Making a buck off of information wanting to be free.

Back when news first surfaced about Microsoft’s plans for creating a “trusted platform” which effectively provided DRM support at the hardware level, I wrote somewhere, probably slashdot, that such a thing was doomed to fail because any time you try to make something people want to do difficult, you create a black market that seeks to satisfy their demand. When that black market could potentially amount to a significant portion of the market for consumer PCs, there is a lot of money at stake, enough that it could become a big business to buck Microsoft and any hardware partners it managed to line up, like Intel and AMD. My guess was that this would be just the sort of thing that China could exploit to give its hardware industry a big boost (they already have a state-sponsored x86 clone chip, though it isn’t exactly fast, yet.)

I’d say that this story provides a pretty strong endorsement of my thesis:

It was doomed to fail

Boing Boing: Super-correcting DVD players make pirated discs watchable

Jiangsu Shinco Electronic Group is a Chinese company that manufactures “super-correcting” DVD players that automatically correct for the low quality of pirated DVD discs (though the article doesn’t say whether this corrects for bad pressing or bad recordings, I suspect it’s the former). They get some of their parts from Sony!