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New MacBooks enforce HD DRM

New MacBooks enforce HD DRM

If you've got a shiny new MacBook with Mini DisplayPort, you might find your iTunes videos refusing to run without a HDCP compliant monitor attached.

If you're tempted to upgrade an old MacBook to a shiny new model featuring the Mini DisplayPort, you might want to think again: Apple has sneaked extra DRM in along with the hardware update.

According to Ars Technica, the latest MacBooks enforce DisplayPort Content Protection (DPCP) on certain recent iTunes video, preventing playback if it detects a display device which doesn't support the DRM implementation. This means that users with large monitors that have only VGA or component inputs will be stuck watching their legally purchased videos on the laptop screen – less than ideal, really.

Although not all iTunes content enforces the DPCP encryption, certain new release movies – including Hellboy 2 – do, and it's proving unpopular with users: doubly so if they've shelled out for the official Apple-branded Mini DisplayPort to VGA adaptor dongle. While older hardware which has a standard DVI or VGA port in the place of the new Mini DisplayPort will play such videos on any display device of your choosing, the new MacBooks don't have such a luxury – the Mini DisplayPort is the only supported video output device.

According to BetaNews, the issue isn't restricted to the new MacBooks, either: at least one customer on Apple's support forum is claiming that after upgrading his Apple TV set-top box to version 2.2 he is unable to watch high-definition content from iTunes without receiving an error asking for all non-HDCP devices to be disconnected. Whether this is a bug in the implementation of the HDCP/DPCP system that the iTunes DRM uses or whether Apple is really willing to tick off its loyal customers to this extent just to appease Hollywood studios remains to be seen, although the evidence points to the latter when other users are claiming to receive the same error message even on brand-new HDCP-compliant hardware.

Do you think that Apple needs to tell Hollywood to shove their DRM, or would you never purchase from the iTunes store even if it was 'clean'? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

33 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
StephenK 19th November 2008, 14:07 Quote
The only people they're going to hurt are loyal, paying customers. The pirates will always find ways around the DRM. Shame the people who pay are being restricted more and more. When my powerbook finally needs to be replaced I dont think I'll be buying from Apple.
ChaosDefinesOrder 19th November 2008, 14:11 Quote
absolutely disgusting, but people will still keep on buying them!
bowman 19th November 2008, 14:14 Quote
People buy content from iTunes? Thought we already knew that crap was locked down and laden..
StephenK 19th November 2008, 14:30 Quote
Sadly, most people neither know nor care :)
n3mo 19th November 2008, 14:52 Quote
well, as long as there are people stupid enough to buy from Apple we will see more of such crap. Good thing is that torrented movies don't have any drm - and are available before official release :)
Phil Rhodes 19th November 2008, 14:52 Quote
I dunno, I think this may be getting to the point where enough people will notice that it will cause an issue for the manufacturers. Regardless, at some point, that line will be crossed. Not soon enough for the likes of us, I suspect.
Tyrmot 19th November 2008, 14:53 Quote
...and this is why I have never bought anything from apple.
Jordan Wise 19th November 2008, 15:08 Quote
is anyone actually surprised by this? Its apple ffs
p3n 19th November 2008, 15:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenK
The only people they're going to hurt are loyal, paying customers. The pirates will always find ways around the DRM. Shame the people who pay are being restricted more and more. When my powerbook finally needs to be replaced I dont think I'll be buying from Apple.

What are you smoking? Do you not understand? HDCP is the ONLY way to play DRM'd things on an external display - if your external display doesnt support this then don't buy DRM content.

HDCP support is surely a feature not a problem?

Tools.

(I have a MBP on my monitor at home and it plays my non drm content just fine!)
pizan 19th November 2008, 15:18 Quote
Thats why don't use iTunes, but thats also probably why iPod doesnt want to play any songs. damn fascists
steveo_mcg 19th November 2008, 15:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by p3n
What are you smoking? Do you not understand? HDCP is the ONLY way to play DRM'd things on an external display - if your external display doesnt support this then don't buy DRM content.

HDCP support is surely a feature not a problem?

Tools.

(I have a MBP on my monitor at home and it plays my non drm content just fine!)

:(

And any pirated material won't have ANY drm so you'll be able to do with it as you choose with out the restrictions set on you by apple/content producers. THUS only paying customers are effected.

HDCP is a feature much as a securom is a feature.
quack 19th November 2008, 15:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techdirt
So here's a customer who legitimately purchased some content, and is being stopped from enjoying it in a perfectly reasonable, legitimate and legal way. Once again, it's puzzling to see content and technology companies implement these roadblocks to frustrate their paying customers.

What's the incentive for this guy to pay to download a movie, rather than download a pirated version that he can watch on his projector? Apparently, it bears repeating for content and device companies: you don't stop piracy by annoying your paying customers.
Source, emphasis mine.


*points at signature*
zimbloggy 19th November 2008, 16:54 Quote
This should come as no surprise; Apple has been yanking their customers around since forever.
zimbloggy 19th November 2008, 16:54 Quote
+Apple gets the most ridiculous fanboys ever.
pizan 19th November 2008, 16:58 Quote
Well in the book according to Jobs, he knows what his customers want, not the customers.
ryall 19th November 2008, 18:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by p3n
What are you smoking? Do you not understand? HDCP is the ONLY way to play DRM'd things on an external display - if your external display doesnt support this then don't buy DRM content.

HDCP support is surely a feature not a problem?

Tools.

(I have a MBP on my monitor at home and it plays my non drm content just fine!)


...Speaking of fanboys....

This always cracks me up when the apple zealots start posting.

"It's not a problem, it's a feature!"
"If you can't do something on leopard it's not supposed to be done!"
"That self-satisfied smug dweeb on the apple ads IS cool"
"All bow to the mighty Apple"

But to be fair most people that buy macs have, by definition, more money than sense. I don't think they'll bat an eyelid forking over more cash for a compliant monitor/tv/projector.
StephenK 19th November 2008, 19:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by p3n
What are you smoking? Do you not understand? HDCP is the ONLY way to play DRM'd things on an external display - if your external display doesnt support this then don't buy DRM content.

HDCP support is surely a feature not a problem?

Tools.

(I have a MBP on my monitor at home and it plays my non drm content just fine!)


Then don't buy DRM content??

With the way things are going at the moment it's getting to the stage that soon the only way to get DRM free online will be to illegally download it. So if you want to be a paying customer then you must accept all the 'features' that the companies throw at you?

I guess you could just not buy any movies at all.... because that's going to be good for the industry!!
sotu1 19th November 2008, 19:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by zimbloggy
+Apple gets the most ridiculous fanboys ever.

+1. Aye.
Glider 19th November 2008, 19:15 Quote
I tought the bare essence of Apple products was a form of DRM... Seriously, such a pile of crap components, bundled with a nice exterior can't cost that much...
StephenK 19th November 2008, 19:36 Quote
Having thought about it, maybe we really have come down to the 'Shut up or Don't Buy It' line. Maybe thats what Hollywood wants. Those of us who don't like the idea of DRM can either accept it or not buy the stuff. The majority of people don't care about DRM unless it gets in there way. Just like securom, maybe one day we'll be told if you don't like it then fudge off and play something else...
PQuiff 19th November 2008, 20:03 Quote
*DRM. proctology for the masses. Bend over now sirs

*piracy the better choice
Oreon_237 19th November 2008, 20:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PQuiff
*DRM. proctology for the masses. Bend over now sirs

*piracy the better choice

lol

thats why you dont buy macs. (what am i talking about, im getting one?)
oasked 19th November 2008, 22:29 Quote
Most movies aren't worth buying IMO - unless you're talking about smaller, independent movies. IMO there's too much drivel coming out of Hollywood as it is, I don't see why I should support it. Much better to support more homegrown talent and movies. :)
liratheal 19th November 2008, 22:33 Quote
Sucks to be an Apple user!
Arkanrais 20th November 2008, 03:29 Quote
macs backwards = scam
'nuff said.
severedhead 20th November 2008, 04:00 Quote
Wait, seriously?

The scenario I have in mind:
Someone has a non-HDCP compliant display, buys one of those films and it doesn't play, so decides never to buy one again and just torrents it instead.

Wouldn't this increase piracy levels?
Phil Rhodes 20th November 2008, 08:15 Quote
Quote:
Shut up or Don't Buy It

Quite so.
perplekks45 20th November 2008, 10:18 Quote
Nice little stunt they pulled off there... trying to sell more monitors. I hoped that someday Apple would realize their customer base might take a hit if they keep going in that direction. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe they really think they can force down whatever they want just because their products are so 'cool'.

F'ing lemmings buying their stuff. Although I have to say I just bought my girlfriend an iPod Touch and I have to say... nice, shiny and quite interesting gadget, that little(?) thing. It will never see any content from iTunes though, and definitely no DRM'd stuff.
Ninja_182 20th November 2008, 18:10 Quote
Meh, will probably end up with a compliant display in the future anyway. Its inevitable that were going to get DRM'd all over the place with movies anyway.
bubsterboo 20th November 2008, 18:19 Quote
My question is, What monitors that Apple sell support HDCP?

I don't remember HDCP support being advertised anywhere.
Firehed 20th November 2008, 20:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubsterboo
My question is, What monitors that Apple sell support HDCP?

I don't remember HDCP support being advertised anywhere.

Indeed. I think the not-yet-shipping 24" does (it's displayport, after all, which supports hdcp) but nothing else.
StevieC 2nd June 2009, 13:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by zimbloggy
+Apple gets the most ridiculous fanboys ever.

As an Apple EX-fanboy, I will say this. Apple was, at one time, genuinely superior to their rivals. BUT, ever since Steve Jobs committed architectural treason by switching from PowerPC to Intel, things have gotten progressively worse from the company headquartered at 1 Infinite Loop (yes that IS Apple HQ's street address, NOT a pun). I still love stuff Apple put out BEFORE then, but everything since then has been rubbish.
perplekks45 2nd June 2009, 21:13 Quote
What exactly made them better? Just curious, not intending to start a flame war.
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