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Fighting piracy by shooting yourself in the foot, #3124

Ars Technica:

High Definition Content Protection (HDCP)—you can’t live with it, but you practically can’t buy an HD-capable device anymore without it. While HDCP is typically used in devices like Blu-ray players, HDTVs, HDMI-enabled notebooks, and even the Apple TV in order to keep DRMed content encrypted between points A and B, it appears that Apple’s new aluminum MacBook (and presumably the MacBook Pro) are using it to protect iTunes Store media as well.

Engadget:

the problem comes in when you realize that the new unibody machines don’t offer a VGA / VGA-to-component output, meaning that you have to connect it to an HDCP-compliant display if you want to see anything. We know, one word in particular keeps coming to mind to describe this fiasco: awesome.

As one Engadget commenter puts it:

Seriously, if you pirate it, it JUST WORKS. No need to spend extra to comply with DRM/HDCP crap.

7 replies on “Fighting piracy by shooting yourself in the foot, #3124”

You know, I’m generally against film/music piracy but I’ll sodding well start doing it if these idiots continue to cripple legitimate purchase paths.

Bastards.

I’ve got a Virgin V+ box which would refuse to output any video over HDMI (you could still record and view menus and stuff) due to a slightly dodgy cable interfering with HDCP. No errors or anything. I’m not impressed with HDCP.

HDCP is the wrong answer to a reasonable question, I think. Unless the studios think the question is “how do we make sure pirate versions are better than legit ones, not just on price but on basic usefulness?” rather than “how do we stop people stealing our stuff?”

btw, sorry that the anti-spam thing keeps appearing and disappearing. Whenever the plugin updates it resets the “should registered users have to enter the anti-spam word?” flag, and it takes me a while to realise.

I particularly liked the Engadget commenter who pointed out that a lot of users won’t even understand the text in the message box. Whatever Apple’s excuses for having such crap functionality (yeah, yeah, they’re forced to comply if they want to provide the content), there’s no excuse for what really is a Windows message. They might as well start telling their users that WIGTffdRsH.dll is not registered and that the application’s environment has therefore been unable to initialise a valid instance of its pants.

>>HDCP is the wrong answer to a reasonable question, I think.

I think you might have misunderstood the question though. There is as much “How do we make consumers continue to upgrade their equipment, even though what they have works fine?” as the other stuff. If I’m wrong then they won’t bring out a completely new (and non-backwards compatible) version of HDCP in a couple of years.

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