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
    Doug Kavendek, 4 Dec 2006 @ 2:00pm

    get rid of CDs?

    "Have little kiosks to DL and forget all about stores for just CDs.Get rid of Cds."

    I sincerely hope that CDs are not entirely phased out, or that if they are, they are replaced with another, similar, medium. There is a thrill in getting a new CD; the case, the liner notes, the layout and photos inside, the label on the CD itself -- these are all things that I find necessary to feel like I've actually gotten something worthwhile. I've got a separate directory full of entire albums I've downloaded, loved, but will not listen to again, because I haven't been able to acquire the physical CD yet. And it's not out of some moral obligation to not be pirating this music, but rather that I just do not find it as satisfying or enjoyable that way.

    Of course, it is entirely possible to imagine a system where music is distributed physically and digitally -- in fact, that's how things seem to be transitioning now. Depending on your taste, you can pick up the CD, or you can join some online music subscription. I think that is the best direction -- to move towards simply diversifying the market to cater towards the different folks' desires of how they want their music.

    Changes in medium can not be expected to be adopted by everyone. People still buy tapes and vinyl. Better to just allow more options.

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