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Microsoft and labels in talks about copy protection and Longhorn

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 17 Sep 2004 16:21 User comments (8)

Microsoft and labels in talks about copy protection and Longhorn Microsoft and a group of recording labels are in discussion about how the next generation of the Windows Operating System, codenamed Longhorn, will support Copy Protected CDs. Labels, led mainly by EMI are creating a "wish list" of features they would like to see in the next Operating Systems and Microsoft have set their own guidelines for the labels, but have not made any major promises yet. Neither side would like to implement features and rules that would provoke a consumer backlash.
If you look closely at modern copy protection technologies, you will quickly notice the problems. For example, some CDs have purposely damaged sectors that can prevent ripping tracks and also cause CD copying to fail. Some technologies prevent the CD from being read in CD and DVD drives altogether, but this type of protection has met the most opposition from consumers. The latest protections include CDs that come with software that automatically runs, preventing users from copying the CD. Since this technology doesn't really interact with the Operating System itself, it can easily be bypassed. Some have been bypassed as easy as holding down the shift key after inserting the CD.

An ideal system for the labels would be a technology that would recognize the CD and read the rules and instructions from it. Such rules may include the amount of times a CD can be copied, or perhaps even more complicated, the amount of tracks that can be copied and to what medium. Would such a copy protection technology manage to escape consumers who are believers in fair use? Also, the labels would prefer if the system wasn't completely relying on Microsoft technology. Windows is not the labels only targeted Operating System, discussions between Apple and Labels already took place. The Labels are hoping that a system could be as user friendly as Apple's iTunes music store.

Microsoft is to meet representatives from the Recording Industry Association of America on September 20th to discuss the requests on the wish list.


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8 user comments

117.9.2004 16:39


217.9.2004 16:47

LINUX here I come.. Adios Longhorn. We hardly knew ye..

317.9.2004 22:14

Alot more people would be using a nix flavour if there were more programs available for the average user. But currently, programs like Nero and DVD Shrink are not supported. Im sure now that this is happening, more programs will be developed for nix and alot more people will start using. RedHat or Fedora Core seem to be the best, as they have alot of good features, but still the programs are the reason people aint using it. CJC

418.9.2004 4:12

The problem isn't so much that the programs aren't there, there is a linux version of just about anything you really want (or if not, there is a project going to implement it), the main hurdle is installing it for most computer users. The main drawcards for computer savvy users (installing from source, having to authorise executable code etc) are the same things that deter a lot of people from my experience, but things are improving with RPMs etc. Its just a matter of time before the momentum behind linux starts growing exponentially... Microsoft had better be worried...

518.9.2004 10:03

Just another example of what happens when you get two of the biggest monopolies together to decide on new ways to subvert and control the consumer. And you thought the DMCA was bad.

619.9.2004 14:20

well, if you think about it, AnyDVD would be able to get past this, as it gets to the CD/DVD even BEFORE the OS does. :)

719.9.2004 15:06

Well yeah, but who's to say that won't change under Longhorn? That is the whole idea of these talks that are going on at the moment, is to work out OS based copy protection schemes... Which is why Linux will probably be the only winner out of them...

819.9.2004 15:06

LOL, just found out that Microsoft has dropped its much touted WinFS from the Longhorn project. GO VAPORWARE!

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