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Encryption Security

Digital Display Encryption Details Leaked 212

Posted by michael
from the licensed-monitor-device dept.
Phill Hugo writes: "Cryptome has details of the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection System which will be implemented as content control between computers and monitor screens. I wonder if continued leaking of the details of the many copy-protections systems will make them unworkable. Who's willing to follow suit in the other camps?" Your monitor will soon be a "licensed monitor device".
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Digital Display Encryption Details Leaked

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    if a company has a monopoly on (A) and uses that monopoly to gain a monopolistic control on some other item (B) - is that not illegal?

    The movie industry acts in concert - they act as a single company. They use their monopoly (the movies) to gain control over another industry (B) the players. Is that not illegal?

    Likewise, if MSFT - demands that all audio drivers are signed by MSFT otherwise the content is messed up. If I want to sell my sound card to windows users, have they not gained a monopolistic control over sound card manufactures?

    Same thing happens here - but with computers, dvds and hdtv.

    So how does the little guy - like me - who wants to make his own stuff and start his own company do so? These companies have raised the bar so high so as to preclude the particpation of a new player in the market. And have thus completed their monopolistic take over of the market.

    Obviously - something is going on.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    My fav trick to get around "listen but don't save" audio formats like .ram files is a fake sound driver that actually writes to disk. There's no way the software can trap this out without having a "list of all approved sound drivers" which would piss off many PC owners with junk sound cards/drivers made by fly by night companies.

    So now we will need a dummy video driver that "T"'s video to the screen and to disk. Faster computers will make this readily doable.

  • I like it... but I seriously doubt that it would ever go through.

    Just a couple more things might be necessary: one to satisfy the copyright holders, and be explicit about it, and the other to save money on court costs if and when the situation arises.

    (6) These rights do not and can not be implied to extend to permit any unauthorized broadcast or redistribution, except as specifically outlined above.

    (7) Where these rights and existing Copyright Law come into conflict, Copyright Law shall be enforced only so long as it does not diminish the consumer's rights to copy as listed above, or any other "fair use" rights explicitly described in Copyright Law

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2001 @03:35PM (#243406)
    I'm going to stock up on normal monitors now, and sell them on ebay in 5 years.

    I'll make a fortune!
  • by root (1428) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @05:34PM (#243407) Homepage
    To SAVE MONEY on many duplicate court trials and to REDUCE COURT WORKLOAD, Congress should IMMEDIATELY create and pass a Declaration of Consumer Copying Rights or DCCR (pronounced "decker")... A consumer Bill of Rights that list what people are EXPLICITLY ALLOWED to do with copyrighted material.

    (1) The Right of The People to make unlimited copies of copyrighted materials, which they own or hold a valid license to, for their own personal use shall not be infringed.
    (2) The Right of The People to transfer ownership or licenses of copyrighted materials , and at their own discresion, (with all copies made therof, if any) to another party shall not be infringed.
    (3) The Right of The People to make a copy, in any format, of a copyrighted work aired on a public or subscribed broadcast medium for time shift viewing purposes shall not be infringed.
    (4) The Right of The People to possess the hardware and software and other tools necessary to carry out the above shall not be infringed. (5) These rights, as a whole, shall immediately, retroactively, and for all time preempt the portions of all contracts and licenses contrary with the above.

    Seem fair? Changes? Additions?

  • Time to BAN the US mail and other delivery services. It appears that they can be used to get around the DMCA...
  • Computers are fast enough to make an MJPEG stream of that, which IS sufficiently low-bandwidth to be saved to disk. Then you can convert that MJPEG to anything else, like MPEG4 or divx.
    ------------------------------------------- -------------
    UNIX isn't dead, it just smells funny...
  • Bruce Perens warned [google.com] of this when napster first arrived on the scene, everyone seemed to ignore him. (The above link is a google cache, because I couldn't get to technocrat.net for some reason)
  • by rew (6140)
    It is extremely hard to get such an effort off the ground.

    If say 80% of the users would have such a monitor, it would be a possible decision to say: "f*ck those without HDCPS, we'll only release this movie with this enabled".

    So who is going to be buying compatible cards and monitors? You can't do anything with them that you can't with a normal monitor.... So, we'll always keep a significant marketshare that makes the decision to copy-protect the movie very uneconomic.

    Roger.
  • It just must be. Because if this trend continues, they're gonna have to classify computers as munitions, and keep 'em out of the hands of everyday citizens.

    When computers become outlawed, only outlaws will have computers...

    --
  • is for nobody to buy this shite. Then it will go away.

    If every computer monitor manufacturer implements this, you will have two choices:

    1) Buy this shite.

    2) Don't buy anything.

    If you choose the later, this shite won't go away; you will have gone away. I doubt the entire world is going to give up on computing, so your time would be better spent finding another way to fight this. Perhaps convincing a couple of manufacturers to continue to offer monitors that don't implement it, for instance.

    -
  • If Linux is more common by that time, can we design something into it that is incompatible with the protection? (i.e. have the kernel fail to recognize the encryption handshake, meaning that in order to use Linux, you'll need an unencrypted display.)


    The result of that would be fewer people using Linux. It would not necessarily translate into manufacturers making monitors for us.

    -
  • sets, limit, for, analog

    this is sooooo flawed, and will cost them billions
  • by justin.warren (14556) <daedalus AT eigenmagic DOT com> on Saturday May 05, 2001 @04:12PM (#243424) Homepage
    Actually, no. Read the document, in particular section 5 - Renewability. I initially thought something similar to the leaked keys which enabled DeCSS to work its magic might occur here, but they've apparently learnt their lesson and put in something to counter it.

    To summarise for those who haven't read the thing: I initially thought, "Ok, cool, so we just reverse engineer the secret keys and KSV out of the hardware that we have access to and implement in software." We don't have to know what the hell's going on, just get access to the keys. Any cryptosystem is broken if you can get a hold of the secret key(s).

    Aha! But they know this is possible, so they've built in a method to get the system to check for known leaked secret keysets and KSV's. It's broadcast in the media, so your copy of The Matrix will play fine, but Antitrust knows your keys are compromised and so won't play. This is basically the same as revoking your PGP/GPG key if it becomes compromised. Actually, from my quick read of this spec, they appear to have designed a variant of public key cryptography. I'll leave the cryptanalysis of the algorithm to someone actually good at it.

    Key management is the real weakness here, though. Sure, if a keyset is compromised it can be tagged as such on newer media, but old media which _doesn't_ know the keyset is compromised should play fine... unless the values are stored in NVRAM or similar on the video card or in the monitor, which would be what I'd design in if I were trying to take all your rights away.

    That's a management nightmare, though. Just look at the proliferation of DeCSS. Now imagine a similar program for decoding the video stream and an online database of compromised keys. Sure, the HDCP consortium can update their compromised keylists, but there's a time delay in getting those updates out to the hardware (using the video media as the vector). Cue a game of cat and mouse with the hackers putting out keysets and the HDCP struggling to keep their updates moving.

    The big problem that they don't appear to realise is that they are sending the secret keys out into hostile territory! The only way a cryptosystem can remain secure is if you can maintain security of the secret key(s). If the user were choosing the keys for the hardware themselves to protect a datastream over a local video broadcast medium, then that would be fine, because the person choosing the private keys is the person who can maintain the security of those keys.

    An analogy: creating a PGP key pair and placing your public key on the 'net for people to use. Now encode your private key onto a CD, which you give to someone. They leak your key, so you issue a recovation and generate a new keypair, but every time you generate a new keypair, you publish your private key (no matter how it has been obscured). As soon as someone other than you has access to your private key, it should be assumed to be compromised.

    All in all, a better attempt than CSS, but still fundamentally broken.

  • The Right of The People to make unlimited copies of copyrighted materials, which they own or hold a valid license to, for their own personal use shall not be infringed.

    "which they own or hold a valid license to"? What a horrible idea. Copyright law alone should apply; special contracts between the content provider and the user shouldn't be acknowledged. Change it to "which they own a lawful copy of".


    ---
  • by PRickard (16563) <pr@@@ms-bc...com> on Saturday May 05, 2001 @06:05PM (#243432) Homepage
    This is similar to what Microsoft is planning for Windows XP's sound infrastucture. XP will send all sound signals to the sound card with some kind of encrypted static in them. The card, using a Microsoft-approved driver, will then decode the signal and remove the static for playback [see The Register [theregister.co.uk]].
    Its all intended to prevent us from somehow getting between the OS and hardware to 'steal' audio (and video, with the monitor system) after the software decodes it. Microsoft is jonesing to help the RIAA kill MP3 and replace it with WMA, and the best way to do that is sucking up to the RIAA and its member companies by taking control away from the end user/listener. Yet another reason to Boycott Microsoft [msboycott.com]!
  • I can't help but wonder how those KSVs and secret key sets are generated... Anyone know of another system like this?

    Taral

    WARN_(accel)("msg null; should hang here to be win compatible\n");

  • by Daffy Duck (17350) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @05:02PM (#243434) Homepage
    It seems clear that this whole hullabaloo boils down to stopping people from copying movies. This is in the movie studios' interest. But with the exception of Sony, are there any monitor manufacturers who are in bed with movie producers? If not, why would a manufacturer want to go to all the trouble and added expense?

    I think the only answer would be customer demand. So how can the movie studios create this demand? By releasing movies that will ONLY be playable on conforming equipment.

    But this is going to be a huge hurdle, much bigger than the introduction of DVDs. With a DVD, at most you have to buy a DVD-ROM drive or a DVD player that now costs under $200. But this new protected videostream is going to require you to buy a new protected DVD player AND a new protected TV. (Or for PC folks, a new video card and a new monitor.) Now you're paying at least $500, probably closer to $1000. That's pretty severe! These movies are going to have to be awfully good to make it worthwhile for anyone who isn't rolling in money.

    The eventual disappearance of NTSC broadcasts is going to be tough enough to sell even when "all" most folks have to do is buy a set-top box. But tell everyone that they must replace every TV they own, and I don't think they'll go for it.

    Therefore, I think the only way for this to go through in a big way is for the movie studios to get together and buy all the major monitor manufacturers. Good luck, fellas.

  • Aha! But they know this is possible, so they've built in a method to get the system to check for known leaked secret keysets and KSV's.

    Is it just me or does it seem like at *some* point this database of known leaked secret keysets and KSV's would take *large* amounts of space? Possibly terabytes? Where would they store all this? On the CD/DVD? On a server on the Net (this would imply working Net access would have to be a given...imagine you can't play your copy of "The Matrix" because your Net connection is down or broken)?

  • Just make a decrypting system: A camera pointed at a view-inhibited monitor.

    [I suppose this post violates the DCMA because it describes a system to break a protection method.]

  • Oracle used it. I imagine it's probably standard in information theory, but I never went to college, so what do I know?

    -jhp

  • Is for ONE person to make a device to tap into the signal going to the picture tube, and this protection scheme will be useless

    There are probably more people who'd know how to do this kind of hardware hack than who know cryptoanalysis.
    Suppose you could place the decoder in the CRT itself, but it's a hostile enviroment for microchips and it's kind of hard to obscure a valve circuit.
    Even if you could assume that the design will be discovered.
  • Unfortunately some fuckhead came up with the idea of "licence-agreements" - and worst of all, most governments in the world allows this kind of development-brake to be switched on.

    At a guess the original point behind a software licence was the protection of a small (contractor) company from a much larger customer.
    Problem is we now have software suppliers who are larger than customers and tend to have software sold as a packaged item, rather than being custom written by the software company as a contractor.
  • Who the hell made the Movie and Song industries the people who get to choose how I use things for which I've already paid for??

    Rember that these industries are "middlemen". Unless they can keep the status quo in methods of distributing they might simply become obsolete. Actors and musicians will always be wanted, however...
  • (1) The Right of The People to make unlimited copies of copyrighted materials, which they own or hold a valid license to, for their own personal use shall not be infringed.

    Add "including to a different kind of media from the original"


    4) The Right of The People to possess the hardware and software and other tools necessary to carry out the above shall not be infringed.

    Ammend to "possess, design, develop, distribute and claim copyright/patent/trademark protection (if applicable)"
  • Keep in mind that this is an international market though I realise that most of the consumers exist in the States.

    Except that this simply isn't the case.
  • Its about time the balance of power shifted away from the consumer of media, and back toward the producer. Better piracy-prevention technology will enable content producers to invest in new movies music and other content

    Except that it isn't content producers who are makink any fuss at all (with the exception of Metallica). The people involved are middlemen.
    Where are all the protesting musicians, singers, sound engineers, actors, writers, produces, stunt men, etc?
  • The Beatles were big. Metallica is/was big. But that's only because, in the past, record companies had to winnow out obvious losers in order to recruit talent which could stand a chance of sustaining mass appeal.

    How much of this is the record companies and how much is actually the effect of consumer choice.
    Leave music 20 years and most of the rubbish is long forgotten, leave it 200 years and all of the rubbish is forgotten.
  • All this greed excess - the fear that someone, somewhere, may be enjoying anything without having spent money - leads to an absurd result. Schemes like HDCP, like CSS, etc, effectively have a Communist idea at their root; if we are allowed to own any copyrighted material we will steal: Property equals theft.

    So remember, Hillary Rosen is a stinkin' pinko. Hmm... Rosen... Well, there you have it.

    Oh, and don't buy any of these encrypted monitor things, or I'll have to call you a total sucker. SUCKER, I SAY! FELL OFF A TURNIP TRUCK, YOU DID!

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Mod thatup!
    One of them is going to be a set of viruses that intentionally triggers mechanisms like these so even legitimate data can't be displayed/copied/played back properly.

    It crosses over into sabotage - not quite terrorism. More like gluing locks to public parks than taking a nail file to a Firestone tire. It is destructive and violent, but it also might do more to convince John Q Jackass, Senator Dipshit, and the juries of class action lawsuits against the RIAA and the MPAA than all the copies of DeCSS put together.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Didn't read cryptonomicon, did you? Check this [counterpane.com].

    Five letter sequences are the key. Perhaps someone less lazy than I will try a password. I'd start with "This is good." Then try "Slashdot", "Anonymous Coward", and variations. That person is not only less lazy but has more time than me.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Forget Ted Turner Tie a goddamned noose around the neck fo that bastard Rupert Murdock. In my revolution his head would be the first to roll.
  • If the lawyer could not have come up with an example no wonder they lost. They gotta get better lawyers.
  • What part of that was wrong? The part about the liberterians advocating less laws? The part about corporations being more profitable under laxer labor and environmental regulations? The part about having to settle disputes via civil courts because the there are fewer laws with smaller scope? The part about fighting even richer corporations in court being hard?

    Go read the liberterian literature and point out to me where they advocate more regulation and sticter laws.
  • Unfortunately there HAS TO BE FORCE. No powerful organization s going to do what's right without some sort of force. Let's take your overly simplististic and totally useless example. Let's say that exxon just spilled a barrel of oil on my back yard. I have to take them court can I afford that?. Let's say I found a lawyer with a good heart who took on the thousand lawyers exxon has on staff and by some divine act of god actually won in court before he and I both were bankrupt and in our grave. Who is going to force exxon to clean up or reimburse me? That's right somebody has to eventually force exxon to do the right thing and that is the evil gubmit.
    Now take a more realistic example. Exxon spills a billion gallons of oil 500 miles off the coast of california. Who is going to sue them? Whose property got ruined? That's right nobody!

    As you say in a liberterian world all environmental disgressions are a matter of compensation and must be settled in civil court (which was my point as well). By reducing the scope of criminal law and legislation and by selling all public lands to the private sector you will shift the entire burden of grievences to the civil courts. If you can afford to fight the exxons of the world that's good news if you can't it sucks for you but it's great for exxon.

    For the common man it will suck so much more to live in a liberterian world. At least you can attempt to lobby your legislator or organize but the CEO of exxon is not elected by you and does not give a flying fuck about you, your family, or the world you live in. He just wants more money.
  • I read it three times and it still does not make sense. You just sprout nonsensical phrases like "ends don't justify means". What the hell does that have anything to with anything. Either something is a crime and can be punished via the criminal system or it's not a crime and has to be settled in the civil courts. Which police is going to charge Exxon with what crime when there are no environmetal laws? When pollution is a civil matter cops won't get involved. When pollution happens in the middle of the ocean then nothing happens. A liberterian world is one ran by corporations and for corporations. Liberterianism is the means to that end. Either you are rich and rule or are poor and suffer. Nobody to protect you from the exxons of the world.
  • by Malcontent (40834) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @07:50PM (#243460)
    As a liberterian you would be advocating a smaller nay an absolutely minimalist government. You would in effect reduce the executive and legislative branches of the government to a bare minimum and allow the judicial branch to become much more powerful. Every dispute would have to be settled in the courts and most of those would have to be settled in the civil courts because there would be a drastic reduction in the number and scope of laws.

    Given this I submit that the corporations would be much more powerful then they are today. By eliminating all safety regulations, minimum wages, pollution laws etc you would allow the corporations to make much greater profit then they do now. It would be even more impossible to take them to court given their greater wealth. By reducing power of government you will create a vacuum which will be filled by the corporations. They can grow unchecked and wreak havoc on the world without any resistance whatsoever.
  • I was only talking to the people who have the money to run for office, but don't want to because they're good people.

    I know what it takes to win an election in the US.
    ------
    I'm a C++ guru ... What's STL?

  • by Dwonis (52652) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @05:30PM (#243466)
    You guys in the U.S.A. have an obligation to the rest of the world to fix your government. Soon, something like this will be mandated by your government, and through "globalization", will pollute every other country who isn't an enemy of the U.S. Your country will be responsible for the downfall of the entire planet, and we'll have either an Orwellian culture (*shiver*) or a third world war of corporations versus the public masses (*equal*shiver*).

    I'm talking to YOU. You know who you are. You're the guy with the ability (money) to run for political office, and could probably win, but you don't want to get into politics. You're leaving the governing of your nation to the more corrupt or power-hungry or lawyer-type or self-centred bastards who don't give a damn about society as a whole.

    Run for office, for Christ's sake, because the way it's going, it will only get worse! Get off your ass and make a small sacrafice for the rest of us. You can do it! We're only asking for two terms.
    ------
    I'm a C++ guru ... What's STL?

  • by Dwonis (52652) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @05:20PM (#243467)
    First of all, there are really only three picture-tube manufacturers for monitors, and Sony's one of them. I can see them making contracts to only sell tubes to companies who implement this.

    Second, the current corruption of the United States government will allow a law to be passed, mandating this.

    This shit better not leak into Canada, or they're going to see skilled labour (namely myself and anyone with the means who gives a damn) leaving.
    ------
    I'm a C++ guru ... What's STL?

  • When the value of cracking this scheme reaches seven figures, rest assured that someone with access to all the S00Per SeCkriT code will sell it, and we'll see little cable-patch doohickeys that decrypt the video stream.

    In the meantime, buy the monitors, and return them within whatever period your local laws mandate for letting you change your mind. When you take the thing back, tell the merchant that you decided that it's morally wrong to support RIAA stupidity.

    -jcr
  • I'm sure graphics artists, video producers, etc. are going to love having MacroVision or some other image-degrading thing reducing the quality of theur images. Or maybe there will be "professional" equipment that costs more, a la minidisc. I hate the MPAA and RIAA.

    - - - - -
  • Every now and again some Slashdotter posts something along the lines of a major corporation being "socialist" - meaning that it has a monopoly and, ergo, is part of the state. I don't necessarily support that type of logic.

    Maybe they say it from the point of view that, Socialist government relies on the use of force to maintain "fair" distributions of resources, and companies who achieve monopolies also use force, via the government and its laws, to maintain their "fair" distribution of resources.

    In other words, without the use of force, there can be no monopolies, and socialist governments are in the business of monopolies.

    The U.S. Government used to grant limited monpolies for short durations of time to strike a balance between the "common good" -- wide dissemination of ideas and information -- and profit motive. The idea was to have more information created, which would then be widely disseminated. In exchange for the use of government force to establish and maintain a monopoly in a specific area (i.e., getting a patent, trademark or copyright), you agree to give up all rights to that thing after a set, limited amount of time; and also show other people how to so it. If you don't like that deal, you try to "trade secret" -- which affords no government protection to you (beyond regular theft/espionage/etc laws).

    I'm pretty sure that if we could dig up and re-animate the founding fathers and other revolutionaries that founded this country, they would be throwing DVD players into Boston Harbor in no time. And advocating the widespread production of hemp. And backing out of entangling treaties. And giving the smackdown to corporations as a legal entiry. Etc. I.e., improving the place.

    - - - - -
  • You guys in the U.S.A. have an obligation to the rest of the world to fix your government.

    Boy, do we. And to fix our media companies *cough Ted Turner* while we're at it.

    I'll be running for President when I'm old enough. As a Libertarian. Restoring the balance of power in favor of the people, rather than the government, or corporations. In fact, I might jsut do away with corporations, and put commercial business back on the footing it was once on in this country. Either that, or extend to individuals the same rights that corporations have. ;)



    - - - - -
  • Corporations are essentially immortal; they can wait

    Here's a crazy idea that just might work: limit the life span of a corporation to the current average, or maximum recorded, human lifespan. The the corporation is dissolved and its assets sold, with the usual inheritance taxes taken out. The owners of the company can set up another company to buy the old company's assets, so the business will go on. But other companies and people can also bid for it in open auction. Turnover, baby!

    - - - - -
  • The part about "growing unchecked and wreaking havoc."

    Libertarians are fine with regulation. It's important. It's a proper role for government; Thomas Jefferson even said so. However, Libertarians also don't think that the government should be in business itself, or that the welfare state is a good idea. Libertarians think that the "war on drugs" is a bad idea. Libertarians think that a clean environment is a good thing, but that there should be a single standard, and that solutions to environmental problems should be based in property law. I.e., the governments can't get away with polluting just because they are the government, as is the case now. And if someone pollutes your property, you are entitled to compensation for that, just as if someone turned over a barrel of oil in your living room, they would be liable.

    Libertarians are most worried about means, as opposed to ends. And initiating the use of force to achieve your ends is not acceptable. If you want to boil down Libertarianism, you can do it much more succinctly that you did: "No force, no fraud."

    - - - - -
  • Actually the spill would be a matter for the police, and then perhaps civil court.

    "There has to be force" -- for retaliatory use only. That's the difference between the Libertarian outlook and yours; Libertarians don't think that the ends justify the means.

    - - - - -
  • You mean Schneier, surely.
  • Cue a game of cat and mouse with the hackers putting out keysets and the HDCP struggling to keep their updates moving.

    Then all it takes to crash this system is that it be continually cracked. Either one of 2 scenarios will soon ensue:

    1) Keys are the same over many users. Joe Hacker cracks a key, the key is revoked, lots of other honest citizens suffer:

    so your copy of The Matrix will play fine, but Antitrust knows your keys are compromised and so won't play. And neither will anyone else's copy . The system gets a bad rep and tanks in the market.

    2)Keys are different for each user The List of 'compromised keys', with a bit of work, soon becomes unmanagably long.

  • > But with more and more of the rules we find ourselves living under being dictated by corporate groups, could it be that the line between business and the state is blurring?

    It has been for long time.

    Proof: Most corporations have a "Business License" aka permission to do business. Granted by who?? The government/state!

    And the fact that corporations are a legal entity certainly doesn't help matters.

  • Anyone else see something analogous to the trust's and monopolies of the late 1800's and early 1900's going on here?

    From what I have been reading, and what I have seen, all these crytographic and control mechanisms are the same thing as trusts - they both combine a mechanism for control and force the masses to submit to it without choice! No matter where you look, alas, your monitor must hook up to a VIDLOCK(tm) compatible video card. And, not just that, but all monitors are VIDLOCK(tm). And, even better, all video cards are VIDLOCK(tm) embracing.

    What happened to consumer choice? How can the people choose NOT TO PURCHASE THIS STANDARD, when there are no other choices in the market? When the market is supposed to be based on choice, and people vote with their dollar, how can you have a fair election with only one choice on the ballot?

    This is a dictatorship through capitalism!

    Perhaps we should look at lobbying our representatives? An addendum to the Sherman Anti-Trust act?

  • Please, I beg all of you to read Jessica Litman's _Digital Copyright_ which was recently reviewed right here on slashdot. If you need a copy email me. If we're going to argue about copyright law, let's at least get informed first.
  • by Jailbrekr (73837) <jailbrekr@digitaladdiction.net> on Saturday May 05, 2001 @03:44PM (#243483) Homepage
    Is for ONE person to make a device to tap into the signal going to the picture tube, and this protection scheme will be useless.

    It is getting to the point where I am going to ACTIVELY pirate copyrighted media, just to show my absolute disgust for the MPAA and RIAA. This blatent manipulation of the computer and electronics industry by these monolithic giants must stop.
  • This story bears a common thread with several recent stories, f'rinstance:

    A judge recently asked an attourney defending 2600 against the DMCA what previously-held "fair use" that new law makes impossible. He wanted to know what daily activity was being made impossible. She didn't have a great answer for him.

    But I think that's not the right question. DVD's haven't been around very long to have established a very large set of uses: the problem is that the DMCA helps the DVD CCA to market a product that is functionally useless for convenient "unauthorized fair use" of it's contents. So it's hard for normal (but unauthorized) other uses to develop.

    If a bookseller marketed a product that made fair use really difficult, judges would instantly see the effect of the law. Say the book's ink disappears if the fingers of the person opening it aren't detected to be the owner's fingers. It's easy to see the effect. But for a judge who has no use for manipulating multimedia content, the only "use" for a DVD is to hit "play" and watch.

    I don't know the semantics of this video "Digital Content Protection" spec well at all, but it seems to follow the pattern. We'll argue that circumventing it for the "fair use" of the content going over the wire is fine; but the judge won't see why, since we never had good access to that data before, so why should we be entitled to it now?

    It's disappointing. Maybe someone should start a company that sells a book like the one I've described who wouldn't mind seeing this go to court.

  • At least Clinton just let things go on without furthering or decreasing our rights. It seems that we now have a president that wants to decrease our personal rights even further. Go figure.

    I'm sorry. Remind me: who was it who signed the DMCA again? I can't seem to remember. Starts with a C or a K I think.
  • In other words, if all the keys hardwired into your "receiver" (your monitor) are revoked, it stops working. Similarly, if all the keys hardwired into your "transmitter" (your video card) are revoked, it stops working.

    And it will happen that all the keys for a given device will be compromised. When CSS was cracked, the recovery of one key allowed the recovery of all keys in a short time. In the case of CSS, Xing accidentally exposed a key. Similar things will happen with this technology: keys will be accidentally exposed, and whole sets of keys for given devices compromised.

    Note that if all your keys are revoked, your monitor will not simply refuse to display a given movie -- it just won't display anything. The handshake and encryption occur when the device is connected and power up, not when you press "play" on your Quicktime viewer.

    That means that the controlling body will be faced with the choice of leaving "protection-free" devices operating in the field, or of killing those devices. Neither is an acceptable alternative -- if they do revoke, users will be seriously pissed off when their screen suddenly stops working; and if they don't revoke, then what we have is a protection scheme that doesn't protect.

  • by _Mustang (96904) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @03:42PM (#243494)
    While I'm not totally against the concept of "rights" in the form of "pay the person whose content you use, I would like to know exactly where in this mess of crap are MY rights protected? I think shit like this is way out of line when implemented as hardware requirements . Who the hell made the Movie and Song industries the people who get to choose how I use things for which I've already paid for?? Hell, never mind about the content that I've paid for, who the hell made them the arbitrers of how HARDWARE that I purchased - PURCHASED!- functions? It's ridiculous to the extreme and would make for some seriously deadly comparisons to other industries. You'll notice that if Ford doesn't like how I drive my car, they can shove it up their ass. The same of course goes for the people who made my microwave, and desk lamp; all of them can think whatever they like but having paid for these goods, I decide how I use them.. And can anyone tell me where the concept of free and open markets making decisions on what (products) live or die, went...?? Bastards one and all..
  • by Sir_Winston (107378) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @06:30PM (#243496)
    >There are lots of non-Sony, non-Sharp, non-Toshiba, non-Philips makers

    But almost all of them use Sony or Mitsubishi parts. The Trinitron and Diamondtron tubes are standard in most good CRTs, and while I don't know much about LCDs, I'm sure there's probably a similar situation where 2 or 3 manufacturers make some of the important components or license some necessary IP used in almost all. So if all the major companies back content protection, they can say "include content protection or we won't sell you [needed widget]." Then you have the market effectively in total control by the content barons. Another possibility is to create a content encryption and playback system which will not work at all with standard, non-protected ports.

    Naturally, there will be hardware hacks to remove protection from monitors, or to make non-protected monitors work with protected content. But they will be illegal circumvention devices under the DMCA, so impossible for consumers to legally obtain unless they live in a truly free country. Even so, they will require too much technical expertise for the former, or be too esoteric for the latter, to ever reach the average consumer.

    What we have is a few large conglomerates setting themselves up as IP barons, just as we had the robber barons of the 19th century or the nobility of the feudal systems in earlier centuries. IP barons will have rights and opportunities and modes of existence far removed from what the average citizen ever sees. And that's not the way it's supposed to work. Unregulated capitalism is as evil and crushing and divisive as any system ever conjured in history. I'm all for capitalism, but with responsible consumer protection.

  • by Adam Jenkins (121697) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @03:43PM (#243498)
    Leaking details won't make these systems unworkable if they are any good. In fact it may make the copy protection schemes better, as manufacturers realise security through obscurity doesn't work. And there's always the fact that you can't encrypt the final output, it has to be visible to us humans :) I mean granted video protection mucks this up a bit, but it's still watchable.
    --
    Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.
  • My reading shows it's worse than that:

    The keys are exchanged between the transmitter and receiver (i.e. the hardware devices.) If you write a "receiver" (e.g. a Linux DVD viewer,) that "borrows" a secret key, that key will be declared compromised. The next time you player any media that lists the key as compromised (e.g. a new release movie,) the DVD player will see the revoke, and refuse to send *any* content to your viewer in the future.

  • Its not enough that a device be created, but it needs to be distributed to people to use them. After all DeCSS has been created, but no one can easily develop a DVD player that uses it since the MPAA (with the help of the courts) would try to shut them down.

    This is especially the case with hardware. Its not as easy to build a device from schematics as it is to directly copy and use some sort of circumvention software. As with the "old" DirectTV hack, you'd have to go through the effort to buy hacked cards from somewhere (like ebay).
  • Hardly useless. The hordes of consumers won't use that device because they don't know it exists, or they can't find a way to get it, or they're afraid of the legions of lawyers.


    My mom is not a Karma whore!
  • I tried to read the specification, but cypto isn't my field and I found it hard going. So can I ask a simple question of those who do understand.

    Suppose that I don't want to watch any copy protected media (I don't own a television or any DVDs). Will it be possible for an open source operating system (e.g. Linux) to use this sort of display hardware for standard web surfing, coding, word processing etc or will these monitors only work if you have a closed source driver containing the crypto keys?

  • There are a number of small companies building big video projectors (durn things make me think "light cannons") for use in digital cinema. These projectors, at around $100,000 each, can support the added expense of an encrypted input - and the customers (movie studios & theaters) are willing to pay that expense to protect the pure data stream. That realm can/will pay for initial deployment, and it will trickle down to the rest of us.
  • by TheFrood (163934) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @07:17PM (#243516) Homepage Journal
    Key management is the real weakness here, though. Sure, if a keyset is compromised it can be tagged as such on newer media, but old media which _doesn't_ know the keyset is compromised should play fine...

    So what would happen in that case is that the hot new releases would be unpirateable for awhile (and thus people who wanted to see them would have to pay for them), but after a period of time the keys would be compromised and anyone could copy, excerpt, or modify the original work.

    If you squint a little -- okay, if you squint a lot -- it almost looks like something the U.S. founding fathers would approve of. The creators of new works would have a limited period of exclusive distribution (providing an incentive to create works), after which the works would fall into the public domain.

    TheFrood

  • This has an obvious flaw: the light emission from the monitor to user is unencrypted. I look forward to a future enhancement which embeds a content protection chip in each user's brain.

    You can be ABSOLUTELY sure they will try that eventually, as soon as the needed technology becomes available, and not 0.0000000000001 seconds later. Okay, it's sci-fi level so it's unlikely to happen in the next 100 years. No problem, when it can happen it WILL happen. Corporations are essentially immortal; they can wait.

  • With Sony having its hands in both licensing and the display technology, you're just gonna have to look at making your own, unless...

    ...well, let's think.

    The 'ingredients' are a bunch of small companies, from tiger economy countries.

    The 'cooking time' is maybe 10-15 years (before this crypto-nonsense technology becomes as standard as DVD).

    The 'recipe' is wait. That's all.

    They've (the smaller IT eqpt. manufacturing companies) seen that there's a huge consumer market for being able to just do things unencumbered. CD-Rs for example. Everyone wants one, they're everywhere now. By the time this technology becomes mainstream, there'll be a bunch of people making 'incompatible' hardware that will just output the stuff unencrypted. They will because they can, and because there's money in it, and thirdly because they're _not governed by US law_.

    That's what Sony are forgetting...

    FP.


    --
  • by rocur (183707) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @07:22PM (#243528)
    Everyone here seems to be missing what this actually is. This is not a plan to sell fancy encrypted monitors to plug into your computer to allow you to play streaming video over the web. This is an integral part of the data chain to be required for next generation video. That means HD-DVDs, HD-Cable, HD-Satellite, HD-VCR/PVR, etc. In order to get a license to manufacture a player, the player will be required to only output analog video (probably Macrovision encoded) or to use this encrypted digital bit stream (most likely over firewire). Which means that you the consumer get a choice of watching hi-def programming down-converted to play on your existing TV set or you get to buy a new "licensed" monitor. And oh, by the way, those of you who have already bought HDTV monitors, you are SOL, thats the cost of being an early adopter.

    This doesn't require an act of Congress to mandate or any strong arm tactics against the manufacturers. It is an integral part of the evolution of video. And for you audiophiles, both DVD-Audio and superCD (or whatever Sony calls it) are already encrypted on the media.

    And before you think I see this as either a good or neutral development, I don't. This is another step in the entertainment industry's plan to strip we consumers of all of our rights and force all media into a "pay-per-view" scheme.

  • As it currently stands at this moment, the public no longer has any rights relating to content they purchase or own. The content companies have all the legal rights and legal protection. When it comes to content, they all but own the judicial system. They definitely own the Legislative branch of the American government.

    As citizens and consumers, we must strive to change to the system. Write letters to your congressmen and congresswomen and send them via postal mail. Do not send the letters via email as many congressmen ignore email all together. You can also call and encourage your friends to call as well.

    Next consumers have to stop buying the rights abusive products from the content companies. It would take less than a month for a boycott by millions of people in order to force the content companies into changing their ways. Sadly, we can talk as much as we like about the problem here on Slashdot however, the odds of any meaningful changes resulting from it are just about zero.


    --
    When I'm good I'm very good, when I'm bad I'm better, But when I'm evil you better run :P
  • If it can get more people reading and less people watching TV. ( Or spending time online, me included )
  • Right, but you can buy a Macrovision-free DVD [dvdcity.com] over at DVD City. Don't want it? Buy without!
  • by sulli (195030) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @05:39PM (#243532) Journal
    Right, and the smart makers won't implement it. There are lots of non-Sony, non-Sharp, non-Toshiba, non-Philips makers out there who would love to get a bigger share of the market and would gladly use this as a way to do so. Think of the MP3 Discmans the smaller electronics makers ship now, or VCD ... someone will ship hardware that's user-friendly, or I'll eat my hat.
  • by sulli (195030) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @04:52PM (#243533) Journal
    is for nobody to buy this shite. Then it will go away.

    How many of you use SDMI or ATRAC vs. MP3? Show of hands? Case closed.

  • How can the people choose NOT TO PURCHASE THIS STANDARD, when there are no other choices in the market?

    Delay upgrading for as long as possible. Getting your money late is not quite as bad as not getting it at all, but still sucks.
  • I believe it was the Dodge Neon that topped out at about 118 due to computer control. I don't have any documentation on hand but I think it was Consumer Reports that mentioned it.
  • by hhg (200613) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @04:14PM (#243543)
    We see theese kind of things popping up everywhere. "Pirate-protection" on cds, computergames, compressed music, vcrs, dvds, harddisks and now, as if it wasn't enough, The game of profit-maximizing makes buissiness out of encrypting signals in the 1m wire between my computer and my monitor. I have to ask myself one question - WHY? Why are someone allowed to control my pc? Why are someone allowed to limit the use of services I have legaly purchased? If I purchase something, I like to think of it as my own. I own my car, my tv, my bike and my books. I can do with it what I find delightful or funny - whenever I feel like it. Unfortunately some fuckhead came up with the idea of "licence-agreements" - and worst of all, most governments in the world allows this kind of development-brake to be switched on. If I would like to know how this pc operates (it runs winME), I'm not allowed to. I'm tried to be prevented from having my DVDs copied, someone tries to prevent me from copying my purchased music, someone is trying to have my purchased books time-limited, someone is trying to stop me from taping TV-shows, and now - as the top of the "kransekake", as we say in Norway, someone wants to keep me from listening in on the signal MY OWN pc tries to send to MY OWN terminal. I liked to think of my own as my own. Just as Linus pronounces linux as linux. But I'm not allowed to. This has got to stop. If this common policy continues, we are not allowed to change the lightbulbs in our own homes, we won't be allowed to open the hood on our cars, we won't be allowed to install our own car-stereo, and we won't be allowed to not watch commercials. Someone has got to say NO at some point, or civilisation is going down - driven to the ground by its own hunger for profit. I'm not a communist - far from it, but I do want to point out a communist fact, manely that the people are in charge. Or, for you american citizens, you were in charge. Then you found out that you had to let the money take control, and now it's the buissinessmen in the USA that litterally controls your lives. And when I thought you'd seen what you have become, you elect - of all the idiots in your country, Mr. George W. Bush as your president. I've gotta laugh. But everywhere else in the world, I would like you to think about what kind of control you want over your own life. Think abiut it the next time you are to elect your representate to the natonal-government. Of course we don't want to steel things - but then again, that's why we BUY it. What we are really doing nowadays is renting stuff - but noone calls it that. I wonder why...
  • by Fujisawa Sensei (207127) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @06:04PM (#243546) Journal
    First of all, there are really only three picture-tube manufacturers for monitors, and Sony's one of them. I can see them making contracts to only sell tubes to companies who implement this.

    what makes you think that they're going to be using picture tubes? Things like LED/LCD and/or DLP systems will eventually replace the tube.

    The real danger to this system presents is potential for the elimination of non-licensed content.

    Imagine having to purchase a license to write and sign software, like operating systems, because the hardware wont permit the execution or use otherwise.

  • Like it or not, whenever something like this happens (DVD encription, DMCA, stuff like that) in the USA, it always leaks down to the rest of the world.

    So far, when transnational companies *cough*Sony*cough* begin implementing this kind of changes, almost all of the time they begin in the US. So what can non-US citizens do to defend themselves? I mean, american culture influences most of the world already. And whatever is decided there, we're stuck with, here in the developing countries.

    So come on, fix it up! We're standing behind you, all the way! Hip hip hooray for DeCSS! Down ith the RIAA, the DMCA and all of the other FLAs.


    Oh, and send us more p0rn, while you're at it.
    Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I
  • Actually, from my quick read of this spec, they appear to have designed a variant of public key cryptography. I'll leave the cryptanalysis of the algorithm to someone actually good at it.

    You know who you are, Bruce...
  • Surely they're interchangeable?
  • by tswinzig (210999) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @06:44PM (#243550) Journal
    I'm talking to YOU. You know who you are. You're the guy with the ability (money) to run for political office, and could probably win, but you don't want to get into politics. You're leaving the governing of your nation to the more corrupt or power-hungry or lawyer-type or self-centred bastards who don't give a damn about society as a whole.

    Run for office, for Christ's sake, because the way it's going, it will only get worse! Get off your ass and make a small sacrafice for the rest of us. You can do it! We're only asking for two terms.


    Damn, at first I thought you were familiar with the US government. Then I got near the end, where you actually think a regular person could make public office, like the found fathers intended, and not just schmuck millionaires.

    Boy are you stupid!
  • by Dan Hayes (212400) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @03:59PM (#243551)
    Its about time the balance of power shifted away from the consumer of media, and back toward the producer. Better piracy-prevention technology will enable content producers to invest in new movies music and other content without fear of it becoming instantly copied by legions of criminal slashdot readers who only obey the law if there is a danger that it might be enforced.


    Secondly, this technology could also be used in our schools and libraries to ensure that objectionable content, such as sexually explicit images, or anti-religious propaganda can be blocked from our childrens tv screens. It is difficult to imagine any law-abiding sane adult arguing against this technology.


    Lets hope it becomes commonplace, soon.

  • It is difficult to imagine any law-abiding sane adult arguing against this technology.
    Sorry for a trivial answer, but somebody must answer you. I am a law-abiding sane (hopefully) adult. I am using free software on my computer. I believe that this kind of protection cannot be implemented without employing proprietary closed-source software. This would limit my ability to use free software on the new hardware. That's why I'm against this technology.
  • I swear, Major League Baseball must have a hand in this. Now we're really going to need their express written consent for any rebroadcast or retransmission. But I'm still going to miss having them remind me.

    -db
  • internet becoming the biggest free blockbuster {a popular video rental chain in the US} on the planet

    What if there is nothing wrong with that? What if that is really a good thing? Of course, it would smash today's content business models.

    Let's think about this ... If the horse and buggy manufacturers had the governmental reach the Movie and Music conglomerates have today, we would not be allowed to drive a car because that would trash their horse and buggy business model. (A good lawyer would have patented the multi-passenger enclosed coach and attaching an engine would be a breach of license.)

    Of course if Radio had realized what they could achieve by hiring lawyers instead of engineers, there would have been no television because it would have (and did) significantly reduce the importance of radio as an entertainment resource. (A good team of lawyers would have manipulated the system so that radio technology was allowed for licensed receivers -- which of course would only have delivered sound, not video.)

    No one speaks for the new business models that would rise up to profit from the new content realities since they don't yet exist. And of course, the way things seem to be headed, our big brother will not let things change so we can discover what they are. (And yes, someone will always profit. The only issue is that they may not be the same ones that do today. ===> Change is bad when you are already on top.)

    Bang Bang Oww (Me pounding fist on table and then rubbing it because I hit the table too hard.)


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~ the real world is much simpler ~~
  • So I'm guessing that a DDE compliant display will refuse to display a dvd or other type of media information that has been watermarked [slashdot.org] unless the media source is also compliant. If this happens it will make it alot harder to play copied media files on you brand new 42" DDE COMPLIANT (simultaneously destroying your fair use rights)
  • This would really suck if certain monitors would only work with certain computers from companies that have licensed their technology. Do I need to start building my own monitors as well as computers now? =)

    Actually, I doubt that's the intent of this document. However, it always pays to be on guard, eh?
  • Because the only video cards that will be available are the ones with encrypted output to feed the digital monitors, which won't work with your old style analog monitors.

    You and I can tell why this technology is bad, but Joe Scmoe going to an Office Depot isn't going to care as long as what ever system he buys works reasonably well (copy protection or not).

    When you think about it, there isn't a PC subsystem that isn't under attack by an encryption standard. Firewire, USB, hard drives, video, and sound all need to be placed under lock and key.

    Bruce Schneier of Counterpane puts it well - "As long as there is a general purpose computer, their is going to be a way around encryption methods." So it's the manufacturers' job (they're all pretty much as a cartel in this respect) to "subtract" functionality from a PC so you and I can't do things we shouldn't be. Things are looking bleak [theregister.co.uk] More here [theregister.co.uk].

    I suppose that their will be ways for some of us to build general purpose computers from a box of ICs like the good ol' days. Who knows, maybe we can have a little niche market selling boards to fellow slashdotters. The only problem is that with the way the courts are thinking, that may be considered a circumvention device.....

  • I would say "unregulated corporations" [adbusters.org] that has more rights than an ordinary citizen is what's wrong. Of course the DMCA is some whore of a law that the corporations can sink their teeth into, that my own Senator Hatch is responsible for.

  • The idea is to benefit the people by ensuring that profit doesn't interfere with service. In theory a great idea, in practice difficult. I'm not saying don't try, though.
    The other critical difference being that most socialist governments are democratic, so creating a monopoly under state control has legitimacy in that the state, and therefore the monopoly, are democratically accountable.

    In the case I suggest above though, that critical component that makes socialism palatable (even morally right) is missing. The new part of the "state", which is dictating what we can do in our own homes, is emphatically not democratically accountable (except in a 'go nuclear' - if you piss off enough constituents we'll remove all of these privileges but at great economic cost and upheaval sense.)

    That's what worries me. Me, I'm an anarcho-libertarian-socialist ;), I have little problem with democratic socialism, but we're seeing an unaccountable plutocratic environment here, and critically we're seeing that power misused to interfere with and inconvenience people in private. That's just wrong.
    --

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @04:08PM (#243569) Homepage Journal
    Every now and again some Slashdotter posts something along the lines of a major corporation being "socialist" - meaning that it has a monopoly and, ergo, is part of the state. I don't necessarily support that type of logic.

    But with more and more of the rules we find ourselves living under being dictated by corporate groups, could it be that the line between business and the state is blurring?

    I look at phrases like "licenced monitor device" as being the beginning of a worrying trend. The reason is that we're moving from a situation from where something we already had (as opposed to, say, a DVD player, or personal computer, where licences have been a major component since they were placed on the market) being replaced by equipment where tough restrictions on its use are being enforced. Those restrictions are protected by force of law - if you opt to use the equipment without following these rules, you may find yourself being sued. Yet these rules are not being subjected to democratic review.

    In the case of TV and radio, the former of which we're seeing this new regime encroach upon, the latter of which we may see soon with the marketing of digital radio and current trends suggesting every digital media device being given these restrictions, this strikes me as particularly obnoxious because over the last 50 years, we've come to rely upon this as a source of much of our information needed to make reasonable judgements about the world we live in. Media has moved from print to radio to TV, and, imperfect though it is, it seems important enough to me to be a source of concern if you can no longer access it without agreeing to rules that you may find blatently unfair and/or counter to your beliefs.

    I've seen it argued that licencing rather than legislation is better because you create freedom of choice and let the markets cater for people. But where you have a monopoly, be it on the provision of broadcast television signals for a consortium of interested parties, or a critical piece of system software needed for compatability with peers, is it reasonable to argue that users do have the capability to choose between different products with different licences, and would it not be reasonable to at least have some basic rights instituted for users, at a legal level, so that producers cannot dictate how people use information they have paid for, or equipment they have paid for, in the privacy of their own homes? Does the alternative, which is what we appear to be seeing the start of now, replace elected oversight of law making with unelected legally enforcable rule making?
    --

  • by Phredward (254393)
    Anyone remember when jerund lenear predicted this not more than 6 months ago? I didn't think it would actually ever come to pass, and definately not sooner than 10 years from now. Here it is, not 6 months later.

    Scary.

  • Augh, some people (not the parrent, the other children) just don't get it do they.

    The point is not that the cops can tell you how fast you can and can't drive. That dosn't matter. That has been going on since the birth of the free market.

    The point is that, if I buy a car from Company X I can drive it fiarly irespective of what company X says. What's going on here, is that Company X, which has close ties to company Y (a fuel consortium that dominates the market) has gotten company Y to stop producing fuel that my car will take. Thus invalidating my purchace.

    The fear is that there will be no phase out period. And there won't be! Once the technology exists in a production model who's going to stop the MPAA from releasing only formats that work with the new monitors?



    This has been another useless post from....
  • by sagacious_gnostic (319793) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @03:43PM (#243589)
    C-style notation is used throughout the state diagrams and protocol diagrams, although the logic functions AND, OR, and XOR are written out where a textual description would be more clear.

    The concatenation operator ' || ' combines two values into one.


    I stopped reading about there to go off and fix all my C code. Since when has || been a concatenation operator? To think that for all these years I thought it was a logical OR. No wonder none of my programs work.
  • by thinkit (415787) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @04:12PM (#243599)
    DVI is a digital spec, as opposed to the current analog VGA spec. a few vid cards have DVI-out, notably hercules and ATI cards. most DVI monitors are LCD, because they natively use the digital information, whereas a CRT has to put a DAC in it to use the DVI signal. they seem to want to encrypt it because this is then essentially a perfect signal that can be copied.
  • by sakusha (441986) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @06:42PM (#243601)
    Go read the paper. This has nothing to do with computer monitors. This is a system for encrypting cable tv, satellite, and other broadband TV systems. This is CSS for your television set. Didn't pay your subscription fee this month? No HDTV for you, your key is revoked. Hacked your HDTV-Tivo? Your key is dead. Want to tape that TV show for time-shifted viewing? Sorry, it can't be intercepted for recording, watch it at the time AOL/TimeWarner/Microsoft broadcast it or forget it.
  • A couple of observations (IANAL but I am a law student, FWIW).

    1. With the possible exception of item #1 (and the obvious exception of item #4), I don't think that your proposal would realize much of a change from our present system. (Unless by "right" you don't mean "legal right" but rather mean "ability" which would make certain copy protection/recordging protection schemes illegal.

    2. I'm afraid that you won't get much mileage out of the "immediately, retroactively, and for all time" language of item #4. Congress can, despite this language, simply repeal this staute later. (Indeed, attempts to keep Congress from doing this may involve [obscure] Constitutional problems). Realistically, the only way to get a semi-permanant item #4 is to pass a Constitutional amendment or get the Supreme Sourt to read a guarentee of fair use into the copyright clause of the Constitution. Given that the tremendous difficulty of amending the Constitution, your best bet is a fair use friendly Supreme Court.

    3. I think that there is some risk in having Congress codify fair use, rather than leaving it up to the courts, for two reasons. First, of course, is that unlike Congress, the courts are (relatively) independent and are not likely to be bought by interest groups. Second, leaving fair use in the common law has the virtue of allwing the courts to "find" new exceptions in the future if things seem to get out of hand. Codifying fair use risks freezing the law -- courts may assume that "statute X is an exhaustive list of fair uses. Therefore, putative fair use Y, which isn't on the list, can't be fair use."

    The upshot: if you really want greater protection for consumer fair use rights, make sure that your Congressmen "encourages" fair use friendly Supreme Court justice nominations!
  • by krazyninja (447747) on Sunday May 06, 2001 @12:15AM (#243609)
    These specs are put up on the digital-cp [digital-cp.com] site itself. I dont think that they have been "leaked".
  • by factor-C (448252) on Saturday May 05, 2001 @10:21PM (#243610)
    The reason that there is a broad push for this kind of technology (intrusive content control) is that the current federal administration is very much pro big business. The tactics being employed now skirt existing interpretations of anti-trust laws by employing monopolistic tactics against consumers, not other businesses. While the MPAA may employ virtual monopoly power in forcing consumers to buy expensive new equipment (and therefore sacrifice rights), it does not impose an entry barrier to other prospective businesses. Anti-trust laws could easily be expanded to counter this new type of monopoly, but only under a pro-consumer administration. A supreme court ruling in favor of consumers would bring this whole house of cards down, but the majority of justices will (most probably) be pro-big business if any of the current democratic justices retire (Bush will only appoint pro-big business justices, of course, and it is very likely that at least one democratic justice will retire during Bush's administration).

    An interesting quote re Bush:
    On the 12th month of the year of the millenium, in the seat of greatest power, the village idiot shall come forth to lead.
    -Nostradamus

    Big businesses are entrenching themselves against what they see as a potential wave of piracy. As more people come online, and, even more importantly, as bandwidth barriers are lowered, media piracy is being made possible on an unprecedented scale (a la Napster). All they're trying to do is basically protect their profit margins. This kind of thing, however, will never work. All it would take to stop this crap is for one person to crack each major release that comes out, just once. After that, just convert it to good ol Divx, fire up Bearshare/Gnutella/Limewire (assuming all napster-type pseudo P2P services block that stuff out) and the MPAA is screwed. Soon, the industry will kill itself, as it will make obtaining pirated copies much more convenient to obtain than trying to meet all the new standards required to play legal copies. All the media industry has to do is increase the inconvenience/cost ratio of pirated media as opposed to legit goods in order to stay ahead of the game. What they just don't get is that there will always be a hardcore bunch of hackers out there that will break their system just for the hell of it. They can put everybody through a load of shit trying to achieve the golden 100%, or they can do the smart thing and implement something designed to make it inconvenient for most people to pirate media and achieve 85%. What they'll find out the hard way is that it will cost more money that they'll save to try to constantly update a system that will be a perpetual ground zero for hack attacks.

    Aside from the potential (make that probable!) gross abuses of this system, it would be great for high-security environments!

Did you know that for the price of a 280-Z you can buy two Z-80's? -- P.J. Plauger

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