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Broadcast Flag All But Approved

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the but-the-shoutin' dept.

Television 431

Are We Afraid writes "The FCC is about to approve the broadcast flag for HDTV, according to Reuters. The EFF has been vocal in its disapproval, but the suits appear to be pushing ahead anyway. We may soon need an updated dystopian parable: The Right to Watch."

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whew (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279663)

good thing, that. i was start to get worried the broadcast flag wasn't going to make it after all..

Second Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279668)

suck on that gnaa

Remember the copyright bit in SPDIF? (2, Interesting)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279669)

SPDIF (Sony Philips Digital InterFace) has a copyright bit which can be set for audio signals... has that been stopping people?

Any wall a man can build can be torn down by another man... Is it really worth all the fuss?

Re:Remember the copyright bit in SPDIF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279683)

Any wall a man can build can be torn down by another man... Is it really worth all the fuss?

Good point. I'll get rid of the password on my root account immediately.

Re:Remember the copyright bit in SPDIF? (1, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279748)

Any wall a man can build can be torn down by another man... Is it really worth all the fuss?

Good point. I'll get rid of the password on my root account immediately.

You miss my point. If 95% of the world's population wanted to 0wN your box you probably could do just as you suggested.

My point is simple, why build walls where everyone wants to walk? If the system tries to impose restrictions which seem pointless to mostly everyone we'll end up with a majority doing just what we didn't want them to do in the first place.

If so, the system is flawed, or society ;)

Re:Remember the copyright bit in SPDIF? (5, Informative)

sl0ppy (454532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279693)

i can tell you that as a musician, the copyright bit on the personal dat recorder i purchased did a pretty good job of stopping me.

well, until i spent $1500 more on a professional dat recorder, that didn't contain it.

it's ridiculous. i wasn't even allowed to copy my own recordings. it's not like dat is a hotbed of piracy, i only recall one riaa album *ever* released to dat.

it's nice to see bogus legislature used to stop useful technology from taking hold, and the common man from being able to compete with those already in power.

Re:Remember the copyright bit in SPDIF? (5, Insightful)

captaineo (87164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279742)

The more I think about it the more I agree this is [i]exactly[/i] what the broadcast flag is about. It's not about stopping piracy*. It's about stopping low-budget Mac-wielding filmmakers from threatening Hollywood... Amazing consumer-level media tools do no good if they can't record anything. *I love how the article positions the broadcast flag as a "magic bullet" against internet piracy. As if one bit is going to stop anyone from doing anything...

Re:Remember the copyright bit in SPDIF? (-1)

Sillypuddy (553215) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279794)

Can you expand on how it would stop low-budget mac wielding film makers from threatening hollywood?

-joe

Re:Remember the copyright bit in SPDIF? (1)

captaineo (87164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279834)

and before anyone else points out, yes I was tired and slipped into BBcode...

Re:Remember the copyright bit in SPDIF? (1)

aborchers (471342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279926)

The more I think about it the more I agree this is [i]exactly[/i] what the broadcast flag is about. It's not about stopping piracy*. It's about stopping low-budget Mac-wielding filmmakers from threatening Hollywood... Amazing consumer-level media tools do no good if they can't record anything. *I love how the article positions the broadcast flag as a "magic bullet" against internet piracy. As if one bit is going to stop anyone from doing anything...


The poster has a point about the DAT, and I'm not unconvinced that raising barriers to entry to the market was an underhanded motivation of the music industry sharks in the run up to AHRA-92.

But can you please explain to me what difference the broadcast flag will have on indie filmmakers? Everything I've heard so far has indicated that machines will have to honor the restrictions in playback/transmission that are placed in the content "upstream", but there is no mandate for any producer to use the broadcast flag in material they create. If you don't turn it on in your recording, then nothing should stop you from making copies. If you wanted to distribute uncopyable (yes, I know that's a joke) content, you would turn it on for the output of the final "print".

Philosophical arguments against copy-protection aside, is there a part of the broadcast flag that I don't understand? AHRA-92 mandated that "consumer" DATs add copy protection to unprotected sources, but since the content is secured at the source, why would HDTV "recorders" be required to imprint it in original content?

Re:Remember the copyright bit in SPDIF? (1)

Inode Jones (1598) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279770)

At what point does an FPGA become a circumvention device?

Certainly, current FPGA proto boards are much cheaper than $1500, and will strip any copy-protection bits from a serial bit stream just fine.

... And the copy bit on CD (1)

milosoftware (654147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279948)

With the same result:

1. My DAE program plainly ignores the copyright bit.

2. My CDR program offers me no means to switch that bit off. But I don't care because of #1...

3. My $7 audio card with SPDIF i/o comes with a handy checkbox in the driver to ignore the copyright bit on incoming data.

So don't worry, let them have their stupid bit. It will be just like all those "reserved" bits in TCP/IP packets which are eating megaherzes of bandwith: Ignored, but taking up space.

Re:Remember the copyright bit in SPDIF? (1)

uradu (10768) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279977)

> the copyright bit on the personal dat recorder i purchased did a pretty good job of stopping me

Then you bought the wrong deck. Back when DAT still mattered many manufacturers made circumvention of copy restrictions quite easy, sometimes even deliberately so. I remember reading about various decks where disabling copy restrictions involved nothing more than cutting a simple wire or circuit board trace. This wasn't that surprising since copy restriction was seen as a market killer by the manufacturers and very unpopular with most.

Re:Remember the copyright bit in SPDIF? (0)

Sillypuddy (553215) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279818)

isn't there a black box type device that will reset the copyright bit on the fly? -joe

Dystopian parable (-1, Troll)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279670)

The right to watch?

You mean the right to use others' intellectual property without regard.

It's a nice idea, but perhaps a little too dystopian for this world.

dystopian, yada yada (2, Insightful)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279673)

Everyone cries about the horror of the future where we'll only be spoon-fed what they want to feed us.

What a crock. There has, and always will be, alternatives. While it's entirely appropriate for concerns to be raised now, to expect that we'll end up with some sort of "Evil Corporate Control" over what we can do with our lives is kind of paranoid, don't you think?

I mean, we COULD actually just go outside, sit in a hammock and read a book, couldn't we? Television entertains me less and less as time goes on (though I won't even try to claim I'm one of those who doesn't have one / never watches it).

Re:dystopian, yada yada (4, Informative)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279741)

Or, you could just attack this the American way... and bitch about it!

Chairman Michael K. Powell: mpowell@fcc.gov
Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy: kabernat@fcc.gov
Commissioner Michael J. Copps: mcopps@fcc.gov
Commissioner Kevin J. Martin: kjmweb@fcc.gov
Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein: jadelste@fcc.gov

General information, inquiries & complaints: fccinfo@fcc.gov
Freedom of Information Act requests: FOIA@fcc.gov
Comments on FCC Internet services: webmaster@fcc.gov
Elections & political candidate matters: campaignlaw@fcc.gov

1-888-225-5322 (1-888-CALL FCC) Voice: toll-free
1-888-835-5322 (1-888-TELL FCC) TTY: toll-free
(202) 418-2555 TTY: toll
(202) 418-0710 FAX
(202) 418-2830 FAX on Demand
(202) 418-1440 Elections & political candidate matters

Re:dystopian, yada yada (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279860)

Yeah, that's always worked REAL well, like with the DMCA, SCO, etc. All of our complaining got us real far there...

Re:dystopian, yada yada (3, Interesting)

agentk (74906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279755)

Azghoul wrote:

There has, and always will be, alternatives.

True, but how accessible will the alternatives be?

What if the law mandated that you needed a government license to publish books? How much choice would you have for your hammock reading material? (this is exactly how it worked in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries) Obviously a bit more extreme than the broadcast flag, but not unrelated.

Personally, I don't care that much about TV, nevermind "HDTV". I think we need to really care when similar controls start changing the openness of the net, though.

Re:dystopian, yada yada (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279975)

Bravo! Hear hear! I could just walk down the hall and talk to real friends any time I wanted to. I don't need to take drugs or drink alcohol, I can just go and eat pudding instead! I would feel that a part of my life were missing if MSN messenger closed down forever; it may be my own stupid fault for becoming addicted to closed source software but I can't deny it brought me closer to the people I know.

How to tell if you are a linux fanatic. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279676)

AKA a nazi fanatic loser.

1. You rejuvenate and dance when you hear a windows flaw exposed, but you conveniently ignore the thousands of security flaws exposed in linux.

2. You yell loudly TROLL! at any person's post or at any person you see posting facts that you do not want to hear about your oh so cool linux.

3. You know it's a classic case of penis envy, you don't have all the support, software and hardware available for linux and you have to let that anger out somewhere, but you don't have the brains to admit it.

4. You hate windows, hate Microsoft, but race to emulate windows, have programs to run office from within linux, and spend a $300 on a Windows emulator, only Windows fools.

5. You cannot admit that you don't have professional usage of Linux outside server markets.

6. You cannot admit that most of the joe user out there when told that there is linux will respond, what is that?

7. You cannot admit that there is no professional printing capabilities in linux.

8. You cannot admit that you are a masochist (otherwise why would someone spend hours playing with scripts,
and recompiling programs that are available for Windows?)

9. You cannot admit that there is no professional desktop publishing done on Linux.

10. You cannot admit that no one in their right mind would do professional video editing in Linux.

11. You cannot admit that linux sucks when it comes for gaming/home entertainment or education.

12. You have problems in understanding Windows, and you will blame your own incompetence on Microsoft.

13. You have problems in pointing a clicking, but have no problems in wading through cryptic scripts written by lunatics.

14. Nothing will get past that shit that fills your head, you will not admit to any facts.

15. You can't admit that naming of linux components, packages, and others are weird and fits profiles of troubled teenagers. gentoo, lgx, rpm ....

16. You feel angered because you were left out by microsoft's Media technologies, they support Mac, Sun sparc, but not linux.

17. You feel inferior deep inside but unable to admit it, you don't have a database as easy and powerful as Access.

18. You cannot tell that not a single office package outside Microsoft's is worth looking at or bothering with.

19. You don't know that your CD recorder software sucks.

20. You don't have DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW support in your pathetic OS.

21. While the rest of the world moves on, you're stuck in a stone age technology that needs third party software to boot into GUI.

22. You act out of prejudice, you kill file domains and users of specific news readers while you ignore the bullshit that your fellow linux losers post.

23. You don't know commercial support in Linux is almost non existent.

24. You miss the fact that companies are leaving linux because of the chaos, and the cheap linux losers who are unwilling to pay and support hard work, Corel, gaming companies,...etc.

25. You are unaware that linux has no terminal services (there is a lame one that no one uses), and commercial support for it is not happening.

26. You are unaware that setting up servers on Windows takes couple of minutes while on linux, good luck playing with configuration scripts.

27. You cannot admit that support for USB on linux is laughable at best.

28. You think that Linux is better because slashdot told you so.

29. You spend countless hours flaming people because they post their opinions about your oh so cool linux and your attitude, instead of researching things for yourself and understanding fact in order not to look this stupid.

30. You think that anyone who uses linux has a clue.

31. You think that linux cannot crash.

32. You think that everyone is interested in your conspiracy theories about Microsoft (or should i say M$ in order for you, teenagers to understand?), and how they destroyed linux, ...etc.

33. You keep ignoring the fact that thousands of linux servers get hacked every year, but it takes one Windows server hacked to get you and your fellow linux idiots to dance and celebrate.

Re:How to tell if you are a linux fanatic. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279699)

I like it, it's funny because it's true. Like the teen 'goth' posers who just do it to get attention, only much much geekier. And more smelly.

Re:How to tell if you are a linux fanatic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279846)


While I agree with most of your points, your post has the hint of quiet desperation from an "MCSE" point of view. Ad hominum attacks and what not..

I am not a Linux user, fwiw. (BSD however.. ;))

Incorrect (3, Insightful)

Klerck (213193) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279678)

I think "Right to Watch" would be a bit of a misnomer. It's much more like the "Right to Record". Nothing is going to stop anyone from watching something when it's broadcast.

That's just semantics... (5, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279733)

The last Slashdot article on this topic had a post that contained the various lengths of time within which you could view a HDTV recording. After "forever" the next longest length of time was "one week".

One measly week.

Well, one week might be fine if you record something becasue you know you're going out for the night, but what the hell do you do if you're going away on a two-week vacation? What choice do you have except to miss out?

Can you imagine missing the last two weeks of 24, The West Wing, ER or whatever you're hooked on because some silly timestamped restriction is set to one week (or less)?

How do you tell your young kids that the show that you promised they could watch when they got back home from a long car journey to visit the grandparents can't be watched anymore because you exceeded the time limit? Ever tried explaining silly things like that to a screaming three year old?

Let's face it, for a lot of people, life is more hectic now than it was ten years ago. Ten years from now, it'll probably be more hectic still. What good is a timeshifting device like a VCR or a PVR if you can't timeshift with it?

Big Problems (0, Troll)

Exousia (662698) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279823)

"Can you imagine missing the last two weeks of 24, The West Wing, ER or whatever you're hooked on because some silly timestamped restriction is set to one week (or less)?"

If one is hooked on West Wing or ER, one has much bigger problems than the broadcast bit.

Get a life - Kill your TV.

Horsefeathers! (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279867)

"Can you imagine missing the last two weeks of 24, The West Wing, ER or whatever you're hooked on because some silly timestamped restriction is set to one week (or less)?"

If that's what you're worried about when you go on vacation, you should probably take a longer vacation.

"How do you tell your young kids that the show that you promised they could watch when they got back home from a long car journey to visit the grandparents can't be watched anymore because you exceeded the time limit?"

You should really be more concerned that your children need to suckle at the electronic teet. Try buying them a book, or heaven forbid, play with them outdoors!

"Let's face it, for a lot of people, life is more hectic now than it was ten years ago."

A myth. There's just more escapes from life, and people can't cope when they have to actually live.

Microsoft porn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279679)

Who cares? Feast your eyes on this delightful selection of nude art [microsoft.com] from Microsoft [microsoft.com] instead.

Re:Microsoft porn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279729)

Some more wank material for you here [microsoft.com] too ..

the bottom line (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279680)

But consumer advocates warn that it would make obsolete 50 million DVD players already in Americans' homes.

Re:the bottom line (1)

Junior Samples (550792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279959)

Standard definition DVD players do not play back HDTV format. It has nothing to do with the broadcast flag. A new generation of DVD players will be required to accommodate HDTV regardless.

No probs. (1)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279685)

Why the fuzz. Haven't we all learned about mod chips by now?

Re:No probs. (1)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279697)

While we're at it... I'm thinking about starting a "Right to mod" movement. Perhaps I'll call it "The Transparent Ribbon Campaign" or something ;-)

Anyone interested?

Re:No probs. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279744)

Sorry .. I would do, but I'm too busy masturbating [microsoft.com] ..

Re:No probs. (1)

AllUsernamesAreGone (688381) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279771)

Haven't we all learned about the DMCA by now?

OMG! 1984! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279686)

The big brother is watching!

I didn't actually read the article, but since this is yro, I assumed that this is something the paranoid slashbots are going to have an aneurysm over.

Press Release (0)

rabel (531545) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279688)

"FCC to Head Off Internet Piracy of TV, Officials Say"

"It will simply prevent consumers from illegal piracy, from mass distribution over the Internet, which is the problem with the music file sharing," Kenneth Ferree, head of the FCC's media bureau, said in a telephone interview.

Ugh, this is a press release, not a news report. It makes my skin crawl just reading it. There's lots more disgusting propoganda in there, I just got ill trying to paste it and quit.

Re:Press Release (3, Funny)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279774)

Broadcast flag... FCC Sucks!

Do Not Call List... FCC Rocks!

Okay... they are one for one now. Honestly, if they just give us free porn, they'll win the series and we'll all be happy.

Re:Press Release (1)

vegetablespork (575101) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279793)

The Do Not Call list was the work of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FCC would have only been involved in its enforcement as a temporary workaround to the erroneous rulings of a couple of federal judges.

Broadcast Flag. (3, Funny)

EinarH (583836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279694)

I think this will help the companies and boost demand for HDTV.

HAHAHA.

Re:Broadcast Flag. (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279824)


My thoughts exactly. I look forward to seeing the salesman's face when I refuse to purchase anything that doesn't work with my TiVO.

The quality may be great, etc, but using a TiVO is more important to me than quality--I already sacrifice quality on the TiVO, actually.

And if shows broadcast in HD only? Well, there's 4 other channels with 24x7 programming on them. I guess I'll just switch channels.

Not exactly the effect they were hoping for, I don't imagine? I think this just killed HD dead.

Open Letter to the FCC Commissioners (5, Informative)

Hanashi (93356) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279705)

[This is the text of the letter I faxed to the FCC yesterday. Please feel free to copy it and send it yourself if you like, or visit the EFF's Action Center [eff.org] and use their spiffy online form. They haven't voted yet; it's not too late!]

Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20554

Dear Jonathan Adelstein,

Commissioner Kevin J. Martin
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20554

Dear Kevin Martin,

Commissioner Michael J. Copps
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20554

Dear Michael Copps,

Commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20554

Dear Kathleen Abernathy,

Chairman Michael K. Powell
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20554

Dear Michael Powell,

Please allow me to take a few moments of your time in order to express my opposition to the proposed adoption of the "broadcast flag" for digital televisions. I strongly believe that this misuse of technology will do little but stifle legitimate innovation (including slowing the adoption of digital television) and infringe on the consumer's fair-use rights.

One of the most serious problems with the "broadcast flag" proposal is that it places control over marketplace innovation in the hands of the MPAA, an organization with no vested interest in innovation. In fact, the MPAA can be viewed as having more of an interest in the LACK of innovation, in that they are rooted firmly in the current technology and content distribution model. Allowing the MPAA to veto new features in digital television equipment is like giving organized crime the power to veto new wiretap laws. As a business organization, the MPAA will always act in the interest of it's members, and not the public. The result is that marketplace innovation will suffer, and consumers will have to make do with fewer features and no way to exercise their legally protected fair-use rights.

In conclusion, I urge to you avoid "broadcast flag" technology at all costs. It is a system tailor-made to appeal to the Hollywood content providers, striving to protect their distribution-based business model in the face of new technologies. Rather than adapt to the realities of the current situation, they choose to adapt the current situation to that which they desire to be reality. This situation is unworkable, in that it places unreasonable restrictions on both consumer electronics manufacturers and the consumers themselves. Please do not adopt the "broadcast flag" technology. It benefits only the MPAA, and abridges the rights of consumers.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
YOUR SIG HERE

Re:Open Letter to the FCC Commissioners (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279836)

Got a fax number to send it too? I know I know its on the site someplace, I wanna help, complain and be lazy OK.

Re:Open Letter to the FCC Commissioners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279856)

I think the BIGGEST problem with it is that it will disable TIVO's functionality.

The letter should state this openly, as the suits may not realize the ramifications of what they are deciding.

I would add something like

"Have you ever used a TIVO? It's terrific, it allows you to pause live TV in the event you get an important phone call or have to use the bathroom, so that you don't miss the climax of a show. The legislation you are voting on has the potential to disable this feature, and many many more."

Bottled Water, Anyone? (4, Interesting)

tds67 (670584) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279706)

"Why should anyone in the world buy if it's on the Internet," said Andrew Setos, president of engineering at News Corp.'s Fox Entertainment Group.

Why should anyone in the world buy bottled water for $1.00 each if they can get water for pennies at home?

Re:Bottled Water, Anyone? (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279766)

to expand on that a bit:
FOX comes in over the air for free, why would I subscribe to cable just to end up watching FOX?

Frankly, I think they need to wake up and start focusing on the strong points of what they're selling rather than trying to enforce their copyrights on internet downloads. The stuff on the internet is usually just good enough to get an idea of whether or not something is good. Low bit-rate MP3s are not going to sit on my hard drive indefinitely as long as I can find the CD that it was ripped from (so that I can rip a higher bit-rate MP3 and put the CD on a shelf). Those Buffy episodes I downloaded only stay on the hard drive until that season's DVDs are released, not just because they take up space, but also because it's hard to find even a TV-quality file online.

As technology moves forward, we'll start to see higher quality files online, but the lower quality files aren't going to disappear over nite, either. Instead of crippling good technology (like digital /high definition TV), they should be working on a method to utilize new technologies for their benefit. P2P has been around for a while now, but they still haven't found a way to use it commercially. Instead they replace it with commercially-controlled servers and return everything to client-server systems.

Re:Bottled Water, Anyone? (1)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279790)

"P2P has been around for a while now, but they still haven't found a way to use it commercially."

The web services model is peer to peer. And it's being used commercially.

DTV Internet distribution is already very unlikely (1)

Phoenix-kun (458418) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279716)

Keep in mind that a two hour DTV show would be 17 gigs in size. So the broadcast flag will stop a football fan from emailing a 34 gig Superbowl DTV attachment to his cousin overseas? Those entertainment folks must have some awesome ISP support to think that the average citizen is capable of such feats.

They have to plan for the future (2, Insightful)

enosys (705759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279792)

They have to plan for the future. When CDs came out could people rip them, encode to MP3 and share on P2P networks?

Nowdays you can find lossless rips (typically Monkey's Audio [monkeysaudio.com] ) on the edonkey2000 [emule-project.net] network. Entire (non-transcoded) DVDs are also being shared somewhere. I haven't seen this firsthand but I've seen people talking about it. It's only a matter of time before those DTV shows become easy to share. In fact smaller DTV (though not high-definition) rips are already being shared (mostly music videos).

I'm not defending the broadcast flag, and I'm sure it'll get hacked and the stuff will get shared anyways, but I can see why they're at least trying to do it.

Re:DTV Internet distribution is already very unlik (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279797)

You raise a good point. In a few more years computers will be fast enough (and the algorithms refined enough) to strip the broadcast flag and transcode to an open format at a reasonable speed. Then the networks (if they're still around) will howl about how people prefer the unencumbered formats. It won't stop internet piracy one bit, all it will do is make HDTV consumer electronics less functional, and therefore less useful (to me, at least). I know I won't be buying any of this crud, but I can't help but think that maybe that's the whole point.

Re:DTV Internet distribution is already very unlik (1)

DirkDaring (91233) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279806)

It's also very unlikely anyone will every need a computer on their desk, or need more than 512KB of RAM, or more than 20MB of hard disk space or...

Re:DTV Internet distribution is already very unlik (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279825)

5 to 7 years ago it was unthinkable that you would download A WHOLE CD on the internet at home. Now you can find whole pirate DVDs in newsgroups / torrents etc. and you can have them in a couple of hours over cable / DSL. So, yes, i don't think it's unreasonable to think that in 5 years we'll be downloading a 17gig episode over the net.

You are thinking along the same lines that said "music CDs cannot be copied - they hold 650 Mb of information and the largest consumer hard disk out there is 250Mb! - IMPOSSIBLE TO COPY!". That is just plain wrong.

While stars make money... (1, Insightful)

fruey (563914) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279717)

... while studios pay stars big money
... while distribution companies sell rights for millions
... while all three believe different countries should have different access to the product
... while market forces play
... while corporations monopolise and profiteer
... while success is judged not by how much you make, but how much more you make the next time...

... there will be copyright and broadcast "bits" in digital streams, and zones on DVDs. But people will still bootleg, copy, trade, share, burn, rip, lend, but not steal, the product. Because deep down inside they do not believe that what they pay for the legitimate product is either fair or just.

Translate this to Car talk... (3, Insightful)

t4b00 (715501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279726)

What if Ford Motor company suddenly decided to include a clause in the contract that stipulates, something like: "if you purchase a Ford vehicle, you agree to purchase all accessory and or replacement parts from Ford Directly" ? I think you would see allot more Chevy's running arround town. let the FCC pass all the regulations they want. I for one will be sticking to Regular Tv/DVD combo, At least untill the FCC decides to make THAT illegal too.

Re:Translate this to Car talk... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279764)

Yeah, that made no sense, just like most car analogies.

Re:Translate this to Car talk... (1)

isaac (2852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279978)

What if Ford Motor company suddenly decided to include a clause in the contract that stipulates, something like: "if you purchase a Ford vehicle, you agree to purchase all accessory and or replacement parts from Ford Directly" ? I think you would see allot more Chevy's running arround town.

Actually, this is more like Ford and Chevy getting together to lobby the NTSB and Congress to forbid third-party aftermarket accessories or replacement parts. Your choice isn't Ford or Chevy, your choice is a used car, or the new car with its restrictions.

This has already come to pass with things like printers - I still use old Canon-engine laser printers because the cartridges are ubiquitous and made by many companies (and are, consequently, cheap). Newer printers have chips that disallow third-party refills or cartridges, and so far Lexmark has been able to successfully prevent circumvention of these chips under the DMCA.

How's that for "innovation?"

-Isaac

Re:Translate this to Car talk... (1)

Munelight (192694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279989)

...something like: "if you purchase a Ford vehicle, you agree to purchase all accessory and or replacement parts from Ford Directly" ?

Or worse! What if printer companies said something like: "If you purchase a Lexmark printer you agree to purchase all replacement ink cartridges from Lexmark or we'll sue your ass!!"? Oh, wait...

say bye bye to HDTivo (4, Interesting)

e40 (448424) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279734)

Look, we know Hollywood hates TiVo. OK, more like terrified of it. Seems like this will be one way to kill a TiVo (or other similar device) foray into HDTV.

Since I have DirecTV, I'm not too worried, seeing as I got the TiVo from them... but things change...

Re:say bye bye to HDTivo (2, Interesting)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279842)


I think it's more likely to kill HD. For me, at least. Neither HD nor TiVo has achieved anything like "broad market penetration" so it's tough to determine who will win that battle. Essentially, it's a decision between convenience vs. quality--but the TiVo works with things out now, whereas HD requires new gear.

My bet's on TiVo.

*BSD is dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279735)

There can no longer be any doubt. One more humiliating setback has
smitten the remains of the long-beleaguered *BSD faithful. IDC has
confirmed that *BSD market share has trailed off yet again, recently
settling at something on the order of 1.5 percent of all installed
servers. This unfortunate news immediately follows a recent Netcraft
survey which demonstrates unequivocally that *BSD has lost even more
credibility since February. *BSD has devolved into hopeless chaos, as
appropriately exemplified by finishing last in April's Dr. Dobbs
comprehensive networking test. Irrational optimism has given way to a
painful acceptance among developers and users alike. It's ironic to
consider that these days, *BSD CD's are selling in much higher numbers
as collectors' curiosities than they ever did as usable and mature
software. This can only add to the disillusionment among the *BSD
faithful. At least one project is reportedly investigating if there's
anything in the *BSD code base worth salvaging. Nobody knows for sure
who's most to blame, although there's no shortage of theories.

Not everybody is sorry, of course. The latest generation of developers
tends to welcome the news, as it will free them from the constraints
imposed by BSD's limitations. Some end users are even said to be
relieved that the inevitable has finally occurred. But this is little
consolation to those who've built their careers on *BSD, only to find
themselves obsolete -- virtually overnight.

As we do a post-mortem on the sad story of BSD, we'll reveal a story of
fatal mistakes, poor priorities, and personal rivalry, and we'll learn
what mistakes to avoid so as to save Linux from a similarly grisly fate.

Let's not be overly morbid and give BSD credit for its early successes.
In the 1970s, Ken Thompson and Bill Joy both made significant
contributions to the computing world on the BSD platform. In the 80s,
DARPA saw BSD as the premiere open platform, and, after initial
successes with the 4.1BSD product, gave the BSD company a 2 year
contract. As personal rivalries took precedence over a quality product,
BSD's codebase became dirtier and dirtier. As we all know,
incompatibilities between each BSD distribution make code sharing an
arduous task. Research conducted at MIT found BSD's process management
implementation to be "very poorly performing." Even BSD's acclaimed
TCP/IP stack has failed to adapt to current standards, according to this
study. Problems with BSD's codebase were compounded by fundamental flaws
in the BSD design approach. As argued by Eric Raymond in his watershed
essay, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, rapid, decentralized development
models are inherently superior to slow, centralized ones in software
development. BSD developers never heeded Mr. Raymond's lesson and
insisted that centralized models lead to 'cleaner code.' Don't believe
their hype - BSD's development model has significantly impaired its
progress. Any achievements that BSD managed to make were nullified by
the BSD license, which allows corporations and coders alike to reap
profits without reciprocating the goodwill of open-source. Fortunately,
Linux is not prone to this exploitation, as it is licensed under the
GPL.

If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers.
You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict *BSD's future. There can no
longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing
short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. FreeBSD is the
most endangered of the *BSD family, having lost 93 percent of its core
developers. The fact is that there won't be any future at all for *BSD
because *BSD is dying.

Fact: *BSD is dying

*BSD is dying troll generator version Wed Oct 22 13:50:05 CEST 2003

Save Timeshifting! (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279737)

As a veteran timeshifter (we still have programs recorded from 10 years ago that we have not watched yet), I am appalled at the notion that I might be forced to watch in realtime. I guess I'll still be using my trusty old analog VCR (or maybe older gen DVR) for some years to come. Hmmm... I wonder if broadcaster's video storage equipment will ignore this odious bit and let me record HDTV?

Re:Save Timeshifting! (1)

SimplyCosmic (15296) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279778)

Kind of makes you wonder if such things would affect ratings for those shows marked with such, and therefore advertising bottom line, though I would imagine they would for the most part be movies broadcast rather than the average sitcom.

I'm not sure how many ratings are compiled with people who timeshift in mind, but I know that most of my friends rarely watch their favorite shows at the time when they're actually on these days.

Re: Timeshifting and ratings (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279950)

I don't think Nielsen looks at timeshifting in its viewership stats, but I know that TiVo collects data on it. Timeshifting does mess with advertisers because even if the timeshifter watches the ads, they may be inappropriate. We are always amused to see "will there be snow" ads for the late night news when we watch a old recorded show in the middle of summer. Likewise, ads for long-past sales at local and national retailers fall on dead ears if they are watched past their intended broadcast date. Brand-building ads have the longest VCR/PVR shelflife, but even these can become inappropriate if the brand shifts strategy.

Re:Save Timeshifting! (1)

Monty67 (634947) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279831)

I am a big fan of Formula 1 but I am also an early to bed early to rise kinda guy. I.e. I record all the races for later viewing. (Along with the WRC.) Bernie E, the "ruler" of F1 has repeatedly made the statement of "I'm glad people can record the races, if not, our viewership would drop dramatically given its world wide audience."

I have even contacted SpeedTV to get rebroadcasts times changed (ok more of a single person request) and in each an every case, they have told me to just record the late night airing.

As for being forced to watch in real time, I don't think that will ever happen given the time zone issue. But I do think regular TV will move to a HBO type format where the same movie is played 3 or 4 times during the course of the day. IMHO, I wouldn't be suprised if that's what starts happening.

Can't record Lettermen? You don't need to, we'll re-air it at 12 and 5 the next day.

Since when is it illeagal? (-1, Flamebait)

TheLoneCabbage (323135) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279738)


"It will simply prevent consumers from illegal piracy, from mass distribution over the Internet, which is the problem with the music file sharing," Kenneth Ferree, head of the FCC's media bureau, said in a telephone interview.


Last I checked, any radio or tv broadcast was public domain for non-comercial use. Oh! I get it, they want to make their own laws by controling the currency... how cute.

pathetic (4, Insightful)

retards (320893) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279740)

News like this will be very funny in 20 years. Incredible fuss over something as boring as simple push-entertainment.

Wake up! TV is dead. Or will be quite soon. I don't give a damn if I can watch sit-coms in high definition in 5 years and not record. I want to kill people online in high-res. I want to walk on other planets and meet interesting people in high-res.

Guess what? I already can! So good luck to broadcast technology (the name kinda says it all). A "don't copy" flag will not save you.

Cracked in 3......2......1..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279743)

So what - this means nothing - .....
It will be circumvented in a matter of Days if not hours.

Re:Cracked in 3......2......1..... (1)

DirkDaring (91233) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279786)

Your millions of average consumers won't have a clue on how to use a crack or even a simple workaround. Just look at Macrovision protection in DVD players for proof of that.

Great! (1)

alecto (42429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279758)

Now HDTV will enjoy the popularity and success in the marketplace previously reserved for SDMI! Bottom line--if "Joe Sixpack" figures out that the shiny new TV won't let him do what he does now, he won't buy it. So get out there and let him know.

Re:Great! (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279893)

you want an example of what it will do?

look at DAT tape.

it had a great future, until they forced content control... and then it dies a horrible and hideous death.

NOBODY bought DAT because of that one "feature"

Here's my idea (2, Interesting)

rhadamanthus (200665) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279759)

DON'T BUY AN HDTV!


Heck, don't watch TV, movies, etc too. If you cannot get what you want out of it (i.e., fair use) don't buy it. Tell everyone in Hollywood to go f*ck themselves.

--rhad, who is sick of this shit

Re:Here's my idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279787)

You got my vote!

Video killed the Radio star (0)

t4b00 (715501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279761)

Broadband killed the Broadcast.... etc, enough said. With the rate of Tech advance what difference does it make.

Ahhhh you damn geeks (-1, Flamebait)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279780)

You don't HAVE a right to watch. So quit bitching over something you never had. If its not in the Bill of Rights (for our US viewers) or the UN Charter of Human Rights then it isn't a right!

Re:Ahhhh you damn geeks (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279816)

if an ACT says we have that right, then it is a right.

Re:Ahhhh you damn geeks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279841)

Ah, I love the smell of burning karma in the morning!

~~~

Just say no. (5, Interesting)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279783)

These broadcast flags may be a Bad Thing. But, if we all watch less TV, the world may be a better place.

More time to learn, to play, to volunteer, to socialise.

Maybe, parents will actually raise their children, take care of their households, and improve the lives of their loved-ones.

People will have the time to learn about the things their government is doing, how the politicians who represent them are acting, what the issues really are, and how to change things for the better.

Or not. I could just be dreaming.

Re:Just say no. (1)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279807)

"These broadcast flags may be a Bad Thing. But, if we all watch less TV, the world may be a better place."

I'm with you, but I'm also going to enjoy Jack Valenti spinning in tighter and tighter circles when he realises that sales are down after the bit is set and blames pirates.

Hopefully he'll end up being cared for by kind people while seeing pirates climbing out of the walls.

Re:Just say no. (1)

Frequanaut (135988) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279914)

pfft, like it's going to take a broadcast flag to make that happen [nytimes.com]

Timescales critical (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279791)

I imagine that by the time this takes off, people will have replaced their VHS equipment with DVD recorders.

For years, people have been trying to replace the CD with something else for various reasons. Nothing has replaced it because for most people it is "good enough".

But the broadcast spectrum is for the public good (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279804)

Why has this been allowed to happen? Why have our "representatives" sided with big business? Whose pocket is your senator in?

It is we the people to whom belongs the broadcast spectrum, and not to fictional legal entities dictated into existence by rogue courts 160 years ago.

I tell you, we have no representatives in our government, and those who purport to be are illegitimate, for they certainly represent no one I know, old or young, slaving away for the fictional creations of sick and twisted bigots, every day of our lives.

Demand, friends, that if these entities wish the privilege to exist and go about their ways in our nation, that they submit themselves to the will and common good of the people.

That they are fictional legal entities and we are living breathing human beings is all the justification that we need, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

Demand that if they wish to have the right to use our broadcast spectrum, or to sell electronic devices in our great nation, that they will do so on our terms; they will allow for and not so much as move an inch to infringe upon our ability to record, replay, and redistribute what is broadcast into our homes and across all of our lands, even through our bodies.

It is our right.

to allow recordings, you just have to (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279809)

this is very simple to record. have the software IGNORE the copyright bit.

while this rule would allow HDTV shows to send a bit witht he signal saying it is unrecordable, it most certainly cannot mandate that recording devices mind it.

and even if congress passed a stupid law, I am sure people would bitch to high heaven if they lost the right to timeshift a recording and that provision will probably be added.

so if a show is DRMed, the TVIO just needs to know it is not allowed to send it out to a VCR....

of course the alternative is that HDTV boxes will have the ability to remove artifacts that would show up in your recordings if the copyright bit was activated....that would blow.

Re:to allow recordings, you just have to (1)

fyonn (115426) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279899)

this is very simple to record. have the software IGNORE the copyright bit.

like dvd players in the uk you mean? I think about 70% of dvd players in the uk are multiregion and will happily play dvd's from r1, r2, r4, wherever.

if it's a simple broadcast bit then that can be stripped, if they start encrypting as well, then we might face difficulties. doesnt SDMI use public key crypto between devices to stop you recording all that HD AV all digital goodness?

dave

Maybe people will quit watching TV? (1)

captainwasabi (681470) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279810)

Of course that goes against my guiding mantra of "You can never underestimate the intellegence of the average American consumer."

Re:Maybe people will quit watching TV? (1)

Oddly_Drac (625066) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279827)

"You can never underestimate the intellegence of the average American consumer."

Personally I'd remove 'American' and 'under'.

TV Already Losing Viewers (1)

hermango (619774) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279821)

According to a NYT column there has been a huge drop off in the 18-24 adult male viewers the networks crave. I wonder just how much all this Broadcast Flag crap has to do with it?

Government for the Corporations.... (-1, Flamebait)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279822)

...by the corporations...
What a disgusting nation we have become, its supposed to be we the people, but our law makers really only legislate for a small minority. The industries that want something, and have the money to buy it!

Why should anyone in the world buy if it's on the (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279828)

Why should anyone in the world buy if it's on the Internet

That exact same sentiment was expressed here recently in response to the Windows iTunes launch: (paraphrasing) "I'm not going to buy something when I can get it for free!"

Frankly, the honor system doesn't work, and the cheaters spoil it for all the honest 'fair use' folks, but that's the way it's always been. In the home theatre you buy a ticket, you see the movie. It's that simple. The system of 'here's the movie, suggested donation is $4' just won't work. Just ask any 'shareware' author who gets, if lucky, one payment for every 10 downloads.

The typical shareware author... (1)

AzrealAO (520019) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279956)

is lucky if he get's one payment in 1000 downloads. 1 in 10 would be a smashing success, the kind of success that creates companies like ID Software.

DVD Region Codes (1)

Snarf (109692) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279833)

Does this remind anyoneelse of the Region codes on DVD? You know, the ones that stop we watching a DVD from another region in my DVD player. Unless I eject the DVD press 1234 on the remote, then enter the region code?

What will I need to press on my new HDTV recorder to ignore this 'bit'? Please can we urge the manufactures to adopt a standard on the 'secret' key sequences required deactivating this 'feature'?

Re:DVD Region Codes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7279879)

What's the secret key sequence on a Playstation 2? Just curious. :)

nice nice.. (0)

Hey_bob (6104) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279840)

Listener's license here we come..

Windfall Profits (2, Funny)

Junior Samples (550792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279849)

The music industry has been plagued over the last few years with consumers illegally sharing and copying songs over the Internet, which has led the recording industry to sue music downloaders for damages up to $150,000 per song

Gee, If they can make $150,000 on each pirated song, then why would the content providers want to close this source of revenue?

Correcting the poster... (4, Informative)

Masem (1171) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279854)

HDTV is NOT the same as digital television. HDTV is High Definition TV, which is where your ultra-large plasma TV will display in all it's beauty and can be recieved with standard over-the-air signals without the need of digital TV, as it's already there now (While I think the FCC is interesting in promoting HDTV, it's not a mandate yet). DTV is digital TV, and that's the transferring of everything, including the mandated shutdown of analog-out from broadcast towers, by 2006, though most likely this will go even later. And if you read carefully, and look at older issues, you will be able to make at least one copy for personal use of any non-premium/PPV show on the network, at least, with unlimited duplication of standard over-the-air broadcasts. This has been voted by the FCC back in July/August at some point.

Let's be a little real here. (1)

tobybuk (633332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279875)

Ok, I know it's not the done thing here to look at the whole picture but I think a little bit of realism is necessary.

Making TV/Movies is an extremely expensive thing to do. Why do they do it? Well, because we like what they produce and are prepared to pay to see it.

So in the new digital world, where the distribution mechanisms have changed, anyone with a broadband connection and a reasonable PC can set themselves up as broadcaster to the world, the people who spend the money on making these movies are rightly worried that their millions spent on producing the movies will recoup next to nothing. I'll state the obvious that the production quality of these products will reduce to the point where people cannot be arsed to record the programs because its just not worth it. We all lose out then.

People quote the fair use rights they were given in the Sony VCR law suit that established the principle that the VCR was legal and fair. Well people, times have moved on. When this case was originally settled it was not considering a recording scheme where copies of copies would be EXACTLY the same as the original. We all know what happens when we make copies of Video tapes.

OK, so here's the challenge to SlashDot readers. You propose a scheme that gives Fair Use rights to broadcast programming without enabling a user to broadcast their ill gotten gains to everyone on the internet who chooses to receive it.

FCC Disabling VCRs in 2006 (4, Insightful)

Effugas (2378) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279905)

Analog transmission stops in 2006.

Anything that lets VCRs work will have to respect the broadcast flag (i.e. will have to fail).

Nothing will air with the broadcast flag disabled. This includes news.

Ergo, it seems perfectly reasonable to claim VCR's are being effectively banned between the next two presidential elections.

--Dan

Free, fair and safe. (1)

Paddyish (612430) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279947)

When analog broadcasting ends, so will my time spent watching television. It's not that I don't embrace new technology - it's that using a digital television will likely be in violation of my (albeit only percieved now) fair-use rights.

Anywho, the quality of television is low. I may end up shunning it completely well before the 2006 mandate.

Why Fight it? (-1, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279951)

Its inevitable anyway.. Your rights of free speech have been revoked long ago, its just a matter of time before reality trickles down to the common man in manners such as this.

Why not fight something where you have a chance of succeeding? Personal freedoms and rights are not one of those areas. The government has been hell bent at removing them since day one. They have succeeded a while ago.. just noone noticed until recently.

What about VCRs etc? (1)

Quizo69 (659678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7279953)

Will the broadcast bit also be part of VCRs or DVD-Rs? I use my TV as a dumb monitor only for my VCR which has the channels tuned and is set up so I can record my TV for later viewing if necessary.

I can't see the technology taking off if Joe Sixpack can't buy his new HDTV VCR and continue to operate as he has done for the last twenty years.

I predict this tech being dead in the water around six months after it is introduced.
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