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New Consortium to Push UDI and Include DRM 264

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-noes-not-another-format dept.
MarsGov writes "Intel, Apple, Samsung, LG, Nat Semi and Silicon Image formed a consortium to promote Unified Display Interface (UDI) as the new standard to connect computers to monitors and TVs. UDI will be HDMI and HDCP "anti-piracy" compatible. "
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New Consortium to Push UDI and Include DRM

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:06PM (#14309496)
    So much of the computer industry today is based on preventing competition. Software patents, DRM, DMCA lawsuits for interoperating with others' software... (Though reverse-engineering for interoperability was supposed to be allowed, just look at Blizzard and bnetd to see how this turned out in practice.)

    Does anyone really think hardware manufacturers are promoting DRM to fight "piracy"? Kind-hearted, generous manufacturers just looking out for the poor little media industry? No, they are racing to be the first with a de-facto DRM system everyone has to use, so that they can license their DRM and be the toll-collectors for all digital communication. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Whether a sufficient majority of corporations ends up accepting one of the DRM systems, or Congress ends up enacting one of them as law, it has virtually nothing to do with stopping "piracy" and everything to do with eliminating competitors, both in the hardware and media industries.
    • by warmcat (3545) * on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:20PM (#14309654)
      AIUI all of these gatekeeper DRM technologies only operate when taking media that tells them to operate. So if you buy a HD "DVD" in 2006 it may not output at HD if it doesn't like your pre-crypto HD TV, but if you hook up your HD camera footage to your TV then it will operate correctly at the highest resolution.

      Therefore the features ARE in there to please the locked-up content creators, and to get their systems blessed by those content creators so they will allow their content to interface to it and the systems will sell.

      That's an important distinction because nothing in these locked up media systems prevents the creation of alternative liberally licensed media: there is no "toll collector" aspect to it I can see.

      If you don't like the way the locked-up media is being increasingly locked up, just think "What would rms do?"
      • by IAmTheDave (746256) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {ds-evademanesab}> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:42PM (#14309846) Homepage Journal
        Therefore the features ARE in there to please the locked-up content creators, and to get their systems blessed by those content creators so they will allow their content to interface to it and the systems will sell.

        See, that's not entirely true. In fact, hardware has the capability to ignore DRM, which is why the entertainment industry is always trying to get laws passed that REQUIRE hardware to consult the DRM in the content before playing said content.

        However, you're right, it is to "please" the industry, because if the industry is "pleased" then that particular brand of DRM will show up in the laws the RI/MP/**/AA write for the protection of the American People, and thus licensing fees will roll in, because, you know, you HAVE to license it or your product breaks laws.

        These companies see DRM as something that is just a truth, and laws will be enacted regarding it, so why fight it, make money licensing it. Or in the case of this consortium, don't license it, but the best offense is defense, so protect yourself from having to pay to license another company's technology. That's the point of this consortium - everyone agree on a standard, and noone will collect while others are paying out the nose.

        • > See, that's not entirely true. In fact, hardware
          > has the capability to ignore DRM, which is why the
          > entertainment industry is always trying to get laws
          > passed that REQUIRE hardware to consult the DRM in
          > the content before playing said content.

          Considering HDTV-type appliances, and not consoles, the laws I heard about all involve a demand (bit, descriptor or whatever) about DRM encoded in the *media* that must be honoured by the players if present.

          Neither the laws nor the DRM apply to med
          • Actually, at the consumer level there are almost never licenses involved. Software is the one exception, and there's still a lot of debate about whether it really involves licensing or if it's just unenforceable doubletalk.

            Additionally, DRM is incapable of making exceptions where the law makes exceptions. This is particularly true where the exception at issue is fair use, since any manner of use is capable of being fair, in the right circumstances. DRM also does not expire when a work enters the public doma
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @01:07PM (#14310077)
        The toll-collector aspect is twofold:

        1) You have to buy hardware with DRM built into it -- otherwise you can't communicate with anyone else who's in the DRM chain.

        Usually this DRM is protected by patents and/or trade-secrets, so every individual piece of hardware needs a license from the IP holder. At the very least, it requires knowledge of private encryption keys and/or registration of public encryption keys with a central authority. This probably won't be a free service, and by definition can't be a public service, otherwise the private keys will be exposed to the public and the system does nothing.

        2) Despite what they tell us, a working DRM system cannot freely permit unscreened content from third-party, independent producers.

        Here's why: if the system allows unflagged media to enter and be displayed normally, it allows an independent content creator to release non-DRM-encumbered content. It also allows anyone with the know-how to bypass the DRM on a single piece of licensed content and re-release it without the DRM. Thereafter, anyone using p2p sharing will just download the re-released, non-DRM version, and it will be appropriately non-flagged as if it were a piece of independent content. Voila, the DRM chain is broken.

        Therefore, the only DRM system that has a chance of working is one that requires all content to be registered in some manner, even if the registration is provided without charge (at a loss) to independent creators. This means you can't distribute your newest novel without going through a corporate/government approval body.

        It's certainly possible no functional DRM system will ever enter widespread use, and I hope this is the case. However, the only functional DRM systems will meet both of the above criteria. In my limited foresight, that is what the DRM supporters are actually attempting, only in small steps at first.

        (I wrote this reply soon after you posted, but Slashdot's excessive anti-anonymity measures have delayed its posting for over 58 minutes. For this reason, I'll be unable to reply again even should your life depend upon a response.)
        • Your analysis is quite right: you will not be able to create open content without paying for patent licenses and keys (directly or indirectly).

          Additionally, however, one should be aware that this is likely no accident: the RIAA and MPAA members are probably more concerned about new competitors entering the market and the distribution of open content than about piracy. So, while the ostensible goal of DRM is to curb privacy, it is ultimately more about creating barriers to entry.
    • No. It is highly likely that future devices will NOT play even non-protected content to a non-DRM display device. This is simply because the circuitry will not talk to the device unless it can negotiate it's DRM encryption. The original poster is quite correct that the designers expect to force every manufacturer to pay for their technology. If they were seriously interested in preventing piracy they would release a totally free design so everybody can build it, with some kind of registry of what keys are l
      • > No. It is highly likely that future devices will NOT play
        > even non-protected content to a non-DRM display device

        What makes you think that this is the case? The laws being mooted involve "Broadcast flags" and so on to indicate protected content that needs the crypto handshake. Do you really think HD camcorders, for example, will be unable to display recorded content at HD resolution?
    • IMO, what is needed in this case is for consumers or technologists, even companies that are innovating new products, to demand that any technology that is written into a law that forces compliance meet certain Open standards. The technology needs to be entirely transparent and open, software interfaces/implementations are provided without any license/copyright/use restrictions. Any hardware is provided with full schematics, fully documented, etc. Any and all processes, technologies, software, algorithms, et
  • HDCP (Score:5, Funny)

    by Landak (798221) <Landak@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:06PM (#14309502) Homepage
    HDCP protection you say? Good thing it's already been broken [macfergus.com] (albeit anonymously). Coming new to you, DRM'd speakers, and your very own set of ContentProtection ((TM)) eyelids!
  • Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:07PM (#14309507)
    It's a felony for me to hook a real monitor up to one of these things, right?
    • Re:Great... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ToasterofDOOM (878240)
      This highlights one of the key problems of DRM. Stop fucking treating your customers like criminals!
      Yes, I have karma to burn
  • Sounds cool (Score:5, Funny)

    by ReformedExCon (897248) <reformed.excon@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:07PM (#14309514)
    I'd love if there were a DRM system that worked invisibly and was effective at both stopping piracy as well as permitting fair usage.

    That would be awesome.
    • There used to be. It was called copyright law. Then large numbers of selfish people decided they were above the law, and it ceased to be as effective at fighting copyright infringement. You can't really blame the media industry for fighting back (though you certainly can challenge their methods and fight to defend your legitimate rights as a user of the content).

      • Re:Sounds cool (Score:2, Insightful)

        by FatMacDaddy (878246)
        "There used to be. It was called copyright law. Then large numbers of selfish people decided they were above the law, and it ceased to be as effective at fighting copyright infringement. You can't really blame the media industry for fighting back (though you certainly can challenge their methods and fight to defend your legitimate rights as a user of the content)."

        Hmmm, your post seems to have gotten scrambled during transmission. I'll fix it up for you.

        There used to be. It was called copyright law.

      • Re:Sounds cool (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mr. Slippery (47854) <`ten.suomafni' `ta' `smt'> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:57PM (#14309984) Homepage
        It was called copyright law. Then large numbers of selfish people decided they were above the law, and it ceased to be as effective at fighting copyright infringement.

        Yeah, it surely was bad when industry decided they were above the law of the land and got Congress to create unconstitutional copyright laws that created eternal monopolies on content to people who weren't the creators of that content. Once citizens saw that copyright was about greed rather than about allowing artists to make a living off their work, it ceased to be effective.

        You can't really blame the media industry for fighting back

        Oh! I'm sorry, I misunderstood you. When you said "above the law" I naturally thought you meant the bastards who have shredded the law of the land in order to maximize their profits, not the guy who wants to make a mix CD for his girlfriend. Yeah, we really have to fight that guy.

      • Re:Sounds cool (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bechthros (714240) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @01:03PM (#14310031) Homepage Journal
        "Then large numbers of selfish people decided they were above the law"

        You're exactly right. And those people were mostly Disney, and the Gershwin heirs. [wikipedia.org] They decided that the words that were in the Constitution regarding copyright and public domain works weren't good enough. So they bribed Mary Bono and some others in Washington into changing the rules, thereby freezing the date at which works enter the public domain.

        So hey. You wanna play rough? That's cool. But it's fucking ON now.
        • We're talking about using DRM that restricts the user's access to content today, not the absurd increases in copyright durations legislated by several national governments recently. Please take your straw man outside the building to burn.

      • Copy prevention is mathematically impossible; this is not a limitation of present technology, but a limitation of the universe. I hope I do not need to explain why.

        Of course you have the added problem that the motivation which encourages consumers to copy content, is exactly the same one that encourages content creators to seek ever more payment for it: the deep-seated Cave-man hunter-gatherer instinct. Twenty thousand years of evolution have not altered the instinct, just created new ways for it to ma
    • I'd love if there were a DRM system that worked invisibly and was effective at both stopping piracy as well as permitting fair usage.
      While you're getting him that Santa, how about bringing me a pony?
  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:08PM (#14309521) Homepage Journal
    Those familiar with my anti-copyright stance will see in this example how terrible copyright legislation is for content creation. The intent of copyright (to give authors a certain time-limited protection over what they create) has been destroyed, and is now controlled solely by a few massive corporations that control almost every form of media.

    UDI is the final step in allowing them to control the old media formats (TV and radio generally). It WILL happen, as Congress and those who control the old formats fail to see that they're outdated and no one cares.

    The Internet blew up, in my opinion, based entirely on people's ability to be heard and to hear others. You're seeing millions of bloggers who write freely in order to be heard, not in order to sell their thoughts by coercing others not to copy them. You see people quoted (not always being referenced either), you see people copying and re-posting, and you're seeing massive "piracy" of every copywritten work. Copyright not only failed, but ignoring it created the biggest form of media in literally years. The Internet is at least two orders of magnitude bigger than all the old-media productions in all of history, combined.

    What is the next step? Major media companies will continue to restrict content, and billions of small content creates will get together in tiny groups and capture that market. Podcasting is replacing the radio for a small percentage today, but in 10 years where will radio be? It will be an overregulated monopoly that no one listens to because it attempts to target too broad a market.

    TV and cable will be another forgotten phenomenon, at least in the way we watch it today. Hundreds of channels of regulated media can not compete with millions of vidcasts, especially as production qualities go up.

    Look, folks, DRM doesn't matter. Communists wanted everyone equal, libertarians wanted everyone free. The Internet offers both side a solution that could never come from law or regulation or mandates -- people able to meet one another's needs, disregarding borders and laws and restrictions that we faced for hundreds of years.

    DRM? Go for it, big producers. I'm finding new forms of entertainment every day, and it doesn't come in a pretty package and it isn't advertised by beautiful people.
    • by ScentCone (795499) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:29PM (#14309729)
      DRM? Go for it, big producers. I'm finding new forms of entertainment every day, and it doesn't come in a pretty package and it isn't advertised by beautiful people.

      You do seem to forget that billions of people actually like pretty packages and beautiful people, and that's why they pirate the work in those forms, performed by those beautiful people. Some people even take on projects that they can only afford to produce if they know that they can sell their work for actual, spendable money. People who deliberately seek out bar bands, dinner theater actors, and street magicians for their entertainment always have been able to, and always will be able to. People who want to see what someone with the budget for a cast of thousands, exotic locations, thousands of CGI processors chugging away, etc., aren't going to go away. But the people producing works like that can't do so if everything they do is ripped off. That doesn't matter to you, because you don't like that sort of entertainment. Which, is fine, since the people you do like aren't worried about the cash flow anyway, and even if you do buy media from such people, they probably wouldn't want to stamp their data as rights-managed, lest they offend you and their other fan.
      • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:38PM (#14309812) Homepage Journal
        Actually, I love big productions. My lady and I go to other cities all over the world to see them live, and we attend film festivals to see them first.

        When Serenity came out in theaters, I liked the plot so much I went 4 times (x2). When the DVD came out yesterday, I bought one copy for myself and 6 for presents. Yet when Serenity was released on ThePirateBay, I downloaded it until I could buy it. Why did I pay Joss Whedon and Universal for their DVD? Because I wanted to support their FUTURE efforts, not their past ones.

        Nothing prevents content producers from protecting their creations in a free market. I'd say you have a good argument up to 1995 or so, but with the Internet, content producers can completely control their own content with zero laws. All they have to do is create stronger encryption standards, get together and make hardware that follows it, and they're there. That's what they're doing here. I am completely fine with content creators doing this -- I don't believe in copyright so I don't believe in fair use.

        The consumers will also be fine with DRM. It will only succeed if it meets the needs of all parties. If it doesn't, another format will succeed. You can't stop entertainment, but you can stop those who don't allow every party to profit from the transaction.
        • Nothing prevents content producers from protecting their creations in a free market. I'd say you have a good argument up to 1995 or so, but with the Internet, content producers can completely control their own content with zero laws. All they have to do is create stronger encryption standards, get together and make hardware that follows it, and they're there. That's what they're doing here. I am completely fine with content creators doing this -- I don't believe in copyright so I don't believe in fair use.

          A
          • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @01:07PM (#14310079) Homepage Journal
            All fine and good, except only half the project is content producers banding together to create stronger technical protections and hardware to enforce it. The problematic half is them banding together to pressure for the passage of laws mandating that every TV contain these technologies, criminalizing hacking them etc etc. So the libertarian "let the market decide if it wants DRM" dream is, well, a dream.

            Right now, they rely on the DMCA and other stupid laws to protect their BADLY WRITTEN DRM. If they want stronger DRM, they have to realize they can't rely on laws to protect bad programming.

            I personally wouldn't buy a proprietary media format, but if consumers do, then producers should be free to make whatever they want. I believe that competition will let the cream rise to the top.

            I don't believe in copyright either, but, due to its legal side, DRM is like copyright only worse. You may not believe in fair use, but copyright with fair use is less repugnant than copyright without it.

            Let's ignore copyright for a moment and look at the most restrictive protections on content not using the law: subscriptions. Many writers (including myself) have private subscription newsletters that people pay to receive. They could copy these newsletters (and some do) the majority don't -- they want the information and they don't want many others knowing about it. I look at some of the US$1000 per year newsletters I used to subscribe to and I never saw them hitting the public eye.

            The same is true with any information. You can sell information that is valuable, and you can sell information that isn't. If it doesn't have much value, you have to make your money by offering it to the widest audience at the lowest price. $2 for a TV show per person (x10,000) versus $1000 for an investment newsletter (x20) is the same money. Which has a bigger market, and which is more valuable?

            Copyright can't change simple economics. If you make a product that is good quality and people want to see more, they'll pay for it. If they don't care about it, they won't.
            • ... and, for example in the case of TV, people have been trained to think that TV is 'free'. Or, that at worst, you pay a monthly lump sum for access to a wider selection. Individual programs are not 'worth' anything beyond a small trouble of enduring to sit thru commercials.

              Hence, people see NOTHING wrong with recording and copying TV. People have taped shows and loaned them to friends since beginning of time, and such tapings are considered to be mostly worthless. Yes, most people understand that making a
      • People who want to see what someone with the budget for a cast of thousands, exotic locations, thousands of CGI processors chugging away, etc., aren't going to go away. But the people producing works like that can't do so if everything they do is ripped off.

        I keep hearing that, yet the industry keeps pumping out high-budget movies. Should I assume, then, that the rate of piracy isn't really very bad?

        • I keep hearing that, yet the industry keeps pumping out high-budget movies. Should I assume, then, that the rate of piracy isn't really very bad?

          My comment was in response to someone that wants to abolish copyrights. Bad as piracy is, at least the filmaker, or author, or musician actually does have recourse when someone deliberately, flagrantly rips them off. If I can't copyright my $100M film, what's stopping someone from making copies and selling them for $0.10 each in Taiwan (oh, well, that's already
      • Well, I don't mind pretty packages and beautiful people, but lately is getting to be too much. TV is unwatchable because of growing ad time - and skipping them is still work. I have to burn and re-rip a CD-RW to give a song I like to my girlfriend. I can not put a video of myself dancing on my home page without muting the sound. So I am starting to get off my butt and look for free (libre is more important for me at this point) stuff that I can still enjoy, even if it's kind of cheesy. At least if I like so
    • "Those familiar with my anti-copyright stance"

          Come again? Exactly how many fans of your blog do you think there are on Slashdot?
  • by Artifex (18308) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:09PM (#14309533) Journal
    Looking past the news report and skimming the documents, I see nothing in the core spec [certek.cc] (vol 2 [certek.cc]) nor the physical spec [certek.cc] that requires DRM by default? If I'm reading the specs right, It may be HDMI and HDCP compatible, but you can certainly develop without them. I could be confused, of course, so wait to see if Stallman to revisits the project [slashdot.org]. Notice that this project has been going on for quite some time. :)
  • by GuyverDH (232921) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:11PM (#14309548)
    Dongles anyone? Interposed between computer and device that override the repsonses to answer back as an *APPROVED* device for the non approved one.

    DUH

    Next idea please.

    Here's one - track down those that traffic in the pirated goods, and arrest them.
    Quit treating customers as criminals.
    • The next step in this path of course is to outlaw the building of such dongles. Given the level of crypto handshaking required, building a dongle will not be an in your garage type of project, so whoever does manage to build such a dongle will be exposing their company to significant legal liability.
    • Dongles anyone? Interposed between computer and device that override the repsonses to answer back as an *APPROVED* device for the non approved one.
      DUH


      Well the DUH part was correct. It doesn't work. They know about that sort of attack and it is the first thing they designed it to prevent. It uses assymetric crypto and authentication signatures. Sticking an extre device in the middle of the line just gives you encrypted garbage. You can't read any of the data, and the raw encryption key never appears on the d
  • Apple DRM (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DJ_Tricks (664229)
    If this is any thing like Apple's Fairplay DRM, all you will have to do is bend over one pin and it will be turned off. It's a little bit off extra work on the consumers part, but thats why Apple does it. They know the average consumer usally is lazy and as lathargic as a slug.
  • Riddle me this... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vertinox (846076) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:13PM (#14309581)
    How can the DRM software tell the difference between legitimate free software or a pirated work?

    • The original works can be tagged in a variety of ways. The DRM software notices the tag and will only output through the certified devices. The DRM is built into the OS and therefore difficult to circumvent. Usually something about the file is tagged to the computer/devices that it's allowed to be played on.

      Legitimate free music or video won't be tagged, and so the DRM software ignores it; it can be output on any device.

      Note that this is mostly about protecting music and/or video, not software (except by
      • "Legitimate free music or video won't be tagged, and so the DRM software ignores it; it can be output on any device."

        Then all the pirates have to do is get the content (analogue hole as a last resort) and re-release it sans tag. If the "copy-protected" devices display anything without a tag, they are effectively useless.

        The only workable method is to only display things with a VALID tag and lock everything else out: much harder to beat.
        • In theory, this closes the analog hole. In practice, you're right: it takes only one person to crack the thing (whether through the "physical hole" of pointing a camera at a monitor or via an illegal DRM-free device) and release it on P2P to make it universally available.

          I wouldn't expect them to try to require devices to play only tagged items. If they do, they'd have to authorize a number of content providers, and with that many copies of the key running around the pirates would certainly be able to get
    • The whole point of this exercise is to make a pirated work impossible. A free work has no encryption, so it plays wherever you want. A studio work has encryption which can only be decrypted by DRM devices, and the whole path from disc to screen/speakers is encrypted, so copying is impossible. In the (studios) ideal world, you can't even stick a camera in front of the screen to record because digital watermarking tells your camera not to record the image. Granted, a fully secure situation like this is a
  • Another Standard (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother AT optonline DOT net> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:15PM (#14309596) Journal

    From Channel Register:The UDI initiative is being led by Intel and its new best friend, Apple, along with Samsung, LG, Nat Semi and Silicon Image. The likes of Nvidia, Foxconn, JAE Electronics, THine Electronics and FCI are also contributing to the spec.

    However, they've got competition. The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has already begun work on DisplayPort, its answer to DVI's successor standard. DisplayPort is set to support both internal and external monitor connections, and can be used with multimedia kit.

    So, once more we have two groups vying to make their technology a "standard", which then leads to a protracted battle over whose "standard" should be adopted. And in the midst, some technology will likely come along to make the new "standard(s)" obsolescent.

    • When you can choose between a region-encoded DVD player and one which isn't, you buy.....
      When you can choose between one display standard which has been hacked and one which hasn't....
      Competition is not just going to drive down prices, it is also going to lower the efforts done on DRM.
      • When you can choose between a region-encoded DVD player and one which isn't, you buy.....

        I don't want to have to choose. I want one format, one standard, agreed upon by the majority. Rememebr VHS vs. Beta? Beta died and that probably wasn't a good thing, but the fact is that even after VHS ascended to the heights, we then had the European PAL format and all this other rubbish.

        When you can choose between one display standard which has been hacked and one which hasn't....

        That is of course the weakness -

  • Wrong UDI Link (Score:2, Informative)

    by sgauss (639539)
    I think the link to UDI is to the Uniform Driver Interface folks. I think this UDI is different.
  • What's the point? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fyonn (115426) <dave@fyonn.net> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:17PM (#14309619) Homepage
    we already have HDMI. It supports digital video transfer, has loads of bandwidth and even supports the transport of audio along the same cable. It supports HDCP and it is the standard for High Definition TV. my TV has 2 HDMI ports already.

    I know HDMI has a couple of issues, it currently doesn't hass 6 channel high definition audio along the cable, ie SACD and DVDA, but I believe that's due with v1.2 or 1.3, it's on the schedule anyway. The other issue I think is that it only supports video resolutions, ie 720p and 1080i/p. but I'm sure this could be easily revised in the next version to support other resolutions too.

    make sure it has backwards compatibility and what's the problem? why do we need yet another connector when we have, and are already using a good one.

    is there any other reason to introduce UDI?

    dave
    • HDMI is a subset of DVI plus audio. In making the HDMI connector much smaller (and cheaper), they removed a lot of conductors, like DVI-A (analog) and the ability to have dual-link.

      Without dual-link, HDMI is useless for computers in the future. The most expensive (and thus highest revenue and profit) panels already use dual-link DVI. Additionally, technically, 1080p cannot even be carried on HDMI or single-link DVI because the bandwidth is too high. However, companies are stretching the spec to make HDMI (a
      • HDMI is a subset of DVI plus audio. In making the HDMI connector much smaller (and cheaper), they removed a lot of conductors, like DVI-A (analog) and the ability to have dual-link.

        HDMI also includes support for 8-channel uncompressed digital audio. Beginning with version 1.2, HDMI now supports up to 8 channels of one-bit audio. One-bit audio is what is used on Super Audio CDs.

        Without dual-link, HDMI is useless for computers in the future. The most expensive (and thus highest revenue and profit) panels alre
        • You assumed 1080p is 1080p/30? That was pretty stupid. It's not. People want a single format that both 720p(/60) and 1080i(60 fields per second) can be uprezzed to without loss of spatial or temporal resolution. That is why 1080p is coming around, and why it is 1080p/60.

          As to single link, it is enough for 1920x1200, for example, Apple sells 23" single-link monitors that do 1920x1200. But, depending on the size of the front and back porches (both horizontally and vertically), a signal with less spatial paylo
    • I thought much the same thing - until I wondered if size were an issue. Maybe the computer manufacturers want a connecter that is small enough to fit on a laptop. HDMI is pretty small but maybe they want it to be smaller still.
  • by VaderPi (680682) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:18PM (#14309626) Homepage
    Let them put the DRM in. It will just get cracked, and then we will use it like we want to anyway. It will be against the law, and the guy that cracks it will probably face a law suit. What we need to wait for is grandmother or a teacher getting sued for using the crack under what would normally be fair use. Then maybe the public notice how bad it is getting. Or maybe they will screw up the DRM and it will open the doors for display viruses. Screw pop up porn ads. How about in monitor ads. Little Billy will have a hard time why the naked women on the screen won't go away. In short, I fear that DRM must first get worse before it will get any better.
  • Good Luck to Them (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bullfish (858648)
    Let me see, no Linux on Xbox, that's been done, no more p2p, p2p use exploding still, 500 forms of copy protection on CD's and DVD's broken, MS windows activation broken, etc, etc

    Another thing to challenge and have broken.

    Sooner or later somebody is going to wake up, charge a fair price, allow fair use, and make a profit without alienating their customers

    On the other hand, how long did Rip Van Winkle sleep?
  • Batteries (Score:4, Insightful)

    by faqmaster (172770) <jones...tm@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:19PM (#14309648) Homepage Journal
    The people-as-batteries scenario in The Matrix was just an accurate metaphor for what the "content industry" would like us all to become. Plugged up with inputs they alone control, we provide only the juice to keep the diabolical system going.
  • As I sit here at work ripping a DVD with an illegal copy of DVD decryptor I can tell you the the only people this will boter is the person at home that is not aboe to or want to dig a little deeper and find a way around it.

    Why am I violently violating some poor movie companies copyright as I type? well I'm evil and want to watch the movie on my portable mpeg4 media device. I know, pure unadulterated evil.

    I have long ago decided that I need to become skilled in breaking the law so that I can have my entert
    • I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Mac - a G4 733 bought cheaply on eBay - but in the background behind my desk, you'll still find a small Windows PC (SFF Compaq desktop, probably) which will be dedicated to ripping DVDs to .mpg files which will then play cleanly on any system, no matter how DRM'd up it is.

      Not that I seriously believe anyone will be able to stop me doing what I wish with my own PC, no matter how clever they think they are. I'm doing this because the ripper software I have runs on Win
  • I noticed that this website is very outdated. For example:
    UDI FAQ Last Updated September 7, 1999
    Shouldn't they try and update the site a bit so at least you don't feel like you are reading 6 year old information?
  • Why talk about something called Unified Display Interface and then link to the site www.projectudi.org [projectudi.org] which concerns itself about the Uniform Driver Interface?!?. Slashdot editors at its best I guess...

    Not that the Uniform Driver Interface is that great idea either, it's some kind of let's make some cozy wrapper that lets hardware manufacturers cross platform binary only drivers.

    And what about Unified Display Interface? The only thing I can find about it is the sensationalist blurb on The Register. Hav

  • The link is to something called the Uniform driver interface, some kind of attempt to make OS-neutral drivers. Is this the same thing??
  • *sigh* I remember when industry standards were a good thing...
  • by Pig Hogger (10379)
    Software and hardware DRM-bypassing solutions will be readily available from outside the US.

    So it is not really a problem.

  • If you can't buy a monitor with analog or DVI, then open-standards hardware projects (like the Open Graphics Project [opengraphics.org]) will be shut out. This isn't just about protecting IP rights. This is a direct attack at Free Software in general.
  • by ajs318 (655362) <(sd_resp2) (at) (earthshod.co.uk)> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:36PM (#14309791)
    How about replacing the cathode ray tube in one of these TV sets with a dummy one?

    From the current flowing in the scan coils, we can determine where the electron beam is on the screen {though to generate a standard timing signal, we really only care about when it jumps to the left hand side or the top}. From the three grid drives, we can get the levels of red, green and blue light emitted by the nearest pixel.

    Apply some rudimentary signal conditioning which, if you could get the circuitry to fit on an A6 size piece of breadboard, you really would not be trying at all; and you have a set of signals suitable for feeding into any old-fashioned SCART socket on any old-fashioned TV set or DVD+RW recorder.

    There is no way to protect any kind of content against the "dummy CRT" attack -- and once it has been successfully applied, the content is now unprotected for all time
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:50PM (#14309920) Homepage
      It's easier than that.

      This past week I was able to play with a Canon XL1HD camera. and with a small amount of setup I recorded a "protected" Live PPV content off our Calbe system digital box with a Hd projector this camera and a $9.95 35MM slide to Video converter box I had laying around at home.

      The resulting copy looked only slightly worse than the origional signal on the Cable TV. if viewed on a PC or a sane sized HD television it was highly acceptable. It only looked muddy whe shown on the projector at it's normal 10' size.

      So it's already broken. I can take what was recorded and compress lightly and have something that is better than most illegal copies of shows or movies on the net.

      it was mostly done as a proof example to the Exec's here that were touting how secure the content is.
    • by Foobar of Borg (690622) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @01:06PM (#14310064)
      You know what this means, don't you? It means that university engineering schools are simply pirate training academies. All those universities are getting rich off of training pirates! I mean, it's not like engineers produce anything! Was Britney Spears an engineer? Was Ben Afleck? No, of course not! Then why do these "universities" think that they are training anyone of any worth? All they are doing is producing pirates who are destroying the financial standing of the RIAA and MPAA, whose products are as important as the air we breathe and the food we eat. Remember, when you rip a CD or DVD, you are aiding the terrorists and killing small adorable puppies.
    • by dstone (191334) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @01:08PM (#14310091) Homepage
      the content is now unprotected for all time

      Sort of. This is an excellent, clever way to copy the content. However, consider that the copy you have captured may still be watermarked or otherwise uniquely identifiable.

      From the perspectives of piracy-detection and legal-prosecution, you may still be on dangerous ground: copies made as you suggest may be tracable and still cause grief for you or anyone posessing them, depending on how the courts interpret "fair-use" that week. I hope using the technique you suggest for personal backup purposes would be legitimate, but you've clearly circumvented a digital rights mechanism (and possibly left evidence in the copy) and I am not a lawyer.
    • You're assuming that you can still legally own a CRT based display in 20 years, and that unique per disc watermarking won't allow them to track down who performed this feat.
  • Look to China (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:37PM (#14309803) Journal
    Having been to mainland China recently I beginning to think they have things right in their economic model which is basically capitalism for things that are, well, capital. And communism for all things that are IP. With 25 years of 10% growth they are doing something right. So much so I felt compelled to write an essay on this only two days back (you can never go wrong pre writing stuff on IP or P2P for Slashdot).

    Follow
    Overhauling Intellectual Property Laws --or-- Balancing Capitalism and Communism [slashdot.org]
    for my economic opus and ode to media bashing.

    • Re:Look to China (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alsee (515537)
      Overhauling Intellectual Property Laws --or-- Balancing Capitalism and Communism

      Your paper would get a slightly warmer reception in the US political arena if you change the title to:
      "Overhauling Intellectual Property Laws --or-- Balancing Capitalism and Kiddy Porn".

      -
  • And flexibility incompatible...

    I wonder if they even got the definition of piracy [uncyclopedia.org] right... ;-)
  • You guys aren't thinking progressively enough...Max Headroom had it right.

    They don't want to just control copying, next they'll want to remove your TV's OFF switch!
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:50PM (#14309913) Homepage Journal
    ...that people bought yesterday? There's going to be an uprising if people can't watch current content on their monitors due to DRM. The industry should NOT be allowed to just make you HAVE to buy new hardware simply to access current content. That SHOULD be illegal if we had sane regulations that favored the consumer.
  • How can we complain about known evil companies if slashdot resorts to unclosable popups that obscure the content? Screenshot in Safari [netgate.net]
  • Doesn't matter (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ryan Amos (16972) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @01:03PM (#14310030)
    Hardware-based DRM has proven time and time again to be totally ineffective at stopping anyone from doing anything. By nature of being hardware based, it can't change. Because it can't change, it's a stationary target for hackers and someone *will* find a way around it in a matter of months.

    It can be legislated to hell and back and it still won't make a bit of difference. I guarantee you a lot of countries have bigger problems than enforcing American patents/copyrights and have no interest in complying with any anti-circumvention laws either. Someone will crack it, the crack will get out into the wild, and it'll be like the DRM never existed.

    Let them waste their money developing expensive DRM schemes that a 17 year old in Romania will break 6 months after it's released. The laws don't exist to prosecute this kind of thing in many countries, nor should they. MPAA/RIAA tired of losing money? Stop producing crap and people will buy it. But look at their members' profit/loss sheets recently, what they say in public is in polar opposite to what they tell their shareholders...
  • by Deven (13090) <deven@ties.org> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @01:26PM (#14310244) Homepage
    Why do people insist on reusing names for unrelated things? Project UDI [projectudi.org] is a technology allowing device drivers to be portable across different operating systems and platforms. Project UDI doesn't address display technologies, much less DRM. This "Unified Display Interface" seems to be something entirely different, and it's unfortunate that they're trying to re-coin the "UDI" acronym. The UDI link in the summary is simply wrong.

    On the other hand, Project UDI is a very cool technology that people should be supporting, so I guess the extra exposure could help, as long as people don't confuse UDI (Uniform Driver Interface) with UDI (Unified Display Interface)... *sigh*
  • Let every geek expand DRM as Digital Restrictions Management. It's a small step of the way, by calling the cards as they are.

    Eivind.

  • I'm pleased... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @01:53PM (#14310467)
    I'm pleased that they're using HDCP as it's been cracked already.
    http://www.securityfocus.com/news/236 [securityfocus.com]

    Its going to be really interesting to see how successful the new consortium is in forcing US copyright legislation on the rest of the world.

    Or, perhaps, hardware not made in the US, or for US export only, will have versions of the interface that don't include DHCP. Gee. I wonder how long it will take for US consumers to buy their hardware from outside the US instead.
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @03:00PM (#14311020) Homepage
    Look at who's writing the Universal Driver Specification [certek.cc]. Go to page 5, and look at the affiliations of the authors. There are nine people from SCO, more than from any other organization. SCO doesn't have much of a technical staff left. If they're devoting nine people to this effort, they must forsee some major benefit. There's some hidden agenda in this. Where's the kicker in this? Start looking.

    Also worth noting: there's nobody from Microsoft, and nobody from Red Hat. IBM has some people, but IBM is so big they send a few people to any standards effort.

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