MPAA Doubletalk On FCC Request To Block DVR Recordings
from the the-mainstream-press-may-believe-you,-but... dept
"I can't emphasize this enough," Oster finally exclaimed. "We've hit on this a number of times so you might sense some frustration in my voice. 'Recording'—take it off the table. Put it out of your mind. This has nothing to do with recording at all in any way."Let's translate this for everyone. Basically, the MPAA falsely believes that it has a problem with camcording. It likes to come out with all sorts of bogus stats that don't add up. The truth is that camcorded versions don't keep people from going to the movies, and most movies online have studio quality versions leaked from insiders.
"Ok. I guess I'm confused," I replied. "What is selectable output control about then?"
"It's in large part, first and foremost, about the fact that our industry has a multibillion-dollar theft problem, which is that billions and billions of dollar's worth of film content is stolen every year," Oster replied.
"How is it stolen? What's the mechanics of its being stolen?" I asked. "What happens?"
"It comes in many forms," Dean Garfield interjected. "It comes in camcording."
"Did you just say the word 'recording'?" I asked.
"No!" Oster intervened. "He said 'camcording'!"
"But isn't that just basically recording?" I begged.
"No!" Oster insisted. "What we want is to offer consumers high-definition content earlier than they can today. That's what we want to do! We want our studios to have the flexibility to put in place business models that allow them to offer high definition content on demand to the home, earlier than they do now. Period! Full stop!"
So what does that have to do with SOC? Not much, really. But the MPAA wants to change the release window pattern it currently uses for movies. Rather than theaters, video, PPV, cable TV, it wants to be able to put some movies on TV before they're released to video, hoping that it can charge cable channels a lot for showing them. But, if it does that, it's worried that it will undercut its own business model in the video rental space. So, it falsely believes that it needs this "exemption" from SOC to effectively enable DRM on those movies to prevent them from being recorded. It's the same old mistake, believing that DRM somehow enables new business models when the truth is that DRM only restricts opportunities. The content will still get recorded and released. The effective DRM will do nothing to stop that -- and once the content is out there, it's out there. However, this will be a pain for plenty of legitimate viewers who start wondering why their DVRs don't work properly.
It's not about stopping any kind of piracy. This won't do that. It's not about enabling any new business models or new content. It's about a misguided MPAA which thinks it needs DRM to add yet another way for it to make money while pissing off legitimate users. For that, the FCC should not grant a special exemption.