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Vista's Drm Problem?


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#1 m3lek

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 07:15 PM

I really want to get the free vista upgrade that i can get
but ultimately, the DRM thingie scares me.
I'm not quite sure what it does or how it works
but i have a lot of movies and music that i would hate it if it won't work if i get vista.

I've read up on a lot of articles about it and it just confuses me more.

http://www.forbes.com/security/2007/02/10/..._0212vista.html
http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=429

Is it to stop media piracy or downloading music and movies from free sites like P to P or torrants?
can they still work with vista?
Will it play all the music and movies i already have on my computer?

Edited by m3lek, 27 February 2007 - 07:27 PM.


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#2 Mr Alpha

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 04:58 AM

The Vista DRM only works with files which have DRM in them. So any videos or music on your computer which do not have any DRM in the won't be affected at all. The DRM in the files needs to start the DRM in Vista, otherwise it isn't running.

The articles you linked to are scaremongering, and in some instances factually incorrect.
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#3 m3lek

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 08:27 PM

cool... thanks!

so the vista's drm won't really bother me unless i want to go digital right?

#4 arcman

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:07 PM

This is a very thorough breakdown of Vista's content protection schemes and their effects on limiting functionality and diminishing system reliability.
All around it's not just bad for Vista users, but bad for the computing industry as a whole.
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html
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#5 Walkman

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:54 PM

Also, keep in mind that Windows Media Player will protect (DRM) your content by default when you use it to play your content.

My advise?.... before putting any of your media on the computer and using the Vista programs to play them, I'd double-check and make sure it doesn't secretly DRM your content. Since Windows Media Player secretly does it, I'm betting Vista does too.


Is it to stop media piracy or downloading music and movies from free sites like P to P or torrants?

All of the above.

Whatever you do, don't sleep on the DRM thingy or you may end up like a person I know that could no longer play any of his 21 original cd's in his, nor my computer.. plus all his music files he copied to the hard drive wouldn't play either, because Windows said he needed a license to play them... and that was because by default, Windows Media Player DRM's your content. They call it "Protecting your media"... and it does it too, even from you. If you Have Windows Media Player, just look at the settings, and I'm sure it's already set to protect your media by default, which means it will DRM your content.

There is more than one way to skin a cat, as they say. :huh:

Be DRM safe & smart.

#6 Mr Alpha

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 04:03 AM

This is a very thorough breakdown of Vista's content protection schemes and their effects on limiting functionality and diminishing system reliability.
All around it's not just bad for Vista users, but bad for the computing industry as a whole.
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html

Should point out that some of that is pure speculation and some of the speculation is wrong. Here, for fairness sake, is Microsoft's response.

Also, keep in mind that Windows Media Player will protect (DRM) your content by default when you use it to play your content.

NO, it won't. It will, by default, add DRM to music you rip from CDs, but it won't do anything to stuff you play.
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#7 arcman

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 05:11 AM

Should point out that some of that is pure speculation and some of the speculation is wrong. Here, for fairness sake, is Microsoft's response.

How so? Gutmann is what you would call an expert in the industry, and he bases everything he states in the document from from the Vista specs published by MS. From the article:

[Q:]This is a biased writeup.

[A:]Perhaps, but then I challenge anyone to read the specifications given in the Sources section above and write a positive analysis of Vista's content protection. Someone has to point out these problems, and it happened to be me in this case, but I think anyone with technical skills who reads the relevant documents would come to a similar conclusion.

Others in the industry indeed have come to the same conclusions after studying the documentation.

So far as Microsoft's response, Gutmann's document has already been updated with any new technical info their response provided. In addition, he points out the statements in MS's response that are blatantly contradictory.
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs...t.html#response

Matter of fact I've seen the inconsistencies of what MS has said verses the way Vista behaves. From MS:

Will the 'tilt bit' mechanism cause problems even when the driver is not under attack from a hacker, e.g., when there are voltage spikes?

It is pure speculation to say that things like voltage fluctuations might cause a driver to think it is under attack from a hacker. It is up to a graphics IHV to determine what they regard as an attack. Even if such an event did cause playback to stop, the user could just press 'play' again and carry on watching the movie (after the driver has re-initialized, which takes about a second). Again, it is important to note that this could only occur in the case of watching the highest-grade premium content, such as HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. In practice I doubt it would ever actually happen.

I've already seen this to be false after running basic setups and installations of brand new Vista machines. I'd have a machine sitting on the bench simply idling, and out of the blue I'd get error messages from the ATI driver stating the graphic subsystem had to be restarted. Thankfully it wasn't a catastrophic failure, the display didn't crash out completely, nor did the system have to be restarted. Still, there is the potential for future tilt-bit issues, and stating "I doubt this would ever happen" is either ignorant or willfully deceptive.

Edited by arcman, 02 March 2007 - 05:13 AM.

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#8 Walkman

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 06:05 AM

To Mr Alpha

My bad... That's exactly what I should have said, but didn't, when referring to that person having his originals locked down. Thanks for clearing that up.

Although it's pure speculation on my part, but I'm betting that if you took a cd and compiled your media on it, and then ripped it back to your hard drive, it would then DRM it, if you don't uncheck the "Protect my media" option. I'll put that to the test this weekend and see if it does it or not.

Even if it does DRM your legally owned content, there is a way to un-DRM it. I've done it on all those cd's that were DRM'd on his computer. The only thing I haven't tried yet was playing his original cd's back in his computer. As far as movies are concerned, I don't know about un-DRM'ing them from the use of WMP, but I'm sure it can be done.

But, whatever you do, just test a little bit of content at a time.

#9 Mr Alpha

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 06:33 AM

Before anyone starts flaming me, I'm not taking Microsofts side here.

How so? Gutmann is what you would call an expert in the industry, and he bases everything he states in the document from from the Vista specs published by MS.

Yes, but the problem with the documents is that they aren't very precises and leave room for interpetation. Which means that the in them selves documents aren't adequate when drawing conclusions as to what exactly has been, and is being, done.

From the article:

[Q:]This is a biased writeup.

[A:]Perhaps, but then I challenge anyone to read the specifications given in the Sources section above and write a positive analysis of Vista's content protection. Someone has to point out these problems, and it happened to be me in this case, but I think anyone with technical skills who reads the relevant documents would come to a similar conclusion.

Others in the industry indeed have come to the same conclusions after studying the documentation.

Just as they have studied the response.

So far as Microsoft's response, Gutmann's document has already been updated with any new technical info their response provided. In addition, he points out the statements in MS's response that are blatantly contradictory.
http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs...t.html#response

Microsofts response is problematic, and has contradictions, which are obvious to anyone who reads it. They even (although they don't say it straight out) agree with Gutmann on several points.

Matter of fact I've seen the inconsistencies of what MS has said verses the way Vista behaves. From MS:

Will the 'tilt bit' mechanism cause problems even when the driver is not under attack from a hacker, e.g., when there are voltage spikes?

It is pure speculation to say that things like voltage fluctuations might cause a driver to think it is under attack from a hacker. It is up to a graphics IHV to determine what they regard as an attack. Even if such an event did cause playback to stop, the user could just press 'play' again and carry on watching the movie (after the driver has re-initialized, which takes about a second). Again, it is important to note that this could only occur in the case of watching the highest-grade premium content, such as HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. In practice I doubt it would ever actually happen.

I've already seen this to be false after running basic setups and installations of brand new Vista machines. I'd have a machine sitting on the bench simply idling, and out of the blue I'd get error messages from the ATI driver stating the graphic subsystem had to be restarted. Thankfully it wasn't a catastrophic failure, the display didn't crash out completely, nor did the system have to be restarted. Still, there is the potential for future tilt-bit issues, and stating "I doubt this would ever happen" is either ignorant or willfully deceptive.

I've seen the same thing, although I cannot say if it is due to tilt-bit or not, the Vista drivers aren't all that good to begin with. Ignoring the tilt-bit issue, what I find must disturbing is the fact that the graphics and audio driver makers are gonna spend a lot of time and money building the DRM into their drivers which they then can't spend on stability and performance improvements.

As for WMP: Couldn't you just use a has function the see if the checksum changes after playing the file in WMP. It won't be able to tell what has changed but it should be able to tell if something has changed. Anyway I use Foobar2000 and Media Player Classic for my media playback needs, and EAC for ripping.
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#10 Walkman

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 07:01 AM

I made a post about this a few months ago, but ultimately they are going to embed DRM into the hard drives, which will do most of the work. They're working on it, and I expect it to be on store shelves in a few months or so, if they're not out already.

My advise on that one?.... stock up on all the hard drives now that doesn't have that technology built in them. The link to the web site about what they are doing to work with the hard drive manufacturers can be found in one of the threads I've done on RFID chips.




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