Hollywood Asks FCC For Permission To Break Your DVR Again

from the because-pissing-off-consumers-is-always-a-good-strategy dept

Every few months for the past year and a half or so, the MPAA has basically begged the FCC to let it make use of “selectable output control” on televisions to block DVRs from recording stuff shown on TV. The MPAA claims this is necessary to release certain movies on TV, but that’s hogwash. Rather than focusing on what consumers want, the movie studios are simply trying to add in yet another “window” to try to squeeze more money out of people. And, of course, like any DRM system, it won’t do a damn thing to stop file sharing of the content (all anyone needs is one copy, and by the time any movie is broadcast on TV, it’s too late, the content is out there). All this would do is piss off legitimate viewers, who are pissed off because their TiVos didn’t record some movie, despite it being on TV.

In the MPAA’s most recent attempt, it’s back to begging the FCC, but Matthew Lasar notes that the MPAA is finally admitting that if it gets its way, it may actually require some people to buy new equipment. So, not only will the plan functionally break lots of DVRs by not letting them do the one thing they’re designed to do (record what’s on TV), but they may break other parts of the process as well, such that people will need to buy new equipment.

And all for what? It won’t stop or even slow down file sharing. But it will piss off a lot of people. The MPAA insists that it physically cannot release movies on TV prior to its DVD release unless it gets this DRM enabled. But that’s ridiculous. If the studios wanted to they could absolutely release the movies for TV viewing prior to the DVD release. It won’t change a thing. But they really, really, really want to believe the myth that somehow file sharing magically goes away, and no legitimate customers get annoyed, when they try to lock up their content.

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Companies: mpaa

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Comments on “Hollywood Asks FCC For Permission To Break Your DVR Again”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: So don't release it

No kidding.

I’m really not feeling a lot of need to spend one iota of effort to help their business eek out some hypothetical additional smidgen of money using what seems like a rather naively simplistic business plan.

Hey Hollywood, find a different business plan. Hell, you’re business didn’t even exist a century ago. And willing, it will be long gone a century from now and the human race can spend their effort on something more important that whether a few people in Southern California make enough money to pay for their hot tubs, drugs, hookers, and lawyers.

Oh wait, *now* I see why the lawyers are so on about it…

lavi d (profile) says:

As Before

The MPAA insists that it physically cannot release movies on TV prior to its DVD release unless it gets this DRM enabled.

If you can’t figure out how to make it pay, then don’t release it.

The sense of entitlement for some established businesses is just mind-boggling.

Can you imagine me refusing to upload my squirrel vs kitten video to youtube and demanding that the FCC break everyone’s browsers so they can’t make copies of it???

Chucklebutte (profile) says:


Try making TV and Movies people actually want to see first, worry about file sharing later. If they made quality like they used to and not just expensive eye candy then id feel better when tossing tons of cash down the tubes for something made on 25 cents worth of plastic….

In the mean time I fully embrace and support file sharing. My question to the studios is, have you ever seen any of the crap you force down our throats? and if you have, do you really think its that good? really?

Last time I checked I didnt pay for shit, if I wanted shit that bad id take a shovel outside and scoop some up.

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Re: let em die

[PC Speaker]
Fuck the M-P-double-A comin’ straight out the underground
A young pirate got it bad cause I’m down,
Loadin’ DVDs like a motherfuckin’ fiend,
Bring my camera to the movies and I put em on BT,
Back all that stolen content up on DVD-ROMs,
‘Cuz my tip’s been piracy since I dropped out my Mom’s,
And just because I share my MP3s,
They got the government comin’ after me,
Instead of suin’ kids why don’t you step on up,
And release a couple albums that don’t completely suck,
Stop puttin DRM onto audio CDs,
That don’t make it any harder to steal your MP3s,
If I want your shit for free, I ain’t gonna have to pay,
And all your bullshit is why the fuck I say,
Hack the Gibson, hack the Gibson,
I’m seedin’ BitTorrents like a digital pimp, son.

Fuck the M-P-double-A
Fuck the R-I-double-A
Fuck the suits behind the BSA
And fuck ’em all for the DMCA
Fuck the M-P-double-A
Fuck the R-I-double-A
Fuck the suits behind the BSA
And fuck ’em all for the DMCA

[Recycle Bin:]
Robot pirates, we get our shit for free,
Parental Advisory you’ll never fuckin’ see,
Been a couple years since I seen an FBI warning,
Cut it out cause that shit’s mad boring,
Ya’ll fuckin dumber than that bitch from bad boys,
Step to the Bin and it’s grandma’s sex toys,
I’ma just keep fillin’ up muh drives,
The ones that disapear when the lawsuit arrives,
All you fuckin suits can suck my balls,
When you get done you gonna make some calls,
I better see some changes or it’s time to fight,
You ain’t gonna manage my digital rights.

(Repeat CHORUS)

Remember when anti-trust was the thing,
Now you’re set up for downloadin’ Sting,
Treatin’ payin’ customers like criminals,
Pens filled up with music nerd animals,
Buyin’ off senators left and right,
My vote doesnt count in this fuckin’ fight,
On the 56k had hundreds of songs,
Drives partitioned like asses in thongs,
Now its gigs of illegal content,
If I get caught I’m joinin’ a convent,
Fuck what you heard, it’s all a scam,
If they at your door burn ’em in a van.

(Repeat CHORUS)

[Recycle Bin:]
Man, now lemme tell you. The other day, RIAA, they tried to kiss me man. Then they turned me around and tried to fuck me in the ass. Those motherfuckers that sold us out. Like Judas did to Jesus. For some like, for some little coins and shit. What the fuck?

They got dollar signs in their fuckin’ eyes,
With heads in-between politicians’ thighs,
Fat checks endorsed by senators that lie,
Pullin’ fake dollar losses straight outta the sky,
And I don’t trust trusted computing,
They don’t want it around to stop looting,
The internet is the only place you’re still free,
If you disagree, just you wait and see,
You wanna lock down the web and throw away the key?
Well, you better not touch my fuckin’ technology,
So back the fuck off or you’re fuckin’ dead,
Yellin’ 1337 on a motherfuckin’ fed.

(Repeat CHORUS)

Tony says:

Make content worth buying the DVD

Having a child, we have regularly recorded and watched TV movies on the kids channels that were subsequently released on DVD (e.g.: my daughter used to love the animated Barbie movies). We can’t always be at home when the show is on. Then, when the DVD came out, we would buy the movie as a gift if our daughter wanted it. Oftentimes the DVD would come with some entertaining extras (and at times the extras were lame).

What we don’t do is use our DVR to capture TV movies to keep in perpetuity. Does anyone really do that?

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Make content worth buying the DVD

“What we don’t do is use our DVR to capture TV movies to keep in perpetuity. Does anyone really do that?”

Yes, I do. And why the heck not? I have a dedicated old Tivo with 180 hours of storage full of kids shows. At times, I capture them off the Tivo and move them to a PC. From the PC, I can put it on a mobile media player, my netbook, or burn to a DVD to keep in the car. I Love Fair Use. This HAS reduced the number of DVDs that I buy from Hollywood.

Dealing through a deck of scratchy disks, each of which makes me watch 10 Disney previews, an FBI warning, and a menu video is a big negative experience.

Tivo’s UI, though, makes the same assumptions you do. In the “date” column, it doesn’t even bother to display the year. Some of my Tivo content is almost as old as my eldest child.

Anonymous Coward says:

The more they push the more I download.
I buy the kids DVD and instead of letting the kids break the original disk I back it up and give them the back up. Some D*S*Y movies will not copy for back up… so I download it and burn it to DVD for the kids.

If they start blocking programs I and many other will find away around it. It is a big world and you can not stop BILLIONS of consumers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

There’s a device which interrupts the AV video cable that *fixes* media that otherwise won’t copy. We had to go this route as we had but a few VHS tapes that we could not find DVDs to replace. We would much rather acquire the DVD quality video and destroy the VHS on DVD-R media but due to a certain company releasing their titles for a limited time and then removing all unsold copies after the window expires, it had to be done as we were not going to buy another VHS player and were drastically reducing storage demand*.

* Got those faux leather, zip closed binders which hold between 96 and 250 CDs/DVDs (4 disk per page), remove disk from bulky sometimes difficult to open case, slip disk(s) into pocket and repeat until all disks are in the book. What would have taken a living room wall to store is now on one shelf for music CDs, one shelf for DVDs and one shelf for games (with the games we kept the instructions with the media).

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Damn good thing....

Don’t forget “edits for aspect ratio”. Nothing worse than watching a scene which was originally filmed with two people on each side of the screen, only to have them both lopped off and all you can see is their noses and the blank wall in between them.

Seems like they’re doing this with a lot of TV shows now– shooting them in widescreen for the DVD releases but when they’re shown on TV, they’re given a fullscreen presentation. And they don’t even use that old pan-and-scan technique. They just slice off both sides of the screen. I’ve seen some shows recently where you can’t even read the opening credits because they’ve been cropped out of the frame.

Glenn says:


I don’t watch movies on “TV” as it is. A movie is either edited for “content” or to “fit” the schedule, so I don’t watch them at all; and don’t get me started on all the commercials. And as for “premium” channels–I don’t get them. I’ll either rent what I want to see or buy it if I want to see something again (repeatedly)–costs way less than getting premium channels. However, if “Hollywood” stopped making movies altogether, then I’d hardly notice. The MPAA is no better than the RIAA… maybe even worse; they both think they’re owed something merely for existing… screw ’em.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Funny stuff .....

Here is a starting point to record pretty much anything ….

Myth TV software or choose your own Other PVR’s
Tv Tuner Card
and of course Linux

So the question I have is, why even bother trying to get this implemented? MPAA and RIAA seem to have no common sense. The shot gun approach they are using, hoping that something works, will do nothing but cause collateral damage. If the numbers in the article are correct the total upgrade cost to consumers is $5,500,000,000 USD ( 11,000,000 DTV’s at $500 USD per set).

Matt (profile) says:

Sony vs Betamax

From the Wikipedia entry for Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. (the betamax decision)

“The question is thus whether the Betamax is capable of commercially significant noninfringing uses … one potential use of the Betamax plainly satisfies this standard, however it is understood: private, noncommercial time-shifting in the home. It does so both (A) because respondents have no right to prevent other copyright holders from authorizing it for their programs, and (B) because the District Court’s factual findings reveal that even the unauthorized home time-shifting of respondents’ programs is legitimate fair use….
If there are millions of owners of VTR’s who make copies of televised sports events, religious broadcasts, and educational programs … and if the proprietors of those programs welcome the practice, the business of supplying the equipment that makes such copying feasible should not be stifled simply because the equipment is used by some individuals to make unauthorized reproductions of respondents’ works….
When one considers the nature of a televised copyrighted audiovisual work … and that time-shifting merely enables a viewer to see such a work which he had been invited to witness in its entirety free of charge, the fact … that the entire work is reproduced … does not have its ordinary effect of militating against a finding of fair use. “
What I would like to hilight is three things,
1. That it is fair use to time shift programming-which is exactly what TiVO and DVR’s are designed to do.
2. That a few unlawful individuals who would use a device for unlawful reasons should not penalize the majority of users (yeah I’m talking to you MPAA and RIAAA we are not all criminals)
3. The Broadcast was transmitted for free or already paid for if on a PPV or Pay channel, so how are they justifying not giving someone what they have already paid for / received for free. i.e I pay for HBO, whether I watch all 80 movies that month or only 2 of them, I have paid for the right to watch all 80. So if I want to record and watch all 80 over and over again, that’s my right since I have already paid for it.

Anonymous Coward says:

These people are nuts. Look at all the crap they have swirling around on the TV screen now:

– Broadcast station logo; because I don’t want to forget I’m watching TBS/NBC, Etc.
– Your watching now: I know what I’m watching. Stop interrupting my show.
– Coming up next: Who cares? I’m trying to watch this, okay?
– Season Premiers (in 3 months!!) Really? REALLY!
– From the Tivo while fast forwarding: “Press thumbs up for more information”

and everyone’s favorite:
– The swirling NASCAR/Tennis/Golf logos that pop up in the corner, do a little dance, and fade out, all while we’re trying to watch the show.

There’s so much advertising while you trying to watch the show, they should start paying us to watch.

What I need is a TV with a pop up blocker!

The Pirate King says:

If I was relaxing and watching TV and I attempted to tivo a movie that was playing and it wasn’t allowed because of “selectable output control” I would immediately go on my nearby computer and download that movie off the internet illegally (thereby not watching ads that tell me to buy stuff). I would think less of the TV channel airing the movie and the organizations involved in creating and distributing the movie. This is retarded.

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