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by Franki

If recent news from the UK is correct, then Intel are trying to quietly slip hardware DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology onto their users. Why is that bad? You ask. Well, DRM can mean handing control of your rights over to record or movie companies. They will be the ones that get to force what they consider to be fair use” onto users. Apparently Intel is not talking details, they have admitted that the DRM technology is in there, they just are not telling us what it does or how. I’d imagine the reason for that is out of fear of the same sort of public outrage that happened when Intel introduced the retrievable CPU unique serial number some years back. It is suspected that the next version of Windows will contain DRM features throughout, tied to hardware where possible.

If PC and software makers are going to continue to dictate what I can and cannot do with my own PC, then I’m going to buy the fastest dual core AMD chip I can find that has not yet had any DRM features added and build a system running a nice clean DRM free copy of Linux and leave it at that. To hell with any company that would try to dictate what I can and cannot do with products I’ve legally bought. I’ve often thought that, contrary to popular opinion the record and movie companies, along with many software companies love the digital revolution. Why? Well because there were just too many freedoms they could not remove from analogue audio and video by the nature of the formats themselves that they can strip away quite easily from digital formats. I suppose that the alternative is to move to France, where the movie and music companies are having a much harder time convincing the courts that users have no right to have rights. I don’t swap music or movies, I don’t even run any peer to peer software and I’ve never sat in a movie theatre holding a camcorder. I just want to be able to play music and movies I buy on the electronic devices I’ve also bought. That includes in the car, on the phone/PDA, and on my dozen or so PC’s. Is it so wrong to want this?

DRM is not bad in and of itself, used correctly it stands a good chance of improving user security and reducing several of the problems we as net citizens face on a daily basis. The problem is that when you put so much power in the hands of hardware and software manufacturers, that power is nearly always eventually used against the user. Lets face it, if a record company were to go to a “software” company and say “We’ll give you 30 million dollars a year to use your software/hardware DRM system to make sure that people can’t back up any digital music bought from us”, there is a good chance that your rights have just been handed to the record company. Technically they can do that already without hardware, but when you add hardware to the equation, you’ve just created a system that is much harder to get around. If movie and record companies really want to do this, they should be charging far less for their digital copies then they currently are. I can buy a CD and manually rip it (not legally in Australia because we don’t have “fair use” laws) and use it on my car stereo, my music player etc, but using DRM digital data, I must apparently buy copies for each device, which works out much more expensive then just buying the CD and ripping it myself. If they want to make DRM fair, they should be charging 10 or 20 cents per song rather then the online extortion they have going now. It’s been proven time and again that software DRM isn’t infallible, the number of times Itunes and other services have had their DRM broken is quite surprising, but when hardware comes into the picture it will be considerably harder to work around, so your rights will be what they tell you your rights are. That’s just not good enough for me. I’ve not been a fan of Intel for many years. Back when I worked for IT wholesalers I discovered that Intel’s marketing is far more important to them then their technology and that were it not for AMD (and before them Cyrix), we’d all be paying much more for our PC’s then we do now. The problem here is that AMD are apparently going to be jumping on the “Trustworthy computing” bandwagon as well. Unless the governments step in with specific laws dictating what rights they can take from users, we’re all in trouble. They are slipping this past users using security as the bait, but rest assured their is much more to DRM what you won’t hear them touting to the public until it’s too late to do anything about it. You can read more about the issues involved in DRM on’s DRM page.

Intel have since denied any hidden DRM in the 945 chipset. They say that they support many types of content protection and plan to support more, but that there is nothing hidden.

2 Responses to “Intel, slyly forcing DRM on the PC world.”

  1. Mike Says:

    Nice post.

  2. Says:

    Honestly I like to visit this website because I always got best useful content from it. I am thankful to an author for sharing always informative blogs with us.

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