Forget DRM, Microsoft Looks To Build Digital Manners Management

from the mind-your-manners dept

If there's one thing companies should understand by now, it's the idea that restricting people from doing stuff that they want to do tends to backfire, badly. Just look at every attempt to create "DRM." Well, apparently Microsoft is trying to create a different sort of digital restrictions policy: one based on hard-coded "manners." A few folks sent in notice that Microsoft has applied for a patent on a system for "device manner policy" (DMP). Basically, such a DMP system would restrict the use of certain features in certain locations. So, for example, a mobile phone that has the DMP technology might not be able to ring in a movie theater, but would instead shift to vibrate. Or a digital camera or cameraphone would automatically disable the ability to take photos in a museum. Really, this is just another form of DRM, restricting what people can do with the technology they own. While it's nice to think that technology could somehow block out rude uses of devices, the opportunity for problems and abuse seems quite high. Wouldn't we be better off focusing on social norms to get people to learn when it is and is not appropriate to use certain technologies?

Filed Under: digital manner policy, manners, patents
Companies: microsoft


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  1. identicon
    GGnubs, 11 Jun 2008 @ 8:31am

    Why are you all acting like this is a tool the governments will be given power over, and that the example of the phone is the only application? It's not even a quotation of fact, it's an example the author of this article wrote to help you numbnuts understand what it means to combine manners with total control.

    But if we must talk about it being used in cell phones, then allow me to contribute this. With all the ISPs who also provide cell phone services (most trying to sell 3G "high bandwidth" phones now) and those very same ISPs running out of bandwidth in their poorly designed infrastructure for the tubes, is it not possible that they are also refusing to upgrade their wireless services? If you ask me, a phone manufacturer will pay to use DMP, start making only phones with DMP, and then AT&T along with Verizon will be the first two companies to only sell DMP phones. With DMP, they can shut your ass off when you start using 3G to browse youtube too much and it causes the age and poor design of their 3G delivery system to show. Bandwidth is still not unlimited just because you throw it through the air.

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