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MPAA to Senate: Plug the Analog Hole!

jamie posted more than 11 years ago | from the op-amp dept.

Movies 734

A month ago, the MPAA filed its report [PDF] with the Senate Judiciary Committee on the terrors of analog copying. I quote: "in order to help plug the hole, watermark detectors would be required in" -- are you sitting down? -- "all devices that perform analog to digital conversions." At their page Protecting Creative Works in a Digital Age, the Senate lays out the issues they'll be looking at, including briefs from corporate groups, and provides a comment form so your opinion can be heard as well. As Cory Doctorow writes: "this is a much more sweeping (and less visible) power-grab than the Hollings Bill, and it's going forward virtually unopposed. ...the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group is bare weeks away from turning over a veto on new technologies to Hollywood." Doctorow's article on the "analog hole" for the EFF does a great job of explaining the issues to non-electrical-engineers, and has many thought-provoking examples of how requiring such technology would be a giant step backwards.

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734 comments

Sarah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578447)

This makes two for today!
Kiss Gizmo!

I just mauled my statistics quiz.

What is it with these bozos? (3, Interesting)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578457)

They just don't stop, they just don't listen, and they NEVER LEARN. I contact my congressman over this stuff every time, and I will continue to do so.

Re:What is it with these bozos? (2)

yasth (203461) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578581)

If you're eligible to vote and in thier districit/state, vote against them.
If you breathe and are in the appropriate location, volunteer for the campaigns against them.

That will stop them, or at least give them pause

Episode 3.5: Convoluted Ambition (-1)

Walmart Security (570281) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578461)

Upon hearing those words, the world began to completely exhibit its infinite amount of austerity. I had dedicated everything to protecting others, only to be removed from my chosen profession. Numerous times I had risked my life, oblivious to any possible consequence, to rescue automobiles from rogue shopping carts, crying children from abandonment, and old men from a certain type of narcissistic paranoia. Feeling a cool sensation on my face, I realized that I was doing something that no hardened warrior such as myself should never do, no matter how comforting it may seem. For the first time since they had erected the Walmart, I was crying. Perhaps, after all of the years that I had served my beloved cause, I was no longer able to effectively defend it. As the hospital pillow warmed my face that fateful evening, I decided that my legacy would be to educate Robert about SWD (an acronym for "Strategic Walmart Defense") and, eventually, relinquish my privileges as a security guard.

"Robert?" My voice hadn't completely returned; instead, it sounded quite emotional, similar to that of a brave warrior's final, futile cry during battle. "Would you mind finding EZSECURE's corporate phone number for me? Oh, and a pen and piece of paper as well."

"No, of course not," he replied, in a vain but ambitious attempt to calm me, as he produced a pen from his shirt pocket and retrieved a pad of paper from the table nearest the hallway door. "Get some rest, will you? I'll bring you the number tomorrow morning, as soon as I wake up." I relayed my gratitude to Robert as he exited the desolate hospital room. He wouldn't enter it again until the next morning.

It was absolutely imperative that I schedule an appointment with EZSECURE's CEO, Thorslen Edwards, to convince him of my superlativeness as a security guard; perhaps he would permit me to return to my duties and fulfill my recently finalized plan. Grasping the plastic "Bic" pen, I began to compose my speech.

"Dear Mr. Edwards," I wrote. No, the word "dear" was unprofessional. In fact, an introductory statement wasn't proper, for I intended to deliver the speech personally. When my hand began to ache from inserting text onto paper, I decided to speak to Edwards extemporaneously. After all, I couldn't anticipate any of the questions that could be lurking inside of this accomplished man's mind. It would be both more efficient and more impressive to exercise my extensive tactical knowledge during the appointment.

The hospital began to quiet as the clock approached midnight. If it had been eight in the morning, the ardent sun beginning to illuminate Jasper, I would certainly be comfortable enough to engage in a restful night's sleep. For the moment, however, a nap would suffice.

Plug what? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578463)

MPAA to Senate: Plug the Analog Hole!

You know, I've made a similar comment to the MPAA before. Come to think of it, some Senators too. :P

hrmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578466)

FUCK THE MPAA

MPAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578468)

This is just another example of why and we always knew it. Listen, there will today and we'll all so don't forget so that's the way in which yes.

Who would have can you bring sufficiently.

No! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578469)

I don't want MPAA to plug my anal hole.

Wait. What does that say? Oh! Analog!...

This will never fly... (5, Interesting)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578476)

There's no way the MPAA can succeed in this. All analog-to-digital conversion equipement?? I remember using a really simple A to D converter in one of my courses in University. I bet that chip costed a buck or two. Putting anti-piracy measures in it will increase the cost significantly, and for a really simple A to D converter? That's just ridiculous! Who are these morons coming up with this crap? This won't fly... no matter how dysfunctional these law-makers are.

Re:This will never fly... (5, Insightful)

Peyna (14792) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578497)

Hmm, a lot of telephone equipment does analog-to-digital and vice-versa conversions. Looks like the baby bells are all in big trouble now! Hahaha.

Re:This will never fly... (4, Insightful)

CynicTheHedgehog (261139) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578542)

And they can't outlaw equipment that is already in use, and TV capture technology hasn't really changed much. So anyone with an existing card is free to encode to his heart's delight.

This reminds me of cable descrambling. Yes, it's illegal. Yes, I can get a descrambler from some guy on the street for $50.00 cash, and no one is the wiser. This will just create a black market for encoding hardware...a simple inline analog watermark stripper that can then be fed into a capture device.

Re:This will never fly... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578574)

Not to mention that you can always digitize your vinyls by hand with a ruler and a magnifying glass. It takes a while, but remember: you only need *one* person doing it *once* and the next day everyone has a digital copy.

Re:This will never fly... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578666)

Dmitry skylerov is stilled being pursued legally for discussing rot-13 during a conference speech.

The people writing the laws are not reasonable men. Expect anything.

For once, cheap stuff should cope... (4, Insightful)

Retron (577778) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578477)

....as I can't see the el-cheapo manufacturers in Taiwan wanting to comply with this. What's the betting that equipment from the Far East will come with DVD player style hacks to turn off watermarking?

Ridiculous! (5, Interesting)

TheNecromancer (179644) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578486)

Do these idiots realize that this proposed 'policing' of ADC(analog-to-digital converters) would include things like microphones and portable tape players? I'm sure they use these devices during their board meetings and hearings, and probably discuss confidential and/or copyrighted issues. Who's gonna police these?? Also, they will have to stop using their portable tape players to dictate notes for their executive assistants to scribe, since the information they want scribed could also be considered copyright material!

Bah, I'm getting my old VCR to plug up someone's 'analog' hole!

Re:Ridiculous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578536)

Well, now see Microphones and portable tape decks are NOT AD converters. A microphone converts one form of analong information to an other form of analog information.

Re:Ridiculous! (2, Informative)

zbuffered (125292) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578665)

There are solid state microcassette-style recorders. They record the data, compress it, and store it in flash memory, or something like it. They're actually quite common.

Re:Ridiculous! (4, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578562)

This also includes a lot of other things.

I will give just one example:

Digital thermometers. And just one example of where they are used - car ignition. All ignition systems have a feedback from engine (and some from air) temperature. Can you imagine your car ignition computer verifying itself not to be involved in copyright contravention activities every time it has to adjust the ignition timings.

Under other circumstances it would have been funny.

Re:Ridiculous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578651)

Mine doesn't.

Oh wait, you're talking about newer cars. My 1978 Mercury Cougar doesn't pass anything to the "brainbox" about the temperature.

Re:Ridiculous! (4, Interesting)

mikeee (137160) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578569)

And camcorders! Can't have anybody ripping DVDs by filming a TV.

That is some serious crack they get out in Hollywood.

Of course they do! (4, Insightful)

00_NOP (559413) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578487)

What else would you expect them to say?

But please, people, when figfhting back concentrate on the practicalities of this - rather than abstract arguments about freedom.

The practical arguments are about freedom too - but they express it in a way that matters to people, rather than to philosophers.

Re:Of course they do! (5, Insightful)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578537)

The problem with that approach is that is (may) imply that these things would be ok if they were practical, which they most certainly are not. Concentrating first on the practical aspects of it, and only secondly on the abstract values takes away from the fact that these types of laws ARE infringing freedom.

Re:Of course they do! (2)

juliao (219156) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578611)

What practicalities?

This is the most stupid proposal I have ever heard in all my life.

Wow, I'm ever so glad I don't live in America! And if they pass the same kind of stupid laws here in Europe... well, I can always think of moving to Morocco, or India, where the rest of the computer engineers will be, because it will be the only place where their profession is still legal...

ADCs.. (1)

popoutman (189497) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578490)

Yes I can really see Texas Instruments, AMD, and Intel putting extra silicon on analogue to digital converters.
This new law would apply to most television broadcasters, and most of the current crop of high end camcorders. Anyone for a black market in non-compliant hardware?

Bad and silly idea on the part of the MPAA.

Heh. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578492)

You said plug the anal(og) hole.

Time to form a REAL Lobby! (5, Funny)

donnacha (161610) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578495)


"...all devices that perform analog to digital conversions."

They'll have to prise my 1964 reel-to-reel tape recorder from my cold, dead hands.

Re:Time to form a REAL Lobby! (2, Funny)

punchdrunk (257279) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578556)


They'll have to prise my 1964 reel-to-reel tape recorder from my cold, dead hands.

Except that I doubt your 1964 reel-to-reel has A-D conversion.

Re:Time to form a REAL Lobby! (5, Funny)

donnacha (161610) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578587)


Except that I doubt your 1964 reel-to-reel has A-D conversion.

Sure, but why take a stand on something I might actually get shot for?

its only a matter of time (1)

hacker wannabe (208184) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578496)

before an elaborate system of laws is constructed that subverts individual rights to intellectual property "rights" in the so called developed world.

Then will come the new imperialism of getting these laws extended to the third world, so that we'll have to pay royalties to you guys on practically everything we do...

watermark detectors (5, Funny)

Quazi (3460) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578498)

I think we need to tag all elected officials with either an "intelligent" or a "moron" tag, and we need watermark detectors at the ballot box.

Why do they bother? (2, Insightful)

yogi (3827) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578499)

I am really intrigued to see how they plan to stop me putting a camcorder in front of my TV set, and record ing movies on it. I might even edit the adverts out.

I bet they won't be able to. It has been shown time and time again that TPM's do not work. Only this week we've had the fun and games with the key2audio/postIt crack.

My friends and co-workers (5, Insightful)

Levine (22596) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578501)

Show this article to your friends and co-workers. Hollywood's perverse obsession with plugging the analog hole must be brought to light, as must the likely outcome of its agenda.
I don't know about you guys, but I've been dutifully showing every article and legislative mis-step that Slashdot mentions to my friends and co-workers, trying to convince them of the evils inherent in not writing their Congressperson and expressing their extreme disgust. And you know what, I'm losing friends and coworkers left and right.

I just want them to be informed, but they seem so apathetic! Maybe the next step is sky writing above their homes...

levine

Re:My friends and co-workers (5, Funny)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578590)

Yeah, I work with this guy. He's really annoying.

I'm thinking about downloading some patriotic music and every time he goes into one of his rants cranking the volume up real loud.

Are they crazy? (4, Insightful)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578503)

So say i'm using a digital camcorder in the mall and britney's new single starts playing from the loud-speakers does my camcorder shut down because it detects the watermark?

Total BS, this would ruin consumer electronics if ever implemented.

Re:Are they crazy? (5, Interesting)

MasterKayne (234060) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578613)

I think that these sort of laws will eventually pass. Not only because they are perceived to be in the best interest of the MPAA but because they give more power to the government. A statement by Ayn Rand comes to mind.
There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

Re:Are they crazy? (2)

marcop (205587) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578628)

That's exactly what Doctorow's article on the "analog hole" describes. They give a couple example, one is where someone is video taping their child playing in the living room but the camcorder shutsoff because some watermarked cartoon comes on TV. Sick.

I have enough bad experiences with Macrovision. I use a Marvel G400 video capture card to capture my own camcorder recordings (simple home movies). Often the recording software shuts down at points where I paused recording because it somehow thinks Macrovision is active. It's really annoying.

Purity of the Source? (1)

Niles_Stonne (105949) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578509)

Adding a watermark to an analog signal will change the origional data. It is interesting how far the MPAA is willing to go to adulturate their own data so as to not allow others to access it.

Acronymming (2, Funny)

shut_up_man (450725) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578510)

FFS, after reading so much about VCRs, the MPAA, ADCs, the BPDG, the CBDTPA, p2p, the FCC and CDs, I wish these guys would just STFU.

Wrong hole (2, Funny)

Chainsaw (2302) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578512)

What they really ment was that there are some A-holes in the MPAA that is in desperate need of plugging.

After the marker pens, the EE courses (2, Interesting)

frankske (570605) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578518)

So does this mean that every decent Electronics course or manual would be outlawd under the DMCA? After all, an ADC without the fingerprinting layer would be a circumvention device!

So...... (5, Insightful)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578520)

I guess the supreme court ruling is irrelivent huh.

this is the problem in america today. Industry has TO MUCH DAMN POWER. they think they can just ignore rulings that the court places on society. THEY CAN'T, and for the Senate to even consider the issue leads me to believe that those people do not belong where they are.

the House Majority whip said yesterday, "In a time of war, we can not concern ourselfs about the constitutional problems when passing laws"

these are the idiots we have working for us. on the one side, we have warhawk who support big Industry, on the other, we have psudo-wanabe-whatever-is-popular-at-the-time-and-n ot-republican idiots who are in the pockets of Big media.

yes there are a few with redeaming qualities and are not part of the larger crowd, but for the most part, we have a corupt, inept, retarded set of leaders who pass legislation based on the cash they get rather than what their constituents would want, or what there best intrests would be.

Um, yeah. (4, Interesting)

jridley (9305) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578523)

That'd be interesting, considering:
  1. They can't get a watermarking system in place that stays the same for more than 6 months. What're they going to do, make law-abiding users buy a new sound card every time their watermarking system gets cracked?
  2. It costs about $10 to build a 16 bit stereo A-D converter that would plug into a parallel port and can be controlled from a driver that would take all of an hour to write. They're thinking in terms of markets they can control such as CD players (it's pretty hard to make your own CD player). This is not such a market and they don't realize that.

This is getting amusing. The farther they go with this, the more crazy they sound. At this point it's just a question of whether they'll realize they're trying to dig a hole in water and try to make money off the new phenomenon rather than trying to suppress it, or will they just totally flip off the deep end?

Re:Um, yeah. (1)

rainwalker (174354) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578615)

As your post illustrates, I think they have pretty much decided which end of the spectrum they prefer.

I was wrong (not a first) (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578528)

In a previous ??AA article on CBTPTBPAPAwhatever, I mentioned I felt safer because they were unlikely to use the tactic of asking for something much more ridiculous than what they actually wanted, so they can get what they actually wanted in a compromise. Since having copy controls in all devices is what they want, and what they are asking for, the tactic won't work.

Welp, looks like I was wrong. Bet a dollar this fails, and they "compromise" by only having DRM (digital rights mangler) tech in digital-only devices.

How the hell did they get so much lobbying power?

I'm really glad-- (3, Funny)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578529)

I'm really glad that someone out there is watching out for me from myself. I had no idea what a horrible person I am! Thanks MPAA! You keep it real!

Deception? (5, Insightful)

Psion (2244) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578530)

Since politics is often the art of compromise, I find myself wondering if this particular proposal is deliberately extreme so that the Hollings Bill suddenly looks more reasonable and has better popular and political support.

Fair use is disappearing (2, Insightful)

Black Aardvark House (541204) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578533)

I always had the notion the copyright is a compromise between content providers and consumers. I do believe that creators should be compensated, but it seems to rein in piracy, our fair use rights should be removed. Why is it that we always lose our rights as a "preventive measure" to protect something that really isn't in much danger, in this case, IP? The movie and music industries continue to rake in the big bucks (suject to economic recessions, of course!) while our fair use right to time shift or format shift is taken away?

Slow down, people (0, Troll)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578534)

This is an inflammatory puff piece. Obviously there will need to be exceptions to the analog->digital rule, especially in cases where the MPAA's IP rights are in no danger. But this is an emergency situation, they are perfectly justified in getting out a blanket law right away and then tweaking it to allow certain behaviors afterwards.

Re:Slow down, people (2, Insightful)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578598)

How is this an emergency situation? Please, PLEEEEEEASE tell me you're not serious?

Re:Slow down, people (2, Insightful)

rainwalker (174354) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578634)

Emergency situation?? What are you talking about!! Could you be referring to this new-fangled technology that allows home users to record sounds on wax cylinders, or shiny compact discs ("CD"'s)?? Please explain yourself, because you come across sounding highly clueless.

hostile watermarking of silence? (5, Funny)

esnible (36716) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578538)

In spy movies it's common to run the shower and muffle the sound to evade listening devices.

Any analog watermark is going to have to be quiet enough so that listeners can't hear the watermark tones when listening to the radio -- but loud enough that any recorder can hear them.

Wouldn't it be possible to watermark a recording of silence and play it loud enough to disrupt all recordings for miles?

Some idiot at the Senate would pass this!! (1)

cOdEgUru (181536) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578540)

Only because his brain shuts down when he sees the moolah in MPAA's hands.. How ironic!

Slashdot Posting Script (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578541)

#!/usr/bin/tclsh
## Slashdot poster by christfokkar@yahoo.com 2002.04.24 version 1.0
## Bug reports / feature requests welcome
## REQUIREMENTS - You need tclsh (TCL language) 8.3 or higher. Should be installed on most unix systems. If not, go to http://dev.scriptics.com.
## Make sure the first line in the file #!/usr/bin/tclsh points to your tcl interpreter.
## INSTRUCTIONS - You need to edit this script each time and set 6 vars. Then you specify the Body and the Subject on the command line.
## 1. Set the authorization info. Remember, there are three ways to post: logged in, logged in/anonymous, and logged out. You can leave your auth info in here and simply toggle the anon and rlogin flags.
## 2. Set the sid and pid of the comment you wish to reply to. Use pid 0 for a new comment
## 3. Set posttype, and decide whether you want to preview or submit
## 4. Execute ./slashdot_post.tcl body_filename.txt "Your subject line here"
## When done, it will output an html receipt with the story id and both comment id's (or "Preview") in the filename.
### AUTH CONFIG - SET ONCE
set unickname your_nickname
set upasswd your_password
### COMMENT CONFIG - SET EACH TIME
set rlogin 1 ;#login
set anon 1 ;#post anonymously (must be logged in)
set sid 31620 ;#story id (article) - get this from slashdot
set pid 0 ;#comment id - get this from slashdot - set 0 for New Reply
set posttype 1 ;#posttype 1=text 2=html 3=extrans 4=code
set submit 0 ;#set 0 to Preview
### check version
package require http 2.3
regexp {8\.?} [info tclversion] match_one
if {![info exists match_one]} { puts "FATAL: You must be running Tcl >= 8.3 You are running [info tclversion]"; exit }
### get comment text from file
if {$argc == 2 } {
set inputfile [lindex $argv 0]
set postersubj [lindex $argv 1]
} else { puts "USAGE: ./slashdot_post.tcl inputfilename.txt \"This is my subject line\""; exit }
if {[catch {set fp [open $inputfile r]} catch_error ]} { puts "FATAL: Could not open inputfile $inputfile $catch_error"; exit }
set postercomment ""
while { ![eof $fp] } { set postercomment $postercomment\n[gets $fp] }
### set some vars
if {$anon && $rlogin} { set postanon "&postanon=1"; set anontext "logged in/anonymous" } else {
set postanon ""
if {$rlogin} { set anontext "logging in" } else { set anontext "not logged in" }
}
set typetext "???"
if {$posttype == 1 } { set typetext "Plain Text" }
if {$posttype == 2 } { set typetext HTML }
if {$posttype == 3 } { set typetext Extrans }
if {$posttype == 4 } { set typetext Code }
if {$submit} { set op Submit } else {set op Preview}
### get formkey
puts "You are posting as $unickname, $anontext, $op mode as $typetext"
puts "Getting formkey..."
http::config -useragent "Mozilla"
if {[catch {set token [http::geturl http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=$sid&pid=$ pid&op=Reply]} catch_error]} { puts "FATAL: Unable to GET comments.pl $catch_error"; exit }
upvar #0 $token state
regexp {NAME="formkey" VALUE="([0-9a-zA-Z]+)">} $state(body) match_two formkey
if {![info exists formkey] || ![string compare $formkey ""] } { puts "FATAL: Unable to retrieve formkey";exit }
if {$submit} { puts "Got formkey. Waiting 20 seconds to Submit..."; after 20000 } else { puts "Got formkey, Previewing..." }
### post comment
if {$rlogin} {set auth &[http::formatQuery unickname $unickname upasswd $upasswd]} else {set auth ""}
set query $postanon$auth&[http::formatQuery op $op sid $sid pid $pid posttype $posttype rlogin $rlogin formkey $formkey postersubj $postersubj]&[http::formatQuery postercomment $postercomment]
if {$submit} { puts "Submitting now..." }
if {[catch {set token [http::geturl http://slashdot.org/comments.pl? -query $query]} catch_error ]} { puts "FATAL: unable to POST query. $catch_error";exit}
upvar #0 $token state
### write out results
if {$submit} { regexp "Comment Submitted" $state(body) match_three } else { regexp "<H2>Preview Comment</H2>" $state(body) match_three }
if {![info exists match_three] || ![string compare $match_three ""]} { set success "Rejected" } else { set success "Accepted" }
if {$submit && $success == "Accepted" } { regexp {cid=([0-9]+)\"} $state(body) match4 cid; set cidtext "as_[set cid]" } else { set cidtext "Preview" }
set filename "story_[set sid]_replyto_[set pid]_[set cidtext].html"
if {[catch {set fp [open $filename w]} catch_error]} { puts "ERROR: Unable to open output file. $catch_error" } else {
puts $fp $state(body)
close $fp
}
set error_message "(grep for error text failed)"
if {$success == "Rejected" } { regexp {<!-- Error type: -->[ \n]*(.+?)[ \n]*<!-- end error message -->} $state(body) match_five error_message; puts "REJECTED: $error_message" }
puts "END. Your $op was [set success]. Output to disk as\n$filename"

so like (2)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578545)

Does this mean that if they had their way, then if I spoke copyrighted lyrics into a speech to text system, it would shut down?

Stop giving them money (3, Insightful)

Lonath (249354) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578546)

Don't see any more movies, don't buy any more CDs, just stop giving them money. Like all of you people who saw Star Wars, you're helping to make useful digital cameras a thing of the past. (I mean digital cameras for the little people since the bigshot movie people won't have to follow this law.)

Do you understand the implications of this? You can't record a couple's first dance at their wedding because the copyrighted music in the background cannot be allowed to be converted from analog to digital. Plz use this example to explain how sick these people are instead of talking about abstract coding ideas. Not being able to record a wedding reception will hit pretty close to home.

Re:Stop giving them money (5, Interesting)

grytpype (53367) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578597)

A less extreme plan is buy everything you want used, like on half.com. The Industry doesn't get any of your money that way.

Did you know the Industry once tried to purchase legislation that would let them tax the sales of used media? The law now (and then) is that once a copy of a medium is sold, it can be resold without any obligation to the copyright holder (because he got paid from the first sale, "exhausting" his rights in that copy). The Industry failed at that, for some reason.

Goodbye analog, radio/wireless next? (2)

BreakWindows (442819) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578548)

So we've got the CBDTPA to (hopefully not) let them "own" all the digital devices, and now they want to go after analog. How long before they claim people are using 802.11 and come up with something to let them steal the airwaves?

--
"Hey, good thing they're coming after my 28.8kbps modem...this thing is just like a crazy piratin' machine! I got 2 mp3's this month!"

Oh, yes, that's right (1)

SlimySlimy (128337) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578549)

I quote: "in order to help plug the hole, watermark detectors would be required in" -- are you sitting down? -- "all devices that perform analog to digital conversions."

Oh, and I think after they get this "hole" filled in I think they should really get it through their heads that I have a "crap detector" in my analog-neural converter. I think they should just skip all of this baloney and make all musical analog to digital conversion illegal. Once and for all it will just end this silly issue

Wounded animal (1)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578550)

They're thrashing around like a wounded animal. No thought of what they're doing or where they're going... just trying to survive the next minute before the lights go out.

The irony is that it's the thrashing that will kill them.

No one likes to see an animal suffering like that, but I for one am having a good time watching this one fighting for its life. Just don't get in its path because a wounded animal is a dangerous beast.

-S

What about modems? (1)

The Other Nate (137833) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578551)

Did they even consider the impact on modems, or those actually interested in fidelity (truth) or do AtoD's become federally controlled devices?

"MORE functionality, not less" (4, Insightful)

blueskyred (104505) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578565)

Page 2, under "The Broadcast Flag" "Detection and response to the Broadcast Flag does not mean less functionality for video devices, including PCs that receive DTV. Rather it adds to these devices the ability to determine the difference between protected and unprotected works. The MPAA and its member companies have no desire to reduce the functionality of PCs or other devices and in fact want them to be MORE functional, not less. That is, so that they are able to provide a secure environment for digital over-the-air broadcast television content, in addition to everything else they do today." That is right up there with "[insert Spyware of choice] doesn't infringe on your rights as a consumer -- it is giving your PC more functionality by allowing us to market to you in select ways with select business partners."

Re:"MORE functionality, not less" (5, Funny)

mcfiddish (35360) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578657)

Detection and response to the Broadcast Flag does not mean less functionality for video devices, including PCs that receive DTV. Rather it adds to these devices the ability to determine the difference between protected and unprotected works.

This pair of handcuffs does not mean less functionality for your hands. Rather it adds to your hands the ability to keep them where we can see them.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578566)

This will make my digital thermometer outlawed.

These laws are just getting better all the time.

The Big Deal (3, Insightful)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578572)

The big deal here is that they are putting restrictions on devices which have legitimate usage.

My car does 140mph, legally I can only do half that. No legislator would consider requiring all cars to be blocked from these speeds unless the road told the engine manager that this was a race track.

This is the same thing. I like knowing I can copy CDs - its nice. Most of the time I'm just copying my own stuff, work, photos, etc... all of which would become a pain in the ass with this type of blocking technology.

New digital device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578578)

Time to introduce them to a new digital device - the middle-finger!

A demonstration of how money corrupts the system (5, Insightful)

Croaker (10633) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578582)

Congress is spending more and more of its time considering legislation that requires technological enforcement of copyright laws.

It occurs to me, that if they are keen on using technology to actually enforce laws, rather than relying on the people's own good judgement and respect for the law, then they have much bigger fish to fry.

Why is it than we've not seen a legislative mandate that requires car manufacutrers to prevent drunk driving? How about limiters that prevent aggressive driving or speeding? Why have we not seen legislative mandates that require gun manufacturers to make guns that can't kill innocent people (or, at the very least, cannot be accidentally fired i.e. by a child)?

After all, these are issues that *kill* people. And human lives are more important than money, aren't they? Aren't they?

It's not that the technology in either of those cases is beyond the state of the art. It's that there's no money in it for them. The money in those two cases are in the hands of the automobile and gun manufacturers.

In the case for building copyright protection into the simplest A to D converters, the money is on the side of the MPAA. The electronics industry's position is unclear for now... they could stand to benefit by this legislation ('oh gosh, Mr & Mrs. Consumer! All of your electronics are now incompatible with the current releases from Hollywood! Tsk. You'll have to buy a totally new set of consumer electronics.'). They can also count on hackers breaking encryption scemes every few years, leading to another change in standards... forcing yet more upgrades.

I just have an image of all the senators manning a fast food joint "...that's the super legislative combo... would you like fries with that? OK... it'll be $5 Million in campaign donations, please pull up to the window."

offtopic porn question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578583)

anyone ever take a pic pic, of a girl standing or lying down straight, resize it so its life size, then print it.. then reassemble the papers to form a giant life size girl to masturbate to? because I just did it, 28 pages... pretty sweet

I dont see any problem with this (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578584)

We just force anyone who makes ADC to put a bit more cpu power in them (ok that will require adding a cpu core and memory and the rest of the stuff to make a dsp but we can ignore that for now)

That should only drive the price for a 16 bit a/d convert up about 800% but its such a small part of modern electronics it won't matter to the consumer.

I hope there is an exclusion for A/D converters for hearing aids or else these voters [aarp.org] might get just a bit upset.

making ee's jobs more difficult (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578585)

you bastards

Ah cripes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578588)

Surely they can't be serious, this thing is going to float like a lead balloon.

OTOH (5, Funny)

Darth RadaR (221648) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578589)

Cory Doctorow writes: your cellphone would refuse to transmit your voice if you wandered too close to the copyrighted music coming from your stereo.

That would put a pleasant end to all those wankers who use their mobile phone in movie theatres. :)

Target your rant (5, Insightful)

PDHoss (141657) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578591)

My freedom, blah, blah, blah... out of touch legislators blah blah blah. Wanna even a chance to be heard?

1. Fill out this form. [senate.gov] Really. Don't just read the comments, and don't just post here. Take a minute and write a thoughtful, well argued comment. Senators don't give a damn what people on Slashdot are saying, but they'll give a damn if it's on their own fancy website.

2. Vote with your vote. Get the hell out there and support candidates that see through all of this crap. As a community, we rant and rave that the whole system is munged then turn around and skip the vote en masse. Ever wonder why no one wants to mess with Social Security? Talk to this very consistent voting group [aarp.org] . Senators listen to votes, not money. They only listen to money because it helps them buy more votes. Don't vote? Don't complain.

3. Vote with your dollar. If you rant, then continue to support these businesses, you have no one to blame but yourself. Just as politicians only respond to votes, most businesses only respond to money.

It's got to be more than talk, guys. If we don't start backing any of this up, we'll just be the cranky tech curmudgeons who desperately hang on to the antiquated notion of "freedom."

ADC chips (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578605)

As an electrical engineer student, I have built my own A/D converter circuit along with a sample and hold to signal inputs and put them into the computer. They are relatively simple both in overall design and the ADC chips themselves are also very simple: only about 16 pins with a single input and several outputs to represent the input voltage as a binary number. It is both ludicrous and impossible to convert this into something that checks a "digital watermark". Forget the linked article's references to how your cell phone would turn off if it were on near a copyrighted song.

A huge portion of our technology involves A/D chips. Your car uses one for the speedometer, for the fuel injection, etc. Digital audio amplifiers use it. VCR's use it. Any and all digital sensors use it. Adding in digital watermark checking functionality would increase the complexity of this simple, ubiquitous and cheap chip (prolly less than 10 cents, but that's just a guess) several orders of magnitude. It would be like the difference between your solar powered calculator and your desktop. Expenses in electronics industries would jump to compensate for this added complexity, because unlike the movie industry they operate very close to full efficiency.

In short, there is absolutely no way to make this request by the MPAA workable. None at all. Their execs wanting to control A/D conversion is just indicative of how far removed from reality they are. Unfortunately, that might not prevent them from convincing congress to allow this idiocy to go through, so i STRONGLY recommend submitting in the feedback form that NO you don't support it, and furthermore there is only one rational viewpoint on it. Feel free adopt my examples or argument.

Other examples of A/D :
How the telephone company decodes the tones when you press a button into a number
How digital cell phones work
How fax machines work
Digital medical equipment (measuring blood pressure, heartbeat, etc)
Literally any digital sensor
Your themostat in your house
etc

FBI Enforcement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578607)

As long as the new law, if it passes, makes the FBI the chief enforcement agency of the law.

That way, nothing will ever happen to anybody, except maybe the innocent.

Analog Hole? (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578609)

Err..

I am quite sure that unless they develop a Matrix style direct brain interface there will always be an analog hole of some sort..

Unless of course in the MPAA's world our ears and eyes somehow become digital.

Easy way to control the Internet (5, Insightful)

heretic108 (454817) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578616)

Sadly, the third part of the report's summary - 'Controlling the Internet' - is much easier than the EFF report on the BPDG suggests.

All it would require is a law banning all ISPs from forwarding incoming TCP connections, UDP packets etc on to a subscriber, unless such subscriber has a license to operate as a 'server'.

Similarly, anyone directly connected to the backbone would need a license to accept incoming connections.

The US could threaten trade sanctions against any other country that doesn't pass similar laws.

The licensing regime for 'servers' would be onerous, and include things such as mandatory logs with IP addresses, times etc going back 3 years, also a cache of the last 200GB of data transferred. Anyone trafficking in unauthorised protocols, or using unauthorised cryptography, would lose their license.

That way, only medium-large sized companies would have the funds and resources to fulfil the administrative requirements of license compliance.

This is war - no sooner has the internet exploded onto the world stage, than the powers that be are fighting tooth and nail to protect their monopoly.

The most powerful way to fight - stop going to movies, even 'Star Wars' etc - discourage your friends - boycott Hollywood.

Soo General (1)

BoBaBrain (215786) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578620)

digital Pronunciation Key (dj-tl)
adj.
  1. 1.Of, relating to, or resembling a digit, especially a finger.
    2.Operated or done with the fingers: a digital switch.
    3.Having digits.
    4.Expressed in numerical form, especially for use by a computer.
    5.Computer Science. Of or relating to a device that can read, write, or store information that is represented in numerical form.
    6.Using or giving a reading in digits: a digital clock.

So will it be illegal read a phone number out loud? Or write one down from memory?

I wonder if there were similar knee-jerk reactions when the printing press first became popular?

What do I reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578631)

What bill do I reference in my letter to my congressman and carpetbagging congreswoman?(Yes I'm from NY why do you ask?)


I want to tell them my opinion on this, but without a reference, they won't be able to figure out what I'm so angry about.

The amazing senate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578632)

Boy, what a relief that they were able to make time for the media cartel. Country feels safer already. Glad the Senate is being vigilant in it's work for the people.

Never mind sealing up the borders, have to make sure the MPAA gets to voice it's concerns over losing aspects of it's monopolies! Ridiculous!

illegal analog to digital conversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3578636)

If I use my analog ears to listen to a song and then I write the words down, am I illegal?

Oh, darn (1)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578638)

Looks like I'll need to buy a new mouse, keyboard, tv infared port receiver, VCR, gamecube, gameboy, cell phone, car, surge protector, electrical meter, geiger counter, cooling fan w/ rpm indicator, digital thermometer, thermostat, air conditioner...

Great Comment in the comments.... (2, Insightful)

Niles_Stonne (105949) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578639)

I was reading people's comments on the senate's comment listing, and one of the statements that I read was great:


snip
4. As a 30-year government employee, I find myself wondering why the government is even involved in what is clearly an industry problem. The only reasons I can come up with aren't very flattering to the politicians. We're talking about entertainment media here, not government security. Why should I have a problem getting a payroll out because some entertainment exec can't solve his own internal industry problems?
snip

The initial comment was written by "Glenn Thompson" from Gold Beach , Oregon.

holy dogshit (1)

paradesign (561561) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578641)

i always thougnt that creative people would help tear down the barriers that impose restrictions. wel im obviously mistaken, theyre the ones erecting the razorwire. i fear the day that i ever have a movie distributed/album pressed/book written, cause ill have to deal with this shit.

Add 'functionality'? (1)

Darth Paul (447243) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578643)

What a ridiculous argument.

Detection and response to the watermarks does not mean less functionality for video devices, including PCs.. Rather, it adds to these devices the ability to determine the difference between protected and unprotected works.

So what they're saying is, breaking your leg doesn't reduce your ability to walk, it adds the ability to use a crutch. Another ridiculous argument, another sign of desperation...

Hey, that's pretty cool.... (1)

dagbrown (126362) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578645)

Hollyweird wants to outlaw resistors.

Do they realize how easy it is to make an ADC? Do they actually know what goes into 'em? (My guess is, they think it runs on magic, which is why they want to use magic to make it go away.)

More scenarios: (5, Insightful)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578653)

From the article: This is meant to work like so: You point your camcorder at a movie screen. The magical, theoretical watermark embedded in the film is picked up by the cop-chip, which disables the camcorder's ADC. Your camcorder records nothing but dead air. The mic, sensing a watermark in the film's soundtrack, also shuts itself down.

With this as the norm, and advertisers increasingly pushing new and more invasive ways to get their "content" to you, the abillity to record anything would be put in jeopardy. Billboards could prevent a photo of the skyline. Political speeches could be buried by someone playing "Who let the Dogs Out" on a boombox. Homemade Christmas videos would be a thing of the past, with copyrighted logos and packaging preventing recording, not to mention sound effects and music from toys.

MY question is: Is content really in that much trouble? Are books, movies and music copyrights being violated so much, that oppressive hardware solutions are the only answer?

I grew up thinking that copyright was to protect ME. If I wrote a song, or a paper, copyright would prevent someone from taking some or all of it and repesenting it as _their own work_. It now seems that that is not the case anymore, and copyright is being used to prevent duplication for ones own use (FAIR USE), and CREATION of content by the individual.

I urge everyone reading about this on /. to bring the message to people who aren't /.ers. The 'average joes' (w/ apologies to average joe ;) need to hear about these proposals. Too often, these things remain unheard of by the voting public. The media owned by the media protecting the media. Please spread the word.

An avenue to explore (5, Insightful)

browser_war_pow (100778) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578656)

is the nexus between the logic the MPAA uses and the logic gun control advocates use.

  1. Gun ownership is dangerous, ownership of analog and unprotected digital systems is dangerous
  2. We have to close the gun show/analog loophole (bring both completely under government regulation)
  3. CSS=DVD equivalent of trigger lock

My dad is very conservative. He originally sided heavily with the content creators until I started to explain their logic from the perspective of gun control. I showed him how Handgun Control Inc uses the exact same logic against the NRA and he was amazed to see that I was right! It is an inherent lack of trust for what citizens will do in a vacuum of federal regulation of individual rights. It is the belief that a group in society will be irreparably harmed by the majority having access to something that a small minority considers dangerous.

Let's look at a few more basics. Gun control advocates are elitists typically. They aren't John Q. Blue-Collar Citizen. At the "million mom march" only around 100,000 people showed up. The NRA has a membership well over 5,000,000. It's a similar situation only we have 3 Handgun Control Incs (BSA, RIAA, MPAA) and no NRA. That is what we need, our equivalent of the NRA. A large organization that can fund campaigns above and beyond what the small, elitists can.

We have easy existing issue to relate ourselves to. We are not anarcho hippies wanted, we are the IP equivalent of those opposed to gun control. The RIAA is not a trade organizatin defending industry interests, it is trying to do to IP law what gun control advocates are trying to do to the 2nd amendment. Just a thought on how to get more people to see our angle.

Watermark detectors in your brain! (1)

toothless joe (555389) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578658)

To quote Ray Kurzweil's review [kurzweilai.net] of Wolfram's A New Kind of Science,
noted how the phenomenon of sound flips back and forth between digital and analog representations. In our brains, music is represented as the digital firing of neurons in the cochlear representing different frequency bands. In the air and in the wires leading to loudspeakers, it is an analog phenomenon.
So, since our brains convert analog waveforms into digital firing of neurons, wouldn't this bill require watermark retrofitting in our brains?

The MPAA is just too big... (1)

spacefight (577141) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578659)

... and too greedy and to silly. If the won't get it that they _have_ to change the way the're thinking and acting in their biz, the will loose more than they can ever imagine. Me myself laughs my a** out here in Europe... MPAA and all those lobbyists just should quit their job and better go to beginner lessons for doing biz in the digital econmy and dealing with the new possibilities - not to go after the rights of their consumers.

I better do not look any more any movies at all because as far as I know my Retina works pretty analog and I do not have a silly watermark detector in my brain or wherever. got it MPAA?

Lets get Congress involved... (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 11 years ago | (#3578660)

Go to the Senate Judiciary and submit a comment about breaking the copy protection on the Celion Dion CD with a marker.

That way even Congress will be in violation of the DMCA!
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