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New Macbook Copy Protection Miffs Consumers

20 Nov, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Software meant to discourage piracy included on new Macbooks may actually hurt sales of iTunes movies, several news outlets are reporting.

The software — called High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection — is included in the external display ports on the new laptops, and is meant to keep downloaded iTunes content from being illegally copied via external DVD burners or DVRs. However, numerous Macbook owners are reporting receiving a “not authorized” message when they attempt to play iTunes videos on an external display, such as a TV or desktop monitors bigger than the Macbook screens.

The error message reads: “This movie cannot be played because a display that is not authorized to play protected movies is connected. Try disconnecting any displays that are not HDCP authorized.”

Apple has made no statement regarding the blocking of iTunes content on larger displays. However, the response from owners of the new laptops has been harsh.

“I rented a movie from the iTunes store yesterday and when I tried to play it on my external display, it gave me a warning/error. … To make it even worse, I tried all the movies that I have purchased from the iTunes store with the same result. … This is crazy unacceptable,” wrote one owner on Apple’s Web site.

Another said simply, “Yikes. I expect a lot of people are going to stop buying any video content from the iTunes store. … There is no way I'm buying any content that might not play when I upgrade [my display].”

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