Yesterday, Dieter told us Apple had finally pulled the trigger on HD downloads for iTunes. Today, the internets (led by iLounge, via Gizmodo) are up in arms because said downloads are infected with Big Media-enforced DRM to such a degree that they can't even play on older, non-HDCP (high definition copy protection) compatible devices.
What does this mean? Even if you forked over $2K for a ginormous Apple 30" Cinema Display, that "cinema" part of the branding will be just plain useless to you except for the very helpful popup you'll get reading:
This movie cannot be played because a display that is not authorized to play protected movies is connected.
Lovely. We understand Hollywood wants to protect their movies from pirates. We also understand that this type of nonsense doesn't stop pirates (who run at pretty much a commercial scale nowadays) one bit -- it only makes life extremely difficult and financially draining for actual consumers. (Poetically, pirated content plays just fine on older displays, making us wonder if someone deep inside Big Media secretly owns license to the torrents and is actually trying to drive traffic that way...)
Seriously, in what other industries can you get away with this? Sorry, your home is not copy protected, please back your car out and try burning down any non compliant houses before parking again. Sorry, food 2007 is not compatible with fridge 2009, please upgrade your fridge and then try eating again.