While I love this guy’s gusto, I feel his blog at: http://writersblocklive.com/part-156 coulda/woulda/shoulda been a bit more detailed and informative to the average non-tech reader (and maybe a bit less emotional). He also writes, as a response to this question: --------- # John Says: February 23rd, 2006 at 10:56 am So do you consider AACS fundamentally different than CSS? (Or FairPlay, for that matter…) What’s your personal policy on CSS, FairPlay, and other DMCA-enabled content protection schemes? ----------------------------- # Mike Evangelist Says: February 23rd, 2006 at 11:08 am John '“ CSS never bothered me that much because everyone in the industry knew it was just a placebo to satisfy the movie studios. Nobody expected it to actually do anything. AACS on the other hand is being designed to work, by some very smart and very serious people. I view the DMCA as a criminal conspiracy that should be prosecuted under RICO statutes, but of course it won’t be, as the conspirators are in charge. But the big difference with AACS is that they can change the rules after the fact. If you buy an high definition DVD, you’ll have no certainty what rights you will be granted in the future. It’s insane. PS I find FairPlay to be a reasonable compromise, but it doesn’t work for me because I want to play my music from my server using devices that don’t support it. Hence, I buy my music elsewhere. =============== I really dunno if I agree with his reasoning about CSS there, but you know, keep up the good fight. CSS might have been proven ‘weak’ eventually ('cause it took a fair few years for it to be cracked - as far as I remember it was a software manufacturer that didn’t encrypt what they should have in their DVD playing software that allowed it to be more easily cracked), but both AACS and CSS do the same thing, essentially, regardless of his quoted “nobody in the industry expected it to do anything”. The fact is it did, for many years. And still does. As do the laws that were changed to benefit the majors. AACS might just be more hardcore, and the rules might change as they go, and analogue might be phased out according to bits of the AACS agreement he read (no doubt Hollywood wants this, but I haven’t read the AACS manufacturer agreement)…but the argument shouldn’t really be so different to CSS, so I don’t know if I can agree with him on his CSS points here. Or other forms of DRM for that matter. I don’t find Apple’s FairPlay a reasonable compromise to anything. Like it’s been mentioned before, they’re all forms of lock-in. This is, of course, is ignoring the masses are paying gold prices for lossy content, which nobody seems to care about. Quality aside, some have questioned the health effects of being subjected to lossy content (which is an area new to science). That’s another argument for another day but I believe these concerns will be proven in time. As has been proven time and time again, Joe User will buy crappy lossy content with his hard-earned as long as its easy for him to get it (iTunes, etc). DRM lock-in is anti-consumer and no amount of slicing and dicing and presenting it in a nice package is gonna change my perception of that. Just my opinion, of course. Again, I don’t regard CSS different to AACS at all. The video-watching public just happen to have gotten a lucky break with it being cracked (at great cost to the cracker). After that, things really exploded for the average user. And many applications were built around the DVD for Average Joe to benefit from. And hardware sales really exploded (and prices went down, competition went up, etc). And yet people still did not stop buying original DVDs. Tells u something, doesn’t it? Again, another argument for another day… I guess my point is that what is happening now with the new formats and AACS could have just as easily happened with regular DVD in time. All that would be needed is a change to their policies and licensing agreements and blah blah…lockdown central. We are seeing new forms of anti-copy protection all the time on DVD, too. But the cat is out of the bag. Only just. Anyway, yes, a boycott. It would be great to see both formats never gain critical mass and eventually be dropped (or another technology to take it over completely, which I think will happen before too long). Things are moving fast in storage and there’s lots of money to be made without concerning oneself with greedy hollywood content distribution.