nick at zork.net
Mon Dec 25 11:55:41 PST 2000
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 13:16:03 -0800
From: John Gilmore <gnu at toad.com>
To: cryptography at c2.net, gnu at toad.com
Subject: IBM&Intel push copy protection into ordinary disk drives
The Register has broken a story of the latest tragedy of copyright
mania in the computer industry. Intel and IBM have invented and are
pushing a change to the standard spec for PC hard drives that would
make each one enforce "copy protection" on the data stored on the hard
drive. You wouldn't be able to copy data from your own hard drive to
another drive, or back it up, without permission from some third
party. Every drive would have a unique ID and unique keys, and would
encrypt the data it stores -- not to protect YOU, the drive's owner,
but to protect unnamed third parties AGAINST you.
The same guy who leads the DVD Copy Control Association is heading the
organization that licenses this new technology -- John Hoy. He's a
front-man for the movie and record companies, and a leading figure in
the California DVD lawsuit. These people are lunatics, who would
destroy the future of free expression and technological development,
so they could sit in easy chairs at the top of the smoking ruins and
light their cigars off 'em.
The folks at Intel and IBM who are letting themselves be led by the
nose are even crazier. They've piled fortunes on fortunes by building
machines that are better and better at copying and communicating
WHATEVER collections of raw bits their customers desire to copy. Now
for some completely unfathomable reason, they're actively destroying
that working business model. Instead they're building in circuitry
that gives third parties enforceable veto power over which bits their
customers can send where. (This disk drive stuff is just the tip of
the iceberg; they're doing the same thing with LCD monitors, flash
memory, digital cable interfaces, BIOSes, and the OS. Next week we'll
probably hear of some new industry-wide copy protection spec, perhaps
for network interface cards or DRAMs.) I don't know whether the movie
moguls are holding compromising photos of Intel and IBM executives
over their heads, or whether they have simply lost their minds. The
only way they can succeed in imposing this on the buyers in the
computer market is if those buyers have no honest vendors to turn to.
Or if those buyers honestly don't know what they are being sold.
So spread the word. No copy protection should exist ANYWHERE in
generic computer hardware! It's up to the BUYER to determine what to
use their product for. It's not up to the vendors of generic
hardware, and certainly not up to a record company that's shadily
influencing those vendors in back-room meetings. Demand a policy
declaration from your vendor that they will build only open hardware,
not covertly controlled hardware. Use your purchasing dollars to
enforce that policy.
Our business should go to the honest vendors, who'll sell you a drive
and an OS and a motherboard and a CPU and a monitor that YOU, the
buyer, can determine what is a valid use of. Don't send your money
to Intel or IBM or Sony. Give your money to the vendors who'll sell
you a product that YOU control.
----- End forwarded message -----
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