"Welcome to the United Police State Of America."
December 22, 2000 9:35 AM   Subscribe

"Welcome to the United Police State Of America." Number two Linux spokesman Alan Cox may have been a bit over the top in his reaction, but industry plans to integrate copy protection and rights management into future hard drives could cause all kinds of legal and technical nightmares.
posted by harmful (6 comments total)
Hmm, is anyone sure alan said this? Has anybody stopped to realise this is completely technically unfeasible? You can't write drive hardware that'll recognise copyrighted material. You could have software that writes material to these disks in such a way that it can't be copied, but still, that's more of a software issue than a hardware issue. I don't see any problem in drives supporting this, as long as I don't pay extra. I'm just not going to use the software...
posted by fvw at 1:03 PM on December 22, 2000

This is scary: greed never sleeps. DeCSS and Napster aren't killing the entertainment business: the entertainment business is killing itself.

However... If the OEMs don't want it, I have trouble believing that we'll see many CPRM-compliment hard drives in our new Dells, especially if it will hurt consumer confidence in the home PC industry. This smacks of CSS, DVx, and other failed attempts to take away consumers' right to fair use.
posted by tranquileye at 2:23 PM on December 22, 2000

Hmm, is anyone sure alan said this?


Fuck it. Consumers routed around DivX, and they'll do the same with any HD manufacturer that implements this. And even if there's a cabal across the industry, there'll always be rebels, and they'll flourish.
posted by holgate at 4:38 PM on December 22, 2000

The rebels will only flourish if they murder the existing power structure. Kill a drive technician for Jesus!
posted by aramaic at 6:14 PM on December 22, 2000

this is a shock
posted by AndyGrossman at 12:05 AM on December 23, 2000

This is so dumb. Think about it this way: one of the core features of most operating systems is the ability to define new file systems. This is the mechanism that allows RAM disks, networked file systems, foreign file systems (ie, Mac file system on windows/lunix) and so on.

The only way a copy protection drive can work is if the installing software knows about it. If you direct the installer to install on a software file system (non-copy protect) layered on top of the copy protected drive, then it installs just fine.

The only possible mechanism that could succeed is if the software only installs on a copy protected drive and that copy protected drives were pervasive. Chances of the market supporting that: somewhere between slim and none.

Stream of consciousness thought: copy protect hard drives might work on software systems that also dictate a particular hardware platform (CAD, for example). In this way, the hard drive is nothing more than a built-in dongle.
posted by plinth at 6:50 AM on December 23, 2000

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