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MPAA Wants To Prevent Recording Movies On DVRs 225

Posted by timothy
from the please-don't-call-this-a-free-market dept.
I_am_Rambi writes "At the request of theatrical film makers, the Federal Communications Commission on Friday quietly launched a proceeding on whether to let video program distributors remotely block consumers from recording recently released movies on their DVRs. The technology that does this is called Selectable Output Control (SOC), but the FCC restricts its use. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) wants a waiver on that restriction in the case of high-definition movies broadcast prior to their release as DVDs." The FCC is soliciting comments until June 25th.
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MPAA Wants To Prevent Recording Movies On DVRs

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  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @06:45AM (#23799213) Homepage Journal
    If I can watch it, I can record it. There will always be a way to do so. They can try to use the laws and technology to stop me, but they will lose in the end.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by giorgist (1208992)
      They simply want enough people not being able to record. Probably wont work in the long run. A whole generation has grown up with 160GB ipods

      (well, not grown up but they have them now)
      G
      • by dreamchaser (49529) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @06:48AM (#23799229) Homepage Journal
        They simply want enough people not being able to record.

        Yes, and they also want to make people into criminals for exercising Fair Use rights so they can continue to reap huge margins on plastic discs.
        • This is a strategy to eliminate DVR recording as fair use. First they get the right to block the recording of recently released HD movies, then they blur the definition of HD, and pretty soon they are claiming that they should be able to block pretty much any DVR recording...

          Just say no. Personal use is fair use.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            I was just thinking how the term 'recent' probably allows them to abuse any rules/laws made. If copyright being 100+ years is ok then recent can probably mean upto 20 years or more.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by sm62704 (957197)
          Yes, and they also want to make people into criminals for exercising Fair Use rights

          And a pony.
      • by Naughty Bob (1004174) * on Sunday June 15, 2008 @06:55AM (#23799269)

        They simply want enough people not being able to record. Probably wont work in the long run.
        It's an interesting strategy, stop people recording shit by forcing the poor blighters to download it all months in advance... Genius.
        • by aurispector (530273) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:12AM (#23799343)
          Funny, isn't it? If you like it you'll buy it - that's what I do. If I can't watch it, I won't know that I like it.
          • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:23AM (#23799383)
            Given the quality of recently released movies, I'd say that's part of the strategy...
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward
              Somebody mod parent +1 GetOffMyLawn
          • by Naughty Bob (1004174) * on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:23AM (#23799385)
            Exactly, I spend more on music now than I ever have done, precisely because of the vastly increased exposure to it bittorrent has enabled. I used to wish the entertainment industry would wake up to this reality.

            Now I realise that that, from now on in, it can only impede my access to artists, and their access to my cash.
            • by Dan541 (1032000) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @08:29AM (#23799735) Homepage

              Now I realise that that, from now on in, it can only impede my access to artists, and their access to my cash.
              I gave up trying to do the right thing long ago.
              I learned that the studios are only interested in playing underhanded so Im not giving them the money to file lawsuits.

              http://thepiratebay.org/ [thepiratebay.org]
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward
              I wonder how many people spend less, because they don't have to, now. I'll be honest, I don't spend more now than I did before I downloaded music. I already have it, why would I get it again?
            • Likewise not and not (Score:5, Interesting)

              by mkcmkc (197982) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @09:53AM (#23800269)

              Exactly, I spend more on music now than I ever have done, precisely because of the vastly increased exposure to it bittorrent has enabled.
              Although I abhor the RIAA's tactics, I decided several years ago that I could not put myself at risk from extortion at their hand, so I stopped Napstering altogether. Not surprisingly, my CD purchases have simultaneously dropped from hundreds per year to one or two.

              Ironically, in the RIAA's analysis of the situation, I must almost certainly be accounted as someone who's stopped buying CD's because of illegal downloading, when in fact it is directly due to the actions of the recording industry itself.

            • As another alternative but in the same spirit -- Most of my music and movies are on 12-inch LP records or tapes. Thousands of them.It used to be that having a cassette Walkman was a status symbol. Nowdays they have iPods. Then they came out with CD's which totally blew out the market. Suddenly, I had to buy everything all over again. When Napster came out I went nuts on cable broadband. And I still have most of it. I refuse to pay for the same song or movie twice over, but I'll gladly pay for it in the
        • by jamesh (87723) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:27AM (#23799413)
          Same deal with copy protection on games. Only the people who buy the product legally have to suffer with it (was it Red Alert 2 that came with copy protection that just didn't work on a significant number of CD drives?). The only people they'll really piss off are their customers.
          • by k33l0r (808028) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @08:14AM (#23799643) Homepage Journal

            Same deal with copy protection on games. Only the people who buy the product legally have to suffer with it [...] The only people they'll really piss off are their customers.

            Hear, hear. Copy protection is the reason why I can't play The Battle for Middle-Earth II on my Vista pc, the damn game can't see the legitimate CD through the WinXP compatibility mode.

            Has copy protection stopped pirate games? No.
            Has DRM stopped downloading? No.
            Such measures just punish the folks who actually pay for their content...

      • One person... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by hummassa (157160)
        is enough people.
      • They simply want enough people not being able to record

        But, of course, "enough people" in this case means *one* person. The others can copy the recording [btjunkie.org].
    • by msormune (808119)
      And if you were to be stripped of all electronic equipment before seing the movie, how would you be able to record it?
  • by Froeschle (943753) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @06:53AM (#23799255)
    then you can record it. Software such as Mythtv makes it possible, until of course the TV cards somehow become so functionally disabled that they refuse to work with Linux. oh wait..
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:25AM (#23799403) Homepage
      the recording cards work great. Cable TV simply encrypts everything so your recording card will not work. In fact they do that now. locally here all you can get is the 3 locals unencrypted.

      Honestly the FCC needs to get some balls and FORCE cable companies to have all the channels available UNENCRYPTED. but it will never happen.

      Digital TV is a step backwards. Quality sucks because they compress it hard. plus they remove your ability to record it or use anything advanced to watch it. you have to use that piece of crap cable box of theirs.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by irtza (893217)
        but encryption is also how they keep people from getting channels they aren't paying for. I have no problem with them encrypting the channels. What would be better is if they had a standard algorithm for encryption, so it can be implemented by third parties. That way they can provide you with the key after you pay for it. Still a fair deal since you can then implement your own software. They assure that casual piracy is eliminated and thus protect their basic interests. Unless you want to eliminate th
        • by Lumpy (12016)
          Funny they dont encrypt the analog channels and those dont cause problems. there is ZERO reason for them to encrypt all the QAM channels. if I pay for "extended basic" I should get all the channels I am supposed to in digital QAM so my tv can tune them in.

          the real reason is different. Being a cable insider I know the real reason. it's to FORCE you to have a cable box. the cable TV company DESPERATELY wants to force you to have that box. Because then most of their employees can be laid off as they can
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by canuck57 (662392)

        Digital TV is a step backwards. Quality sucks because they compress it hard. plus they remove your ability to record it or use anything advanced to watch it. you have to use that piece of crap cable box of theirs.

        It is also why today I still don't have digital TV. I have the old style analog. In fact, the only reason I have cable TV is for the internet. They have sent me tons of offers, but I do not intend to change. Even to the point when analog is dead, I figure Internet TV will bloom and I can skip digital TV all together.... or in a least for cable.

        I might retire sometime in the next few years to my country home, if I do, I need satellite Internet more than TV. My favorite show is on the Internet, I can

      • I'm not sure how much longer this will last anyway. Not too hard to imagine the cable companies going to an all-on-demand, micro-pay-per-view system.

        Why bother broadcasting when you can charge someone if they decide that they don't like your show, and want to change to another channel? You need to get that "lost" advertising back somehow. And in this scenario, you simply pay a bit more for the archive of older shows, so if you miss an episode you can still see it.

        Why pay MORE for a DVR? We archive all s
      • by teebob21 (947095) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:50AM (#23800663) Journal
        Fortuantely for the parent, there is no -1, Wrong moderation option.

        The cable companies do not encrypt the digital stream unless the channel is on a pay tier, or the content provider mandates it. My employer had been carrying ESPN HD, Discovery HD, History HD, and a few other national channels in the clear for almost a year. Contract renegotiations have come up, and those channels now must be encrypted for us to retain the rights to carry them. As a result, the cable co looks like the bad guy when we must tell our subs that they now must lease a converter box or CableCard to decrypt the channels we previously could send in the clear.

        In regards to being forced into using the company's cable box, the FCC has mandated this to be illegal. Simply go down to your local electronics store and pickup a CableCard enabled converter...which according to the FCC, should be available nationwide. Oh wait...no manufacturer has started making them in the last 3 years. Go FCC! There's always TiVo, I suppose...
      • by Mattsson (105422)
        It wouldn't be an issue if people had the character to actually not get subscriptions on encrypted channels.
        Most of the stuff they broadcast is crap anyway, and they won't let you buy only the one or two good channels, you have to buy a whole bunch of other crap too...

        It ain't worth what they ask for it, especially when they cripple it, so don't buy it.
        If no one paid for the crap, they'd have to become customer-friendly in order to stay in business.

        But, as I said, the problem is that way too many people act
  • draconian bulloni! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FudRucker (866063) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @06:54AM (#23799259)
    Thanks to the MPAA & RIAA I no longer spend any money on music or movies. I use an AM/FM radio for music and if I watch a movie it is something old on basic cable. You will never see me with music CDs or movies on DVD at the checkout line at the store, if i ever buy anything like that it will have to be at some yard sale or pawn shop for pennies on the dollar...

    Vote with your wallet!
    • by retech (1228598) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:35AM (#23799455)
      In '97 a friend of mine was offered a recording contract by Sony. It was a 1000+ page tome. He read it over for 3 months and told them to piss off. After Sony was said and done with them they'd have gotten about 1.3 cents a song per album sale. Unless the artist(s) directly produce it themselves I have not purchased an album since that point in time. I never will again either.
      • by ruin20 (1242396) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @10:03AM (#23800329)
        Courtney Love [salon.com] gives a much more accurate account for how the racket works. All these "BIG" record deals aren't that "BIG" at all because typically the advance given the band is not just payment to the members, but also supposed to cover production expenses. In other words record company gives you 1.3 million and you go to the recording studio, art studio, and post possessing guys and give 1 million back to the record studio and you're left with 300,000 with which you pay the manager and the artist, making it a 5 or 6 way split. That's 50 grand a piece. And then you never see a penny from your album because that 1.3 million was an advance. Thats why going gold, silver and platinum are such big deals, because they're when the artist starts actually seeing 1.3 cents per song.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by digitig (1056110)
        It depends on the bands outlook. I once heard Pete "Memory" Banks of 80s band After The Fire comment that they had a great time on expenses that were "reclaimable but not recoverable" (if I've got the term right) by the company. That means that the record company gets all profits from album sales until those expenses are paid off, but they can't go after the band for the money. So the band didn't come out of the deal with an income stream, but they came out with memories of good times on expenses. Sure, the
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sleepy (4551)
      >Thanks to the MPAA & RIAA I no longer spend any money on music or movies. I use an AM/FM radio for music and if I watch a movie it is something old on basic cable. You will never see me with music CDs or movies on DVD at the checkout line at the store, if i ever buy anything like that it will have to be at some yard sale or pawn shop for pennies on the dollar...

      The MPAA dosn't have a column in their spreadsheet for people like you.

      They just put you in the "stopped buying due to piracy" column, to sh
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by theJML (911853)
      Voting with your wallet doesn't seem to send the right message across. We all vote "Screw you *AA! I'm not giving you any of my money" and they just take it as "all of our customers are just downloading everything illegally now." . . . I agree with capitalism, but by not buying it you could either mean "I hate the *AA", or "This music sucks" or "I'm just gonna download it illegally" or "I'll by it used" or...

      The *AA is just going to pick the reason as they see fit. And so far they only think that illegal do
  • Yeah... right (Score:2, Interesting)

    by retech (1228598)
    How's that copy protection working for ya?
    • by xaxa (988988)

      How's that copy protection working for ya?
      Remember those it will work for: the less technically literate. Don't forget that most people wouldn't be able to get round the proposed block.
      • You mean there is anyone who can't push the "copy now" button on a given program? Does it need localization or something?
      • The less technically literate are typical very good at social networking... they have to be, it's their only option, so... they just ask their technically literate friends to copy it for them.

        Surprisingly however, those whom you think are not technically literate are very likely to know how to do this type of thing. Movies, Music, Entertainment in general is *their thing*... so they actually take the time to learn how to get at it. They just aren't interested in *how it works*, as long as it works.
  • Over here, movies are never shown on TV before their DVD release date. Is this different in the US?
    • Not that I'm aware of.

      But remember, "Slippery slope" isn't just a logical fallacy, it's also instructions for a viable method of accomplishing unpopular legislation.
    • by jamesh (87723)
      Not sure where you are, but in Australia the pay tv channels advertise movies "that you won't see on DVD this year". For free-to-air stations it's the same as where you are though.
    • Yes. In the US, movies are usually shown in theaters, then released on DVD, then after a few months shown on TV. No particular reason is given for this, but presumably someone at the MPAA thought that it would allow them to milk the most money from the movie.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Your list is in order of decreasing price and decreasing quality. This is not a coincidence.

        It's all about market segmentation. When selling a product, it's always desirable to get the customers who are willing to pay more to actually pay more money. This is hard, though, because you generally advertise the same price to everyone. So companies come up with various tactics to avoid this, such as multiple editions of a product with different prices, or charging a premium early and then lowering the price late
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      Yes.

      it's called Pay-per-view. and they will air a movie right after a theater release so you can watch it on your home cable TV or sattelite service. the MPAA wants to enable the nasties in the HDMI spec so that they can make it impossible to record it.

      • by MtViewGuy (197597)
        Actually, very few movies I know of here in the USA are available on pay-per-view before it's available on DVD or Blu-ray disc, mostly because the movie studios make way more profit on video software sales per disc than from a pay-per-view sale.
    • Re:Pointless? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:28AM (#23799421)
      My guess is that they're trying to do just that now: To release movies to pay-per-view HD before bringing them into the rental stores. Ya know, those clerks there don't get a lot, but a penny earned more is a penny earned more. People will probably pay to watch a fairly recent movie at home for 5 bucks rather than paying 10 bucks (plus again about as much for junk food) in a cinema.

      Huh? The movie industry raping its own distribution partners, movies and rentals? Duh, thought they'd only do it with their customers?
  • The sooner they realize that and give up, the better off they are going to be. Further, how many people are going to buy a DVR (Digital Video RECORDER) that doesn't actually RECORD? Isn't that like, I don't know, THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT?!?!? I build my own DVRs anyway, and I certainly would never build that feature in.
    • Well, you can still record. You can still record all those movies sent without the "no recording" flag, like all those old movies that have been rerun a billion times already. Like ... well, not all old movies, because Disney will certainly disallow it. And probably not the old war movies either, they go pretty well on DVD so far. Probably also not Star Wars or Star Trek, since there'll soon be another "superspecialawesome collectors box".

      But you may record those ads. Well, for now.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:30AM (#23799435) Homepage
      Actually you do build that feature in unless you are building your own capture cards.

      your HDMI capture card, the only way I know of to capture an encrypted HD signal from the cable or sattelite box, has thise "feature" for you.

      I cant find any component capture cards that exist that will capture HD resolutions so you are stuck with hdmi/dvi.

      BTW: notice how nobody has made a linux driver for those cards? only OSX and Windows... because the driver has the "screw the user" code in it.
      • by Kjella (173770)
        I thought you could get HDMI capture cards, but not HDMI/HDCP capture cards. That was the source of some Blu-Ray reencodes before BD+ was broken:

        1. Remove AACS (including flag for HDCP)
        2. Play Blu-Ray out over HDMI (using closed source BD+ decoding player)
        3. Capture raw HDMI
        4. Reencode

        If you have a HDMI/HDCP capture card, wouldn't that kinda ruin the point of HDCP in the first place?
  • by mangu (126918) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:07AM (#23799317)
    There used to be a certain schedule for films. First they were shown at theaters. Then, a few months after, they were released in VHS. Broadcasting started only a year or so after theater release.


    It seems that the MPAA is trying to maximize their profit, at the expense of the public in general. We are stuck with technical hassle just because the MPAA wants to use government regulation instead of logical market forces to prevent unauthorized copying.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bieeanda (961632)
      Precisely. They want their cake, and to eat it too. Unfortunately, they couldn't stop if they even wanted to: they're legally obligated to try to maximize profits. If they stopped, shrugged and said 'DVR wins', their member companies' shareholders would be filing lawsuits in an instant.

      Unfortunately under this kind of economic regime, 'consumer' means less 'one who eats' and much more 'one who must be force-fed'.

      • by AusIV (950840)

        Unfortunately, they couldn't stop if they even wanted to: they're legally obligated to try to maximize profits. If they stopped, shrugged and said 'DVR wins', their member companies' shareholders would be filing lawsuits in an instant.

        Shareholders can change the board of directors in the event that the board is not maximizing profits, but they cannot sue for compensation.

        Even if this were true, the company's obligation to maximize profits would be within the realm of the law. There's no way there's a law

      • Things like reputation and customer goodwill have value too, to the extent that the accountants will put numbers on them. Nothing in the "maximize profits" requirement says that you have to shit all over your customers for short-term gain. Contrary to what many people here think, the courts and the market are capable of understanding long-term strategies at the expense of quarterly profits. The law does not require them to act like assholes. They're acting like assholes simply because they are assholes, not
  • by SethJohnson (112166) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:10AM (#23799327) Homepage Journal


    Using the link in the post, the FCC website tells me "CSR-7947-Z" isn't open for comments. DOes anyone know how to submit comments successfully on this proceeding?

    Seth
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by joe 155 (937621)
      why seth, that's easy. All you need to do is give millions dollars to the president and his party, as well as a little to those in congress, then tell them that your continuing support is conditional upon them stopping this at all costs. Really, how's democracy ever going to work if people don't understand such basic elements of the democratic process!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by forrie (695122)
      The correct code to use for comments is: 08-82

      Please, when posting something like this, it would be helpful to have all the correct information in the summary to begin with (thanks).
  • "At the request of theatrical film makers, the Federal Communications Commission on Friday quietly launched a proceeding on whether to let video program distributors remotely block consumers from recording recently released movies on their DVRs.

    Why? Why would they even bother? The very people this is going to piss off is the legitimate customers, the people downloading (AKA 'Pirates') are going to get around this in about twenty minutes. And even then, they'll get around it by getting the movie at more or

  • I think this will happen: For one thing, this will only work with expensive set-top DVR boxes provided by the cable company - they will be the only things able to decode the DRM. This means that aftermarket DVRs will be second-class citizens, consolidating the control of the cable companies.

    I'm not sure how relasing movies in HD before the DVD release will benefit the movie houses though. You know that there will be HD-rips from day one on the internet, and once they circulate, who'll want to rent the com

    • by steeviant (677315)
      "I think this will happen: For one thing, this will only work with expensive set-top DVR boxes provided by the cable company - they will be the only things able to decode the DRM. This means that aftermarket DVRs will be second-class citizens, consolidating the control of the cable companies."

      I don't see that happening, my aftermarket DVR is a PC. It may be a second-class citizen when it comes to pay TV, but I don't see the pay TV companies offering a box with Bittorrent and DivX capability. The reality is
  • I have had absolutely enough of all the rantings by the RIAA, MPAA, etc and DR-freaking-M. Hollywood can take their media and shove it up their collective @rse. Is there anything sooo special coming out of Hollywood that makes me want to lose my daily freedoms? Simply no. I don't need anything that they are pumping out and neither do you. Stop buying their sh*t and let them die a long painful death. I will not shed a tear.
    • Muzak (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tepples (727027)

      I have had absolutely enough of all the rantings by the RIAA, MPAA, etc and DR-freaking-M. Hollywood can take their media and shove it up their collective @rse. [...] Stop buying their sh*t
      All supermarkets in my area lease proprietary music to play on the PA system whenever they aren't advertising a special or calling a CSM to produce or something. The money for this comes out of sales. So how do I stop buying proprietary music without stopping buying food?
    • by grumling (94709)
      HEAR HEAR!

      Let's do something else!
      Let's do something else!
      Let's do something else!
      Let's do something else!
      Let's do something else!

      Who's with me? (crowd roars)

      Right after I watch BSG...
  • ... and go knock on the RIAA's door. Ask them how well sidling up to governmental agencies, instituting kludgey DRM and restricting access to paying customers works in stifling the spread of product via the Internet. Will these idiots ever learn?

    I predict Oren Hatch will be coming out soon with a statement denouncing movie downloaders as Marxist pedophiles who finance terrorism and support marriage for transexuals.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I predict Oren Hatch will be coming out soon with a statement denouncing movie downloaders as Marxist pedophiles who finance terrorism and support marriage for transexuals.

      Hey! Some of us on this board are Marxist pedophile transsexual terrorists, you insensitive clod!
  • Remember late 70's and early 80's when all those faceless corporations went to court because Sony produced a VCR capable of recording content. Funny how things change eh, now they go back to back with their former enemies trying to restrict our right to record content.
    • Except things are different now, as 'content control' wasn't doable back then.

      In the digital it is technically possible, and once all old machines are phased out it will be practicable too. Will that be tomorrow or even next year? No, but eventually it will happen for most people. If you doubt me, how many people do you know that still have turntables or 8-tracks at this point?
  • But the networks have to agree not to intentionally clash shows just to have a ratings war.

    (So basically it's not going to happen)
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:42AM (#23799503) Homepage Journal
    What they all want is a way to prevent possession of any content, and you have to lease it from them per use for the rest of your life..

  • by Holistic Missile (976980) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:44AM (#23799509)
    In the Chicago area, Comcast blocks some content from recording. Many of the on-demand movies and some of the premium channel programming cannot be recorded by a standard DVR. This is on digital cable in standard definition, using an off-the-shelf Philips DVR (not Comcast's).

    My DVR will buffer these programs, allowing rewind, pause, etc. If I try to record it to the hard drive it refuses to, giving a message of 'protected'. I'm not sure exactly how they do it - I always thought they may be broadcasting Macrovision codes with the signal.

    I suppose it could be hacked by a hardware hack like removing the hard drive and collecting the movie from the buffer, but nothing that is being broadcast is worth the effort! It's bad enough that I waste time sitting in front of the tube viewing this 'high value content'. I'm sure as hell not wasting more time trying to copy it. It is nearly summer here - there are much better things to do most days.
  • by sweede (563231) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @07:59AM (#23799571)
    If anyone had actually read the article, you'll find out that currently Movies are NOT released to TV (pay per view or other) before they're released to DVD. the MPAA wants to change that so that they are shown on TV (PPV or other) AS or BEFORE the DVD release. But before it changes that time schedule, it wants to know if the FCC will create a ruling that would prevent DVR to able to record the movie BEFORE its released to DVD.

    So in other words

    Theater -> DVD -> TV , won't have the non-record flag set
    Theater -> TV -> DVD WILL have the non-record flag set until AFTER it's released on DVD.

    • by the_B0fh (208483) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @08:14AM (#23799645) Homepage
      And you think it's only going to be limited in this case, right? Just like all those anti-terrorism laws will only be strictly restricted to fighting terrorists. Really, you can trust us, we are the government.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by monxrtr (1105563)

      it wants to know if the FCC will create a ruling that would prevent DVR to able to record the movie BEFORE its released to DVD

      Is the FCC a higher court than the Supreme Court? Maybe the FCC can also overrule the Supreme Court Beta Max case which ruled consumers have a right to record and time shift content with their VCRs.

      This is a fishing expedition for retroactive immunity from the massive civil liability damages the cable companies will be accumulating, if not disabling sold DVRECORDERS isn't considered criminal fraud. If it does end up being considered criminal fraud, remember to confiscate the personal assets of the executiv

  • I would think the cable companies would fight this since it decreases the value of having a DVR.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @08:15AM (#23799659) Homepage
    ...is this the "We will prevent piracy by making our product even more crippled for our legitimate customers, though the online pirates will be remain unaffected" strategy? Don't forget that recording and timeshifting is what most people consider fair, not as piracy. "Oh hello uncle Jim, wasn't expecting you. I was just watching a movie, let me just put it on record." or "Oh, you can't tonight? What about tomorrow night? Ok cool, I'll put it on record and we can watch it together tomorrow". I guess TPB must love these laws: "Yeah well, I had to download it from TPB because my stupid DVR wouldn't let me record it".

    In every other kind of industry, I associate "pirates" either with counterfeits or cheap look-a-likes that are vastly inferior to the real product, the kind that street salesmen will sell tourists at a few bucks a piece. Since a digital copy is a perfect copy, I guess digital piracy will be equal. But when pirated goods start looking better and better, so you pay for the privilidge of using and inferior product and the feelgood of being legal, then there's something very, very wrong.
  • "The MPAA wants a waiver on that restriction in the case of high-definition movies broadcast prior to their release as DVDs."

    Currently, no movies are released on HDTV before DVD (except for some indies on HDNET). So consumers will lose nothing and gain restricted access to movies that they had no access to previously.

    Strangely, I have seen no complaints anywhere about the lack of consumer access to movies on HDTV before their DVD release. But propose restrictions on content as an incentive to create content
    • by mdmkolbe (944892)

      This is an attempt to force DRM down the public's throat.

      They are trying to employ incrementalism. Today it's HD movies prior to DVD release. Then they expand the definition of "movie" until it includes everything. Then they never make a DVD release. Then they win.

  • Lotta "if's" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stanislav_J (947290) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @08:49AM (#23799875)

    IF this technology is used to restrict recording for a LIMITED period of time, until the initial theatrical release has run its course and they have milked the initial profits off the DVD release, THEN I would not have a serious problem with it. After all, unless you are one of those folks that MUST see a new movie as soon as it comes out, you can wait a little while. And even with the restriction, you could still WATCH the flick and even pause/rewind/etc. the thing -- you just wouldn't be able to dump it to a permanent source (disk, hard drive) right away. And hell, most movies will show up on non-PPV TV eventually anyway. By restricting the recording disability to the initial "surge" of the movie's release, the "can't wait" crowd are going to rush to the theater or buy the DVD the first day it's on sale and send the cartel its dough anyway, and the rest of us can just wait until it trickles down to a non-premium source from which we can record and save it if we want.

    That's all very speculative, though. Knowing the methods of the MPAA as we do, it's more likely that this is just a way to get a foot in the door to eventually restrict or prevent ALL recording of its releases. That's an old tactic -- you know you can't get EVERYTHING you want right now, so you ask for just a limited option that most people would agree on, then slowly expand the parameters over time. Like the ban on "partial birth abortion." Or just like all the Bush era "anti-terrorist" legislation -- most people accepted it as necessary within the limited scope of "fighting terrorism," but we have already seen these laws starting to be used for things that have little, if anything, to do with terrorism. (Unless you then expand the definition of "terrorism," which is also happening.) The MPAA probably is playing the same game. (As we have often seen, the worlds of business and government are pretty much interchangeable in their more underhanded tactics...)

  • Kinda makes you want to stock up on analog equipment like VCRS and videotape, doesn't it?

    Make the viewer your enemy...good idea...
  • by v1 (525388) on Sunday June 15, 2008 @11:02AM (#23800723) Homepage Journal
    Read the actual proposal here:

    http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-08-1081A1.txt [fcc.gov]

    Go here to file your comment:

    http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/websql/prod/ecfs/upload_v2.hts?ws_mode=proc_name&proc_id=08-82 [fcc.gov]

    Be sure to fill in all the fields marked "(required)" and set your submission as a "comment".

    For maximum compatibility and greater chance of serious review, use the "send brief comment" box at the bottom instead of uploading a lengthy DOC file. Keep in mind that they don't care what so much what you personally don't like. Make your comment clear and concise about how this action violates your rights or attempts to defeat the protections the FCC is supposed to defend.

    Be sure to click Finish Transaction after submitting.

  • back to basics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by markhahn (122033)
    the whole IP thing needs to get back to basics: my recording of a movie does not, by itself, hurt the creator of it. if I go and sell the copy, sure. but the argument that my recording deprives the creator of potential revenue is absurd. me being cheap also deprives them of revenue, or my taste in movies.

    copyrights are not about maximizing the media companies' revenue - just about preventing _commercial_ rip-offs.

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_

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