IBM withdraws CPRM for hard drives proposal

Rejoice

At a much-anticipated meeting in Texas yesterday, IBM withdrew its proposal to put CPRM (Copy Protection for Recordable Media) into ATA hard drives.

The proposal before the T.13 committee which administers the ATA standard was in its third revision, and in a significantly changed form. It had been thought that this amended CPRM proposal, made public on January 22, would be passed. Changes included limiting its use to removable media, and references to CPRM were deleted.

In the event, IBM withdrew the proposal and no vote was taken.

CPRM was backed by the 4C Entity (IBM, Intel, Matsushita and Toshiba), and resulted from research work undertaken by Intel and IBM at its Almaden Research Labs. Since the outcry over plans to put CPRM in the ATA standard used by hard drives, T.13 has published a hundred and twenty pages of emails from users alarmed at the move.

"People are not going to buy crippleware," said Stanton McCandish for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, whose co-founder John Gilmore had called for a boycott of CPRM-compliant hardware. "The goal of hardware manufacturers is to satisfy their customers and the EFF is glad to see them doing that here," said McCandish. The meeting continues today. ®

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