I've been meaning to watch the social network, and saw it teased on iTunes today. I clicked on the very off-chance that it was a cheap rental. No luck.

But what was strange was the grayed out HD choices. I hadn't seen that, nor its "The HD version of this movie is available on Mac or Windows 7 computers with HDCP components." I'm using Vista right now. No dice, I guess. Nor is my monitor HDCP.

I didn't think that always happened though, and somewhat randomly picked out the most under-appreciated Bond movie, The Living Daylights, to check. Sure enough, I'm good enough to rent that in HD. Luckily I already own it. On VHS, I think.

This was pretty reminiscent of a complaint against the MacBook from Free Software Foundation's "Defective by Design" campaign, whose banner I've got at the top of this page. The MacBook apparently won't let you play every movie through non-HDCP out.

Here's a quote, if you follow a link to ars technica in the FSF complaint.

When my friend John, a high school teacher, attempted to play Hellboy 2 on his classroom's projector with a new aluminum MacBook over lunch, he was denied by the error you see above. John's using a Mini DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter, plugged into a Sanyo projector that is part of his room's Promethean system. Strangely, only some iTunes Store movies appear to be HDCP-aware, as other purchased media like Stargate: Continuum and Heroes season 2 play through the projector just fine. Attempts to play Hellboy 2 or other HDCPed films through the projector via QuickTime also get denied. Other movies that don't work include newer films like Iron Man, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Love Guru, but older films like Shawshank Redemption are restricted as well.

So I've included Hellboy 2's entry from the iTunes store in this entry's screenshot as well. Yet another option: Here I can only grab SD versions unless I have an iPad or Apple TV. "Also Available in HD on iPad and Apple TV." That's strange, huh? I'm not sure if it's the SD version in the ars technica story. I suppose iTunes might even restrict SD playback. But it, regardless, is a third choice in HD content.

1.) Can't buy without the right OS.
2.) Can buy, no questions asked.
3.) Can't buy without the right snazzy Apple hardware.

It's a strange new world of copyright. I like lending books. So much more intuitive. That said, I'm buying more and more from Kindle. Saves me gas, I can put the text on my iPod, and I've often got a free, if poorly read, audiobook to boot. Nothing better than listening to six hours of Foucault via computerized narrator.

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