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* Thursday, May 19, 2005

MovieLink Update

The movie I downloaded from MovieLink and tried to watch on my laptop expired without me ever watching it because Microsoft still hasn’t been able to figure out why the digital rights management software won’t authenticate the movie playback software. The MS support rep is still working with me via email, but I think he’s stumped and can’t reproduce the problem in order to try troubleshooting it.

I know the movie expired because in the middle of writing an email message, a small window popped up in the lower right-hand corner of my screen and told me so. I will say that this is a nice feature of MovieLink’s software (even though it’s the only feature I’ve been able to actually see), because it also informed me that it had removed the file in order to free up space on my hard drive (735MB to be exact). That was nice of them (and I’m not being facetious), but I wish I’d been able to watch it first.

One of the stories I missed posting about last month was the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeal’s ruling that the FCC did not have the authority to require manufacturers of television sets to embed copy protection controls into TVs in order to let the entertainment industry decide what you can and can’t do with what you watch. See Ernest Miller’s post for more details and reactions.

I bring this up now, only because the MPAA is attempting to bribe Congress into passing legislation that would give the FCC this authority since they couldn’t win their case in the courts (again, see Ernest Miller’s post on this draft legislation). So when it comes time to let my legislators know that I am tracking their votes on this bill and why I want them to vote against it, you can be sure I’m going to tell them this story.

Because the entertainment industry shouldn’t be allowed to dictate laws for something they can’t even guarantee will work on an average laptop like mine. Until then, get your hands off my hard drive, my television, and every digital thing else.

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