BoingBoing – December 6, 2007:

“This is the most extreme example I’ve seen yet of tech companies crippling data devices in order to please Hollywood: Western Digital is disabling sharing of any avi, divx, mp3, mpeg, and many other files on its network connected devices; due to unverifiable media license authentication’. Just wondering — who needs a 1 Terabyte network-connected hard drive that is prohibited from serving most media files? Perhaps somebody with 220 million pages of .txt files they need to share?”

A complete list of unauthorized files can be found here. Western Digital claims they have to block such files from being shared “due to unverifiable media license authentication.” To put it in human-speak: Those files might be copyrighted, and for some reason, Western Digital has set itself up as the copyright judge, jury, and executioner of your hard drive and data!

Slashdot points out that there are ways around this. Sure. There always are. But that’s not the point. The point is that hard drive manufacturers should never make any assumptions about my data. It’s my hard drive and it’s my data and I should always be allowed to access it.



  1. Terry says:

    Jesus Christ! This technology even prevents open source Ogg Vorbis files from being shared! Outrageous! What is the point of having such a drive if these kinds of files cannot be accessed by any other computer on the network? Local access only really limits its usefulness. I predict WD will kill this “Anywhere Access” idea as soon as consumers figure out the name is a blatant lie.

  2. Alpha says:

    I was just looking at purchasing a new Hard Drive – For the past 15+ years I used only WD drives for me and all my clients, and they worked great – guess it is time to look into other options.

    If you have stock in this company now is the time to sell -

  3. Lenin says:

    WD HAS TO BE THE MOST IRRESPONSIBLE COMPANY EVER TO PUT OUT A PRODUCT. I’M KEEPING THIS SHORT. I BOUGHT AN EXTERNAL DRIVE FROM WD AND STORED ALL MY PICTURES AND VIDEOS ON THERE THEN FOUR MONTHS DOWN THE LINE IT FAILS AND I END UP LOSING ALL MY PICS AND VIDS. NOT EVEN A RECOVERING AGENCY WAS ABLE TO RETAIN MY DATA. I CALLED WD AND THEY REPLACED IT WITH A NEWER VERSION AFTER I THREATEN THEM TO SPREAD THE WORD. THEY SEND ME ANOTHER ONE AND COME TO FIND OUT, IT FAILS TO RUN AFTER 2 WEEKS!!! THEY HAS GARBAGE PRODUCTS. I HAVE HAD A SEAGATE EXTERNAL FOR ALMOST 5 YEARS NOW AND IT’S STILL GOING AND GOING AND GOING. MY ADVISE…..DON’T BUY A WESTERN DIGITAL DRIVE UNLESS YOU DON’T MIND LOSING YOUR DATA.

  4. VEE VILL KONTROL YOU!!!!!!! VEE VILL!!! VE VILL!! says:

    Ah, kammerades, gottdamerung on joo! Do ass vee say, yoo arrr slaves!!!!!!!