'Complete control'

(Article Precis, 20/Mar/1999, Issue 2178, p11)
Kurt Kleiner reports on a $15 million investment by Bill Gates in Reciprocal, a company which specialises in digital media data encryption.

Reciprocal's technology will give online media providers better control of the distribution and use of their data, eg. a music file could be sent to a user accompanied by a special encryption layer which would only allow the user to listen to the music track once.

However, as Microsoft eventually intends to tie the software deeper into Windows in the long term, specialists in information privacy are worried that such measures will change the home PC into merely a "passive viewing device", with the user having reduced control over their system and its flexibility.

Note: In order to comply with copyright law, I have ommited some details from the original article. Thus, for a complete insight into the topic covered here, please either consult your local library for the issue concerned, purchase the relevant issue from your local newsagent, or back-order it from the publishers.

Precised by Ian Mapleson, 22/Mar/1999.