Friday, May 02, 2014

Update on DMESE

My recent idea about the server sending identifying information back in requested data has me thinking about one of my ideas I put out years ago that I designated--Digital Media Equipment Self-Encryption, or DMESE for short.

The idea originated first on this blog January 9, 2007, and the backstory is I had watched a coworker with fascination as he discussed sharing copied movies with other co-workers as if it was the most natural thing.

And I'm thinking, how could you stop casual piracy by ordinary people? This guy was just some office worker, no real tech skills.

After a while I came up with: why not have the guy's computing device encrypt copies of movies and allow copying. The encrypted copies would be worthless to anyone else and only play on his machine as it was DOING the encryption which is the self-encryption part. So his machine could read its own copies, but no one else without a key.

I actually started calling it DMESE on one of my other blogs on May 26, 2007.

Back then I had this vague idea that maybe if I threw this idea out there someone might pick it up. But I was naive about how ideas propagate and maybe too mystical about the web.

However, something like it DID maybe emerge as a product involving copying encrypted to a hard drive and was out there for a bit only to be squashed by the MPAA.

Over the years I had a few rants on the subject, which I think was just me being naive. I've learned a lot more about how hard it is to get ideas forward, even when given away. And rants don't help. I've decided to leave the posts linked to above as they were. That helps me as well to see how I feel about some of those comments today.

Now over 7 years later I really don't think about the idea much.

The story does make the point though that it's not enough to just come up with an idea and  toss it out there. Turns out that there is usually a LOT of real hard work involved to go from idea to some working product, as well as a lot of luck.

If you're not interested in putting in that hard work then expectations should be low, and mine now are. But it doesn't mean I can't just toss something up on my blog! That part is just clean fun.

My functional perspective though on DMESE remains: the idea was to find a way to let people make copies of movies they purchase.

If it actually worked well and were implemented, maybe it could have saved the movie industry a little money. But then again, who knows? (And who cares.) It's just one idea in a world of them.

James Harris
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