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Intel Patents Hardware

Intel Adds DRM to New Chips 673

Badluck writes "Microsoft and the entertainment industry's holy grail of controlling copyright through the motherboard has moved a step closer with Intel Corp. now embedding digital rights management within in its latest dual-core processor Pentium D and accompanying 945 chipset. Officially launched worldwide on the May 26, the new offerings come DRM -enabled and will, at least in theory, allow copyright holders to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted materials from the motherboard rather than through the operating system as is currently the case..." The Inquirer has the story as well.
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Intel Adds DRM to New Chips

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  • Bye Bye Intel (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:39PM (#12664620)
    I know I will be sticking with AMD.... wow... really bad marketing move.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by taskforce ( 866056 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:42PM (#12664635) Homepage
    Don't count on it, Dell and friends are probably going to lap these things up.
  • by KingDaveRa ( 620784 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:42PM (#12664637) Homepage
    Remember the hoohah over CPU IDs a few years back? They were supposed to enable software suppliers to keep track of things. There was so much of a kerfuffle that most BIOSes now have a function to disable it. I can see this going the same way when it turns out it causes Windows to BSOD or something stupid.
  • Re:Nice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by El Gordo Motoneta ( 821753 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:43PM (#12664648)
    Let's see what percentage of the market is actually aware of this and
    what it means. ...

    I feel when 80% of computers sold include these chips, we will feel
    somewhat dissapointed..
  • Athlon! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by krudler ( 836743 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:43PM (#12664653)
    I've been using AMD for years because of the price/performance ratio, their quality, and the fact that I like to support competition. I really hope that AMD doesn't bow down to the man and do the same thing. I'm really surprised that Intel would make such a move when they are battling AMD so fiercely.

    This could be the reason that AMD takes over the lead. I know I'm not buying DRMed crap and I'm telling everyone I know the same thing.
  • PPC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by apathyonline ( 886926 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:44PM (#12664660) Homepage Journal
    Well, its a good thing that that the IBM PPC processors don't have built in DRM Go Apple! :)
  • Re:Sales. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ZephyrXero ( 750822 ) <> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:45PM (#12664672) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, good thing I was already done buying Intel chips...I just hope AMD doesn't do the same.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by InsideTheAsylum ( 836659 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:46PM (#12664676)
    Well, sales at least from me. I built my own PCs (like many people here, I assume) and I can see that people from this crowd will be going AMD only until they get on this as well.
  • by Eagle5596 ( 575899 ) <`gro.6955' `ta' `resUhsals'> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:48PM (#12664689)
    Their reluctance to talk about specifics on the technology is what worries me. What if their DRM mistakenly identifies something on my hard disk as copyright material and prevents me from using my own very legal data? We can't be sure it won't thanks to jolly old intel.

    This ATM and IDE control scares me the most though. Giving some random Joe the ability to manipulate my computer at a level BELOW the operating system!?!? HOO BOY! I can't wait to see how long it will take to patch the security flaws in there, in the mean time the script-kiddies now have a truly cross platform way to 0wn boxes.

    When will people learn, you can't make something 100% secure, and security through obscurity is a bad idea? Lets just hope the guys in the white hats can reverse engineer this crap first and figure out a way to save the millions of innocent and ignorant customers who will end up with one of these chips in their box.
  • DRM ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vlad_petric ( 94134 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:48PM (#12664691) Homepage
    is good until someone breaks it. In the best case scenario for Intel & media partners, it'll take a modchip (something on the memory bus, for instance) to bypass this. In the worst case scenario, software.

    "Secure hardware" is an amazingly difficult thing to achieve (by secure I mean secure from its user, of course). For instance, in the late 90s, smartcards were hacked by figuring out bits from their keys with differential power analysis.

  • Re:Athlon! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by t_allardyce ( 48447 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:48PM (#12664692) Journal
    In the end they both answer to Microsoft, period. If Windows won't run or won't play lots of media because the CPU doesn't support something then AMD will support it, whatever it takes to sell units. If you think people are going to migrate away from Windows because this, think again.
  • by prisoner ( 133137 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:48PM (#12664698)
    Being stupid has nothing to do with it. How many do you think will be aware of this new deal? Of the percentage that are aware, how many do you think will care?

    I think you give the sheeple too much credit.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:51PM (#12664717)
    Yeah, no kidding. Privileges are managed; granted, denied, controlled, restricted, revoked. Rights are non-negotiable, no further discussion.
  • by Sporkyone ( 887806 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:54PM (#12664749)
    I see no mention on DRM tech in either the Intel 955 chipset or the nForce 4, so I see no reason why I won't buy a motherboard based off these chipsets. I also don't see any mention of DRM in the first dual core cpu Intel released, the Extreme Edition 840. All you people saying "Boycott Intel" are jumping the gun, just as I would expect slashdotters to do... Besides, what is DRM built into a chip going to do? If I have an mp3 without a drm tag will it delete it for me? There goes my completely legal mp3 collection...
  • Re:Sales. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Total_Wimp ( 564548 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:55PM (#12664750)
    so what do you do when your software requires an Intel chipset because of the DRM capabilities?

    AMD has been working for years to make people understand that there is no downside to using their chips. I've used many AMD CPUs and have never had a problem that I've been able to trace to using a non-Intel CPU. But what on earth is going to happen when I try to load software and the error message says "this software will not work with AMD systems" because the software maker demands DRM?

    One of three things is going to happen.

    1)This will never take off.
    2)AMD will adopt DRM themselves.
    3)AMD will be marginalized as software manufacturers demand DRM.

  • Re:Sales. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cortana ( 588495 ) <sam.robots@org@uk> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:57PM (#12664763) Homepage
    > so what do you do when your software requires an Intel chipset because of the
    > DRM capabilities?

    Blame yourself, and only yourself, for compromising your freedom with your choice of OS? :)
  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RoLi ( 141856 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:59PM (#12664777)
    True, however nobody can deny that there is a market for non-DRM chips, so some vendor is going to fill that market.
  • AMT based attacks? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pontifier ( 601767 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:00PM (#12664784) Homepage
    anyone see their new remote administration "feature" as a possible remote security hole regardless of OS? perhaps we just trust that it is 100% secure and unhackable. Additionally, AMT also features what Intel calls "IDE redirection" which will allow administrators to remotely enable, disable or format or configure individual drives and reload operating systems and software from remote locations, again independent of operating systems. Both AMT and IDE control are enabled by a new network interface controller.
  • Cop Flag (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:05PM (#12664810) Homepage Journal
    Copyrights are much more complex than mere assertion by an object that it cannot be copied. When my Dell CPU says I can't backup an object, or copy it for use in a different location of my own, or for criticism, satire, or other fair use, or streaming (which the Library of Congress Copyright Office says is not a "copy"), how do I protect my rights? Send the Dell back, fight for a refund? Who's going to compensate me for their wrongful infringement of my rights? For my lost time, opportunites, labor, value expected but denied? And what about in countries other than the US, where copyright laws are different, often much more complex, and sometimes nonexistent?

    It's a mistake for hardware engineers to generate law-enforcement in mass-consumer products. At most, optional hardware support for user opt-in, to make compliance easy enough that most people agree, should be available. Copyright violation is a problem for the justice system, with its presumptions of innocence until guilt is proven, due process, and human interpreters of whether acts were crimes or not.

    This DRM CPU tech should go down in flames, like Intel's mandatory CPU serial#. Intel's got a lot more problems just rolling out CPUs that do what we want, like faster Pentium4s. They shouldn't be wasting developer time, eating die space, and complexifying throughput with half-bright consumer traps like this. Of course, AMD (and others) have the opportunity to speed past Intel, and give customers what we want. Not just spin their wheels trying to woo back Microsoft, as it looks to other CPU platforms. Because we'll all leave Intel hanging when a CPU comes along that serves us better.
  • by tcdk ( 173945 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:07PM (#12664817) Homepage Journal
    ... everybody who buys a preconfigured "closed" intel box will get one of these CPUs and it will be tooted as an extra feature.

    My guess is that the first round is for testing and then it will probably be back portet to a level of CPU's that somebody want to use in a set-top box.

    This is where functionality like this would really shine in the eye of the media companies. A chipset/cpu like this, Windows Media Edition 2007 DRM+, will probably give you a box that nobody normal (joe-consumer) would be able to hack, making it possible to subsidise heavily (e.i. give it away) as you would be sure that it wouldn't be used for anything but the content you sell.

    Intel will probably be able live down the loss of sale to geeks, when they sell 700 million of these boxes to AOL-TimeWarmer-Sony-Vivendi-MegaGlobalHyper-ROC-Co rp.
  • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:10PM (#12664838)
    What happens if a large corporation uses DRM to enforce copyright it *claims* to own but in fact does not. I'm thinking of someone alot bigger than SCO doing what SCO did (attempt to steal software copyrighted by others) but also having the power (unlike SCO) to actually shut down use of software.
  • Re:Read it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bigberk ( 547360 ) <> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:11PM (#12664843)
    This is why countries outside the USA are going to avoid DRM platforms. It is essential for security that computation and control occurs locally. It is a threat to national security to include cryptographic external control mechanisms within a computer.

    You know would would be really phunny, if the USA with its handholding of the media industry loses its edge in technology to say Chinese CPU manufacturers who are going to have a larger international market without DRM nonsense.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:14PM (#12664855) Homepage Journal

    Because if very few people can use it, then there's a disincentive for content-creators to ever do it again. Versus if it's even possible for you to use it, then they'll be able to point to a vast theoretical userbase when justifying using the format in the future.

    It's kind of like why I refuse to install Windows Media Player, even though it's available for my computer: I don't want to download it, or have it on my computer where somebody might see it, lest they think that WMV is an acceptable format to send things to me in.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stevey ( 64018 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:16PM (#12664868) Homepage

    DRM isn't an OS thing though, it can be good or bad in any environment.

    Want to setup a secure server? Use DRM to make sure that only a signed kernel will run and make sure that kernel will only load binaries which are signed in turn.

    See there's a good use for DRM, avoiding untrusted code running on your Debian machine.

    DRM isn't a cut and dried thing, no matter what the propoganda on either side say.

  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ngdbsdmn ( 658135 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:16PM (#12664872)
    These Intel executives sure love to lose money. We should really help them.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkman, Walkin Dude ( 707389 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:30PM (#12664941) Homepage

    This massive campaign towards securing and extending the definition of intellectual property in the US appears to be, ironically, the nation's response to globalisation and the China price (a term used to describe the price of goods and services in China, usually meaning the lowest possible price). By creating extremely powerful IP laws and then extending that [] to the third world countries producing lower cost products, tying it in with other treaties [] (no aid unless you accept our IP laws and enforce them, we'll also loosen up our immigration policies towards you too :D).

    This way those in "control" of ideas and concepts can continue to milk them while maintaining control over these third world countries, who can afford low cost mass production, but will not then be allowed to build on the knowledge they have, due to it being restricted by IP laws. And so, the USA manages to effortlessly keep its technological lead over these countries, who might otherwise swiftly overtake it in technical ability and production capacity.

    Not to be alarmist, but these marketing drones and legal eagles are leading us into a new dark age, where knowledge itself is restricted to a select few, a tyranny of DRM. That the concept is difficult to grasp by the masses is not going to make the penalties for infringement any less harsh. Sadly this problem is not self correcting, nor do I see any immediate method to stop or slow it, short of a massive reduction in the influence of the USA in international relations or a complete reversal of policy by the adminisration there.

  • by KillShill ( 877105 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:31PM (#12664946)
    more die space and engineering resources spent for something that NO single customer wants, err if you don't count mega-corporations as customers...

    now why would anyone want to spend money to reduce their existing functionality?

    palladium and NGSCB has !!ALWAYS!! been about DRM.

    and the only piece of evidence needed is the following: they hide the key from the ?legitimate? owner of the machine.

    if this were about security, user security, then the user would know their own key.

    simple as that.

    thanks to Alsee and the other clear thinking individuals who help educate us against the evils of consolifying our computers.

    just an extra note... seeing that AMD is also doing the same thing... and that IBM's cell processors are basically built from the ground up for DRM... where does that leave independant (HA!) cpu manufacturers who won't implement this garbage on their products? one has to wonder, there won't be any cpus left that function the way their owners want them to... err supposed owners.
  • by sbaker ( 47485 ) * on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:33PM (#12664959) Homepage
    So the Digit Online article says:

    "...features what Intel calls "IDE redirection" which will
    allow administrators to remotely enable, disable or format
    or configure individual drives and reload operating systems
    and software from remote locations, again independent of
    operating systems."

    Doesn't this sound just suicidally dangerous to every single
    slashdot reader? Have we learned NOTHING about network
    security over the history of the Internet?

    Intel put this technology in at the hardware level and refuse
    to tell us how it works!

    So are we to believe that 'security by obscurity' is all that's
    protecting us from random idiots reformatting our hard drives
    and loading entire new OS's onto our machines? IRRESPECTIVE of
    what OS I have loaded!?!?!

    If the underlying security is good enough to make this even
    REMOTELY bearable then there is no reason not to tell us (in
    great detail) how it works.

    If the security this uses is cracked within a year of the machines
    appearing on the market, we'll have several million computers on
    the Internet that are UTTERLY defenseless against hackers - and Intel
    aren't even prepared to risk an open 'Peer review' of the technology!!

    Think about this - if this can happen IRRESPECTIVE of the OS on
    the machine - then there is no conceivable software defence against
    hackers using this mechanism.

    This is quite the most irresponsible idea I've heard in a very
    long time!
  • by ZeroExistenZ ( 721849 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:48PM (#12665056)

    why would one "defeat" his or her own hardware with hacking away (eg. emulating) to make it do what one wants the hardware to do? If I buy hardware I like to feel I own it, and I am in control of it.

  • by Eagle5596 ( 575899 ) <`gro.6955' `ta' `resUhsals'> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:51PM (#12665078)
    None of the existing exploits utilize a system designed to be tweaked from remote. These new "additions" by Intel are intended to purposefully let someone from the outside manipulate your computer remotely with an extreme amount of control. Just think what kind of exploits this will lead to.
  • by AHumbleOpinion ( 546848 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @02:54PM (#12665090) Homepage
    Which is why the **AA are are reporting losses. Wait, no - they're reporting record profits! Piracy has virtually no negative effect on the media industry at all, whatsoever.

    (1) As I said in the GP some people download to preview. That spurs sales.

    (2) Only a minority download to preview, the majority download for permanent use. That is lost sales. The fact that sales increased does not change this, it does not change the fact that without this piracy sales could be even higher. This difference between realized profits and potential profits is what the RIAA is fighting over. Your view of what is going on is very shallow.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:00PM (#12665126)
    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created to serve the RIAA."

    I have a dream that one day on the hills of the world the sons of former fair use advocates and the sons of former free thinkers will be forced to sit down together at a DVDs of our lame releases and pay for each second they watch (or don't).

    I have a dream that one day even the state of the FSF, a heretic state, sweltering with the heat of communist cancer and zeolots, will be transformed into an oasis of profit and marketing.

    I have a dream that my four children will one day live to rule a nation where they will not be judged by the restrictions we place on others but by the profit we can make for the RIAA.

    I have a dream today.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ProppaT ( 557551 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:13PM (#12665202) Homepage
    You say the future of computing is the Cell Architecture, yet you also say that the future is Apple shaped. Dont' you think if Apple decided to migrate OSX to the cell processor that they'd be talking to Sony/Toshiba for their new platform instead of Intel? For all you know MS might be compiling Longhorn to run on Cell chips.

    Good try, thanks playing, come again.
  • backfire (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:16PM (#12665218) Homepage
    Well, this strategy may backfire on US companies, when the Chinese, sick of having US DRM imposed on them, form a huge market willing and able to buy DRMless parts. At that point there'll be fabs set up in China or other IP-unfriendly countries churning out unburdened CPUs - and they'll probably be pin-compatible with US company parts. Then they'll get plenty of revenue importing them INTO the US - until the US outlaws 'em, at which point they'll make for lucrative smuggling opportunities.
  • by mcc ( 14761 ) <> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:27PM (#12665278) Homepage
    Okay. So Slashdot's all upset about this.

    Slashdot doesn't matter.

    The thing we really need to be asking here is, how can the general public be made aware of this? And moreover, be made aware of it in a way that they understand, something like new computers with these specific Intel chips are set up so that software companies, like Microsoft, can take control of your computer and stop you from doing things they don't like."

    A bunch of slashdotters doing a boycott won't really have any impact. But a few tens of thousands of average consumers walking into Best Buy with furrowed brows and saying they want to buy some kind of new computer, but they don't want it if they have this new "Intel D-Ram" thing (if this can be made to happen), is eventually going to hit corporate consciousness, maybe make Intel think about the issue, and maybe even convince AMD that this for once is not a buzzword it's best not to bet on.

    Unfortunately consumers probably won't realize why DRM support in hardware is a bad thing for them until the DRM hardware becomes commonplace, and viruses and malware start taking advantage of the DRM hardware to do really, really nasty things. And eventually, they will. DRM hardware exists, once you strip away the PR, to give software vendors control of the hardware in place of the actual hardware owner; in the long run this is a proposition which is going to be as attractive to Gator as it will be to Real.
  • by cyclop ( 780354 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:31PM (#12665301) Homepage Journal
    the majority download for permanent use. That is lost sales.

    Huh? Why? You can keep thousands of things you would never buy, but you permanently use just because you were able to download them for free.

    Frankly,I want and fight for people to be able to download anything -software,music,films- for personal use for free. Call me zealot if you like. But file sharing did nothing else than finally allowing people to share information and arts with anyone else, boosting the opportunities for our brains to learn and enjoy interesting things. Would you condamn free food if it was available, just because it would mean lost sales for McDonalds? File sharing means our brains are finally free from intellectual famine. I don't care if it means someone will pay for this, the advantages for humankind are too high.

  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by milkman_matt ( 593465 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:40PM (#12665355)
    Don't count on it, Dell and friends are probably going to lap these things up.

    Then in that case, maybe you could also say Dell Sales--. I've lately come to love Dell, I mean damn, desktops for 350, laptops for 700... If I wasn't such a mac-whore I'd probably go Dell just on price alone. I have noticed though that they don't even OFFER AMD with their systems, you can only get Intel. If they start shipping nothing but systems using processors with built in DRM, I'll just go back to building my own systems.

    For the past 10 years I've built my own systems, but recently I've gotten lazy and came of the attitude of "why bother building it for $500 when I can get Dell to do it for $350?" Well, this is why I would bother now. With this move, for me, Intel will lose a sale (or sales if someone I know wants a system) Dell will lose a sale (or sales, I used to pimp out their name, I can't do that now.) and AMD will gain a sale (or sales).

    I just don't see the need for this.. Anti-piracy measures, IMO, do not belong in the processor. Couldn't this block some duplication that would/should be perfectly legal too?
  • Re:Sales. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:58PM (#12665483)
    No, there is no such market. But seriously, who cares? The DRM chip will not suddently prevent you from playing MP3s on your PC, it will only be active when your software demands it. And you can be pretty sure that the software that uses it simply won't work when you don't have the DRM chip. So if the next music download service only supports PCs with TCPA hardware that means you either have that TCPA hardware or you can't use the application.
  • Re:Read it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kabz ( 770151 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @03:59PM (#12665487) Homepage Journal
    How many Cisco routers are out there ? Or NetGear routers like the one behind me.

    Am I worried that you might pOwn my router ? Well, enough that I have a decent password on it. But not enough to keep me awake at night.

    Installing an OS over the network is going to be something that's very popular with big company IT.

    Mind you, there may be a downside ... Let's hope they always get the IP addess right, or people may soon be experiencing the ...

    BSOR ... Blue Screen of Reinstallation ;-)
  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RoLi ( 141856 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:12PM (#12665564)
    AFAIK VIA isn't part of the group - and they produce x86 chips.

    Also just because they are part of the group doesn't mean they won't offer non-DRM chips. It's just too much money involved here. AMD has nothing to win but a lot to lose by producing only DRM chips.

  • Re:Cop Flag (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:19PM (#12665599) Homepage Journal
    Fair use is a right. It is what's left of the rights we've got, after the government creates "temporary" monopolies on intellectual property, protecting synthetic property instead of our rights to expression. Defense of our rights is merely assertion of our rights, not some kind of favor from the government.
  • by jacquesm ( 154384 ) < minus physicist> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @04:44PM (#12665728) Homepage
    you bought it didn't you ?

    I've lived in quite a few places, and one of them was Poland before the wall fell, and you'd be amazed what kind of inventiveness your precious government comes up with when there is an ID requirement.

    Just to name a few:

    - the draft
    - turning it into a tracker by requiring it to be used for more and more 'transactions' (see a book called 'this perfect day' by Ira Levin)
    - instant 'fake' ids for govt operatives that disappear after their single use
    - requiring you to 'check in' with your id card periodically if you're considered a security risk (and to be able to apprehend you if you do not the first time you have to use your card elsewhere)

    and on and on and on.

    1984 is really a date in the past you know... and it's us ordinary thinking persons that bringing it on.

    It's called the slippery slope, ID cards today, totalitarian police state with absolute control tomorrow (or the day after).

    Imagine if our friend from WWII would have had access to technology like this, there would have been no resistance at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28, 2005 @05:20PM (#12665960)
    Also, something I forgot to mention: you cannot just "change the channel" because in a world where DRM works, changing the channel will remove you from communication with the rest of the world.

    Let me explain. Imagine that DRM is entirely voluntary, i.e. you can turn it off (for your whole computer or for just a portion of applications) at any time to no ill effect except being unable to play some audio/video files that are covered by DRM. All it takes is a single person to either break the encryption on one of those audio/video files, or to play one out through an external device that recaptures the actual content (minus the DRM). Then you're back at exactly what we have now, where that single copy can be infinitely duplicated across the network through p2p services.

    So, in the above example, DRM does not work to prevent distribution. The logical conclusion is that the only DRM system which actually works is one where you cannot "change the channel." The only DRM system which has a chance of working is one that prevents you from communicating with other computers unless you have DRM enabled.

    If you assume that DRM will never be implemented in this manner, then that's fine, but I sincerely doubt that its promoters are striving for a DRM system that is nonfunctional. And as I've explained, the only way to make DRM functional is to make it impossible or extremely inconvenient to switch it off.

  • I really can't. This is like Ford saying "Since the national speed limit is capped at 75 mph, all of our cars will have a built in governor that will prevent them from exceeding the speed limit, even in states without a speed limit". Only this is far more insidious.

    Assuming that pirating protected IP is wrong (I'm not getting into that debate... let's say for the sake of argument that it is), this is still a very, very bad move, because:

    A) Due to changes in pirating methods, DRM is probably going to change. Hard wiring DRM into the CPU would be something that would either become useless very quickly, or so restrictive that media that the user plays could easily be mistaken for being a pirated copy. (or both)

    B) DRM in any current iteration doesn't do very well at determining illegal copies of media from legal ones. (Wait, because I copied this CD I *own* onto a CD-R as a backup, and the physical CD I *own* and paid good money for the rights to listen to got scratched, I can't listen to the music anymore on my new computer?)

    C) Hardware should *NEVER* have restrictive control over the type of information stored on a hard drive or the type of information that can be sent over any network unless users are given an understanding of how that control works, and it can be %100 modifiable by the user, as well as being shut off. "Hey, this old file from an old legacy application won't load on my new computer because the CPU thinks it's a pirated game instead of statistical financial information. And you're telling me there's no way around it for 'security' reasons?"

    D) The nature of DRM is that it's set by media corporations who have demonstrated over and over again that they are unethical and prone to abuse any power they have for their own ends. (Ask any up and coming recording artist that's been screwed over by an RIAA member record company). I'm sorry, but I really don't feel very good about my CPU looking into what files I'm trying to access from my HDD or send over the Internet when it's been programmed by what I believe to be a bunch of crooks.

    Of course it's a bad idea, and one that will probably die a horrible death. Tech savvy end users will avoid chips that have DRM, and buyers for larger organizations will probably shy away from putting machines on their networks that restrict information in ways they can't control. As long as there's decent alternatives, it's not something I'm too upset about.

    Then again, I've not purchased an Intel product for my desktop since the 8088 chip I had back in '87 (AMD has always seemed, to me, to offer a better deal), and while most of my laptops currently run Intel chips, if DRM is implemented on them I'll find another brand.

    Note: I'm not an expert on this and thus might be wrong on some points, so I'm admitting this right now before a dozen replies come in saying I'm wrong and overzelous mods don't select 'Flamebait' or 'troll'.

  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zobeid ( 314469 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @06:00PM (#12666194)
    You might be surprised how long I can keep using my old computer, if I'm sufficiently motivated not to "upgrade" to a newer and more crippled one.

    I lived through the Amiga platform dying out from under me, so I have plenty of experience with keeping old machines in service.

    As for my ISP. . . Well, they're a small company, they've treated me right so far. If they ever decide to shut me out because I don't have DRM, they'll get a fight. And at worst, those of us in the anti-DRM camp can set up our own crummy little networks to do what we want. Where there's a will there's a way.
  • by argoff ( 142580 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @06:12PM (#12666254)

    Believe it or not, history is repeating itself here.

    History teaches that during the 1800's there were many people who believed that the entire meaning and purpose of the industrial revolution was to leverage inventions like the cotton gin to expand their plantations for unlimited growth and profit. Ironically just the opposite was true;the industrial revolution demanded a mobile and skilled workforce.

    First, they responded by making slavery last forever, and making laws so harsh you couldn't even teach a person of color how to read. Then they responded by trying to micro-regulate the northern states, then they responded by trying to break off from the Union and fence themselves off from the rest of the world causing all hell to break loose.

    Today many in media circles believe that the entire meaning and purpose of the information age is to use inventions like the Internet to leverage their copyright holdings to the far reaches of the Earth for unlimited growth and profit. Ironically, just the opposite is true; the information age demands the unrestricted flow of information.

    First, they responded my making copyrights last effectively forever, then they responded by making it so that illegal copying could be punished worse than rape, then they tried to micro-regulate the technology industries with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and now they are trying to fence the information they control off from the rest of the world with Digital Rights Management (DRM). We are now at the point where society must tell them to go to hell.

  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @07:10PM (#12666564)
    Not at all: you're making some assumptions that ignore the reality of this situation.

    This isn't about the content or the presumed lost sales due to P2P activity ... it's about owning the channels of distribution, in an effort to continue excluding significant competition. Keep in mind that the history of the entertainment industry is one of monopolism, ongoing abuse of the legal system and utter disregard for anyone but themselves. Just ask any of the thousands of musicians still waiting to get paid. Go read the text of the DMCA and the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act. Then tell me that their actions are reasonable and just.

    So please, do not excuse the unenlightened, treasonous behavior of the media moguls or confuse them with ordinary business leaders just trying to make a buck: they have caused substantial damage to the legal system of the United States and have injured a lot of people using threats and intimidation. In fact, these "moguls" deserve to go to prison for a very long time. If we were still living in a just society that would have happened decades ago.

    But there is another aspect to this that I think bears repeating. Why should a small group of companies and two "industry trade groups" be permitted to rewrite core aspects of United States Copyright Law to the detriment of all citizens? Why should a small group of corporations whose combined income is an insigificant fraction of the GDP of the nation be permitted to buy laws (and that's the correct term ... "buy") written to their own specifications? No, "pirates" aren't the problem. Oligopolistic, criminal cartels and weak-minded Congressman are the problem.

    By the logic of your argument, any obsolescent industry that is under fire from new technology and new ways of doing business should be able to go to Congress and purchase a quick fix. The entertainment cartels have always had emotional problems when dealing with new technologies (well, I think the folks that run them just have issues, period) and this is no different. The fact that those very same technologies have invariably made them even more money continually escapes them. They have tried repeatedly to use the power of the Federal Government to suppress innovative new products (cassettes, video tape, CD-R, DAT, you name it they tried to stop it.) Frankly, I'm getting more than a little sick of these whiny control freaks trying to keep the best of consumer technology away from us. Really, in the overall scheme of things, commercial entertainment just isn't all that important. If I had to pick some aspect of American culture that was worth preserving to the detriment of all others that would not be it.
  • imports (Score:2, Insightful)

    by falconwolf ( 725481 ) <<falconsoaring_2000> <at> <>> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @07:11PM (#12666573)

    The OEMS don't give a damn about your pathetic little outlaw markets, they don't re-align billion dollar fabs and ship product to rust on the LA docks because it will never clear customs.

    They won't have to "rust" on the docks, if there is a market there will be a way. If it comes to it and there's a market parts will be smuggled in, afterall if drugs can be smuggled many other things can be as well.

  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Borealis ( 84417 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @07:41PM (#12666750) Homepage
    I disagree. When the consumer finds out that they can't play their MP3 collection on the lasted machine there will be a real quick end to this.

    The Sith lords of IP can only rule the world so long as they make products folks want to buy. Guess what happens when all the big names go to DRM, all the little companies that aren't in the Trusted Computing Group see a surprising increase in sales because their products still work.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @07:48PM (#12666798)
    Why the fuck would I care if my binaries are signed?! I'M THE ONE WHO COMPILED THEM!

    There's no such thing as "trusted binary code"; only trusted source code. And the only reason it's trusted is that I, or someone I trust -- not fucking Microsoft -- read the code.
  • Re:Cop Flag (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @08:01PM (#12666865) Homepage Journal
    Many Constitutional rights protections are used only in defense of rights. For example, the 5th Amendment protection form self-incrimination is invoked only reactively - only in response to a demand. And when I incorporate a business, I am asserting a privilege proactively under law. It is *your* dichtomy that is false. Where does US law state that "rights are the basis for filing suits, privileges are not - privileges are the basis only for legal defenses"?

    Fair use is a description of actions not prohibited by the copyright law. It is a part of the law that leaves protected the rights not constrained by the introduction of the law, offering their protection. The copyright law constrains some rights for commercial expedience, preferring property rights to expression rights where they conflict, except in cases where the expression is protected as "fair". Copyright holder vs copier rights is a zero-sum game, and protecting fair copying from copyright proscription derives from protecting people's rights to copy which, unprotected from copyright, would make society unworkable. Much like allowing censors to proscribe free speech would make society unworkable. It is copyright which is the necessary exception to other rights.
  • by Bunyip Redgum ( 641801 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @08:01PM (#12666867)
    Image in three or four years when most PCs in use have this enabled. If it is hacked:

    1. The black hats will 0wn most of these PCs and nothing short of replacing the hardware will fix this. Intel may then be forced to replace every CPU with technology they can prove in court doesn't pose such a risk (under consumer rights laws that require products to be fit for purpose which suppliers can't escape via a click thru license etc). If the vulnerability is in the support chips it would cost even more as the recall would require the replacement of hundreds of millions of motherboards!

    2. If someone hacks the DRM component and frees everything by removing all the restrictions, the content owners who relied on this technology could sue Intel.

  • Re:Sales. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by X0563511 ( 793323 ) * on Saturday May 28, 2005 @08:50PM (#12667104) Homepage Journal
    Hate to break it to you, but last I checked AMD was onboard with the TCPA alliance.

    Look at the top of this list. s/ []

    The domain redirects to the domain I linked to. It's official.
  • by Xyrus ( 755017 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @09:53PM (#12667403) Journal
    The media companies are moving to place themselves in the same position as the Catholic church did during the Inquisition.

    Those in power in the governemnt go along with it because they need those corporations to help them stay in power.

    A mutually beneficial relationships forms. The media companies want more control so they ask/pay the government. The government agrees so they can have more control as well.

    Eventually all information will be controled, and the masses will follow (except for the rare few who go against the "establishment").

    It's brave new world, and a majority of Americans are helping it.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @12:13AM (#12668032) Homepage
    Intel's "Active Management Technology" is described by Intel here. [] But there's no real information there, just endless PR and management-level papers, all claiming that if you have remote control, magically your machines will all just work. (We've heard this before, from Microsoft, who called it Zero Administration [].)

    From what little information is available, the following appears to be the case:

    • AMT is implemented by some small auxiliary processor in the network controller. It's not, apparently, firmware that runs in system management mode. But that's not entirely clear.
    • AMT for clients is basically an implementation of Alert Standard Format [], a remote management interface which previously required installing a special plug-in board. This probably means that it uses Remote Management Control Protocol (RCMP) to talk to the client. This uses UDP datagrams on ports 623 and 644. Sending an RCMP Presence Ping on port 623 to any machine with RCMP enabled should result in a reply. Port 644 has a reasonable security system, requiring a key exchange at the start of each session. Messages are cryptographically signed, but not encrypted. If properly configured, only harmless functions should be enabled on port 623. If improperly configured...
    • The general idea is that a new computer must enroll in the system by doing one good boot of the OS and talking to the remote system administration machine for an initial key exchange of 160-bit keys. Once that's been done, secure sessions are possible. It's not clear what the initial state of a new system is. One would hope that this stuff comes up disabled. But Intel isn't telling.
    • Key-setting appears to be done through normal OS operation. It doesn't apparently require an external hardware device to be plugged in, which would be far more secure.
    • Some RCMP functions of interest:
      • Unconditional Power Down
      • Force Hard Drive Boot
      • Force CD/DVD boot (may be redirected to net)
      • Lock Power/Reset/Sleep buttons.
      • Lock Keyboard
      • Blank Screen
      • User Password Bypass
      • Remote Control Device Action (control peripherals)
      There are also, of course, many functions for examining the state of the target machine.
    • One very real possibility is that spyware, worms, or viruses might set the RCMP keys and enable RCMP on a machine. If it does that, the machine is 0wned. Really 0wned. If an attacker can set the keys, an attacker can not only reboot the system remotely, they can disable the keyboard, power off button, sleep button, and reset button. Of course, you could pull the plug. Maybe. Visualize this happening on a WiFi enabled laptop.

    This system is not all that badly designed, provided it stays turned off except in corporate environments that really want it and understand its implications. But if implemented dumbly (with, say, the same keys on all machines, or an insecure administration machine) it opens huge security holes. For example, if all the help desk machines have the master RCMP keys to all the machines in the organization, it's almost inevitable that there will be a leak. Compare Kerberos, where there's a central machine that has to be physically secured, but all it does is key management.

    Linux support for all this is possible; the interfaces are documented. And definitely, someone needs to explore RCMP messages on port 623 and find out what is enabled at by default.

    And if anybody breaks into your corporate help desk machine, they 0wn the company.

  • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @12:22AM (#12668064)
    Until the hard drive, boot kernel, DVD drive, and keyboard are locked down with the DRM system, yes.
  • Re:Cop Flag (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @12:25AM (#12668080)
    If Fair Use applies, there was no infringement. Keep your terms clear when you write this stuff: what you are describing is an "alleged" infringement.
  • by plover ( 150551 ) * on Sunday May 29, 2005 @12:44AM (#12668164) Homepage Journal
    "Trusted computing" is going to offer more than just the ability to playback DRMed material without the possibility of your copying it. It's also going to offer "certified" programs. Want to run Office? Hope your subscription is up to date. Fine, Microsoft gets their money.

    But what happens when the OS turns on you? Let's say that a judge somewhere finds BitTorrent is an "infringing application", and orders Microsoft to disable the signature associated with BitTorrent? There, problem solved, no Microsoft boxes will run it. And now, the CPU is party to enforcing that restriction.

    And what happens when it goes even further? Downloaded a copy of Star Wars III to your hard drive, and now you're trying to play it through Windows Media Player, DRM Edition? Not only is it going to refuse it because the file's signature is on the nightly-downloaded "do not play" list, but nothing is stopping them from reporting you to the MPAA.

    Wanna run Knoppix? Sorry, but now the chip can identify that as an "infringing application."

    With Trusted Computing, DRM isn't a choice -- it's the rule. DRM chips are simply the only playground on which they can be forced to happen.

  • Re:Sales. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Maxwell309 ( 639989 ) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @03:20AM (#12668606) Homepage
    Alright -- so the technology can be used in a good way, too. But it was still primarily designed for the benefit of the cartel, and there's still a private key that you're not allowed to know. I think the danger greatly outweighs any possible benefit.

    The only problem I have with your source is that a Trusted Computing Module (TPM) in the chipset is not equal to Microsoft Palladium (or whatever it is called now).

    There is a private key that you are not allowed to know and it is the private key you generate! One functionality of a TPM is as a device for the secure generation and storage of key pairs. Your private key never leaves the TPM. You are the only person who has control over generation of keys in the TPM.

    The TPM incorporates 3 types of functionality. These include keypair generation and storage, booting of only trusted systems (trusted by you), and TPM managment functions.

    There is no DRM inherent in the TPM. The TPM should not be confused with the Microsoft extensions to the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance's standards work. There is no MPAA/RIAA/Microsoft secret key in your TPM and there is no TCPA Certificate Authority from which you must get software certificates. The TCPA's work is cross platform and there is GPL code available to utilize the functionality of the TPM. You choose what system software is trusted to boot.

    Implying that trusted computing is bad because it facilitates DRM is as flawed as saying encryption is bad because it allows "terrorists" and child pornographers to hide their secrets. The problem is not Trusted Computing Modules, the problem is non-free operating systems incorporating DRM functionality.
  • Re:Sales. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Sunday May 29, 2005 @05:51AM (#12668905) Homepage
    When the consumer finds out that they can't play their MP3 collection

    No, MP3s play just fine on Trusted Computers. A Trusted Computer can do anything a normal computer can do.

    companies that aren't in the Trusted Computing Group see a surprising increase in sales because their products still work.

    You have it backwards, which is why Trusted Computing is a very very real danger. It can be forced upon us in an exact reversal of the way you think it will fail.

    The new software will only work on a Trusted Computer. The new files will only be useable on a Trusted Computer. The new websites will only be accessible with a Trusted Computer.

    It is normal computers that will see a drop in sales because they don't work anymore. Old computers won't work at all with new stuff.

    What do you think is going to happen when your McDonalds Happymeal comes with a FREE Britteny Spears music CD that only plays on a Trusted Computer? Or a FREE Spongebob Squarepants game that can only install and run on a Trusted Computer? I'll tell you what... little Tyffani is going to whine to mom and dad... whine thet the music and game play just fine on the computer at her friend Bryttani's house... whine "why do we have a crappy old compyooooter??" "Our compyooter sucks!" And then mom and dad will run out to buy a new 'enhanced' and 'compatible' computer that can play the god-damn FREE CD from McDonalds just to shut the kid up.

    And then after maybe five years (once all those moms and dads have bought shiny new Trusted Enhanced computers) your ISP will install Trusted Network Connect Routers. The Trusted Computing Group has all of the documentation on Trusted Network Conect on their front page. What it does is "quarantine" your computer unless it's Trusted and running an approved OS and an approved and mandated firewall, and any other software they want to mandate. At that point you and I have no choice but to submit to Trusted Computing - that or we are denied internet access.

  • by Decker-Mage ( 782424 ) <> on Sunday May 29, 2005 @08:46AM (#12669339)
    Yep, good old power conflict theory in action. The only thing Marx got wrong was attributing just one group using such mechanisms. Any elite group attempts to manipulate their society to preserve their power and privileges and this is just one more example in the long history of mankind. When they overreach, and they already have to judge from events I'm seeing around the world, there will be a backlash. See the recent judicial decisions in France, of all places! Interesting times, very interesting. I love it.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard