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Doctorow on the Demise of the Digital Hub

michael posted about 12 years ago | from the programming-restored-to-original-meaning dept.

Television 312

natpoor writes "Cory Doctorow writes an excellent piece in this week's TidBITS about how Hollywood is out to destroy the digital hub and what it means for citizens and open source. "In Hollywood's paranoid fantasy, digital television plus Internet equals total and immediate 'Napsterization' of every movie shown on TV." Slashdotters will know some of it, but this is the best write-up I've seen, and it is well-linked. Far more important than AOL on OSX!"

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Mmm... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061633)

I just had some of the best muthafuckin cornbread I've eaten in months.

Yeah I can see that. (2, Funny)

marcushnk (90744) | about 12 years ago | (#4061636)

The paranoid delusions of some coked up producers and show bitzy laywers are way more important than the very real stuff thats going on in "Reality land"

Re:Yeah I can see that. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061701)

hmm, lame 1st post. Try a bit harder to BS meaning

preson?

Impeachment More Important Than Digital Hubs +1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061760)

To read more about the babbling idiot in The White House
please, see:

W's Crusade Against Common Sense [democratic...ground.com]

Thank you and have a marijuana inspired weekend.

Re:Impeachment More Important Than Digital Hubs +1 (-1, Flamebait)

neocon (580579) | about 12 years ago | (#4061817)

OK, so which is it?

Are you arguing that the violent offshoot of Islam which calls for murder-suicide bombings such as the one Bush was decrying is real Islam? If not, why do you object to Bush saying (as some, but not enough Muslim leaders have said) that this is not the true religion that they claim to be acting in the name of?

This bothers you? Or (as with the author of the article) you are worried that this will bother Europeans?

Given the current rash of synagogue-burnings in Europe, isn't it more likely the opposition to murder-suicide bombers which might bother Europeans? And if this is the case, should we really be letting European-ness envy be the deciding matter in our foreign policy?

What bothers me: +1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4062159)

is that George W. Bush is NOT the president of
the United States.

Re:Yeah I can see that. (5, Insightful)

Maran (151221) | about 12 years ago | (#4061789)

The problem is, the coked-up producers and flashy lawyers have both money and political influence (the latter boosted by the former), so their paranoid delusions have a very good chance of breaking out into "Reality land".

Maran

Summation of this and previous Slashdot articles (-1, Troll)

sgtsanity (568914) | about 12 years ago | (#4061637)

"The end is nigh!" "Nigh means Near!"

Re:Summation of this and previous Slashdot article (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061719)

"The End is Nigh"
"What, right nigh?"

copyright Two Ronnies

film at 11 (4, Insightful)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | about 12 years ago | (#4061639)

Of course Hollywood is out to destroy the digital hub. We know that, we see that, we hear that and we read that. Every day. The question is, what are we going to do about it?

Re:film at 11 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061680)

What are we going to do about it? We're going to _lose_. They've already gotten their "broadcast flag" proposal through the FCC. Say goodbye to the VCR in a few years.

Re:film at 11 (2)

Oculus Habent (562837) | about 12 years ago | (#4061969)

Buy current hardware while it's still available! Get the DVD-R drive, even if it is expensive, and the PVR Card [thinkgeek.com] , even if you don't think you need it now.

--
Internet users are all potential outlaws. Everyone told me it was important to live up to my potential.

Re:film at 11 (2)

demaria (122790) | about 12 years ago | (#4062056)

What do you do when that stuff all (eventually) breaks and you can't find replacements?

Re:film at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061683)

According to "Declan McCullagh On Geek Activism" you should do nothing because unless you spend all of your time coding a new and better digital hub which can't be controlled by laws anything you do will be useless.

Re:film at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061718)

Hey, I just downloaded the new song by the Buggles : "Digital killed the media czar"! It's great!

Now shut the fuck up and die already!

Re:film at 11 (3, Interesting)

dattaway (3088) | about 12 years ago | (#4061732)

Televisions and canned broadcasts are obsoleted by the internet anyway. Make plans to purchase wireless and other broadband equipment with new video hardware.

Re:film at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061818)

Down load this : Linux Video Editor Cinelerra 1.0, and roll our own. You may mod me down, I can take it.

Re:film at 11 (2)

jmu1 (183541) | about 12 years ago | (#4061907)

I'm giving up. It is too clear to me that the world at large is going to do what it very well pleases. If the world wants to be controlled, it will. If it wishes to live free and happy and tra-la-la, it will. I am but a human on this pathetic balll of rock. I can do nothing but contribute, no matter what my status. You can philosophize the rest of your life, but it won't change a damn thing. Nothing you or anyone can do, minus being the force of power(read money) will ever make a difference.

merry tuesday (-1)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | about 12 years ago | (#4061651)

A very merry tuesday to you!

I'm too tired to troll properly.

Already! (0, Offtopic)

xbrownx (459399) | about 12 years ago | (#4061655)

Looks like the site is overload already. Anyone care to cut and paste?

Re:Already! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061696)

http://groups.google.ca/groups?selm=geoff-185800.1 7370712082002%40news.qwest.net&oe=UTF-8&output=gpl ain

Re:Already! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061750)

Or here [google.ca]

This article is so good (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061657)

...it's already slashdotted before 5 comments!

Offtopic, but WOW! (0, Offtopic)

pheph (234655) | about 12 years ago | (#4061660)

So far today, LNUX [cnn.com] (VA Software) (eg. Slashdot, etc) rose nearly 50%! This is ontop of rising from 0.60 to 0.8 in about a week. Good job and thanks!

Re:Offtopic, but WOW! (-1, Offtopic)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | about 12 years ago | (#4061687)

That's because IBM and Sourceforge are announing a deal for SF.net to run using closed IBM software

Link (0, Offtopic)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | about 12 years ago | (#4061744)

Link here [zdnet.co.uk] - already submitted this as a story, but have to wait 2.3 more minutes before pressing submit

Re:Offtopic, but WOW! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061694)

You are right, what does this have to do with hubs? Does VA software make hubs or something?

$1.24 SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061695)

no delisting this time. goddammit.

Re:Offtopic, but WOW! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061723)

Out of curiosity:

LNUX is at 1.24 at the time of writing. It's earnings-per-share is at -7.22. Is this "being sold a bill of goods" gone literal?

Re:Offtopic, but WOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4062184)

So far today, LNUX (VA Software) (eg. Slashdot, etc) rose nearly 50%!

So, that brings it up to, what, almost 3 cents a share now? =)

P.S. That should be "i.e.," not "e.g."

Re:Offtopic, but WOW! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4062211)

That because I bought all stocks aviable on the market.
Should I fire John Katz ?

-- Joe, the hobo who lives under the bridge

But the thing is... (4, Insightful)

JojoCoco (413962) | about 12 years ago | (#4061664)

We will Napsterize everything given the chance, its just our nature.

Slashdotted before... (-1)

bafreer (592306) | about 12 years ago | (#4061666)

...anyone even posted

With due respect to /.ed TidBITS... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061668)

here is the text.


Can the Digital Hub Survive Hollywood?

by Cory Doctorow
This article refers back to:
Video Details of Apple iTiVo Revealed
Also in TidBITS 642:
iPod 1.2 Supports iTunes 3, Jaguar
CMS ABSplus Adds Mac OS X Restores
AOL for Mac OS X
The Branding of Apple: Brands Embody Values

The Most Important Rule: Build Products People Want.

iMovie, iPod, iPhoto, iTunes, television tuner-cards, composite video out, CD burners on laptops, flat-screen iMacs, Cinema displays, and QuickTime... seemingly every quarter, Apple ships another drool-worthy technology that further erodes the tenuous division between "entertainment devices" and computers.

Since 1979, Apple has broken every rule in business. It shipped a personal computer at a time when computers were million-dollar playthings of universities, insurance companies, and defense contractors. It introduced a commercial graphical interface to a market filled with power-nerds who sneered at the ridiculous idea of "friendly" computers. It brought video to the desktop, wireless to the home, and the biggest, sexiest titanium notebook ever made to laps everywhere. It put freaking open-source Unix underneath its legendarily easy-to-use operating system!

Apple has broken every rule except the most important one: build what your customers want to buy. Since 1979, Apple has achieved its every success by selling the stuff that people like you and I want to buy. Since 1979, Apple's failures (Remember the Apple III? The Newton? The Cube?) have been products that simply didn't sell well enough.

Today, Apple - and every other technology company - is in danger of losing its right to make any device that it thinks it can sell. Hollywood, panicked at the thought of unauthorized distribution of movies captured from digital television sets, is calling for a new law that would give it ultimate control over the design of every device capable of handling digital television signals.

This is bad news for any company that wants to collapse the distinction between entertainment devices and computers. Digital hub projects are exciting, but they're also squarely in Hollywood's cross-hairs. The more your Mac acts like a television device (think of TidBITS's April Fools spoof iTiVo coming true, or El Gato's new EyeTV) the more your Mac will be subject to regulations that are meant to control "only" digital television (DTV) devices.

We've seen some coarse attempts to reign in technical innovation from the likes of Senator Fritz Hollings (D-SC), whose Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA) is also known as the "Consume, But Don't Try Programming Anything" bill. There's a far more insidious threat to your rights to buy a Mac that does what you want it to do: regulations intended to speed the adoption of digital television are in the offing, regulations that will have a disastrous effect on Apple and every other computer manufacturer.

Digital Television and Hollywood -- Here comes digital television. Digital television uses a lot less radio spectrum than the analog TV system we use today. If all broadcasters were to switch to digital, the U.S. government could auction off the freed-up spectrum for billions of dollars. Understandably, the FCC is big on getting America switched over to digital, so much so that they've ordered all analog broadcasts to cease in 2006, provided that 85 percent of Americans have bought digital sets.

Hollywood says that digital television will make it too easy to make digital copies of its broadcast movies and redistribute them over the Internet. Never mind that digital TV signals eat up to a whopping 19.4 megabits of data per second, well beyond the ability of any current Internet user to redistribute without compressing the video to the point where it's indistinguishable from analog shows captured with a TV card. Never mind that you can always hook up a capture card to the analog output of a digital set and make a near-perfect copy.

Never mind reality. In Hollywood's paranoid fantasy, digital television plus Internet equals total and immediate "Napsterization" of every movie shown on TV. So the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has threatened to withhold its movies from digital television unless Something Is Done.

This has given the feds The Fear. If there aren't any movies on digital television (the argument goes), no one will buy a digital TV set, and if no one buys a digital TV, the feds won't be able to sell off all that freed-up spectrum and turn into budget-time heroes. So Something Will Be Done.

Perfect Control Makes Imperfect Devices -- In November of 2001, at the request of Representative Billy Tauzin (R-LA), the MPAA's Copy Protection Technical Working Group spun off a sub-group, called the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group (BPDG). It's an inter-industry group with representatives from the movie studios, consumer electronics companies, computer companies, broadcasters, and cable and satellite operators. The BPDG's job was to consult with all these industries and draft a proposal that would set out what kinds of technologies would be legal for use in conjunction with digital television.

The BPDG started off by ratifying two principles:

1.

All digital TV technologies must be "tamper resistant." That means that they need to be engineered to frustrate end-users' attempts to modify them. Under this rule, open-source digital television components will be illegal, since open-source software (like Darwin, the system that underpins Mac OS X) is designed to be modified by end-users.
2.

To be legal, a digital television device must incorporate only approved recording and output technologies. Some system will be devised to green-light technologies that won't "compromise" the programming that they interact with, and if you want to build a digital TV device, you'll need to draw its recording and output components exclusively from the list of approved technologies.

Hollywood Never Gets Technology -- The entertainment industry has a rotten track record when it comes to assessing the impact of new technologies on its bottom line. Every new media technology that's come down the pipe has been the subject of entertainment industry lawsuits over its right to exist: from player pianos to the radio to the VCR to the MP3 format and the digital video recorder, the industry has attempted to convince the courts to ban or neuter every new entertainment technology.

In 1984, Hollywood lost its suit to keep Sony's Betamax VCR off the market. The Betamax, Hollywood argued, would kill the movie industry. In the words of MPAA president Jack Valenti, the VCR was to the American film industry "as the Boston Strangler is to the woman home alone." The most important thing to emerge from that case was the "Betamax doctrine," the legal principle that a media technology is legal, even if it can be used to infringe copyright, provided that it has substantial non-infringing uses.

That means that even though a VCR can be used to duplicate and resell commercial video cassettes illegally, it's still legal to manufacture VCRs, because you can also use them to time-shift your favorite programs, a use that is legal. That's why the iPod exists: You can create MP3s legally by ripping your lawfully acquired CDs with iTunes. That you can also illegally download MP3s from file-sharing networks is irrelevant: the iPod has a substantial, non-infringing use.

The BPDG proposal compromises the Betamax Doctrine. Under Betamax, Apple can make any device it wants to, without having to design it so that it can never be used to infringe - it is enough that some of the uses for the device are non-infringing. Crowbar manufacturers aren't required to design their tools so that they can never be used to break into houses - it's enough that crowbars have some lawful uses. It's impossible to make really good, general-purpose tools that can't ever be used illegally - Betamax lets manufacturers off that impossible hook.

A Veto Over New Technology -- Consumer electronics and IT companies were willing to go along with the idea that devices should be tamper-resistant, and that there should be some criteria for deciding which outputs and recording methods would be permitted. Each company had its own reasons for participating.

Two groups now have proprietary copy-prevention technology they want to build a market for: Hitachi, Intel, Matsushita, Sony, and Toshiba are members of the "5C" group, and Intel, IBM, Matsushita (Panasonic), and Toshiba are members of the "4C" group. Since the 4C and 5C technologies have been blessed by Hollywood's representatives to the BPDG, a mandated BPDG standard will make it illegal to sell less-restrictive competing products, and so by participating in BPDG, the 4C and 5C companies could shut out the competition, guaranteeing a royalty on every DTV device sold.

Other companies, like Philips and Microsoft, have their own copy-prevention technologies and were anxious that if they didn't play ball with the BPDG, it would be illegal for them to sell DTV devices that incorporate their technology.

Finally, the computer companies became involved because they saw the BPDG as a way of setting out an objective standard that they could follow, and in so doing, be sure that they wouldn't be sued into bankruptcy if their customers figured out how to use their technology in ways that Hollywood disapproved of. But then Hollywood dropped its bomb. When it came time to setting out the actual criteria for DTV technology, Hollywood announced that it would consider only one proposal: new DTV technology would be legal only if three major movie studios approved it.

The tech companies at the BPDG had been there with the understanding that the BPDG's job was to establish a set of objective criteria for new technology. Those criteria might be restrictive, but at the very least, tech companies would know where they stood when they were planning new gizmos.

Hollywood suckered the tech companies in with this promise and then sprang the trap. No, you won't get a set of objective criteria out of us. From now on, every technology company with a new product will have to come to us on its knees and beg for our approval. We can't tell you what technology we're looking for, but we'll know it when we see it. That's the "standard" we're writing here: we'll know it when we see it.

The Endgame -- The BPDG co-chairs submitted their final report to Rep. Tauzin, the Congressman who had asked for the BPDG to be formed at the beginning. The report was short and sweet, but attached to it was a half-inch thick collection of dissenting opinions from the likes of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Free Software Foundation, and Digital Consumer, as well as commercial interests like Philips, Sharp, Zenith, Thomson, and Microsoft.

Missing from the report were objections from any computer manufacturer. The information technology industry took its lead from Intel, which has an interest in the 5C and 4C technologies, and is quite pleased at the idea of a BPDG mandate becoming law. Apple, which has previously been outspoken on the subject of a free technology market, was silent, as were IBM, HP, Dell, Gateway, and all the other general-purpose computing companies who have the most to lose from a BPDG mandate.

The Future -- It's bleak. On 08-Aug-02, FCC Chairman Michael Powell announced that the FCC would open proceedings to mandate the BPDG proposal, turning this "standard" into the law of the land. Without any computer companies willing to carry the banner for the freedom to innovate, to make Betamax-legal technology without oversight from the film industry, the BPDG mandate will almost certainly come to pass.

The BPDG world will be extremely hostile to the digital hub concept. Think about a high-definition digital video suite of iMovie tools. These tools will exist to capture, store, and manipulate high-definition video streams - streams from camcorders, TV sources, and removable media like DVDs. They might support cable-in or a DTV antenna so that your digital hub doesn't require a stand-alone TV. And they'll need a DVD burner/reader and drivers.

Incorporating a tuner and a DVD player/burner into a Mac is just the kind of thing that scares the daylights out of the BPDG. If you expect to be able to play your existing DVDs on your Mac, let alone record shows that you get off cable or an antenna and play them on your TV set, think again.

Hollywood wants to be sure that you can't do anything with video from TV or cable without the film studios' permission. So while you may want to be able to stick a DVD full of home movies into your Mac and edit a five minute short for your distant relatives to download from your iDisk, Hollywood wants to be sure you won't be able to do the same with that episode of Buffy you recorded from the TV. When your distant relatives download your home movies to their computers and burn them to DVD, Hollywood wants to be sure that what they're burning is really a home movie and not a Law & Order episode that slipped through the cracks and made it onto a Web site.

How can this be accomplished? Once the video is on a DVD, a Web site, or your hard disk, neither your Mac nor your TV can tell the difference between Buffy and your holiday videos. There's no easy answer, and lucky for us, the Betamax doctrine says that just because someone might do something illegal with El Gato's EyeTV or a real iTiVo, it doesn't mean you can't have one. It's enough that there are legal things that can be done with the technology.

But absent any way to achieve Hollywood-grade perfect control over the technology's use, the BPDG simply won't let it come into being. It will be illegal to manufacture this device.

Hollywood's approval of an iTiVo will be contingent on its "tamper resistance" (so long, Mac OS X, hello again, Mac OS 9!) and its operating system will have to include a facility for marking files that can't be streamed over an AirPort card or Ethernet port (forget sitting in your bedroom watching video stored on a server in your living room!). The entire operating system and box will have to be redesigned to prevent unauthorized copying of Hollywood movies, even if that means your own digital video data can't be backed up, sent to a friend, or accessed remotely.

If the entertainment industry had gotten its way, we wouldn't have radios, TVs, VCRs, MP3s, or DVRs. Business Week called Hollywood "some of the most change-resistant companies in the world." No one should be in charge of what innovation is permitted, especially not the technophobes of the silver screen.

A Glimmer of Hope -- For all the likelihood of a BPDG mandate becoming law, it's by no means inevitable.

One technology company - Apple, IBM, AMD, Gateway, Dell, HP - could stall the process. All it would take is a public statement of opposition to the BPDG, a breaking of ranks with Intel and the other companies who are seeking to secure a market for their copy-prevention technologies, and the FCC would be confronted with infinitely more uncertainty about a BPDG mandate than it currently faces.

There are already a couple million DTV devices in the market that will be nearly impossible to accommodate under the BPDG mandate; another 12 months and there will be 10 million or more, and it will be too late to try to lock down DTV without permanently alienating DTV's most important customers.

Apple has been a strong champion of its customers' right to buy and use innovative technologies in innovative ways. If any company has the rule-breaking courage to stand up to Hollywood's bullying, it's Apple. If we're very lucky, Apple will agree. One press conference where Steve Jobs gives the MPAA what-for would likely derail the FCC's consideration of the BPDG process - maybe forever.

Mac users are fiercely loyal to the Macintosh, and Apple has always responded with new Macs with innovative features. Let's hope that they won't forget us now that there's pending legislation that could hamstring both Apple's entire digital hub strategy and the ways we already use our Macs with tools like iMovie, iDVD, and the SuperDrive.

(For further reading, I encourage you to read the following Web sites and articles: the EFF's BPDG weblog, "Consensus at Lawyerpoint"; Rep. Tauzin's memo to the BPDG representatives; the EFF's letter to Rep. Tauzin; the New York Times on the BPDG's final report; the EFF's comments on the BPDG's final report; a summary of the EFF's comments on the BPDG's final report; and the BPDG final report.)

[Cory Doctorow is Outreach Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He's been using Apple computers since 1979 and has a 27-pixel-by-27-pixel tattoo of a Sad Mac on his right bicep. He won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Writer at the 2000 Hugo Awards, and his first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, will be published by Tor Books next Christmas. He is the co-editor of the weblogs Boing Boing and Forwarding Address: OS X and is a frequent contributor to Wired.]

Is it relevant? (2, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | about 12 years ago | (#4061713)

The computer is going to replace the TV/Stereo/DVD/VCR in living rooms.
Whether 'Hollywood' is ready for it or not.
Reminds me of the dialogue between the American and Viet Namese General. The American turned to the Viet Namese and said, "You know, you never beat us on an open field of battle."
The Viet Namese General replied, "That is true. It is also irrelevant."
It seems like 'Hollywood' will win in court, but what that means, I don't know.

Re:Is it relevant? (1)

SN74S181 (581549) | about 12 years ago | (#4061822)

One problem with your analogy:

The 'Open field of battle' is the Digital Hub.

The 'Vietnamese' is Hollywood, using whatever means necessary to defeat their enemy.

Keep that in mind.

Re:Is it relevant? (0, Offtopic)

questionlp (58365) | about 12 years ago | (#4062106)

Shouldn't be an Americans that would represent Hollywood since the US did everything they thought was necessary to kill the Viet-Cong (remember, the Viet-Cong were the one's trying to take over South Vietnam, aka, the non-Comm Vietnamese... there is a difference) by using everything from snipes, napalm, mines, "Agent Orange", the My Lai massacre, killing and bombing of innocent South Vietnamese... who the American soldiers thought were "Charlie"?

Yes... I am Vietnamese, though I was not born in Vietnam nor am I old enough to see the horrible war... but I mother lost almost all of her family due to shots, bombs and mines used by both sides. So I take a bit of resent with that comment.

Re:Is it relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4062164)

No, the OP is correct. He`s saying that Hollywood are going to try anything in their attempt to control the playing field.

Re:With due respect to /.ed TidBITS... (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | about 12 years ago | (#4061790)

"The more your Mac acts like a television device (think of TidBITS's April Fools spoof iTiVo coming true, or El Gato's new EyeTV) the more your Mac will be subject to regulations that are meant to control "only" digital television (DTV) devices."

I think that the movie industry , if it tries to 'relulate' or 'clamp down' on technology like this, will become hated and be shooting itself in the foot.

When the waves change direction, ride them. Propping up an obsolete business model with silly restrictions will only bring hatred and lost revenues.

The movie industry should sell what people want, and if they want to stream any movie from the last century instantaneously for $1.99, give it to them. This is better than downloading from illegal sources and dealing with misnamed, broken, poorly encoded content.

Re:With due respect to /.ed TidBITS... (2, Interesting)

koh (124962) | about 12 years ago | (#4061942)

You're right... on the long term.

Consider that far more than half the world population is 1) unable to afford the internet connection or even understand it and 2) not ready to switch the good ole TV set/VCR pair for an all-digital medium that they'll have to get used to.

What does that mean ? That means internet-based live feed will be used by very few people (us) for many years to come (my rough estimate: 6 to 10), and so won't be as relevant to Hollyw00d as the immediate near-global threat of digital broadcasting.

That also means, IMHO, that 'common people' are not ready for digital either. There will be many years before everyone can afford/accept a digital equipment. If they really stop manufacturing analog devices in 2006, then people will keep their old stuff. My TV is 10 years old,and with the proper cable it accepts PS2 NTSC input like a charm. I trust it to last at least 10 more years :]

So what's the point ? The point is : Hollywood has the media power, we have the internet power. If internet streaming becomes common, and your grandma starts using it, we win. If Hollywood-emasculated devices become common, and your grandma starts using them, we lose.

At least we know the rules.

Re:With due respect to /.ed TidBITS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4062186)

"consider that far more than half the world population is 1) unable to afford the internet connection"

Sure, considering that nearly everyone on the planet is still going to bed hungry. Still, as long as fat people get to argue about whether Futurama is better than the Simpsons, or whether a CD is actually a CD if it doesnt have the CD logo on the back, that doesnt really matter.

Re:With due respect to /.ed TidBITS... (1)

Stonehand (71085) | about 12 years ago | (#4062172)

What if they can't afford to sell people what they want? Impasse, or business failure.

Airline passengers want more leg room, actual meals once again instead of mere pretzels for lunch, timely flights, shorter delays, more security, pilots that won't kick them off just because the're Arab or Israeli, cheaper fares, and an end to overbooking. The airlines are providing a lot less than this, and they're mostly, if not all, still hemorrhaging money -- and you can't blame it all on the unions; it's genuinely a lot to ask for.

Re:With due respect to /.ed TidBITS... (1)

namtog (247864) | about 12 years ago | (#4061870)

Thanks AC, I don't know what I would do without you.

If this clever slashdot crowd can't figure out how to keep sites from being /.ed how will it ever come up with a way to protect the "digital hub"?

Re:With due respect to /.ed TidBITS... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061911)

With all due respect to /. moderators, how the fuck can this be modded "redundant" when I can't get to the original article? Answer me that, fuck-wit.

Guess what? I now know what the article says, and can go on to post an intellegent reply.

"Redundant" modder should stop modding with one hand.

Re:With due respect to /.ed TidBITS... (5, Insightful)

teamhasnoi (554944) | about 12 years ago | (#4062117)

If Apple was the 'last one standing' in a battle with the AAAA (All A$$holes Association of America), I would be in line for a new Mac. The way I see it, the x86 architecture could be first to fall from the pressure of the AAAA. The motherboard makers have has long experience being M$'s bitch, what's a new pimp to them? They'll just kneel and take it. For the most part, Apple is a company that creates trends, rather than jumping on the bandwagon, or bowing to industry pressures. (I wish they'd jump on the processor speed bandwagon tho.. :P)

WAKE UP! This whole 'Battle' can be summed up as follows: The AAAA wants you to Subscribe to everything. TV, Radio, MP3, CDs, Software, Books,(add anything else you can think of) and own ALL avenues of content creation/distribution. This will give ol' Hillary and Jack the stranglehold they crave.

Fair use? Gone. Independent distribution? Gone. Any scenario where YOU control 'content'? GONE.

Senators are being paid off left and right (pun intended), the only way to fight this is to educate people who vote. Vote their asses out of office!

Call or write your Senators and Represenatives and let them know where you stand, and where they will be standing if this trend continues. Stop being the bitch of the AAAA!

Demise of the Digital Hub (5, Funny)

FrostedWheat (172733) | about 12 years ago | (#4061688)

TidBITS hub in particular.

RIP .. *router in peace*

Re:Demise of the Digital Hub (3, Funny)

manly_15 (447559) | about 12 years ago | (#4061968)

RIP .. *router in peace*

I prefer *router in pieces*

Re: Demise of the Digital Hub (3, Informative)

adamengst (206161) | about 12 years ago | (#4061992)

We're working on it - we can normally handle up to 45 simultaneous connections on our database server, but it's behind a slow line and, to paraphrase Monty Python, "No one ever expects the Spanish Slashdot!"

We're moving that particular article to our main server, which can handle more simultaneous connections and has way more bandwidth thanks to digital.forest's huge pipes. Should be up soon.

cheers... -Adam

It's Pretty Simple (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061691)

For years the industry has promised video on demand, but not delivered. They want to have a good firm grasp on it and be able to charge per search/view.

Now that people can already do that, their vaporware is no longer profitable.

IEEE Spectrum article on digital hubs (3, Informative)

orac2 (88688) | about 12 years ago | (#4061729)

IEEE Spectrum [ieee.org] had two related features on this last month about the struggles in the Entertainment and consumer electronics industries to control the Digital hub.

and

Digital Hubub: Companies vie to create a single device to handle all your home entertainment needs [ieee.org]

The Largest Players rule the Media Playground [ieee.org] (which shows the spaghetti like relationship between all the big players and the current crop of set top contenders).

LIAR!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 12 years ago | (#4061739)

AOL on OSX is more important!!!

I've Got Better Use for CPU Cycles (5, Funny)

Bob(TM) (104510) | about 12 years ago | (#4061741)

Have you seen what's on TV? I've got better uses for the hardware.

Re:I've Got Better Use for CPU Cycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061927)

Have you seen what's on TV? I've got better uses for the hardware.

That's a good point. In Hollywood's typical arrogance they can't understand how someone would want to do anything but be passively entertained by their genius.

and then battle will begin ... (0)

imperator_mundi (527413) | about 12 years ago | (#4061772)

It would be interesting to see a battle between Hollywood and some major hardware producer (the article speaks about Apple, but also other will be affected by such restrictions).

Til now it was too easy for intellectual propertiy holders to ban hardware made by some obscure taiwanese producer or harass norwegian teenagers ... billions dollars companies will maybe be more indigestible.

doesn't Cory listen to Declan McCullagh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061777)

Declan McCullagh says [slashdot.org] quit talking and writing, keep quiet and get back to work writing code [com.com] .

I'm so confused... who's right?

Why (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061781)

Why doesn't Hollywood just buy up all the companies that make things it fears?

They got the cash thanks to brain dead Americans who wouldn't know a good movie if it hit them in the head.

Could someone please send me a scale small enough to measure the American attention span, please.

thanks

Re:Why (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061801)

Could someone please send me a scale small enough to measure the American attention span, please.

Here ya go: 0-----1

It's the same one I use for my weiner.

Re:Why (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061812)

your weiner is probably massive compared to the attention span.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061846)

*blushes* Gee, Thanks! *Bashfully rubs foot on ground* Tee-Hee! *Coyly winks*

FCC?! (2)

gclef (96311) | about 12 years ago | (#4061820)

If you read the article, he mentions that the FCC is apparently preparing to mandate the BPDG recommendations. This removes the pesky Congress from the picture entirely. I have a couple questions about this: 1) Can they do this constitutinally? 2) who do I bitch-slap at the FCC for this insanity?

anyone know?

Answering my own question (5, Informative)

gclef (96311) | about 12 years ago | (#4061888)

Okay, the FCC filing (here: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/ FCC-02-231A1.pdf ) isn't a preperation to enact the rules. It's a request for comment from the public on whether or not they should implement the rules.

So, what we have here is yet another person to flood with negative responses to industry insanity.

To quote the pdf file:
To get filing instructions for e-mail comments,
commenters should send an e-mail to ecfs@fcc.gov, and should include the following words in the body
of the message, "get form <your e-mail address>."

Re:FCC?! (1)

unDiWahn (599102) | about 12 years ago | (#4061918)

The FCC has the power to make regulations and "laws" as it sees fit, under its jurisdiction. The way and breadth of these powers were designated when it was created.
You can appeal these regulations in a true court of law as unconstitutional, of course, or in some cases that they overstepped their authority.

Same way the IRS makes tax regulations that they can bitch-slap you over ;)

Re:FCC?! (1, Flamebait)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | about 12 years ago | (#4062051)

2) who do I bitch-slap at the FCC for this insanity?

Nobody at the FCC...You bitch-slap the unelected President of the United States for installing his big-business cronies into the FCC to make sure that "industry-friendly" (read: anti-Consumer) rules make it through without all that pesky congressional debate.

Michael Powell seems exclusively interested in taking more rights away from citizens...If he had been around during LPFM, we wouldn't HAVE LPFM...

Taoist saying (5, Insightful)

Dutchmaan (442553) | about 12 years ago | (#4061836)

"When the leaders become oppressive, it means their time is drawing to a close"

This holds true for governments as well as corporations.

It's only a matter of time.

Re:Taoist saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061868)

And the Taoists have done really good at mattering in the world, eh?

Go eat you rice cake and be quiet.

Re:Taoist saying (5, Insightful)

Pfhor (40220) | about 12 years ago | (#4061931)

Well, I wouldn't sit back and wait for them to fall.

When they become oppressive, it makes it a lot easier to mobilize a movement against them. More oppression means more people realizing that the said government or corporation really needs an ass whooping. (not as elegant as the taoist saying, but most things hardly are).

I like it when the /. articles are more of a troll (2, Informative)

spoot (104183) | about 12 years ago | (#4061849)

....than the responses.

Far more important than AOL on OSX!

Maybe the mods should be able to mod down the /. authors and their stories.

What are they going to miss out on? (2, Interesting)

tx_mgm (82188) | about 12 years ago | (#4061850)

Movies dont even come to TV until after they've been out on VHS/DVD for quite some time, which (of course) doesnt happen till after it has been in the theater for quite some time.
So my question is, after audiences have had a chance to see (and potentially record) the film at the theater, then see (and more-than-potentially copy) from blockbuster video (or any rental place) or even buy the film, what else is there for hollywood to worry about? pay-per-view? honestly, who orders something from pay-per-view and doesnt record it already? is the fact that its not a *digital* copy keeping hollywood in business?

Re:What are they going to miss out on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4062046)

Movies dont even come to TV until after they've been out on VHS/DVD for quite some time, which (of course) doesnt happen till after it has been in the theater for quite some time.

And even then they're hacked to death for content, commercials, run time, bugs in the corner, and cropped to fit the screen (yes, they will happily crop to fit perfectly on a widescreen TV movies that were superwide, or crop older movies that were produced in 4:3 for theaters).

The MPAA is bluffing when they say they'll withhold their movies from television unless their demands are met. Ignore their demands; they'll march along with technology or lose their marketplace. We dragged them kicking and screaming into acceptance of the video tape, and they've benefited greatly for it. They'll adapt to open digital television.

Greed (3, Insightful)

Che Geuvarra (596863) | about 12 years ago | (#4061860)

Greed they say is good, it makes us strive for more than what we have. In this case excessive greed is disgusting, this has more to do with control than money, how long untill you are force fed the "good fact" instead of the truth? *sorry off topic* *on Topic* Witht he advent of sony's new plan to report the number of times any given media is played or recorded this seems like the next step in the process. The real problem is by the time that nay show/movie has reached television it has earned 97% of it's revenue. What more can they hope to gain. Anything i record off of television has already been paid for by my subscription to Cable or network tv I either pay for one or put up with advertisement for another they have my money already. THIS MY FRIENDS IS IMPERIALISM RUN RAMPANT!!!! We must do something, I don't know what but something. Any suggestions? Che

Monopolistic Industries (1)

Snowbeam (96416) | about 12 years ago | (#4061862)

What are we to expect from one of two major Monopolistic Industries. They want to run and control everything in order to charge as exhorberent a price as they can. The industry has lost the one true point that you sell to the consumer what s/he wants and not tell the consumer what s/he wants.

Re:Monopolistic Industries (3, Insightful)

analog_line (465182) | about 12 years ago | (#4061940)

The consumer has the power to not buy it. Something that you all obviously have forgotten about.

If you don't like how it's being given to you, DON'T BUY IT. People survived for thousands of years without digital television, the Internet, and everything else. If they make it illegal for me to buy anything that isn't Holly-wood approved, I just won't buy any of it. End of story.

Digital TV? I don't even get cable. Waste of money. Too many channels, with too much crap, making the stuff I might want not worth the effort. Learn to live without it, or please don't take some mythical high ground. You're so greedy, even if this stuff goes through you'll still shell out for whatever media product you've just _got_ to have, and let the people you supposedly hate walk all over you and rob you blind. No sympathy.

Re:Monopolistic Industries (2, Insightful)

Grunschev (517745) | about 12 years ago | (#4062137)

>>The consumer has the power to not buy it.

Is this where I say, "You clearly didn't read the article"?

Let's say I do as you suggest. I quit going to movies, I cancel my cable subscription, I quit renting movies. Does this protect me from the bad legislation? How does that ensure that I will be able to do as I please with my own content?

Igor

This isn't going to help. (1)

altgrr (593057) | about 12 years ago | (#4061873)

If America outlaws devices that can be used to distribute copyrighted TV signals, what will happen? They'll just be developed in other countries. You'll be able to import them, somehow. There will be a decent trade for hardware and software that can handle TV images. There's no way that any amount of legislation can protect American "interests".

It's not going to help anyone introducing these laws. But what you have to remember is that they're only at preliminary stages now - whether or not they get introduced is another matter entirely. But when you have the "big fight" between large corporations and the public, large corporations seem to forget that they can't exist without the public.

Stop advocating terrorism! (5, Funny)

Aexia (517457) | about 12 years ago | (#4061958)

They'll just be developed in other countries. You'll be able to import them, somehow.

Only terrorists would do that. You're not a terrorist are you? Then why are you advocating a crminal enterprise that can only aid and abet terrorists? I've got my eye on you, boy.

From now on, if you ever go talk to your terrorist friends, I'm going to know. Then we're going to hold a nice secret military tribunal for you and the rest of your terrorist organization. Don't try to complain about being mistreated; Only the guilty complain about "civil liberties" being "violated." Don't you get it, boy? We're at war with the terrorists and you're either on our side or their side. And it looks more and more like you're on the side of the terrorists.

Now, so far, we still have to have such outdated notions like "evidence" when it comes to putting terrorists like you away. For now. You and your terrorist buddies won't be able to hide being the Constitution for much longer.

Advocating terrorism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4062084)

If you're not being serious, I'd have modded you up if I could.

If you were being serious, try re-reading what you wrote. Also, try seeing the world from the perspective of the suppressed. First America suppresses the ways of other countries, then it suppresses the ways of its own citizens. This isn't the way you want to be going.

I'd like to know how importing technology to play back TV signals (fair use) is terrorism, too - who the hell are you terrorising?

Not so sure... (2)

jonr (1130) | about 12 years ago | (#4062131)

How many people do you know that have multi-region DVD players? And how many don't?

relative importance (3, Funny)

JimBobJoe (2758) | about 12 years ago | (#4061877)

Far more important than AOL on OSX!"

Yes, but will it be as important when it's accidentally reposted to slashdot in about 6-9 months?

Re:relative importance (1)

i am fishhead (580982) | about 12 years ago | (#4062241)

Like, AOL is soooooo totaly cool dude. It's the bomb! Why run some lame story about, like totaly loosing our right of fair use and being force under the thumb of the entertainment industry, when you could have a story on how that "You've got mail" voice is or how AIM is like having "A verbal chat electronicly". Someone at /. needs to get their priorities straight.

"Far more important than AOL on OSX?" (2, Insightful)

clmensch (92222) | about 12 years ago | (#4061878)

Is the poster DESPERATE to get his story posted or what? Obviously he/she is clueless...that story was about the adoption of a Gecko browser by the world's largest ISP. That's great news for the open source movement and the Mozilla project. Don't get me wrong, this story is important and well done, too...but that little bit at the end just screamed "Look at me! Look at me!". Have a little class...

Don't think Linux is impervious (0)

Caez (470978) | about 12 years ago | (#4061882)

I know quite a few of you are thinking, f*ck OSX, we'll use Linux and pirate all we want. Well, you're the kind of people who kill Linux. Anyway, if that bill comes to pass, no one will make drivers for Linux because it will be illegal. All digital TV technologies must be "tamper resistant." That means that they need to be engineered to frustrate end-users' attempts to modify them. Under this rule, open-source digital television components will be illegal, since open-source software (like Darwin, the system that underpins Mac OS X) is designed to be modified by end-users. So no perhiperals or graphics cards with DTV input can have Linux drives legally. And if their are no drivers, their is no Linux.

VA moves Source Forge to proprietary platform. (-1, Offtopic)

FreeLinux (555387) | about 12 years ago | (#4061897)

Submission rejected, so read it for yourself.

http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104-949505.html

Re:VA moves Source Forge to proprietary platform. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4062029)

Mod this down -- Offtopic.

Off Topic, but shoul dhaev made the front page. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4062175)

Sure, its Off topic, but shouldnt the story have made the front page? Or at least a sidebar?

Big Brother in Europe (0, Troll)

class_A (324713) | about 12 years ago | (#4061915)

From this side of the pond, it seems ordinary Americans are more aware of the close CCTV surveillance of their British friends rather than the bigger "invasion of privacy" that is going on under their noses right now in the name of piracy prevention.

If ordinary Americans aren't made aware of the restrictions are being imposed, by the time they do realise it will be too late.

In my own home, I am unable to take a CD that I purchased, make a copy of it on my own computer and transfer it to my own MP3 player unless I resort to marker pens or real time transfer from my CD player.

I realise that piracy is a bad thing even though I am a freeloading student :-) But surely someone must be able to come up with methods that prevent piracy but allow fair use?

Re:Big Brother in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061978)

No, it's not possible to come up with something that will prevent piracy altogether.

Re:Big Brother in Europe (1)

Stonehand (71085) | about 12 years ago | (#4062119)

Surely? I would think that it's impossible, because most of the factors involved are beyond the ken of the hardware. No personal computer is likely to be able to determine /why/ you're duplicating the material -- for instance, making an excerpt for purposes of criticism, versus making an excerpt for later combination with other excerpts for a complete version. It certainly can't tell whether or not you're browsing material for research or for recreation, unless you posit extremely advanced, ubiquitious AI that builds a complete, accurate, precise profile of everything that you do (and probably also has to have electrodes attached to your brain...).

And, what looks like "fair use" may turn into infringement later. Perhaps a person creates an MP3 or ogg or whatever from a CD he owns. How do you expect to (a) permit that, and (b) block him from distributing it (e.g. sending it over a network, removing the disk and giving it to other people, playing it into an audio device that's rigged to record the decoded signal...)? Even if you

a) confiscate all present audio/computer hardware (which isn't going to happen)
b) mandate SSSCA-style hardware
c) use incredibly strong encryption, personalized to the purchaser (e.g. biometrics) so, in theory, he's the only one that can use it

the SSSCA-style hardware still has to interface with non-SSSCA hardware (your ears, eyes, et al) which means that there has to be an extractable signal which can probably be duplicated.

Well, maybe not visually (mandate goggles that also check for iris scans so you can't stick a videocamera in front of it, say) but still, with hardware hacking, it could almost certainly be broken.

I suspect that there aren't that many choices.

1. Stop /all/ copying, including fair use, which requires the banning of anything that can duplicate or record...
2. Permit the hardware that allows copying, and realize that what is currently regarded as infringement will happen.

2a. Prosecute everybody, vigorously. This isn't very scalable, and many of the offenders aren't readily identifiable most likely. How many users did Napster have, again? How many of them infringed?

2b. Prosecute occasionally, and very sparsely. Most offenders will never be targeted, and this might not be much of a deterrent at all.

2c. Claim that it's illegal, moan about it, but never do anything much except possibly going after bozos who try to profit on it. No deterrent, but minimal money wasted on enforcement, either.

2d. Give up and make it legal -- at least, the non-profit ones. Bootleggers should probably still be targeted unless you want to see a recording studio say, "Hey, nice recording, but our pollsters say that your star is fading, and we feel we've paid you enough already. Bye, and don't forget to buy your CD when we publish it next month."

Maybe I don't just get it. (5, Interesting)

Rahga (13479) | about 12 years ago | (#4061923)

Hollywood's fears are based on "Napsterization" of exact, perfect copies of digital content... they've seen digital music turn into easily copied MP3s. However, they do not realize that if the industry didn't push CDs, and were still selling tapes and vinyl to the masses, people would take that content and compress it and pirate it instead.

At least immediately, digital content probably will not be the first choice for video pirates. Video capture cards and RCA jacks makes napstering "The Simpsons" and VCR tapes easy. There's no encoding hoops too jump through, and no reason to bother with maintaining integrity of digital content.

In my view, digital video-based content and piracy of digitally-compressed video are two completely different subjects.

To hell with 'em! (2)

Robber Baron (112304) | about 12 years ago | (#4061948)

How about we just stop watching their shit...analog or digital?

Jack Valenti: Here's a deal for ya! If I agree to stop watching your shit will you leave me and my computer alone? Think before you answer that one! I didn't think so you bastard...

Apple and Open Source. (5, Insightful)

Grendel Drago (41496) | about 12 years ago | (#4061956)

See, this is why it's such a bloody good thing that Apple moved over to Open Source. Instead of being a bunch of weirdos with proprietary everything, the fortunes of a large constituency are now tied in with the fortunes of free software. Unlike the masses of clueless Windows users, the masses of clueless Mac users will be affected, will be restricted.

*poof*, we have a lobby! Declan what's-his-face was wrong, there are plenty of people directly affected by this who aren't coders, aren't geeks.

Someone wrote about creating a library of canonical "this is why the DMCA-etc is bad" examples, so that Joe Average can understand the issue. That's exactly what this columnist is doing---reaching out to the average Mac user and explaining that usage restrictions are evil.

Mmm, I've got a warm fuzzy now.

--grendel drago

It's Not Napsterization They Fear... (1)

Sandlund (226344) | about 12 years ago | (#4061961)

...it's the MST2K-ization. Imagine user-created commentary spin-offs appearing the morning after TV shows run. The mocking of Hollywood's lousy dialog would quickly get under their all too thin skin.

Of course, that's probably the only way that you could get me to watch "Friends"...

Re:It's Not Napsterization They Fear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4062004)

Of course, that's probably the only way that you could get me to watch "Friends"...

Heh, I actually _know_ people buying Friends on DVD.

An alternative.... (1)

lynx_user_abroad (323975) | about 12 years ago | (#4061979)

I wonder what would happen if all the geeks got together and lobbied Congress to pass a law banning people from having both Internet/computers and Television/Video/DVD in their home. People would be required to pick one of the other only. Can't have both.

That would stop the "Napsterization" of the home entertainment industry as well as any other proposal I've heard.

I wonder which one people would choose? I wonder if the MPAA would be willing to support such a law? Probably not. But then I guess they know what's good for them.

This is just like the Cola Wars after NewCoke was introduced; they don't care how much bad publicity they get so long as they're getting publicity.

paranoid movie industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4061980)

i dont see why they are so paranoid i mean as of right now i can download just about any movie released on dvd, so they should be worried but its already come to perfect copys of movies. Just get a vidseo card that has video out and plug your computer into your stereo and no need tro buy or rent another dvd

Steve Job against MPAA ? (2, Insightful)

tajan (172822) | about 12 years ago | (#4062060)

According to the article : If any company has the rule-breaking courage to stand up to Hollywood's bullying, it's Apple. If we're very lucky, Apple will agree. One press conference where Steve Jobs gives the MPAA what-for would likely derail the FCC's consideration of the BPDG process - maybe forever.

Well, Steve Job is also Chairman & CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, which has an exclusive Feature Film Agreement and Co-Production Agreement with Disney for at least its next three motion pictures. And Disney is a major member of the MPAA. So ...

Jaron Lanier (2)

rakerman (409507) | about 12 years ago | (#4062103)

Does anyone have the link to the article (or the text of the article) by Jaron Lanier where he said eventually every entertainment device would have to pass a certificate to every other one before you could hear anything? "Keep your analog speakers," he said, or something like that. I know his website is at http://people.advanced.org/~jaron/ but I can't find the article on it.

Before I quit my record producing job (5, Interesting)

Tyrone Slothrop (522703) | about 12 years ago | (#4062179)

...at a Major Media Company back in the very early 80's, I asked for a meeting with the vp of my division. We had lunch.

I explained that the brand new technology of compact disk was a far more flexible medium than we knew, that it could hold any kind of information whatsoever, not only music, but computer data, movies, etc.

I spent a very long lunch trying to get this concept across. It was simply impossible for this vice president to wrap his mind around the notion that a CD could do a lot more than just deliver music.

The article is absolutely correct but doesn't go far enough. Entertainment execs not only just don't get it. They are not capable of getting it.

Not that they're dumb. They just are not capable of thinking about technology in terms of abstract possibilities. They think of gadgets only in terms of already available functions.

Therefore, in order to prevent the demise of the digital hub (because, after all, senators/congressmen have much the same skill set as entertainment execs,which includes an excessive will to power), no argument except a financial one will work.

I would suggest the following:

1. Hold a No CD Buying Day. The day after,

2. Hold a No Movies/Video Day. Next, of course

3. No TV Day >P> Use the time to hug a tree, talk to your loved one, surf the net, read a book, listen to your iPod, etc.

Repeat steps 1 to 3 every month with enough people and anti-Hub legislation will stop cold.

Nothing else will work.

Slogan: "I bought it, I own it." (5, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | about 12 years ago | (#4062195)

Yes, I know that even under pre-DMCA law this wasn't true. I read all the fine print. But I think this is the rallying cry under which the public can be engaged. Most people BELIEVE that it is true in some very fundamental sense--and that if the laws say it's not true, the laws are wrong.

Most people think that it IS "theft" if you fiddle with the wires and cable box and watch programs that you've haven't paid for.

But most people think that once you PAY for that television signal, you have a perfect right to invite friends to watch it with you, or watch it on two TV's at the same time, or record it on your VCR.

Property rights go deep into human history, society, and psyche. Congress can pass all the laws they like, and the RIAA can hire all the lawyers they like, and they can get people put in jail and so forth. And they can conduct all the "educational" campaigns they like. People are STILL going to believe:

"I bought it. I own it. It's MINE, and I'll use it as I darn well please."
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