Hollywood Asks FCC For Permission To Break Your DVR Again

from the because-pissing-off-consumers-is-always-a-good-strategy dept

Every few months for the past year and a half or so, the MPAA has basically begged the FCC to let it make use of "selectable output control" on televisions to block DVRs from recording stuff shown on TV. The MPAA claims this is necessary to release certain movies on TV, but that's hogwash. Rather than focusing on what consumers want, the movie studios are simply trying to add in yet another "window" to try to squeeze more money out of people. And, of course, like any DRM system, it won't do a damn thing to stop file sharing of the content (all anyone needs is one copy, and by the time any movie is broadcast on TV, it's too late, the content is out there). All this would do is piss off legitimate viewers, who are pissed off because their TiVos didn't record some movie, despite it being on TV.

In the MPAA's most recent attempt, it's back to begging the FCC, but Matthew Lasar notes that the MPAA is finally admitting that if it gets its way, it may actually require some people to buy new equipment. So, not only will the plan functionally break lots of DVRs by not letting them do the one thing they're designed to do (record what's on TV), but they may break other parts of the process as well, such that people will need to buy new equipment.

And all for what? It won't stop or even slow down file sharing. But it will piss off a lot of people. The MPAA insists that it physically cannot release movies on TV prior to its DVD release unless it gets this DRM enabled. But that's ridiculous. If the studios wanted to they could absolutely release the movies for TV viewing prior to the DVD release. It won't change a thing. But they really, really, really want to believe the myth that somehow file sharing magically goes away, and no legitimate customers get annoyed, when they try to lock up their content.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Sep 2009 @ 5:55am

    Re:

    There's a device which interrupts the AV video cable that *fixes* media that otherwise won't copy. We had to go this route as we had but a few VHS tapes that we could not find DVDs to replace. We would much rather acquire the DVD quality video and destroy the VHS on DVD-R media but due to a certain company releasing their titles for a limited time and then removing all unsold copies after the window expires, it had to be done as we were not going to buy another VHS player and were drastically reducing storage demand*.

    * Got those faux leather, zip closed binders which hold between 96 and 250 CDs/DVDs (4 disk per page), remove disk from bulky sometimes difficult to open case, slip disk(s) into pocket and repeat until all disks are in the book. What would have taken a living room wall to store is now on one shelf for music CDs, one shelf for DVDs and one shelf for games (with the games we kept the instructions with the media).

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