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Anti-Copying TV Technology Creeps Forward

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the what-do-you-mean-fair-use dept.

Television 369

An anonymous reader writes: " After CDs, then comes TV? Although the technologies being spoken about are supposedly to prevent online sharing of television content as digital network television is born, the extents of the control being spoken of is alarming. When I purchase my next television recording device, will I be able to chose to record my favorite show while I am away from home? Will I be able to record one show while watching another? Or will I be at the mercy of the network ... only allowed to record should they *want* me to record. It could be possible to prevent the recording of first-run shows, forcing either-or choices (and affecting ratings and advertising rates,) rather than allowing us to watch one, record another."

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Frosty Piss (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859304)

AC rules, trolls can suck it!

Bah.. (0, Insightful)

fiftyfly (516990) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859307)

There's precious little worth watching anyway...

Re:Bah.. (3, Insightful)

b_pretender (105284) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859416)

Whooa now...

Watch what you say. There's plenty of episodes of Junkyard Wars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer on television. These are my favorite two shows and also the only shows that watch. (actually, I'm being serious)

second post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859310)

second post. 20 seconds.

hmm... (2, Interesting)

doooras (543177) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859311)

seems kinda funny... anti-copy TV broadcasts at the same time as ST:TNG being released on DVD. good thing i already have the good eps taped. could this possibly mean that other series will be released on dvd as well, so recording won't be necessary?

Re:hmm... (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859593)

I have a feeling they're trying to create a market for the over-priced DVD episodes of TV series. Who in their right mind would pay $20+ for two episodes on DVD when they can get tolerable quality with an SVHS recorder ($4 for premium blank tapes), or use a capture card and crunch it down with their own DVD-R burner ($5/disk)?

This isn't about preventing "piracy", it's about finding a new way to steal a few more dollars from the consumer.

Personally I would have less issue with a pay-per-view approach provided that:

  1. Price per 1 hour episode is no more than $1
  2. No commercials, previews, ad-banners, or other such nonsense is included
  3. The data stream is 100%. No bullshit blurring, bitrate reduction, or other nonsense like DirectTV uses. If I gotta pay, I want unreduced 1080p (not 1080i), with full 5.1 sound.
  4. A guarantee that there will be no dropouts, glitches, etc.
  5. I can make a non-duplicatable archive copy using a durable media like DVD.
  6. No monthly service charges. If you want me to pay per episode, I'll only pay for what I want to watch, not for all the hundreds of hours of useless tripe.
  7. No time slotting. If I subscribe to a series, I expect it to be deposited for viewing or archive on a weekly basis, to be viewed when I have time and the inclination.

All in all, I don't have an issue with protecting the content from wanton copying and redistribution. I'm rather shocked at the number of people I know who already see first-run theatre movies captured by DV cameras and transcoded to crippled-bitrate MPEG4; I can understand the content provider's concern over the issue as bandwidth increases.

As to the advertising revenue, do these morons really think I buy anything because I saw it on TV? I select purchases based on rational evaluations and independent 'net reviews, not based on some glitzy TV advertising or the biased sound-bite reviews provided by print media or ZDNet and it's affiliates.

But (2, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859314)

The networks are still bound by FCC regulations that through the airwaves transmissions be in the clear - that means that the big players, if they want to keep broadcasting through the airwaves, would be unable to prevent copying of those signals. Is there any way they could prevent people from taping in-the-clear signals?

Fair Use and the courts? (-1, Redundant)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859318)

Is it is just me or does the entire legal system and all corporations fail to understand the meaning of the phrase "Fair Use"?

Re:Fair Use and the courts? (1)

nihilist_1137 (536663) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859325)

do we?

Re:Fair Use and the courts? (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859373)

Don't be a dumbass. Fair use is a privilege, not a right. You, and everyone else (this includes corporations) have the right to copy protect content however you please. Until the DMCA, you could get around that copy protection to legally take advantage of your privilege to fair use.

Get this through your head: Fair use is a privelege, not a right or a guarantee.

Re:Fair Use and the courts? (1)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859459)

Well, I can see by your -1 score that you have poor taste *AND* absolutely no point whatsoever to make, not to mention the fact that you're completely WRONG.

The United States constitution grants copyrights to those who innovate and/or bring some positive benefit to society. This copyright does not belong to the individual or company in question, but to society itself. In return, the government grants said company/individual a temporary exclusive right to sell these materials, but must grant the purchasers of these copyrighted materials certain fair usage rights. The copyrights were supposed to expire within 20 years of the author's death. Thanks to Disney's shameless lobbying, that copyright is being continuously extended.

So you're wrong about fair use. Copyrighted materials in fact belong to society as a whole, and they are being LENT to the companies/individuals in question for a limited time and with limited priviledges. So our right to fair use is a RIGHT, guaranteed under the constitution.

If you wish to reply with more B.S. please do. I'd love to see your karma drop by another two points :))

Re:Fair Use and the courts? (5, Interesting)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859506)

Don't be a dumbass. Fair use is a privilege, not a right. You, and everyone else (this includes corporations) have the right to copy protect content however you please.

You're right. Fair use does not guarantee that it should be easy to record a copy for personal use.

However, broadcasting is a pivilege, not a right. Getting an easement on everybody's property for cable is a privilege, not a right. Parking a satellite in a geosynchronous slot is a privilege, not a right.

I think that it's only fair that in return for using their government granted monopolies on these publicly owned channels for their content distribution, broadcasters, satellite and cable companies should not be allowed to thwart reasonable fair use by their customers.

If they don't want to allow fair use, that's fine. They would just have to distribute their content in an entirely private distribution channel, like delivering DVDs via UPS.

With the current corporate-controlled political climate, however, I doubt that my argument will get very far.

Dos (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859322)


OK, you *made* me do it (5, Funny)

fleener (140714) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859326)

If I can't tape TV shows, I'll set up a video camera on a tripod, get a tightly cropped picture and use a timing device to record my damn shows. Or maybe I'll finally get so pissed off I withdraw from all corporate entertainment consumption.

Dammit, could the entertainment industry be bigger assholes?

Re:OK, you *made* me do it (1, Insightful)

statusbar (314703) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859347)

I believe that under the DMCA you could be prosecuted for that statemennt.


Re:OK, you *made* me do it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859438)

For what? Disclosure of trade secrets? Come on, everybody knows they are assholes...

Re:OK, you *made* me do it (3, Interesting)

statusbar (314703) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859475)

For communicating a method to circumvent copy protection.


Re:OK, you *made* me do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859550)

That's not illegal. RTFDMCA.

How can you consume? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859381)

If you consume a TV show, you are doing something wrong.

Re:OK, you *made* me do it (4, Funny)

Macka (9388) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859382)

Or maybe I'll finally get so pissed off I withdraw from all corporate entertainment consumption.

You read my mind. This actually might be a good thing. I'll be more inclined to get out more. Well, perhaps as far as the local pub anyway :-)

Re:OK, you *made* me do it (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859464)

Thats the same thing people do with movies.

If they make it hard to get shows, they will start a black market for shows :(

Instead of getting a friend to go to Korea and get lord of the rings on vcd, I'll have to go over to catch up on Fox's 24. []

Re:OK, you *made* me do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859531)

Personally, I think you're a big enough loser that you're actually going to set up the camera. C'mon big-talker, you going to put your money where your mouth is? You gonna start buying indie content only and turn off "corporate entertainment" entirely? I won't hold my breath.

I got me an old top-loading 4 head VCR! (4, Interesting)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859552)

I bet it won't even notice whatever content protection scheme they put in!

Re:OK, you *made* me do it (4, Interesting)

swordboy (472941) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859559)

Don't worry... The only way that they can prevent copying is if they were to replace every TV in the world with TVs that can decode an encrypted signal *after* it enters the TV. Since this would be very cost prohibitive to undertake even within the next 25 years, you can expect that, until this day, there will be a device that can copy the video signal on standard 75ohm coax that is used in the tens of millions of TVs in use today.

Re:OK, you *made* me do it (1)

El_Nofx (514455) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859560)

I just withdrew from the corporate entertainment consumption ring. We cancled our cable. You know what, I think It will be the best thing for my girlfriend and I, we can still see almost any show we want, Just download it! Getting rid of tv will make you spend more time talking with your family, (if your not glued to your puter)
The funny thing is that we canceled our cable on Monday, we still have it! A friend back home got to keep his for 2 years before they noticed one day, OOPS! I didn't notice you were giving me free cable! hehe.
It will be a sad day if we are subject to the whim of the networks. Kinda reminds me of Running Man.

Re:OK, you *made* me do it (2, Insightful)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859579)

Heh, cancelled my cable months ago, and haven't missed it one bit. I've been away from it long enough that TV mostly annoys me now. I've become jealous of my precious time.

<irony>I do have lapses tho, which usually result in Slashdot posts such as this one. ;-)</irony>

Re:OK, you *made* me do it (1)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859592)

Reminds me of the old Max Headroom TV series..."off" switches for TVs are completely illegal (punishable by capital punishment IIRC). For what it's worth, I watch DVDs now much more than regular TV (except for sports)...if a TV show is good enough, it'll make it to syndication (e.g. Homicide:LOTS; Futurama one day) and then ultimately to a complete DVD set that I rent/buy.

The Turd Report.... but not by The Turd Report!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859328)

Wow! I just took the most violent shit of my life! It even looks like the largest shit I ever took in one sitting!

The shit consisted at first of a very gigantic piece of turd that was excruciating to pass and took several minutes. This was followed by a moderately sized shit that was easier to pass but was still painful. Then came at least 6 or 7 smaller turds, but still large compared to other shits I have taken.

I was lucky to use a high-flow toilet because the first turd barely went down after a flush. The rest of the turds and the toilet paper each got a flush of their own. It should be noted that the second and third flushes barely went down, just like the first.

The smell was difficult to handle, and needed a long and thorough spray of air freshener. I am considering purchasing a scented fragrance that will cleanse the air after each of my shits. This shit could have benefited greated with such an air freshener. The wipe was messy and used about half a roll. But it was cleaner than some of the other shits I have taken!

My anus still hurts from passing massive amounts of excrement so I am sitting on a pillow resting on my left ass cheek. Through careful consideration I rate this turd a..... 10!!!

Good-day to you sir and happy shitting!

A simple solution (1, Interesting)

GePS (543386) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859331)

For the networks to keep the viewing totals up for the major advertising bucks they want (the article implies that the networks would ban recordings of shows on certain times so people would watch during the week ad prices are calculated), all that would need be done is to count all the VCR's recording the shows as a viewer. I don't suppose the technology to do that would be very hard at all

Re:A simple solution (1)

AgentRavyn (142623) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859359)

b squared or not b squared? huh?



Re:A simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859589)

Sounds pretty easy.

Because as we all know ... (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859332)

... the entire TV, music, and movie industries are on the verge of bankruptcy, because of those evil digital pirates. Yo ho ho and a bottle of TiVo, mateys! Let's take the Digital Main!

Sheesh. The VCR was the best thing that ever happened to Hollywood. Recording and sharing _increases_ interest in the entertainment industry's products. Why can't they see that?

Re:Because as we all know ... (1)

doooras (543177) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859364)

all they can see are $$ they can get NOW.

Re:Because as we all know ... (3, Insightful)

aiken_d (127097) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859390)

...They can't see that because they'd all rather have a dime today than a dollar tomorrow. It's not even their fault, really; they're answerable to shareholders, like everyone else.

As long as people see the stock market as a short term, get-rich-quick environment, corporations have to look at their businesses that way. You want long-term stability and decent behavior? Buy into companies that act that way (and realize that you'll make less money in the short term).

There's a lot to be said for US-style capitalism, but it seems we've hit the point of diminishing returns. Companies are incented to rape their customers for short-term profit so big shareholders can get out with a big profit... and then the company goes to hell while the shareholders move on to the next "fast growing" company, which has no choice but to do the same thing (by no choice, I mean that the majority shareholders, including corporate officers, all stand to gain by that behavior).


Re:Because as we all know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859544)

You forgot to mention that the people at the top, as they move from venture to venture, get progressively richer as they rape each company for short term gain.

And who are they really hurting when they rape the company and leave with millions after bankrupting it? The rank-and-file, whose labor has gone directly into the pockets of the elite.

There is *not* a lot to be said for us-style capitalism, this is precisely what's so evil about it. The rich get richer and the poor get enforcement of draconian policies designed to keep getting the rich richer.

Too bad there is so much meaningless, untrue propaganda about socialism in our media and educational system, because most people in the US argue for it all the time without realizing what they are saying.

Re:Because as we all know ... (1)

Cryogenes (324121) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859428)

The VCR was the best thing that ever happened to Hollywood. Recording and sharing _increases_ interest in the entertainment industry's products. Why can't they see that?

Because it is not true. If VHS tapes were read-only (like DVDs), movies would make more money, not less.

Mind you, I am not excusing any of the RIAA/MPAA's sleazy behaviour. I just don't buy the oft-uttered myth that movie studios will somehow benefit from copying and sharing.

Re:Because as we all know ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859551)

It's about control. And with control comes money.

*They* are using piracy as an exuse to control you with their hidden code and their code does more than prevent piracy.

Technology and the internet in particular has commoditized many things and is actively inflicting damage on all monopolies around the globe.

--Perhaps 2/3 of something is better than 3/3 of nothing.. what's left in your 401k?

That will be it. (1)

Oliver Defacszio (550941) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859335)

I'm one of the lucky few who have long ago given up on TV and, I dare say, if the recording of digital programs becomes as hotly contested as this endless MP3 soap opera, it will be the last straw for many more. Really, it's not as though TV offers anything that can't be found elsewhere, especially with increasingly widespread broadband access.

Sure, one of the key problems with recent attempts to eliminate free-use rights from digital music is that the "average man" doesn't make use of such rights enough for it to matter. I again speculate that, if Larry Lunchpail can suddenly not record the Sunday afternoon NFL games, he will start spinning and not quit until the walls are painted in blood.

I, personally, can't wait.

Re:That will be it. (5, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859439)

The TV in its earlier days was informative and delivered unique content. Exactly as radio was before that, and as newspaper was before that... and all these technologies had their high points, and they passed them.

What would one read in a newspaper today, yesterday's news? Opinions of illiterate or unqualified journalists? Ads? Same happened with radio; rare a song now is played from start to end because radio people just love to mix and match the bait^Wsong with ads and useless chat that is not even worth the battery to tune to. TV is not far behind; ads drip from every little pause in content, and the content itself is of very low value, targeting lowest common denominator in the society.

Is there something better than TV? Sure, and it is already here. One can have his movies on tapes, VCDs, DVDs or just in big .avi files, just click of a mouse to order at online shop (or Usenet). The one-way pipe (from fools on that end to fools on this end) is now being replaced with tons of chat/messaging software, from rocket-scientist's IRC to uncle Joe's Yahoo boards, where people can actually *talk* to each other, instead of being fed with corporate propaganda.

The TV is losing its appeal, especially (for now) among people who know how to get better information from Internet. Joe Sixpack still uses TV; however he does so not because he loves it but because it is there. He loves beer much more, and if he can get his football elsewhere, he will. If he can't tape his play he would be mad, and the TV would be useless to him.

In any case, there is no free market in broadcasting, and as such the monopoly (made out of several sister TV companies) is free to abuse the viewer in any way it wants. The only remedy is to stop using their services. They are not worth much anyway, and if a movie is good you can always buy it, free from ads, squishing, logos and other fluff.

Re:That will be it. (1)

eracerblue (473104) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859528)

The TV in its earlier days was informative and delivered unique content. Exactly as radio was before that, and as newspaper was before that... and all these technologies had their high points, and they passed them.

... and like the internet is now.

Re:That will be it. (3, Insightful)

sabinm (447146) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859563)

Only to a certain extent. for instance. Larry Lunchpail already has local blackout on his satellite dish and he isn't coating anyone with blood. Look at it this way. I pay 50 bucks a season to see all the NFL games I want, plus some NCAA. Except, for that 50 bucks, I can't see my home team, because it's blacked out by the national stations in my area. I have to watch their medium or not at all. Much more than that, if my favorite team makes it to the playoffs, or ANY televised game, then I'm stuck switching back to my less quality games through my antenna. So basically, I've paid 50 a season for the worst games and no playoffs. And Larry Lunchpail laps it up! no complaints. this has been going on since the satelite tv started. The only alternative I see is not worrying about the drivel they put up anyway, and watch PBS until they scramble that signal too.

Current law... (1)

Random Feature (84958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859340)

And this would break the 1992 law regarding the consumer's ability to videotape. They'll go to court over it and then *hopefully* get their asses kicked.

I say hopefully because the climate has changed so much in the past 10 years that I'm not positive that such case law will be enough to stop these ridiculous attempts at stifling the use of technology to make our lives easier.

Re:Current law...details (3, Informative)

Random Feature (84958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859356)

In recent years:

The Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that consumers could "time shift" TV programs on VCRs to view later.

Making cassette tapes or copies of CDs for personal use has been affirmed by court rulings, while a 1992 law allowed consumers to make limited digital copies of music, with royalties to be included in the price of blank tapes and discs.

In 1999, a court ruled that portable digital music players could be sold and gave owners the right to move their music from PCs to the devices.

The precedences are astounding, so what (other than money) are the "big boys" going to do to overturn these rulings?

Re:Current law... (1)

xxdelxx (551872) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859442)

As I believe someone hereabouts mentioned recently - there's nothing in the 1992 law which says that they have to provide content which is capable of being copied. Merely that they can't stop you doing so. Of course if it's encrypted then the DCMA stops you decrypting it. In light of the other comment about tranmission being 'in the clear' I admit I don't see how this could be applied to free-to-air TV. But I'm sure they'll find a way to at least try it.

call me old fashioned... (1)

MoceanWorker (232487) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859342)

but why not save all the hassle with your good ole 4 header VHS?

of course the quality, and maybe the sound might not be so great... but at least you have a copy... hassle free too :-)

Re:call me old fashioned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859431)

If you want improved quality how about (for example) S-VHS [] or D-VHS [] ?

fed up (1)

f00zbll (526151) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859349)

I am so fed up with large corporations stepping over the bounderies of fair use. Excuse my language but F$#@ this! Television is so full of aweful rehash junk, there very little I want to watch. If they don't like it, then shutdown ABC, CBS, NBC and only have cable television.

I watch more cable now anyways, since the major channels have forgotten how to make a really good show, besides West Wing, I can't think of a show that kicks butt.

This half @$$ bs is just annoying and a slap in the face. If they don't like the current advertising model, then change to a pay channel.

I'll get modded down :), so what. atleast I'm not a blood sucking tv exec

Maybe it's not so bad (4, Insightful)

Ghoser777 (113623) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859363)

Personally (and there are plenty of people who disagree with me, that's why they buy products like thys), I don't think there's much left on TV that's worth recording anymore. Instead of watching "When Animals Attck VIII", maybe this will get people to read more or do other stuff that's more educational or socially significant, like taking interest in children's education (and having kids focus more on their education because they're not watching as much tv). There are some quality shows, but commercialization and voyerism and other junk have really made network television really aweful.

Then again, I guess the next step would be to copy protect books. Maybe they'll burst into flames if they detect a sufficiently bright light, such as used in copy machines.


Re:Maybe it's not so bad (1)

Ranger Rick (197) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859484)

Actually, it's the opposite. TiVo and their ilk make TV good again. I've started catching all kinds of great shows I had no idea existed (or still ran) because they're on at non-prime times. I could care less about most of the pap on prime-time network TV.

Re:Maybe it's not so bad (2)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859555)

Same for me. The discussion a while back about The Tick being cancled had some interesting comments. Apparently people didn't watch it because it was shown at an unpopular time.

To be honest, I didn't know when it was shown... ever. I couldn't even fathom a guess at the day or time that it was regularly broadcast. All I know was that it was sitting there on my TiVo waiting for me to watch it when I wanted.


analog (1)

eracerblue (473104) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859372)

Just call me analog boy.

But I'm really starting to think that the future lies in analog.

I mean, the big boys can't do squat to prevent us from making analog recordings... and they seem to be all but killing progress in the digitital world.

Maybe it's time for an antitrust case against the big boys...

TV show trading (4, Informative)

DanThe1Man (46872) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859376)

For thouse of you that don't know it, there is already TV show trading on the internet, mostly on IRC and on a few web sites [] . The problem for the TV networks is that people take out the commerials when they encode the show, so the networks don't get any advertiing dollars.

Re:TV show trading (2, Insightful)

jiminim (104910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859496)

>The problem for the TV networks is that people take >out the commerials when they encode the show, so >the networks don't get any advertiing dollars.

Of course the networks would not be getting any advertising money anyway even if the commercials were copied with the shows.

There is just no way a network could call up Budweiser or Toyota and say "we have just played your ad in 120,000 more times than expected due to pirate recordings, so you owe us $50,000 more."

Re:TV show trading (1)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859547)

If it weren't for a few episodes of Enterprise that I downloaded, I would not be following the show now that DirecTV has added the local affiliate the carries it (it didn't before which is why I downloaded it).

So there's one case where the network and studio should be very glad to I sought out and downloaded a -gasp- pirated copy of one of their shows with the commercials taken out.


World record for moderation (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859377)

This may not relate directly to the article at hand, but it is important to many /. readers. Check out this thread [] on a previous discussion that received a record 122 (!) moderations. This by itself would not be cause for concern. But the editors didn't seem to like this thread, so the entire thread was "bitchslapped" down to (-1, Offtopic) several times.

I would like to ask the editors, why did you feel this was necessary? The parent post was at +5 at one point before getting slapped down to (-1). It received some more positive moderation up to +4 or so and got slapped down again. Currently it is at +2. Why was it necessary to drop a +5 user moderated post down to (-1) on multiple occasions? And why did you drop the entire thread (70+ responses) down with it? Many of those responses made valid points yet they got the same (-1, Offtopic).

Re:World record for moderation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859383)

The thread was offtopic. It was nothing to do with Oracle.


I blame you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859403)

The thread was offtopic. It was nothing to do with Oracle.

You fucking pathetic little neo-nazi hippie with an itch in your rectum that can never be scratched.... enough.

+5, insightful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859441)

Where else do you expect us to post comments that deal with Slashdot itself? It is the only place we can post so deal with it.

Re:World record for moderation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859493)

The thread was offtopic. It was nothing to do with Oracle.

Yea, so you mean every post in the thread deserves -1 even though many many moderators who modded it up thought it was worth discussing?

Slashdot does not provide any forum to talk about slashdot itself, except on the rare occassions they post a bit on slashcode. So sometimes readers want to vent on the main page, so what? Enough people thought it was worth it. The real story was the viciousness of the moderation by the editors (everyone's theory, every post doesn't instantly turn to -1 in 3 seconds by normal means).

It's like if you voted for Bush, but the Supreme Court thought he was too dumb and made Gore the prez instead. Yea I know, this ain't a model U.N. or anything, but it just shows the treehouse mentality the editors have.

+5, informative (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859465)

The last few months I have been doing some research into the trolling phenomenon on In order to do this as thoroughly as possible, I have written both normal and troll posts, 1st posts, etc., both logged in and anonymously, and I have found these rather shocking results:

  • More moderator points are being used to mod posts down than up. Furthermore, when modding a post up, every moderator seems to follow previous moderators in their choices, even when it's not a particularly interesting or clever post [] []. There are a LOT more +5 posts than +3 or +4.
  • Logged in people are modded down faster than anonymous cowards. Presumably these Nazi Moderators think it's more important to burn a user's existing karma, to silence that individual for the future, than to use the moderation system for what it's meant for : identifying "good" and "bad" posts (Notice how nearly all oppressive governments in the past and present do the same thing : marking individuals as bad and untrustworthy because they have conflicting opinions, instead of engaging in a public discussion about these opinions)
  • Once you have a karma of -4 or -5, your posts have a score of -1 by default. When this is the case, no-one bothers to mod you down anymore. This means a logged in user can keep on trolling as much as he (or she) likes, without risking a ban to post on slashdot. When trolling as an anonymous user, every post starts at score 0, and you will be modded down to -1 ON EVERY POST. When you are modded down a certain number of times in 24 hour, you cannot post anymore from your current IP for a day or so. So, for successful trolling, ALWAYS log in.
  • A lot of the modded down posts are actually quite clever [] [], funny [] [], etc., and they are only modded down because they are offtopic. Now, on a news site like slashdot, where the number of different topics of discussion can be counted on 1 hand, I must say I quite like the distraction these posts offer. But no, when the topic is yet another minor version change of the Linux kernel [] [], they only expect ooohs and aaahs about this great feat of engineering. Look at the moderation done in this thread [] [] to see what I mean.
  • Digging deep into the history of slashdot, I found this poll [] [], which clearly indicates the vast majority does NOT want the moderation we have here today. 'nuff said.

Feel free to use this information to your advantage. I thank you for your time.

And the bitchslap returns (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859540)

Looks like the mega-thread was bitchslapped once again. Every response is back down to -1. This is just too funny.

Moderation Totals: Offtopic=58, Flamebait=1, Troll=3, Redundant=2, Insightful=10, Interesting=38, Informative=11, Funny=2, Overrated=2, Underrated=4, Total=131.

It doesn't matter (0, Redundant)

bigpat (158134) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859378)

This is just a bunch of out of work techies scaring tv executives into spending money on their new "copy" protection schemes. If they listen to them, then they deserve what they get... reduced viewership.

Imagine sharing of tv shows.... how many people would actually edit out the commercials? Isn't that the frigging point of tv from the executives perspective? what does it matter when someone views your show as long as they do? Keep the scramblers only on pay cable...

Already a Done Deal (2, Informative)

BurritoWarrior (90481) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859379)

I signed up for a trial of digital cable TV where I live, and after purchasing a video on demand, I went to record the last part as I was getting tired and wanted to sleep and watch the rest the next day. Lo and behold the picture faded in and out, same as if you try and record a DVD.

I know there are signal boosters/correctors that can overcome this...the question is, why should normal, law abiding citizens have to resort to this?

This will help me write more software! (2, Insightful)

nwf (25607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859380)

Personally, I watch nothing live on TV. I record everything I watch no matter what. I hate being stuck in front of the TV afraid to do something else and miss something. Plus, I'm rarely around when stuff I want to watch is. I won't structure my life around some lame TV-exec's schedule of when I should watch stuff. So, if they don't allow recording of everything (with the possible exception of PPV), then I won't watch anything. Nothing is really worth watching live, anway. So, that leaves more time to develop code!

Think of all of the social benefits that would come if people just stopped watching TV!

How, without encryption... (3, Interesting)

Logic Bomb (122875) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859386)

...are they supposed to be able to achieve this? The article's point about a 'flag' having to be universally accepted and followed is right on. But unless they try to actually encrypt the full signal, anyone could manufacture a non-compliant device, and it'd be an instant mega-seller. I don't even see the point of this initiative. Without the force of law or unbreakable encryption, it's useless.

Re:How, without encryption... (2)

mr. roboto (85479) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859486)

Without the force of law or unbreakable encryption, it's useless.

Looks like you've answered your own question there. In the past, the entertainment industry has been able to get the force of law on its side at will...

I'm so fucking sick of this. To echo other sentiments in this thread, I say screw them all. I can be perfectly happy listing to indie music and renting indie movies. Any major studio films I see in the theater anyway, since they're playing on 5 fucking screens at each of the multiplexes. And who needs TV? Precious few shows are anything but mindless pap; the ones that aren't I'll miss, but not that much...

Re:How, without encryption... (2)

bartyboy (99076) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859514)

It would probably be much easier than building your own device. If the flags ever change, you'd be stuck with the hardware.

Since the signal is (or would be) digital, all you'd have to do is capture it, run it through a program which strips the flags and watch the output. New flags come out? No problem. Just upgrade your program.

It's the wave of the future (2)

Nathdot (465087) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859395)

Soon all we'll be able/allowed to record are infomercials featuring Danny Bonnaducci and/or Chuck Norris



This will be as respected as DVD Regions (1)

xinit (6477) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859400)

Yet will be as popular as black-market small-dish satellite....

Those that want to record Seinfeld repeats on the digital TV system will find or make devices to do just that. They'll be available on ebay for a while, and everyone will know someone who has one.

Besides, what's to stop you from pointing a good camcorder at the screen and recording it that way? There's ALWAYS a way, even if it's a generation apart from the original, that's fine. How popular were dubbed mix tapes in the 80s?

Huh? (1)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859405)

Wasn't this one decided once already? Time shifting is legal, right? Hello? McFly?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859460)

Careful there, don't want the MPAA on your ass for violating movie script copyrights, or anything.

Big Network Wet Dream (2)

Maul (83993) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859415)

Imagine in the near future that the big networks
manage to make their signals such that they can only be viewed by using a special reciever/DVR device. If you wanted to watch TV, you would HAVE
to buy one of these, in addition to a TV.
It might take the networks to buy some laws
to get this done, but it could happen.
This DVR will allow you to time shift, but will not allow you to fast forward through commercials. The networks could also have a pay-per-view scheme so that it charges you whenever you view anything, no matter how much you've already seen it. Or perhaps ever minute you're watching something, you are being charged some amount.

I'm sure somebody over there has thought of this
sort of device.

Corporate propaganda (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859423)

There is nothing watching on TV anyway.
99% of the crap broadcasted is Megacorporation
propaganda (consume,go with the sheepflock).

Anyway the statistics are that Internet users
watch only a little bit of TV (something like 1h
a day versus 9h a day for most of the serfs).

The real Digital Divide (3, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859427)

I see this as the real "Digital Divide," a recurring pattern using this new medium as a force to separate and distinguish the two classes, but in a new configuration. In the past, the producers were the paeons and the consumers were the elite.

This development shows how this is reversing: the producers are the elite who have licenses to clone costless data and the consumers are the powerless drones who pay their wages and freedoms away per every view.

Same class model we've had for centuries, and the digital realm is nothing new.

Just opening the door for independents... (5, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859432)

I think that the tighter they squeeze people, the wider the door will get for independent people to make their own shows and publish them on the web.

It is possible with today's consumer technology for people to make movies and broadcast them on the internet. Video cameras are cheap, people are willing to act (although there's need for improvement heh), and TV quality visual effects are within the reach of people with a modest income.

Until the day Hollywood consistantly creates stories that are worth paying for, they can't make these kinds of demands. Take a look at Final Fantasy. The people who are fans of that series are mostly interested in the story. They have their Playstation 2's, they have the $50 to buy the game, and they have the 40 hours to beat it. There isn't a TV show out there that can make that many people reschedule their lives around when the show is aired. Even though a show is half an hour to an hour long, nearly all of them aren't worth making sure you are home for that time.

So go ahead Hollywood, spend your energy trying to protect your 'precious content', you're not going to squeeze more money out of people.

Everyone will have more time for Slashdot (3, Interesting)

2Bits (167227) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859437)

Gee, I'm feeling squeezed.

First, I stopped going to theater coz I'm pissed by MPAA. And I stopped renting movies for the same reason. Then I stop buying music CDs coz I'm pissed by RIAA. And I refuse to buy DVD player because of this stupid zoning scheme and DMCA.

And now TV. Well, not that I watch any TV at all, as I don't even have cable. But still.

Great, everyone just spends more quality time on Slashdot, then. Let it be the geek's new year's resolution.

I will hack me a way. (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859440)

I will hack, slash or code me a way to watch my content. Currently I record off an mpeg converted to divx or vcd depending on the quality of the input. This is my right, Im using it for personal use. I will also pick up a tivo and hack it also. There will always be "Hacker Way" to do it.

The day the police raid my door to stop me from breaking copy protection in my own home, is the day I become a freedom fighter, and start the war of revolution. Many people are starting to think the same way, when will people say NO, and take up arms against a corporate controlled police force.
It might be a un-popular view to believe in personal freedoms. But where are the people standing up for my rights? Do I need to protect them with a gun? Voting doesn't work when the majority is brainwashed with political correctness and sound bites.

"Whenever men take the law into their own hands, the loser is the law. And when the law loses, freedom languishes." - Robert Francis Kennedy

Re:I will hack me a way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859461)

The last of the human freedoms is to choose one's attitudes.
-Victor Frankl

HOW ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859561)

How the hell are you going to be able to start a revolution when you are doing life plus 200 years for copyright violations ?

Re:HOW ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859585)

Cops will just shoot you, you must be a terrorist! I bet you even listen to mp3s!

Re:I will hack me a way. (1)

titus_groan (217930) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859586)

You're willing to shoot somebody over your right to watch TV? Get a grip...

Non-compliant recorders (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859448)

What will happen when someone decides to build non-compliant recorder that simply ignores the 'do-not-copy' flag ? The asian markets are a natural birthing pool for these kinds of aftermarket gadgets.

Don't worry, we'll find a way... (1)

Nick Smith (321087) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859458)

If we can't tape TV shows anymore then we just have to be a little more inventive.

I can see a legion of enthusiasts sitting in front of their sets with pencils and sketchbooks, copying scene after scene with speech bubbles for dialogue. Then we reassamble these sketches into flipbooks to simulate the television experience...

"Wow, the animation in South Park is so much smoother than it used to be..."

HAH! (4, Funny)

curunir (98273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859462)

The Technology Working Group has a better record of achievement, however. Formed in 1996 to come up with standards for protecting DVDs from piracy, the group has consistently agreed on standards such as the Content Scrambling System, which is built into DVDs and DVD players.

I suppose they just succeded in making me buy a new monitor (

Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859476)

Kill your TV.

Who Cares? (1)

jimlintott (317783) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859479)

It seems that with digital and / or satellite services, everything is always on, at anytime, anyway.

For the last fucking time (2)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859482)

It's television. It's not bread, water or sleep. It isn't procreation. It isn't required to subsist. It *isn't an inalienable right*.

Therefore, it's a luxury. A luxury you pay for. A luxury you *don't have to pay for*. If you don't like the restraints this particular facet of the entertainment industry wishes to put on you *DON'T BUY A FUCKING TV*.

These arguments get me *so* pissed off. People are dying in other parts of the world because they can't get enough rice, and *we're* worried about a luxury we somehow view as an inalienable right.

Re:For the last fucking time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859507)

right on dude.

Re:For the last fucking time (5, Interesting)

TheMCP (121589) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859591)

It's television. It's not bread, water or sleep. It isn't procreation. It isn't required to subsist. It *isn't an inalienable right*.
Actually, it *is*. The FCC grants the right to use the airwaves to television stations on the basis that they are supposed to serve the public. They're allowed to make a profit on doing so, but they're supposed to serve us. If they're going to take away our fair-use rights, the FCC should look at taking away their licenses to broadcast.

Shooting themselves in the foot (2, Insightful)

AmunRa (166367) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859491)

When will these guys (the networks) realise that this sort of thing will only infuriate joe bloggs, and the people that _really_ want to copy stuff still will. At the end of the day, whatever method they use, they've gotta send the signal to your TV, so there's always going to be somehow to record. And that's assuming that some clever hacker doesn't work out how to decrypt/circumvent it. It's the same thing with P2P file sharing stuff. Most files are uploaded by 1, maybe 2 people, and get spread to hundreds and thousands of others. It's no accident that all the copies of Madonna's ray of beautiful light stranger music on napster/edonkey/gnutilla are all the same size...

You're an idiot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859495)

Get up off your fat sweaty ass and throw away your fucking TV.

hazards of research (-1)

peepoh (537606) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859498)

I work as a research assisstant for a Psychology lab at a major university. Part of my duties includes running experiments on undergrads. I had just finished running this one experiment on a very attractive young lady. Just when I was moving to thank her for her participation and show her to the door, she interrupts.

"Look, I hate to beg, but I really need some extra credit for psyc 101. If my final grade stinks as much as my current grade, my parents will cut off my allowance. Could you spot me a few extra participation points?"

"I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to do that." What a pathetic grade-grubber.

That's when the brat began sobbing and blubbering. "But I can't fail this class! I got straight A's in highschool! I'll be a disgrace! I -"

"Well, I'm sorry but I can only award credit commensurate with the amount of time you give us. I -"

"What if I give you a blow job?"

Did she just say that? I'd better come up with a generic response if I didn't want to come off soundling like a big pervert in case she hadn't just tried to bribe me with oral pleasure.

"Sure, okay."

"Ten credits, I'll even swallow."


My remaining disbelief disappeared the minute she unzipped my trousers and opened wide. "Little Bobby" was having a thoroughly good time, at first. But then I got a little nibble, and then another.

"Um, could you please stop biting me?"

" I can't help it, my braces only allow me to open my mouth so far."

Braces!?! This chick had braces? I guess The Castle Dental Center's advertised "invisible braces" really held true to their claim. Normally I would have avoided a metal-mouth right off the bat, but I'd been duped by The Castle. Common sense told me, begged me to abort immediately, but I've never been one to pull the pancakes off the griddle before they were done just because a cockroach had fallen into the batter. I was going to complete this transaction.

"ooh! ow! ooooh! ow-OW! oooh! ow!"

Five minutes later, the pancakes were done. My participant attempted to dismount, but something was wrong. My flesh was caught in her braces! I tried to work my pee-pee's way carefully and slowly out of her mouth, but she wouldn't hold still! Suddenly she jerked her head back and a flap of skin tore off. I screamed. She picked her teeth with her pinky nail, said, "Thanks for the credits!" cheerily and walked out.

I lay on the floor in a fetal position, my member bleeding, for an hour or so until a scab had formed. I get my dick cut up on Miss Piranha's maw of death and she gets ten credits?!? But she didn't have the credits yet - I had to award them! I still had control of the situation! Oh sweet revenge! Negative one-hundred for you, bitch!

Most of what the big networks put out... (1, Redundant)

Robber Baron (112304) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859503) shit anyways! I just recently began again patronizing one of the first great bastions of freely shared "content" local library. Guess what? I'm liking it a whole lot more than killing braincells watching mindless shit like Friends or that stupid Pamela Anderson T&A show...I can't even remember what it's called(shows how culturally important THAT is, doesn't it?). I say we should all just tell the so-called "content producers" to fuck off and take their steaming shit they have the temerity to call "entertainment" with isn't worth the price of blank media anyway...and devote our attention to real art and real literature. And let's get out and live our own lives, and not waste time watching somebody else living a stupid fake life on TV.

Why does everyone forget analog????? (1)

sendmeyer (547840) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859518)

Even *if there is a difficult to break digital copy protection scheme, you will always still be able to make a digital version of an analog copy, with audio it's easy - soundblasters are cheap and produce ok results, I use a relatively inexpensive pro audio card, it's flawless, sure, quality video equipment is still rather expensive, but it will get there relax, they'll never win

Who wants to watch tv anyway? (1)

Sarin (112173) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859541)

I normally only watch the reruns of the news at night. All of the other programs I do want to watch are available in the various usenet groups much earlier (1-2 years) than they will be on tv here. Most interesting things went away with the commercialization of the tv programming so channels that support the record blocking will probably suck anyway. I prefer spending my time reading books, making music and participate in various things instead of consuming McDonalds-like food for thought on television.

RealMedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859542)

I remember when RealAudio came out with RealAudio Player Plus, it had a "Feature" to record audio feeds to the hard drive. It cost you an extra $30 for this. And the sad part was that Real put in a "feature" to allow "content providers" to disable the functionality. Guess what? EVERY STREAM WAS RECORD DISABLED. No matter what. You couldn't record anything. It kept going until they came out with RealOne (which to my knowledge doesn't even pretend to have the feature). Look at DVDs. VERY FEW are non-CSS non-macrocrapped.

Every time you provide an "optional" copy protection with "varying degrees of protection", all the content will be protected with the MAXIMUM form of it. It seems there isn't enough of a disincentive to using these, and it's perverse, wrong, sick, and a horrid shame. If VCR people decide to bow to these people, their market will EVAPORATE completely. No one will buy a VCR that can't record anything. It would be pointless, and bad word spreads quick.

Ahhhh goats! (4, Informative)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859567)

It's too bad there isn't a slashbox to filter out these whiny fucking threads. Think about it for a second, way back when there were three television broadcasters! You didn't get to pick shit that was on television. You were damn lucky if the TV had anything for your lazy ass to watch or you just watched what was cool. Then came cable and satellite. You had even more choices of what to plop your lazy ass in front of as long as you were willing to pay for it. VCRs also came about which allowed you to record stuff to watch later (held up by court statute known as time shifting). The you could program your VCR to record shit even if you weren't around to press buttons. Broadcasters even worked with the VCRPlus folks to give channel guides codes that would let people even more easily program their VCRs to record shit they weren't around to watch. Now in the transition to digital broadcasters want to break all of this because people can make exact copies of what was broadcast.

The problem lies in the fact that they make money from the potential eyes of viewers. Ratings allow broadcasters to charge more money for the time they sell to advertisers. They make their money in this fashion. However if they are broadcasting digital information rather than analog exact digital copies would be made. Big deal you say but it IS a big deal. It requires a bit of effort to filter commercials out of analog signals on a VCR (they look for a fade to black and stop recording until the video fades back in). The percentage of VCRs and people who take the time to do this is small so broadcasters don't bitch much about it. With a digital signal it is fairly trivial to scan a datastream for a pattern or flag denoting the transition to a commercial and since this is trivial a PVR or equivilent can easily nix the commercial from the recorded video. Since the only difference between a PVR and digital signal decoder is a storage device to record the video stream this had broadcasters a bit worried. If a majority of people with digital receivers can both time shift and remove commercials from video feeds the broadcasters can't make didly squat. Their traditional metrics become useless and advertisers can't be assured their advertisements will even be seen.

Broadcasters don't care about the small fraction of people who would go to all the trouble to trade copies of video over the internet. Most people won't bother even if they have the bandwidth. It's scores easier to flip on your TV at a certain time of tell a PVR or VCR to record something than it is to first find it and then second download it to your computer. Broadcasters will however be taken to court if they break compliance with statutes saying people have the right to record video for personal use. To keep from getting legally fucked in the ass this way you're going to see non-linear break commercials. Characters will drink a Pepsi and wear Reeboks and chase a bad guy through the Gap end will hang out at a Starbucks. Advertising will be like it was depicted in The Truman show where they broadcast constantly. Everyday items would be product placement and actors would be spokespeople during the shows they performed on. The crap acting you see in commercials now is going to take place inside your favourite drama or sci-fi adventure. Also expect more of those fucking tickers at the bottom, top, and sides of your screen.

Devil's Advocate (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2859590)

Not that I agree with what I am saying, but just to make you think ....

What makes you think that you have the right to do whatever you want with someone else's artistic material? If it brings them higer advertising dollars to restrict the presentation to force you to watch it during broadcast only then so what? Would you as an advertiser pay as much knowing that most of the audience can and will fast forward through the commercials?

If you don't like it, tough - watch other shows. The consumer votes approval or diapproval with his wallet - if no one watches then no one will advertise - the bar will be set at whether the show is good enough to watch only as it's first aired with commercials, nothing more, nothing less. Seems fair to me. Of course there will allways be those who are above the law and find ways to violate copy restrictions (and speed limits and steal software and music etc..) but I sure don't care what their opinion is (hang them all as far as I'm concerned, they contribute nothing to society).

Always leading from the wrong angle... (1)

Moxen (89413) | more than 12 years ago | (#2859600)

You'd think that someone at the studios would realize that their ideal situation is one where thousands more people watch their content on demand. What they ought to do is distribute the content freely in a digital format (encoded), along with free players that force you to watch the corresponding ads. Why isn't this the best for everyone? But instead, of course, they're trying to prevent people from watching the broadcasts... very clever people.
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