So what is DRM anyways and how does it affect you?

Usually, new software enables you to do more with your computer. Vista, though, is designed to restrict what you can do.

Vista enforces new forms of “Digital Rights Management (DRM)”. DRM is more accurately called Digital Restrictions Management, because it is a technology that Big Media and computer companies try to impose on us all, in order to have control over how our computers are used.

DRM gives power to Microsoft and Big Media.

  • They decide which programs you can and can’t use on your computer
  • They decide which features of your computer or software you can use at any given moment
  • They force you to install new programs even when you don’t want to (and, of course, pay for the privilege)
  • They restrict your access to certain programs and even to your own data files

DRM is enforced by technological barriers. You try to do something, and your computer tells you that you can’t. To make this effective, your computer has to be constantly monitoring what you are doing. This constant monitoring uses computing power and memory, and is a large part of the reason why Microsoft is telling you that you have to buy new and more powerful hardware in order to run Vista. They want you to buy new hardware not because you need it, but because your computer needs it in order to be more effective at restricting what you do.

Microsoft and other computer companies sometimes refer to these restrictions as “Trusted Computing.” Given that they are designed to make it so that your computer stops trusting you and starts trusting Microsoft, these restrictions are more appropriately called “Treacherous Computing”.

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