How Vista lets Microsoft lock users in
What if you could rig it so that competing with your flagship product was against the law? Under 1998's Digital Millennium Copyright Act, breaking an anti-copying system is illegal, even if you're breaking it for a legal reason. For example, it's against the law to compete head-on with the iPod by making a device that plays Apple's proprietary music, or by making an iPod add-on that plays your own proprietary music. Nice deal for Apple. gets the same deal, courtesy of something called "Information Rights Management," a use-restriction system for Office files, such as Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and Excel spreadsheets.