Monday, December 24, 2007

Apple Wants OSX Genuine Advantage

According to this patent filing, we can see that Apple wants something similar to Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) that is part of Windows. The patent was OSX-CDfiled by Apple on Dec 13, 2007 and has the subject, "RUN-TIME CODE INJECTION TO PERFORM CHECKS". Apple wants to have code injection into any running application and make checks if the application is valid or not and if it has necessary rights to run on the specific hardware or software platform. Thus, this is a DRM thing that Apple wants to add to OSX.  

DRM or Digital Rights Management is one way to govern data/applications and has been "talk of the town" for media files and content. If memory serves me right, Steve Jobs was last seen complaining against DRM to audio companies, but somehow he thinks that adding DRM to the OS is a good thing. Yes, it can be used for good things, when users are given the rights to manage the applications or data. But looking at the abstract, "an authorizing entity (e.g., an application owner or platform manufacturer)", it doesn't seem like the owner of the computer has much of the rights.

Vista has special checks of DRM as part of WGA and Microsoft uses it to check the validity of Windows users. WGA hasn't been able to prove the genuineness of the applications running maliciously on Windows and is only a waste of CPU cycles. Also it checks for genuine copy of Windows, but has been flagging some legal copies as pirated copies for sometime now.

Apple may or may not bring those ill-effects by implementing DRM in a different way, but in its very nature DRM is a hindrance to freedom. May be some people will claim DRM to be the price for freedom, but in my humble opinion, its only a way in which powerful people can show their might. Let's hope Apple doesn't bring it to OSX anytime soon!!


Anonymous said...

Not quite. Might want to check this out:

Saptarshi Purkayastha said...

^ Nice observation on the patent and its relation to WGA. Well aggregated stuff there from a lot of different sources!!

instig8r said...

SO full of it. It has NOTHING to do with WGA or anything like it. Why don't you paint Apple with the Nazi brush, too, while you're at it?

Saptarshi Purkayastha said...

^ then why don't you tell me whats Apple gonna do by monitoring programs and terminating them when it wants to??