Fred von Lohmann (EFF) Gets The Idea About Microsoft and DRM!

Why Microsoft is sucking up to Hollywood (and selling us out) | JD Lasica at Darknet has posted an interesting bit from Fred von Lohmann, an EFF attorney.  Most of this sounds shocking familiar to points I have argued in the past.  Everyone should really take a look.


I agree with almost the entire article, except the “selling us out” part in the title.  I still say that Microsoft is thinking of the consumer by developing the framework in their OS to allow the content into the PC.


The other point I don’t agree with is this comment…”(Of course, MSFT may also have its own reasons to want access to Hollywood stuff, insofar as it would distinguish their platform from Linux, which will never play Hollywood DRMd content.)”.  I don’t have any good ideas for implementing a secure system for Linux playback, but Microsoft can’t lock anyone else out from developing a system for allow playback.  As I have said, the content protection systems designate the bar that must be cleared for a company to ship a product that will allow playback.  Microsoft doesn’t play much of a roll (or any role in most cases) in the basic content protection rules.  They actually try to get the content owners to open the systems up to allow new features on the PC (and CE devices).

2 thoughts on “Fred von Lohmann (EFF) Gets The Idea About Microsoft and DRM!

  1. Glad to hear we agree. Of course, the only reason Hollywood now has the ability to force technology companies to employ DRM is the legal changes wrought by the DMCA. And last time I checked, MSFT was not lobbying for DMCA reform, despite the fact that a variety of other technology companies (and the CEA) have seen the light. So I’d say MSFT, by implementing DRM, is hardly doing consumers a favor here.

    Anyhow, here’s a <a href="">better link</a> direct to my thoughts (rather than on JD Lasica’s site).

  2. Thanks for the comments Fred!

    In your mind, if Microsoft would enable consumers to play the content (play along with Hollywood) and lobby for DMCA reform at the same time it would be better?

    Risking their building relationship with the content owners would surely lead to them not wanting to work with Microsoft or developing systems that leave the PC out of the game entirely.

    If that happens, the consumer and Microsoft both lose (as if they both ever win). Microsoft can’t build a system to enable playback, and thus the consumer can’t play the content on their PC. This can’t be considered putting the consumer first, can it?

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