The Register: Stealth plan puts copy protection into every hard drive; ramifications enormous

[ Thanks to Tim
and Wilddev for
this link. ]

“Hastening a rapid demise for the free copying of digital
media, the next generation of hard disks is likely to come with
copyright protection countermeasures built in.”

“Technical committees of NCTIS, the ANSI-blessed standards body,
have been discussing the incorporation of content protection
currently used for removable media into industry-standard ATA
drives, using proprietary technology originating from the 4C
Entity. They’re the people who brought you CSS2: IBM, Toshiba Intel
and Matsushita. The scheme envisaged brands each drive with a
unique identifier at manufacturing time.”

“The proposals are already at an advanced stage: three drafts
have already been discussed for incorporating CPRM (Content
Protection for Recordable Media) into the ATA specification by the
NCTIS T.13 committee. The committee next meets in February. If, as
expected, the CPRM extensions become part of the ATA specification,
copyright protection will be in every industry-standard hard disk
by next summer, according to IBM.”

“The ramifications are enormous. Although the benefit
to producers is great – bringing the holy grail of secure content
one step closer – the costs to consumers will be
For example, corporate IT departments will be
unable to mix compliant and non-compliant ATA drives as they try to
enforce uniform back up policies, we’ve discovered. Restoring
personal backups to a different physical drive – a common enough
occurrence when a disk has failed – will require authentication
with a central server. Imaging software used by OEMs and large
corporates to distribute one-to-many disk images will also need to
be modified.”


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