Oh Look, People Are Already Looking At Expanding How Selectable Output Control Will Be Abused

from the no-surprise-there dept

For quite some time we’ve been covering how the MPAA has been pushing to get the FCC to allow them to use “Selectable Output Control” (SOC) to stop you from being able to record certain movies. In theory, the Hollywood studios claim that this will let them put movies out on video-on-demand offerings earlier than they do now. In actuality, there’s nothing stopping them from putting these VoD offerings out now (and some do already). The studios’ claim that this is needed to stop “piracy” of these movies also makes little sense, since even the studios admit that all of their movies are quickly available through unauthorized means around the time they’re released in the theaters (i.e., well before they would be available on TV).

The real issue, of course, is that Hollywood wants more control over your TV and what you can do with it. But when people suggest this, the MPAA and the studios scoff and say that’s ridiculous. They just want this one tiny exemption and nothing else. Except, that’s not true at all. Remember that recent Congressional hearing about live streaming and sporting events? Well, the folks at Public Knowledge noticed that one of the speakers there was already noting how the FCC exemption on SOC could be useful in stopping “piracy” of sports broadcasting — which of course is totally outside the realm of what the MPAA is asking for. But, of course, once the FCC allows someone to break your DVR or other consumer electronics device, it’s not hard to see everyone else asking for their own “exception” as well… How about rather than breaking the devices that everyone purchased for a reason, the content providers stop freaking out about technology, and start learning how to use it to their advantage?

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Comments on “Oh Look, People Are Already Looking At Expanding How Selectable Output Control Will Be Abused”

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Rooker (user link) says:

A) Spend thousands of dollars on various pieces of new equipment, make sure it’s all compatible and then hope that some company in Hollywood hasn’t decided that I can’t use newly-purchased content on my own private property.

B) Download any piece of content in existence in a standard digital format that works on any device I prefer to use. For free.

That’s really a tough choice. I might have to sleep on that.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“B) Download any piece of content in existence in a standard digital format that works on any device I prefer to use. For free.”

Most of the people I know are using a DVR to watch their favorite shows. Some record an entire season then spend a weekend watching them, some just record them because their lives are busy and they dont want to be tied to the TV sets time table. When shows stop being recorded on VCR’s it will cause more piracy not less.

SOC will be abused to the point where everything is non recordable. This will be in an attempt to force people to watch on the providers terms and to open more windows. It will backfire on the MPAA, the TV stations, and the Movie industry.

The Anti-Mike says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually, it’s the first step towards allowing you to enjoy the product on all of your devices, you just aren’t getting it.

If every device has a SOC style deal keyed to your own ID, it wouldn’t be hard to move your product from device to device. But since you are so worried about keeping your rights, everything sits an an impasse.

improved rights management would make it much easier to expand rights, because the rights owners would feel more confident that their rights are being respected.

Rosedale (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Quote: “improved rights management would make it much easier to expand rights, because the rights owners would feel more confident that their rights are being respected.”

Expand who’s rights? You make it sound like it might expand my, the customer, rights, but in reality all that this will do is continually take my rights away while expanding the “rights” of the “rights owner.”

Plus we already know that they want to charge us for every use of their content. If I can’t move it to my laptop than they can charge me, if I can’t watch it more than once they can charge me. Stop pretending like this would help the customer it won’t.

Consumer says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Looks like TAM is a strong proponent of pay per play on all devices near and far. This has long been a pipe dream of the media cartel and they will stop at nothing in order to achieve this monopoly nirvana. The consumer has nothing to gain from this “feature” and everything to lose.

TAM will tell you that you dont have to listen to music or watch movies. TAM will claim that no one is forcing you to pay for something that you do not want. But this is not the truth, is it TAM ?

In fact you, the consumer, have been indirectly paying for music and movies even though you may not be aware of it. There are several vectors the media cartel have employed in order to extract money from your pocket. One of the more insidious is the crappy music played almost everywhere you go. The business has to pay ridiculous amounts for this and therefore charges you more, regardless of your desires. Another trick they play are the fees tacked on to purchases of media, like blank tape or CD – regardless of the intended purpose. You may be recording little Johnny riding a two wheel bike, but the media cartel gets their cut of the action.

So, to sum it up – the consumer needs less intrusion into their lives, not more. Vote with your dollars folks.

Derek Bredensteiner (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’ve still got some lead shoes to sell ya TAM …

(1) It’s not necessary, as demonstrated by those rights holders who have moved forward (and by those others who will continue to do so)

(2) How is it a fair trade to break some consumers devices in order for a rights holder to be more confident? I mean, even if I accepted your argument that it’s necessary (which I don’t), how does that make sense for people that expect their devices to just keep working?

Griff (profile) says:

New concept - Yours for life

I think it’s time that wise vendors started making a big fuss about the added value of an item that you buy and it is then “yours for life”. So unlike a kindle book or an all you can eat subscription music service, this description applies to something that I buy and then it belongs to me to do as I wish with forever. Like (say) a paper book.

This phrase would be used only when certain reqts were met (like “Fair Trade”). If I bought something with this label on it I would be able to treat it entirely like a fully owned physical item. I could sell it to a friend (one copy only), lend it to a friend, use it any way I wanted to in the privacy of my own home, and even modify it and then sell it (single copy) to someone else.

So few things these days actucally conform to these simple rules (from ebooks, cellphone handsets, garage door openers) that it would be refreshing to see products that really did. I might even refuse to buy things that were not marked as such.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: New concept - Yours for life

The problem is that your DVR was “your for life” and someone is trying to take that away from you.

It’s one thing to have restrictions on content use. It is much more difficult to understand someone disabling something that used to work fine because it did not work well with their business model.

Bus companies could make a lot more money if nobody had a driver’s license – we should revoke those things or nobody will ever try to create better mass transit systems. Oh, and if anyone creates a better mass transit system, they better pay the bus drivers so they don’t go out of business.

The Mad Hatter (profile) says:

And they wonder

Why so many of us refuse to buy RIAA member product.

Why so many of us refuse to buy MPAA member product.

Why so many of us refuse to buy CRIA member product.

Why so many of us refuse to buy SOCAN member product.

And more join us every day, enraged at being treated like thieves. I can see a day, when the above organizations have only one customer left, and that customer is bound by chains so tight that he/she cannot enjoy the content that is being produced.

WammerJammer (profile) says:

Piracy of Sporting Events?

Give me a break. You want to save yesterdays game. Once again they sell us the DVR telling us how wonderful it will be to save the game or the TV show and watch it when we want to. Then they tell us it’s illegal to do it. What the F**k is wrong with these people. Don’t they know what they are doing?
Who hired these idiots? What idiots gave them a degree to allow them to get these high-powered policy making jobs.
Like I told my son when he asked me if he had to go to college. I told him to be a Lawyer, Politician, Corporate Executive or even most bosses he had to go to college. His response was “I pass. I will go to trade school and learn something useful.” Such a smart boy and thank god I raised him to think for himself.
It’s time for the grownups in this world to think for themselves and make their own decisions without Politicians or Corporations telling us how to act.

The Anti-Mike says:

Scare tactics 101

Mike, I have to admit,you have really got a good line on this subject.

“break your television / vcr / dvr”.

Nobody is going to break anything.

You are doing what many people who follow your blog tend to echo, you confuse a sale of rights with a sale of a physical good. Viewing a PPV movie isn’t a purchase of a physical good, you didn’t buy the movie (unless you want to pay the typical multi millions it took to make), rather you are renting a certain set of rights.

The terms are there, you can accept them and enjoy the movie, or not. Nobody is forcing you. Nobody forces you into the theater (where you have even fewer rights).

Fair use? Well, let’s just say that every time a pirated copy of a movie appears online, that is a strike against the fair use argument. That is the proof that many people are unable to deal with fair use fairly. It isn’t everything on the consumer side and nothing on the producer’s side. You can’t have your fair use rights and ignore the rights of the producer.

Piracy of sports broadcasting isn’t the biggest issue yet, but it is coming very quickly. Almost every major sporting event in the world is streamed in some manner now, usually very poor quality, but it is improving. This takes away from the right holder’s control of their product, and certainly isn’t any form of fair use.

I cannot say I am surprised to see you standing on the side of piracy, although I am sure you will deny that you support it. You just spend a whole bunch of time on the same side of issues as them. 🙂

Capt Obvious says:

Re: Scare tactics 101

Although you may have some valid points, I wonder if you understand the point being made on this blog, multiple times, or if you rather just choose to ignore it. One of those points you seem to gloss over is that the media cartels is shooting themslves in the foot so to speak, over and over again. Not only do they harass and torment their customers, but they miss opportunities which any underclass econ student can see. The media cartels seem to think they have a product that everyone will pay for no matter what and act as though they have a monopoly. If this indeed correct, which it might be, then I guess that they should be regulated like any other utility. If the Justice Dept started talking about such action, I’m sure that someone would have to call the WHaaaaaaambulance.

mike42 (profile) says:

Re: Scare tactics 101

Ah, I see you use the term “piracy” for copyright infringement. That must mean you are a consumer molester. Actually, let’s just shorten it to, “molester.”

From now on, I dub thee, “Anti-Mike the Molester.”

But on the subject, no one made people buy unsafe cars in the ’70s, did they? You pays your money and you takes your chances.

Or, to put it another way, the DVD region scheme was supposed to keep new movies available in one region from being released in another region where the movie was still in theaters. Why, then, were the 25 classic DVDs that Pres. Obama gave Simon Jeffery region-encoded?

Once again, the facts play against you. Molester.

Another AC says:

Re: Scare tactics 101

Nobody should have control over the products that I paid for, that I OWN, except me. If they do not not want to release a movie in this manner and give up a ton of money that people would gladly pay to see whatever the movie is, let them. It is called the free market, but you and your buddies have NO RIGHT to take control of my property. This is not about copyright infringement , this is about absolutely nothing more than getting the foot in the door to expand it their hold.

I wish the entertainment would see themselves for what they are – ENTERTAINMENT, they are not a necessary commodity and they need to stop trying to over throw our government and out government needs to see them for what they are and stop taking their lobbying money.

Each time something like this is allowed, we as consumers are losing our rights. This is just as bad as legally being able to back up a dvd or a game unless they say you can’t with DRM.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Scare tactics 101

Why doesn’t Hollywood just make it’s own television, with an untold amount of locks and keys and codes, to compete with non-Hollywood made televisions?

That way, it’s the consumer who decides if they want that kind of televsion instead of the government dictating that all televisions behave in the same manner, as dictated by Hollywood.

Preachy McPreachpreach says:

Scare Tactics

Actually, perhaps everyone out there should break their tvs/dvrs etc on their own accord. It really is amazing how much better life is when you turn the damned tv off for good. Nothing is worth watching anymore and if you (not personally) really need to have the convenience to watch that crappy episode of that mindless program then perhaps you need to rethink your life because every second you spend gazing into the screen is a second you have thrown away. A second you could have spent with your children. A second you could have invested in learning something new. Life is a gift that most people take for granted and I cant believe people waste it watching this garbage and eating all this processed crap….. wait, I am really getting off-topic on this preachy-ass rant.

Point is, KILL YOUR TELEVISION. That will solve all sorts of problems with these money-grubbing associations and it might even improve your own quality of life.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. “
-Groucho Marx

Rosedale (profile) says:

This would be horrible

What about all those people who record a sporting event for the purpose of watching it on their own time. I mean with the movies at least there is some logic since it would be VoD, but a sporting event is just absurd. I recorded the Wimbledon finals one year because I had something going on during the showing. And I know many people who regularly record sporting events and watch them in full after the fact. Another good method is letting the game start and watch it on a 30 minute, or so, delay to skip some commercials at the beginning. In this case not only would it “break” people’s systems, but really, really, piss off a bunch of people who have perfectly LEGAL and legitimate uses for time shifting the game.

Bad form from whomever suggested this as a fix. Bad, Bad, Bad!

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