There a pretty reasonable podcast about Vista DRM in Security Now #75. Key points:
- Worse case is that you can’t play content that demnands a super secure path.
- No known media is requesting the super secure path. It is very questionable if anyone will ever want to take the PR hit of actually using it.
- Constriction or “fuzzyness” is for the high quality content; not everything on your screen and only if the content requires it.
- The main device you are probably playing HD-DVD’s on is laptops who have onboard graphics and are exempt from a number of things that people are concerned about.
Update: Just to be fair, there are a number of legit concerns that the Gutmann paper talks about, but even in that paper there are examples that people have let thier imagination run away with. The legit concerns include: side effects to how open hardware is when hardware needs to authenticate to the driver (They should do a public key thing here IMHO), Hardware/CPU costs in dealing with encrypting content across an open pci bus, potential cost for splitting out drivers to mitigate potential protect content trust revocation, the potental for hardware manufactures to destablize a PC when creating an implementation of tilt bits and IP/Licencing costs for the content protection hardware. To me these are pretty minor or requires assuming the worst for a true bad effect.