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Daily Dose of DRM

April 20th, 2005 by Multimedia Mike

A coworker brought to my attention the latest cross-company DRM consortium effort: Advanced Access Content System (AACS). When I hear about these efforts, I feel as apathetic as the AACS model pictured here (they put all this effort into making their movies and music secure but they still can not stop me from ripping the still images from their website):

She just does not look too happy, does she? Almost as if she is getting burned out on multimedia technology. All of the usual promises are there: All multimedia hardware and software will eventually adopt this standard. This includes HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, recording from broadcast, and the capability to move the content around in a “managed” fashion, probably designed to optimize the amount of cash moving out of consumers’ wallets.

AACS Spokesmodel
Green AACS Spokesmodel says: “Is Sony Blu-Ray going to clash with my outfit?”

Dude! Where's my movie?
“Dude! Where’s my movie?”

I have to admit, I’m rather puzzled by the site’s choice of focus-group-approved corporate artwork. When I look at the picture to the left, I see a man who is throwing up his hands in frustration over the fact that he is just trying to watch a movie but is unable to because the technology is not working correctly (from his perspective). Though I guess he could be watching the landmark 1995 water-based flick, Waterworld, which is slated as an HD-DVD launch title from Universal.

IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, Disney, and Warner Brothers are all on board with this particular DRM initiative. In other words, all the usual suspects. Correct me if I am mistaken, but aren’t they always involved with these industry DRM efforts?

I wonder what next week’s industry DRM consortium effort will be…

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