Laser & DRM
Posted Oct 6, 2006 2:40 UTC (Fri) by sepreece
In reply to: Laser & DRM
Parent article: Similar in spirit?
Why do you limit tamper resistance to rented equipment? Many manufacturers attempt to make their hardware tamper resistant, regardless of whether the equipment is intended for sale or rental. For instance, cases may be sealed (the case would be replaced if the item had to be repaired) or may require special tools or techniques to open.
The primary reason for this is liability. If you make a good-faith effort to make it hard to modify your device, you reduce the probability that someone will convince a jury that you negligently enabled a misuse or failure that caused damage.
A secondary reason is reputation. If the user modifies the device and it fails in a way that gets publicized, the press and the public will hear about it as the failure of your device. For instance, newspaper stories about exploding cellphone batteries almost always mention the phone manufacturer; if the retailer or the user has installed an aftermarket battery, that rarely gets mentioned.
The same factors apply to software. Of course, this only speaks to why the manufacturer cares. If user freedom is what matters to you, it may not matter whether the manufacturer has a legitimate reason to want to lock down the software in its devices.
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