by Timothy Lee
Fri, Nov 9th 2007 1:08pm
As you might have gathered, we don't much like digital rights management, which doesn't stop piracy and doesn't create value for consumers, but does irritate them and create security problems. This week there are two more stories illustrating these problems. First, there's been another Blu-Ray crack. Blu-Ray discs employ two different DRM technologies. One, called AACS, was cracked back in January. The other, called BD+, was supposed to provide an added layer of "security" and differentiate the format from HD-DVD. The specifications for BD+ were released just last June, and the first discs using the technology were released a month ago. Now, to no one's surprise, a company called SlySoft has announced a BD+ crack. The second development is likely to prove even more embarrassing to DRM supporters. Macrovision, the company made famous when its anti-copying technology was incorporated into VCRs in the 1980s, also sells DRM technology called SafeDisc used by Windows computer games. Ironically, "SafeDisc" turns out not to be so safe for your computer, as Microsoft is warning that the technology opens up security vulnerabilities on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Malware running as an unprivileged user could use vulnerabilities in the software to gain administrative privileges. DRM is bad for everyone: technology companies, copyright holders, and their customers.
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