Challenge to David Wagner on TCPA

Mike Rosing eresrch at
Fri Aug 2 10:49:07 PDT 2002

On Fri, 2 Aug 2002, Jay Sulzberger wrote:

> To deal with the tiny bit of truth in the claims of AARG! that some
> capabilities of DRM might be beneficial to me: Yes, of coures, there are
> few things that have zero benefits.  But this is hardly relevant.  A more
> relevant question here is: Can we get the benefits in a better way?  And of
> course, we can.  For the purposes of this narrow and hypothetical
> discussion, DRM might just be considered as a dongle forced on every home
> computer in the world.  The claims of benefit depend on this dongle being
> usable by me to make sure that you do not do certain things with my
> program/data when it is running on your computer, e.g., distribute the
> movie I send you.  Well, why must the dongle be on the whole computer
> system?  Why cannot it be simply a dongle that goes in a slot in a special
> TV screen/speaker system?  Now this is a "product"!, why we'll sell 'em the
> screens and we'll sell the dongle separately, etc..  Of course, the
> Englobulators have no interest in making and selling such dongles.  Indeed,
> were Phillips to start making and selling such, somehow a legal cause of
> action against Phillips would be discovered and the suits would commence.

I think this is what it boils down to.  If I want a dongle for
an arbitrary suite of products I should be able to go to some
store and buy it.  There's no reason it has to be built into
the motherboard.  the Microsoft X-box can have a built in dongle
chip, it's purpose is to ensure that only MS certified games
run on the box.  I don't see any problem with that.  And I don't
see any problem with Hollywood (or Bollywood either) selling HDTV's
with their own dongles.

As an argument to congress we need to stress that TCP's are fine
as isolated devices for specific purposes.  There is *NO NEED* to
make general purpose computers TCP's.  Where there is a market for
TCP's, I'd expect companies to want the ability to put their own
keys into the dongle, not some outside manufacturer who they might
not trust.

TCP's and DRM is useful to some people, and those people should
be able to buy it.  But there's really no need to force it on
everyone, and that's the point we need to get congress to

Patience, persistence, truth,
Dr. mike

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