, parts of your home theater will go dark. Creepier still is "authorized domain" -- the ability to flag content so that it can only be played within a "household," where the studios get to define what is and isn't a valid living arrangement.



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