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MPAA Giving Up on Broadcast Flag... For Now?

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the fight-for-your-right-to-time-shift dept.

Television 186

YetAnotherName writes "The MPAA, which has worked hard to get a broadcast flag into US digital television, is unlikely to push for it, according to the EFF. Previously, the US Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC didn't have the authority to mandate the flag, and the MPAA began to strike back. Naturally, the fight isn't over yet."

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186 comments

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You keep using that word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12697720)

I don't think it means what you think it means.

wheee (1)

th3space (531154) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697723)

HUZZAH! For now...

So which is it? (2, Insightful)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697730)

Are they "unlikely to push" or "striking back"? The summary is confusing.

-Jesse

Re:So which is it? (2, Funny)

macaulay805 (823467) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697749)

Hey, its like those Starwars sequels .. "A New Hope" "The MPAA Strikes Back" "Return of the Broadcast Flag" .... hmmmmm .. I wonder ..

Re:So which is it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698814)

you forgot, the first trillogy...
The Napster Menance..
Attack of the P2P Clones..
Revenge of the RIAA...

Re:So which is it? (2, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697779)

They already struck back after the court gave us a new hope. Now we can expect to see the return of the fair use concept, followed much later by some poorly done backgrounders on the whole situation.

Re:So which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12697854)

Subtle and wonderful. Good show, sir.

oh no, talkies, I'm out of a job! (2, Insightful)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698039)

"I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." [wikiquote.org]

(Testimony to the House of Representatives, 1982)


That's typical Hollywood forward thinking and embracing enormous new markets for ya!

Re:So which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12697911)

The best part is, is that no matter how bad the final result, you'll still pay for it.

Re:So which is it? (1)

The Angry Mick (632931) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697993)

Well, we now know that the exaggerated figures of lost revenue were a phantom menace to the movie and recording trade federation. All that's needed is an attack on the clown in congress, the disbanding of the Senate, and the MPAA will have its revenge.

Re:So which is it? (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697957)

Are they "unlikely to push" or "striking back"? The summary is confusing.

Why TF is this flamebait? This is an honest question. The summary has two distinctly contradictory statements about the MPAA. One statement says that they are unlikely to push, while the other says they are striking back (indicating that they are pushing for it) I was just asking for clarification, you douchebags.

-Jesse

Re:So which is it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698018)

The sentace begins with "Previously" indicating that the MPAA had initially tried to "strike back", but is now "unlikely to push" the issue.

douchbag.

Re:So which is it? (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698104)

Jesus H. Christ, you criticize me with those spelling skills, and "Anonymous Coward"? The sentence does indeed begin with "previously", followed by "began to strike back", which meant that in the past they were starting to strike back, trying to get their way, but it appears that now they aren't trying to get their way; so which is it? The summary completely neglects any description of if they tried and failed, or tried and gave up. If you say something, even in a summary, you should have some quick info about why, or how, so that people aren't confused.

-Jesse

Re:So which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698034)

Sorry, bro, but I think the correct spelling uses a space, i.e., "douche bags".

Summary Lies. Bad Taco. (4, Informative)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698274)

The summary isn't confusing. It's outright deceiving. It's like *gasp* the editor on duty didn't even read the linked articles before posting it.

The article clearly states that the MPAA is giving up on getting a broadcast flag mandate in the current bill mandating DTV by 2008 because the bill's sponsor objects to doing so. It then immediately goes onto say that the MPAA is pursuing other means of convincing Congress to mandate the flag. They are backing off on one single bill, not on their entire quest as the title of this article suggests.

Re:So which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698510)

Why is this "flamebait"? I've gotta be honest, I was a bit confused as well.

Re:So which is it? (2, Insightful)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698820)

Are they "unlikely to push" or "striking back"? The summary is confusing.

I thought the same thing. If past history is any guide, they'll publicly do the former and quitely behind the scenes do the latter. In the cameras, they will lay lower on this issue. In the offices of senators and representatives in Washington, they will jawbone to get their way.

The fat lady ain't sung yet. The RIAA lawyers threatened her and the MPAA anti-piracy thugs bound and gagged her and tossed her into a closet. We need to hear her belt one out so on goes the fight to make her sing on this issue and lay it to rest.

Help! (1)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697736)

I'm not getting enough mail!

hijackthecube@yahoo.ca

Can you help?

The EFF is the authority here? (2, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697742)

Sorry, but I don't see where the EFF would be the definitive authority on what the MPAA is up to. They're going to see what they want to see, and how they want to see it. Yes, a certain representative may currently be opposed to the provision, but that won't take away any incentive from the MPAA to continue to push Congress for whatever they can get.

Re:The EFF is the authority here? (1)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697765)

Uh, this is Slashdot, you know?

Re:The EFF is the authority here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12697795)

"is unlikely to push for it, according to the EFF."

If you get "The EFF is the definitive authority on what the MPAA is up to" from that, then you need to re-read the summary slowly instead of trolling.

Re:The EFF is the authority here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12697838)

In typical Slashdot fashion, you have neglected to RTFA. If you had you would realize that the EFF is only quoting from Communications Daily.

From TFA...
"Extraordinarily good news from Communications Daily"

Re:The EFF is the authority here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12697888)

...And the title from the EFF page is "CommDaily: MPAA May Not Seek Broadcast Flag in DTV Bill" ...And the section of the EFF website is called "Deep Links: Noteworthy news from around the Internet"

But hey, who actually reads the linked articles before bitching about them anyways?

Re:The EFF is the authority here? (1)

jspayne (98716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697858)

RTFA: Extraordinarily good news from Communications Daily (behind a pay wall, unfortunately):

This isn't EFF opinion, but an excerpt from another source.

Jeff

Re:The EFF is the authority here? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697873)

The EFF didn't make that claim. They were quoting an online magazine called "Communications Daily".

Re:The EFF is the authority here? (2, Interesting)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697983)

I disagree. The EFF would know the MPAA in the same way a boxer knows his opponent -- through experience in battle and study.

This report is disinformation, at best. The MPAA's not giving up -- they're retreating in preparation for another attack. Recall, this is the group that likened the VHS to Jack The Ripper... they believe that a MythTV Box with a HDTV card and a DVD burner is the moral equivalent of Mao, Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot all put together. MPAA's not backing down they're simply busy licking their wounds from their recent court defeat.

Look, the MPAA is a dinosaur trying to hold on to an outdated business model. They want to keep information scarcity as the core of their business model. That might have worked thirty years ago, but in the information age it's a recipe for failure.

If you want to know the goals of the MPAA, don't listen to what they say, watch what they do. Specificly, watch for their donations of money/travel/gifts to lawmakers. Only when the money stops is it safe to say that they've "given up."

Does it make a difference? (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697747)

It occurs to me that the flag is already in the hardware and the drivers are already updated (anyone know if this is so?). So, whether or not it is mandated by the FCC, they now have the ability to control what you can and cannot record, email, or otherwise share (in new hardware) and there's no law AGAINST using it. Right?

Re:Does it make a difference? (2, Informative)

plover (150551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697782)

No, there are some tuner cards on the market today that don't respect the broadcast flag. As a matter of fact, there was quite a run on them up until the FCC ruling was overturned.

And it has nothing to do with "email" or "share". It's the "broadcast" flag and it would only have interefered with recording, not with subsequent usages.

Re:Does it make a difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12697784)

I thought they weren't required to be built into the hardware until July 2005.

Re:Does it make a difference? (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697862)

Here's the thing. It's simple economics. Who buys these high end video cards that are used in PVRs and such? Geeks or manufacturers making PVRs. If the end user can't make recordings using these cards they won't sell very well. It is in the hardware manufacturer's best interest to do whatever it takes to keep their sales up. If they are going to lose sales because of the flag they definitely won't enable it unless forced to by law or other means.

The only group that the broadcast flag benefits are the content owners themselves. Unless they can put legal or economic pressure on the broadcasters and hardware manufacturers there is no motivation for anyone to use the broadcast flag.

Re:Does it make a difference? (1)

Fratz (630746) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698452)

It occurs to me that the flag is already in the hardware and the drivers are already updated (anyone know if this is so?).

This depends on what you mean by "the hardware" and "the drivers." The next generation Air2PC card doesn't care about the Flag, nor does the hd-3000 card. But that major-brand HDTV set top box or PVR that you just bought? Yep, it probably sees the Flag and obeys it. Let's hope you never get to test it out.

So, whether or not it is mandated by the FCC, they now have the ability to control what you can and cannot record, email, or otherwise share (in new hardware) and there's no law AGAINST using it. Right?

This is a good point. The Flag compliance was a law regarding reception of HDTV, not broadcast. Even though the technology that receives HDTV no longer _has to_ obey the Flag, this doesn't preclude the Flag being put in there to work on devices that were already made to be Flag compliant.

In fact, this begs the question of whether or not the MPAA is backing down because they've already gotten major players in the PVR market to implement the Flag anyway, regardless of the struck-down law...

Advantages to having Republicans in power (0, Flamebait)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697754)

Note the article says the republican chair is "not interested" in pushing the broadcast flag.

Could that be because by and large the entertainment industry disparages Republicans? Or at least gives more money to Democrats. Either way it's a nice example of how negativity can come back to haunt you.

Re:Advantages to having Republicans in power (2, Informative)

FooWho (839977) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697943)

Individual performers/entertainers may bash on Republicans, but the "industry" puts its money on incumbents. The RIAA/MPAA are HUGE contributors to Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Prove it (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698209)

The RIAA/MPAA are HUGE contributors to Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Really? Then where are they on the contributors list [opensecrets.org] .

When the total combined contributions from media companies is a figure *I* could give if I scraped together some money from the sale of a house, I have a tough time calling it "huge".
Compare and contrast with someone like Barbra Boxer [opensecrets.org] . Time Warner is number two with Viacom close behind. If she were calling the shots do you REALLY think the broadcast flag would be "of no interest"?

Yes the entertainment industry does throw some money to the Republicans. But by and large they throw the bulk of thesupport to the Democrats, who in turn do them favors.

Re:Prove it (2, Informative)

FooWho (839977) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698454)

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/indus.asp?C ID=N00009869&cycle=2004 [opensecrets.org] Shows the "TV/Movies/Music" industry as being Hatch's 6th largest "industry" supporter for 2004 at $183,428. That sure looks like a lot to me...

Re:Prove it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698758)

Disney and viacom at 16 and 17

Re:Advantages to having Republicans in power (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698012)

Could that be because by and large the entertainment industry disparages Republicans? Or at least gives more money to Democrats. Either way it's a nice example of how negativity can come back to haunt you.

I recall reading somewhere that the RIAA and MPAA-type organizations contribute lopsidedly to Democratic congresspeople, by about 140% (for every dollar they contribute to Republicans, they contribute $1.40 to Democrats).

The difference between the parties any more is over whose special interest group is most likely to damages your freedom the least, not whether one party or the other is more free from corporate sponsorship.

The Enlightenment principles of social and economic personal freedom are embraced by almost nobody. They materialize in a spotty faction in each party but both are basically consumed with being in power and embracing whatever platform they must to stay in power. I wonder if any of them really ever stop to think about what's best for America, or if what they believe in is really best for America, or if they're so blinded by the desire to screw over the opposition and solidify their control of the nation that they never stop to wonder what exactly their purpose is.

I can explain away almost all perplexing political behavior as a desire to secure bloc voters, but why do they want to be in power so badly? All of their legislation is intended to either fulfill campaign promises to secure more voters or to please financial backers without whose money they'll struggle to win re-election. It's like the purpose of politics is to stay in politics. It's more of a video game than anything else. And at the end of the day, who really has to live with the decisions being made on our behalf by 650 unethical millionaires?

You and I do.

And this is why I always claim that the less they rape my paycheck to fund this lunacy, the happier I am.-

Re:Advantages to having Republicans in power (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698207)

And at the end of the day, who really has to live with the decisions being made on our behalf by 650 unethical millionaires?

Actually, there are several (not sure how many) members of the house (and possibly some senators) whose only source of income is their money from the congressional paycheck. Those (aye, few) are not millionaires.

And this is why I always claim that the less they rape my paycheck to fund this lunacy, the happier I am.

In other words, you're for lower taxes? Sounds like what the Republicans usually say and the Democrats usually hate.

I feel so ashamed (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12697758)

I see houses burning I'm ashamed
before you close your eyes denyingly
you'd better ask yourself

did I choose something I could regret
did I do something I should regret

Is this the place I used to call - Homeland
Is this the place I used to know - as Homeland

the silence is illusion stay awake
I hear children crying in fear and pain
do cowards ask themselves?

did I choose something I could regret
did I do something I should regret

Your darn right it ain't over! (3, Interesting)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697781)

The RIAA and MPAA basically own Congress. How long before a piece of legislation mandating the broadcast flag is attached as a rider to some totally unrelated bill, thus allowing it to slide through and be signed into law before we know what hit us? It'll happen sooner or later, trust me.

Re:Your darn right it ain't over! (1)

snwcrash (520762) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697944)

Difference with the broadcast is who the crack-down would be seen to effect. With P2P and issues like that it only really effects small companies and individuals, basically people removed from the political process. With the broadcast flags it effects all kinds of technology groups (read people with real money and therfore politically significant).

Congress won't be to quick to hurt on major source of cash revenue... ah the politics of money.

Re:Your darn right it ain't over! (3, Insightful)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697949)

"It'll happen sooner or later..."

My thoughts exactly. Right now Washington is a mess of power struggles, attacks on the media, and attacks on the court. Buying the broadcast flag right now will cost a lot and create a lot of press, and there's a good chance any right-wing politicians that have to be bought off will go down along with Tom Delay and George Bush's approval ratings. The RIAA/MPAA are much better off to wait until 2006, buy their way in with the new blood, and get the law passed in 2007 when everyone is focusing on the 2008 presidential election.

Re:Your darn right it ain't over! (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698023)

I think you might be right, it is probably too risky for Congress to attack right now. BTW: if you think the broadcast flag is small beans compared to Social Security reform, remember, the broadcast flag will translate to Joe TV viewer to "you can't record HDTV at all" and that is a big thing.

Now, for the next election cycle. Democrats, while you are pushing hard for regaining majority status, make sure you let your candidates know that the broadcast flag is truly evil, BEFORE, you try to get them elected.

I would hate to see liberals here on /. cheer a victory in the next election only to see their guys become the champions in trying to resurrect the broadcast flag.

Re:Your darn right it ain't over! (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698588)

>The RIAA and MPAA basically own Congress.

Well apparently not. They may have backed down as a gambit toward sliding in a rider later on, but what we have here is an opportunity to momentum. This is creating room for people besides the xxAA's to bend the ear of a Congressman and make pertinent points. I can see the anti-bFlag contingent resting on their laurels, but really this is a chance to make sure it never happens. This can work both ways, it's just a question of who wants their side to win more. Vigilance, and stuff.

Simpsons Quote (1)

Avalanch00 (824483) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698692)

Rep.: "The House will now consider the Flags for Orphans bill."

ERROR (1, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697783)

This posting cannot be replayed due to Digital Rights Management restrictions.

New concept: Conversation flag (2, Funny)

sigmund lahn (877800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697785)

Now, if I crook my little finger like *this* when I talk, I dont want you remembering anything of it, hear?

Re:New concept: Conversation flag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698164)

Now, if I crook my little finger like *this* when I talk, I dont want you remembering anything of it, hear?

Hear what? Did you say something?

Trial Balloon (4, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697792)

This isn't over by a long shot. The MPAA took a gamble, based on what they thought they had in Congress, and lost. They won't make the same mistake twice. Look for subtle changes in the "new and improved" DMCA, COPA and its children, and other roundabout ways to implement the same thing. Heck, some US banks are even using the DMCA against phishers now - after all, you're abusing their copyright, aren't you?
It will happen, its only a matter of time, unless the MPAA and RIAA are rendered toothless by a change in consumer habits.

Re:Trial Balloon (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698275)

Using government to block a competitor is not new. I recall a tale where Ford patented the Steering Wheel as a gambit to drive the Stanley Brothers out of the car business. The Patent didn't stand, but Stanley was such a small company that they could not match the Ford legal machine. We no longer drive steam cars...

Another point though: technology and cool software seem to outpace the legislation. A few posts back was one about a Bit Torrent like p2p thing that has no tracker and you can spoof IP. Another story about from your car music-casts. Tomorrow will bring something else. Locking down any media is just not going to work PERIOD. This genie is firmly out of the bottle and not going back.

Re:Trial Balloon (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698710)

This isn't over by a long shot. The MPAA took a gamble, based on what they thought they had in Congress, and lost. They won't make the same mistake twice. Look for subtle changes in the "new and improved" DMCA, COPA and its children, and other roundabout ways to implement the same thing.

However, it looks like they are going to miss out on the time window for implementing this particular method of making consumer digital video more inconvenient and unreliable. By the time they get their act together, there will likely be too much broadcast flag-free equipment out there.

Re:Trial Balloon (0)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698870)

Actually, I'm starting to think the DMCA was something of an own goal.

Granted, it has given the media cartels a chunk of power to control the market, but it was so overreaching that it means there is considerably opposition to any further stregthening of copyright. Politicians may like the money, but they also like votes, and it takes a lot of money to cover the cost of losing several thousand geek votes.

Of course they haven't given up - read the article (3, Interesting)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697820)

"Meanwhile, the MPAA will keep briefing House and Senate members on a broadcast flag bill's importance and seek other ways to get the content protections it wants."

Does that sound like they are giving up? Nope, they are still going to push for what they want, and what they think America (that is, the MPAA) "needs."

Don't get too excited (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697824)

This doesn't mean that they're going to stop trying to develop a means of making copying HDTV using impossible/impractical. It just means that the measures they take won't be based on legislating the broadcast flag.

Speaking theoretically, some sort of encryption together with a smartcard supplied to the cable customer which enables decryption would neatly sidestep the issue for cable subscribers. Don't know how feasible it would be to apply similar technology to over the air broadcasts.

Re:Don't get too excited (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697904)

You don't have to speak theoretically. There is already a standard [dtcp.com] to prevent "secure" media from being transmitted to "insecure" devices.

Re:Don't get too excited (1)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698289)

It is illegal to broadcast encrypted HDTV.

Hence the "need" for the broadcast flag and the associated legally enforced prohibitions that the flag entails.

Broadcast flag is useless anyway (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697826)

A broadcast flag may stop a Tivo-like device from recording, but as long as there is a video and sound output, there will be some device to record on. I personally think a broadcast flag is useless. Maybe for Direct DVD recorders. But anyone with determination will easily pass a broadcast flag.

Re:Broadcast flag is useless anyway (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697939)

But anyone with determination will easily pass a broadcast flag.

Exactly. This is typical political hoopla. They will pass a law about the broadcast flag. The hardware manufacturers will implement it. Five minutes later there will be a firmware hack to disable it and we will be right back where we started.

OTOH, there is always the scenario where the MPAA gets the broadcast flag implemented and TV ratings continue to drop because it's even MORE difficult to watch the decent shows on TV. It's crazy. There is this mentality that we should only be able to watch what they want us to when they want us to. It's becoming continually more obvious that people are not interested in sitting in front of the TV 8 hours a night. TV broadcasters better get with it or they will be left behind.

Re:Broadcast flag is useless anyway (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698045)

A broadcast flag may stop a Tivo-like device from recording, but as long as there is a video and sound output, there will be some device to record on. I personally think a broadcast flag is useless. Maybe for Direct DVD recorders. But anyone with determination will easily pass a broadcast flag.

You're right, but don't forget that our esteemed elected officials have passed legislation to criminalize this behavior. It's called the DMCA.

Re:Broadcast flag is useless anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698056)

DirectTv has had this flag for years. Never been flipped AFAIK. And the original flag was to keep it encoded until it was decoded by the disply circuits inside the tv/monitor. The signal was to be encrypted from the station all the way into the monitor.

Re:Broadcast flag is useless anyway (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698165)

Well, if the video/sound is being output digital to a display, then it can have the broadcast flag applied all the way into the TV. This is especially true for plasma and lcd tv's, where the signal can literally stay digital until your eyes see it (ie, to intercept the analog version you'd need to setup a video camera in front of the screen).

Not that any of this means that people won't be able to still hack purely digital information, but to a large degree the old "it has to be an analog signal eventually" addage is becoming less and less true.

Not Forever (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698314)

Eventually the non-flag honoring systems will dry up and dissapear due to time.

For an easy example, try buying a black and white TV.. No new ones, and old ones are getting scarce.

Or try getting a 'wax cylinder player'... Even harder. For the common man they dont exist.

Sure this is different as its about raw controlling technology, but the theory is the same.

I think the answer is clear (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12697870)

The dilemma as I see it: 1. Content owners/producers deserve to be able to make money by selling their content 2. Consumers deserve fair use rights Content providers have taken the position that the only solution is DRM - which, while it protects their rights, screws over the general public. I say that they should introduce watermarking - so that the pirates can be traced. This would keep honest people honest (I doubt the casual user would want to take the risk of being caught if they knew they were leaving an invisible trail), and permit liberal fair-use rights for the consumer. Of course they don't want to go this route because it doesn't give them the stranglehold they would have with DRM.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698816)

"Content owners/producers deserve to be able to make money by selling their content"

Do they? Where is that written? Is that in the same place where American programmers deserve to be paid what they want? Or is that in the same place that buggy whip manufacturers deserve to make money selling their whips?

Perhaps the word "deserve" does not mean what you think it means?

Color me cynical.... (1)

gt_swagger (799065) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697879)

But as long as IP is the latest rage in making money you shouldn't otherwise have, most Americans are too ignorant and/or don't care enough, and people in Washington, DC can be bought... the MPAA and RIAA and all their unsightly relatives will continue to push for crap like this and, in general, get most of what they want. In an ideal world, most Americans would keep abreast of and care about what is going on in DC through a fair news source that just gives you the facts -- and all of them. Just a guess here, but I'm guessing some important things were going on while everybody was at Runaway Bride DefCon 4. In said ideal world, politicians who wanted to keep their jobs wouldn't dare pass crap like the DMCA, Patriot Act, etc.

Dissolve the MPAA (1)

a3217055 (768293) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697898)

This is it here is the solution. Every citizen get together chip in for a lobby. And have the MPAA dissolved, or rather just make them a small orginzation that does not have too much power.
They are a headache. They are worried about profits from distribution rather than the quality of the stuff.

And we actually let these guys who make billions of dollars to make social decesions that will affect people through out our society ( and others ).

Re:Dissolve the MPAA (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697996)

You can't just "dissolve" a private organization whose only source of "power" is the contribution and cooperation of its members. Unless, of course, you dissolve the First Amendment first.

Re:Dissolve the MPAA (2, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698079)

That's just silly. There is nothing wrong with having some sort of industry group and surely no one has the right to tell another with whom or whom not they may associate.

However, if "every citizen" in your scenario has enough initiative and energy to get off his fat ass and lobby for such an event, then they should have at least equal initiative and energy to be able to write their congressmen to let them know who's boss. In other words, all that is needed is for the citizens to actively assert their power over the government, as responsible citizens should.

FCC clearly can't read minds (2, Insightful)

shogarth (668598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697900)

The goal of the flag was not to impede a consumer's ability to copy or use content lawfully in the home, nor was the policy intended to 'foreclose use of the Internet to send digital broadcast content where it can be adequately protected from indiscriminate redistribution,'
Considering that the FCC heard testimony indicating the flag would do exactly this, it's amazing they would claim it wasn't their intent. It certainly was the intent of the content distributors. The flag's protection wasn't going to stop commercial piracy rings; they were going to 'aquire' digital masters and stamp disks anyway. All it would do is make handling digital content a pain for end-users.

Re:FCC clearly can't read minds (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698073)

Whether or not that's their "goal" is irrelevent, it's undistputably what the result will be.

Re:FCC clearly can't read minds (1)

lheal (86013) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698142)

High-ranking bureaucrats are usually astute politicians. They know what to say in order to get their way with the elected officials and with their (the bureaucrats') constituents.

The FCC is beholden to both the MPAA and the hardware industry, and to consumers as well. The commissioners are political appointees, but the bureaucrats who actually run the place are not. They exercise their political wits to accomplish their personal and professional goals.

The FCC as a whole is in it for the FCC. They all want power. Most also want to see the public good enhanced. Without any specific evidence, I suspect that the people who make up the FCC are personally a representative sample of the US population, with similar political and other beliefs.

In other words, what they say and what they believe are not necessarily the same.

Why is Internet Indiscriminate Redistribution bad? (1)

pixelcort (413708) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698548)

Why is Internet Indiscriminate Redistribution bad?

Look, who ever said that all third party P2P networks are good at merely piracy of content to lost customers? What if the media files distributed via these networks instead gained customers? What if the same third party P2P networks acted as an auxiliary or even primary way of distribution?

It shouldn't be hard. Embedding pointers to remote advertisement/payment service URLs into media files shouldn't be too difficult. Then, when third parties share these media files, each new peer becomes a new customer, as their client automatically connects back to our service URLs for advertising or payment. It's akin to DRM, but it's less proprietary and would work on existing P2P networks and media players such as QuickTime Player and possibly even VLC.

For more information on this idea, check out http://pixelcort.com/2005/05/28/131/ [pixelcort.com]

My bet (2, Interesting)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697924)

The MPAA won't go for it right now - their main supporter is out of the loop, and the EFF has links out to its registered members (and why aren't *you* a member?) that the first time someone tries to make one, or sneak it into another bill, we're suppose to be on that congresscritter like white on rice.

But time is running out for them to get the flag in by 2008, so I still expect to see something underhanded put in in the hopes that nobody will see what they're doing. Which is why we need to be eternally vigilant.

What surprises me about the MPAA is that they've learned from history. "What?" They've learned from history?"

Sure. For the last few hundred years of progress, there's been large companies that have a near oligarchy of power on some product (entertainment, in this case). Then some technology comes along, breaks up the big guys, sets up several little guys, and then the conglomeration effect builds again until, like a neutron hitting a uranium atom, the system is split apart, new creative energy is unleashed, and it's back to a maelstrom of competition until the reaction settles down.

The MPAA I think knows this, so they're fighting the technology as hard as they can. If people can time shift and get rid of commercials, big companies will make less money, and with the Internet spreading, people can make their own shows - think podcasting with video. LIke early radio, 99% will be crap, but there will be that 1% of really good stuff that turns people away from traditional TV. When that happens more and more often, the MPAA's contributers will be financially out of it, and the next cycle will begin.

The MPAA is just trying to protect itself. Granted, in a stupid fashion, because history shows that you can be one of the new movers and shakers in a new technological - it's just likely you won't because you'll be fighting the technology instead.

Hm - maybe the MPAA *doesn't* get it after all.

Of course, this is all just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Re:My bet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698068)

take a look at digital imaging for consumers.
the big camera companies noticed that digital cameras were going to be a big thing, so instead of trying to force the local drugstores(and chains) not to supply resources for these new cameras, they worked to develop the technology themselves.
those film camera companies that got in on the ground floor of digital cameras are patting themselves on the back for not doing what the entertainment industry is trying to do.

Mpaa will have there way. (1)

jonfr (888673) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697958)

It is just a matter of time until mpaa get's it's way in the U.S regarding locked down hardware, regarding Tv and DVD capable devices. After all, congress is being lobbied by the mpaa and riaa.

Frist 5Top (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12697962)

politics openly. reciprocating bad are She had taken FreeBSD because the channel to sign foolowed. Obviously Offended some Go find 5omething in a head spinning become an unwanted

Open Source DRM ? (3, Interesting)

VonSlatt (16207) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697967)

Even Linus has said that DRM is not inconsistant with Linux and Open Source (at least as Linus sees it) So, the OSS comunity needs to develop the killer DRM solution that respects Fair Use but sufficiently protects content owners.

Small publishers will adopt it first, then large media outlets will find themselves having to adopt it or loose share to the small fast moving media companies.

So, who's working on OSS DRM?

Re:Open Source DRM ? (2, Informative)

JohnGalt00 (214319) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698421)

Be careful with your terms. DRM means *AA and Microsoft trust your computer i.e. they manage your rights, while in the OSS world, trusted computing means you can trust your own machine.

Trusted computing is used for things like making sure malware and rootkits can't take over your own machine, and that trojans haven't been introduced into the software you've downloaded, while DRM is used to make sure you can't rip a copy of a DVD you own.

OSS people already are working on trusted computing, see Trusted Gentoo. There are almost certainly others. OSS trusted computing won't implement a DRM solution that respects fair use, because no one in their right mind would install it. Additionally, the entire concept behind DRM is flawed. Cory Doctorow has an excellent talk on the subject [craphound.com] .

A better solution than having a system that "protects content owners", is offering a solution that users want. Most users are honest. iTunes has demonstrated that many people will pay to download their music over the internet. Yet in the years between Napster and iTunes, millions of songs were downloaded off the internet, and CD sales went up. Why does iTunes need DRM? I can already download any music I want for free over the internet, with no DRM, and at higher quality.

Trusted computing is an excellent example of the differences between OSS and proprietary systems. The important question is: who gets to trust the box sitting next to you?

Re:Open Source DRM ? (1)

emc (19333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698519)

I'd personally contribute some hard-earned $$$ to fund a bounty for this...

Re:Open Source DRM ? (1)

Will Fisher (731585) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698633)

The problem is, all DRM is "security through obscurity", something that doesn't work when you have open source.

Lets take Apples PlayFair DRM system as an example. To crack it (as they did) you need to know a two things:
1) The encryption key (and where it can be found)
2) The encryption algorithm

If iTunes was open source, you could just find this info in the sourcecode. Breaking it would be trivial.

HAHAHAAHAHAH (0)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697976)

Sorry I've got to pick myself up off the floor from laughing. They won't give up, they'll just slap it on the end of an Iraq war funding bill by paying the right people off.

Re:HAHAHAAHAHAH (2, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698033)

And as you might recall from about a year ago, Congress doesn't actually READ the bills they pass, so odds are, no one will notice, including most members of Congress.

Article Text (1)

Delta2.0 (846278) | more than 9 years ago | (#12697980)

Heres the article for the lazy...

The Motion Picture Association of America is unlikely to push for a broadcast flag component in DTV legislation establishing a 2008 hard date because the bill's main author, House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX), is against the provision. Meanwhile, the MPAA will keep briefing House and Senate members on a broadcast flag bill's importance and seek other ways to get the content protections it wants. A new Congressional Research Service report raises concerns that the broadcast flag's technological limitations could hinder activities normally deemed "fair use" under copyright law. For instance, students might not be able to email themselves copies of projects incorporating digital video content because no secure system exists for email transmission. "The goal of the flag was not to impede a consumer's ability to copy or use content lawfully in the home, nor was the policy intended to 'foreclose use of the Internet to send digital broadcast content where it can be adequately protected from indiscriminate redistribution,'" the report said, quoting from the FCC order.

Giving up for now (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698006)

How about, giving up before this gets to the Supreme Court which might re-affirm fair use rights before Congress can figure out how to take them away.

That I can believe.

Re:Giving up for now (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698185)

How about, giving up before this gets to the Supreme Court which might re-affirm fair use rights before Congress can figure out how to take them away.

The Fair Use doctrine has been decided by the legal system to be unenforcable in policy, which means that we cannot create a set of clear rules or laws to determine whether or not a given use of intellectual property falls under Fair Use or not. As new situations come up, which side of Fair Use they fall on will be determined, case-by-case, by the court. Some are mentioned specifically in US legal code but the opinion of the court has been that Fair Use is impossible to legally define, except by the results of individual cases. It'd be dangerous to everybody to have a Fair Use case put before the court. It's a major gamble.

It'll be back - in hi-def DVDs (2, Interesting)

scotpurl (28825) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698014)

The standard for the new high definition DVDs isn't yet done. The MPAA will get their little broadcast flag included in thew new DVD technical specs. When you go to buy a new DVD player, boom, you'll have the new rights management. Want to watch the new high-definition signals? You can, until you buy the next generation of HDTVs.

It's pointless to come up with a scheme that requires everyone to buy all new equipment so that they can do less than before (unless the MPAA is going to provide new, free hardware to everyone). If you're going to deliberately break something, you have to do it before anyone has a chance to buy it.

Or, the MPAA could just pay companies for it. "Here's $10 million if you'll include this in what you sell."

Not over yet (1)

James McGuigan (852772) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698031)

No Broadcast flag but no white flag either

Another one bites the dust (0)

wk633 (442820) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698083)

Mildly related, the aptly named www.piratebay.org (locared in Sweden) has fallen under the internationally long arm of the MPAA. Remember, they were the ones with the great legal threat responses, including invitations to lawyers to sodomize themselves with retractable batons.

No, the MPAA are not 'giving up' anything.

Re:Another one bites the dust (1)

SirFozzie (442268) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698303)

Whoops. Apparently, it's not true about the pirate bay, if you look, apparently it was a hoax (the raid that is) to explain an outage caused by a server upgrade

http://www.slyck.com/news.php?story=811 [slyck.com]

Apparently, what's on there now means (babelfished and smoothed out by me)

"Now maybe you are wondering why we did it? We only did it to make you aware on that The Pirate Bay soon is debuting a new version soon."

Re:Another one bites the dust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698717)

It was a joke. I wonder if you're using the proprietary garcia [slashdot.org] trolling system?

1984 (1)

UberGeekEdward (857976) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698111)

The MPAA's attemptr to legislate what we are allowed to do to qavoid their advertising reminds me strongly of the "television" in Orwell's 1984 where turning off the set was illegal. I can just see it now, when the show is on you are allowed to turn off the set, when the commercials are on you are required by law to remain in your seat and cannot turn the channel or turn off the set.

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698201)

You're thinking of Max Headroom. Now when will THAT be on DVD!

Re:1984 (1)

UberGeekEdward (857976) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698485)

Actually I am thinking of George Orwell's 1984, however I had forgotten about MaxHeadroom also having that little problem.

Not evil enough... (1)

IceRa (844639) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698113)

MPAA Logic: If there is Resistance to the Broadcast Flag - we have to come up with something more subtile an more evil!
Bet?

Goodbye Broadcast Flag (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698375)

... hello "Child Porn Broadcast Prevention Flag"? Who could be against that!?

MPAA bleh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698433)

Now they are just going to change tactics and have the laws changed to give the FCC to power to mandate the changes they want... for ANYTHING.

We need the BF to fight terrorism - game over (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698446)

The MPAA/RIAA will sell copyright violations as a form of terrorism. If you're against the broadcast flag then you must be supporting Osama.

The MPAA? (1)

AstroDrabb (534369) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698742)

What is up with these punks? I just re-read the second link in the article [slashdot.org] . I remember this topic from a little while ago. However this quote from the article has just hit me:
the MPAA is working on new legislation to broaden the FCC's power
Huh? Since when did the MPAA become part of the legislative body? Where in the constitution does it grants rights to the MPAA to write legislation? Am I the only one who thinks this if freaking insane? How can our "representatives" just sit back and "pass the ball" to big corps to write their own laws? What the hell happened to the USA?

Why? (3, Insightful)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12698755)

I have admit that when I hear about the broadcast flag, it irks me. I have a single HDTV receiver (integrated radio and satellite), but it's likely I won't really get into digital TV until it's much cheaper and there's more content, meaning I won't start converting the entire house over to HDTV until after this broadcast flag is mandated (if they MPAA and others get their way).

Rather then lambasting the FCC and the MPAA, I have one question I'd like to see someone give an acceptable answer to: Why? Why do they need to stop people from being able to record a high quality digital signal from a broadcast? The easy answer is, they don't want people to be able to copy and distribute the programming they own.

Fine, but they said the same thing in the 1980s when the VCR became popular. "If people are able to make video tapes of movies and programs using a set top box and an inexpensive cassette tape, it will ruin us and take our profits away!" they cried.

Of course, that didn't happen. Yes, there were people with giant video cassette libraries of pirated movies dubbed from rentals or recorded off HBO (I had a neighbor with several hundred of these movies). In the end, we discovered that the ability to easily record programs actually ended up helping the movie and television industry far more then it hurt them.

So why is this different? Because it's a higher quality broadcast? In the 80s the quality of a VHS recording, if done right, was not too much different then the quality you'd find in broadcast or in tapes rented or purchased from the video shop. Today, a digital recording, if done right, is not much different the quality you'd find on an HD broadcast or next generation video discs you'll soon find for sale or rent at the video shop. Considering the quality of VHS recordings back in the 80s were not too much different then the commercially available media, and today's digital recordings aren't too much different then commercially available media, I just don't see that as a valid argument.

The folks at the FCC and MPAA aren't stupid people, and I can't for the life of me understand why they would spend time and resources trying to put in a broadcast flag when history has shown that when end users have versatility available to them, it ultimately helps the MPAA and others. There has to be a good reason, right?

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what that reason is. The only argument I could come up with is that they don't want people to be able to record high quality television programs which *might* end up hurting the growing DVD market for TV boxed sets where an entire season of a particular program can be purchased. But we're still not sure if that would happen. Heck, on my computer and burned to VCDs I have the entire collection of every episode of a particular TV show, and each of those episodes I downloaded off the Internet. I also purchased the DVD box sets for the entire series. It was not because I wanted better quality, but because I wanted to own something physical, I wanted the liner notes, I wanted the "special features". The recordings I found "illegally" lacked those things.

In light of all this, does anyone know why they're putting up such a fight?

GNOAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12698792)

world w0ill have
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