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[dvd-discuss] DRM as censorware

Todya's New York Times has a report on yet another digital rights 
management (DRM) consortium.

This one, Project Hudson, includes Intel, Nokia, Samsung,Toshiba and 
Matshushita. They will compete against other groups, including the 
Content Reference Forum consisting of Microsoft, Nippon Telegraph and 
Telephone, Universal Music Group, VeriSign.

One particularly frightening paragraph:

"The group cites an example of a personal computer user who wishes to 
share a digital video file with a friend. Instead of sending the file 
directly, the file owner would first send a "content reference," a 
digital pointer that permits the file to be downloaded tailored to 
the receiver's own country as well as the specific computer or other 
playback device. If the file needed to be purchased, the system would 
perform the commercial transaction before sending the file."

The phrase "tailored to the receiver's own country" strongly suggests 
that national censorship laws will be enforced by DRM. If you were to 
send a friend in China a copy of Hillary Clinton's memoirs under this 
scheme, your friend would see the version with all references to 
Tiananmen Square deleted. You might never find out about this act of 
censorship. And any attempt to get around the censorship would likely 
run afoul of the DMCA.

Arnold Reinhold