When the inevitable happens, is it really news? – Tales from the Crypto

When the inevitable happens, is it really news?

The BBC has an article about the cracking of Microsoft’s DRM protections for Windows Media format files.

As I’ve mentioned before, “DRM works in exactly one scenario: when the owner of the rights also controls the behaviour of those subject to DRM”.

Because the music producers have no effective recourse to punish music purchasers for software they might install on their systems, or changes they might make to data, there is effectively no barrier to the purchasers’ ability to circumvent DRM – it may be merely a matter of intercepting the DRM software at a point after it has accepted the licence, and saving that state.

Personally, I believe that this is a good thing – when you sell me software or music, I should be able to move that software or music from one medium to another, so that I don’t end up with the situation I complained about last month, of having to find a way to get a duplicate of something that the manufacturer no longer wishes to sell me (but which I still have rights to possess).

DRM for the home is doomed to failure – over and over again.

I’ll predict it now – whatever change Microsoft makes to their DRM to overcome this, it will either be hopelessly intolerable to use, or it will be broken inside of a year – and there will be a new news item on the topic.

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