[clug] A most interesting read, most interesting

Sam Couter sam at couter.id.au
Wed Dec 27 20:05:22 GMT 2006

Michael Cohen <michael.cohen at netspeed.com.au> wrote:
> Sam, this sort of thing has been talked about for yonks. Its not going to work
> any better than the current system, because somewhere, the data is present in
> an unencrypted form in order to be presented to a human neural sensor of some
> kind.

And this is one reason why DRM is fatally flawed, but they will still
try it. And it will still be a pain in the arse and illegal for us to
get unrestricted access to the media we've paid for.

> Encrypting the signal between the DVD rom and the monitor will simply
> move the clear text data to the monitor (i.e. you might need to patch signal
> lines inside the monitor). 

The signal lines will be cast in blobs of epoxy, or the electronics will
self-destruct if the case is opened, etc.

> Apart from this, This proposition is obviously ludicrous because you will be
> unable to watch any video on monitors which do not support such encryption.

Isn't there a big fuss going on at the moment about HDMI or something
for exactly that reason? People bought these high-def TV sets, but now
it looks like high-def equipment is going to refuse to send them a
high-def signal. Sorry, fuzzy on the details through lack of care.

> These were then so popular that today almost every dvd
> player sold is multi-region. In fact its a fact which most players advertise as
> a feature!!!

I think the DVD consortium may have relaxed this requirement because
some jurisdictions (including Australia) required that a DVD player be
multi-region capable.

> Sam, the fact that an OS is closed source only makes it a little more difficult
> to figure out where to tap the data. Recent advances in reverse engineering
> show that not having the source code is not that big a hurdle - see for example
> the book Rootkits by Greg Hoglund, James Butler which describes a technique
> called Direct Kernel Object Manipulation, where they are able to manipulate
> internal NT kernel data structures to an absolutely amazing degree using only
> reverse engineered knowledge about the internals of the windows kernel.

Vista (maybe only 64-bit versions) doesn't allow this. It detects kernel
object manipulation and shuts down. Only signed drivers are allowed, and
as a user you don't get a say in it.

> Rather than having to reverse engineer every DRM application's way of doing
> things, just reverse the windows API implementation, and in one swoop you can
> circumvent _all_ DRM applications using this API. Whats more is that the MS api
> will be well documented so you will have a great start.

Yes, just like having the GnuPG source code available makes it easy for
me to reverse engineer and decrypt any encrypted messages I

The important part of DRM isn't the software, it's the keys.

> How does this statement follow from the previous two? I dont quite understand
> what you are saying here. How does the truth of the previous two statements
> imply that DRM on linux can not work? It can work just the same as on windows
> (which we all agree is not very well), because on linux you are still able to
> release software without source code and not under the GPL. Just because the
> rest of the system is GPL doesnt mean every piece of software has to be.

Easier driver access, for one. Also, no secure media path, which is
coming with Windows.
Sam Couter         |  mailto:sam at couter.id.au
                   |  jabber:sam at teknohaus.dyndns.org
OpenPGP fingerprint:  A46B 9BB5 3148 7BEA 1F05  5BD5 8530 03AE DE89 C75C
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