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Thread: Why I think the DRM and open source debate is nonsense

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    And this is where we disagree. ATi is in more markets then just PC's. If anybody could kll DRM it is ATi, and they could do it in a year if the chose to do so.
    Not sure I agree with you there. We are active in four main markets -- PC graphics, consumer electronics (DTV), handheld devices (phones, PDAs) and game consoles. Of the four, PC graphics probably has the lightest DRM requirements although there is a segment of the handheld business which is trying to "open up". To a large extent, the same content providers feed all four segments.

    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    By simply telling the public at large that they cant watch what they bought because of DRM would enrage them. And lets face it, if ATi never supported DRM in the first place the masses wouldnt be able to watch DRM content and it would have died already.
    DRM is not an ATI/AMD issue, except to the extent that we are part of the PC industry and (like everyone else) have to choose between implementing industry standards or giving up those markets to our competitors. If ATI had never supported DRM then OEMs would have purchased exclusively from other graphics vendors who did support it. ATI, not DRM, would have died and gone away.

    Adopting DRM was something the PC mfgs *wanted* because it allowed them to legally play DVDs (and now HD/BD) on their products and increase their market as a result. If all the graphics vendors in the world had agreed to boycott DRM no matter what the cost that might have kept DVD playback and DRM off PCs, but even then the outcome would just have been more portable DVD players (which have had DRM from day one) and fewer PCs with DVD drives.

    Content providers would not be affected, but PC users and PC mfgs would lose.
    Last edited by bridgman; 02-03-2008 at 04:46 PM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    Not sure I agree with you there. We are active in four main markets -- PC graphics, consumer electronics (DTV), handheld devices (phones, PDAs) and game consoles. Of the four, PC graphics probably has the lightest DRM requirements although there is a segment of the handheld business which is trying to "open up". To a large extent, the same content providers feed all four segments.



    DRM is not an ATI/AMD issue, except to the extent that we are part of the PC industry and (like everyone else) have to choose between implementing industry standards or giving up those markets to our competitors. If ATI had never supported DRM then OEMs would have purchased exclusively from other graphics vendors who did support it. ATI, not DRM, would have died and gone away. Adopting DRM was something the PC mfgs *wanted* because it allowed them to legally play DVDs (and now HD/BD) on their products and increase their market as a result.

    If all the graphics vendors in the world had agreed to boycott DRM no matter what the cost that might have kept DVD playback and DRM off PCs, but even then the outcome would just have been more portable DVD players (which have had DRM from day one) and fewer PCs with DVD drives. Content providers would not be affected.
    And that is how ATi has weakened there position. Becouse they actually believe that crap.

    Monopolies are iilegal in most countries. ATi isnt going anywhere. Additionally they already have so much hardware saturated in the market that if the content industry wanted to sell content they would have no chioce but to fill ATi's wishes. I install cable for a living in my home town, and a see Tv's with ATi codecs all the time. PVR's with ATi tuners and chipsets. I see PC's and laptopswith ATi video cards, and XBOX 360's and Nintendo's with ATi graphics processors. The list goes on and on and on. If ATi boycotted DRM across the board on all of it's products they could kill DR in a year.

    Of course it is clear that ATi is afraid, and weak. And it is entirely there own fault.
    Last edited by duby229; 02-03-2008 at 04:50 PM.

  3. #13
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    I think I need to clarify my original post a bit. What I'm basically saying is

    1. That in a couple of years I reckon CPUs will be quick enough to play HD content without GPU acceleration. So the DRM/UVD issue won't be as much of an issue.

    2. DRM is evil - no argument there.

    3. DRM will probably be reverse-engineered and implemented in free software like for example with CSS and DeCSS anyway.

    4. DRM decryption can't be implemented in a FOSS driver for obvious reasons anyway as it could be used as a circumvention mechanism

    so basically AMD should not involve DRM in the RadeonHD driver in any way shape or form. DRM for HD media will be reverse-engineered and we can use Free OSes to watch this content when the opportunity arise.

    Notice how I used the term 'reverse engineered' and not cracked wrt DRM decryption. I don't believe asserting our own right to watch content whichever way we wish on our OS of choice is an illegal or immoral act.

  4. #14
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    Duby...is there something here beyond wishful thinking or am I missing something? I didn't get from AMD last financial statement that they were in a position to throw away sales into the Windows markets.

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    so basically AMD should not involve DRM in the RadeonHD driver in any way shape or form. DRM for HD media will be reverse-engineered and we can use Free OSes to watch this content when the opportunity arise.
    Nobody is talking about putting DRM in the RadeonHD driver. The issue is that we *do* put DRM in the hardware for use by the Windows drivers, and as a result of that there may be certain HW functionality we can't expose for use in RadeonHD.

    Of course it is clear that ATi is afraid, and weak. And it is entirely there own fault.
    ... and not the other graphics vendors ? We all sell into the same market, and we all implement DRM, and we all face the same issues re: opening video-related HW to the open source market. It's probably worth a gentle reminder that this whole discussion is about whether AMD will be the *first* to expose HD decode HW, not the *last*.
    Last edited by bridgman; 02-03-2008 at 05:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbmorse View Post
    Duby...is there something here beyond wishful thinking or am I missing something? I didn't get from AMD last financial statement that they were in a position to throw away sales into the Windows markets.
    You think theyd be throwing away sales? How so?

    If anything once they announced to the general public that they have eliminated a threat to them, they'd become hero's, and most folks would use there products exclusively. I personally beleive that it is ATi's duty.

    That said I fully realize and appreciate that it will never happen. It's sad and shameful, but poor unfortunate folks actually believe that there is no other way. As such, all I'm askng for is to keep DRM out of Linux. It's in the hardware, and there is nothing that can be done about it, but keep it out of the drivers, and disable the infected hardware. If they want to use it in windows then so be it, but it isnt welcome in linux.

    Dont use DRM as an excuse for crippling the open source drivers. if the hardware is capable of decoding h264 then the open source drivers should be able to take advantage of that capability, and using DRM as an excuse is not a good facet to get going on. As far as DRM'd content goes, it'll be hacked sooner or later and an OSS solution will be available. It's in this way that Linux --will-- be able to view and use --ALL-- the same content as Windows while using free and open source software to do it. It's going to happen whether ATi likes it or not, and they should be encouraging it and even helping it along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    One more time. Nobody is talking about putting DRM in the RadeonHD driver. The issue is that we *do* put DRM in the hardware for use by the Windows drivers, and as a result of that there may be certain HW functionality we can't expose for use in RadeonHD.



    ... and not NVidia's, or Intel's ? We all sell into the same market, and we all implement DRM, and we all face the same issues re: opening DRM-related HW to the open source market.

    It's probably worth mentioning that this whole discussion is about whether AMD will be the *first* to expose HD decode HW, not the *last*.
    Of course, but dont use that as an excuse. please.

    What would be truly impressive is if you could say that you did it without stooping to there level by not implementing DRM. Help the open source community instead. DRM will be cracked, and all the same functionality will be exposed to us all while using free and open software to do it.

    That would be truly impressive.

    You come into this assuming that it cant be done with free software and --that-- is the flaw in your logic. Whether you like it or not it --will-- be done with free software.

  8. #18
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    I have to admit I don't get the connection between this discussion and "doing it with free software".

    The question is not what is done with free software, the question is what *we* do to protect (or not) technology which we have committed to keep safeguarded. Even if someone successfully reverse engineers a playback solution (and that has already happened for most of the major protection mechanisms), that has no impact on our obligations or liabilities.
    Last edited by bridgman; 02-03-2008 at 05:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    What exactly are you proposing ? Are you saying that we should expose all the hardware specs and not worry about protecting DRM, even if that means massive lawsuits and significant loss of business outside the open source market ?
    How do you figure it would lose a bunch of business? For those folks that dont know about DRM, they'll continue using the closed driver, and for those that do, they'll start using the open driver....As such any business that you lose will be due to your own lack of educating the your customers. If you started spending your resources now to educate your customers, then they would know better. I deal with people all day long, and I know first hand that average people are not as stupid as folks make them out to be. People are not sheep.

    Be honest with them, and tell them what DRM is, and then give them a chioce between a closed source DRM infected driver, and an --equally-- functional open source driver, and I'll guaranty that ost folks will continue using your hardware with the open source driver. And if the content industry sues you then you've got an ass ton of anti competitive case law on your side and you'll win in a month.
    Last edited by duby229; 02-03-2008 at 05:30 PM.

  10. #20
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    I don't think Duby understands that the vast majority of AMD video chipset sales are to OEMs who don't give a rat's patoot about DRM one way or the other. They're just trying to shove cards down consumers throats any way they can and right now the easiest way to do that is by selling into the Windows market.

    Does AMD even sell any ATI-branded consumer video cards anymore?

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