TurboTax DRM Timeline
January 7, 2003: PC Magazine publishes its annual round-up of tax software, giving both
TurboTax Premier and H&R Blocks Taxcut an Editors Choice award. The TurboTax review mentions the addition of DRM in passing, but doesnt make a big deal of it.
January 7, 2003: The first of many angry notes are posted in PC Magazines on-line discussion area. Many postings accuse TurboTax of hijacking CD burners, crashing systems and other nefarious behavior. Many users focus on the fact that the DRM software cannot be uninstalled, even after TurboTax has been removed.
news story that covers user discontent with the DRM implementation inside TurboTax. ExtremeTechs discussion boards overflow with rancorous comments from disgruntled users.
January 10, 2003: PC Magazine adds a news story about the user flap, expanding on its review and detailing both sides of the issue.
January 10, 2003: Community manager Jim Lynch fans the flames with his opinion piece about the TurboTax situation.
January 13, 2003: Intuit responds by adding a SafeCast uninstaller routine on its website, to help address some of the problems. Many users remain unconvinced.
January 15, 2003: Macrovision provides ExtremeTech with more details on how the SafeCast DRM used by TurboTax, and its SafeDisk technology work.
January 17, 2003: Nick Stam, head tech honcho at both ExtremeTech and PC Magazine writes an open letter to Intuit, imploring them to listen to customers and to explain more about how the copy protection scheme purchased from Macrovision really works. At the same time, PC Magazine Labs and ExtremeTech begin what would turn into three weeks of testing to find out whats really going on with TurboTax and SafeCast.
Mid-January, 2003: Intuit updates its software to add enhanced form entry and viewing capability to un-activated versions of TurboTax. Intuit also announces that it will release a completely un-protected version of TurboTax in October 2003, to safeguard customers who may want to view and print returns in the future.
February 4, 2003: ExtremeTech posts Part One of its test results, detailing some of the issues involved in installing the software, and setting up Part Two of its test results to be posted a few days later.
February 7, 2003: Based in part on the user backlash in the ExtremeTech forums, Arcsoft begins to evaluate other DRM offerings to replace SafeCast in its trialware.
February 10, 2003: ExtremeTech posts the final results of all the testing, which details some of the problems other users have found, including system crashes, disabled software, and sneaky disk writing to the undocumented Sector 33 of the boot track.
January 9, 2003 : ExtremeTech posts a