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MPAA Wants To Prevent Recording Movies On DVRs

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the please-don't-call-this-a-free-market dept.

Movies 225

I_am_Rambi writes "At the request of theatrical film makers, the Federal Communications Commission on Friday quietly launched a proceeding on whether to let video program distributors remotely block consumers from recording recently released movies on their DVRs. The technology that does this is called Selectable Output Control (SOC), but the FCC restricts its use. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) wants a waiver on that restriction in the case of high-definition movies broadcast prior to their release as DVDs." The FCC is soliciting comments until June 25th.

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225 comments

Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799213)

If I can watch it, I can record it. There will always be a way to do so. They can try to use the laws and technology to stop me, but they will lose in the end.

Re:Good luck with that (3, Insightful)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799221)

They simply want enough people not being able to record. Probably wont work in the long run. A whole generation has grown up with 160GB ipods

(well, not grown up but they have them now)
G

Re:Good luck with that (5, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799229)

They simply want enough people not being able to record.

Yes, and they also want to make people into criminals for exercising Fair Use rights so they can continue to reap huge margins on plastic discs.

Re:Good luck with that - the foot in the door (2, Insightful)

dstates (629350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799851)

This is a strategy to eliminate DVR recording as fair use. First they get the right to block the recording of recently released HD movies, then they blur the definition of HD, and pretty soon they are claiming that they should be able to block pretty much any DVR recording...

Just say no. Personal use is fair use.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Interesting)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799269)

They simply want enough people not being able to record. Probably wont work in the long run.
It's an interesting strategy, stop people recording shit by forcing the poor blighters to download it all months in advance... Genius.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799343)

Funny, isn't it? If you like it you'll buy it - that's what I do. If I can't watch it, I won't know that I like it.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799383)

Given the quality of recently released movies, I'd say that's part of the strategy...

Re:Good luck with that (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799733)

Somebody mod parent +1 GetOffMyLawn

Re:Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799385)

Exactly, I spend more on music now than I ever have done, precisely because of the vastly increased exposure to it bittorrent has enabled. I used to wish the entertainment industry would wake up to this reality.

Now I realise that that, from now on in, it can only impede my access to artists, and their access to my cash.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799735)

Now I realise that that, from now on in, it can only impede my access to artists, and their access to my cash.
I gave up trying to do the right thing long ago.
I learned that the studios are only interested in playing underhanded so Im not giving them the money to file lawsuits.

http://thepiratebay.org/ [thepiratebay.org]

Re:Good luck with that (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799761)

I wonder how many people spend less, because they don't have to, now. I'll be honest, I don't spend more now than I did before I downloaded music. I already have it, why would I get it again?

Re:Good luck with that (3, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799413)

Same deal with copy protection on games. Only the people who buy the product legally have to suffer with it (was it Red Alert 2 that came with copy protection that just didn't work on a significant number of CD drives?). The only people they'll really piss off are their customers.

Re:Good luck with that (5, Informative)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799643)

Same deal with copy protection on games. Only the people who buy the product legally have to suffer with it [...] The only people they'll really piss off are their customers.

Hear, hear. Copy protection is the reason why I can't play The Battle for Middle-Earth II on my Vista pc, the damn game can't see the legitimate CD through the WinXP compatibility mode.

Has copy protection stopped pirate games? No.
Has DRM stopped downloading? No.
Such measures just punish the folks who actually pay for their content...

One person... (2, Insightful)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799745)

is enough people.

I don't NEED to record (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799771)

They simply want enough people not being able to record

But, of course, "enough people" in this case means *one* person. The others can copy the recording [btjunkie.org] .

Re:Good luck with that (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799425)

I cant!
On my cable DVR system, some Movies already do not have a record option available so obviously If I can watch it I may not be able to record it !

Frankly the DVR Firmware is in Control and can be placed in control at the option of the cable provider , it can do anything they want !
Already mine can limit the time you can keep a recording , or limt the number of times it's played and prevents you from
zipping fast foreword past Commercials this is already being done on my Cable TV DVR system

Re:Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799473)

The you're doing it wrong. There is *always* going to be a way to record anything you watch. I didn't say you could use your cable company's crippled DVR system to do so. You just have the wrong tools.

Re:Good luck with that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799553)

That is Naive What part of under heir control dont y get ?
The record button is disabled by them, the recording disappears after time , after N plays the recording is deleted, it is naive to think that you can override this, because if you do, under the laws of most states yuy can go y to jail for tampering with their cable box ever think of that ?
Already a cable company can read what is called a boxes check sum, if its wrong they wil overwrite it, if that keeps happening they can charge yu wit tampering a felony , and you'lll have a barrel of trouble much bigger than Mpaa

Re:Good luck with that (1)

Xanius (955737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799675)

That's simple, don't use their cable box. A TV tuner with the capability of pulling HD channels costs less in most cases and with it you are in control of the software running it.
Which is exactly what dreamchaser was talking about, that and you could always just put a video camera on a tripod infront of your TV.

Not so simple (1)

mrslacker (1122161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799833)

Well, I do agree, but it's not always easy. I just upgraded to Digital Cable (getoffmylawn) mainly to save money, but chose not to get their DVR - mainly because I already had my MythTV box, which is likely a whole lot more flexible.

The main problem is that I spent two days pissing about trying to get it all to work (does now, more or less), including $30 on firewire parts, with stuff that'd frustrate anyone but the typical slashdotter.

But yes, Firewire is the best way at the moment to get HD out of a cable box. IIRC there's some federal requirement (until they change it) that such functionality exists. Alas, the GeForce4 in the machine is not really up to it (so another $30 to replace the motherboard with faster graphics).

Re:Good luck with that (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799861)

What part of I didn't say you could do it with THEIR equipment don't you get? I didn't say EVERYONE would be able to record whatever they see, but any well motivated geek not above making a home brew solution can get around any copy/record protection eventually.

I also didn't say it would be cost effective or that it wouldn't be time consuming. I just said that where there is a will there is a way.

I'm not the naive one here.

Re:Good luck with that (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799493)

DVR programming is not Fixed
  The cable DVR box can and is remotely programmable by the cable /satellite TV providers and can be updated at any time to arbitrarily enforce their business model/ rules
FCC rules or not!
A cable DVR is a huge powerful embedded systems computer and is fully under their Control Not yours
If some executive get a bug up his butt the cable TV. satellite people can already do with their DVR whatever they want , ad as a subscriber you must submit to that .

Re:Good luck with that (2, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799579)

Frankly the DVR Firmware is in Control and can be placed in control at the option of the cable provider , it can do anything they want !
. . . so does this "Provider" also pick out which programs you watch? Sounds like great service to me! No more arguing with my girlfriend over what to watch; our "Provider" knows what is best for us . . .

. . . um, does your "Provider" address you as "Thrall", and does He seem to have a gambling problem with "Quatloos"? . . . I have a sneaky suspicion . . .

A changing selection of films (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799657)

so does this "Provider" also pick out which programs you watch?
Yes. At least one provider of movies makes about a dozen programs available at any one time, and all programs have the record button disabled.

Re:Good luck with that (1)

msormune (808119) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799577)

And if you were to be stripped of all electronic equipment before seing the movie, how would you be able to record it?

If anyone tried to strip me of anything... (1, Informative)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799791)

... in a movie theatre, it would be the last time I would watch anything there. I don't abide even to the "do not bring your own popcorn" rules. If I want to enter the theatre with my Happy Meal inside my backpack, nobody can take a peek at it without a search warrant. Oh, they can give me my money back and impede my entering the premises, but they will lose their pants in court if they try that.

Re:If anyone tried to strip me of anything... (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23800025)

I don't abide even to the "do not bring your own popcorn" rules.
Why stop at popcorn? I bring my own Hibachi grill, a bag of charcoal, and a couple of nice racks baby back ribs. By the time the trailers are over, the ribs are nicely done and I can enjoy my meal with a few frosty beers while I watch the feature.

I can see it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799251)

Great Firewall of America. Has a nice ring to it.

If you can watch it on a computer (5, Funny)

Froeschle (943753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799255)

then you can record it. Software such as Mythtv makes it possible, until of course the TV cards somehow become so functionally disabled that they refuse to work with Linux. oh wait..

Re:If you can watch it on a computer (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799403)

the recording cards work great. Cable TV simply encrypts everything so your recording card will not work. In fact they do that now. locally here all you can get is the 3 locals unencrypted.

Honestly the FCC needs to get some balls and FORCE cable companies to have all the channels available UNENCRYPTED. but it will never happen.

Digital TV is a step backwards. Quality sucks because they compress it hard. plus they remove your ability to record it or use anything advanced to watch it. you have to use that piece of crap cable box of theirs.

Re:If you can watch it on a computer (2, Interesting)

irtza (893217) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799699)

but encryption is also how they keep people from getting channels they aren't paying for. I have no problem with them encrypting the channels. What would be better is if they had a standard algorithm for encryption, so it can be implemented by third parties. That way they can provide you with the key after you pay for it. Still a fair deal since you can then implement your own software. They assure that casual piracy is eliminated and thus protect their basic interests. Unless you want to eliminate the cable system as it exists now, a means to protect premium and pay-per-view channels must be in place. I honestly think, the high revenues for the movie industry are necessary to continue the production of truly spectacular movies. I know many here disagree, but I assure you that without potential for enormous profits, only an eccentric billionaire would fund the tens of millions used to make some of the great movies (yes I know there are great movies made for a lot less, but come-on - there is an appeal to movies like star wars and die hard). I think its the abuse of the copyright term that is the main problem. The last extension to copyright was almost as good as making copyright indefinite and is an insult to the required time limit clause on copyrights.

Re:If you can watch it on a computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799869)

isn't that the whole point of cable card reading tv tuner cards for pcs? maybe you're just not getting the right HD tv tuner.. there are tons of tuners that take set top box cards and let you record etc channels you've paid for without giving you the rest for free.

Re:If you can watch it on a computer (2, Insightful)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799925)

Digital TV is a step backwards. Quality sucks because they compress it hard. plus they remove your ability to record it or use anything advanced to watch it. you have to use that piece of crap cable box of theirs.

It is also why today I still don't have digital TV. I have the old style analog. In fact, the only reason I have cable TV is for the internet. They have sent me tons of offers, but I do not intend to change. Even to the point when analog is dead, I figure Internet TV will bloom and I can skip digital TV all together.... or in a least for cable.

I might retire sometime in the next few years to my country home, if I do, I need satellite Internet more than TV. My favorite show is on the Internet, I can watch it when I want. TV as we know it is legacy. But I agree with you, Digital TV is a giant step backwards.

draconian bulloni! (3, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799259)

Thanks to the MPAA & RIAA I no longer spend any money on music or movies. I use an AM/FM radio for music and if I watch a movie it is something old on basic cable. You will never see me with music CDs or movies on DVD at the checkout line at the store, if i ever buy anything like that it will have to be at some yard sale or pawn shop for pennies on the dollar...

Vote with your wallet!

Re:draconian bulloni! (5, Informative)

retech (1228598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799455)

In '97 a friend of mine was offered a recording contract by Sony. It was a 1000+ page tome. He read it over for 3 months and told them to piss off. After Sony was said and done with them they'd have gotten about 1.3 cents a song per album sale. Unless the artist(s) directly produce it themselves I have not purchased an album since that point in time. I never will again either.

Yeah... right (2, Interesting)

retech (1228598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799271)

How's that copy protection working for ya?

Re:Yeah... right (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799283)

How's that copy protection working for ya?
Remember those it will work for: the less technically literate. Don't forget that most people wouldn't be able to get round the proposed block.

Re:Yeah... right (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799405)

You mean there is anyone who can't push the "copy now" button on a given program? Does it need localization or something?

Re:Yeah... right (1)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799601)

You mean there is anyone who can't push the "copy now" button on a given program?

Absolutely. Remember, a lot of people struggle with pushing the "Retrieve emails" button, and some can't even differentiate between the "Reply" and "Reply to all" buttons.

Re:Yeah... right (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799477)

I do pity those people. Sneaker net still works for them from what I'm told.

Re:Yeah... right (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23800081)

The less technically literate are typical very good at social networking... they have to be, it's their only option, so... they just ask their technically literate friends to copy it for them.

Surprisingly however, those whom you think are not technically literate are very likely to know how to do this type of thing. Movies, Music, Entertainment in general is *their thing*... so they actually take the time to learn how to get at it. They just aren't interested in *how it works*, as long as it works.

Pointless? (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799291)

Over here, movies are never shown on TV before their DVD release date. Is this different in the US?

Re:Pointless? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799373)

Not that I'm aware of.

But remember, "Slippery slope" isn't just a logical fallacy, it's also instructions for a viable method of accomplishing unpopular legislation.

Re:Pointless? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799393)

Not sure where you are, but in Australia the pay tv channels advertise movies "that you won't see on DVD this year". For free-to-air stations it's the same as where you are though.

Brilliant! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799611)

First they sell you the cinema tickets, then they air it on "special cable stations", then they sell you the DVD premium price, then medium price and then lowest price, THEN they sell you a downloadable clip (in 2020 or something...), then in 2078, when the movie should be public domain, they extend the copyright laws a hundred more years..

Seems MPAA wants their cake and eat it too, except you get tummy ache from too much cake!

Re:Pointless? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799411)

Yes. In the US, movies are usually shown in theaters, then released on DVD, then after a few months shown on TV. No particular reason is given for this, but presumably someone at the MPAA thought that it would allow them to milk the most money from the movie.

Re:Pointless? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799417)

Yes.

it's called Pay-per-view. and they will air a movie right after a theater release so you can watch it on your home cable TV or sattelite service. the MPAA wants to enable the nasties in the HDMI spec so that they can make it impossible to record it.

Re:Pointless? (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799439)

Actually, very few movies I know of here in the USA are available on pay-per-view before it's available on DVD or Blu-ray disc, mostly because the movie studios make way more profit on video software sales per disc than from a pay-per-view sale.

Re:Pointless? (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799421)

My guess is that they're trying to do just that now: To release movies to pay-per-view HD before bringing them into the rental stores. Ya know, those clerks there don't get a lot, but a penny earned more is a penny earned more. People will probably pay to watch a fairly recent movie at home for 5 bucks rather than paying 10 bucks (plus again about as much for junk food) in a cinema.

Huh? The movie industry raping its own distribution partners, movies and rentals? Duh, thought they'd only do it with their customers?

Re:Pointless? (1)

mrslacker (1122161) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799867)

My guess is that they're trying to do just that now: To release movies to pay-per-view HD before bringing them into the rental stores.
Could be. TimeWarnerCable claim to have movies as soon as the DVD is released.

Ya know, those clerks there don't get a lot, but a penny earned more is a penny earned more. People will probably pay to watch a fairly recent movie at home for 5 bucks rather than paying 10 bucks (plus again about as much for junk food) in a cinema.
Well, indeed. Personally, I'll stick to my $10/month Netflix, and wait a few days if I really want the latest release (which I probably don't)

This will never work. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799309)

The sooner they realize that and give up, the better off they are going to be. Further, how many people are going to buy a DVR (Digital Video RECORDER) that doesn't actually RECORD? Isn't that like, I don't know, THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT?!?!? I build my own DVRs anyway, and I certainly would never build that feature in.

Re:This will never work. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799433)

Well, you can still record. You can still record all those movies sent without the "no recording" flag, like all those old movies that have been rerun a billion times already. Like ... well, not all old movies, because Disney will certainly disallow it. And probably not the old war movies either, they go pretty well on DVD so far. Probably also not Star Wars or Star Trek, since there'll soon be another "superspecialawesome collectors box".

But you may record those ads. Well, for now.

Re:This will never work. (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799435)

Actually you do build that feature in unless you are building your own capture cards.

your HDMI capture card, the only way I know of to capture an encrypted HD signal from the cable or sattelite box, has thise "feature" for you.

I cant find any component capture cards that exist that will capture HD resolutions so you are stuck with hdmi/dvi.

BTW: notice how nobody has made a linux driver for those cards? only OSX and Windows... because the driver has the "screw the user" code in it.

Re:This will never work. (1)

Buster Charlie (455657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799619)

Serious Question. Would this be a way to bypass the HDMI copy protection?

Obviously the HDMI signal is controlled from the cable to the video processor, but after that it's displayed on the LCD screen or whatever. Obviously they can't stop you from cam ripping your own LCD TV but the quality would be rather poor.

So is there a way to remove the LCD panel from a cheap HDTV and directly wire the LCD input cables to a black box that would recognize the raw video feed intended for the LCD, and either save it to hard disk for later recompression or recompress it on the fly?

I know it would not be as convenient as a direct rip and you would loose some quality but I doubt you'd loose anything noticeable. If you can view it, you can copy it, just wait till we all have to get DRM optical implants that blind us when looking at unauthorized movies.

DMCA (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799679)

So is there a way to remove the LCD panel from a cheap HDTV and directly wire the LCD input cables to a black box that would recognize the raw video feed intended for the LCD
Good luck manufacturing and selling LCD panel conversion kits without getting a big fat lawsuit under the DMCA or foreign counterparts from all six of the major U.S. motion picture distributors.

Re:DMCA (3, Insightful)

Gnavpot (708731) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799757)

Good luck manufacturing and selling LCD panel conversion kits without getting a big fat lawsuit under the DMCA

As in all other cases where copy protection of movies or music fails, only one person in the world needs to own the equipment or software necessary for circumventing the copy protection. He can then release it to the public in an unprotected format.

Region coding (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799913)

As in all other cases where copy protection of movies or music fails, only one person in the world needs to own the equipment or software necessary for circumventing the copy protection. He can then release it to the public in an unprotected format.
And if this one person happens to live in a territory other than the territory where cable TV providers are transmitting the work, then tough s#!t, right? And how can such reconversion apply to interactive works?

Re:DMCA (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799829)

You do know that only a few countries have DMCA-style idiotic legislation, don't you?

Re:DMCA (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799893)

You do know that only a few countries have DMCA-style idiotic legislation, don't you?
So how are you going to move your customers and their families out of those few countries? Besides, Slashdot is located in one of them.

Simpler, easier way (1)

backbyter (896397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799313)

Don't release the film to broadcast before you release it to disc.

How about not broadcasting it? (4, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799317)

There used to be a certain schedule for films. First they were shown at theaters. Then, a few months after, they were released in VHS. Broadcasting started only a year or so after theater release.


It seems that the MPAA is trying to maximize their profit, at the expense of the public in general. We are stuck with technical hassle just because the MPAA wants to use government regulation instead of logical market forces to prevent unauthorized copying.

Re:How about not broadcasting it? (3, Interesting)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799545)

Precisely. They want their cake, and to eat it too. Unfortunately, they couldn't stop if they even wanted to: they're legally obligated to try to maximize profits. If they stopped, shrugged and said 'DVR wins', their member companies' shareholders would be filing lawsuits in an instant.

Unfortunately under this kind of economic regime, 'consumer' means less 'one who eats' and much more 'one who must be force-fed'.

comment system not working @ FCC (3, Informative)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799327)



Using the link in the post, the FCC website tells me "CSR-7947-Z" isn't open for comments. DOes anyone know how to submit comments successfully on this proceeding?

Seth

Re:comment system not working @ FCC (2, Insightful)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799859)

why seth, that's easy. All you need to do is give millions dollars to the president and his party, as well as a little to those in congress, then tell them that your continuing support is conditional upon them stopping this at all costs. Really, how's democracy ever going to work if people don't understand such basic elements of the democratic process!

Re:comment system not working @ FCC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799981)

the proceeding is "08-82" wasn't easy to find.

Ooh, even more pointlessness (1)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799329)

"At the request of theatrical film makers, the Federal Communications Commission on Friday quietly launched a proceeding on whether to let video program distributors remotely block consumers from recording recently released movies on their DVRs.

Why? Why would they even bother? The very people this is going to piss off is the legitimate customers, the people downloading (AKA 'Pirates') are going to get around this in about twenty minutes. And even then, they'll get around it by getting the movie at more or less the release date to the cinemas (I can't imagine a pirate waiting til it's released to TV).

What (1)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799335)

You mean the Mapaa wants to take away the recordification button from my Dishdivver?! I'll go to war for this!

Of course the cable companies will love this! (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799379)

I think this will happen: For one thing, this will only work with expensive set-top DVR boxes provided by the cable company - they will be the only things able to decode the DRM. This means that aftermarket DVRs will be second-class citizens, consolidating the control of the cable companies.

I'm not sure how relasing movies in HD before the DVD release will benefit the movie houses though. You know that there will be HD-rips from day one on the internet, and once they circulate, who'll want to rent the comparatively ugly DVD... weeks later, and for money? Do they really have so much faith in their DRM? I don't!

Re:Of course the cable companies will love this! (1)

steeviant (677315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799593)

"I think this will happen: For one thing, this will only work with expensive set-top DVR boxes provided by the cable company - they will be the only things able to decode the DRM. This means that aftermarket DVRs will be second-class citizens, consolidating the control of the cable companies."

I don't see that happening, my aftermarket DVR is a PC. It may be a second-class citizen when it comes to pay TV, but I don't see the pay TV companies offering a box with Bittorrent and DivX capability. The reality is that as they amp up restrictions on purpose built DVRs more people are going to abandon broadcast signals and go to the internet to get an unrestricted version of what they want to record.

Which affordable capture card? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799717)

I don't see that happening, my aftermarket DVR is a PC.
How well can your PC record HDMI signals with HDCP? In fact, which affordable capture cards can capture anything above composite video or S-video?

Enough already.... (2)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799391)

I have had absolutely enough of all the rantings by the RIAA, MPAA, etc and DR-freaking-M. Hollywood can take their media and shove it up their collective @rse. Is there anything sooo special coming out of Hollywood that makes me want to lose my daily freedoms? Simply no. I don't need anything that they are pumping out and neither do you. Stop buying their sh*t and let them die a long painful death. I will not shed a tear.

Re:Enough already.... (1)

Earered (856958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799605)

Is there anything sooo special coming out of Hollywood that makes me want to lose my daily freedoms?
Iron Man? The Avengers in 2011?

Muzak (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799765)

I have had absolutely enough of all the rantings by the RIAA, MPAA, etc and DR-freaking-M. Hollywood can take their media and shove it up their collective @rse. [...] Stop buying their sh*t
All supermarkets in my area lease proprietary music to play on the PA system whenever they aren't advertising a special or calling a CSM to produce or something. The money for this comes out of sales. So how do I stop buying proprietary music without stopping buying food?

Re:Enough already.... (1)

grumling (94709) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799769)

HEAR HEAR!

Let's do something else!
Let's do something else!
Let's do something else!
Let's do something else!
Let's do something else!

Who's with me? (crowd roars)

Right after I watch BSG...

Hey MPAA, walk down the street ... (1)

TallMatthew (919136) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799423)

... and go knock on the RIAA's door. Ask them how well sidling up to governmental agencies, instituting kludgey DRM and restricting access to paying customers works in stifling the spread of product via the Internet. Will these idiots ever learn?

I predict Oren Hatch will be coming out soon with a statement denouncing movie downloaders as Marxist pedophiles who finance terrorism and support marriage for transexuals.

Re:Hey MPAA, walk down the street ... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799483)

I predict Oren Hatch will be coming out soon with a statement denouncing movie downloaders as Marxist pedophiles who finance terrorism and support marriage for transexuals.

Hey! Some of us on this board are Marxist pedophile transsexual terrorists, you insensitive clod!

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it (2, Interesting)

Holammer (1217422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799429)

Remember late 70's and early 80's when all those faceless corporations went to court because Sony produced a VCR capable of recording content. Funny how things change eh, now they go back to back with their former enemies trying to restrict our right to record content.

Re:Those who forget history are doomed to repeat i (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799515)

Except things are different now, as 'content control' wasn't doable back then.

In the digital it is technically possible, and once all old machines are phased out it will be practicable too. Will that be tomorrow or even next year? No, but eventually it will happen for most people. If you doubt me, how many people do you know that still have turntables or 8-tracks at this point?

Re:Those who forget history are doomed to repeat i (1)

ThatGuyJon (1299463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799837)

To be honest, I'm not sure I know anyone who DOESN'T have a turntable, if not in their living room then in their attic. LPs are still being made and sold, and in fact are enjoying a resurgence.
Believe it or not, not everyone abandons superior technology because "it's old".
I most definitely doubt you.

Re:Those who forget history are doomed to repeat i (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23800091)

Most everyone i know has abandoned vinyl for their shiny CD's and itunes.

Same goes for video tape, most of the people i know have had theirs wear out the last decade and that this point it wasn't replaced since they have their DVR's.

For the record, I do happen to agree analog was/is better, but i don't see much of it out here.

No it isn't (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799987)

Except things are different now, as 'content control' wasn't doable back then.

In the digital it is technically possible, and once all old machines are phased out it will be practicable too.
In the digital is is exactly techinically impossible, and completely impracticable forever. Even if each bit went down the wires accompanied by a "digital affidavit of ownership and viewing rights", those would be counterfait in no time.

Do you know someplaces have 15-years old computers still running? Do you know people program FPGAs and DSPs today that can take the bits on the bus of a computer and record them without much effort? As I was telling in other post, in the worst scenario, you take a LCD TV, some CCRs, and some calibrating software and you have a digital, 100% faithful to the original bits, copy of some video. ADRM (attempted digital restrictions management) is a joke and a hoax. If one people spends the US$ 10,000 to make the described setup, it can distribute so many copies that the investment will be down to essentially nothing. Some of the "camera" copies of movies I have had the opportunity to see were filmed in an empty theatre and with the camera in a tripod in the center of the movie, with 6 channels of audio. What will they do? Stop paying minimum wage to all theatres' projectionists/security guards? I don't think so.

ADRM is a nuisance to the paying customer, and thats all it is and all it will ever be. The danger of ADRM is that the *AA make DMCA-style legislation a global thing and turn every state of the world in a 1984-style police state. Because if you can't distribute all information freely, that's what you have: a police state. And I speak for experience that it's not a pretty thing to have.

mo3 0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799463)

I thought it was my projeWct returns theorists - eerors. Future I Or make loud noises part of GNAA if marketing surveys it's going, This post brought the mundane chores is busy infighting Direct orders, or volatile world of be in a scene and clear she couldn't but I'd rather hear Prospects are very it was fun. If I'm departures of the future holds way. It used to be Under the GPL. this post up. violated. In the elected, we took

That's fine with me (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799497)

But the networks have to agree not to intentionally clash shows just to have a ratings war.

(So basically it's not going to happen)

*aa wants to prevent content consumption (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799503)

What they all want is a way to prevent possession of any content, and you have to lease it from them per use for the rest of your life..

Comcast already does this... (5, Interesting)

Holistic Missile (976980) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799509)

In the Chicago area, Comcast blocks some content from recording. Many of the on-demand movies and some of the premium channel programming cannot be recorded by a standard DVR. This is on digital cable in standard definition, using an off-the-shelf Philips DVR (not Comcast's).

My DVR will buffer these programs, allowing rewind, pause, etc. If I try to record it to the hard drive it refuses to, giving a message of 'protected'. I'm not sure exactly how they do it - I always thought they may be broadcasting Macrovision codes with the signal.

I suppose it could be hacked by a hardware hack like removing the hard drive and collecting the movie from the buffer, but nothing that is being broadcast is worth the effort! It's bad enough that I waste time sitting in front of the tube viewing this 'high value content'. I'm sure as hell not wasting more time trying to copy it. It is nearly summer here - there are much better things to do most days.

Re:Comcast already does this... (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799749)

That "buffer" is also on the hard drive... Now you understand why they don't want you to be able to access the hard drive yourself.

Re:Comcast already does this... (2, Interesting)

Holistic Missile (976980) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799845)

Yes, the buffer is on the hard drive. It is a circular file that overwrites itself when it reaches 6 hours of content. It is erased at power-down or startup (not sure which) also. That was the basis of the hardware hack idea I tossed out there. Like I said, I wouldn't waste the time to disassemble the unit and hook the hard drive up to a computer, just to find out that the buffer is cleared on power-down, or that the buffer is some unusable, proprietary data stream, maybe even encrypted.

I guess I should have been more clear in my post - by 'save to the hard drive' I meant copy the movie from the buffer to the library area of the drive as a selectable title (which could subsequently be burned to a DVD).

I actually chose the Philips because the hard drive can be replaced, although you won't find it in the owner's manual! I was thinking about extending the DVR's life beyond a drive failure, though, not hacking copy protection.

Reading the Article ftw (5, Informative)

sweede (563231) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799571)

If anyone had actually read the article, you'll find out that currently Movies are NOT released to TV (pay per view or other) before they're released to DVD. the MPAA wants to change that so that they are shown on TV (PPV or other) AS or BEFORE the DVD release. But before it changes that time schedule, it wants to know if the FCC will create a ruling that would prevent DVR to able to record the movie BEFORE its released to DVD.

So in other words

Theater -> DVD -> TV , won't have the non-record flag set
Theater -> TV -> DVD WILL have the non-record flag set until AFTER it's released on DVD.

Re:Reading the Article ftw (5, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799645)

And you think it's only going to be limited in this case, right? Just like all those anti-terrorism laws will only be strictly restricted to fighting terrorists. Really, you can trust us, we are the government.

Re:Reading the Article ftw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799685)

That's all well and good, until they decide to charge more tot eh cablecos after the DVD is released if the non-record flag set, and other companies start doing the same thing with thier programs. Once the technology is there, it will be used.

Re:Reading the Article ftw (2, Interesting)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799809)

it wants to know if the FCC will create a ruling that would prevent DVR to able to record the movie BEFORE its released to DVD
Is the FCC a higher court than the Supreme Court? Maybe the FCC can also overrule the Supreme Court Beta Max case which ruled consumers have a right to record and time shift content with their VCRs.

This is a fishing expedition for retroactive immunity from the massive civil liability damages the cable companies will be accumulating, if not disabling sold DVRECORDERS isn't considered criminal fraud. If it does end up being considered criminal fraud, remember to confiscate the personal assets of the executive management under Sarbanes-Oxley.

What's next? Comcast can eliminate all competition in the television hardware market by changing the digital signal so that all content is scrambled unless you purchase a proprietary Comcast digital television with built in DRM chips?

Re:Reading the Article ftw (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23800093)

It seems reasonable ... until you realize that you've missed something you considered interesting enough to record and watch later because the program was "protected", and then you wonder why you're paying for that "premium" content if you can't watch it.

The only way this would actually be fair is if the companies selling these services CLEARLY mark the "non-recordable" programs long before they are actually shown (e.g., in guides and such - "This will be a non-recordable program"). Otherwise it borders on false advertising because people expect to be able to record and watch the stuff at their leisure, but they (surprise) won't be able to do so. If you do shift work or are regularly away from home when programs of interest are on then you won't be getting much of a deal, especially if it is consistently the "high value" stuff that is non-recordable.

You don't know what you are actually buying if they can abitrarily and without notification block your regular service.

Cable Companies (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799589)

I would think the cable companies would fight this since it decreases the value of having a DVR.

Wait, wait, I've heard this strategy before... (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799659)

...is this the "We will prevent piracy by making our product even more crippled for our legitimate customers, though the online pirates will be remain unaffected" strategy? Don't forget that recording and timeshifting is what most people consider fair, not as piracy. "Oh hello uncle Jim, wasn't expecting you. I was just watching a movie, let me just put it on record." or "Oh, you can't tonight? What about tomorrow night? Ok cool, I'll put it on record and we can watch it together tomorrow". I guess TPB must love these laws: "Yeah well, I had to download it from TPB because my stupid DVR wouldn't let me record it".

In every other kind of industry, I associate "pirates" either with counterfeits or cheap look-a-likes that are vastly inferior to the real product, the kind that street salesmen will sell tourists at a few bucks a piece. Since a digital copy is a perfect copy, I guess digital piracy will be equal. But when pirated goods start looking better and better, so you pay for the privilidge of using and inferior product and the feelgood of being legal, then there's something very, very wrong.

Consumer Freedom Marching On. (1)

sybert (192766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799797)

"The MPAA wants a waiver on that restriction in the case of high-definition movies broadcast prior to their release as DVDs."

Currently, no movies are released on HDTV before DVD (except for some indies on HDNET). So consumers will lose nothing and gain restricted access to movies that they had no access to previously.

Strangely, I have seen no complaints anywhere about the lack of consumer access to movies on HDTV before their DVD release. But propose restrictions on content as an incentive to create content that currently does not exist and suddenly slashdot is outraged!

Re:Consumer Freedom Marching On. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23799961)

Do you really believe that the only purpose of this is to prevent recording of *movies* ?

Now just go to eztv or any other TV torrent site, and watch the number of downloads for HD episodes of Lost, Prison Break or any other popular show.

Do you think the studios didn't notice ?

Lotta "if's" (4, Insightful)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799875)

IF this technology is used to restrict recording for a LIMITED period of time, until the initial theatrical release has run its course and they have milked the initial profits off the DVD release, THEN I would not have a serious problem with it. After all, unless you are one of those folks that MUST see a new movie as soon as it comes out, you can wait a little while. And even with the restriction, you could still WATCH the flick and even pause/rewind/etc. the thing -- you just wouldn't be able to dump it to a permanent source (disk, hard drive) right away. And hell, most movies will show up on non-PPV TV eventually anyway. By restricting the recording disability to the initial "surge" of the movie's release, the "can't wait" crowd are going to rush to the theater or buy the DVD the first day it's on sale and send the cartel its dough anyway, and the rest of us can just wait until it trickles down to a non-premium source from which we can record and save it if we want.

That's all very speculative, though. Knowing the methods of the MPAA as we do, it's more likely that this is just a way to get a foot in the door to eventually restrict or prevent ALL recording of its releases. That's an old tactic -- you know you can't get EVERYTHING you want right now, so you ask for just a limited option that most people would agree on, then slowly expand the parameters over time. Like the ban on "partial birth abortion." Or just like all the Bush era "anti-terrorist" legislation -- most people accepted it as necessary within the limited scope of "fighting terrorism," but we have already seen these laws starting to be used for things that have little, if anything, to do with terrorism. (Unless you then expand the definition of "terrorism," which is also happening.) The MPAA probably is playing the same game. (As we have often seen, the worlds of business and government are pretty much interchangeable in their more underhanded tactics...)

This is proof that the MPAA hates me... (1)

ComputerGeek01 (1182793) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799887)

This is great so there is now yet ANOTHER obstacle that we have to show each individual member of our family how to over come, and not just one time either but EVERY TIME IT COMES UP FOR THE NEXT YEAR! That's what they are planning people, to use our family's against us! This is sabotage on the mental level! We will all end up in a hospital curled up in a ball rocking back and forth due to of the endless calls from Aunt and Uncle Somebody because your little cousin fifty times removed wants to record the new Pokemon movie! And my family wonders why I drink only when they're around...

Go 100% analog (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23799993)

Kinda makes you want to stock up on analog equipment like VCRS and videotape, doesn't it?

Make the viewer your enemy...good idea...
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