View Full Version : Apple adds copyright protection to new MacBook Pros
November 20th, 2008, 12:22 AM
Appearing to cave to Hollywood demands, Apple has quietly added a restrictive copyright protection mechanism to its new MacBooks that is preventing customers from watching movies on external displays.
Apple has secretly included a copy protection scheme called High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) in the external display ports on the latest models of it MacBooks, released in the middle of October.
Apple has not disclosed the new anti-copying mechanism, and now increasing numbers of customers are discovering that they cannot play movies bought from the iTunes online store on many external monitors, TVs or projectors.
So basically every iTMS-purchased movie will only play on the internal screen of MacBook / MacBook Pro...
Has anyone run to/tested this?
November 20th, 2008, 12:30 AM
You have to be kidding me. So if I buy a movie from iTunes I can not watch it on a TV screen I connect to when I am traveling? That is simply ridiculous.
November 20th, 2008, 12:39 AM
You can if the TV supports HDCP, as all new HDTVs do. Naturally, if you don't regularly replace your expensive electronics like a good little consumer, you don't matter. :rolleyes: :(
This is why you should avoid anything with DRM: they can and will change the rules on you, and there's nothing you can do about it.
I guess this opens the door for Blu-ray support.
November 20th, 2008, 01:43 AM
Well.. that seems to affect the material bought from iTMS.
Does DVD player of the same generation of Macs do any of the same limitations?
If the legally bought movie DVDs would exhibit this same "genuine advantage" (throwing nice words to mask the crippleware part of it..) "benefit", then... well, VLC and avis sound more tempting again.
How often do they change the 'additional terms' of using iTMS?
http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/uk/service.html at least on today that shows
(xvi) HDMI. An HDCP connection is required in order to view films (purchased or rented) and TV programmes transmitted over HDMI. Content in high definition resolution (HD) is viewable only on computers or TVs using your Apple TV and must be downloaded directly to your computer or Apple TV.
November 20th, 2008, 02:45 AM
I doubt it would affect DVDs, since there's nothing in the DVD standard to mandate it, and I don't think that's up for renegotiation with the movie studios.
According to Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2008/11/17/apple-brings-hdcp-to-a-new-aluminum-macbook-near-you), only some iTunes Store downloads fail. It's not clear why. I wonder if those movies would fail to play on any other Mac, since AFAIK no other Mac supports HDCP. Although HDCP over DVI is possible, I don't think it's supported by many computer displays. It would be a little odd if only the newer machines were restricted.
November 20th, 2008, 04:58 AM
This is stupid. Stopping me doing something illegal is one thing, stopping me using my somewhat aged monitor to play back films is quite another. Another example of DRM idiocy, I think Apple must have been getting tips from Sony.
November 22nd, 2008, 04:53 PM
This newer form of content playback control (HDCP) is applied ONLY to SOME newer movies purchased via the iTunes store. It does NOT apply system-wide or to all content. Content encoded with Apple's FairPlay DRM will still display via external outputs just fine (or as fine as before).
What has changed is that ONLY content that includes HDCP (High definition/bandwidth Copy Protection – designed to ensure content can't be duplicated on the way to the display) demands that all the connectors (compatible DVI, and most later HDMI ports), and the display itself (many HDMI compliant LCD & plasma TVs, and an increasing number of monitors), support HDCP in order for the content to be allowed to display. If any link in the display output chain is not compliant (eg any analog adapter or output, such as VGA), the content will not display.
This is NOT Apple's decision – it is a condition mandated by particular Movie Studios if Apple wants to have selected titles available.
November 25th, 2008, 11:04 PM
Well... some of the issues caused by this limitation are advertised to be solved by the latest QT update.