Output Content Protection (DRM) and Windows Vista

There are certain people who do not want to own the fact that Windows Vista will be TCPA (Trusted Computing Platform Alliance) compliant … Apparently TCPA will not only alive and well, but Windows Vista will be the harbinger of it and quite possibly the beginning of a very dark era in computing. That Vista will be making sure YOU/YOUR computer are trustworthy TO THEM before presenting some content to you…and there apparently will be a combination of hardware/driver/software means in place to accomplish this.

It’s such a shame too … Windows Vista will undoubtedly be the most beautiful Windows to date (since it will uncannily resemble Apple’s Glass GUI), at least if you have a fast enough computer, Aeros compatible graphics card and a lot of memory on both the graphics card and the computer itself. And why? Does it really take all that much to display video or play games? I have a PII 400mhz laptop computer with an ATI graphics card with MPEG decoder that plays DVDs beautifully.

With the things that I have been reading over the last few years — while everyone waited with baited breath for Windows Vista, I have dreaded the day because I have been concerned about this very possibility (since before they took COPPs from “Longhorn” because I figured it would be put back in some form or another before shipping) … and I see little likelihood that I will be moving to Windows Vista as my next OS on my personal computer.

I will not use a computer that I pay for — but is owned and operated by someone else. Where the OS in combination with the hardware will determine what I can and can not listen to, watch, run on my computer — that I paid for. And it wouldn’t be a cheap upgrade for the dubious ‘honor.’

And it appears that that is where Vista is heading.

Except for the DRMBlog, all has been unbelievably quiet on this front since WinHEC this year. I expected some big hoopla about the built-in Hardware/Driver/Software DRM that was foretold to be in Vista. Sure we hear alot about the cool things Vista will do, the annoying things with regard to many issues related to Vista, such as the User Account Manager, annoying popup boxes that drive you nuts, but nothing on the OPM — “umbrella term that includes PVP, PAP, PVP-UAB, SAP, and PUMA,” and “all these acronyms actually are all under the umbrella term DRM” according to DRMBlog’s article.

PVP-OPM (Protected Video Path – Output Protection Management) is a form of digital rights management (DRM) expected to be implemented in Microsoft‘s upcoming Windows Vista operating system. Microsoft states that “(PVP-OPM) makes sure that the PC’s video outputs have the required protection or that they are turned off if such protection is not available.” Critics of DRM and consumer advocates have decried the plan as overly restrictive and unfair to consumers.

(bold emphasis mine)

I knew something was a little fishy when I read that you can’t run as Administrator in Windows Vista. You can run some programs with elevated rights/privileges but there will be no running as Administrator for even owners of computers. At first I thought, well that’s not so bad, it will by default strongly encourage more secure computing by having everyone run as a normal user.

But is that really the only reason? I got to thinking about it. Especially in light of what I have read today in the DRMBlog. Some light is beginning to dawn…

Check out DRMBlog‘s Output Content Protection (DRM) and Windows Vista to see what I am talking about. (I wish they would fix those weird characters in the article that substitute for quotes and so forth because it’s a bit distracting but if you look past that to the content … the content is a real eye opener).

These things are nothing new, it’s stuff we have talked about as coming sooner or later for some time now. But apparently with Windows Vista … it will have arrived.

And with the DMCA, there will be NO legal way to get around it. And what of Open Source? What will happen to new drivers for Open Source once Vista hits the market. Just when ATI has finally stepped up to the plate after all these years.

And now, one might have a new picture of why some are trying to Block Vista — maybe it’s not an ‘anti-MS Group’ after all — maybe they are just in favor of owning what they buy and not blocking innovation outside of big money and big corporate companies like Intel and Microsoft, and the entertainment cartels?

Too much ado about nothing? Really?? … DRMTrainwrecks.

EDIT: Addition of some information on terms either used in this posting or related terms.

PVP – Protected Video Path (Discussed in PVP-UAB)
PAP – Protected Audio Path (?)
PVP-UAB – Protected Video Path – User-Accessible Bus
SAP – Second Audio Program. Sounds harmless, at least it was in the past. Possibly new mechanism for Broadcast Flag?
PUMA – Protected User Mode Audio (discussed under PVP-UAB)

Here’s another couple words for ya:

PVP-OPM – (Protected Video Path – Output Protection Management) is a form of digital rights management (DRM) expected to be implemented in Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Vista operating system. Microsoft states that “(PVP-OPM) makes sure that the PC’s video outputs have the required protection or that they are turned off if such protection is not available.” Critics of DRM and consumer advocates have decried the plan as overly restrictive and unfair to consumers.

COPP – (From the MSDN Library at MS) – Certified Output Protection Protocol (COPP) enables an application to protect a video stream as it travels from the graphics adapter to the display device. An application can use COPP to discover what kind of physical connector is attached to the display device, and what types of output protection are available. Protection mechanisms include the following:

* High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP)
* Copy Generation Management System — Analog (CGMS-A)
* Analog Copy Protection (ACP)

If the graphics adapter supports one of these mechanisms, the application can use COPP to set the protection level.

COPP defines a protocol that is used to establish a secure communications channel with the graphics driver. It uses Message Authentication Codes (MACs) to verify the integrity of the COPP commands that are passed between the application and the display driver. The application uses COPP by calling methods on the IAMCertifiedOutputProtection interface of the DirectShow Video Mixing Renderer filter (VMR-7 or VMR-9).

COPP does not define anything about the digital rights policies that might apply to digital media content. Also, COPP itself does not implement any output protection systems. The COPP protocol simply provides a way to set and query protection levels on the graphics adapter, using the protection systems provided by the adapter.

This article assumes that you are familiar with the following technologies:

* DirectShow
* Windows Media Format SDK
* XML
* Public-key cryptography and symmetric cryptography

The code examples in this article use Microsoft’s CryptoAPI to perform cryptographic operations.

And check this out: CyberLink Supports Microsoft’s Certified Output Protection Protocol (COPP) for DVI-HDCP Transmission:

Thursday, May 12, 2005

CyberLink Supports Microsoft’s Certified Output Protection Protocol (COPP) for DVI-HDCP Transmission

CyberLink today announced strategic support for Certified Output Protection Protocol (COPP) device driver technology to enable High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) during the transmission of digital video between applications and high definition displays.

Software designed to comply with COPP – such as CyberLink’s TV entertainment product PowerCinema and playback software PowerDVD – supports the protection of content according to the rules of the DVD Forum, the Blu-ray Disc Association, and Digital Transmission Licensing Administrator (DTLA).

CyberLink’s implementation of COPP ensures the protection of content during output to an external display via a Digital Video Interface featuring High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (DVI-HDCP). With COPP support featured in CyberLink products, users will be able to watch commercial high-definition content – such as that available on Blu-ray discs and HD DVDs – through their LCD monitors, video projectors or HDTVs. Without this support users will be prevented from playing copy-protected content.

“The secure playback of high definition content on the PC is an extremely important issue for the creators and owners of digital content,” said Alice H. Chang, CEO of CyberLink. “This is why in addition to support for Blu-ray discs and HD DVDs, CyberLink is implementing COPP as a way of providing complete copy-protection solutions for our OEM customers.”

(and that’s just one example. See our Defective By Design posting.

Supposedly this COPP was taken out of Longhorn/Vista but it looks they are back after all looking at the specs of Vista.

Want to tie all this together?

Check out the following two links:

Hollywood Wants to Plug the “Analog Hole” (Consensus at Lawyerpoint) (much more in the article than I quote below and many more very interesting articles listed there:

Which begs the question: How will Hollywood put “an end to … movie theft on … p2p networks?” Short of dramatically re-architecting the Internet it seems inconceivable that P2P will ever controlled or eliminated.

But dramatic redesigns of the Internet are well within Hollywood’s stated desires. In 1995, Hollywood’s representatives in government penned “The Report of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights,” calling for a neutered Internet whose functionality had been magically constrained to “permit [rights-holders] to enforce the terms and conditions under which their works are made public.”

We can only guess at where these delusional technological speculations have wandered in the intervening years, and this “Content Protection Status Report” is a good and grim indicator.

(Bold emphasis mine)

The Report of the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights – The entire document is also available as a single, 1 MB, PDF file, a Microsoft Word 6.0 file, zipped PostScript print file, as well as in ASCII form.

And these are not even all the pieces to this pie!

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Comments on: "Output Content Protection – DRM – and Windows Vista" (4)

  1. erictravis said:

    It’s like buying a car, where the manufacturer not only keeps tabs on where you’re driving, but also limits where you can travel. Pretty nuts. I surely hope that Apple doesn’t implement such technology in OS X 10.5 (Leopard). If so, I doubt I would upgrade. In addition, the possibility of a privately-controlled internet is pretty scary. What if there was a technology which would only allow certain words (not to mention ideas) to be used during a telephone conversation? Hey, since we get occasionaI shoplifters in our store, you have to be fingerprinted and ID’d upon entry. I believe strongly in the protection of intellectual property, but there must be a better way to implement it.

    We’re US+… we own the _idea_ of America
    – Firesign Theatre

  2. [“It’s like buying a car, where the manufacturer not only keeps tabs on where you’re driving, but also limits where you can travel.”]

    Don’t stop there! They would then charge us a fee for every kilometer we drive, every time we change gears, use the brakes, adjust the throttle…

  3. […] (See our posting entitled: Output Content Protection – DRM – and Windows Vista) […]

  4. […] And he didn’t even have to go into the HDCP reasons, or other reasons noted here, or the march to boycott Blu-Ray and HD DVD, or even the crippling Output Content Protection – DRM – and Windows Vista. […]

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