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AMD to aid the lockdown of content?

"I’m increasingly aghast at the erosion of the traditional freedom we’ve enjoyed to do whatever we please with our personal computers -- but intrigued by the science behind it.

My latest revelation came during a recent visit to AMD for a day of briefings, mostly about the Barcelona quad-core Opteron and the Torrenza direct-connect coprocessor interface. During that visit, I got the briefest of updates on ATI’s new GPU (graphics processing unit) technology. It will ship with software that plays movies on Blu-ray discs. The AMD rep spelled it out in words that would have been undiplomatic coming from me: He said that the new chips will “block unauthorized access to the frame buffer.” In short, that means an unauthorized party can’t save the contents of the display to a file on disk unless the content owner approves it." -- Read more (thanks to a thing for a link).

Well, AMD just got themselves a nice bunch of bad publicity.

Comments

I used to be quite fond of

I used to be quite fond of AMD, and their support of free BIOS has been good, but with Intel releasing free graphics drivers and AMD inplimenting this lockdown I am becomming more neutral if not slightly bias towards Intel.

BinaryFreedom.info has

BinaryFreedom.info has letters of protest to send ATI/AMD about this.

HANG ON!!!

 

Firstly, I'm an AMD fanboy.

That said, I need to point out one HUGE thing...

Customers are asking for HDMI and HDCP compliant devices, both of these thigns support DRM (the latter is DRM), and if AMD is to deliver HD content through their cards they have to include it; it's a part of the HDMI specification!

Now... Before you bash AMD for jumping on the gravy train here, do a quick check to see which company developed and licensed HDCP...

Time's up... Intel.

Now... Let's bash BOTH of them for eroding customer freedoms and as a whole, resist product lines (Blu-Ray and HD-DVD both do, as to the vast majority of HDTVs) that use, respect and tolerate DRM.

Well that's pretty much what

Well that's pretty much what I thought.. we can't count neither of the two as holding some moral highground. We should oppose the ideas behind DRM and products based on it regardless of who had them and who makes them, as you say.

I am buying Intel Core 2 Duo soon (after their April 22 price cut), but the decision is mostly technical, although I do believe there is a "new Intel" since recently, that they have changed into a more open and innovative company compared to where they were before, although I must say AMD forced this change by being a superior competitor for quite a while.

But both are guilty of falling into the trap set by the entertainment industry hungry to control culture.

Edit: Actually my decision to go with an Intel processor was a bit more than technical. Intel releases free drivers for their chipsets and their processors a bit more power efficient (more performance per watt). Both relates to important causes I support; Free Software and environmentalism (coupled with lower power bills Eye ).

I've always held the "AMD is

 

I've always held the "AMD is better for Free Software" view... Right up until my last build.

It was then that I realized that Intel created one of the most ubiquitous DRM schemes to infect households. Even if if it NEVER saw mass adoption, I'd oppose it, but this one is alreay showing signs of being adopted by the masses.

This means one thing to me... Intel released their INTEGRATED graphics drivers to key in on the Free Software community, those who cared would buy Intel for the 3D. This is a marketing move, not a Freedom move.

I'm NOT arguing AMD... They ARE just as bad... I hoped they'd GPL the Radeon drivers when AMD aquired them but I'm beginning to find that less likely. And they're adopting HDMI...

The thing is we DON'T yet have a hardware company of any half decent quality that is developing chips and embracing freedom. I've justified this to myself by picking my components... I can run any OS I want, and pick the drivers from my add-on hardware...

When I built, I went with a Tyan board for AMD Opterons. I can run LinuxBIOS on this, using a non-HDMI card, with libre drivers on my nVidia card... For that reason, I choose AMD again.

But it was the best of two evils.

Kevin Dean wrote: This

Kevin Dean wrote:

This means one thing to me... Intel released their INTEGRATED graphics drivers to key in on the Free Software community, those who cared would buy Intel for the 3D. This is a marketing move, not a Freedom move.

Well AFAIK they don't make any others but integrated, although I heard they may be making standalone cards in the future. Anyway, what you imply there is scary, but borders with a conspiracy theory, not that I mind it; caution is a good thing. I really hope you're not right.

I don't know what else to say about this..

Not conspiracy, business. :)

 

I don't mean it was a conspiracy... Companies have ALWAYS identified the groups of people who they could market to in different ways. What Intel did is no different that lowering price... They made their product more attractive.

To say that Intel did it to worm their way into the Free Software market... nah... There merely made their products more appealing to a specific market. And it worked, anyone who's bought an Intel board for the Free Software 3D did it because that product was appealing.

Indeed.. A positive thing

Indeed.. A positive thing about it then is that it gives us the chance to vote with our wallets. Buying Intel because they release free drivers is a clear vote, especially if you publically say that you bought it because of that, or that it was one of the biggest parts of the buying decision.

But if they start doing the opposite thing, building in DRM and stuff like that, we can do just the opposite and not buy from them, although not having an alternative would make it a rather tough situation (if AMD would start putting DRM in as well). I guess then the option is to quitly buy whichever and try to get around DRM using only Free Software on it, while making donations to and supporting Free Hardware projects which should surely get more attention if big guys go the DRM way. Maybe VIA could see a market opportunity here for desktop processors..

And then there is also often overlooked IBM with their new Power6 processors. Maybe they could make a cheaper DRM-less desktop line.

Plan of Action

 
libervisco wrote:

I guess then the option is to quitly buy whichever and try to get around DRM using only Free Software on it, while making donations to and supporting Free Hardware projects which should surely get more attention if big guys go the DRM way.

That is a very good option for the time being. Are there any projects working on something as ballsy as a total microprocessor?

libervisco wrote:

And then there is also often overlooked IBM with their new Power6 processors. Maybe they could make a cheaper DRM-less desktop line.

I built my last system out of server grade components because it matches my usage patterns (My system is moderatly fast under very heavy load, unlike desktop systems that fly until a moderate load is put on them) so personally this might be a better option for me. However, I would LOVE to see an alternative to AMD/Intel released that respects freedom. I'll have to look into that architecture. Smiling

OpenSPARC and OpenRISC

 
Kevin Dean wrote:

That is a very good option for the time being. Are there any projects working on something as ballsy as a total microprocessor?

There are two projects: OpenSPARC and OpenRISC.

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