[LINK] Analysis: How Vista lets Microsoft lock in users

David Boxall david.boxall at hunterlink.net.au
Thu Dec 7 20:43:14 AEDT 2006


"What if you could rig it so that competing with your flagship product 
was against the law? Under 1998's Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 
breaking an anti-copying system is illegal, even if you're breaking it 
for a legal reason. For example, it's against the law to compete head-on 
with the iPod by making a device that plays Apple's proprietary music, 
or by making an iPod add-on that plays your own proprietary music. Nice 
deal for Apple."
"But Information Rights Management (IRM), first introduced in Office 
2003, goes further - it doesn't just control who can open the document, 
it also controls what they can do with it afterwards. Crypto is like an 
ATM that only lets you get money after you authenticate yourself with 
your card and PIN. IRM is like some kind of nefarious goon hired by the 
bank to follow you around after you get your money out, controlling how 
you spend it."
"The Trusted Computing Module has sat silently on the motherboard for 
years now. Adding Vista and IRM to it takes it from egg to larva, and 
turning on remote attestation in a year or two, once everyone is on 
next-generation Office, will bring the larva to adulthood, complete with 
venomous stinger."

David Boxall  | "Cheer up" they said
              | "Things could be worse"
              | So I cheered up and,
              | Sure enough, things got worse.
                           -- Murphy's musing

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