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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.