It’s not enough that the folks coming up with the various Digital Rights Management schemes are dead set on making sure content owners have the final say on what you can do with that shiny new CD/DVD you just bought, but it seems they’re perfectly prepared to screw over device makers as well. Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing has an entry up about Intel’s DRM implementation and what perils it has for device makers who decide license it:
If you cripple your products by adding Intel’s DTCP-IP DRM to it, you could be liable for more than eight million dollars in fines if your implementation gets cracked. In this Intel Developer Forum presentation, Intel’s Brett Branch explains everything you need to know about implementing Intel’s DTCP-IP (including a complicated philosophical argument about why this isn’t really DRM, even though it satisfies the primary definition of DRM: technology designed to give control of a device to someone other than its owner).
It’s pretty creepy: you have to allow for “system renewability messages” that can revoke features and even disable the DTCP-IP when they’re submitted. Ever wonder why enemy space-stations always seem to have a big red “press this to make the whole space-station explode” button in science fiction movies? I mean, wouldn’t it be smarter to just not build “self-destruct” into your space-station? Well, that’s what DTCP-IP demands of its implementers.
Scariest of all, though, is slide 25, shown here, which explains what happens if your DTCP-IP implementation results in a breach: $8m in fines, more fines from copyright holders, and revocation of your devices in the field (meaning potential lawsuits from your customers).
Why the fuck would anyone with half a brain want to add this crap to their new electronic gizmo and run the risk of being gang raped with lawsuits once someone figures out a way to crack the DRM? Someone WILL figure out how to crack the DRM and if you’re unlucky enough to be making the device they crack it on you had better get the anal lube out and start gritting your teeth. Intel apparently thinks idiots are plentiful in technology companies because they didn’t have any reservations in showing these guys the terms of the deal in big bold print.