I'm really bothered by the reports coming out that future intel processors will have DRM support baked in. A few thoughts.

- AMD will have to match them to retain compatibility. So there's no competition here.

- How does this affect the rumours that Apple is considering switching to Intel?

- It's only support. And it will have to be added to with DRM software that uses the processor instructions. So it won't have any effect until MS (and others) actually use it in some future version of WMP, REAL and others.

- It's hard to see how it could have any effect on files that do *not* have DRM baked in. It's impossible for the processor to tell the difference between a public domain file with no DRM and a coprighted file with no DRM. So once the DRM in a file is broken and it's turned into something that is clean, the processor won't make it any easier to restrict distribution. And since *all* DRM gets broken eventually it doesn't actually change the landscape any.

- Which means that this is nothing more than an Intel-Microsoft (Apple?) ploy to convince the government-entertainment-military-industrial complex that this time the DRM really is secure. Really.

- And as with so many other of these cases, it's really, really hard to see why the technology industry is in such a rush to deliberately hobble their products to support another industry with a broken business model. And the only answer I can see is that the technology industry is now one and the same as the entertainment industry. It's not us vs them. It's them vs them. And as such Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Real, (Dell, etc, etc) apparently hate their customers just as much as Sony-EMI and all the content copyright owners.

And the solution to all this is the same one it's been for some time now (like back to 1985).

Just Say No To DRM

As customers we should vote with our feet and pockets. And just refuse to buy their deliberately hobbled products. If there's a source of non-DRM music, we should use that instead of their rip-off aid download or subscription download services. If they try to sell us DRMed CDs, we should take them back and complian that they don't work. If Tivo or Sky+ or whoever change their rules on us after buying the product we should send it back and sue them for breach of terms, lying in their advertising and selling a product that is not fit for use. We should never buy a region encoded DVD player. If Intel try to sneak DRM in the backdoor, we should call them on it and buy AMD. If Dell will only sell us an Intel based box with DRM, we should switch to Lenovo.

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[ 05-Jun-05 9:00am ] [ ]