Analog Hole Bill Would Require Secret Expensive Tech That No One Can Examine

from the uhhhhhh dept

One of Ed Felten's claims to fame was that he showed successfully showed the weaknesses of an earlier copy protection system the recording industry wanted to use. Even though the cracking of SDMI was part of a challenge issued by the industry, in preparing to actually publish the info on the weaknesses of SDMI the industry threatened to sue Felten. So, it should be no surprise to find out that Felten is quite interested in the new bill to "plug the analog hole.," that also requires a watermarking system. He's already pointed out that it appears the purpose of the bill has little to do with preventing copying and much more to do with killing off competition from amateur content providers, but now he's trying to look more thoroughly at what the bill proposes. There's just one major problem: it's all a big secret. Apparently, the digital watermarking spec that would be required under the bill is a secret -- and the only way to look at it is to pay $10,000 and sign non-disclosure forms. In other words, there's absolutely no way to know what the bill is actually requiring without paying ten grand to a private company -- and if you've done so, you can't discuss it publicly. That seems quite problematic. Not only does it make it even less likely that smaller innovators and amateur content producers can comply, it means that our politicians may be passing a law concerning everyone's rights, where one of the core components is considered a trade secret. It's no surprise that the industry wants the info out of Felten's hands, given his work in the past, but if the company (and the lawmakers) actually think that keeping this info secret somehow makes the protection scheme stronger, they're sadly mistaken.
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  • identicon
    Griffon, 23 Jan 2006 @ 2:06pm

    No Subject Given

    How can a bill that is not in some way related to national security not be a matter for public record...? I"m not sure I follow the loop hole that is being exploited here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous of Course, 23 Jan 2006 @ 2:24pm

    Bloated Lackeys of the Imperialistic Media Mongers

    This is the most assinine thing the
    recording industry has come up with yet.
    Plugging the analog hole is impossible as
    long as there is no direct digital
    connection to the brain.

    Ed is right on, it will hurt the consumer
    and the low/no budget content providers.

    There are plenty of current and older A/D
    components out there that don't give a hoot
    about any water marks that a determined
    pirate will be able to use. If the price
    is right, there is no shortage of engineers
    (despite what the IEEE might say) that could
    easily build a discreete A/D which would work
    just fine... even if it is a kludge. You can
    build one of anything. It's the consumer
    equipment manufactured in high volume that
    this evil scheme would impact most of all.

    I'm getting kind of sick of these media
    schmucks and their bloated lackey politicians.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    haggie, 23 Jan 2006 @ 4:21pm

    No Subject Given

    Good to see that Colonel Cathcart and Milo Minderbender have been rewarded for their meritorious service during WWII with Congressional seat and a job at the RIAA respectively.

    Yossarian: So, there is a copyright law, but nobody knows what the law says?
    Cathcart: Correct, it's called Senate Bill #22. I wrote it.
    Yoassarian: If you wrote it, you must know what it says?
    Cathcart: I never read what I wrote, so I don't know what it says either
    Yossarian: How will I know when I violate copyright laws?
    Minderbender: When you get sued by the RIAA.
    Yossarian: What if I want to avoid a lawsuit?
    Cathcart: Just follow the law and you won't be sued.
    Yossarian: The law that nobody knows what it is.
    Cathcart: Yes, follow it to the letter!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      John, 23 Jan 2006 @ 5:07pm

      Re: No Subject Given


      Haggie,
      You gave me quite a laugh with the Catch 22 bit, thanks for making my day.What can we say about this mess? Sad but true.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Adam, 24 Jan 2006 @ 8:18am

      Re: No Subject Given

      That was funny, but a slight logical error. If nobody knows what the law says, then the RIAA would never sue you simply because they don't even know what the law is either.

      In effect the law would not exist in a form that could be regulated because of a lack of knowledge beyond its contextual existance.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        haggie, 24 Jan 2006 @ 11:10am

        Re: No Subject Given

        How is knowledge of a law's content or meaning a prerequisite for filing a lawsuit? I think that the RIAA is living proof.

        I could find any civil law in existence in your jurisdiction at random and file a lawsuit against you today. I could sue you for molesting my poodle and I don't even own a poodle. Can you afford the attorney to defend yourself?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    googly_eyes, 23 Jan 2006 @ 4:26pm

    FoIA

    If it's a federal law, wouldn't the Freedom of Information Act cover the details?
    I think the recording industry is going to be sorely mistaken if they think that they can keep part of a law under wraps, or held hostage for $10K.
    I have a sneaking suspicion that the Supreme Court might have something negative to say about that.
    After all, this is a government of the People, for the people, and by the people, and nowhere in the founding documents does it say "corporation."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Alexander Burke, 23 Jan 2006 @ 6:48pm

      Re: FoIA

      A corporation is a separate, distinct, and unique person in the eyes of the laws of the United States and Canada at a minimum (and very likely most Western countries).

      This is how a corporation can sue (or be sued), among other things.
      This makes for some very interesting watching. I highly recommend it:
      http://www.thecorporation.com/

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Fazookus, 24 Jan 2006 @ 6:34pm

      Re: FoIA

      After all, this is a government of the People, for the people, and by the people, and nowhere in the founding documents does it say "corporation."


      Today someone reminded me that the original draft of Eisenhower's "Military-Industrial Complex" speech actually read "Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex"... I think it's the anniversary of that speech, maybe we ought to think on that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rob, 1 Feb 2006 @ 12:59pm

      It's happened before

      There are a number of cases where building codes, electrical codes, etc. are written into law, but the actual text is copyrighted by some company.

      There was an issue a while ago where someone tried to put the laws for some state or other online, and got into trouble because some of it was copyrighted.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Skylancer, 23 Jan 2006 @ 5:48pm

    Cost of living...

    Not only is the cost of living high for most low/mid income people... But this is really going to seperate the low/mid from the high class. Its going to rasie the prices on consumer products. Any only the rich can afford new technology for the lastest and greatest protection. Pah... and nothing is impossible to crack.

    Its will only bring about 'More' pirated software, movies, and games to those less fortunet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    z0idberg, 24 Jan 2006 @ 5:18am

    got torrent?

    anyone got a torrent link for that spec they are talking about? I want to take a look at it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jan 2006 @ 6:26am

      Re: got torrent?

      if this becomes law then the US Congress has renounced any claim to rationality - at least we'll provide non-stop entertainment for the rest of the world, as they laugh at our inanity

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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