Is Intel Building Copy Protected Proprietary File Sharing System Into Chips?

from the but...-um...-why? dept

This Reuters story is quite confusing, so hopefully more details are forthcoming that will explain what’s really happening. The story claims that Intel has teamed up with media giant Bertelsmann to build chips that are “compatible with” Bertelsmann’s new file sharing app. Bertelsmann announced that application last week, and it sounds basically like any other entertainment industry-approved file sharing app. It’s not really about file sharing, but creating a broadcast distribution mechanism with a tollbooth. So why is Intel getting involved? That’s not clear at all. Does this mean the file sharing system, as currently developed, doesn’t work on Intel chips? That seems highly unlikely. What would it be working on? Does it mean that Intel is re-architecting its chips to include this proprietary copy-protected file sharing system at the chip level? That also seems highly unlikely (or, if true, highly disturbing). Intel (and others) make the chips on which all different kinds of applications can run. They shouldn’t be favoring one type of application or building it in at the chip level. If anything, this is probably just a marketing relationship, where Intel may be tossing in a bit of help with designing the software. However, it still seems like a strange announcement.

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Comments on “Is Intel Building Copy Protected Proprietary File Sharing System Into Chips?”

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nonuser says:


I’m just speculating, but Intel could be providing a separate ID on each chip with the ability to hardware decryption using that ID. So the service could work like this:

– user, via Bertlesman app requests a tune using HTTP+SSL (secure channel)
– server asks for the hardware ID (actually probably a hash of it)
– app, via OS, retrieves hash of hardware ID, then transmits to server
– server sends streamed audio encrypted with user’s hardware ID
– as chunks of music arrive, app (via OS) asks chip to decrypt chunk, then plays it over local speakers

An attacker could hack the app and collect the unencrypted music stream from RAM, but then he might as well just buy the audio CD instead.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

I think this makes it clearer.

My take is – if Grokster can be sued for the software, we can be used for the hardware that people use for . Intel clearly have a much larger exposure there than grokster, although there are more legitimate uses for a PC than say grokster (don’t bother, I know YOU just download linux from p2p, so does *EVERYONE*).

As Mike always mentions, its about halting innovation. Maybe they should sue the executors of Tomas Edison’s estate.

Loraan says:

No Subject Given

When I download via BitTorrent or other P2P apps, I am happy to share upstream bandwidth because it supports the value that I get from the system. But I read the Bertellsman P2P app as: “look, we’re going to overcharge you for DRM-crippled content AND save ourselves a ton in bandwidth costs at your expense!” No thanks. Content that’s distributed via P2P should, at the very least, be much cheaper than content that’s distributed via any other means. And if it’s crippled by DRM, then it should be even cheaper, to make up for the value that I lose by not being able to manipulate the content in the legal ways that I prefer to.

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