AfterDawn: Tech news

Vista gets a public challenge on its DRM schemes

Written by Dave Horvath @ 10 Aug 2007 8:44 User comments (33)

Vista gets a public challenge on its DRM schemes The folks over at Microsoft have got an uphill battle when it comes to high-definition content and their Windows Vista product. Computer researcher and author of a paper outlining the shortcomings of Vista entitled "The longest suicide note in history", Peter Gutmann argued over Vista's content protection and DRM standards at a symposium in Boston on wednesday.
Gutmann had brought up that Vista appears to be so locked down with DRM standards that users are finding it impossible to view any HD content from their machines if they do not specifically meet Microsoft's strict standards. One of these standards are a graphics card that supports HDCP or High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, a form of DRM developed by Intel. If a user does not have a graphics card that actively supports HDCP, their premium high-definition content, whether obtained legally, recorded with their own high-definition equipment or otherwise, is throttled in quality and displayed at much less than high-definition.

Microsoft acknowledged that the quality of content labeled as premium would be lowered if it were requested by the copyright holders, namely the movie stuidos. However, Microsofts content protection scheme is so strict that its even forcing legally obtained and legally recorded high-definition content to be cut back. Microsoft defended this action stating that its merely a common feature in many different playback devices.

Gutmann also outlined that the price of hardware for PCs is rising exponentially because vendors can't approve Vista compatible drivers that meet the strict security requirements. One requirement that the vendors must adhere to is getting a driver to pass standards set forth by not only Microsoft, but film studios such as MGM, 20th Century Fox, and Disney in the form of written approval. One thing Gutmann outlined in his presentation was a case where graphics card maker ATI met problems developing drivers that were Vista compatible due to ever changing content protection schemes set forth by Microsoft. After many delays, ATI finally released a driver that inevitably crashed Vista when loaded and had to halt upgrade schedules set forth by Dell and Gateway.

Gutmann argued in his statement that Microsoft developed Vista with the sole intention of appeasing Hollywood and perhaps gained some form of monetary compensation for their efforts. He feels that they should have focused more on securing the user from malicious attacks on the Internet than shielding the users from themselves.

Source:
PC World

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33 user comments

110.8.2007 10:42
WierdName
Inactive

Wow, someone confronted microsucks on their multi-million dollar error... And go figure microsucks denied it.

210.8.2007 11:11

I would really want M$ to go bankrupt....but, we all know that that will never happen :(. We should raise funds to hire a hitman so that Bill has an accident...

310.8.2007 11:54

I can see Vista flopping like Windows ME if this keeps up.

The Film and Music Industry is starting to cause a serious issue with technology advancement. Almost as bad as the Oil Industry...

410.8.2007 12:22
nobrainer
Inactive

Originally posted by WierdName:
Wow, someone confronted microsucks on their multi-million dollar error... And go figure microsucks denied it.
As stated by prof gutmann, it is the movie studios that have forced their drm onto vista to protect their movies, the same is apparent with hd-dvd but aacs is broken beyond repair now as the hexadecimals can be obtained rather easily and blu-ray but blu-ray goes even further with the implementation of bd+.

and output devices are also having to support hdcp even though many current monitors support well over the 1920 by 1080 resolution required of full hd, you are not allowed to view the material according to aacs la, blu-ray association, mpaa (sony, disney ect) unless you purchase all new hardware hobbled by hollywood.

but i suppose they can sell more bravias this way!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Aug 2007 @ 12:24

510.8.2007 14:07

The way to challenge all this DRM, is with the mighty dollar. Don't buy it.
We have to teach ourselves even tho we want it, if it has DRM, don't buy it. Then when the business gets backed up, and sales are not happening, the powers that be, will take a second look at their business model.

until that happens, we will have to deal with all this DRM crap.

610.8.2007 14:12
armorthis
Inactive

Vista is the worst OS...it has horrible compatibility issues with next to everything. The interface is a pain in the a$$ and to top it all off, they make you go through this bullsh!t with HD.

710.8.2007 15:11

Originally posted by armorthis:
Vista is the worst OS...it has horrible compatibility issues with next to everything. The interface is a pain in the a$$ and to top it all off, they make you go through this bullsh!t with HD.
I gotta say Vista is probably worse than when ME came out. Atleast ME functioned simular to Win98, with less than stellar stability. With vista, hardware companies can't get a driver to work with Vista half the time. It's going to drive PC costs back up for the next 5 years till the next release.

810.8.2007 15:16
WierdName
Inactive

I think the problem with the drivers and incompatibility, etc. is that microsucks just assumed that everyone had/has top of the line hardware with cutting edge everything. Then, ironically, they also put out corporate versions. That being ironic because businesses would be the last people to have computers with top of the line hardware because all they need is just something to get the job done.

910.8.2007 15:19

The only advantage I can see in Vista is that it looks betetr than XP. Other than that, it feels lkike a total piece of crap.

I hate that we as a consumer are being forced into decisions that we do not want to make. What happened to the days of where what the consumers wanted dictated what the manufactures produced?

1010.8.2007 15:25
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by Unfocused:
What happened to the days of where what the consumers wanted dictated what the manufactures produced?
That went out the door when the companies money came in with large enough numbers to not give a crap what the consumer wants.

1110.8.2007 15:29
AXT
Inactive

Vista is good if you have the right hardware. Too bad most people's computers are just not up to par to run vista properly. Then once again i have never watched HD content on my computer, that's what an LCD tv is for.

1210.8.2007 15:32
deadlove
Inactive

Looks like people really need to take a long hard look at what they want from a PC.

Reality dictates that 80% of the worlds PC users can't afford state of the art equipment just to run an OS. The last numbers I saw about internet use showed more computers running 98 than were running vista.
It's also no coincidence that the cracks to DRM tend to come from poor countries, of people who can't just run out and buy new hardware every 12 months.

I see lots of what were XP laptops being sold with vista home basic.. they run like crap, are slow and seem to hang all the time (just like an old p2 with 128 ram trying to run XP)
These machines will run just about every linux going flawlessly, but the retailers are all tied in to the M$ anti-competitive business plan.

Heres the sign of the new world http://computershopper.com/feature/build...snt-suck-200707
And before all the kids who have brand new vista equipped dual core 2 gig machines start whining the old fanboy stuff just remember.. 5% of the world uses 80% of the resources. Most people don't need any higher performance than they can get from 5 year old hardware... They are being conned with bullsh*t that they must have this and that new stuff all the time. It's unsustainable, and luckily I will be dead before it really hits home and the current world economic system crashes down.

this message posted from a 486 DX2 running damnsmalllinux at a screen resolution of 800X600 32 bit hi-colour using dillo


1310.8.2007 16:51
duckNrun
Inactive

I've been a windows user from way back in the day and before that I was a commodore man (lol). With that said I have no interest in Vista. The only thing I see it offering me is DX10 which now updated to DX10.1 has broken all the current high end DX10 hardware.

For a while I have been investigating Linux, have sampled a very few live cd distro's I d/l for free (big selling point free!)

I have currently thought of my two next builds being this: A linux system that connects to the web (for the added 'true' security) and a windows system that runs 'in house' for games and such. I know that current linux configs can do my home theater and media server stuff but can they do the HD stuff?

My current system is a HTPC that IS my tv, stereo etc and until my bulb burned out was hooked up to my projector but am now thinking of switching to a HDTV lcd or plasma display and only using the PJ for movie watching to extend the bulb life.

But I digress... even with the 'added' benefit that vista provides gaming I am in no rush to go out and get it, even though I am looking at a bleeding edge pc build in the near future. I am just really hoping/holding out that Vista crumbles away and a patch is made for DX10 that makes it not necessary for the upgrade for me to continue to game where I want to.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Aug 2007 @ 16:55

1410.8.2007 17:32

Originally posted by ugc:
The way to challenge all this DRM, is with the mighty dollar. Don't buy it.
We have to teach ourselves even tho we want it, if it has DRM, don't buy it. Then when the business gets backed up, and sales are not happening, the powers that be, will take a second look at their business model.

until that happens, we will have to deal with all this DRM crap.
This is true. But the problem is that the general public has no idea. When have you read about this in the newspaper or seen it on the news. Until the word spreads, Vista is going to sell.

1510.8.2007 20:14

The problem is you won't see this type of thing reported in the general media! Why? Take a general guess as to who owns most of the media outlets! Just do an online search for your "favorite" media conglomerates. Lots of sheeple in the world who won't know until it affects their high dollar home entertainment setup. By then will it be too late?.......

1611.8.2007 1:27

Originally posted by Blackjax:
The problem is you won't see this type of thing reported in the general media! Why? Take a general guess as to who owns most of the media outlets! Just do an online search for your "favorite" media conglomerates. Lots of sheeple in the world who won't know until it affects their high dollar home entertainment setup. By then will it be too late?.......
MSNBC. Hmm, I wonder what that stands for. I don't have a clue, but I'm pretty sure they only have good news about Microsoft.

1711.8.2007 5:43

Although M$ implements HDCP, it is the folks at Hollywood that demand it be used in every HD app including HDDVD players, Cable Cards and PC's. You can thank them for its conception and implementation. M$ is only too happy to comply since I bet there are lucrative licensing deals at stake.

As for HDCP on the PC, it has already been broken. A simple app by the name of AnyDVD will remove the need for HDCP from HDDVD's and Blu-Ray disks. Unfortunately, only 2 software players exist to actually play back HD content. They too have the HDCP limitations imposed by Hollywood.

I feel the concern over 'Vista' DRM is overblown. I can do with Vista what I could with any other OS in the M$ line. You just need the right tools to do so.

1811.8.2007 5:52

I have a new HP Media Center PC with two DVI outputs. Know where that second output is connected to? I have my HDCP compliant Samsung 40" 1080P connected to it. Everything works well, it just took a bit of learning to hone the config the way I wanted it.

Originally posted by AXT:
Vista is good if you have the right hardware. Too bad most people's computers are just not up to par to run vista properly. Then once again i have never watched HD content on my computer, that's what an LCD tv is for.

1911.8.2007 17:46

I'm in the IT World.

From a corporate point of view, through large corporate resellers, its difficult to purchase a PC with XP Pro now. Vista is being forced on us. You will not have a choice soon. Microsucks will drop their support and updates. When u depend on a company like microsoft, they OWN you when it comes to your computing.

Its time for OPEN Source to Rule the World. Support it. Try it. You will be surpised how much money you can save. If you don't need games, then u are set. You can run a small, medium or large business with Free open source software.

Ubuntu would be one example. Easy to use as well.
You will save money with both software and hardware requirments. Open your eyes.

2012.8.2007 0:38

I don't depend on support for M$ now. If I bought a computer, I would put it together myself, and install XP on it with a disc I have now.

2112.8.2007 1:06

@mightyone
here here on open source!!!!!! I've played with several including ubuntu, which is now on my server. A little work to learn and maintain but my server is yet to crash as it did with a m$ product.

I'm not IT per se but I am in the telecom sector. I feel your pain I bet you have to wipe the hdd on all the computers and ghost xp back on!....until

2217.8.2007 18:10

Hey well done to him cause someone needed to take them on cause Vista has so many problems now some one needs to get rid of all these ristrictions.

2317.8.2007 21:11

will never ever get vista, and support for xp will last at least another 5 years, thats fine with me, in another 5 years something new and better will come along.

2418.8.2007 12:03
southrb
Inactive

Computer techs throughout the world are laughing all the way to the bank,as they are being paid by customers to wipe vista off of their customers machines (preloaded) and replace with their already licensed winxp.

2519.8.2007 18:22

I am using Ubuntu 7.04 as I type right now. I will be reloading my WINXP after I install my new hard drive (the old one died), but I haven't missed it all week except for my tv tuner card not having drivers (it was a really cheap card; I was gonna upgrade it eventually anyway). I am gonna be very happy to be rid of MS software.

2620.8.2007 6:36

Buy expensive Hi-def hardware and content and then have to put up with lower quality? WTF?
Letting the motion picture/record industries dictate DRM decisions is like allowing politicians to manage a war. It's a promised failure.
Microsoft and hardware developers need to step up to the plate and TELL the entertainment lackeys how things will be run, not the other way around. I know Microsoft can do this. They tell end users what they will get all the time!
IF MS decided not to support Hi-Def at all the entertainment industry would $hit a brick!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Aug 2007 @ 6:36

2720.8.2007 7:51

Can some hackers please remove this DRM garbage from Vista? I have HD-DVD movies and they look like crap on my tv because my brand new video card isn't hdcp compliant! I have new computer, hdtv, video card, yet I'm forced to watch HD movies in low res! WTF!

2820.8.2007 8:05

Originally posted by editmon:
Microsoft and hardware developers need to step up to the plate and TELL the entertainment lackeys how things will be run, not the other way around. I know Microsoft can do this. They tell end users what they will get all the time!
Would be hard to do if the MS execs own stock in Paramount, Disney and Sony Pictures :-P It's all about the Benjamins baby. MPAA are the shot-callers.

2921.8.2007 11:39

all versions of vista have already been hack no drm,no trace ware.Im runing xp pro lite its only 320mb install and it rocks.all versions of v
can be found on torrent sites download it and tell ms f**k off.

3021.8.2007 11:58

Download AnyDVD by SlySoft (about $80). It will scan the HDDVD and remove the copy protection and allow you software player to play in full resolution.

Originally posted by BludRayne:
Can some hackers please remove this DRM garbage from Vista? I have HD-DVD movies and they look like crap on my tv because my brand new video card isn't hdcp compliant! I have new computer, hdtv, video card, yet I'm forced to watch HD movies in low res! WTF!

3121.8.2007 12:06

BTW, the HDCP/AACS copy schemes are not specific to Vista. They exist in any HDDVD player, audio reciver and HD tv set. Also, the 'DRM' isn't really coming from Vista but required from the software players to play back the HD content. Vista just 'plays along' and facilitates or bridges the connection between your software and your hardware.

People need to be clear on that so they know where to break the chain and view their content.

3221.8.2007 13:01
webe123
Inactive

Originally posted by nesNYC:
BTW, the HDCP/AACS copy schemes are not specific to Vista. They exist in any HDDVD player, audio reciver and HD tv set. Also, the 'DRM' isn't really coming from Vista but required from the software players to play back the HD content. Vista just 'plays along' and facilitates or bridges the connection between your software and your hardware.

People need to be clear on that so they know where to break the chain and view their content.

Which is exactly why people should stay clear of pre-recorded HD disks that the movie studios put out. Most prefer regular DVD anyway.

3321.8.2007 13:31

In a few years when prices come down, I think the movie studios will do away with the old dvd format. Also in time as analog tv gets phased out we'll see more people gravitate to hd. It's only a matter of time. Learn now so you don't have to bitch later ;)

Originally posted by webe123:
Originally posted by nesNYC:
BTW, the HDCP/AACS copy schemes are not specific to Vista. They exist in any HDDVD player, audio reciver and HD tv set. Also, the 'DRM' isn't really coming from Vista but required from the software players to play back the HD content. Vista just 'plays along' and facilitates or bridges the connection between your software and your hardware.

People need to be clear on that so they know where to break the chain and view their content.

Which is exactly why people should stay clear of pre-recorded HD disks that the movie studios put out. Most prefer regular DVD anyway.

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