Today on Freedom to Tinker, Prof. Felton outlines what’s wrong with even the non-rootkit DRM on CDs. Put simply, there’s no way to make such a scheme work without adding software to your computer that watches for the CD in question and keeps certain things from happening. Given the house-of-cards nature of Windows, this is a recipe for disaster even if we don’t worry about the security implications — and those are even bigger concerns. You don’t NEED to install software on your PC to play or rip a CD. Period.
It’s important to recognize that these problems are caused not by any flaws in SunnComm and Sony’s execution of their copy protection plan, but from the nature of the plan itself. If you want to try to stop music copying on a PC, you’re going to have to resort to these kinds of methods. You’re going to have to force users to use extra software that they donÕt want. YouÕre going to have to invoke administrator privileges more often. You’re going to have to keep more software loaded and running. You’re going to have to erode users’ ability to monitor, control, and secure their systems. Once you set off down the road of copy protection, this is where youÕre going to end up.