by Mike Masnick
Thu, Nov 5th 2009 10:32am
For a while now, the MPAA and the major movie studios have been asking the FCC for permission to break your TV and DVR by enabling "selectable output control," which would block the recording of certain movies. The MPAA's claim for why they needed this is to add another "window" for releasing movies as video on demand prior to them being released on DVD. But that makes no sense. As we pointed out, when they first made this claim, there is absolutely nothing stopping them from releasing these movies earlier for VOD. There's nothing to stop them from doing so -- and it's not like SOC would actually block the movies from being online. Every movie ends up online around the same time (usually before) it gets into the theaters, so these movies would all be available for file sharing prior to the VOD release anyway. The MPAA keeps saying that it simply can't release the movies earlier without this form of DRM, but it appears that the studios own actions prove that we were right, and the MPAA was lying. Public Knowledge is pointing out that Warner Bros. has released two recent movies for VOD prior to DVD, even as the MPAA is still insisting that it's simply impossible. Oops.
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