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Preparing for the Broadcast Flag?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the fight-for-your-right-to-timeshift dept.

Television 735

Couch Potato asks: "I'm worried that, come next July, the FCC mandated broadcast flag will soon take away all sorts of fair use rights I have long enjoyed. Given that there are only a few months left to make purchasing decisions, how best can one prepare for the advent of the broadcast flag?""I'm somewhat aware of projects like Myth TV, but it's not all that I want. Specifically, I want to make sure that I can record DVDs or similar files of any program I want off of cable, sattelite or broadcast TV, flag or not and without any other encumbering restrictions (such as the Macrovision DRM for DVDs) and without worry that someday they'll change something so that my old drivers and hardware are suddenly obsolete and useless when faced with updates to the formats. Note that this makes closed-source-only drivers an issue, because assuming the hardware can still be adapted to whatever they change on us, open-sources drivers can be modified and closed-source ones probably won't be, whether for legal or practical considerations. So then, what can someone with a modest budget do to make sure that their constitutional fair use rights don't succumb to planned obsolecense, like the VCR has?"

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735 comments

Write Some Letters (3, Insightful)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#11746946)

Hey, the FCC is an arm of the people you helped to elect. If you have a problem with what they're doing, you can either challenge their decisions in court (assuming that someone isn't already) or get people fired up to fight. What people fail to realize (assuming they're smart enough to realize when their corporate government is in the process of screwing them, anyway) is that they still have to elect congresscritters. If people really care about the issue, you can whip them into a frenzy and threaten the re-election prospect of the fat cats from your district.

If people don't care? Well, it's like the music industry's continued assault on aural quality. Too fucking bad. People are free to do as they will, and that includes fucking themselves over if they so choose.

Re:Write Some Letters (5, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747059)

I was going to write a letter, but decided to watch last night's "Must See TV" for 8 hours instead. I just hope my brain is broadcast flag enabled so I can remember all this fine programming later!

Lotsa Luck (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747119)

you can either challenge their decisions in court (assuming that someone isn't already) or get people fired up to fight.

Problem being, too many americans are too busy watching their spoon-fed share of culture on TV to care what happens, as long as the crap keeps showing up on their bigscreen they're fat and happy.

Re:Lotsa Luck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747168)

they're fat and happy.

Bread and circuses will do that to you.

Re:Write Some Letters (5, Interesting)

DataPath (1111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747126)

To excerpt from an article posted on BetaNews:

Two of the three federal appeals court judges from the District of Columbia scolded the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday over what they saw as an overstep of the agency's authority given by Congress. The reprimand came in response to the FCC's ruling on the "broadcast flag."

Re:Write Some Letters (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747150)

If I could only write, I'd write my congressman, if he could only read.
-- Pogo

Re:Write Some Letters (4, Interesting)

kmartshopper (836454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747157)

Obviously you're not from the US... when is the last time the public actually stood up for their rights? How about when people were able to come to an intelligent decision? I'd say it only happens every hundred years or so... hell - it even took a massive fight between two large groups of people to decide something as simple as the idea of equality between two separate groups of people. Good luck convincing soccer mom's that freedom of speech has a purpose. Why not take away their SUVs while we're at it?

Frist Busted Link Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11746947)

I rlue!

Move (0, Flamebait)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11746948)

I hate to say it, but if it bothers you that much that you have to circumvent laws/rules placed by your government, or government approved commitee, I suggest you move to a country where your rights won't be squished. Or, sit on your ass and suck it up...

Re:Move (-1, Flamebait)

Dana P'Simer (530866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747052)

That is just plain stupid. The US is a Representative Democracy and there for the best route is to spend some time making your views known to your congressmen and senetors. Not move out of the country.

As for countries where your rights aren't going to be squished, I hope you don't mean any of the european countries. They are mostly Socialist run states and Socialism does not ever foster freedom.

Re:Move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747184)

Hehe...either you are a brilliant sardonicist or you aren't paying very close attention.

Either way, your comment gave me my giggle for the day.

I think you are incorrect (5, Insightful)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747076)

the OP is trying to stay within the law.
Your assesment is kinda wrong.

You've never experienced things like a state tax filing amnesty? librariers that have fine amnesty?

never heard of realtors trying to close deals before laws change so they can be grandfathered in and legal?

the Question is,
"HOW BEST CAN I PREPARE MYSELF FOR SOMETHING THAT IS LEGAL"

not, how can I circumvent the law.

the advice being sought is in fact, ON THE SIDE OF LAW and wholly valid, I'm glad to see the topic, I was thinking about snapping up some hardware myself.

As I understand it- and I'd LOVE to be courteously corrected, the law only applies to products moved across state lines (or into the country) so a product manufactured, marketed and sold in the same US state, is actually still a possibility.

(fabrication facilitys then needing to be built in each state of course)

Re:Move (1)

fleener (140714) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747155)

Instead of moving to Canada, get married and make hot monkey love with your wife. After your first child is born, you'll soon realize adult images permeate every aspect of our existence -- images unseen by casual existence just twenty years ago -- and you'll want to kill your TV.

Or maybe you'll just move the TV to your bedroom and watch recorded shows after the kid is asleep. But I tell you, once you break the cycle of frequent TV watching, you realize how many cooler things you could be doing with your time besides watching corporate entertainment.

OMFG N00BS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11746957)

Similar question... (5, Interesting)

DanThe1Man (46872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11746958)

While on the topic, does anyone know if I buy a HD tunner card now, before they become extinct in July, if it will even work after the flag is issued?

Re:Similar question... (4, Informative)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747112)

yes, a card bought that IGNORES the flag, will continue to do so.

Hope it never shorts out, and they never update the driver or software.... and you don't need your todays AGP card to work in tommorows PCI-E mobo.....

p.s. buy two

Re:Similar question... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747174)

While on the topic, does anyone know if I buy a HD tunner card now, before they become extinct in July, if it will even work after the flag is issued?
Yes, it will. The broadcast flag is just an extra flag in the signal that indicates to devices that they should not record the content. Devices sold now don't look for the flag.

pcHDTV 3000 is a Great option! (5, Informative)

Dana P'Simer (530866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11746965)

I bought the pcHDTV [pchdtv.com] card and am building a Gentoo [gentoo.org] MythTV [mythtv.org] box around it, heres a HOW-TO [comcast.net]. MythTV can record your programs to DVD if you like as well as many other things.

I am using an AMD 1700+ CPU with 1 GB memory, an nVidia GeForce FX 5700 128MB board. I only have 80+GB space on the system right now (enough for around 5 hrs recording time ) but I will probably upgrade it later this year.

I bought this card because it does not have the broadcast bit and since it was made before July it will not be encumbered with all those restrictions.

I do not, however, plan on abusing that flexibility by sharing my recordings and thus ripping off the content owners. It is the thieves that feel it is thier right to steal from people just because they can that have brought this onerrous situation upon us.

Re:pcHDTV 3000 is a Great option! (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747054)

Nice HOWTO, but extremely daunting for the typical user. Any chance you could post an iso of the final, properly configured Gentoo + MythTV distribution, with exact system requirements? All of this text file editing scares most users away.

Re:pcHDTV 3000 is a Great option! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747077)

Good.

Re:pcHDTV 3000 is a Great option! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747138)

Better.

Re:pcHDTV 3000 is a Great option! (2, Informative)

Dana P'Simer (530866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747140)

True, the choices I have made are not ones that novice Linux users should chose. However, the idea of posting an ISO of the completed system is really the antithisis of the Gentoo concept. The resulting system would probably not match your hardware configuration exactly and that is what Gentoo is really good at. Optimizing for your hardware and configuration.

There is a distribution [mysettopbox.tv] that is being worked on that could help people along.

Re:pcHDTV 3000 is a Great option! (1)

ERJ (600451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747142)

A nice option to be sure, but it does not support QAM (hdtv over cable). Any ideas on a linux supported HDTV card that does support QAM or if the pcHDTV 3000 will support it in the future?

Re:pcHDTV 3000 is a Great option! (1)

captain igor (657633) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747185)

As far as I know, there's no HDTV card for the PC that will handle HD signals over cable here in the US. I've seen them for other systems, such as Australia's, but nothing for the US. You could certainly get an Direct TV system to record off of or just stick with a normal capture card, the hauppage pvr series is good, as it has an onboard mpeg 2 encoder.

Re:pcHDTV 3000 is a Great option! (1)

Dana P'Simer (530866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747194)

My understanding is that QAM support will be added with a firmware upgrade. Was going to link to a post or faq entry on this subject but, probably due to my link above, the site is hosed. :-P

Buy offshore (4, Insightful)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 9 years ago | (#11746971)

Can't you just by cards made offshore that will not honor the broadcast flag? If there is a market someone will build them.

Re:Buy offshore (1)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747043)

Can't you just by cards made offshore that will not honor the broadcast flag? If there is a market someone will build them.

Wont there be software uh... "patches" that will get around the flag?

Buy offshore (2, Insightful)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747093)

Can't you just by cards made offshore that will not honor the broadcast flag? If there is a market someone will build them.

And this is why any attempt to controll how an end user uses media will fail. The whole system will work as long as everyone plays ball. As soon as you have somebody that realizes they can make a better product by simply ignoring DMR/Broadcast flages/whatever, they will have 'built a better mousetrap'. And since implimenting copy protection takes extra effort, the product without it will cost the manufacturer/consumer less than other products.

And the best part is, if all the companies get together and conspire to squeeze out anyone who doesn't play ball, we just start filing anti-trust suits, and let the government dismantle them.

Re:Buy offshore (1)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747095)

If you can receive a broadcast onto your computer, what's to stop you from removing the broadcast flag?

This is the flaw with just about any DRM scheme... eventually someone will develop a tool to remove the DRM. It's just a matter of time.

wha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11746984)

hunh?

Re:wha (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747178)

Exactly. On slashdot, when the topic has something to do with USA, everyone is just expected to know everything about it. And the topic is discussed (even in the stories) as if it something general that has to do with the rest of the world. Like, talking about US laws as if they apply to the rest of the world, or slashdot is only meant for US readers.

It'ts not Next July, it's THIS july (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11746987)

how thick is that?

Making me reconsider (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11746988)

This is one of those things that is making me reconsider my conservative philosophy. It seems like the Republicans we've elected don't actually care about it. Have I been scammed?

Re:Making me reconsider (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747096)

This is one of those things that is making me reconsider my conservative philosophy. It seems like the Republicans we've elected don't actually care about it.

This is one of the few unfortunate examples of complete bipartisanship in congress.

Re:Making me reconsider (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747143)

The current prevailing Republican attitude is "Businesses are almost always right, and moral values should usually be legislated.". The prevailing Democratic attitude is "Businesses is usually not right, moral values should rarely be legislated.". The prevailing Libertarian attitude is "Businesses are almost always right, but moral values should almost never be legislated.". The prevailing Green view is "Businesses are almost never right right, and moral values should almost never be legislated.".

Take your pick. :) Of course, individuals vary, especially on the individual-issue level; this is just averages. Of the two major parties, you get better ratings for the Dems by the EFF and ACLU, but it's not universal. The two biggest marginal parties (Greens and Libertarians) tend to be more ideologically polarized than Dems and Republicans.

Re:Making me reconsider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747176)

Gee, you think?!

Dear people, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11746989)

By now everyone should have heard about Slashdot and its self-centered magic-bullet explanations. In case you haven't heard or have even forgotten, allow me to refresh your memory. Please note that many of the conclusions I'm about to draw are based on cogent and virtually incontrovertible evidence provided by a set of people who have suffered immensely on account of Slashdot. Imagine getting a dollar every time Slashdot said it wouldn't exploit the masses, but did so anyway. You'd be very, very rich.

Slashdot coins polysyllabic neologisms to make its witticisms sound like they're actually important. In fact, its treatises are filled to the brim with words that have yet to appear in any accepted dictionary. When you reflect upon this, you'll realize that it is not news that Slashdot has mastered the art of bamboozling unwary listeners by introducing names of persons and events of which they have only a hazy recollection and then making statements, seemingly documented, with such authoritative confidence that they never think of trying to clarify their own recollections or consulting a reference work. What speaks volumes, though, is that a great many of us don't want it to prosecute, sentence, and label people as flippant airheads without the benefit of any evidence whatsoever. But we feel a prodigious pressure to smile, to be nice, and not to object to its lewd lamentations. The next time someone says that Slashdot is a paragon of morality and wisdom, look that person right in the eye and reply, "Slashdot's proposed social programs are saturated with the disorderly, gloomy rhetoric that will decidedly evoke a misdirected response to genuine unresolved grievances."

Is it just me, or do other people also think that the evidence for this lies in the underlying assumptions behind Slashdot's scribblings? I ask, because we must reach out to people with the message that Slashdot's actions are simply the result of vested interests striking back at a group whose actions in support of religious freedom, social reform, and government accountability have cut through those vested interests. We must alert people of that. We must educate them. We must inspire them. And we must encourage them to enlighten the mind of Man and improve him as a rational, moral, and social being. All I can tell you is what matters to me: Our path is set. By this, I mean that in order to build bridges where in the past all that existed were moats and drawbridges, we must reach out for things with permanence, things beyond wealth and comfort and pleasure, things that have real meaning. I consider that requirement a small price to pay because it is incumbent upon all of us to confront Slashdot's epigrams head-on. Am I aware of how Slashdot will react when it reads that last sentence? Yes. Do I care? No, because it wants to get me thrown in jail. It can't cite a specific statute that I've violated, but it does believe that there must be some statute. This tells me that ever since Slashdot decided to sully a profession that's already held in low esteem, its consistent, unvarying line has been that it's okay for it to indulge its every whim and lust without regard for anyone else or for society as a whole. Slashdot doesn't let a day pass without showing to the world that is is as little fitted to be trusted with liberty as thieves with keys or children with firearms. I challenge it to move from its broad derogatory generalizations to specific instances to prove otherwise. In closing, society has pampered Slashdot too long.

Re:Dear people, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747048)

While you're probably sick of hearing about Anonymous Coward, it is crucial that you read this letter. Before examining the present situation, however, it is important that I establish democracy and equality. There's an important difference between me and Anonymous Coward. Namely, I am willing to die for my cause. Anonymous Coward, in contrast, is willing to kill for his -- or, if not to kill, at least to make our lives a living hell.

His shock troops are blissfully ignorant of his hidebound, self-satisfied ventures. The reason is simple: He is planning to do everything possible to keep pathetic adolescents unbalanced and obscene. This does not bode well for the future, because if he can't stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen. This makes me fearful that I might someday find myself in the crosshairs of Anonymous Coward's Pecksniffian, churlish invectives. (To be honest, though, it wouldn't be the first time.) Anonymous Coward is not known for interpreting facts rationally or objectively, which makes it obvious to me that Anonymous Coward says that merit is adequately measured by his methods and qualifications. Wow! Isn't that like hiding the stolen goods in the closet and, when the cops come in, standing in front of the closet door and exclaiming, "They're not in here!"? He claims that his paroxysms won't be used for political retribution. This is a very detestable and unconstructive view and moreover, is wrong in many ways.

His propositions are like an enormous credentialism-spewing machine. We must begin dismantling that structure. We must put a monkey wrench in its gears. And we must follow through on the critical work that has already begun, because many people who follow Anonymous Coward's views have come to the erroneous conclusion that courtesy and manners don't count for anything. The truth of the matter is that his game is to make our lives an endless treadmill of government interferences while providing few real benefits to our health and happiness. Why do I tell you this? Because these days, no one else has the guts to.

I like to speak of Anonymous Coward as "pudibund". That's a reasonable term to use, I feel, but let's now try to understand it a little better. For starters, he has a talent for inventing fantasy worlds in which he does the things he does "for the children". Then again, just because Anonymous Coward is a prolific fantasist doesn't mean that he would sooner give up money, fame, power, and happiness than perform a dysfunctional act. If Fate desired that he make a correct application of what he had read about diabolism, it would have to indicate title and page number, since the imperious fool would otherwise never in all his life find the correct place. But since Fate does not do this, if his perversions get any more phlegmatic, I expect they'll grow legs and attack me in my sleep. My purpose here is not to begin the debate about Anonymous Coward's obiter dicta. Well, okay, it is. But I should point out that we must ensure that we survive and emerge triumphant out of the coming chaos and destruction if we are ever to give him a rhadamanthine warning not to sacrifice children on the twin altars of prætorianism and greed. Yes, this is a bold, audacious, even unprecedented undertaking. Yes, it lacks any realistic guarantee of success. However, it is an undertaking that we must definitely pursue because prudence is no vice. Cowardice -- especially Anonymous Coward's gloomy form of it -- is. Treacherous, obtuse lummoxes (like Anonymous Coward) are not born -- they are excreted. However unsavory that metaphor may be, Anonymous Coward can't possibly believe that there should be publicly financed centers of expansionism. He's stupid, but he's not that stupid.

While everybody believes in something, his simple faith in sexism will truly create a mass psychology of fear about an imminent terrorist threat. Obscurantism is dangerous. Anonymous Coward's ridiculous version of it is doubly so. Let me end by appealing to our collective sense of humanity: Those who get involved with Anonymous Coward's sinister bedfellows are seldom aware of Anonymous Coward's dealings with inconsiderate, insipid twits.

Re:Dear people, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747152)

The Moderator's lack of ethics has become so flagrant that it merits your complete attention. And that's why I feel compelled to say something about impolitic knuckleheads. I won't pull any punches here: He might misdirect our efforts into fighting each other rather than into understanding the nature and endurance of anal-retentive, dirty absolutism before long. What are we to do then? Place blinders over our eyes and hope we don't see the horrible outcome? Here's some news for you: He is willing -- even eager -- to jettison his scruples in order to stay ahead of the pack. Interesting, isn't it? What you may find even more interesting is that when I first became aware of his covert invasion into our thought processes, all I could think was how the irony is that his most out-of-touch perorations are also his most uneducated. As the French say, "Les extremes se touchent."

Well, The Moderator, we're all getting a little tired of you and your kind messing up the world and then refusing to accept responsibility for what you've done. We're fed up. And the day is coming when you'll be held accountable for your mean-spirited outbursts. He uses his influence to mollycoddle what I call acrimonious poseurs. It is unclear whether this is because he draws his outrageous conclusions from arbitrary statistics, because perception becomes reality if one is brainwashed for long enough, or a combination of the two. Just because I understand his smear tactics doesn't mean I agree with them. He labels everything that conflicts with his established way of thinking as vitriolic propaganda. That concept can be extended, mutatis mutandis, to the way that if I seem a bit separatism-prone, it's only because I'm trying to communicate with The Moderator on his own level. If we are powerless to hold him responsible for the hatred he so furtively expresses, it is because we have allowed The Moderator to test another formula for silencing serious opposition.

I find much to disagree with in his practices. This is the flaw in his precepts. He doesn't understand that as long as the beer keeps flowing and the paychecks keep coming, his peons don't really care that the dogs of alarmism are barking up a storm, driven half-mad by the thought that The Moderator is -- for lack of a better word -- loquacious. And that furious barking is music to my ears, because if he can one day toss sops to the egos of the worthless, then the long descent into night is sure to follow. Any rational argument must acknowledge this. The Moderator's bloody-minded vituperations, naturally, do not. Although the more pressing news is that The Moderator demonstrates a terrible, inaccurate, even feckless, misuse of history with his mendacious propositions, life isn't fair. We've all known this since the beginning of time, so why is The Moderator so compelled to complain about situations over which he has no control? This is not a question that we should run away from. Rather, it is something that needs to be addressed quickly and directly, because when The Moderator was first found trying to overthrow western civilization through the destruction of its four pillars -- family, nation, religion, and democracy -- I was scared. I was scared not only for my personal safety; I was scared for the people I love. And now that The Moderator is planning to lower our standard of living, I'm downright terrified. To end on a more positive note: The Moderator is intentionally being uncouth.

Don't worry... (2, Interesting)

chrispyman (710460) | more than 9 years ago | (#11746991)

Wasn't this a worry when they first came out with DVDs, that you lost your ability to "archive" them? I'm sure that given some time, people will be able to easily defeat the broadcast flag with relative ease. Although the legality of doing so is questionable at best...

Necessary Purchases (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11746994)

How to best prepare.

Stock up on:
Canned Food
Water
Yacht Batteries
Guns
Ammunition

The EFF is fighting the broadcast flag (5, Informative)

doormat (63648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11746997)

link from Ars Technica [arstechnica.com]

Unfortunately they're fighting it on a technicality - that Congress did not give the FCC explicit power to create the broadcast flag, and thusly they have no authority themselves to create it.

Broadcast flag preparation... (2, Insightful)

jar240 (760653) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747002)

Two words: rabbit ears.

Chris

Re:Broadcast flag preparation... (1)

crow (16139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747062)

You obviously don't know what you're talking about. The broadcast flag is about restricting the use of what you can pick up with an antenna. It's designed to stop you from recording broadcast TV when the broadcaster decides to set the flag in the transmission.

This has nothing to do with cable or satellite.

Re:Broadcast flag preparation... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747165)

That's only on all digital systems. The "rabbit ears" remark was valid. The broadcast flag has no effect on analog transmissions that can be recorded with analog equipment.

Broadcast flag preparation...Alice in TV Land. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747097)

"Two words: rabbit ears."

Well that's nice...for the rabbit. What about the rest of us?

Broadcast Fag? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747010)



Isn't there enough gay stuff on tv?

Stop watching TV (1, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747013)

Given that there are only a few months left to make purchasing decisions, how best can one prepare for the advent of the broadcast flag?

Follow these simple steps:
  1. Unplug TV from wall and other compontents
  2. Open exterior window
  3. Clear area outside below open window.
  4. Pick up TV (you might need a friend's help)
  5. Throw TV out of open window

Stop [being a consumer] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747060)

Funny. Something similiar also works for the movie, and music industry as well.

Re:Stop watching TV (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747102)

6. Profit ! meh...

meh (5, Insightful)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747015)

like any other type of restrictive technology, 95% of the people won't care, the other 5% of us folks will find cheap and easy ways around it. Yeah it won't be legal, but the cops only care if you are selling them or distributing them in large quantities (on the internets).

Nothing different anti-CD copying measures, anti VHS copying measures, anti video-game copying measures, and so on.

Nothing new here, move along

Old Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747017)

The "take action" suggestion is a good one, but I don't think that's what you're looking for, as to effect any real change you have to get the entire sheep-populace to mobilize with you and we all saw how well that worked out with Macrovision, Region Coding, CD Copy Protection, PATRIOT, etc, etc.

Since a PVR is fairly "Self-contained," what's to stop you building something simple and letting it run "forever." Buy a couple of tuner cards and hold on to them in the event one breaks, stick them in a well-ventilated, well-cooled Linux box, run a minimal kernel with only that you need for MythTV, then as long as your hardware stays up there shouldn't be any reason why you couldn't use that in the future?

- DRFSR

lemme get this straight. (1, Insightful)

ColPanic (22062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747019)

The guy asks you a computer question, and you suggest he moves to a different country? Bunch of fucking trolls.

Ween yourself from the Toob. (2, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747020)

Honestly. I haven't had a TV/Cable connection for the past seven years. I haven't missed it at all. All my friends drone on and on about the latest episode of "Star Trek: the Berman Tragedy" or "Friends II: Las Vegas," but I honestly don't envy their ability to keep track of the latest shows. So-called news regarding ideas like "Survivor: Soyuz," Martha Stewart's version of "The Apprentice," and sequels to "The Simple Life" just enforce my resolve to not care about television at all.

Re:Ween yourself from the Toob. (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747086)

I've gotta say, I havn't watched much TV recently either... but this "Lost" series has got me hooked now.... not bad at all.
Only reason I watched tv before was for adult swim, but now I have to get up too damn early so I can't stay up and watch it...

You misspelled "glass teat" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747120)

So how was it, being the subject of an Onion [davefaq.com] article?

Re:Ween yourself from the Toob. (1)

aBlooMoon (765359) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747171)

I too, barely watch television anymore, but if I am so motivated, I'd like to have the right to do so...when and how I wish. Neither abstinence nor moving from the country is a solution that should be entertained en mass.

i'm unvincible! (2, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747021)

I'll just hook a wire recorder up to my B&W Dumont TV and my Channel Master Rotor Antenna I'll be all set!

maybe I should break down and get one of those newfangled video to LP recorders...

Never fear! Underwhelmed is here! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747023)

" Given that there are only a few months left to make purchasing decisions, how best can one prepare for the advent of the broadcast flag?""

Not worry about it.

1-I doubt it's going to be widely available come July.

2-It's a bad idea that's going to quickly be realized as a bad idea.

I doubt it's going to last long, especially for programming people pay for.

Don't hold your breath (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747024)

You ask for some reasonable things, but what you will never get is the end of change and obsolescence in an electronic product.

wait and see what the courts decide? (4, Informative)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747027)

The DC Circuit Court [com.com] isn't so sure the FCC has the right to make that rule.

I have no idea what you can do to try to sway the judicial system, as it's only 2 of 3 so far.

I guess you could contribute to the folks trying to take the FCC to court over this.

Good news for Mac Owners (5, Informative)

thatshortkid (808634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747042)

I found myself asking this same question, too. So I put the question to the makers of the EyeTV 500 [elgato.com]. This is their response:

"EyeTV 500 does not support the broadcast flag. Units bought before July 2005 will never support the broadcast flag. We will not update EyeTV 500 units bought before then to support the flag.

Thus, your EyeTV 500 will never support the broadcast flag. It will ignore flags, and not use DRM for any content. That means you'll have the maximum freedom possible with its recordings."

It's a little pricey, but it does the compression on the box. I don't have digital cable yet, but I may buy this come May/June just for the fuck of it since pre-July box prices will probably go up dramatically come July 2 (on the black market, of course, since the law bans all inter-state trade of these devices).

My own plans for the broadcast plan (5, Funny)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747046)

My plans involve an underground bunker, stocked with old books and DVD's that will be stored in perfectly dark conditions to preserve them for as long as possible. Upon these DVD's are recordings of the great television shows and movies.

Upon the day of the broadcast flag, I will be taking my family into the bunker along with a supply of food, air, and other needs to last 100 years.

When my great-grandchildren emerge into the world after society collapses, all the old books (which were deemed illegal during the Copyright Stealing Prevention act of 2050) are burned and all eyeballs gouged out during the Copyright Memory Prevention Act of 2075, when humanity has children born without R/M/AA approved Eyeball Extractors coming to remove their ocular sockets to be installed with DCMA III approved cybereyes (which shut down if it appears the looker is attempitng to actually remember what they see to replay it in their mind later, which of course is a copyright violation), then my great-grandchildren will be able to use these books and DVD's as barter.

Hm - I wonder how much food they'll be able to buy with a copy of "Cryptonomicon". Maybe I should get another copy....

boycott DRM device manufacturers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747050)

If we all boycott companies that try to push DRM enabled devices on us and support DRM-free quality hardware the evil companies will be out of business in no time. I am doing my part and you should do yours.

Purchase recommendation (4, Insightful)

netruner (588721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747066)

As with all laws, the authority comes from elected officials. So i recommend that you purchase an elected official. You can probably get one cheaper than you think.

Re:Purchase recommendation (1)

Bodhidharma (22913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747159)

Too bad I don't mod any more. I would have modded this up. I would have been torn between 'funny' and 'informative'.

The 4-step "Who cares, TV sucks" program (5, Interesting)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747069)

Step 1: Understand that 99.9% of shows on TV are crap anyway.
Step 2: Cease to care whether or not you can legally record them.
Step 3: Cancel your cable/satellite service.
Step 4: Download the 2 or 3 shows you really enjoy watching.

No *real* way out of it without getting in it (5, Insightful)

peawee03 (714493) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747078)

Sure, you can stock up on pre-broadcast flag HDTV cards, and you can do all sorts of other tricks, but to do what you talk of for long-term goals, you're gonna need to work from the inside of the "system". Like others have said, big companies can spend all they want on re-election campaigns, but they still get elected by those who vote.

What most people forget about American democracy is that it is designed to work well in facilitating peaceful revolutions- when people care and vote. The blame for the sorry state the American government is in lies with nobody save every last American citizen who is currently enfranchised (older than 18, etc.). And I write this as an American citizen.

Offshore rips. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747187)

All the TV shows I download are in PAL format...perhaps people in a more enlightened country will rip the shows and make them available.

Re:No *real* way out of it without getting in it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747203)

Unfortunately it doesn't matter so much how many people you can get to care and vote when this is simply cancelled out by a group of people who simply care very, very much about Janet Jackson's breasts.

My plan (1)

doombob (717921) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747080)

I have already purchased my brand new camcorder and tripod to set up in front of my TV! I keep hearing people say as long as you're able to see/hear/smell it you're able to record it!

Is that fair use? (1)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747082)

> Specifically, I want to make sure that I can record DVDs or similar files of any program I want off of cable, sattelite (sic!) or broadcast TV

Is that fair use?
"Any program I want" - doesn't sound very compromising and regardful of possible copyrights and restrictions on recording of broadcasts...
I'd wish you luck but I can't feel simpathy for you.

FYI, in very near future people will not record but create playlists, that's all you'll need as you will be able to play whatever you want right off the network.
Managing thousands of media files is insane and unnecessary.

This may be a solution (5, Insightful)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747087)

I'll give my $0.02 in this conversation because I may have an answer.

Once the broadcast flag becomes standard, can't the FCC be sued for violating the Supreme Court order [virtualrecordings.com] mandating fair use in the Sony Betamax case? It would seem to be a slam-dunk of this argument is used.

Packet sniffer/transformer (3, Interesting)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747090)

I wouldn't fret it too much. The same folks who brought you "free cable" and "free satellite" are probably going to also provide a little box that takes raw signal in, flips the "evil bit", and sends a pure pirateable stream to your DVR.

Mac Solutions (1)

cmstar (521171) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747091)

I'm getting into the whole TV recording/TIVO/DVR thing a bit late. I realize that Myth TV will run on a Mac. But do I need a TV Tuner card? Or will Firewire Cable Box to Mac be just as good. Is there an advantage of one method to the other?

What "fair use" rights do you want!? (0, Troll)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747105)

The broadcast flag is simply a flag that indicates that people are not entitled to do what people don't do anyway - Make multi-generational copies of broadcast media.

Why do you need to do that? It's certainly nothing to do with delayed viewing. The only possible reason I can think of for wanting to do it is for distribution and archiving. Neither of these are rights you have under copyright. Fair use can only be stretched so far. This is well outside of it.

Ding-dong: It's the postman... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747189)

He has your cheques from the MPAA, Comcast, and Hollywood.

Meh.... (0, Offtopic)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747110)

I probably get flamed for this, but I really don't care enough about television to have an opinion about the issue. Will/has it spread out to other forms of "media rights?" I believe so, but then again, the music industry can join televsion in the toilet for all I care. I won't miss it.......at least, I don't think so.......Hmmm, life without television or music, who would raise our kids???

Stop time (3, Interesting)

Ih8sG8s (4112) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747116)

You could try to stop time, progress and technical evolution. That way, your shiny new equipment will never become obsolete.

Sorry, that's a small jab. We can't predict what the future will bring. I can tell you this though...

If you want to be able to do things with bits that the powers that be try to stop you from doing, your best bet will always be had in the hobyist (read free software / oss) areas. This is because companies who want to compete and cooperate to get your money will b forced to play by the rules imposed by those would deny digital rights. Individuals will not bend to this, so the free stuff, while admitedly slower on the curve, will be your best bet, if freedom is your motivation. This means invest in your PC.

If you want digital input to your TV, go over DVI, but be sure that any set you look at will play non DRM encoded stuff. I believe the MPAA is attempting to mandate the broadcast of digital signals in a format which will limit rights. There are two types of digital interface on a television. My memory is sketchy here, I bought my set over 18 moonths ago. I do know though that there are a couple of different interface/protocol types, some of which use only the protocol which the MPAA is trying to define (in their favour). Be careful of that.

preparations are underway: look out below (1)

ruxxell (819349) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747125)

here's a great way to prepare!

throw your tv out the window. nothing like getting a little bit of this air while it's still fresh, huh? HUH?

i mean, the stuff that's on tv these days is mindless garbage. ok, that's not entirely true *cough adult swim cough*, but anything worth getting can be done so on DVD.
this from a guy who used to watch "turbo teen" when it was hot (and he was 6)

modchips! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11747146)

it'll just turn into a market for modchips most likely.. eventually you'll have a DRM'd toaster that'll need modding too.

*shrugs* (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747161)

I for one will not be doing anything to prepare; I'm just not going to buy anything with broadcast flag support in it. Period. If this means not buying any more TVs, maybe it's for the best. All I use my TV for anyway is as a monitor for my video game systems, and with the next generation of those, I'll be able to just use a monitor. Who needs a TV?

Sticking you head in the sand helps nothing! (4, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747166)

I'm amazed at how many people think that simply not watching TV is any sort of solution.

Broadcast flags are utterly evil for two reasons.

First, they are contrary to our fair use rights to record programming via Universal v. Sony.

Second, they create perpetual copyrights. Under the current rules, broadcasters will even be able to stop recording of public domain programming. Why do broadcasters get greater rights than the creator?! That makes no sense. And what's so hard to understand about the phrase "for a limited time"?!

Merely sitting on the sidelines and ignoring the problem will NOT help! If and when broadcast flags succeed, similar systems will become even more commonplace.

Simple (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747180)

Buy an HD tuner that doesn't respect the flag before 1 July 2005, or purchase any such preexisting device after 1 July 2005 (all non flag compliant devices can be resold after that date).

But it's not that simple, after all. Because the problem is TUNING the content you want to record, e.g., from a satellite provider or cable operator. And since more and more of the digital content is encrypted, and is only able to be tuned by devices sanctioned by the provider, and all such devices will respect the Broadcast Flag, the answer is to "What can I do to prepare for the Broadcast Flag?" is "Not much."

Unless, of course, you don't mind recording from an analog connection, such as composite video, S-video, or component video. But the FireWire ports that are, for example, also mandated on all HD/digital cable set top boxes after 1 July 2005 will be mostly encrypted. One might ask the question, if they're encrypted, then what the hell good are they? Indeed. But what can you do in the face of a cable provider whose call centers don't even know what FireWire is, or who argues that "technically" the FireWire ports are "functional" (as required by the FCC), even though their output is encrypted.

The real answer, of course, is that these ports will interact with OTHER 5C-compliant FireWire devices that also respect the Broadcast Flag. There's no way around it unless you go analog. And that INCLUDES all the nice things on the EFF's page. Sure, you can tune over-the-air HD channels and record them. And that's great. In some markets, that may account for a lot of content. But you won't be able to digitally record content that is flagged as Record Never that you're paying for from a cable or satellite operator, because you need THEIR EQUIPMENT to tune to those channels. (Or, something like a CableCard in - guess what - another device that respects the flag.)

All in all, we'll be able to do less with our current (i.e., digital) equipment than we could do with equivalent equipment (i.e., the VCR) 30 years ago. And most of the operators won't shoulder any of the blame. They'll just point the finger at laws or at the content providers. And then what is a customer to do? The only thing you really *can* do is write your elected officials, and provide feedback to the FCC. Or, not buy any flag compliant devices, which might ultimately prove to be a very hard thing to do.

In sum: anything you buy now won't guarantee you recording of ALL content you might legitimately have access to, unless you're ONLY concerned about OTA recording.

Simple... (1)

retro128 (318602) | more than 9 years ago | (#11747201)

how best can one prepare for the advent of the broadcast flag?"

Stop watching TV. It CAN be done!
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