FCC Poised To Let Hollywood Break Your TV And DVR

from the based-on-nothing dept

Earlier today, we wrote about how even the MPAA's own members have shown they don't need to break your TV and DVR with selectable output control in order to release video-on-demand movies prior to DVD releases. Yet, if you hadn't noticed, the MPAA has been on a big rampage lately insisting that they need to do this to add yet another window to its release schedule. That's because the way Hollywood thinks is that they only way to make money is to take away what consumers want and, instead, add more annoying "windows." This is faulty thinking. However, it's even more faulty to claim that they need to break your TV and DVR to release this content. The MPAA's basic argument is that without this, there will be piracy -- but even the MPAA admits that every movie is pirated by the time it's in the theaters (i.e., before it would need this window).

Want to know why the MPAA got 60 Minutes to run its propaganda piece on movie piracy this week? Because it knew this fight was close to a deciding point, and a little moral panic might help tip it over the edge into Hollywood's favor.

For a while, the FCC has pushed back and refused to grant the movie studios an exemption in order to break your TV, but word is coming down that, despite promises to make decisions based on "evidence," the FCC is ready to give in and let the MPAA break your TV and DVR in order to stop you from recording the movies it releases. Why? There's no good reason at all, other than the administration's cozy relationship with Hollywood these days. The industry's own actions show that this will do nothing to make it easier for it to release movies earlier. The industry's own claims show that it will do nothing to decrease piracy.

The only thing it will do is harm millions of consumers who believe their TV and DVR should work the way they were intended to work.

Public Knowledge is asking people to send a letter to the FCC, protesting this decision. I'm not a fan of "form letters," but I would suggest reading over the suggested letter and then crafting your own (polite, well argued) version, and sending it to the FCC. Hopefully the FCC realizes that breaking your TV and DVR for the sake of protecting Hollywood's billions (which still continue to go up) is not progress. It's a blatant attempt to take away consumer rights.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    william (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 1:34pm

    you.are.not.F**C***.serious.

    If that's going to be the case, I am ditching my TV forever or get only Chinese imports that don't have these ridiculous controls.

    I don't even watch Movies! Why should my TV be subjects to Hollywood control? Why give them the right?

    Why is a total stranger allowed to come in my house, put a lock on my property, and start telling me what I can and cannot watch or use?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 1:41pm

    Feature creep at its worst...

    "break your TV and DVR with selectable output control in order to release video-on-demand movies prior to DVD releases"

    Okay, so as a Tivo user, here's my question. At what point do I get to go back to Tivo and start demanding penalty-less service disconnection and some money back on my hardware? After all, it is no longer performing as they told me it would. Maybe I'm not listening hard enough or to the right voices, but I have yet to hear Tivo or any other DVR manufacturer voice any strong opposition to this nonsense.

    Okay, so here's the real question:

    Why is it that one industry can institute a system or policy or technology whose SOLE purpose is to prohibit the use of a separate firm's product? It'd be like if Microsoft was able to prohibit PST email files from being backed up by third party email archivers and only allowing whatever Microsoft archiving solution is out there to do the job.

     

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  3.  
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    Ryan, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    The Big Deal?

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here, but this issue is regarding whether VOD programs will refuse to run on cable boxes/TVs that don't allow for SOC. They can't really break anything, they just refuse to give you VOD anymore until you get new devices.

    Why is this such a big deal? Personally, I never get VOD anyway because it's overpriced and it's not like they get offered all that much earlier anyway. It's a much better deal to use Netflix or something, or just find a torrent of the movie online if you're so inclined. Are there really that many people out there so attached to VOD?

    And even if there are, do they care so much to buy a new television to watch it? It seems to me that this is a worse move for the MPAA, such that it would sell significantly fewer movies on demand. I don't see how this really inconveniences consumers all that much, unless of course I'm not understanding this issue correctly...

     

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  4.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    The MPAA can pry my analogue outputs and my huge bin of tangled RCA cables out of my cold, dead hands...

     

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  5.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Re:

    (actually they can't because I live in Canada - but that is very much how I feel about this)

     

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  6.  
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    Robert Ring (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

    This is sickening.

     

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  7.  
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    John (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    It's the Golden Rule

    He who has the gold makes the rules... MPAA is probably brokering some backroom payouts to smooth out this process.

    No one in their right mind could possibly think that this is necessary. Unfortunately government regulation offices are chock full of former special interest group members put there specifically to get special treatment for their old employers.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    No More Distribution Windows

    Why does hollywood think that seeing something now is more valuable than waiting a few months?


    Maybe it's the geek in me, but I see Hollywood as still trying to drive distribution into a sort of FIFO function. I don't need the newest. I like watching what is relevant.

    Because of that, I'm more interested in what people like and recommend, and what's available over maintaining a distribution window because that way of thinking is not applicable anymore.

    Think of it this way:
    The more "Buzz" created to get me out to the theater, the more I realize I need a flyswatter!

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:17pm

    Re: The Big Deal?

    I think setting precedence is the real issue here.

     

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  10.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:17pm

    Re: It's the Golden Rule

    Gold nothing! You'd be amazed what you can get just with pizza and prostitutes...

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    You guys don't get it.

    The road to being able to take the content you legally buy everywhere with you is to give up some of your "free speech" control over your stuff. You have to give a little in order to get a lot.

    Imagine every device you own has an ID chip in it. You register your chip online for each device, and then the content you have purchased IN ANY FORMAT can be played on any other format you own. Buy an MP3, play it on your TV if you like. Buy a DVD, play it on your PSP. DVR a TV show, watch it in reruns on your cell phone.

    In order to do it, you would have to let someone know what you own. Not hard. But everyone goes "DRM SUCKS! DRM SUCKS!" and then wonders why companies have to develop insane ways of limiting your access. You are your own worst enemy.

     

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  12.  
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    Chris (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re: The Big Deal?

    What is to stop them from adding something else to the list of items they can block? I for one have never even watched a Video on Demand in my house. I am more concerned with what is to come next.

    I went ahead and wrote my own letter asking the FCC to turn down this request.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Re:

    But I don't see any logical solutions coming from the industry, only forceful tactics based on disproved numbers and theories.

     

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  14.  
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    Ryan, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    Re:

    So we should be amenable if the government or a corporation were to round up the available oxygen and sell it to us at a premium? Or if the next state over dammed up the river and made us pay extra to get drinking water? Certain companies are attempting to create artificial scarcity where there is none(water and air are actually scarce, so this particular example is even more egregious than the ones I just proposed), merely so they can make more profit at our expense. There is no reason for companies to limit our access, but I'm sure you know that; you're just trolling here anyway.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Feature creep at its worst...

    "Maybe I'm not listening hard enough or to the right voices."

    Correct. You need some one-on-one time with Dr. Nancy Snyderman. She's Jewish, but don't let that keep you.

    Also, while your Tivo is broken, consider *NOT* listening to Glenn Beck in the car. If you happen to carpool and your co-worker listens to Glenn Beck, get a $6.95 backstage pass to The Phil Hendrie Show loaded up on an iPod or iPhone would work. If you consider wearing headphones while carpooling rude, just do the opposite of what Glenn Beck says.

    Following these tips will keep you'll keep from going bat shit insane.

    http://www.philhendrieshow.com/Free/lordvader.asx

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    Re:

    Are you really dumb enough to think that content producers will let you consume the content on different devices for one price? What you just described will only lead to more asinine methods of making you pay-per use instead of just buying the thing and using it as you wish.

    Besides exactly what DRM system is so great that you suggest we model for all content use?

     

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  17.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Feature creep at its worst...

    Me, listening to conservative tv/radio for anything other than pure amusement...that's actually really funny.

    Good one :)

     

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  18.  
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    TheStupidOne, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:42pm

    I watch video on demand almost every day of the week I actually find myself at home. It is though this incredible service called Netflix or a very different service called Hulu. Sometimes I even use a service called Youtube. Infrequently I use this incredible service called BitTorrent when none of the aforementioned can meet my needs.

    Nonetheless I wrote the FCC a friendly letter.

     

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  19.  
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    imfaral (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:46pm

    Re: The Big Deal?

    I don't get VOD either, however where does the MPAA think it has the audacity to break my stuff just because they are greedy?

     

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  20.  
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    imfaral (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    Re:

    Or better idea they give me a universal format (.avi, and mp3 are examples) and then let me buy and player that plays that format. See with this novel idea you don't need DRM. What a crazy idea, you let the person who bought the stuff decide how to use it.

     

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  21.  
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    LostSailor (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:56pm

    Not Actually Broken

    To be honest, Mike, this won't break your DVR or your TV at all, they'll still continue to function normally on non-VOD channels.

    This only bends your DVR a little.

     

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  22.  
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    MattP, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:59pm

    Re:

    If this was going to be the case then there wouldn't be much backlash. The real reason that DRM is there is to make you buy it for every format you want to play it on. The ultimate goal is to make you pay every time you want to consume the media. The people shouting 'DRM SUCKS' know this and that's why they're shouting.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Not Actually Broken

    "they'll still continue to function normally on non-VOD channels"

    Until they decide that the only thing I should be able to watch is Fox News because they got their foot in the door with this SOC crap...

    Then I'd have to kill myself, after asking permission of the **AA's of course.

     

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  24.  
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    rstr5105 (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

    Re:

    Tell me, why should I have to register my devices with the content companies? Why should I have to tell them that I own a Creative zen/Microsoft Zune/Ipod, my brand and model computer, the cell phone carrier I use, and the make and model of my television?

    Now what if out of the blue there's a spat between say Sony (The TV Manufacturer)and say Warner Bros? Oops! Warner stops issuing keys to Sony and boom, now I have to buy a Warner Bros. Approved television.

    What happens when they turn the DRM servers off?

    I happen to firmly agree with Mike here content NEEDS to be free (as in speech) and in many cases free as in beer makes sense economically.

     

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  25.  
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    wnyght (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    I seem to recall years ago someone came up with the brilliant idea (no, not sarcasm) of america mailing in or otherwise phyiscally dumping AOL install disks on the front door of the AOL headquaters. It was a great protest idea.

    I say we all burn copyies of our DVD collection, then mail the disk back to hollyhood. They want millions of discs out in the world, then i say we give them what they want... just in a more localized area ;)

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 3:32pm

    Re:

    "You guys don't get it.

    The road to being able to take the content you legally buy everywhere with you is to give up some of your "free speech" control over your stuff. You have to give a little in order to get a lot."
    ------------
    I don't think you get it. We don't want content we legally buy to be restricted with DRM. We want the content we buy to work on what we have without buying new equipment or a movie production studio/distributor forcing us to use certain equipment it has control over to play it back.

     

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  27.  
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    Justin, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 3:39pm

    Nothing New

    We always hear of these stories, corporate america taking advantage of our user

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 3:51pm

    Heck, we don't just "want" it. We already have it. Without any extra per-month or per-use fees. I'm not really sure how many ways there are to say "it's too late."

     

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  29.  
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    Valkor, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Not Actually Broken

    Technically, it won't break your *current* equipment, only your *future* equipment. It's exactly the same as John Philip Sousa demanding that a composer industry body be allowed to control new innovations in the player piano industry. I'll cite that in my letter to the FCC, too.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re:

    You guys just don't read well.

    It wouldn't be single device related. It wouldn't be single company related. Imagine every device you buy having a standard key style that is managed by a central system. You register all your stuff, it modifies the smart card style chip inside the device, and suddenly, you can move your content from one play to another REGARDLESS OF THE MANUFACTURE!

    Now, here's the key... because you have agreed to work within the structure, the prices of everything is suddenly MUCH lower, because you are no longer paying for the freeloaders.

    Amazing, isn't it?

     

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  31.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:35pm

    Re: The Big Deal?

    Do you honestly believe they'll stop with VOD? If they haven't been able to figure out what consumers want by now, what makes you think they'll stop with using SOC with VOD?

    (and why do I keep thinking of that scene with Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam where he asks a complete question in mostly initials?)

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re: Not Actually Broken

    So hey, go move into a cave, because you cannot avoid government regulation of one form or another otherwise. I seriously find that some of the posters here are cranks, similar to the unibomber. So worried about the world... ;)

    Hey, don't drive you car. Today they control the airbags, maybe tomorrow they will control the air.

    Sheesh!

     

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  33.  
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    Lee Burch, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    Re: The Big Deal?

    Today it will be on VOD, tomorrow the NFL will demand it is on their football games, after that the networks will decide that time shifting interferes with ad sales and so primetime shows should have SOC.

    This is yet another example of attempting to use purchased legislation to prop up a business model that has become invalid. If we did this in the 1900's we would all still be riding around in horse drawn buggies because of laws passed to prohibit the production and use of motorized vehicles.

     

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  34.  
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    Steven (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or how about we let economics and the free market work. The price of digital goods falls to $0. The files are in unencumbered standard formats that I can easily transfer to any device I want REGARDLESS OF THE MANUFACTURE!

    Now, here's the key... because I have complete control over my files, and manufactures aren't forced to incur the costs of implementing a content control scheme, and there is no need to connect to a central key system, and no extra fees to pay for the "privilege" of being in such a system. It actually works all the time.

     

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  35.  
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    DocMenach (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It wouldn't be single device related. It wouldn't be single company related. Imagine every device you buy having a standard key style that is managed by a central system. You register all your stuff, it modifies the smart card style chip inside the device, and suddenly, you can move your content from one play to another REGARDLESS OF THE MANUFACTURE!

    Now, here's the key... because you have agreed to work within the structure, the prices of everything is suddenly MUCH lower, because you are no longer paying for the freeloaders.


    None of what you said there agrees with what the RIAA/MPAA has been pushing for. Every single piece of DRM I have seen has put more restrictions over what I can do with the content I purchase, not less.

    What you say sounds nice, but sure doesn't seem to be the way that the MPAA/RIAA have been pushing things. The ability to play content on multiple devices can already be easily done without DRM, and people have shown willingness to pay for DRM-free content.

     

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  36.  
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    Lee Burch, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You obviously have no memory.

    At no point have companies collectively decided to lower profits to increase consumer satisfaction. If given the opportunity to charge additional fees for something they will. Just look at CSS will you? It is a inter-company standard but if you buy a DVD in Europe will it play on a US DVD player? OF COURSE NOT. Because the friendly inter-company organization decided they wanted to be able to fix different prices on different regions and to control the release dates per region to maximize profits REGARDLESS of what the users want. Ask an Australian, they always get the short end of the stick on distribution, late and more expensive.

    SOC is out an out wrong. It is legislation to prop up a broken business model.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's not a question of reading. It's just that this multi-platform chip/key thing would be redundant technology, in that all of the content can already ported over to any device a user owns at no price, and at no risk of loss (as there would be if a key system were in use and it went offline). Also, it can be stored locally, under the control of the person who owns the devices. See, once it's too late, it never stops being too late.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Umm, yeah, your entire idea is a myth. There is no point in creating an entire DRM scheme to allow things that are...wait for it...already completely possible because all DRM gets broken in minutes to days.

     

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  39.  
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    Matt, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:00pm

    Let them do it. Seriously. When their sales numbers drop off a cliff into the abyss then they'll start to realize that the people who are "pirating" content aren't their customers anyways and nothing will change that.

    Stop punishing the real customers who are actually trying to get content legitimately or the value of your product is going to work its way towards zero. The more hassle you make it for us to watch your content, the less value it has to me. There's really NOTHING on TV or at the movies that I absolutely MUST see.

    ...and for those who have to see it anyways, guess what - they'll find a source for it *somewhere*. Would the content companies prefer that source be some underground site in Russia, or from them? Their choice...

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:07pm

    Re:

    I don't have to imagine it. I already have that, without DRM.

    There are already laws covering "fair use" and "first right of sale".

    My music is DRM free and plays on every device I own. My movies do too. My music is at CD quality and my movies range between DVD and HD quality.

    Let's face it. Anyone who has a business based on an arrangement of 1's and 0's has nothing.

     

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  41.  
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    Impilcature, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    Let's drop them

    In order for them to break my DVR and TV i have to subscribe to their BS service. If everyone reading this right now calls up the big companies and tells them to end their service because of the damage this will cause the message will go out loud and clear. I already dropped my cable so really i am just waiting on you all.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 6:37pm

    Re:

    If that's going to be the case, I am ditching my TV forever or get only Chinese imports that don't have these ridiculous controls.

    It will be illegal to import equipment without such controls.

     

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  43.  
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    Daemon_ZOGG (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 6:39pm

    Technology shall prevail over those who are set on breaking it...

    Message for the entertainment industry:

    Go ahead. Break our TVs, our DVRs, our music players. Those who are computer savy will avoid the televisions, the movie theaters, the dvd rental & retail stores, the CDs. We'll get our movies and entertainment needs from the pirates and gray-markets. No more DRM to deal with. YOUR the ones standing on the edge of the cliff, not us. Your business model has already taken the plunge. And your fans are about ready to give you the final push over the side. Were tired of your crap of standing against us. Blind & deaf to our needs. Either join us, or step aside! " }:> "

    A dam can only hold back so much water. The pressure is rising on yours. Some of it has already found a different way around...

    ;)

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 6:39pm

    Re: Feature creep at its worst...

    At what point do I get to go back to Tivo and start demanding...

    Demand all you want. You can go pound sand too, for all they care.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 6:45pm

    Re: The Big Deal?

    Why is this such a big deal? Personally, I never get VOD anyway...

    There are bigger questions here. Sorry to tell you this, but I don't care about your personal viewing habits.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 6:49pm

    Betamax

    I took them a while, but it looks like the entertainment industry is going to reverse the Betamax case after all. Never underestimate what money put into a politician's pocket can buy.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 6:58pm

    Re:

    The road to being able to take the content you legally buy everywhere with you is to give up some of your "free speech" control over your stuff.

    Because you say so?

    You have to give a little in order to get a lot.

    More like give up a lot to get a little. It kind of cheapens all the blood sacrifices that have been made for freedom. But who cares, just keep us entertained, right?

    Imagine every device you own has an ID chip in it.

    Imagine no device you own has any ID chip in it and you can use it however you like. That sounds a lot better to me.

    In order to do it, you would have to let someone know what you own.

    That's not true at all. That's just the way the copyright industry *wants* it to be.

    But everyone goes "DRM SUCKS! DRM SUCKS!"

    It does.

    You are your own worst enemy.

    No, I think that would be the likes of you.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    you can move your content from one play to another REGARDLESS OF THE MANUFACTURE!

    Sure. DRM schemes have been around for a long time and there have been plenty of those kind of claims from the DRM industry and they've always been false. The fact of the matter is companies like to use non-interoperable DRM systems to lock users in and competition out.

    Now, here's the key... because you have agreed to work within the structure, the prices of everything is suddenly MUCH lower, because you are no longer paying for the freeloaders.

    Except that goes against basic economics and observed practices. Competing with "free" actually tends to push prices lower, not raise them. But why let reality interfere with your fantasy?

    Amazing, isn't it?

    What's amazing is that you seem think we're naive enough to believe your made-up crap.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not Actually Broken

    I seriously find that some of the posters here are cranks, similar to the unibomber.

    Oh yeah the "terrorist" card. That's another one the copyright industry and their shills like to trot out.

    Sheesh!

    Indeed

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Not Actually Broken

    To be honest, Mike, this won't break your DVR or your TV at all, they'll still continue to function normally on non-VOD channels.

    No, your TV currently works on all channels. After this, it won't. That's "broken" compared to how it was before.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re: Not Actually Broken

    Technically, it won't break your *current* equipment, only your *future* equipment.

    No, it will break your current equipment. You'll likely have to buy new equipment to continue viewing all channels.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Let's drop them

    In order for them to break my DVR and TV i have to subscribe to their BS service.

    Wrong. This is about broadcast television.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Technology shall prevail over those who are set on breaking it...

    A dam can only hold back so much water. The pressure is rising on yours.

    Not very much. When you own the gov't the way corporate America and the entertainment industry in particular does, the only thing you have to fear is a revolution against said gov't. There's no way the well-trained populace of America today would ever do anything like that. As long as they've got toys and a party to go to this weekend, they're happy.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    There are four boxes. Use in proper order!, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 7:43pm

    STOP! NO!!

    You guys don't get it.

    The road to being able to take the content you legally buy everywhere with you is to give up some of your "free speech" control over your stuff. You have to give a little in order to get a lot.

    ----
    STOP!!!!

    I stopped reading the comments at this point. NO! You damn industry SHILL, YOU DON'T GET IT, I will NOT give up a little of my free speech (which you so helpfully put in quotes, almost if mocking them), not an inch. If I give it up for this, then I'll have to give it up for the next thing, and etc.. that road doesn't end with a little loss of free speech, but rather will total control.

    I don't care if its for some sort of ubiquitous DRM system to make our lives "better" (nice trick there with the quotes, eh?) or for anything else. In fact, you just convinced me to never, ever, willingly spend money on industry crap. Pirating all the way!

    /rant
    //sorry to all the regulars for the outburst, that little statement from the shill was too much.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 9:20pm

    ease up mate, you're hurting your argument

    Look, i'm here daily. The feeds on my home page, i'm usually checking in repeatedly. BUT. I have an instinctive distrust of drumbeating and buzz phrasing. Once, maybe twice throwing in "they're going to break your tv and dvr" would have worked, by the 4th all i was seeing/hearing was a south park clip in my head "They took our jobs"
    It's late, last story of the day, no biggy, but it does weaken the message for those of us who aren't just kneejerk reactionaries. less noise more message please.

     

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  56.  
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    william (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Re:

    Uh...

    Obviously you have never dealed with the shadier side of your local electronic stores.

    On a sort of related note, everyone is all dissed about DVD region lock. Guess what, I can walk down the street and get an "all-region" DVD player right now, that'll play, anything you throw at it.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 12:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Obviously you have never dealed with the shadier side of your local electronic stores.

    I wasn't even aware that my local electronic stores had shadier sides.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
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    Jon Bane (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 5:53am

    Re:

    > The road to being able to take the content you legally buy everywhere with you is to give up some of your "free speech" control over your stuff. You have to give a little in order to get a lot.

    This is typically a place for civility and intellectualism, but this comment all I have to say is "fuck you".

    I am not giving up a damn thing for any conglomerate organization and for you to think it is OK tells me that you have no idea what you are talking about.

     

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  59.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 6:50am

    Easy to get around?

    Whats to stop the DVR people from just ignoring this flag?
    There is something about it I am not understanding.
    Have to admit though that I do not use a DVR.
    The only way I can think it would work is to not use a flag but an entire encryption method. And my understanding was that the bandwidth for the HDTV was already strangled enough to get it to be nice and high def in a single stream.

     

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  60.  
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    Skout (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 7:17am

    I've submitted my letter to the chairman on this, and everyone else should, too.

    It doesn't matter if the technology can be circumvented. Ultimately, it always can be. The problem is in the FCC supporting their DEMAND for it.

    If this technology had some consumer incentive, they could sell it as a service and people would buy it. ("Get access to movies before anyone else does!") But it's obvious that they realize people are NOT that eager for this technology, and since they can't SELL it to us, they're out to FORCE it on us.

    Don't let them get away with this. Where do they get off punishing us?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    LostSailor (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Not Actually Broken

    Well, if the only thing you could watch were Fox News, your TV and DVR wouldn't be just broken but actually toxic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    LostSailor (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Not Actually Broken

    No, your TV will work just the way it always has. And your cable box will work just the way it always has. If anything, your DVR will be blocked from the other end from recording a couple of specific channels. It will otherwise function just the way it always has.

    The change isn't to your DVR, but on the signal-supply side. If new boxes/DVRs are required to implement this, they they will function as designed.

    Hence, the DVR isn't broken, it's just bent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Low key, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 9:45am

    guarantee rise in piracy

    I do not pirate anything at the moment. I obtain all my media legally. As soon as my dvr stops working as it is designed I will cancel my satallite subscription and subscribe to an anonymizer and then I will pirate everything. They think have a piracy problem now? They've seen nothing yet. As soon as they implement this there are going to be millions of new pirates.

     

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  64.  
    icon
    LostSailor (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Not Actually Broken

    I stand corrected. It was unclear to me from the brief news bits how the system is supposed to work.

    I was wrong. It will "break" your equipment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Better yet, you can go to videohelp, or some such site, and look up the region code hack for your DVD player. Almost every player on the market has one. It's supposedly for service techs and "factory testing," but it's clearly there as an unofficial, unadvertised feature. Hell, the menu to disable Macrovision and region encoding on my old Apex player was actually titled "Loopholes," with a "You should not be here" disclaimer across the bottom of the screen. Haha.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    LostSailor (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 10:07am

    Correcting Myself

    I was slightly in error in my previous post about SOC not "breaking" your equipment.

    While it won't technically break anything, you won't be able to watch protected VOD programs with older equipment. This is more than just "bending" but would require new equipment to view those channels and programs.

    I stand corrected.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hell, the menu to disable Macrovision and region encoding on my old Apex player was actually titled "Loopholes," with a "You should not be here" disclaimer across the bottom of the screen. Haha.

    Yep, I had one. And those particular Apex models wound up getting banned from import by the federal gov't too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Whoever reads this is stupid (except me), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    They are going even farther. I've seen the prototype that actually not only breaks the TV and DVR, but sends out a small electric jolt through the remote, punishing the user. It's between stun gun and joke buzzer strength.

    The next version, which we are testing, actually ignites flash paper in a small cavity, and drops the flaming paper on the carpet. It's supposed to start a fire in the living room/bedroom.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes. Typically on the north, but in the late afternoons you'll find it on the north-east.

     

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  70.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All true. And total BS that we have to go to such lengths to watch our movies.

    Get a pirated movie...no problem. And no annoying previews or FBI warnings to wait through.

    But when I buy a movie, legit, at a store in Spain...no workie.

    The anyregion DVD hack for my GoVideo player (which I bought special to augment my Sony, because the GoVideo had a hack) didn't really work reliably.

    I have a PC with two DVD players, one coded to the EU region, and one to the North American region to get around this studio nonsense. I rip the movies (oooh, breaking the DRM) then I can play the files anywhere. When will these studio guys stop putting in extra effort make our lives more difficult.

     

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  71.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Feature creep at its worst...

    Where'd that come from? The Dark Helmeted one is evil to the core, but he's not stupid!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:39pm

    Re:

    "every device you own has an ID chip in it. You register your chip online for each device, and then the content you have purchased IN ANY FORMAT can be played on any other format you own. Buy an MP3, play it on your TV if you like. Buy a DVD, play it on your PSP. DVR a TV show, watch it in reruns on your cell phone."

    OMG! Occam's Razor much? Guess not. The fact that you are wiling to torture common sense to these ridiculous ends in order to propose a "good" business model is a testament to how ridiculous DRM is.

    Who pays for that chip in every device? ME? Who runs the service that brokers authorization? Do I trust them? Do they shut down the server and lock all my content when your stupid idea goes belly up, like the MSFT PlaysForSure server? Who decides how many devices I can register as mine. For example, iTunes lets peoople use up to 5(or 7?) devices with their bought music. What if I have 12?

    And all of this waste of money, time, and hassle takes place even as ALL of the same content is readily available, DRM free, on sharing networks? Which would the smart consumer choose?

    Tell me why I should pay a company like Hitachi a few extra dollars to put in a tool that blocks certain content from working?

    You have made one big assumption that we don't make:

    "companies have to develop insane ways of limiting your access"

    No they don't.

     

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  73.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, you're right. Let me build on your reply...

    Remember those programs the major studios offered:

    - trade up your LPs for a free 8-Track replacement (1965)
    - trade up your 8-tracks for half-price cassettes (1970s)
    - trade up your cassettes for cost-priced CDs (1982)
    - trade up your VHS plus a small premium for DVDs (1995)

    Neither do I. That's because those programs didn't exist. Of course, studios are all to happy to let us buy the same content over and over for all our different devices, different places, and different formats.

    When has it ever been their goal to allow us unfettered universal access to the content we bought?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Technology shall prevail over those who are set on breaking it...

    Sadly, I don't agree. Most people have no idea this discussion is taking place, wouldn't understand it, and wouldn't bother to fight against it if they knew.

    We are a lazy people when it comes to politics. Europeans are much more involved. We will bend over and take it. But really, can we even expect most citizens to understand the tech, economic, and legal issue at hand?

    Our congress, however, is responsible for informing themselves on the issue, and representing our interests. How's that working for us?

    When the revolution you describe starts, you, me, and a handful of other Techdirt-type informed geeks will stand against the lobbying might of the **AA. Everyone else will just go to Walmart and buy whatever they're selling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 4:34pm

    Re: ease up mate, you're hurting your argument

    You don't think this is big?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Correcting Myself

    And don't forget, although the message for now is "we can't offer fresh release movies until there is a flag" the reality will be different. Content that today is not flagged will end up flagged too, like sports games, prime time shows, HBO (high budget) series like Sopranos, etc.

    This is a total camel nose in the tent door.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
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    Daemon_ZOGG (profile), Nov 7th, 2009 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Technology shall prevail over those who are set on breaking it...

    I was refering to our increasing need for digital pirates. The excellent content many of them provide. And how the intertainment industry consistantly ignores real the needs of the consumer over their own profit margin.

    ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Big John, Nov 8th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    Re: dumbest post ever

    You want to be controlled?WHAT ARE YOU A FOOL?!!!!!!!!!!!
    You give media what they want and every single device you own ,you will have to rent every song,every movie and you get to keep NOTHING.Are you insane?!!!!!!!!!!!Because thats what they are looking for you to do,buy every time.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Ingvend Storrs, Nov 8th, 2009 @ 8:12am

    Break them back. Hack, hack, hack.

    Anyway, I prefer other means of acquiring desired media output--I emphasise desired, because their output contains about .01% desirable content.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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