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Japanese Digital TV Viewers Complain About DRM Restrictions

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the wake-up-and-smell-the-tea dept.

Television 371

Riktov writes "The Japan Times reports that that viewers of digital broadcast TV, which started this past April, are complaining to national broadcaster NHK about restrictions on recording. Many of the complaints seem to arise from viewers who are confused as to why they can't copy rather than angry that they can't copy, but in the end all viewers are learning the hard way about content restrictions."

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371 comments

Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252908)

The scary aspect of this story is that the people who are buying the DRM-encumbered TVs don't even seem to understand what they're giving up compared to traditional TV signals. Because, afterall, they CAN record the shows, but just to one copy. It's the second copy that is blocked, and most people don't think of their computer as a video editing device, and as a result they don't even comprehend the need of having anything more than one copy.

The market isn't rejecting the DRM, instead their turning to us geeks and saying "What are you kids making a fuss about?" That's not a good sign for us at all...

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (5, Interesting)

davez0r (717539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253003)

we don't have any explaining to do. we've got TV modding to do! enter a new mod-chip industry. i'm thinking you stick a little doo-dad in between the signal decoder and the output to the screen.

if i'm thinkin' it, then chances are there's an enterprising korean kid somewhere who can actually do it with little more than some chop sticks and a little chicken wire.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (5, Interesting)

Gherald (682277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253059)

Yes, but remember the DirectTV lawsuits? I'm thinking some similar DMCA charges could be brought against anyone trying to use a mod-chip or "little doo-dad" to remove broadcast flags.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (4, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253031)

You can start with me. What exactly are they giving up by only being able to copy once? Seriously how many times do you want to copy the same program from tv ? You didn't create the content, you dont own it so what divine rights do you have to it?

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253165)

Generally speaking, I don't record much TV (haven't been watching much of it lately). Sometimes I do find that my wife will record a show and ocasionally a friend will ask if we recorded it if they missed it. Now under the current broadcast flag scheme, would a friend be able to watch a recorded copy of a show if we give them a copy? In this case, it's not that I would be distributing anything that they couldn't have already gotten themselves if they had remembered to record the show or been home to watch it. So helping someone who forgot to set there device to record is unable to watch the show then?

PLEASE MOD UP - Re:Uh oh, We've gotning to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253230)

Yes, it an Anon Hero post, like mine, but it's right on the money. This is the kind of common occurrence which these systems will prevent which is going to drive people nuts. My brother will call me and say, "Hey, didja get a chance to record that one-time-only-program XYZ that was on last night, I forgot?" And I'll say, "No problem, I'll make you a copy."

Interfering with distribution to millions of strangers over the Internet? Shouldn't be permissible, but maybe tolerable.

But interfering with distribution to a close relative? Economic suicide.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253226)

Well, I have a PVR at home. It records everything I want to watch. I also have a TV downstairs in front of the treadmill. Right now, I have a MediaMVP downstairs that just streams the MPEG-2 recording from the PVR. I'm betting that's considered a second copy, and won't be allowed. (First copy is the recording on the PVR, second copy is playing the video back on anything other than the unit it was recorded on.)

Similar situation, I can re-encode my videos so I can watch them on my lowly 650MHz laptop when I am travelling. Oops, that's another copy. Can't allow it.

The most basic scenerio is that a friend taped last nights episode of 24 that I missed. Damn, I can't just borrow a copy anymore like I would with a VHS tape. And since FOX won't be showing that episode again until summer re-runs, I miss out.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (4, Interesting)

The Vulture (248871) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253268)

To me, the problem isn't only with one copy, but as the article states, "Because programs that have been copied once cannot be duplicated or edited digitally, editing the programs via a personal computer has become impossible."

This poses a bit of a problem for me. At the moment, I have made it my goal to record all six seasons of CHiPs (yes, I have a thing for cheesy police shows), and put them on DVDs for my personal viewing pleasure (as it is highly unlikely to come out on DVD). Part of that involves removing the commercials from the recorded episodes.

Using MythTV with a PVR-250, I can do that (the resulting stream is just MPEG-2, I can edit it in any MPEG-2 editor), and then throw it into a DVD authoring program, add a menu and maybe some special effects, and there I go. I can't do that with this new setup.

Plus, what's up with having to insert a card into your TV? Why the heck should I have to identify myself to a TV? (The article doesn't say what the identification is used for.)

-- Joe

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (1, Interesting)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253072)

The story mentions that a lot of shows are pirated.

I personally don't understand why so many people 'make a fuss' about DRM, when the companies are adding it in to protect their property that is being pirated!

The sad reality is that people steal. So people do what they can to protect their property from theft. We can get philosophical about how DRM infringes upon my fair use rights, but if people did NOT steal- then we wouldn't have this problem. The corporations who are spending tons of money to implement DRM would rather not have to spend that money. But Joe Self-Righteous who feels that he can make a copy of anything digital that crosses his path, forces DRM to become a reality we all deal with.

I am a big supporter of paying money for the intellectual property I use. I buy software, I buy music, I buy games. I know that if we all stop purchasing these products, they will no longer be produced. If I want games to come out next year, I need to buy them this year. If I want free broadcast television, I need to allow the networks to charge for advertising. Advertisers won't spend money, if they don't know that their message won't get across.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253093)

Tool.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253102)

Some of us do not recognise intellectual "property" as valid, as you are not deprived of your copy if I take a COPY. FUCK I"P".

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253184)

Someday you'll stop slurping off society's tit, and actually produce something. At that precise moment, your attitude will change from "everything should be free" to "show me the money muthafucker".

That is the day you will become an adult. It is also the day that children, and those that act like children, despise you. The will despise you while they benefit from your labor. They hate you, but cannot survive without you.

It's a big circle...you're only part way around.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253214)

I'm fine with people charging reasonable money for stuff. Just NOT fine with them having ANY RIGHT to stop me communicating. A carpenter, if he wants more money after making a table, makes another damn table, he doesn't sit back and wait for "table royalties" to come in. If someone "sells" me a song, I damn well better be able to modify it as I PLEASE and pass copies on as I PLEASE.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253252)

Hey, where did the OP say everything should be free? Just because you shouldn't have the right to prevent further redistribution doesn't mean you can't sell stuff in the first place. People sell bottled water, doesn't mean you should have a right to stop people collecting rainwater.

Explaining This... (5, Interesting)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253158)

So when a show is broadcast in my area for 5 years, and then gets pulled, but is still in production for a 6th, 7th and soon to be 8th year - How else can I follow it?

I couldn't pay for it if I tried! I love the show, so you're saying I shouldn't download it? I should just forget the show even existed? Not my fault people edited out the commercials.

Re:Explaining This... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253240)

What, you feel you have some right to the content? If you need it that badly, get a satellite dish and you'll be able to pay to watch it... this really is the big problem with the whole piracy discussion in my mind, people who believe there is some inate human right to have access to this content because it is music or because it is movie all lumped under the phrase "because it is art".

Re:Explaining This... (2, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253254)

If a show was broadcast in your territory and is continuing production but is not continuing to be broadcast in your territory one of two things happened.

- Nobody bought the broacast rights to the show in your area... meaning that the station/network that used to pay the producers for the right for you to see the show with their ads inserted stopped paying. You should be complaining to either that station to start paying again, or telling another station in your area to pick up the show instead.
- Somebody has the rights to the show, but are sitting on it... meaning that the station that was airing the show is likely still getting the exclusive rights to the show, but is simply not using them. Yeah, that's a selfish thing to do, but one that stations and networks often do to assure that nobody can run a program that happens to be similar to one they are showing against it. In effect, they're paying the producers to make sure you can't see their show.

If there is no price on how much it costs to see the show where you are, then that's interpreted as positive infinity... no matter how much money you have, it's not enough. Things without a price tag aren't always free...

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (2, Insightful)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253204)

Joe Self-Righteous who feels that he can make a copy of anything...
Because, as we can all see, the corporations that mass produce the works of Britney Spears and the like are barely managing to stay alive due to the piracy that is going on.

Nice troll, but I hope you don't con too many people into giving you karma.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253218)

Let me ask you this. I am allowed to "tape" a show to DVD so I can watch it later, right? Of course. So I record a Spongebob marathon so my hypothetical 2 year old can watch it any time. I used to tape cartoons to watch later when nothing was on, it was legal.

But I always had a second copy. The first copy would degrade (it was VHS, so repeated watchings would do that), or get lost, or get jammed in the machine and become worthless. By having a second copy I'm still safe.

So now my 2 year old scratches the disk and it's ruined. Now what? My second copy wasn't part of a piriting scam. It was just backup. Legal, didn't hurt anyone or devalue the property. It was just for me. Now I won't be able to do that. I've lost a perfectly fair right to use something I own in a valid way.

Bricks can be used for evil (many people use them every year to bash someone's skull or break windows) but bricks aren't outlawed. People run over other people in cars PURPOSLY, but cars are still legal.

If you take away everything that can be used illegally, you'll have nothing. You'll be naked and cold. But you could still use your arms to puch someone or strangle someone so...

It's a slippery slope. The above paragraph is hyperboly, but you can't ban something because a few people use it wrong. When 70% of people use it for illegal stuff, then you can talk about banning it. But when 1-5% do (I would bet lower than that in many circumstances) you shouldn't ban it.

PS: Every time something is copied, put a unique identifier into the video that tells what machine duplicated/edited it. That way you can trace the pirated copies to where they came from and shut 'em down. I wouldn't mind that. I keep my rights, and the studio can shut down the pirates.

But as a consumer I would win in that situation so I guess it's not a option, huh.

Content has become a commodity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253244)

It is well past time for the content "manufacturers" to start realizing that, and find other ways to make money.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (3, Informative)

EulerX07 (314098) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253261)

For the umpteenth time, it is NOT thef, it's copyright infringement. There is a difference, one that is often totally ignored by people claiming the moral high ground.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (3, Insightful)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253278)

TV signals being broadcast are in public air space, unencrypted, and you don't have to pay a fee to watch them. Why should DRM apply to them?

I usually support the software and music industry regarding their copyrights but in this case it doesn't make sense. When I purchase a piece of software I'm bound by a licence agreement, a contract on my use of the software that I paid for. With broadcast TV, you have not agreed nor signed to such a contract, therefor, how can DRM be enforceable?

How do you define a copy of broadcast TV anyway? It's being transmitted from a base station that could reach an infinite number of devices. The issue is really about a consumers ability to TIMESHIFT the video so they can watch it at a later time.

Re:Uh oh, We've got to the explaining to do... (1)

and by (598383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253279)

It's not stealing; it's copyright infringment. There's a big difference.

This is news? (1, Insightful)

Drooling_Sheep (683079) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252920)

People were suprised that they complained? Did anyone expect them not to?

Confused? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9252921)

Not confused, bitter that they can't record. They are just too polite to admit it.

Coincidently (4, Funny)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252943)

Suprnova.org changed their site to japanese on apr 1. Must be because they were expecting japanese visitors.

-Grump

Re:Coincidently (2, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252985)

Suprnova.org has a round robin DNS setup. So depending on when you connect you get a diferent server. Some are in other countries and are setup in a diferent language. Not 100% sure thats what you saw, but thats how its setup.

Re:Coincidently (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253022)

no, i think they did it as a joke. afterall, apr 1 is april fool's day.

Grump

Re:Coincidently (0, Redundant)

chabotc (22496) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253087)

Oh while you made an "Insightfull" comment (as moderators would have it) i think your insightfullness missed one titbit in his comment. .. April 1st .. Trigger any associations.. Aprils fools anyone? :-)

Next your gonna tell me those weird stories on slashdot.org on april 1st were real but also from a different country..

Re:Coincidently (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253222)

My bad, was trying to be ironic without enough caffine in my blood. I'll drink a Jolt and try again later.

Re:Coincidently (0, Redundant)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253273)

I could hear the whooosh! sound at the April 1st joke flew right over your head.


-Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]

Mr Sparkle Says: (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9252944)

NHK is Disrespectful to recorders!

Re:Mr Sparkle Says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253146)

I can see you are serious!

it's not long.... (5, Funny)

Tree131 (643930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252957)

It's not long before some kid from Norway writes another version of DeCSS or DeDRM. All he has to do is move to Japan for a month or two...

Anyone live in Japan and want to host him? Anyone know the guys email address? :)

Re:it's not long.... (1)

cft_128 (650084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253120)

It's not long before some kid from Norway writes another version of DeCSS or DeDRM. All he has to do is move to Japan for a month or two...

Very true but it's not going to help the older consumers that are the ones purchasing the new digital TVs. They have a hard time grasping what the restrictions are let alone how to circumvent them.

Re:it's not long.... (5, Interesting)

Bi()hazard (323405) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253180)

This will probably get modded up funny, but the kids with minimal resources will likely be the first ones to break these schemes.

Consider one group that's going to have problems with this setup-the anime community. Check the links Taco put on the front page and you'll see it's a well organized international community of thousands of hardcore enthusiasts. Some of them put a lot of effort into getting high quality copies of Japanese TV shows. As soon as these DRM schemes start getting in the way of fansubbing Naruto within 24 hours of its Japanese airing, you're going to see a lot of smart, technical people with too much free time dedicated to breaking the restrictions.

I predict that people like the anime fansubbers can make a laughingstock of the DRM in a matter of days. So imagine what professional pirates will do. Even without beowulf clusters. There's groups making millions off the bootleg videos that have become ubiquitous in Asia. They have professional-quality printing equipment and the ability to make packaging the average consumer can't tell apart from the real thing. The perception that DRM prevents copying will just make it easier to convince people that bootlegs are real, and it won't slow down the pirates at all.

So whether you're getting your Japanese TV shows from groups that encourage buying DVD's [animesuki.com] and respect foreign licenses or greedy pirates [slashdot.org] flooding the retail market with bootlegs and providing the argument in favor of these systems, the DRM won't be much of a problem.

It's only going to screw you over if you're an elderly Japanese couple that wants to watch your TV the same way you could with your fancy VCR (that still blinks 12:00).

Re:it's not long.... (3, Funny)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253185)

Anyone know the guys email address? :)

I think it's DVD.Jon@guantanamo.cu, but he's awfully slow to reply :)

Confused Japanese customer = pissed off US one (5, Insightful)

saikou (211301) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252959)

I bet the "confusion" is due to famous cultural differences. Where Japanese customer would politely note that "I am confused on how this feature work. Perhaps it's just me, but I can't record the show from tv", US one would spray phone with saliva and salty words, demanding to know "who's that @ssh0le who put this piece of s..t into production"

Hopefully something good comes out of it, and industry would get its nose rubbed into real life customer experience...

Re:Confused Japanese customer = pissed off US one (4, Funny)

Dr. Awktagon (233360) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252986)

@ssh0le

How do you pronounce that? Atsshzerole?

Re:Confused Japanese customer = pissed off US one (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253044)

I think he's using a US customer with one of those weird regional accents. "Y'all knows who all I'm a talking at."

Re:Confused Japanese customer = pissed off US one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253060)

That's why the americans are so pissed off. They're just trying to swear but spit this mess into the 'phone.

Re:Confused Japanese customer = pissed off US one (0)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253145)

How do you pronounce that? Atsshzerole?

Wasn't this "word" used recently at Slashdot in reference to Mozilla Firefox?

Ah yes... Here it is: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/05/20/215221 1

Re:Confused Japanese customer = pissed off US one (0, Offtopic)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253264)

It's pronounced arsehole. The t, z, e and r are silent. It's like Hen3ry [sing365.com] .

Re:Confused Japanese customer = pissed off US one (3, Funny)

linzeal (197905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253183)

So what you are suggesting is consumer exchange programs where we send vitriolic USians for polite Japanese ones? This way Japanese companies will cave in out of fear, and American companies will relent because of how nicely they stated their disagreements?

It might be crazy enough to work. Sign me up, I'm a purebred American asshole.

B-CAS card? (3, Interesting)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252960)

"In addition, the broadcasters' move has made it necessary for viewers to insert a special user identification card, known as a B-CAS card, into their digital TV sets to watch programs."

I guess this begs the question as to why do you need a card to watch TV when the purpose is to not allow duplication?

Sure.. I guess it could have it's positive uses... Like if you ground your kids from the TV, you just take away their access card and they can't sneak in a program or 2 when returning home from school. It could also lock out programs that children cant watch, depending on the V-chip ratings. But this is in Japan, where they don't have the same censorship the US now has. The article really doesn't get into it...

Re:B-CAS card? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9252995)

where they don't have the same censorship the US now has

All their export pr0n is censored though... :(

Re:B-CAS card? (1)

Tree131 (643930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253016)

why do you need a card to watch TV when the purpose is to not allow duplication?

You've just answered your own question. They probably have a key on the card that is used to decrypt data or the key on the card is used to generate the copy protection key, so if someone actually does crack the DRM and distributes copies of programs, they'll know where it came from...

Re:B-CAS card? (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253085)

I can just imagine it:

Honey, where's my TV card?

or CRUNCH!

What are we supposed to do? Put it in our wallets? Hmmm... that's kind of funny actually...

Re:B-CAS card? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253101)


But this is in Japan, where they don't have the same censorship the US now has.

You mean their genitals really look all blocky like that?

..a special user identification card.. (5, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252962)

In addition, the broadcasters' move has made it necessary for viewers to insert a special user identification card, known as a B-CAS card, into their digital TV sets to watch programs.

The US implementation is going to do away with such a cumbersome step. It will simply require a blood sample to identify your DNA to confirm you are an authorized viewer. Of course, it will also have special retina burning devices to ensure that only the authorized individual can view the product. Visual piracy immediately punished. No appeals!

Re:..a special user identification card.. (3, Funny)

AnonymousNoMore (721510) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253045)

If it's a DNA sample they want, I'll offer up something other than blood.

Re:..a special user identification card.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253138)

Dude am i the only thinking this is one funny post? semen...

Come, now, the simpsion will start in 30 seconds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253206)

Dude am i the only one thinking this is one funny post?

semen would be another good choice...

Leading the way (5, Interesting)

Fiz Ocelot (642698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252966)

And thus Japan leads the way in consumer electronics. It is difficult though, as I'm looking for a HDTV. It's hard enough trying to figure out what's better, DLP/LCD/CRT RPTV. Then I want DVI, but not Drm enabled dvi. But if I do that, will they end up down sampling my picture? arg, leaning towards DLP though...

I think right now an easier solution would be to just get a hdtv card in a htpc and use that to record shows.

Re:Leading the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253220)

DLP rocks, I have the Samsung HLN507W and love it!

Re:Leading the way (1)

sonpal (527593) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253223)

IMHO, this post is OTT with all the TLAs and FLAs.

Hot air (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252969)

But Im sure the japanese media conglomerates made sue everyone knew that the broadcast flag was *GOOD* for you!

Perhaps they need to personify the broadcast flag into a cutesy anime character, to allow them to sell it better:P

Re:Hot air (1)

kunudo (773239) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253020)

Perhaps they need to personify the broadcast flag into a cutesy anime character

Reminds me of the video the kids have to see before they kill each other in Battle Royale... :)

Re:Hot air (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253027)

I think that Itchy and Scratchey would be perfect to represent the 'do not record' flag. One of them can use a chainsaw to cut off the legs of the other when he tries to watch a movie with a friend without the proper license.

Re:Hot air (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253065)

Meet DRM Domokun (second cousing to the Domokun you already know and love). He not only chases kittens, he chases parrots, too!

Best part of the story: (5, Interesting)

Otto (17870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252974)

(emphasis mine)

The duplication controls have been adopted to protect broadcast copyrights, an NHK official said, adding, "Easy violation of copyright would make movie and music copyright holders reluctant to provide their works and prompt actors and singers to refuse to appear on TV."

Really? You mean they're not going to act or sing anymore? How are they going to get paid?

This guy is a total fuddite.

Re:Best part of the story: (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253090)

Given that appearing on TV can make you a crap [dmu.ac.uk] load [shef.ac.uk] of money [lufbra.net] doing random shit, I think no one is going to care a rats ass about piracy except the networks worrying about advertising figures.

Re:Best part of the story: (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253129)

Actors and singers actually love for their work to appear on TV and for it to be as much in the open as possible. Afterall, only the most elite actors and singers (who are so rich most of them don't care how much money they get... their biggest problems in life are not money-based) are paid based on the gross of the movie, or ever get positive royaties from the record companies.

It's the major copyright holders, who just happen to also be better known as the MPAA and RIAA member companies, who don't want to see movies and songs copied. Major actors and singers might go along with their handlers in backing anti-copying campaigns, but if they didn't want to take part in TV, then there'd be hundreds of people glad to take their place.

PSST... the kids appearing on American Idol are not being paid cash for doing so. They're given free accomidations in Hollywood and taken care of nicely while they're with the show, but they're not promised a financially rewarding expirience by the producers. However, people are lining up like crazy to audition for the show because even so-bad-it's-funny suinger William Hung is making money after appearing on the show. The grand prize winner isn't even given a direct cash prize, they're given a recording contract that they're required to agree to as a condition of the contest. It's the people who come in runner-up or even unranked positions who stand to profit more than that...

Re:Best part of the story: (4, Interesting)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253171)

This is the most insightful comment I've seen. This is all about disintermediation, it is not about whether or not actors, singers, writers, or whatever will be paid.

If we want people to make stuff, we're going to have to figure out a way to pay them. All this DRM garbage is about making sure the way we pay them still has money going through the same hands it always did.

Personally, I'd rather a completely collapsed content industry than this dangerous, freedom-sucking garbage. The content industry would rebuild itself around a model that actually worked for everybody instead of a model that largely padded the pockets and insured the profits of the current set of middlemen.

Re:Best part of the story: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253285)

Hey I know, let's go back to the days of commisioning art!

You know, we'll let the super rich or ruling class... hereforth known as the aristocracy... decide what sounds good and is fun to watch. Then they can hire the artists they enjoy to make the music they want, and the rest of us can listen to our digital copies for free.

I dunno, sounds pretty suspicious at first, but then again some of the best art in history was produced this way.

Re:Best part of the story: (1)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253192)

Well, that's the point. How are they going to get paid?

I'm not saying it's ever going to come to this, but the point of Television is to sell commercials. Selling commercials means money.

Suppose there were two families, and one watched show A, and the other show B, and then the next day, they traded tapes. Or maybe it's two good friends. Or a brother and sister.

The next day, the person gets to skip through all the commercials. This isn't so bad, really, because the networks know that not everyone is going to be watching their show. But there are 200 different channels, and each of these networks has to convince sponsors that at 8PM each day, people will be tuning into their commercials, and not skipping them tomorrow.

The sponsors say, "Hey, that's crap! You want tons of money for an event no one is actually watching!" Suddenly, the Networks have to figure out what to do. They have three options: Option 1) Figure out a way to stop people from copying the shows. Option 2) cut pay to the crew and cast in order to recoup for lost advertising costs. Option 3) Offer a better program as alternative viewing.

Options 2 and 3, by far the most common, hurt actors, because they result in loss of wages or firing. That's the point. The point is, actors aren't going to *have jobs*. So the actors, realizing that 2 and 3 are shitty alternatives, have to do something about it. That's to say, all the actors have to get together and say, "Hey, assholes! Option 1! Pronto!"

This is a crazy scenario in many ways. I don't think it'll ever happen. But that's the point. I just thought your criticism of the author's point was a little silly.

Tech Flag Ultra Prime: Battle! (2, Funny)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252981)

Flagness: You can now only watch! You cannot record! Ahahaha.

Jo: We'll see about that, Flagness. That's my recorder, you can't tell me what to do!

Flagness: I own the stream you fool!

Jo: I pay for the stream! Everybody pays for the stream! That stream is as good as ours!

Arfie: Arf!

Jo: You tell 'em, Arfie! We're not taking it anymore!

Flagness: I cannot be toooooooooooooooold!

Jo: Wanna beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet?!

*Shink*

Tune in next week to see who dies!

I'm confused (4, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253023)

Why is Jo offering Flagness a beet? Is that a Japanese thing?

I should have watched the beginning of the episode. I would have recorded it, but ...

Re:I'm confused (1)

jejones (115979) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253210)

On a Japanese show you'd think Jo would have offered a daikon.

By the time they know it, its already too late (4, Interesting)

DrewBeavis (686624) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252982)

The article didn't say that people were returning the tv's... too bad. People can complain all they want but they are still buying. Those of us who know better and aren't buying are either too few to matter or will end up HAVING to buy when analog tv goes away. Its just a matter of time for us in America...

What do we want? (4, Interesting)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252988)

Harsh, overbearing DRM RIGHT NOW, before consumers forget 'how things were'.

People like Apple slipping in the unreasonableness slowly so you gradually ajust to it (compare the 'no DRM at all, don't buy it and let the market kill it' position pre-iTunes to the current 'reasonable DRM is ok, it's not their fault' now*) are FAR more dangerous that the flat footed attempts of the WMA crowd.

The more violently the content producers introduce this stuff the better the chance of the populace waking up for the tenth of a second required to scare the media companies really badly and getting rid of DRM for at least a good long while more.

So this kind of thing is a good thing, not a bad thing. In the long run it'll mean less arbitrary restrictions and presumption of guilt for everyone.

*This is not a flame, this is the truth. I can't think of one slashdot post pre-iTunes (that was modded up anyway) that said that DRM would suffer anything but a crippling death because people would refuse to buy restricted products, then they would HAVE to come back with unencumbered goods. Now we see people falling over themselves to offer a misguided company congratulations because they fuck you over SLIGHTLY LESS THAN EVERYONE ELSE. Wonderful.

Confused = angry (5, Insightful)

12ahead (586157) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252991)

Comes with the culture. Japanese hardly get angry - being confused is already quite a strong word in their culture. In addition, the article does not mention confusion, but rather the customers being upset and complaining. Sorry, if the slashdot blurb makes such a big point of this confusion vs anger thing, I had to set this straight, before the readers get confused themselves.

I think the thing we might need to get used to (5, Insightful)

m2bord (781676) | more than 10 years ago | (#9252996)

is that fact that the consumer holds no rights over anything anymore. we have the right to buy the product and that's pretty much it. when you buy a new car, there is a black box in it that records what you do and it's built into the cars computer systems and cannot be removed. to remove it not only voids your warranty, it renders the car useless. cd's and dvd's are being made only to play on industry approved machines. thanks to backwards lawmaking...industry tells the consumer what to do with their product much in the same way a home-owners association can tell you what you can and cannot do with your home. the only way to fix it is to remove the whole of congress with new elected officials and that's not likely to happen. so i reckon that we should get used to it.

We'll have the same problem with HDCP flag in HDTV (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9252998)

http://www.macfergus.com/niels/dmca/cia.html

Who Knows Where This Is From? (2, Funny)

nate nice (672391) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253006)

"Where is the NHK TV camera? Hello, Tokyo!"

Re:Who Knows Where This Is From? (1)

camkind (742277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253121)

That would be none other than Piston Honda from Punch Out, if I'm not mistaken.

Re:Who Knows Where This Is From? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253162)

Nintendo Super Punchout Baby!

This could come here, nothing stops it. (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253009)

The "Sony Betamax" Supreme Court decision that allowed the VCR to come into existance really may come up for a challenge when Hollywood tries to push a system like this stateside.

See, the Betamax ruling gave us the right to time-shift programming that comes down from TV stations, but that time-shifting implies that we're not going to keep our copies forever. It's impossible to keep an analog VCR tape forever because it will age and degrade over time, and analog copies are always lossy as well. However, a digital copy that you can recopy to avoid media-aging issues can in fact be kept forever.

There's no such thing at this moment as a law that enumerates all of our "fair use" rights when it comes to media that we have legally obtained. "Fair use" is just the result of things that Hollywood wishes we couldn't do but they can't take us to court over them because they're not (yet) against the law.

Right now, there's really nothing at all that prevents American broadcasters for using encryption on their HDTV broadcasts, and leaving only a low-quality MPEG stream available for those who don't want to play along with their scheme. Some stations in Utah are in the process of proving that with the current cable-over-DTV scheme, where they use their DTV channel to relay only an SD copy of their analog content, and then instead of ever going HD they use the remaining bandwidth to relay pay-to-watch cable channels.

Re:This could come here, nothing stops it. (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253209)

It's impossible to keep an analog VCR tape forever because it will age and degrade over time,

Whereas in reality, we watch tapes from the early 80s with decent quality. So that's not quite true. Sure, to a cinephile, it's lost, but to the average consumer, VHS is eternal until destroyed.

and analog copies are always lossy as well.

We're not talking copies... we're talking home use of TV signals. Let's not cloud the issue for the moment.

However, a digital copy that you can recopy to avoid media-aging issues can in fact be kept forever.

But most consumers don't recopy their media. They just use it until it doesn't work anymore. Thus, it is (from a consumer standpoint), eternal until destroyed. As far as Mr. and Mrs. Consumer see it, they are identical. As such, should they not have identical rights?

To Bob the Bootlegger, they are different, but what Bob is doing is equally as illegal on VHS as on any other media. City sidewalks are full of bootleggers selling very good VHS copies.

So, in theory, they are different. In practice, they are the same. And selling copies (and public performance, etc) are all already illegal.

So why block this?

--
Evan

There has to be a new business model here (2, Insightful)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253021)

You would think that the money grubbing companies would have found a new business model. Allow people to "buy" copies from recorded DRM material. Now by allowing "buying", the companies would have to do something smarter than just turn off DRM since once a non-DRM copy got out, well the cat's out of the bag. So maybe an unique user id code is embedded so a copy that is illegally distributed can be traced back to the source. Of course, I sure someone could come up with a way circumvent that as well. The bottom line being that if there was a way to provide legitimate copies to people for a reasonable price, people would pay (look at iTunes). Want to get additional revenue, then charge a buck more to allow people to get copies sans commericials/ads.

Re:There has to be a new business model here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253086)

I'd mod your post insightful and troll, had I not already posted in this thread

Yes, but... (1)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253088)

Then the argument comes in as to who actually 'owns' the copy. Would it work just like the movie industry does for say DVD? Granted, most shows are already being ported to DVD, but what about those that aren't? Would there be another policy in effect for this or having to build a contract around DRM content?

plu5 5], Troll) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253025)

philosophies mustb of reality. KKep Real problems

key cracking effort (2, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253043)

A couple months ago, I came across a program with very little documentation that was a distributed key cracker/finder for some sort of DTV encryption key. It was being publicized by an anime group- with encrypted DTV, the fansub groups can't get high quality 'raw' versions to subtitle and re-encode.

If anyone has details or can find it, please reply...

Re:key cracking effort (3, Interesting)

Ethan Butterfield (7481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253242)

That was the C2BF Project [marumo.ne.jp] , which finished up in March of this year. Apparently while the entirety of the 56-bit keyspace was checked, the proper key was not found and the project was closed as a failure.

Interesting (3, Interesting)

cshark (673578) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253055)

I wonder if it will lead to declining sales of digital tv's in Japan. If I had any vested interest in hd or digital tv here in the US, I would be paying close attention to this. Good thing I don't, sounds like it's going to be a mess.

Forward to FCC and Sony (5, Interesting)

cft_128 (650084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253067)

This article needs to be forwarded to Michael Powell at the FCC. See what a pain in the ass this creates for the consumers that you are supposed to protect?

I hope this gets the electronics manufactures to lobby the FCC to lighten up - it will affect their bottom line if people do not want to upgrade their TVs and VCRs/DVRs because of consumer unfriendly restrictions.

Re:Forward to FCC and Sony (1)

chefmonkey (140671) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253161)

Mike Powell? Please. Unless you're a lobbying group who can line his pockets so well that he has trouble walking, you're not affecting anything. Consumer opinion has no bearing; the FCC is operating strictly on a highest-bidder policy at the moment, and the MPAA has him in pocket to the tune of millions. Think you can beat that? Go ahead.

Re:Forward to FCC and Sony (2, Informative)

cft_128 (650084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253265)

Mike Powell? Please. Unless you're a lobbying group who can line his pockets so well that he has trouble walking, you're not affecting anything. Consumer opinion has no bearing; the FCC is operating strictly on a highest-bidder policy at the moment, and the MPAA has him in pocket to the tune of millions. Think you can beat that? Go ahead.

It looks like the electronics industry will give it a shot [eetimes.com] and start a lobby [alliancefo...ogress.org] . After some further reading it looks like they are not going all out against the flag [alliancefo...ogress.org] though. Sad...

Nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253233)

Powell will take one look at this and see that his actual *customers*, the media companies, are happy.

If you want Powell's attention you'll have to somehow convince him that DRM restrictions are somehow allowing people to look at nipples.

stupid . . . (5, Informative)

loraksus (171574) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253100)

More and more people will now just download what they want to watch / edit / et al - this will push more and more people underground. The RIAA hasn't had much success with stopping such a thing, (ooh, 500 people served every month?) so I wonder how much success the networks etc will have with it.

Right now, you can download damn near dvd (read tivo compressed with xvid) quality rips of virtually every tv show off the internet - and usually very quickly (assuming you have broadband and that you are trying to get something that was aired in the last month). These rips have no commericals and look even better than what I get through the cable tv.

I really can't see why people would want to actually sit in front of a TV and suffer through 20 minutes of commericals, especially given the fact that you can watch it when you want and not have to worry about setting the damn vcr or any of these bullshit copy restrictions.

JOIN THE REVOLUTION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253112)

Go here!!! [anti-slash.org]
And find out the TRUTH of how slashdot is all about censorship, abusive moderation, and editor injustice.

another incorrect use of "content" (2, Informative)

brre (596949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253122)

There are no content restrictions here. Everyone is perfectly free to take the subject matter or information presented, if any, and publish it elsewhere.

It is not possible to copywrite content. Once I've uttered that green frogs exist in the world, you're free to go about repeating that. I can't stop you.

What you mean is, restriction on the bits that encode a particular presentation. Those are indeed copyrighted. The content, if any, is however free.

Re:another incorrect use of "content" (1)

antimatt (782015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253289)

but that's not true. for example, I can't go to the New York Times for information on al Qaeda, read a copyrighted article, and then use that information to write a paper on the topic without giving credit to the NYT for its content. even if I'm using the information to present a new thought in my own words, I'm using their copyrighted content and I must give credit.

biznatc4 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253136)

are attending a FreeBSD 1s already

BS Excuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9253137)

The duplication controls have been adopted to protect broadcast copyrights, an NHK official said, adding, "Easy violation of copyright would make movie and music copyright holders reluctant to provide their works and prompt actors and singers to refuse to appear on TV."


And actors and singers have appeared on analog TV sets since the early 1950's for what reason? We'll see if the Japanese public stops buying TVs now, since we're all supposed to vote with our dollars and not legislate that we keep our fair use rights, like how the MPAA and RIAA have been paying to legislate our fair use rights away.

easily duplicated (2, Insightful)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253167)

There aren't too many other devices that it would be possible to limit the copying. What if it cost almost nothing to make a car, but the car companies decided they didn't want you to do that. The car companies decided they want to own the rights to all of the cars in the world. What would happen then? If something is easily reproduced, why does it then immediately need to have someone restricting it? Companies that stay in business keeping their monopoly on competing technologies is excatly what the governments are supposed to protect against. Well, that and stuff like invaders from other lands (which they fail horribly).

on a side note, wouldn't it always be possible to make nearly loss-less analog copies of digital media and then re-encode them to a digital format of your choice?

The FCC is required (3, Informative)

mcc (14761) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253215)

The FCC is required to serve the public interest, right?

Then why can't we just, like, launch a lawsuit demanding the FCC is bound by their own rules to prohibhit "DRM" from being broadcast on public airwaves?

Also, that said, we have really got to come up with a way to get the public to realize that "digital rights management" means that CORPORATIONS get to digitally manage YOUR rights.

Only One Way to Prevent this (5, Insightful)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253228)

Don't buy the TV's, don't watch the shows.

Is your life really incomplete if you don't find out what happened on Enterprise or the Sopranos? TV isn't a given. Its relevance is likely to be transient. Transition it along faster by refusing to watch DRM encumbered broadcasts.

Confused vs. angry (0, Offtopic)

inarticulo (606870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9253241)

I'm particularly confused and particularly angry. Though not particularly Japanese.
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