Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Vista and content protection

If you're a tech geek like me and you haven't read A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection (also known as the Vista suicide note paper), you should (or, if you read far too much and want an easier method of absorbing it, again like me, Cory Doctorow, of Boing Boing fame, released it as a podcast).

I'd like to make clear that I despise piracy - you should pay for your content when required, despite how you feel about the RIAA or whatever moral justification you might come up with. Content creators deserve to get paid when they follow a distribution model that expects payment.

But Windows Vista appears to expend inordinate overhead to prevent copying, even if copyright law specifically allows for it under fair use provisions. And since pirates inevitably find ways around DRM protections fairly quickly anyway, the net effect is denying non-technical home users their fair-use rights, while adding ridiculous CPU overhead to the operating system's normal operations (if I want excessive CPU usage, I'll install Norton or McAfee; sigh).