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Palladium's Power To Deny

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the back-in-line-you dept.

Microsoft 568

BrianWCarver writes "The Chronicle of Higher Education has the most detailed article I've yet seen on Microsoft's Palladium architecture. The article discusses the potential Palladium has to give publishers power to eliminate fair use and the potential for software manufacturers to use Palladium to enforce shrink-wrap licenses. Comments from several great sources including, Ed Felten (Freedom to Tinker), Eben Moglen (pro-bono counsel for the Free Software Foundation and recent Slashdot interviewee), and Seth Schoen (Electronic Frontier Foundation) among many others. Key quotations from article: Palladium could create 'a closed system, in which each piece of knowledge in the world is identified with a particular owner, and that owner has a right to resist its copying, modification, and redistribution. In such a scenario the very concept of fair use has been lost.' 'Palladium will "turn the clock back" to the days before online information was widely available.' and 'Microsoft could decide to lock everything up.'"

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unfortunately.... (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320208)

Palladium doesn't have the power to deny a first post!

Re:unfortunately.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320453)

The goddess of the net has twisting fingers and her voice is like a javelin in the night, dude.

gpl power (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320210)

the power of free software (as in freedom).. GPL!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

leprkan (641220) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320211)



YOU FAIL IT! (624257) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320246)

Palladium used its power to deny your first post! You have FAILED!


palladium sux0r (-1, Troll)

jeepee (607566) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320215)

just another way to waste cpu cycles!

What about my First Post Rights? (0, Funny)

sfeinstein (442310) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320217)

Will Palladium prevent my ability to reply first to a Slashdot article? Could Microsoft decide that I'm not a "trusted source"? Is this the end of the anonymous coward?

Oh, the humanity.

Re:What about my First Post Rights? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320239)

  • It's well know that slashdot is not a "trusted source" of "news"
  • MS is slashdot's biggest adverstiser

is this thing on? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320225)

get your gostse [] ! Hot fresh goatse! []

Excuse me, but (5, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320227)

Wasn't there an article on slashdot a while back talking about how someone had defensively patented Palladium-DRM schemes in order to prevent M$ from doing exactly this? If so, then how can M$ do this now -- would it not be in violation of such patents?

One-step process (5, Funny)

rgoer (521471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320263)

Here is the one-step process MicroSoft will surely follow in the interest of sidestepping those patents you mention:

1. Billions upon billions of dollars

Re:One-step process (0)

$$$$$exyGal (638164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320312)

1. Billions upon billions of dollars

And that's a process that they won't need to bother patenting...

--sex []

Re:One-step process (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320347)

>And that's a process that they won't need to bother patenting...

They can't. Prior use. Why else do you think the UK is backing Bushes war in the middle east, against the wishes of the electorate? []

irony (1)

telbij (465356) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320473)

Suppose the FSF owned this patent, then sold it to M$ for a billion dollars and used the cash to fund a lawsuit to challenge the legality of Palladium's protection mechanism.

Re:Excuse me, but (5, Insightful)

retards (320893) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320280)

Maybe by buying the patent or suing the owner of that patent until he/she is forced to sell it or capitulate. Sound familiar? It takes money to use a patent as leverage.

Not a problem (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320228)

Software companies will still have to sell software to survive. If people don't like the restrictions - they will shop elsewhere. I see this as nothing but a replacement for the dongle.

bah (3, Funny)

MentLTheo (607841) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320229)

This is just Microsoft's way of seperating the men from the boys. They just want to be able take guys like me who only use windows for gaming and push us away from the OS altogether so they know who their dedicated users are. Thats when they break out the 'kool-aid' and ascend to heaven in a spirtual journey.

Re:bah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320250)

The mothership has sailed on that one a long time ago!

=[ sad (3, Interesting)

Vodak (119225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320231)

It saddens me that some US people are spending all this time and energy protesting a war that hasn't happened yet and could give a crap about things happening in their own country in regards to their freedom. And it's not just this story, it's all the freedoms that are being taken away thinks to the events of 2001.

Re:=[ sad (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320284)

Well, perhaps they are just more concerned about the potential loss of life, than some computing thing that they've never heard of?

Palladium may well be very news worthy in the industry press, but trust me, almost no-one outside of the IT industry is going to have heard of it. *Everyone* has heard about Iraq.

Re:=[ sad (4, Interesting)

Vodak (119225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320320)

I won't get into the war argument here on slashdot, I mean I could argue either side. My comment was in regards to the fact that the United States is being destroyed from with in and few people are seeing it.

Re:=[ sad (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320385)

Ah, but few people are seeing it because it's not happening all at once.

Things like this, the general population won't know about until it's implemented and is being sold to them, and then, they'll only have the positive marketing spin (and perhaps a little bit of nay-saying in the general press, but nothing technical or deep).

Things like the laws passed in the wake of the WTC attack get through, becuase

a) it makes people feel safe, and as though people are doig soemthing about it
b) "I have nothing to hide"

I do agree with you, and take some solace from the fact that I'm in (and from) the UK. Of course, where the US leads, we (blindly) follow...

Re:=[ sad (1, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320319)

It saddens me that some US people are spending all this time and energy protesting a war that hasn't happened yet and could give a crap about things happening in their own country in regards to their freedom. And it's not just this story, it's all the freedoms that are being taken away thinks to the events of 2001.

Sorry, but your freedoms aren't be impunged here.

Fair Use? You've got the same avenue for fair use that you've always had: you view the work, and then the sample it.

Actual Use? Well, aside from not having a right to have your purchases work perfectly, reading EULAs and only using Palladium-enabled systems that give you the use you want should be enough for that--and if that isn't enough, just don't sue them at all.

As for the freedoms that really are being taken away--we held our arms open, and we were stabbed for it. It'll be awhile before we open our arms like that again. When the South tried to succeed, when communist spies were aiding an enemy who wanted to destroy our way of life, and several other times in our history we have suspended the rights of some to preserve the whole. Yes, we went too far each time--but, paradoxially, if no one went to far, we might never have gotten those rights back.

not pirating movies never killed anyone (-1, Offtopic)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320397)

Although I agree.

I wa sone of the million or so people marching through London. It was inspiring to see so many people but saddening that people don't use their energy for other stuff too. I've been on some lonely protests, even outnumbered by the police.

Still, maybe some will become radicalised by it, that usually happens.

Personally, I blame it on Flouridation. Nothing like mass administering a depressive without consent.

Don't be blinkered that it's Sep 11th that started the crackdown. It's my Parliament's responsibility to restrict freedom, that's why it exists: to administer power to the rich. The best trick is that these days they have a mandate from the poor.

Mind you, I'd rather not go back to the days when you would be hung for stealing one of the King's rabbits.

Re:not pirating movies never killed anyone (1)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320461)

Personally, I blame it on Flouridation.

You can avoid this by not seeing the Rocky Horror Show too often ;)

Re:=[ sad (4, Insightful)

skillet-thief (622320) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320399)

I agree that it would be better if people were more aware of what is happening to their rights. They need to get past the idea of the computer being just a tool, and into the idea that the details of computer interoperability and the laws on intellectual property are going to determine the social fabric of tomorrow.

But as far as your comment goes :

It saddens me that some US people are spending all this time and energy protesting a war that hasn't happened yet

A. It is hardly saddening, that the people are concerned about their gov't jumping into war.

B. Isn't smarter to protest before a war happens, than after?

Has it occured to you that one of the freedoms. . (0, Offtopic)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320405)

that is being defended is the right for the citizens of a democracy to oppose, and even prevent, a war?

If not than it certainly hasn't occured to you that this freedom is exactly the *same* freedom that you think they aren't defending.


Its a good thing .... (3, Funny)

bizitch (546406) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320232)

for Microsoft that nobody has yet claimed the intellectual property rights on evil ... yet

Re:Its a good thing .... (1, Funny)

footNipple (541325) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320447)

I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but they have. See Details []

Re:Its a good thing .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320474)

I'm gonna end this thread here and now. :)

Hitler was prior art. Microsoft has a few million people to kill before they catch up.

Rerun... (2, Interesting)

Infernon (460398) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320233)

'Palladium will "turn the clock back" to the days before online information was widely available.'

Wouldn't that be history repeating itself?

What's the issue? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320234)

Palladium, like computers and any other bit of technology, is a technology that can be used for good or evil. The people pushing it are only pointing out the good. The people against it are only pointing out the evil. In the end, if it doesn't work people will shun it like it's the latest version of TurboTax.

This isn't where the fight should be. Instead, we should be avoiding the products of the companies that would use such technology for purposes of controlling what we can do with what we own.

Re:What's the issue? (2, Insightful)

harmless_mammal (543804) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320472)

You can't avoid offensive products when there is an effective monopoly.

blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320242)

If people can't do what it is they want, they're just not going to buy this pos. At least I hope not...

Correction (5, Interesting)

manyoso (260664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320252)

You mean 'The Technology Formerly Known As Palladium' ;)

What is particularly maddening about Palladium is the repeated claims that this offers a security benefit for end users. Microsoft is trying very hard to trojan in this DRM technology as a part of the Trusted Computing initiative. If this is the form of 'trust' they are speaking of then I want nothing to do with it.

Buy your processors now before they are infected with all of this Palladium/TCPA nonsense.

Re:Correction (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320343)

Lies are truth and the truth are lies.

The oldest trick in the book is to identify that aspect of your product that is going to be most harmful to your customers and spin it as a plus.

Nobody advertises 40 room mansions on 1000 acres as "spacious." That epithet is reserved for studio apartments in a "bee hive."


Re:Correction (1)

skillet-thief (622320) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320423)

Probably 99% of the population thinks that the Slammer worm wouldn't have happened if Palladium was already out there.

Or they would think so, if they knew what Palladium and Slammer were.

Palladium is Draconian (0, Flamebait)

MFInc2001 (516824) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320256)

Palladium is Draconian. It ultimately attempts to use DRM to maintain what is quickly becoming an obsolete strategy to information and publishing. Intelligent use of bandwidth is the key, not perpetual attempts to control the information-content itself. Microsoft needs to get a clue. []

Who's locking what up? (4, Insightful)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320257)

'Microsoft could decide to lock everything up'

Isn't the reality that the content creators would be the ones locking everything up? Who says MS is going to for them?

Another stupid poke at MS I assume? Damn that's getting old.

Re:Who's locking what up? (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320355)

its the associative property (or is that transitive)?

- most providers use M$.

- M$ software will be blocking-friendly

- therefore most providers will also be blocking-friendly

that's the cause/effect he was referring to, I believe. not that M$ directly will block; but its the popularization and embracement of their crap that will seep its way into the rest of the net and fsck us all up in the process.

Re:Who's locking what up? (3, Insightful)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320443)

"that's the cause/effect he was referring to, I believe. not that M$ directly will block; but its the popularization and embracement of their crap that will seep its way into the rest of the net and fsck us all up in the process."

Hmmm possibly. I'm not completely convinced of that, but I'm not ignoring it either.

Here's what gets me though, why is MS the bad guy here? Obviously there's some demand for MS to fill here. The chances are Hollywood is telling MS "we'll start making movies ready for PC when we have the protection we need". MS knows that content will provide a new interest in PCs. They're probably bending over backwards to get Hollywood's support.

I don't think MS is interested in locking up your data (their install CD's have trivial copy protection, btw...), I think they're interested in getting content creators on board. If you want to point a finger, point it at the MPAA. They (plus the RIAA) are the ones that think this type of thing is important. (SSSCA) MS wouldn't introduce these restrictions and piss off their customers (like an office setting wants to deal with more pain from their computers) unless they thought there was a huge benefit to it.

Both (5, Interesting)

Kwil (53679) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320358)

Obviously you can see how, being the folks developing the software, Microsoft can (hell, probably *will* as a software protection feature) program in the ability to encrypt the data into a form that only Microsoft can read, and put a remote based command as the trigger.

So you sign in for your latest Windows Update (which you'll have to because if you don't, your encryption will soon be out of synch and nobody will be able to read squat that you make), Windows Update detects that "Hey! This copy of Palladium has been registered in a different computer", not knowing that you've just moved the hard drive over to a newer chassis with more expansion room, and sends the code to lock it all up, so that all you get on bootup is a message to "Call Microsoft at ... for payment and product activation info"

Re:Who's locking what up? (4, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320463)

Isn't the reality that the content creators would be the ones locking everything up? Who says MS is going to for them?

Content creators? HA!

You mean publishers right?

If this DRM stuff goes through the way everyone wants it, your "content creators" will have two choices: DRM-enabled-digital, or cassette tapes.

Like hell the RIAA will let mp3s (or ogg) exist anymore, and if they do, I'll bet the default setting for any mp3 you record will be "don't copy this". How much do you think the RIAA will want to be paid for the right to change that bit? Changing it yourself is a violation of the DMCA, even though you're the copyright holder because the DMCA protects that bit not your copyright.

Circumvention (1)

NeoMoose (626691) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320260)

How long do you think it will take for crackers to work around this technology?

Sure, it will take a lot more work than something like a simpler like disabling Windows Activation or a NO-CD crack for your favorite game, but when it is something as powerful as this there will most certainly be those who make their attempts at disabling this function.


Re:Circumvention (2, Interesting)

Petronius (515525) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320311)

My guess is that all you'll need to crack it is the install CD of an older version of Windows.

So to answer your question: not very long.

Sad..... (1)

NeoMoose (626691) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320331)

but true.

Re:Circumvention (4, Insightful)

sockit2me9000 (589601) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320476)

Here's the real problem: There is no doubt in my mind experienced computer users will find a way to work around Palladium schemes. But we are only a small segment of computer users. The reality is that this technology will restrict those who aren't computer savvy. The result still will be that the computer becomes far less egalitarian. And this is the real problem. This is a very basic argument about who controls information, who creates it and who uses it. While there will be exceptions, with Palladium shifts this troika decidedly towards big business and away from consumers. That is scary, and to my mind, downright Orwellian.

Same ol' story (5, Insightful)

vDave420 (649776) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320261)

Palladium does nothing for me as a consumer. I will (as many others will) simply upgrade to the N-1th system, where N is the first Palladium system available. I use computers because of the turing-complete properties of them. A computer can mimick almost anything! A neutered computer at an increased cost (R&D costs, people! It costs *Us*, not Bill!) does nothing to entice me. What is the benefit to Me? Nothing real... Period. -dave-

The server seems slow... full text here (3, Informative)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320264)

Print: The Chronicle: 2/21/2003: Control Issues
From the issue dated February 21, 2003

Control Issues Microsoft's plan to improve computer security could set off fight over use of online materials


Computing experts in academe often blame Microsoft for producing software that is vulnerable to viruses and hackers. But, of late, the experts have been criticizing the company's sweeping plan to correct those very deficiencies.

Under the plan, announced seven months ago under the name Palladium, new computers would be equipped with security hardware and a new version of the Windows operating system.

The goal, Microsoft officials say, is to make servers and desktop PC's that people can trust. But critics say the technology, which Microsoft recently renamed "the next-generation secure computing base," could stifle the free flow of information that has come to characterize the Internet, and could give Microsoft too much control over colleges' own computerized information.

With the new technology, information-systems officials could use cryptographic hardware "keys" rather than software controls, like user names and passwords, to lock up student records and prevent illegal copying of materials. Registrars would have tamper-proof controls over who could see, copy, or alter the records. The advances could be used to prevent identity thieves from invading campus computer networks to steal Social Security numbers, grades, and other personal data.

Money and Access

Palladium would require colleges to make expenditures on new computers and software. Existing computers could not be retrofitted.

Colleges would decide whether to buy Palladium-capable software and hardware, and then whether to activate Palladium's security functions. But practically speaking, they would face enormous pressures to do so, especially if publishers of books, journals, software, and other electronic "content" were to adopt Microsoft's standard to deliver their materials online. The publishers could dictate that colleges had to use Palladium or else be denied access to the material. That worries many in academe, who believe that publishers would use Palladium to bar some uses of digital materials to which scholars argue that they are entitled under copyright law. That loss may outweigh the advantages of tighter security over student records, the critics say.

"If Palladium is adopted, and if other technology vendors exploit it fully to restrict access to copyrighted works, education and research will suffer," says Edward W. Felten, an associate professor of computer science at Princeton University, who was the U.S. Justice Department's chief computer-science expert in its antitrust case against Microsoft.

Microsoft officials respond that their new technology will simply give all users --whether colleges or publishers --more control over the information they own. Colleges have been demanding more computer security, says Brian LaMacchia, a software architect in Microsoft's trusted-platform-technologies group, which is responsible for Palladium. "It's a two-edged sword," he says, acknowledging that commercial publishers have demanded greater protection for their copyrighted works.

Palladium's software components will be part of the next major version of Windows, which Microsoft has said it may release toward the end of 2004. Some hardware components that Palladium needs, including a security chip, are available already in a notebook computer, the IBM ThinkPad T30. Chip manufacturers and the major computer companies --Dell, Gateway, Hew-lett-Packard, and IBM, among others --have begun work to redesign PC's so that they will work with Palladium software.

A key component of Microsoft's new technology is the "nexus," a minisystem that runs in a sealed-off area in the computer's memory, where private transactions can be conducted, and where designated security and copyright policies would be enforced. In theory, the nexus is immune to many of the problems that plague Windows machines, like viruses.

Moving away from password-protected security and toward security that is built into the hardware would make campus networks less vulnerable to hacker attacks, Microsoft officials and academic experts agree. "Once you move to hardware security, then you're talking about deterring 98 to 99 percent of all hackers," says David C. Rice, a security consultant who is an adjunct faculty member in the graduate program in information security at James Madison University.

Here's how Palladium works: If a program --with its nexus --were running on a server in, say, a college registrar's office, the server would ask any computer that tried to gain access to student records on the server to certify what program it was running. The server would block access to the records if the computer were running an insecure program. Such questioning of another computer is not part of most security mechanisms in use today. As a result, college computer systems are repeatedly victimized by hacker attacks.

Mr. LaMacchia says that Palladium also would permit personal data and other files to be kept secret on the computer's hard drive in an area where the data would be unreadable by any program other than the one on the computer that created them.

"It's definitely going to solve a lot of security problems, but it's like any kind of new technology," says William A. Arbaugh, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Maryland at College Park. "It can do good or evil."

Fair Use

Whether it is used for "good" or "evil," he says, will depend on who gets to control the technology --colleges or the publishers whose "content" the colleges use.

Most of the early controversy surrounding Palladium in academe has concerned its impact on "fair use," a gray area in copyright law that gives professors and researchers limited but free use of copyrighted materials. In the past, faculty members could decide on their own that "fair use" permitted them to distribute a journal article to, say, 10 students. But publishers could use Palladium's controls to unilaterally limit use of their materials, such as by restricting professors to a read-only view of the article, from which they could not "cut and paste" the text.

With Palladium, owners of content would gain at the expense of consumers of content, including professors and students, says Eben Moglen, a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University. In fact, if Palladium were to become a widely accepted way of protecting copyrighted material, Mr. Moglen says, it would create "a closed system, in which each piece of knowledge in the world is identified with a particular owner, and that owner has a right to resist its copying, modification, and redistribution."

In such a scenario, he says, "the very concept of fair use has been lost."

Ross Anderson, who holds a faculty post as a reader in security engineering at the University of Cambridge's Computer Laboratory, says Palladium will "turn the clock back" to the days before online information was widely available.

The biggest losers, he says, will be "small colleges, poor schools, universities in Africa, hospitals in India --the people who have benefited hugely from the availability of vast amounts of information that was simply unavailable to them before."

Publishers generally support the type of copyright-enforcement mechanisms that would be in Palladium systems, although "there would be some concerns about bugs in those systems," says Ed McCoyd, director of digital policy for the Association of American Publishers. For example, he says, even now, while publishers complain about the inflexibility of technical controls in electronic-book readers, they do not want to share those controls with users.

"They certainly want to have sufficient flexibility in the publisher settings --one publisher might choose to enable printing, one might not," Mr. McCoyd says. But with the new technology, he predicts, publishers will insist on controlling the software settings for what they "consider to be fair use."

Some experts argue that computer and network security are so weak today that the benefits of Palladium outweigh any risks that Microsoft, or content providers, would abuse the new controls.

"Microsoft could decide to lock everything up," says David J. Farber, a professor of telecommunications systems and of business and public policy at the University of Pennsylvania. "But there is nothing a priori that says they'll be all bad boys."

Indeed, Microsoft says it is listening to its critics. It has been talking with academic researchers about the new technology far earlier than usual in Microsoft's product-development process. "Part of the reason has been to hear the feedback --positive and negative --from the academic community, analysts, influentials, and others," says Amy Carroll, group manager of Microsoft's trusted-platform-technologies group.

Palladium's software architects have given several guest lectures at universities in the United States and Britain, in part, Ms. Carroll says, to listen to academic concerns "and, hopefully, assuage them."

Many of the concerns are a result of misunderstanding what the new technology will do and how it will work, Ms. Carroll says. Microsoft plans to publish the source code for its nexus, she says, so that "people can view the code and see that it will do what we say it will do," and see that it will not give the company control over colleges' computerized information.

Even Palladium's critics see good uses for the technology, like maintaining the privacy of student records. Colleges may want to have Palladium activated on some servers to keep them from running "pirated software, MP3's, or anything that is illegal," says Mr. Rice, the security consultant.

More Worries

But Palladium is worrisome to college officials for reasons other than an erosion in the fair use of copyrighted materials. Jeffrey I. Schiller, a network manager at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says software companies most likely would use the program to enforce license agreements that many in academe believe are legally unenforceable. For example, more and more software licenses forbid users from running tests known as benchmarks to measure the performance of one company's software against that of its competitors.

Some critics, like Mr. Schiller, say Palladium might achieve the results intended by the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, a model law devised by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, which has been enacted only in Maryland and Virginia. Ucita is "an attempt to give these software licenses the force of a signed contract, even though you didn't sign a contract," Mr. Schiller says. With Palladium, technology would "enforce" the licenses de facto, he says.

Microsoft insists that its new technology is a neutral platform. "It is certainly possible that an application vendor could choose to use [Palladium] to evaluate and enforce some software licensing terms," acknowledges Ms. Carroll. But "at the end of the day," she says, "the terms of the license for an application are strictly an issue between the vendor and the university."

Others think Palladium would be an anti-competitive tool in the hands of software publishers, especially Microsoft, which, in 1999, was found guilty by a federal-district court of monopolistic practices. With Palladium, software publishers could decide to create programs that refuse to work with rival programs, a tactic that is difficult for them to get away with now, says Seth Schoen, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group that promotes civil liberties in cyberspace.

Critics of Palladium frequently cite a hypothetical situation in which a company makes a word-processing program that requires Palladium to run and that encrypts all of the documents that it creates. "Any other Palladium user who is also using that same word processor will be able to decrypt and view the documents," Mr. Schoen says, "but nobody without access to Palladium or who uses a different word processor would be able to derive the necessary decryption keys."

Microsoft faces an uphill battle to win acceptance for Palladium in academe. College students, many of whom are used to playing illegal copies of music and videos on their personal computers, may be resistant.

"They're not going to consciously go out and buy a product that necessarily limits their ability to do what they want to do," says Mr. Rice, the security consultant. "They'll definitely buy a product if it means security for them. I don't know if they're going to buy a product if it means security for somebody else."

The Business Software Alliance, a trade group representing software companies, declined to comment on Palladium, citing a policy of not talking about its members' products. But Robert M. Kruger, vice president for enforcement, says the group is beginning to tilt more toward technology to enforce copyrights.

In dealing with software and other copyright piracy on campuses, colleges "aren't sending the message as aggressively as we would like," he says.

Will MIT, whose researchers have studied Palladium, want to run it? Maybe not, says Mr. Schiller, the university's network manager. "Personally, I would never use this technology," he says. As for MIT, though, it's an open question, he says. "Palladium has to become more real for us to really decide if we can use it."

"If I had my druthers, I'd love the technology to be available and used for all the good things we could use it for," Mr. Schiller says. "But I'm enough of a realist to know that's not how it's going to play out."


Microsoft's Palladium project is designed to make Windows computers more secure. But computer experts are concerned that the technologies being used to make computers more secure will block the free flow of information needed for teaching and research.

Palladium will:

  • Run programs that could prevent illegal copying of or unauthorized access to information stored in PC's.

  • Permit owners of digital information, whether copyright holders or registrars responsible for student records, to set tamper-proof controls on who can see, copy, and alter digital files.

  • Prevent unauthorized access, via a computer network or the Internet, to Social Security numbers, credit-card information, and other personal data stored in PC's.
Palladium will not:
  • Replace the Windows operating system.

  • Search the Internet to detect and delete pirated software, music, and movies.

  • Eliminate spam and software viruses.

  • Prevent a digital thief from gaining access to a computer in person and disabling its hardware security features.
SOURCE: Chronicle reporting
Front page [] | Career Network [] | Search [] | Site map [] | Help []
Copyright [] 2003 by The Chronicle of Higher Education

Not Necessarily (5, Funny)

banana fiend (611664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320265)

This (and other) articles and flames posting about the world ending with Palladium have ignored the fact that it is about safety for computer programs, running trusted code and keeping virii to a minimum. It's not such a bad idea.

It will only be harmful if some large monopolistic company decides to abuse it for their own purpose and to restrict the access to "passports" to viable code, and block off homegrown software ("openly developed software" - if you will) from gaining pre-eminence over their own solutions

I sure hope there are no big companies out there like that.

You got it backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320296)

The problem is if there is one or more big companies that will. And if one starts the avalanche and the rest follow, even worse.

I wonder if it was a troll and I bit.

Re:Not Necessarily (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320327)

Bullshit. 'Palladium' and similar technologies are meant to stop "piracy". Remember a how London insatlled a video system "to prevent crime" and promised it won't be used for something else ? Well now it's taxing drivers. What is next

'Palladium' is an answer to a question no one asked. You want safety, trusted code and no virii ? Get Linux.

Re:Not Necessarily (1)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320435)

I can only hope that you were being sarcastic with this post.
It will only be harmful if some large monopolistic company decides to abuse it for their own purpose

Let's see here... Microsoft is a large, monopolistic company. And guess who you have to go through to get your code signed "trustworthy?" Microsoft.

the big problem here is this - if the purpose to prevent virii, then that means each piece of code has to be reviewed by someone at MS and deemed trustworthy. Obviously that's not going to happen, as it would create litterally weeks (most likely more like months) of backlog. What'll most likely end up happening is MS setting up a few servers that assign your program a "trustworthy" hash, meaning you'll get all the joys of DRM and someone else having control over your information without the benefits of any kind of "Trusted" computing.

Re:Not Necessarily (1)

banana fiend (611664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320485)

damn.. hate to have to explain myself (and prob. get modded down for it)

note the use of the word "passport" and the sarcastic use of "monopoly" etc. etc. I thought maybe +1 humorous, -1 not all that funny kind of thing. maybe I should use some sort of "humour indicator" - how about :)

Why the problem? (3, Interesting)

thoolie (442789) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320271)

I have been wondering what the issue is. If this is such a bad product, don't buy it. This product (being implemented in the nex windows), is not forcing me to upgrade my stuff. I can still buy the newest althon CPU and MB along with RAM, put linux, win2k, bsd, whatever on it, without worring about palladum.

palladum will effect the people who use the hardware/software the uses palladum, end of story. There will still be the vast majority who DO NOT UPGRADE and use THE OLD STANDARD. This will keep alive the funtions that you and i use today.

I really can't see how this will effect people who don't use it (now tell me how it will take over the world when people do start to use it and how it will effect the data on the internet and bla bla bal....)

The fact is, is that the US and the tech that we have isn't what the rest of the planet has. Not everybody is going to use this stuff. That is a fact. As long as there is internet and people who don't use palladum, there will be freedom to choose!

Re:Why the problem? (4, Insightful)

banana fiend (611664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320295)

do not upgrade?

A lot of people use windows out there, A LOT. Open-source software et al. need to get their software to these users.

Go to the register and read many stories about just how hard it is to stay out of the upgrade-cycle-of-death that is windows software licensing

Yeah.. that works.. (2, Interesting)

Kwil (53679) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320370) least til the major Internet Routers start using Palladium to control virus and worm attacks. Not a Palladium verified system? Get your own internet.

Re:Why the problem? (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320413)

"I have been wondering what the issue is. If this is such a bad product, don't buy it. "

What's the problem, you say?


Don't like the price you pay for electic power? If this is such a bad product, don't buy it.

Are you dis-satisfied with your telephone service? If this is such a bad product, don't buy it.

Are you unhappy with the performance of the latest Ford auto? If this is such a bad product, don't buy it.

Notice that this last one is much more feasible than the previous two!

Microsoft is in that position. Because of the proven anti-competitive practices of a convicted monopolist, I don't really have that choice. As a software developer, I have to account for Windows as a platform or stop making money.

And, if Microsoft decides that they EOL any non-Palladium O/S, millions will be forced to buy it, simply because they have no effective choice.

Linux (Hooray!) is becoming an option, and I'll do everything I can to get it in use, but it's not there yet. I can't yet readily make a living producing software unless I at least allow accessability to Windows users.

And Microsoft still has the power to potentially stonewall Linux adoption for a long time, and it's my feeling that Palladium is how they'll try do it.

Only time will tell...

As a shareware author (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320273)

Uncrackable encryption on sofware has its appeal

I think (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320286)

Every time something like this comes up, people either go defeatist and decide that Microsoft own us all, or decide to fight back.

The world was once as free as our computers, we lived in isolated communities. As soon as the bridges formed between us, we became united, and ruled. Laws were made. Ownership was arranged. The higher classes sprung up and controlled the land, forcing the lower classes into a life of endless work.

Times have improved, but the fact remains: once many things join, a hierarchy is formed. Now we are having our Governments get more involved in the internet, setting up protective laws at first, and now actively trying to control and limit data flow.

The corporations will 'own' the 'land' we have. They will charge us for the privelige, and render our systems useless unless we upgrade.

Ok, this is a worst-case scenario, but remember that Microsoft has already tried underhand tactics (EULAs agreed as soon as you open them!?) and with this new cookie jar for them to reach into, who knows what new, restrictive ideas they may be planning.

- Rico

"next-generation secure computing base" (1)

QEDog (610238) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320287)

Didn't they change the name Palladium to a new one [] ?

This is both good, and neccessary. (-1, Flamebait)

mosch (204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320288)

It's far too easy to completely share thousands of multimedia files with millions of people who have no right to do so, and the content owners are persecuted for attempting to enforce their rights via copyright. It's also become clear that there's a large population of people who believe it is acceptable to steal if they can do it without leaving their homes.

Yes, it's terrible that fair use rights are being hurt, but it's even worse that consumers feel that one of their rights is the right to rape corporations, simply because they're corporations. Those mp3s on your hard drive aren't fair use. Those divx copies of lord of the rings aren't fair use either.

Until this problem of massive theft is solved, expect content owners to keep raising the hurdles. If you want it to stop, then stop stealing, get your friends and family to stop stealing, and then you'll find that these restrictions will not be implemented, because there will be no need.

Re:This is both good, and neccessary. (5, Insightful)

EricWright (16803) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320348)

Those mp3s on your hard drive aren't fair use. Those divx copies of lord of the rings aren't fair use either.

Bullshit. I bought those albums, so it is most certainly fair use. If I started sharing them with someone else, then it would not be. Just because I carry 10GBs of mp3/ogg on my laptop does NOT mean I have violated any law, civil or criminal.

Similarly, how is having a divx copy of LotR illegal if I bought the dvd and ripped it myself?

I can only assume you're referring to people who illegally download mp3s or make divx copies of illegally recorded theatrical showings of movies, but you need to be specific! The lack of specificity insinuates that we're all rampant filesharers, or that the only use of MPEG compression technology is piracy. Keep it up and the next thing you know, the MPEG consortium will have to disband or be incarcerated...

Re:This is both good, and neccessary. (2, Insightful)

BgJonson79 (129962) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320363)

>>Those mp3s on your hard drive aren't fair use. Those divx copies of lord of the rings aren't fair use either.

I thought if we owned the CDs or DVDs, it would in fact be fair use?

Re:This is both good, and neccessary. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320387)

OGG copies of music on my CDs should be fine though. Please tell me how this will distinguish. My software does not control me; I control my software.

Re:This is both good, and neccessary. (4, Insightful)

imadork (226897) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320437)

It's far too easy to completely share thousands of multimedia files with millions of people who have no right to do so, and the content owners are persecuted for attempting to enforce their rights via copyright. It's also become clear that there's a large population of people who believe it is acceptable to steal if they can do it without leaving their homes.

If all that content owners were doing is "attempting to enforce their rights", then we wouldn't be having this discussion.

It's really about content owners claiming more rights than they currently have. If I buy a dead-tree book, I can't make copies and sell or distribute them. But I can still make a copy of a page for my own use, or lend or give away the original to a friend. I still control the one physical copy that I have bought. DRM takes these rights away from the consumer. It takes control away from the consumer.

I agree with you that all the people who are mooching need to stop! But I contend that DRM advocates are using the cause of preventing piracy as a smokescreen. Their real goal is to control our behavior to a much higher extent, so that they can separate us from our money quicker. Even if there were no piracy, the push for DRM will not go away, as you suggest. Because Piracy is not the reason for it, it's just the excuse.

Re:This is both good, and neccessary. (2, Insightful)

mosch (204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320454)

Just a note: lots of people are saying 'those mp3s are mine and legal'. And some of might even be telling the truth. Here's the thing, Palladium is unlikely to stop you from copying music from your own physical media and onto your computer. Nobody WANTS to stop you from doing that.

What they want to stop is sharing that collection with the world via Kazaa, Gnutella, WinMX, or what not. Palladium will make it far more feasible for content manufacturers to allow you to have a copy of the music on your computer, and to burn a cd for yourself without allowing you to give it away to millions of people.

After all, nobody cares about people giving music to friends, even the record company executives realize that's a sales booster. However, Giving music to millions of people needs to become socially and technologically unacceptable.

Re:This is both good, and neccessary. (1)

Zathrus (232140) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320465)

While you have some things right, you've also completely forgotten about the innocent... and yes, there are people that qualify.

I've never personally downloaded a song or movie or anything else of the nature that I didn't have the rights to do so... and while I don't have an MP3 library yet, I will soon since my TiVo's will be able to play an MP3 library.

There does need to be some form of reasonable copyright controls... but the keyword here is reasonable. The RIAA and MPAA haven't gotten that through their heads yet. Instead they're trying for more and more draconian measures to protect against a group of people who, more likely than not, don't have the money to spend on their product in the first place. Heck, even the people I know that do download MP3s and the like illegally would be willing to pay for them if there was just some reasonable way to do so... but there isn't and the big recording houses are avoiding any attempt to go down that path.

And, yes, there are the dipshits who just happily steal everything they can, claiming all sorts of absurd reasons for why they're justified. That's the group that's impossible to prevent - I mean, hell, they're watching bootlegged video camera shots of LOTR complete with audience dialog, breathing sounds, et. al. -- do you really think you're going to be able to convince them of anything? I don't... their brain function isn't high enough.

What's the solution? Hell if I know. But Palladium style lockdown isn't it, nor are most of the solutions I've seen... about the best is to change the pricing structure to something reasonable, allow people to pay for what they want to listen to (and not the crap tracks they don't), and hope people are honest. The execs don't believe anyone will be honest though. Maybe that's more of a reflection on their own selves than anything else.

Honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320293)

How does this even surprise anyone anymore? MS will not stop until they completely 'own' every single aspect of everything. How anyone can not see the blatant disregard for knowledge is beyond me. What saddens me more is we have an idiot for a President that will listen to whomever lines his pockets.

MS market in China (2, Interesting)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320300)

A question

Is then MS pushing this as a way to seal up markets like China? whre this desire to lock up information is prevalent?

Please... (1)

radiumhahn (631215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320306)

When will people learn that anything that appears on a screen or is played through speakers can be copied...

Katie Couric Is My Cousin (2, Insightful)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320349)

Yes, you're right - there are always a way to strip any type of copy protection off of a file which you have. I believe the point in this instance is that the security will make it much more difficult for Joe Sixpack to make something his own.

Let's suppose a new audio codec came out that prevented users from sending the file onward. Sure, people could just take the audio feed and pipe it back into their machine - catching it and encoding into mp3 or perhaps just run a script on the file that would de-donkeyfy it but how many people will have the patience and/or know how to do that? This type of security is going to really reduce how many people have control over the content on their machines. For instance, how many people on Kazaa can encode an mp3? I'd bet that it's less than 30%.

So, in answer to your question - plenty of people already know that but plenty of people will never know it. We have to watch out for their rights.

Can I play the /. game too? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320313)

Microsoft sucks ...

... now mod me up.

Re:Can I play the /. game too? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320410)

Har har harrr !! That's so funny I blew snot out my fucking nose. Victimless crime !

What would be cool (1)

inteller (599544) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320316)

is to see this implemented on a small scale and see if all the FUD out there is true. I'll stand in line with the next guy if the fears are true, but I have to see it to believe it.

Yet another reason to join the movement at.... (2, Informative)

jbwiv (266761) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320318)

Yeah, MS is going to lock it up... (2, Interesting)

theGreater (596196) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320330)

So, with as buggy as MS security usually is, how long after the first Palladium crap-o-la is released until we can either a) emulate it's functionality or b) completely bypass it? That is not to say that I'm unworried about it, but seriously people, they can't stop me, you, or especially ALL of us forever. It just doesn't work.

-theGreater View.

The other shoe (2, Interesting)

rgoer (521471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320333)

I suspect all this time we spend worrying about the dark future that is Palladium/Next-Generation Secure Computing Base/DRM-in-general will turn out to be quite small potatoes indeed, once the other shoe drops. It can't be too long before MS announces that it is opening its own movie studio and/or record label (if not just buying up some of the smaller-yet-successful of the established ventures)... at that point, when MS is both giving us the content and telling us what we are and are not permitted to do with that content, that's when everything will truly suck.

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! (2, Insightful)

Jack William Bell (84469) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320345)

Yeesh. The way people respond to this stuff is so predictable. "OMG, Microsoft is trying to control every bit on earth!"

Let's step back a minute and actually think about Palladium as it currently stands, shall we? Can we?

To start with; I know lots of people on /. don't want to believe this, but Microsoft is a market-driven company -- at least to some exent. If the market doesn't embrace something they drop it (Microsoft Bob). If they aren't sure how the market will respond they will float trial balloons for months or even years before shipping it; and then drop it before it even launches if appropriate (Hailstorm).

Right now Palladium is just a flag flying. They know that the entertainment industry and the politicians in the entertainment industry's pocket will salute. But they aren't sure about everyone else. I will admit that breathless scare mongering is one reaction they will pay attention to, but a more rational approach is to simply point out clearly (and without running in circles decrying the evil-that-is-Microsoft) that there are alternatives (Linux).

Personally I think the latter is a tactic Microsoft will pay more attention to. That, and supporting the EFF [] as they fight against technology like Palladium being required.

Don't Worry! (4, Funny)

4of12 (97621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320346)

Palladium could create 'a closed system, in which each piece of knowledge in the world is identified with a particular owner, and that owner has a right to resist its copying, modification, and redistribution.

I know, I know. You were worried. Don't be.

Be assured that information about you, such as your medical history, and any transaction history you have in the databases of direct marketers will be copyrighted by someone other than you, relieving you of this onerous burden.

Interesting... (1)

JJ22 (558624) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320354)

...that the article focuses on universities, and how they in particularly are demanding protection for student information (which would be amusing, as most colleges sell student addresses to credit card and other companies). I always thought MS was ahead of the pack by giving free educational licenses to schools to get future generations hooked on Word (when I graduated, the company I started with was using WordPerfect, but the "younger generation" was hooked on Word's interface, and eventually talked the existing management into switching).

A piece of candy now, a sugar addiction later...

about brute-forcing (1)

kipple (244681) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320368)

given the fact that a software is required to be signed with a key to run on a palladium-enabled motherboard/cpu, I wonder how much it will take to crack that key.
I know it's public key cryptography, but I think that given a fair amount of computer power such aforementioned key could be cracked (think about Once it is cracked, at least the same app can run and be exploited via "regular" exploits, and access to memory/disk/cpu power would be unlocked.
Of course it will be illegal and punisheable with death sentence by then, but that's not an issue :)

or maybe I am completely wrong.

Fair use? (2, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320369)

I remember reading somewhere once that fairuse is actually only available to you if you are able to carry it out, the manufacturers/publishers dont have to provide you with the ability to copy something freely or run/play that copy freely. This generally means that although cd protection schemes, DRM etc destroys what many on here think is fair use, it actually doesnt do anything of the sort. Now cd protection schemes that dont actually work, ie play in a audio player but not a pc are a totally differnet matter. As usual, i expect someone on here to clarify my position, wether its right or wrong etc.

two thoughts.. (4, Insightful)

robbo (4388) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320372)

Two thought come to mind on this one:

First: "If you hack it, they will crack it." Go right ahead and give us DRM, because one way or another someone will find a way to circumvent it.

Second: These kinds of moves are exactly what undermine the power of the content holders. The more tightly the MPAA and RIAA squeeze content up their asses, the more energy, resources and popular attention that will go to the small-time independents who are actually doing something creative, and the more fragmented the audience will become. Fair use is what makes the world go round..

Re:two thoughts.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320469)

The goddess of the net has twisting fingers and her voice is like a javelin in the night dude.

Potential? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320378)

I thought that one of the major points against DMCA, and the like, was that the mere ability to do something wrong is not criminal (or even morally wrong). Yet here we have a stream of posts complaining about what evils Paladium could be used for. Note, that just like with Elcomsoft's software, Palaidum is just a tool. If someone misuses or abuses the tool, we should blame that person and not the tool vendor. This argument holds for proverbial hammers, P2P, Elcomsoft, and Microsoft. Slashdoters have made this argument countless times. They should still recognize its valididity even in cases it is not pleasant to hear.

Yes, here's the link (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320401)

Click here [] for the story on Lucky Green trying to use the patenting process to prevent Microsoft using Palladium to enforce software licensing.

The real problem is interoperability (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320412)

Like the article mentions, if the content provider, i.e. Word. Decides that only Word can read the article you just wrote. It means that OpenOffice can't open it (or any other competitor).

If I want to add a plugin to a program. The program, might just say: no! you need to be a plugin approved by my company, not some random plugin. You thief!

In other words, my beef with Paladium is that the security control is set at the level of the creator and not of the user. That in itself is not a problem until you realise that the control given to the creator is a lot more then simply "the right to copy and distribute" it affects the righ to interoperate between programs (in the name of being virus free).

The software industry does not have a history of being open minded, I'd suspsect that by default interoperability would be set to off.


Windows Users (2, Interesting)

AlgUSF (238240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320415)

This only affects windows users, if the mainstream computer users (geeks excluded) want to give all of their freedoms up to MSFT, so be it. I run linux, and can do what ever I want with my data, be it music , video, source, etc. If you are stupid enough to give microsoft money to control your life, you might be to stupid to own a computer.

Chronicle of Higher Education (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320417)

From the article:

The goal, Microsoft officials say, is to make servers and desktop PC's that people can trust.

The plural of PC is PCs, not PC's. Chronicle of "higher" education, are they? :-)

Should We Trust "Trusted Systems?" (1)

LISNews (150412) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320426)

A story from [] from a couple years back says, amoung other things, On the positive side, this strength of protection offered by trusted systems could have the beneficial effect of encouraging authors to make all of their work available electronically. This would, at least, increase the availability of content, if pricing is reasonable. In this new universe, however, libraries would have to completely rethink their existence.

Pro-Bono ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320429)

> Comments from several great sources including, Ed Felten (Freedom to Tinker), Eben Moglen
>(pro-bono counsel for the Free Software Foundation and recent Slashdot interviewee) [...]

Just what need: More "Pro-Bono" lawyers looking after intellectual property rights.

M$ and you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320442)

With the way Linux is growing and becoming easier to use for the M$ user, why bother to use it for anything other than gaming if you must use it at all? In the next few years I can easily envision Linux becoming a solid gaming platform (some say it already is) eliminating the need for M$ products altogether. Office programs? Openoffice! Graphics programs? TheGimp. Two to name a few of the thousands of free open source programs available to the Linux user without having to pay a dime.

If M$ continues with their closed source OS, IMO it's not going to be too long before everyone abandons the use of it. Is time really on M$' side?

The problem with any DRM is (2, Interesting)

wayward_son (146338) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320452)

The copy protection will be cracked within a week. Something this big and this unpopular doesn't stand a chance. Remember the "copy protected CD's"? The protection was circumvented with a black marker.

Then Microsoft will have to use the DMCA to shut people up.

ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320455)

i guess im switching everything over to linux when that os comes out.... id rather learn a new os then be part of the "collective"....

Publish freely then (4, Insightful)

Arcturax (454188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320457)

I guess all this will do is make it so the most widespread works out there are the ones people publish free to copy and distribute. I mean, who is going to pay the kinds of prices that they are going to want to charge you once they know you can't get it elsewhere.

As an aspiring author (as a hobby, not for a living) of a fantasy novel, I have been looking at publishing recently and have decided to self publish my work and allow people to freely distribute it. Why? Well, I have a day job, and while extra money is nice, I don't really need to make money off of my novel and I don't really expect to make a living off of it either. Instead it is a hobby for me, my art if you will and I am more interested in getting it wide exposure than on some best seller list somewhere.

If my work is good, word of mouth will push it around and people will load it off my website to read. If not, it flops but I'm not really out a cent, just whatever time I put into it, which is no big loss because that time would like as not been spent playing computer games anyway.

But the advantages are, I can get widespread coverage to a large and diverse audience. I retain full rights so that if the story is considered movie material, I get to keep all of what the studio doesn't take. I can publish it anywhere at any time, for money or for free. So in a way, I don't need to worry about Palladium. If someone releases a work, no matter how good, which is locked up and expensive and pay by the bloody minute spent watching, I won't waste my time or money on it and I'm willing to bet a lot of you won't either.

As an aside to this, I wonder if a "free publishing" community will start up where people donate time and experience to writing material which goes straight into the public domain instead of locked up in copyright for life + forever. Schools, libraries and teachers would likely be happy to have such work available royalty free and aspiring writers can practice on free stuff the way coders do on open source software. After all, look what Open Source is doing to Microsoft. If the publishers get nasty, then we should be able to take them on in a similar way and have similar success. It would be great to have a library of the people, of free and public domain works which can be freely read, copied and sited without having to hunt someone down to ask permission. This isn't the same as current libraries, most works in current libraries are illegal to copy (though most people do it anyway) and sometimes you can't even site without permission. So we could use a nice library of *only* free and public domain works which can be used for whatever you wish. Better yet, it could be online and fully unlocked so Palladium be damned you could still read, copy and use such works in your own endeavors. In the end, I think everyone might benefit from such a movement.

Lawrence Lessig's Take (4, Informative)

LISNews (150412) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320459)

If you've read Code [] you probably already know why this kind of regulation by code is bad, but Lessig also wrote on this over At The Atlantic Monthly [] .
He says the picture of a world where one needs a license to read is discomforting.

Current laws represents a choice made by our democratic processes, and with copyright as code it's not clear how the same balance can be struck. The problem with regulation (And Law) through code is that there is no place for such a collective choice. If one kind of "trusted systems" software protects rights of fair use, a competing version will promise more control to the owner. This makes fair use a bug, not a feature.

Palladium != TCPA (5, Informative)

mtnharo (523610) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320467)

I'm positive that this has been talked about in previous stories about both Palladium and TCPA, but I feel that it is important to highlight the distinction once more. TCPA is a hardware product. Palladium is the next level of system-wide DRM that Microsoft is planning on including in Windows Longhorn or Greenhorn or whatever they feel like calling it tomorrow. The TCPA spec calls for code signing for the system BIOS, and for a special chip to handle encryption duties, taking that load off the processor. This is a good thing, as it could make PGP encryption and signing for email transparent, as well as allow for code-signing and verification in the background. It can be turned off if you don't want it, but it can only be a Good Thing. It doesn't mean you can't run anything other than Windows on your hardware. It means that proper security is implemented at the hardware level, making it more difficult to install a trojaned program (ie, the download is automatically checked for the proper checksum etc) With the load taken off the CPU, better crypto for online transactions and things like remote desktop access would no longer cause performance problems.

Palladium would likely make use of this hardware to take care of the crypto aspects of DRM, but it is a part of Windows. If you don't buy Windows, you have nothing to worry about. Microsoft would have to manage to replace every DVD player, computer and MP3 capable device in the world to make DRM mandatory. Palladium may not be great for consumer's rights, but it is also not forced upon anyone. We still have a choice. Run some form of *nix on your current hardware, or buy a Mac. This shall pass.

My 0.10 shekels

Slammer-proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5320482)

Here's an interesting thought: With Microsoft making an "industrial strength" server that you can knock over with a single UDP packet, how much fun is it when (not if) someone drills a hole through a 'trusted' app?
Surely they're not going to counter their current wisdom and actually run processes under different accounts?

FUD , dud, or vaporsystem? (2, Interesting)

Badgerman (19207) | more than 11 years ago | (#5320483)

Interesting thought on Palladium - bear with me.

Palladium as a whole, to me, sounds impossible to implement, maintain, and get buy-in on. The potential for backfire, for cracking, for failure, seems large.

So, how much does Microsoft really plan to implement?

Maybe this is a significant percent of publicity-playing. See what people think, get out the word you're "doing something" to deter the competition, then put in something far less in function (and effort, and cost) than you started and say its what people "want." Meanwhile you can hopefully discourage others innovating.

Just a thought.

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