Intel quietly adds DRM to new chips
Microsoft and the entertainment industry's holy grail of controlling copyright through the motherboard has moved a step closer with Intel Corp. now
embedding digital rights management within in its latest dual-core processor Pentium D and accompanying 945 chipset.
Officially launched worldwide on the May 26, the new offerings come DRM-enabled and will, at least in theory, allow copyright holders to prevent
unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted materials from the motherboard rather than through the operating system as is currently the
However, Tucker ducked questions regarding technical details of how embedded DRM would work saying it was not in the interests of his company to spell
out how the technology in the interests of security.
The situation presents an interesting dilemma for IT security managers as they may now be beholden to hardware-embedded security over which they have
little say, information or control
Not to be alarmist, but these marketing drones and legal eagles are leading us into a new dark age, where knowledge itself is restricted to a select
few, a tyranny of DRM. That the concept is difficult to grasp by the masses is not going to make the penalties for infringement any less harsh. Sadly
this problem is not self correcting, nor do I see any immediate method to stop or slow it, short of a massive reduction in the influence of the USA in
international relations or a complete reversal of policy by the administration there.
AMD has been working for years to make people understand that there is no downside to using their chips. I've used many AMD CPUs and have never had a
problem that I've been able to trace to using a non-Intel CPU. But what on earth is going to happen when I try to load software and the error message
says "this software will not work with AMD systems" because the software maker demands DRM?
One of three things is going to happen.
1)This will never take off.
2)AMD will adopt DRM themselves.
3)AMD will be marginalized as software manufacturers demand DRM
Copyrights are much more complex than mere assertion by an object that it cannot be copied. When my Dell CPU says I can't backup an object, or copy
it for use in a different location of my own, or for criticism, satire, or other fair use, or streaming (which the Library of Congress Copyright
Office says is not a "copy"), how do I protect my rights? Send the Dell back, fight for a refund? Who's going to compensate me for their wrongful
infringement of my rights? For my lost time, opportunities, labor, value expected but denied? And what about in countries other than the US, where
copyright laws are different, often much more complex, and sometimes nonexistent?
It's a mistake for hardware engineers to generate law-enforcement in mass-consumer products. At most, optional hardware support for user opt-in, to
make compliance easy enough that most people agree, should be available. Copyright violation is a problem for the justice system, with its
presumptions of innocence until guilt is proven, due process, and human interpreters of whether acts were crimes or not.
This DRM CPU tech should go down in flames, like Intel's mandatory CPU serial#. Intel's got a lot more problems just rolling out CPUs that do what
we want, like faster Pentium4s. They shouldn't be wasting developer time, eating die space, and complicating throughput with half-bright consumer
traps like this. Of course, AMD (and others) have the opportunity to speed past Intel, and give customers what we want. Not just spin their wheels
trying to woo back Microsoft, as it looks to other CPU platforms. Because we'll all leave Intel hanging when a CPU comes along that serves us
This ATM and IDE control scares me the most though. Security through obscurity is a good idea?! How long before Joe the Hacker finds the ability to
manipulate my computer at a level BELOW the operating system.
[edit on 29/5/2005 by Seth76]