MPAA Home Theater Regulation Satire Hits Too Close To Home

from the it's-funny-because-it's-true dept

We've had a ton of submissions yesterday and today over BBSpot's article on how the MPAA is lobbying for home theater regulations. According to the article, consumer electronics makers would be required to put technology into their systems that would record what was being watched and details on the "audience," suggesting that having friends over to watch a movie on your home theater system is a violation of copyright. Of course, if you follow tech news closely, you're already aware that BBSpot is the technology equivalent of The Onion. That is, all of its articles are satire. We ignored the early submissions, but they just keep on coming -- and some of the submitters seem genuinely freaked out about it. This morning, Slashdot also posted the story as if it were real (Update: or not -- commenters have pointed out that Slashdot posted it as satire too), at which point we realized why this particular satire works so well: it's totally, 100% believable. Given everything that the MPAA and RIAA have done recently, no one would be surprised if they actually did try to put in place regulations like this. They've certainly tried (and will continue to try) to influence the design of consumer electronics, with things like the broadcast flag, and they continue to freak out at any market shift that doesn't involve them getting paid every time a piece of content is heard or watched. So, while it's not true that the MPAA is looking to punish you for having your friends over, it's so believable that even a well-known satire site is fooling people left and right.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2006 @ 12:33pm

    Re:

    "Using it to try out new artists, get a sampling of some bands style, replacing songs from a scratched CD and the like, that's fair use."

    Technically, that isn't fair use. Only because fair use is a legal term with a defined meaning, that really is unconnected to the dictionary definition of the word 'fair'. ;P

    I agree that that is definitely ethically ok, however.

    I also think that, current copyright law notwithstanding, it SHOULD be fair use to take media you have ALREADY PAID FOR, and recode it into whatever format you want for your personal use, and make as many copies as you want, for YOUR personal use.

    That doesn't mean giving your 3,000 closest friends at your college dorm a copy, that just means it should be ok to keep a copy on each of your computers, on your ipod, the physical copy you purchased, and stream it over the internet from one device you own to another device you own. Sure it's technically 'copying', but back when 'copyright' law was written, noone would want to bother to copy a book except to give it to someone else(Or rather, to copy someone else's so they didn't have to pay for it.) The law is behind the times. We now have completely ethically sound reasons to make copies of media without the author's(Or copyright owner's) consent. Wake up. We need a REAL digital millennium copyright act, not the 18th century copyright act that was passed 9 years ago.

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