A (loooong) analysis of the cost of DRM in Windows Vista

I’ll admit to posting this before I’ve finished reading it, but if I don’t, I’ll have forgotten it all by the time my readers get through it. I am still working through this massive Cost Analysis of Windows Content Protection by Peter Gutmann (and a shorter link for extra goodness). As the title suggests, it is a deep look at the cost of content protection and user rights restrictions in Windows Vista. There is also a response at the end to a rebuttal Microsoft made of the analysis (shorter link for linebreak protection).

Here is the executive summary. If you are going to read this (I will, and I hope others do as well), be prepared to invest some time so you really understand it and the rebuttal.

Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to provide content protection for so-called “premium content”, typically HD data from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources. Providing this protection incurs considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever come into contact with Vista, even if it’s not used directly with Vista (for example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server). This document analyses the cost involved in Vista’s content protection, and the collateral damage that this incurs throughout the computer industry.

Do you think rights restrictions are a good idea? Does this analysis change your view of digital rights mangling (DRM) controls?

[tags]A cost analysis of Windows contect protection, Analysis of Vista DRM costs with MS rebuttal and author’s reply to that[/tags]