Tuesday, May 17, 2005

MS DRM (aka Janus)

or: digital rights management further investigated

Quote from March 2004:

Have you noticed how the word "legitimate" is becoming content industry code for "restricted"? But here, note that the consumer's goal of taking stuff they've bought "wherever they want" is something that Microsoft's new DRM will "ultimately" allow. And you can read into it the music industry's goal of policing what the consumer can and cannot do with "purchased" content." (theregister.co.uk)

May, 2004:

Microsoft Announces New Version of Windows Media Digital Rights Management Software
America Online, CinemaNow, Creative, Dell, Disney, Motorola, Napster, OD2 and SigmaTel Embrace New DRM to Enable Delivery of Subscription or Video-on-Demand Content to Portable Devices and Over Home Networks
REDMOND, Wash. -- May 2, 2004 -- Microsoft Corp. today unveiled the features of the next version of its Windows Media® Digital Rights Management (DRM) software, and announced early adopters of the platform, including leading online music and movie services, entertainment companies, consumer electronics manufacturers and chip makers. Microsoft's next generation of Windows Media DRM technology will make new scenarios possible, such as protecting, delivering and playing subscription-based or on-demand digital music and video. These scenarios span Windows®-based PCs and devices, including portable audio devices, Portable Media Centers, cellular phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) such as Windows Mobile (TM) -based Pocket PCs and Smartphones, and networked devices connected within the home, including those that connect over a wireless network. " (Microsoft news bulletin)

In May 2005, only two hits for Janus on whole MS website (apart from 8 forum-mentioning)

From WinMediaPlayer 10 manual:

"One important new feature to the Portable Media Center and Windows Media Player 10 is the improved capabilities in buying, playing, and transferring DRM-protected content to your Portable Media Center device. The DRM version commonly known by the codename “Janus” is included in the Portable Media Center OS image. The digital rights of music purchased from online music stores like MSN Music and Napster can now transferred, along with the content, to and from Portable Media Center devices. "

Typical MS news bulletin heading:

Microsoft and Disney Announce Multiyear Agreement to Cooperate On Digital Media Initiatives and for Disney to License Windows Media Digital Rights Management Software

Now, when you understand the subject,
must read this whole article:

(excerpt)
Of TCPA, Palladium and Wernher von Braun
[...]
"That's not Manferdelli's fault, and it's not Microsoft's fault. Well, not that department, anyway. One can envisage scenarios where content providers could use Palladium to destroy compromised content, and indeed one does not have to envisage too hard. Microsoft, for example, has said quite a bit about how its secure media player technology can be used to deal with compromised devices, and the company is already checking IDs at Windows Update and denying service to compromised installations. Plus, according to the latest licences, the company reserves itself the right to "disable your ability to copy and/or play Secure Content." So although Manferdelli's department may be clean, it's still reasonable to worry about the other departments. And about what the entertainment business might do if given access to this kind of power.
Zaba, rationally enough, points out you can't have ideological controls in trusted computing platforms, and that this really has to be dealt with at the political level. True enough, but in the interim we'll likely be hearing a lot from Wernher von Braun " (theregister.co.uk)

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