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Re: bit-split, or: the schizophrenia of trusted computing

From: Jonathan S. Shapiro
Subject: Re: bit-split, or: the schizophrenia of trusted computing
Date: Mon, 01 May 2006 00:03:55 -0400

On Mon, 2006-05-01 at 05:36 +0200, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:

> Sure, you can run another software.  But the "DRM-protected data" will
> contain everything from your word documents to your music files.

I have never seen this proposed, and if it were attempted it would be
the instantaneous end of Microsoft.

Yes, DRM-protected data will almost certainly include music files
**created by others**. I have not seen *any* plan to apply DRM to
documents written by the machine owner, unless, perhaps, it is applied
to cut-and-pasted materials such as protected photographs.


Because if this were done, the user could never upgrade! Microsoft isn't
that stupid. Really!

In fact, the embedded photo problem is bad enough that MS is really
worried about it. There are already similar problems from ActiveX
embedding. These create great user confusion "well, I sent you the
document with the mumble image, why don't you see it?" This is why
(starting around version 4.0) MS word started cacheing WMF images of
embedded objects. Users perceive non-appearance as a bug in the word
processor, and they seek to replace the word processor. MS is not eager
to fight this.

Yes, there are threats intrinsic in DRM. MS asserting ownership over
*my* content probably isn't a realistic threat model.

I mean, think about it: if I can't send annoying email to Marcus because
the DRM owns my word processor, what's the point of owning a computer at


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