Terry Hancock hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Tue Oct 3 21:06:22 EDT 2006

drew Roberts wrote:
>  DRM-Dave could provide the service of applying DRM at not cost to
>  FREE works while charging to do so for non-FREE works. This would
>  allow Dave to sell FREE works for his DRM only platform while
>  conducting business as usual with respect to non-Free works.

This is not an unreasonable idea.  It strikes me as fair in principle. 
But I don't think it's so easy in practice.

The problem I see with it is that it seems like it would be very hard to 
sell the idea to a TPM/DRM provider.  OTOH, I can imagine a company like 
Sony (which is currently trying to win hearts by running Linux on 
Playstation 3) offering a service on terms like this for the goodwill 
value.  The biggest problem might be the guarantee to maintain this 
service in the future (e.g. for how long?).  Remember, we're not talking 
about something DRM-Dave *can* do, we're talking about something he 
*must* do.

One possibility is that he must maintain such a service for X years 
after the last time that he provides the DRM'd work.

Or he might publish the key, rendering the DRM ineffective/transparent 
(this might be a good platform-retirement option).

However, this is obviously a pretty complex requirement to draft, and 
the relative lack of any DRM provider who'd want it seems to make it a 
lot of work for little gain.

Of course, the biggest question here is why is this more attractive to 
the TPM platform owner than just allowing their platform to play free, 
non-TPM content?  (Which we'd prefer anyway).


Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com)
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com

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