Recently, someone discovered a way to crack the DRM protection in Windows Media files. This means that you can enjoy your content when and where you want, instead of where the publishers want.
Red alert! All hands to Battlestations!
In a matter of days, Microsoft found a patch for this “critical vulnerability” and rushed it into Windows update in record time, bypassing the usual “Patch Tuesday” release.
Bruce Schneier, one of my favorite ubergeeks, points out that the practical upshot of all this is that Microsoft consider the interests of Corporate DRM more important than the security of your machine and data.
Now, this isn’t a “vulnerability” in the normal sense of the word: digital rights management is not a feature that users want. Being able to remove copy protection is a good thing for some users, and completely irrelevant for everyone else. No user is ever going to say: “Oh no. I can now play the music I bought for my PC on my Mac. I must install a patch so I can’t do that anymore.”
My recent decision to stick with Windows 2000 for the moment and to eschew XP in favor of Linux is looking more like the right decision every day.