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Why I think the DRM and open source debate is nonsense

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  • #31
    Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
    as i've said in the other post of the closed/mixed ati driver, if ati wouldn't support this protection stuff then all the oems would turn to another producer that support it and this means nvidia, which already has a long term support on linux and solaris and is in good shape also on windows, even if amd/ati is still leading windows hw. also if ati woulnd't provide certified windows pieces of silicon then windows might completely disable these boards in its systems, with vista it should be possible and quick to be done, and this would mean that amd/ati will be crushed by nvidia since almost 90% of pcs get out with vista preinstalled. also intel will not move a muscle on this since we all know of its behaviour towards amd, but this is another matter and we're not here to discuss about this. so, this means that if ati would not support drm and bd/right protection management then ati would go bankrupt and we all would need to migrate to nvidia, since nowadays ati boards don't perform at more than 80% of their capabilities (and 80% means for older chipsets with tested codebase). now, amd/ati says: we will not put at legal risk our stuff with other companies just because linux users (which still are less than 20% of total users around the world) with no revenue. since actual boards cannot have hw hd decoding capabilities for free movies without putting at risk the protection module at its base (the 2 features are inserted in the same box on the board) then the only way of releasing hw hd decoding is enabling it into fglrx, but for now fglrx needs to be performance tuned and bugfixed. after that they'd introduce uvd. maybe the introduction of this feature would be sped up because of the increasing number of users requiring it, but for having it at the same performance and completness as aiglx when it was released i'd better wait longer. now, i think that it's time to stop blaming amd/ati for supporting this privacy invasion of drm since nobody obliges you to use this stuff. the problem is that there should be some invoice to the major producers of drm content to compensate the linux users that are forced to have bad drivers and less support just because this stuff is neededly installed. this is a problem as it is the fact that it's 1% possible to find a pc that hasn't a windows version preinstalled. this is the real monopoly that should be taken into court and that should have all the pc users around the world be compensated even the ones that continue to use windows because they've never had the possibility to know about other choices.
    I disagree, as I've explained above. Your logic is flawed becouse your not taking into consideration the shear amount of hardware that ATi already has saturated in the market. Your also not considering ATi's diversity in other markets. If ATi pulled the plug on DRM across the board on all of it's current hardware in all of it's business for all of platforms... Everything... That would take a massive blow to the content industry, and ATi could demand that they drop DRM completely. This in combinaion with consumer education and the inevitable backlash that would couse, ATi would get everything they wanted, and if they wanted DRM out they would get it.

    ATi is definately big enough to get what they want, they just clearly dont recognize it, and are putting themselves in this position. Effectively believing that they cant do anything about it. It's bullshit, but hey what can you do right? I mean all I'm asking for is a DRM free linux. Thas it. ATi can get rid if DRM completely if they wanted to, and are probably the only ones who could actually do it. But they wont becouse they are afraid and weak.

    As long as I can have a DRM free linux I'll be perfectly happy. I'll remain outspoken about DRM throughout my life, but I'll be happy as long as I dont have to deal with it personally. The first time I try to play back some content that I bought and it tells me that I cant becouse DRM dictating what OS I can use and what player I can use, and what hardware I can use, I'm going to freak.
    Last edited by duby229; 02-03-2008, 05:35 PM.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
      it seems that you still haven't understood that exposing free h264 hw decoding would put at a too high risk the drm protection since they're integrated in the same component on the board. this would allow with very little rev-eng to put at use also the protected hw decoding. this is obviously unaceptable and would mean a very looooong way of problems to amd/ati. the real problem is with bd/hd direct hw decoding which is IMPOSSIBLE on linux until linus torwalds accepts drm code into kernel, and i don't see this happening, at least for this solar year. now, i hope that things are a little clearer.
      I understand perfectly well, but it'll never come to that. The DRM mechanisms that are currently being employed by BD and HDDVD will be hacked. It's inevitable, it's going to happen sooner rather then later. It's unavoidable, and anybody who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves. I still firmly believe that ATi should man up, and deal with it. Fight back and do it right, but if they wont then a decoder implemented using the 3d shaders might well be good enough in conjunction with the appropriate DRM hacks that are coming along.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by duby229 View Post
        Becouse of the number of related markets, ATi is involved in. Almost all of them are DRM infected, and ATi has huge presence in all of them by disabling DRM across the board right now and demanding that the content industry drop support for all DRM mechanisms immediately, while also educating the public masses about what DRM is exactly, would effectively kill DRM within the year. The content industry would have no chioce but to comply.

        I'm not asking for separate hardware, just that the Linux driver work just as well as the windows driver on the same hardware, with the DRM hardware disabled. By embracing the Free software community, that will be possible in the very near future becouse it will be cracked sooner or later, whether you like it or not.... HDCP is doomed to fail as is Macrovision, and every other restriction mechanism in place today. They will all be cracked.. When that happens your DRM implementation wont matter anymore, and you'll have wasted how many untold ours of man time. You should be helping the free software community develop these circumvention mechanisms as fast as you possibly can, becouse in the end it is for your own good.
        cracked or rev-eng is not the same as spec release. the first 2 should be prohibited and is done by users, while the last thing is done by the producer and would break contracts rules and agreements. what do you think big ones do if ati would break their agreements?!
        1. immediately break the engagement
        2. would issue ati into court.
        3. no other contractor would still want to have agreements with someone who has broke agreements before.

        this wold mean ati to bankrupt and will mean that we'll have to switch to another brand.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by duby229 View Post
          I understand perfectly well, but it'll never come to that. The DRM mechanisms that are currently being employed by BD and HDDVD will be hacked. It's inevitable, it's going to happen sooner rather then later. It's unavoidable, and anybody who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves. I still firmly believe that ATi should man up, and deal with it. Fight back and do it right, but if they wont then a decoder implemented using the 3d shaders might well be good enough in conjunction with the appropriate DRM hacks that are coming along.
          no hacked stuff would go into the kernel and they'd be prohibited by law, as it is libdvdcss in usa and france, period.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by duby229 View Post
            I disagree, as I've explained above. Your logic is flawed becouse your not taking into consideration the shear amount of hardware that ATi already has saturated in the market. Your also not considering ATi's diversity in other markets. If ATi pulled the plug on DRM across the board on all of it's current hardware in all of it's business for all of platforms... Everything... That would take a massive blow to the content industry, and ATi could demand that they drop DRM completely. This in combinaion with consumer education and the inevitable backlash that would couse, ATi would get everything they wanted, and if they wanted DRM out they would get it.
            you seem to have missed that all this stuff already has drm. or should amd recall all these boards and remove drm from it?!


            Originally posted by duby229 View Post
            ATi is definately big enough to get what they want, they just clearly dont recognize it, and are putting themselves in this position. Effectively believing that they cant do anything about it. It's bullshit, but hey what can you do right? I mean all I'm asking for is a DRM free linux. Thas it. ATi can get rid if DRM completely if they wanted to, and are probably the only ones who could actually do it. But they wont becouse they are afraid and weak.

            As long as I can have a DRM free linux I'll be perfectly happy. I'll remain outspoken about DRM throughout my life, but I'll be happy as long as I dont have to deal with it personally. The first time I try to play back some content that I bought and it tells me that I cant becouse DRM dictating what OS I use and what player I use, and what hardware I use, I'm going to freak.
            ati is big because it has the customers to be so (oem's). if these customers were to fall then ati would die. period. also nobody would produce drm free stuff just to please some users from which they don't get much money.
            you have now drm free linux, but you can only use 70% (and this percentage would go down with the years) of the hw capabilities.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by bridgman View Post
              I have to ask. Why do you think ATI is the only company that can do it ? Why not Intel or NVidia, for example ?
              for what i know intel uses drm in their hw but doesn't need to enable it. nvidia uses it and nobody complained about using their binary blob that uses drm. so if i were in ati i wouldn't take too much into consideration extremists as stallman. i do agree with some of stallman's statements about free software, but on other stuff i agree with linus. this leads me to the following statement:
              "companies should be free to use protection stuff for their contents, but they do not ever interfere with whoever doesn't want to have their services provided." this leads to problems with hw producers that would need to satisfy both the parts. in this moment users tend to argue with amd/ati since it has now decided to communicate more with the community and for this reason the users externalize their convictions and frustration to amd. this thread has some good points on which users, hw industry and content industry could think on and if they really think good of users as they are continue to argue then they should sit around a table and decide for a better future in which both the needs (protection of contents) and freedom of users could coexist. amd has now moved more towards the community and i really hope that other manufacturers would do the same thing in the near future. nvidia also seem to be starting to walk the same path of amd and intel is still far away on it. maybe we will be lucky if we could have this wonderful world in let's say 2 or 3 years.

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              • #37
                I know that the nvidia drivers use something called xv to decode video on the hardware...
                Xv is no problem. That's actually the "render" part, not decode, and that will be fully supported up to and including HD. There are no IP issues there, just a bunch of work.

                The next step up from that is "XvMC", which is accelerated decode for MPEG2 -- again, it looks like we will be able to fully support that as well.

                Once you get into HD decode, you go past what XvMC API can handle and you're getting into new APIs like VAAPI or extensions of XvMC. AFAIK nobody supports accelerated HD decode (by which I mean VC1 or AVC/H.264) on closed Linux drivers today, let alone open drivers. That might change over time and we're all working hard to make it possible.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                  That would be perfectly acceptable. I could be perfectly happy with that. and after DRM is hacked I'll still be able to view all the same content as windows anyway. Yeah I could definitely be happy with that.

                  I know that the nvidia drivers use something called xv to decode video on the hardware... How would this relate to ATi hardware decoding video using the 3d shaders? And will the closed source drivers support xv?
                  i don't like at all the solution proposed of passing the decoding to shaders since it would just pass the ball from the processor to the gpu. it would be interesting to pass everything related to video to the gpu, but if there's hw that does decoding, then it's stupid to overload the gpu because of some drm stuff. it's an idiotic solution that won't do any good. think of it on a igp: this would kill the system.
                  amd also can use Xv to decode. Xv stands for X Video and it's an xorg solution for 3d acceleration. there is an advanced solution which is called x video motion compensation, that for i know is only available with intel boards (i currently don't know of nvidia boards but i'm not so informed on nvidia side). fglrx is still slow with Xv on some boards, and it doesn't work on others. on radeon driver xv is quite good but opengl doesn't work. since amd is concentrating to improve opengl (that works about the same in linux and windows) and which will progress into gallium 3d, it's obvious that xv is not well supported.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
                    you seem to have missed that all this stuff already has drm. or should amd recall all these boards and remove drm from it?!




                    ati is big because it has the customers to be so (oem's). if these customers were to fall then ati would die. period. also nobody would produce drm free stuff just to please some users from which they don't get much money.
                    you have now drm free linux, but you can only use 70% (and this percentage would go down with the years) of the hw capabilities.
                    No just disable it in mass. I one fell swoop DRM gone.

                    If DRM stopped working for just 30% of all content the consumers would explode, and provided that they were educated to know that it was entirely DRM's fault, they would demand that DRM be eliminated. ATi would be in a position to demand what they wanted from the content industry. It's funny actually. The content industry has sowed the seeds of it's own destruction in DRM. If ATI did what it needs to do they could grow that seed to fruition.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                      No just disable it in mass. I one fell swoop DRM gone.

                      If DRM stopped working for just 30% of all content the consumers would explode, and provided that they were educated to know that it was entirely DRM's fault, they would demand that DRM be eliminated. ATi would be in a position to demand what they wanted from the content industry. It's funny actually. The content industry has sowed the seeds of it's own destruction in DRM. If ATI did what it needs to do they could grow that seed to fruition.
                      this would happen in an utopian world. it's true that we live in the best of all possible worlds (i know that this seems strange but it has been stated by Gottfried Leibniz in his 1710 work) but this world is still not as we would all like. your statement is interesting but will never happen what you're saying. and on this is just a matter of being realistic. the companies have planted the seed of destruction in the ultra high prices. i'm sure that without drm and protection stuff they'd be able to propose the same content of today at less than 30% of actual price to final user and so the piracy wouln't have a real reason to exist with so low prices. this was demonstrated by a famous economist when he was speaking about tax revenue and tax evading. the laffer curve http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve was used to illustrate the concept of Taxable income elasticity, the idea that government can maximize tax revenue by setting tax rates at an optimum point and that neither a 0% tax rate nor a 100% tax rate will generate government revenue. this could be applied in the same to the content. i think that the content could be offered at lower price and with better income, and that would also bring down piracy. it would be really stupid to risk some months of prison for one movie when it could be easily bought at some 10 $. this is what i look for: discounted good stuff which often come without drm protection because producers doesn't feel that the content should be protected. (old movies and older music that are better than actual ones).

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                      • #41
                        Personally I guess the very reason to have a special (and costly) hardware unit for video decoding is DRM. My naive understanding leads me to believe that most video decoding steps can be done in the 3D shaders anyway and that only the need to keep the encryption chain intact "justifies" dedicated hardware.

                        Perhaps it's viable to in worst case not touch the UVD unit at all and do most stuff with a set of shaders anyway? This would also be rather flexible (yum yum, accelerated Theora and/or Dirac...) ;-)

                        Downside may be that lower-end parts may not have the required shader-power and that energy-efficiency may not be as great.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by SavageX View Post
                          Personally I guess the very reason to have a special (and costly) hardware unit for video decoding is DRM. My naive understanding leads me to believe that most video decoding steps can be done in the 3D shaders anyway and that only the need to keep the encryption chain intact "justifies" dedicated hardware.
                          this is not true. hw decoding may be done without drm and encryption support. the ati choice was to do both the decoding and protection in the same block since it should be less painful engineering it.

                          Originally posted by SavageX View Post
                          Perhaps it's viable to in worst case not touch the UVD unit at all and do most stuff with a set of shaders anyway? This would also be rather flexible (yum yum, accelerated Theora and/or Dirac...) ;-)

                          Downside may be that lower-end parts may not have the required shader-power and that energy-efficiency may not be as great.
                          doing the stuff in the shaders is the same as not having hw decode and for this reason adding that block would be meaningless. the purpose of hw decoding can be illustrated with the analog/digital andn digital/analog conversion.

                          when you transform the analog into digital you do some stuff on the signal and generate a train of impulses that you'll add to a carrier frequency. at the receiver side you'll have to recover the train of impulses and then apply a digital to analog conversion. if this conversion is done by software means it would take, let's say, 160 miliseconds. if this d/a conversion is done by a hw block this conversion could be done in the time of the signal passing through the block, let's suppose less than 100ms (remember that this time is very huge for this type of cenversion). then we have to think of another aspect: in the first type of conversion (sw one) we will need a powerful processor to do the conversion. the less powerful the processor the longer the time to convert the signal. in the second case instead we will not need a processor to elaborate the signal, but only a sync clock (that is present also in the first case).
                          the same procedure applies to hw decoding blocks. if you use them you'll have the following gains:
                          1. no central cpu stress
                          2. no gpu stress
                          3. no extra ram stress
                          4. only dma stress

                          without this you'll have this condition:
                          1. cpu or gpu stress (having a combined cpu/gpu work on decoding is still not done for what i know since the 2 types of processors are different and the process of using both would totally kill the system bus)
                          2. extra ram needed for computational purpose both on videocard and on system one
                          3. dma controller stress.

                          as you see there are many thing that would make hw video decoding to be inserted into the videocards.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
                            this is not true. hw decoding may be done without drm and encryption support. the ati choice was to do both the decoding and protection in the same block since it should be less painful engineering it.
                            Of course can HW decoding be done without DRM. What I'm saying is that if there weren't those hard "security" requirements the GPU developers might consider doing it all in the (now general purpose) shader core.


                            Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
                            doing the stuff in the shaders is the same as not having hw decode and for this reason adding that block would be meaningless. the purpose of hw decoding can be illustrated with the analog/digital andn digital/analog conversion.
                            <snip>
                            The video decoding hardware is not a collection of passive elements. Your example doesn't apply IMO.

                            Dedicated hardware can of course be more (energy) efficient than a programmable shader engine, though.

                            Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
                            2. extra ram needed for computational purpose both on videocard and on system one
                            I'd say there's plenty of it available. The gfx card needs to hold the input data, the shader programs and a buffer for the results. Nothing too worrying.

                            Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
                            3. dma controller stress.
                            How that? Even with dedicated decoding hardware you need to get the input data in and the output data out.

                            Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
                            as you see there are many thing that would make hw video decoding to be inserted into the videocards.
                            Sure, having dedicated HW is always nice. All I'm saying is that doing it with the 3D shaders may be an acceptable fallback which would still be way more efficient than doing it all on the CPU.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by SavageX View Post
                              Of course can HW decoding be done without DRM. What I'm saying is that if there weren't those hard "security" requirements the GPU developers might consider doing it all in the (now general purpose) shader core.
                              that won't be anymore hw decoding.

                              Originally posted by SavageX View Post
                              The video decoding hardware is not a collection of passive elements. Your example doesn't apply IMO.
                              neither digital/analog is even if the process may seem to.

                              Originally posted by SavageX View Post
                              I'd say there's plenty of it available. The gfx card needs to hold the input data, the shader programs and a buffer for the results. Nothing too worrying.
                              this is the problem with young people. they haven't seen what it means to not have enough ram to do what you want. and i assure you that physical ram isn't never enough. that's why you continue to use swap (very slow when compared to physical ram), because there's simply not enough ram. if you start to run some apps you'll see how faster the system ram would go up and fill.


                              Originally posted by SavageX View Post
                              How that? Even with dedicated decoding hardware you need to get the input data in and the output data out.
                              that's the point. the dma is always stressed but with hw decoding you won't stress other components as gpu/cpu system ram for more than the minimum required.

                              Originally posted by SavageX View Post
                              Sure, having dedicated HW is always nice. All I'm saying is that doing it with the 3D shaders may be an acceptable fallback which would still be way more efficient than doing it all on the CPU.
                              you're only moving the decoding from the cpu to the gpu. to do this you need to simulate a hw decoding unit on the shader engine. now this would mean another layer between the hw and the software parts. i do not agree with this solution since, in my opinion is just time losing one. devs would loose time to implement this solution that would not perform as the hw one, instead of focusing on developing code that would make the hw decode block function well. this method could be used for simulated hw decoding of new formats for older boards. otherwise i don't see any gain in using it.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
                                that won't be anymore hw decoding.
                                Aye.


                                Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
                                this is the problem with young people. they haven't seen what it means to not have enough ram to do what you want. and i assure you that physical ram isn't never enough. that's why you continue to use swap (very slow when compared to physical ram), because there's simply not enough ram. if you start to run some apps you'll see how faster the system ram would go up and fill.
                                Whenever HD video decoding fails on PCs it's basically never because of memory constraints. Decoding video won't drive your system into swapping (as long as no mem leaks happen).

                                Oh, and thanks for calling me young.


                                Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
                                you're only moving the decoding from the cpu to the gpu.
                                Aye. Personally I think that's what GPUs are made for

                                Originally posted by givemesugarr View Post
                                to do this you need to simulate a hw decoding unit on the shader engine. now this would mean another layer between the hw and the software parts. i do not agree with this solution since, in my opinion is just time losing one. devs would loose time to implement this solution that would not perform as the hw one, instead of focusing on developing code that would make the hw decode block function well. this method could be used for simulated hw decoding of new formats for older boards. otherwise i don't see any gain in using it.
                                Nope, of course you wouldn't "simulate" the decoding hardware, you'd directly implement the codec decoding algorithms (or just bottleneck parts) for the stream processors (GPU shaders). That is write a MPEG-2 decoder, a MPEG-4 (ASP and AVC) decoder, ...

                                Downside is that the driver developers would have to directly mess with the video compression details, upside is the increased flexibility and the possibility to reuse this GPU-assisted decoding on other hardware, too (Nvidia or Intel).

                                edit: Well, or one would implement generic decoding building blocks... the DCT, MC - and perhaps codec specific helpers for bitstream unpacking etc. etc.
                                Last edited by SavageX; 02-04-2008, 07:34 AM.

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