Tuesday, December 11

Western Digital DRM Hard Drive, the most insane DRM implimentation yet?

When I read this I thought it was a hoax, but April is 4 months off.

From: Western Digital DRM'd Hard Drive Won't Let You Share MP3, DivX
Western Digital's 1TB MyBook external hard drives won't share media files over network connections (UPDATE: Don't install the "required" client software! See workaround below). From the product page:

"Due to unverifiable media license authentication, the most common audio and video file types cannot be shared with different users using WD Anywhere Access."

It doesn't matter what the files are: If you try to share these formats over a network, Western Digital assumes not just that you're a criminal, but that it is its job to police users. You see, MP3, DivX, AVI, WMV and Quicktime files are copy-protected formats.

The list of banned filetypes includes more than thirty extensions. Some of them are bizarre: .IT files are banned — these are Amiga-style music modules composed with Impulse Tracker, a particularly well-loved tracking sequencer that hasn't been updated in almost a decade. I composed with IT myself, back in the day, and still have all my shitty compositions, none of which Western Digital would have me share. (Try MOD vs. Speak&Spell masterpiece Eddie Dreams of Women, if you dare: IT, MP3)

Isn't it cute how the only data it views as worthy of policing are music and movies? These are the only copyrights that matter under corporate monkey law.

It's the most astonishing example of crippled equipment I've ever seen. A DRM'd hard drive! Whatever next? Dreaming meat?

Mmm.... Dreaming meat.

Wait... what the hell is wrong with Western Digital!?

It's so arbitrary, and they've done it on such a large scale. This may end up being the biggest DRM debacle ever.... though it will be hard to beat Sony's rootkit fiasco.

Certainly someone is going to end up suing them over this.

1 comment:

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