Copyright

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
competition, copyright, fcc, set top boxes, stb

Companies:
mpaa



MPAA Applauds Derailment of FCC Cable Box Competition Plan Because, Uh, Jobs!

from the overlords-of-nonsense dept

Last week we noted how the FCC had to scrap its plan to bring competition to the cable box after an unprecedented PR and disinformation campaign by the cable and entertainment industries. In short, using consultants, think tanks, payrolled politicians, a soundwall of misleading editorials and even the US Copyright Office, the cable industry was able to convince many in the press, public and even at the FCC that the plan would have ripped the planet off its very orbital access, violated copyright, eroded consumer privacy, and even harmed diversity programming.

In reality, the cable sector's opposition was about two things: $21 billion in captive box rental revenues, and a fear of a loss of control. Being an expert in the latter, the MPAA of course was quick to issue a statement applauding the "delay" in the FCC's proceeding:
"The MPAA is pleased that the FCC is taking more time, and we hope they use it to ensure any set-top box proposal remains consistent with copyright policy and avoids harming creators,” said MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd, who emphasized that his organization, along with “virtually the entire creative community” is “standing up for copyright and the rights of creators."
Except again, the cable box plan has nothing to do with copyright. The rules would have simply required cable companies pass on their existing programming (and all DRM) to third party hardware vendors, resulting in more competition in cable boxes and ultimately more open and cheaper boxes. Because that might just give consumers a little more control, the MPAA joined the hissy fit parade of inaccurate implausibilities. And to justify trying to keep the cable box locked down and shitty, the best the MPAA can apparently do is reiterate some nonsensical talking points about jobs:
"We support the FCC’s goal of promoting set-top box competition, but we continue to urge the Commission to forge a path that does not undermine the creative economy,” Dodd continued. “Copyright employs more than 5.5 million U.S. workers and generates over $1 trillion in economic value – incentivizing innovation and investment in creative works enjoyed by millions around the world."
Except the FCC's proposal wouldn't hurt jobs in the slightest. Under the FCC's plan, customers still would pay for cable, they'd just have more flexibility in how that programming is consumed. And if anything, you'd see more jobs as the cable hardware itself was opened to multiple hardware competitors and streaming vendors looking to make headway in the space. But just like their previous whining session on this subject, the MPAA can't just admit it's terrified of evolution and consumer empowerment, so it apparently has to conflate "copyright" with a loss of control.

Meanwhile, while many media outlets continue to insist this plan is simply on hold, there's really only two likely outcomes moving forward thanks to cable lobbyists, the US Copyright Office, and folks like the MPAA: either the plan gets scrapped entirely, or the end result winds up being so watered down as to be utterly useless.

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  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:50am

    It just speeds up cord cutting

    Lack of competition. Crap set top boxes. Lock in. High prices for the poor boxes.

    It just speeds up cord cutting.

    Put the dinosaurs out of their misery faster.

    The MPAA will end up wanting to sell their movies on the streaming services.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:08am

      Re: It just speeds up cord cutting

      The MPAA will end up wanting to sell their movies on the streaming services.

      What streaming services will those be, after the cable companies have shut up shop?

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

      • icon
        DannyB (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:23pm

        Re: Re: It just speeds up cord cutting

        There will always be a market for internet. It is only in the feeble minds of Cable companies that they are the only one who can fill that need.

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Re: It just speeds up cord cutting

      > Make 17500 bucks every month

      How many cords would I need to cut per day to make that much? Do you provide the cutting tools? How is this computer based?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 10:53am

    "...off it's very oribtal access..."
    I'm pretty sure you meant axis.

    Also, 'unprecedented'? Was there something to set this hoopla aside from their previous tantrums, or is that just poetic license?

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

    • icon
      Kal Zekdor (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:54am

      Re:

      I dunno, maybe the cable companies are just a branch of the Ur-Quan, and by refusing to be their thralls we pissed them off and they've locked Earth behind a shield.

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

      • icon
        NeghVar (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 6:17pm

        Re: Re: NeghVar comment as signed out URL

        by Kal Zekdor
        "I dunno, maybe the cable companies are just a branch of the Ur-Quan, and by refusing to be their thralls we pissed them off and they've locked Earth behind a shield."

        Star Control 2. My favorite PC game of all time

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

  • icon
    PlagueSD (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:00am

    Open source cable boxes will destroy the content creators...Where have I heard this from? Movies...radio...It's on the tip of my tongue...

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

  • identicon
    JustShutUpAndObey, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:13am

    Who own what?

    This ruling merely clarifies ownership. Cable owns the balls of the FCC members.

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

  • identicon
    John Cressman, 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:16am

    But Think of the Children!

    Are you sure it wasn't because of... the children... or terror... or one of the other go-to's?

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 11:33am

    Why does anyone listen to numbers from a group that has its own special accounting system?

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

  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:02pm

    Is copyright hiring? I'd like to work for copyright.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:15pm

    The MPAA does NOT defend "creators"/"creative community". "Copyright" is not a person. It's all bullshit. Fuck off and die!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:17pm

    Sharing is....

    The rules would have simply required cable companies pass on their existing programming (and all DRM) to third party hardware vendors...

    You *know* they can't give that information to third parties because it would be sharing. And sharing = PIRACY!!!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:22pm

    5.5 million jobs? Where? When? I vaguely remember someone saying such nonsense but when asked didn't they enlist completely unrelated jobs as part of they're employed?
    I'm surprise they think a significant amount of the population will believe such thing, then again as they obviously own most news channels they might be able to pull another succesful misinformation campaign

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

  • icon
    WDS (profile), 3 Oct 2016 @ 12:29pm

    Missing Words???

    "The rules would have simply required cable companies pass on their existing programming (and all DRM) to third party hardware vendors"

    I think some works were left out. Should it not say, "The rules would have simply required cable companies pass on their existing programming (and all DRM) to boxes made by third party hardware vendors".

    If they were required to pass it to the vendors, they would have a legitimate argument. Passing it to their customer via a box made by a third party, their argument is without foundation.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Oct 2016 @ 5:52pm

    They will need to substantially raise rates once it becomes clear only the 1% can afford their services.

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

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 3 Oct 2016 @ 7:37pm

    "MPAA Applauds Derailment of FCC Cable Box Competition Plan Because, Uh, Jobs!"

    Weird, I thought Steve Jobs was dead.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 4 Oct 2016 @ 5:22am

    In other news, the MAFIAA applauds the sacrifice of toddlers to the altar of copyright.

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

  • identicon
    bshock, 4 Oct 2016 @ 7:54am

    If the MPAA were a human, it would require a legal guardian

    Every time the MPAA gets its way, potential jobs and entire potential industries disappear. If the MPAA's original thesis about the VCR had been accepted, the U.S. film industry would've lost incalculable billions.

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

  • identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Oct 2016 @ 5:41am

    The Market Will Self-Correct, Right?

    I've been waiting to hear back from the free market enthusiasts, who expect us to all to resort to their favoured tactic, voluntary withholding of continued support for these services, but the silence is deafening.

    Can it be that, while we're locked into contracts that run for up to 18 months AND there's only one service provider due to regulatory capture, the market is too damn restricted to be able to self-correct?

    If this isn't tyranny, what is it?

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


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