Everyone who uses any electronic devices such as computers, VCRs, PVRs, mobile phones, etc… should read this FAQ on TCPA / Palladium. It has some important information in it about recent moves by Intel and Microsoft that will affect the ways in which you are allowed to use your electronics in the future. Also take a look at this week’s and last week’s columns by Robert X. Cringely, in chronological order (if you want them to make sense) with more information on this, plus a recent change to Microsoft’s EUL.
What interests me is that as Intel/Microsoft go this way, Apple will have a new tool to convert consumers; freedom. TCPA takes your right to use your computer and the software and media you purchase, and puts it in the hands of the companies you purchased them from. If content providers are in control of how and when you can and cannot use content you purchased from them, and can revoke your priveliges at any time with no notice, I don’t want to buy their content. Same as I won’t buy Shakira’s music; did you know that if I were to just put that CD-like disc into my computer, it would void the computer’s warranty and prevent the computer from booting or ejecting the CD? Copy protection, they call it. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
If buying a new PC means you are giving up your right to control your use of that PC, or any software/media you put on it, and there was another computer available that let YOU decide how and when and for what you want to use it, wouldn’t you chose the latter? I would. I did. I chose a Mac instead of a PC running WinXP. Did you know that if you upgrade the hardware of your PC, you have to re-register WinXP? And if you don’t re-register, you get locked out of your computer completely? When I used PCs, I changed out a card or two every month. I didn’t even bother using a case for the last couple of years with PCs because I was changing out parts so frequently. I could never use WinXP. On a Mac, I don’t have to change out the hardware; everything just works.
I think that Apple’s choice on whether or not to try to support this or a similar initiative will be vital in its control of the consumer market.