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[Fsfe-france] Intel to cut Linux out of the content market

From: Antoine
Subject: [Fsfe-france] Intel to cut Linux out of the content market
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 16:51:35 +0200

Un article dans The Inquirer, donc à prendre avec quelques pincettes.




« Intel to cut Linux out of the content market 

By Charlie Demerjian: vendredi 15 juillet 2005, 10:01

INTEL IS ABOUT TO CUT Linux out of the legitimate content market, and
hand the keys to the future of digital media to Microsoft at your
expense. Don't like it? Tough, you are screwed. The vehicle to do this
is called East Fork, the upcoming and regrettable Intel digital media
'platform'. The funny part is that the scheme is already a failure, but
it will hurt you as it thrashes before it dies. Be afraid, be very


It does a bunch of neato things, it will use all the horsepower the CPUs
can throw at it, and a lot more. The first thing is that it will
transcode content on the fly, and is officially stated as 'Transcodes
content that's not supported by Digital Media Adaptor into a supported
format'. Sounds cool, except the, and I mean /the/ supported format
right now is .WMV. It also can do the same for bandwidth, basically it
transrates on the fly. No abject evil here, it is a good idea in every

Secure premium content muddle

The problem is something called the Secure Premium Content Module
(SPCM), and its reason for being is to decrypt MS DRM fast and
'securely'. It is an open question as to how this security benefits the
user though. Anything other than Microsoft DRM is listed as 'possible'
for SPCM, but as now, the list of additional supported DRM providers is
zero. The transcoding will basically add DRM to anything that touches
the box, preventing you from using any fair use rights, and preventing
legal sharing. [...]


East Fork handles

Back to EF though, there are a lot of problems, and it mainly starts
with exclusive support for Microsoft DRM. There is no other, and as of
the last time I checked, there will not be. Intel refuse to comment on
unannounced products, but others have told me there is nothing but
Microsoft DRM.

If you look at the history of the public, lets call them sheeple, they
take what they are given, grin and bear it. Netscape, Real and others
have all fallen victim to the Microsoft bundling machine, and even if EF
has the option to include other forms, there will be none in the box to

What do you think content providers will encode in, Microsoft or some
other format that has a vastly higher probability of not being on the
box? By Intel selling out to MS for co-advertising dollars, they
basically hand all content over to MS controlled and MS licensed
schemes. Not a problem if you are willing to pay MS for the privilege of
using their codecs.


I have asked Intel several questions, and never really got a
satisfactory answer to any of them, mainly because I don't think they
can answer them honestly. The first one is, 'who is your customer for
EF, is it the consumer or the record companies?' That is the round about
way of saying, are you doing this for our benefit, or the content
providers? When I asked it, I don't think they had considered it enough.
Now, Intel's actions speak louder than words, and the answer is that it
is not for our benefit.

The second question is how does DRM benefit the consumer? Intel deflects
this deftly if you ask it, you get an answer to the question 'why is
your DRM version better than theirs?'. Intel replies that a single
standard is better than multiple fragmentary standards. Intel won't
point out that a single walled garden is no better than several, and in
many ways can screw you just as much. If Intel had the guts to push a
single free standard, free as in freedom not necessarily as in beer,
then I would have no problem with it.

The problem is that there is no theoretical, practical or implementation
benefit of DRM for the consumer. It costs money to develop, costs money
to implement, and adds hardware and complexity to a device. This all
comes out of your pocket while it takes your rights away.


Thanks a heap, Intel

This whole East Fork scheme is a failure from the start. It brings
nothing positive to the table, costs you money, and rights. If you want
to use Linux to view your legitimately purchased media, you will be a
criminal. In fact, if you want to take your legitimately bought media
with you on a road trip and don't feel the need to pay again for it -
fair use, remember - you are also a criminal. Wonderful.

Intel has handed the keys to the digital media kingdom to several
convicted monopolists who have no care at all for their customers. The
excuse Intel gives you if you ask is that they are producing tools, and
only tools, their use is not up to Intel. The problem here is that Intel
has given the said tools to some of the most rapacious people on earth.
If you give the record companies a DRM scheme that goes from 1 (open) to
10 (unusably locked down), they will start at 14 and lobby Congress to
mandate that it can be turned up higher by default.

In closing, thanks Intel for selling us out. Thanks Microsoft, for being
Microsoft. Thanks RIAA, MPAA and the other for being shining examples of
unbridled greed. You and I, we were sold out, and when East Fork debuts
in Q1 2006, there won't be much you can do about it, legally anyway.
Enjoy the little freedom you have left. »

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