Western Digital Straps DRM Leash On External HDD
Western Digital's 1TB My Book World Edition external hard drive came out on the market with a crippling feature: it will share anything your heart desires, except for media files.
December 10, 2007
“Due to unverifiable media license authentication, the most common audio and video file types cannot be shared with different users using WD Anywhere Access. A list of the non shareable file types can be found here.”
The list in question includes 37 different extensions, including the video popular .avi, .mpg, .mpeg and .wmv, as well as a audio formats .aac and .mp3, among many others. Also, Windows temporary files (.tmp) are not supported either.
Never mind the fact that Western Digital is treating its potential customers as thieves (not a very nice move if one cares about keeping the business running), but such a decision actually on users' legitimate rights. An .avi file can be made by anyone having a digital camera, while an .mp3 file only requires a computer with a microphone (and some software to go with it).
Furthermore, WD's protection scheme fall flat if the user decides to archive the forbidden files. The .rar and .zip extensions are not on the list therefore go right through the no-sharing filter placed by the company.