For quite some time now, the MPAA has been asking the FCC for permission to break your TV
, so you won't be able to record certain movies shown on TV. Specifically, it wants to be allowed to use something called "Selectable Output Control" to tell DVRs that they can't record a show. It's basically the whole "broadcast flag" concept all over again. The MPAA's argument for why it needs this makes no sense at all. It basically makes two arguments, neither of which are true. The first is that they need this in order to be able to put movies on TV earlier. This is not true. There's nothing
stopping the studios from putting movies on TV earlier, other than a misguided fear that people will "pirate them." And that's the second problem: even the industry admits that the movies they'd release on TV are already pirated
and available on file sharing networks, so it's not like having this would stop that. The movies will still get out there. SOC won't stop piracy at all -- but it will piss off a ton of people who bought a DVR expecting to be able to record what they want to watch.
Consumer rights group Public Knowledge, thankfully, has now sent a letterexplaining all of this to the FCC
"The MPAA has submitted no proof that grant of the waiver will serve the public interest at all. To the contrary, what proof exists in the record shows that the 'problem' of a longer window for release of movies to MVPDs than for release on DVDs is a business decision made by MPAA's members. Rather than shed crocodile tears for the poor shut-ins and busy parents who must either subscribe to NETFLIX to get the earlier window or wait a whole thirty days, MPAA's members could simply negotiate a shorter release window."
Hopefully the FCC listens.