interesting read

Charles Curley charlescurley at
Wed Dec 27 17:42:29 MST 2006

On Wed, Dec 27, 2006 at 04:28:02PM -0700, Corey Edwards wrote:
> On Wed, 2006-12-27 at 15:44 -0700, brian at wrote:
> > I just hope that  
> > Linux doesn't have to implement this AES-128 bit encryption to talk to  
> > the hardware.
> That's the only question I have. If HDMI or SPDIF outputs won't work
> with drivers that don't speak this encrypted nonsense, that would be a
> true shame. I'm sure that's what Hollywood wants. It baffles me why the
> tech industry is bowing to their whims. 

It isn't the entire tech industry, although there are likely plenty of
companies that will go along with it. All of these increased costs
mean higher barriers to entry for upstarts. Like a New York City
taxi medallion, it reduces competition. As Adam Smith pointed out,
whenever two (or more) businessmen get together, they conspire against
the public.

However, more important is Microsoft's reason for doing this. The
author made his guess on that very clear:

    The only reason I can imagine why Microsoft would put its
    programmers, device vendors, third-party developers, and
    ultimately its customers, through this much pain is because once
    this copy protection is entrenched, Microsoft will completely own
    the distribution channel.

If true, Microsoft is thinking like an entertainment distributor, not
a software company. Which is interesting: it suggests that Microsoft
already knows that its hold on the desktop is toast, and wants to
switch industries.

I can't think of a better swimming pool of sharks for Microsoft to
jump into than the entertainment industry. If you think Microsoft's
business practices are shady, take a close look at the entertainment
biz. And these guys are not accustomed to having monopolies all the
time, nor to having fat cash cows. Watch to see how well Microsoft
does with the Xbox this time around.


Charles Curley                  /"\    ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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