[clug] A most interesting read, most interesting

Sam Couter sam at couter.id.au
Wed Dec 27 11:10:06 GMT 2006

Michael Cohen <michael.cohen at netspeed.com.au> wrote:
> That depends on the amount of the market they will be happy with - if a
> manufacturer has sufficient turn over to cater to 70% of the market, while
> catering to the other 30% costs them more than they could justify, they will
> simply leave the last 30% behind.

Yes, and that's the reason why the 95% Windows-only share of the market is
enough. Change the numbers to 70/30 and the situation is very different.

> The so called "secure multimedia path" you refer to is a legal path not a
> technological path.

No, it's a technological path. They're trying to restrict the ability to
make perfect digital copies of media. The next step is watermarking and
such, to close the analog hole.

Vista claims to provide secure media services of some kind, including
encryption of video on the PCI Express bus on its way to the video card.


My quick Google search hasn't turned up anything further, but I've read in
the past about standards that include encryption of the signal on the video
cable between the video card and the monitor.

> Even a closed source os such as windows has a well
> documented driver interface, and it is always possible to do what you describe.

Except when the closed source operating system vendor makes it not

> It is impossible to stop anyone from technically circumventing a DRM software -

This I agree with - DRM is fatally flawed for a few different reasons.

> The GPL has nothing to do with making it impossible to create the "secure
> multimedia path" you descrive

I was not clear enough in my statement.

The GPL is all about putting control of software in the hands of the
users, not the vendors.

Linux is released under the GPL, and as such it puts control in the hands
of the users, not the vendors.

The GPL does not make a secure multimedia path impossible. Open source
operating systems such as Linux make it impossible.

> as most likely any DRM software released for
> linux would not be shipped as part of the GPL or any other open source license.

It would be impossible to ship effective DRM software with source code,
I think. And certainly pointless, since the software is no use without
the keys.

> I absolutely agree with you about the moral reason and would definitely hope
> this was a legal reason too - but unfortunately by the introduction of DMCA and
> USTA legislation to Australia the law does not seem to be aligned with morals
> :-(.

If this is true it would not surprise me at all. In fact, I'd be surprised
if the law *were* aligned with morals on this point.
Sam Couter         |  mailto:sam at couter.id.au
                   |  jabber:sam at teknohaus.dyndns.org
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