Digital Nerd

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

MS MVP tries to prove DRM isn't evil

Via Gadget Fetish:

Chris Lanier, a Microshafft MVP, tries to prove that DRM, and Microsoft's implementation of it in XP Media Center Edition 2005 and Vista isn't evil. And if you buy this, then that coffee you're drinking really is Folger's Crystals.

Basically, he blames the content provider. Sure, it's not Microsoft's fault for not standing up for the consumer. Why should they? They're out to make a buck. Now perhaps with the advent of this bizarre notion known as "competition", Microsoft could actually run the risk of having to stand out from the pack.

Of course, with M$ as the dominant PC platform by far, why should they do anything that would endanger their all important bottom line? The answer is that they don't and they won't. Providing content means more money from the consumer and more money playing middle man for the content provider.

Sure, Microsoft could go toe to toe with the content providers. They could have decided not to implement CGMS-A (analog copy protection). They could have fought against HD-DVD copy protection. They could have won currency with the geek community.

But why bother with we few, we proud? Because we guide the less "l33t" members of the community toward what we consider to be the most technologically sound products. For example, some months ago, I steered at least one coworker into purchasing SageTV.

Would I recommend Microsoft MCE to most people? Hell, no! For the technologically unsavvy, I think that I would sooner help them build a SageTV or BeyondTV box than see them go with MCE.

Sure, MCE is easy to set up (although BeyondTV and the next version of SageTV will be) but Microsoft doesn't let you own the content that you download. To quote a commenter on Chris Lanier's blog, they insult their users by "treat[ing] you like a criminal."

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