Similar in spirit?
Posted Oct 5, 2006 19:51 UTC (Thu) by sepreece
In reply to: Similar in spirit?
Parent article: Similar in spirit?
This whole discussion has thoroughly muddied the distinction between DRM (content protection) and Trusted Computing (control over what software runs on the device). My statement maintained that distinction. DRM has nothing to do with spyware or with whether you can replace your software. The technologies used for DRM and TC are sometimes related, but it makes no sense to conflate them. They are both technologies that restrict users' freedom in return for certain benefits.
DRM sometimes (but not always) relies on some kind of TC mechanism to make sure that the software accessing the content is trusted. In other cases the DRM and content acces are bundled in a separate module so that the controlling software is unable to access the decoded content, in which case no TC is needed.
It's reasonable to expect that as hardware with built-in TC is commoditized, use of TC to simplify DRM implementations will become more common.
Note, however, that situations such as you describe (where "spyware" is in the trusted software) are typically service situations, where your contractual relationship with a service provider probably dictates that that software be used, anyway. [Not that there aren't exceptions.]
Most Tivo devotees say that the device's ability to track and predict their use is the primary reason for preferring a Tivo to a generic DVR. What you consider "spyware" is a critical product feature to them. Don't like it? Buy a different device.
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