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Thread: A few questions about video decode acceleration

  1. #11
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    duby229, I think we may be talking about different things. I'm talking about how the DRM-related hardware in a graphics chip fits into the big picture; you're talking about whether the overall protection scheme can be cracked.

    What I'm saying is that if you have a licensed player (any of the HD/BD players available today AFAIK) then it will not play unless the OS tells it that the playback path is secure and that the outputs are either protected or sufficiently low resolution that nobody cares. If you have a player that does not observe the licensing rules, all the DRM hardware in the world is not going to make a difference. This is why I don't see why you're unhappy with the presence of DRM hardware in the chips.

    DRM hardware and driver support is a pre-requisite for selling into the Windows market, which represents maybe 99% of our sales. I would really like to believe that the movie industry would quake in fear because we refused to support DRM, but the term "bug on a windshield" comes to mind.
    Last edited by bridgman; 06-06-2008 at 06:43 PM.

  2. #12
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    I can't help but agree with duby229 that implementing all the DRM BS is a waste of resources and ultimately a futile effort. As I've said before, I can't help but wonder how much less frustration I'd have suffered if it weren't HDCP.

    I also can't help but agree with Bridgman that Microsoft is ultimately to blame for all of it. OK so Brigman didn't quite put it like that, but I read between the lines.

    How many billions of dollars (on top of the billions people actually pay that evil company for their products) have been lost industry-wide supporting Microsoft's hair-brained scheme to pwn the HD download market. If only Hollywood was intelligent enough to see that M$ just wants to make more profits on Hollywood's products than Hollywood does.

    How many more billions will be lost to hopeless efforts? When will people with the power to do something about it realize that there is no point in preventing copying when copying is exactly what must happen if one is to watch or hear digital media?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    duby229, I think we may be talking about different things. I'm talking about how the DRM-related hardware in a graphics chip fits into the big picture; you're talking about whether the overall protection scheme can be cracked.

    What I'm saying is that if you have a licensed player (any of the HD/BD players available today AFAIK) then it will not play unless the OS tells it that the playback path is secure and that the outputs are either protected or sufficiently low resolution that nobody cares. If you have a player that does not observe the licensing rules, all the DRM hardware in the world is not going to make a difference. This is why I don't see why you're unhappy with the presence of DRM hardware in the chips.

    DRM hardware and driver support is a pre-requisite for selling into the Windows market, which represents maybe 99% of our sales. I would really like to believe that the movie industry would quake in fear because we refused to support DRM, but the term "bug on a windshield" comes to mind.
    Fine so be it. Keep doing what you do with Windows. Keep developing the hardware.. Do what you need to do, but Linux simply doesnt need it. We dont need or want DRM support in our device drivers. I understand that you think you need to implement DRM in hardware. I personally believe that if ATi told the content industry to F*** off, they would have no choice but to do it, if they wanted to keep selling content. How many players and computers have ATi chips in them right now? The majority would be my guess.

    Anyhow that is entirely beside the point. ATi chooses to delude themselves when it comes to DRM, and that is all fine and good. I can live with DRM in hardware as long as that hardware can be completely and totally disabled. And with the open source drivers that will be entirely possible. I'll still be able to watch and record any content I come across whether it is protected or not. Same thing with anybody else....

    Using the excuse that in order to play back protected content you need DRM in both the hardware and drivers is a flat out lie.

    This is the point.... Linux doesnt need it. Stop wasting resources like Time, and engineering talent, and documentation, and money and other such things on it. Linux does --not-- need a closed driver. It doesnt need and --shouldnt-- share the same code base as windows. It doesnt need and --shouldnt-- implement DRM in any form under any circumstances. All of those resources doing so are completely wasted. And while that effort is being thrown away, Intel is in the process of shaping the future.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    Fine so be it. Keep doing what you do with Windows. Keep developing the hardware.. Do what you need to do, but Linux simply doesnt need it. We dont need or want DRM support in our device drivers.
    Yep, understood.

    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    I understand that you think you need to implement DRM in hardware. I personally believe that if ATi told the content industry to F*** off, they would have no choice but to do it, if they wanted to keep selling content. How many players and computers have ATi chips in them right now? The majority would be my guess.
    Regrettably, no. Intel has the largest share, then NVidia and ATI/AMD take turns for the rest, and we kinda change places every few years. This year it's our turn. We all have pretty much the same DRM hardware, and we all have pretty much the same problem opening up HD video acceleration hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    Anyhow that is entirely beside the point. ATi chooses to delude themselves when it comes to DRM, and that is all fine and good. I can live with DRM in hardware as long as that hardware can be completely and totally disabled. And with the open source drivers that will be entirely possible. I'll still be able to watch and record any content I come across whether it is protected or not. Same thing with anybody else....
    Yep; you can do that with a closed source driver as well, that's the point I'm trying to make. You can even do it under Vista -- all Vista does is provide a secure environment where a licensed player can "decode with confidence". If you don't use a licensed player that cares about security, nothing gets in your way. Honest.

    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    Using the excuse that in order to play back protected content you need DRM in both the hardware and drivers is a flat out lie.
    Sure, but I'm not saying that. I'm saying that a licensed player will only enable decoding if the OS says it has a secure environment, and that secure environment needs DRM hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    This is the point.... Linux doesnt need it. Stop wasting resources like Time, and engineering talent, and documentation, and money and other such things on it.
    We're not spending any time on DRM for Linux, except in our efforts to open up as much hardware as possible for open source driver devs.

    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    Linux does --not-- need a closed driver. It doesnt need and --shouldnt-- share the same code base as windows. It doesnt need and --shouldnt-- implement DRM in any form under any circumstances. All of those resources doing so are completely wasted. And while that effort is being thrown away, Intel is in the process of shaping the future.
    Actually it does. If you want a really high performance 3d driver, for example, the Linux market isn't big enough to fund the development just for Linux so we share code with other OSes.

    W E A R E N O T S P E N D I N G A N Y M O N E Y O N D R M F O R L I N U X ! !

    (Unless a market develops for it, in which case of course we will do it, but we ain't doin' it today )

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    "It's probably more correct to say "AMD basically says oh, because we and everyone else in the industry signed agreements committing to provide a secure environment for DVD/HD/BD player applications we will honor those agreements"."
    well.. if by secure environment, you mean that people will simply strip the DRM off before it hits the graphics card, which is what is happening now.

    If you have made such an agreement, you will need to keep it, but the issue is the same, AMD made this agreement, despite the fact that it would limit its users, and have ZERO positive affects whatsoever, it CERTAINLY does not protect anything.

    "I expect that we will allow you to use all the hardware fully; we just arent sure we can expose it to open source developers without violating pre-existing agreements."
    What this means for me is: I may be able to use this feature at some point 10 years from now, when there only exists copies of the hardware in a museum.

    "I know the popular view is that we would be deluged with customers since they would now be able to play any protected content without restrictions but it doesn't work that way." Tell me _EXACTLY_ how i am unable to play "protected" contents as it is, make 100 copies, and violate the copyright by making copies to everyone.. THIS i can do, regardless of what AMD does. AMD giving access to hardware which users purchased changes nothing, except the fact that users can now actually use it..

    "This discussion really is premature anyways, since I don't know yet how things are going to work out with UVD. I don't have an answer today, so I'm saying "we have no plan to open UVD" (which is the literal truth), but if it turns out that we are able to open UVD does that solve the problem for you ?"
    Personally i dont expect myself to have much need for UVD, though if ffmpeg incorporated support for it, i might. but What i want is to be able to use all the parts of the hardware i purchased(well, except DRM/HDCP, i dont much care for that). If AMD gives out specs allowing free drivers to do this, then YES, this solves the problem for me, and i suspect, _EVERYONE_ else - what however needs to happen, is that this happens within a reasonable timeframe, and not in time for a museum to deploy it.

    "DRM hardware and driver support is a pre-requisite for selling into the Windows market, which represents maybe 99% of our sales. I would really like to believe that the movie industry would quake in fear because we refused to support DRM, but the term "bug on a windshield" comes to mind."
    And providing information to US to make a free driver for non-winblows OS's, suddenly makes windows report that amd catalyst is not a "secure environment"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redeeman View Post
    If you have made such an agreement, you will need to keep it, but the issue is the same, AMD made this agreement, despite the fact that it would limit its users, and have ZERO positive affects whatsoever, it CERTAINLY does not protect anything.
    ATI have always been pretty outspoken about the costs and limited effectiveness of DRM, but that said if we don't offer the capabilities we can't sell our products. Same for all the other graphics vendors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redeeman View Post
    What this means for me is: I may be able to use this feature at some point 10 years from now, when there only exists copies of the hardware in a museum.
    No worries. It actually gets a lot *harder* to find info after 10 years, so we want to do it quickly too

    The whole open source initiative has been going for less than a year. Video is next on the list after HD2xxx/3xxx 3d info, and that 3d work is very close to being finished. I expect to be able to start spending time on video hw within the next couple of months.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redeeman View Post
    Tell me _EXACTLY_ how i am unable to play "protected" contents as it is, make 100 copies, and violate the copyright by making copies to everyone.. THIS i can do, regardless of what AMD does.
    Yep. We don't put the hardware and driver support in to stop you from doing things, we put it in to satisfy requirements from our customers (as codified in Microsoft certification requirements).

    Quote Originally Posted by Redeeman View Post
    AMD giving access to hardware which users purchased changes nothing, except the fact that users can now actually use it.
    Pls see below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redeeman View Post
    And providing information to US to make a free driver for non-winblows OS's, suddenly makes windows report that amd catalyst is not a "secure environment"?
    Yes, but indirectly.

    In order to obtain certification for our products, we are required to meet "robustness rules". If you want an example, do a Google search on "copp robustness" and click on the "view as html" link for the first hit. This is representative of the kinds of agreements we need to work within; this one happened to be easy to find and relatively short. If we comply with these requirements we receive a specific level of certification from MS, and the associated bits in the driver in turn enable the "secure environment".

    Please take a read through the document then look at the "New Circumstances" section at the end. If we provide enough information to make it easy to get around the robustness requirements, that could trigger the "New Circumstances" provision, which in turn would either force us to redesign the DRM implementation or to stop selling the product. Do a Google search for "copp revocation" if you want to understand more of the details.

    If it sounds like I'm painting MS as the bad guy here that is not my intention either. My understanding is that the content providers simply did not want DVD/HD/BD content to be playable on a general PC (unless you essentially built a dedicated DVD player into it, like the old DVD cards). MS, as I understand it, worked with other industry partners (such as Intel for HDCP) and proposed a set of rules under which the content providers would license their CSS/ACSS info to allow legal playback on PCs. If you pass the rules you get certification. We sign agreements committing us to certain levels of compliance and robustness in order to get MS certification, and PC manufacturers only purchase certified hardware.

    Whether the results protect anything is irrelevant. Content providers make rules, MS provides implementation and certification rules to satisfy the content providers, and all the graphics vendors (yes, all, not just us) have to comply with those rules in order to get certification and sell our products.
    Last edited by bridgman; 06-07-2008 at 11:29 AM.

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    I think there might be an error on the forum.Your quotes show me as the person your responding to in the post above me, but it was actually redeeman that you were quoting...

    By the way I agree with everything that redeeman says. Now my question is, why does microsofts agreement mean that you have to put drm in your linux drivers? How does MS WHQL agreement have any effect whatsoever on your linux initiatives? Thats effectively what your saying... You said that ATi's reason your putting DRM in your linux drivers is becouse MS is making you do it. I'm sorry but I gotta call shens on that...

    Like I said instead of wasting the time and money, yes money. The money to pay engineers. The money invested in documentation. The money invested in software programmers. Windows drivers dont run magically on Linux. In order to make the windows code base run on linux you had to do something to it. And that is the reason why you --shouldnt-- allow any single line of code that runs on windows in your linux code base. Now MS can dictate what can and cannot be done on linux. It's BS. In every possible sense. It's probably illegal in the US and many other nations. It's monopolistic. The bottom line is that it is just plain wrong.
    Last edited by duby229; 06-07-2008 at 11:25 AM.

  8. #18
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    i still dont see a problem though, decoding and content "protection" shouldnt have anything in common, in essence its two different things, so all you need to do is to have the hardware able to lock access to reading out decoded information if "protection" is also on.. now, if this is not possible with current hardware, then ati is unable to ever provide us with the information we want

  9. #19
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    This argument is getting rather tiring. Let's settle it here. The newer ATI graphics chips have silicon to provide "protected output" so that heavily DRMed video pipelines on Vista can be used, which is a requirement to play some DRMed media. They can't give us specs for that, because that would enable people to override it on Windows, which would but AMD in hot water with media labels and Microsoft for producing an "insecure" environment. They can give us specs for every other part of the card that is not connected to that. AMD has to sell their cards. They can't take some kind of moral stance on DRM, and say "we won't support it," because than all the OEMs and average Joes would look at their cards as lacking an essential feature: the ability to play back DRMed media, and they would lose most of their sales.

    To put it shortly, this doesn't affect non-DRMed media, and we don't really care about stuff that is DRMed. This might make the UVD block on r600s restricted, because the DRM stuff is tied in with that, but we can still use the DCT/MC block on the r600, which is the same as on earlier cards. Now everyone stop whining about DRM. It'll be dead some day soon, but until then, the whining get annoying. Just ignore it.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    I think there might be an error on the forum.Your quotes show me as the person your responding to in the post above me, but it was actually redeeman that you were quoting...
    D'oh !! Sorry, fixed above.

    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    By the way I agree with everything that redeeman says. Now my question is, why does microsofts agreement mean that you have to put drm in your linux drivers? How does MS WHQL agreement have any effect whatsoever on your linux initiatives? Thats effectively what your saying... You said that ATi's reason your putting DRM in your linux drivers is becouse MS is making you do it. I'm sorry but I gotta call shens on that...
    But.. but.. .but... WE DIDN'T PUT DRM IN THE LINUX DRIVERS. THIS IS WHAT I KEEP SAYING !!! AUGGH !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    Like I said instead of wasting the time and money, yes money. The money to pay engineers. The money invested in documentation. The money invested in software programmers. Windows drivers dont run magically on Linux. In order to make the windows code base run on linux you had to do something to it. And that is the reason why you --shouldnt-- allow any single line of code that runs on windows in your linux code base. Now MS can dictate what can and cannot be done on linux. It's BS. In every possible sense. It's probably illegal in the US and many other nations. It's monopolistic. The bottom line is that it is just plain wrong.
    We don't run "the Windows code" on Linux -- we have a big chunk of common code, then different drivers for each OS which make use of the common code in areas that make sense. The Windows DRM stuff is not in the common code, for example, it is in the Windows-specific portion of the tree..

    Are you saying we should write a completely different OpenGL driver for Linux, for example ?
    Last edited by bridgman; 06-07-2008 at 11:43 AM.

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