We win! We win!


Antipiracy Rule for Broadcasts Is Struck Down

WASHINGTON, May 6 - A federal appeals court handed a major setback to Hollywood and the television networks on Friday when it struck down an antipiracy regulation requiring computer and television makers to use new technology that would make it difficult for consumers to copy and distribute digital programs.

It was a significant victory for libraries, consumer groups and civil liberties organizations. They had maintained that the regulation, known as the broadcast flag rule, would stifle innovation in technology and make it more difficult for consumers and users of library services to circulate material legitimately.

Take that, you bastards! Wooo!

Jason - you get your paycheck from Microsoft, which makes it’s money by producing intellectual property, a great deal of which is in turn stolen (pirated). A very high percentage of people on this board make their living from I.P. creation of one form or another (including journalism), and piracy is a huge threat to many of these industries. I’m not sure of the specifics of the bill in question (it may in fact have been a bad bill), but a slashdot-style ‘woohoo for no-piracy protection’ is perhaps a little over the top.

So? Trying to lock down content has been historically proven, again and again, to lose everyone money. They’ll adjust just like they did for player pianos. Seriously, “this new technology will bankrupt us unless you remove all these here varieties of user choice” is getting to be a groundhog day thing now: player pianos, VHS, blah de blah. Going to farm out the rest of the argument to Doctorow:


I wish I shared your enthusiasm Jason, but I’d bet it’ll be less then 3 months before a bill is written and passed that either:

A. Requires that all HD hardware be broadcast flag aware.

B. Gives the FCC the authority to do whatever the hell it wants regarding the consumer electronics industry.

Or hell, why not do both? What big media wants it gets.

Does anyone else find it hard to believe the argument that broadcasting unprotected digital content will lead to an orgy of piracy? I mean what’s the first thing that’s done to a video file before it becomes a .torrent?
It’s compressed to reduce the file size. Even when done by someone who knows their way around the Divx or Xvid encoder there is a noticeable quality loss. Wouldn’t an uncompressed HDTV video file be huge? And even if you have the patience and bandwidth to spare, unless you want to watch that video on your monitor you’ll need to either burn it to a DVD or have your PC hooked up to your HDTV.
This seems to be something that (at least for now) will be limited to a very small group of people. Why all the hysterics?

“This remedy is designed to protect against unauthorized indiscriminate redistribution of programming over the Internet.”

Preventing material from getting out into the ether is pretty much impossible. This isn’t a door lock. If only 1 in 10k people can pick the lock on the door you’re ok. If only 1 in 10k can capture your HD stream you’re just as screwed as you were before. It’s just like a copy protected CD – prevents some people from playing the real thing but doesn’t keep the music off Kazaa.

Until my bionic eyeballs have a broadcast flag implemented there will be people capturing the data and compressing it. There were plenty of DVD rips out before the DVD format was cracked, because guess what the data is ON YOUR SCREEN OMG!

I don’t think these guys are really this stupid. It’s really about stopping time shifting. Gotta watch those commericals.

Hopefully not bleeding, but at the very least they’ll have to go on record as supporting their stupidity. I’m not that pessimistic about Congress, and as there’s enough corporations fighting each other over it that you’ll hopefully get Three Stooges Syndrome.

At the Mayo Clinic, Burns receives the results of his tests.

Doctor: Here’s the door to your body, see? [bring up some small
fuzz balls with goofy faces and limbs from under the desk]
And these are oversized novelty germs. [points to a
different one up as he names each disease] That’s
influenza, that’s bronchitis, [holds up one] and this cute
little cuddle-bug is pancreatic cancer. Here’s what
happens when they all try to get through the door at once.
[tries to cram a bunch through the model door. The
“germs” get stuck]
[Stooge-like] Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo! Move it,
[normal voice] We call it, “Three Stooges Syndrome.”
Burns: So what you’re saying is, I’m indestructible!
Doctor: Oh, no, no, in fact, even slight breeze could –
Burns: Indestructible.
– Diagnosis: Indestructible, “The Mansion Family”

Honestly, there’s little in the bill that would have actually impacted piracy. It’s intent was to allow broadcasters to send a “no record” flag as part of a broadcast that would make it impossible for the average consumer to record for their own use, such as in the case of timeshifting content.

As has been mentioned previously, this means you can’t record that show to any digital video recorders like future Tivos or burn the “protected” content to a DVD to save which is the next thing to replace VCR tapes.

Content producers have been trying to find ways to stop timeshifting since the court cases over recording copyrighted television shows with your VCR.

Damnit Phil, you’re going to make me defend Jason here. :twisted:

  1. Microsoft’s IP is not broadcast over the airwaves. Most piracy of their (and other software) IP is done by burning CDs in Asia and Russia. Don’t think thc FCC’s jurisdiction there is very good.

  2. Piracy has never been shown to be a threat to any industry, although many devices which were touted as “for piracy only” have in turned spawned massive new industries and sources of income for existing industries (eg VHS and cassette tapes)

  3. There was no bill in question. The Fed court struck down a “rule” passed by the FCC because they had no jurisdiction to make such a rule. It isn’t clear whether or not it will be struck down if Congress puts it under the FCC’s purview as Congress has the ability to grant powers to enforce the laws they pass (such as copyright).

  4. Jason didn’t woohoo for no-piracy protection, even remotely. Equating every little thing that the RIAA/MPAA doesn’t like as being ONLY FOR TEH PIRATES!!1! is dumb and tired. This regulation was a steaming pile of fucking shit. It will continue to be so even if Congress legislates for it, and it will then be challenged again on different grounds.

Even if it was bad for MS, I still wouldn’t support it. I just wouldn’t be yammering on in here about it. :)

Ironically, if the broadcast flag were in place and the ‘best’ programming had it enabled… what’s the first thing I’d do if I couldn’t timeshift? Seek out the unshiftable programming on the net so I could watch it my own terms.

Why do you think Microsoft wants Media Player on every computer. It’s so you will watch all of your pirated video with it and have to watch the microsoft ads that pop up picture in picture after they have crushed all the the competitor’s media players.

Did Bill Gates go “Muwhahahahaha haaaa!” after he presented that plan to his board?

No, but he did say we’d make one meeeeeeeeeeeeeelion dollars.

Oh, risky. I am cracking BillG jokes.

A DVD holds, what, about 3 hours of HD MPEG2 video. This is already lossy compression, but, frankly, nobody cares. That’s about 9 GB or so. Is that a lot of space? Yeah, if you’re sending bit perfect copies out it is. If you’re redistributing compressed copies, no.

I think the complaint comes more from the following scenario:

I have HD HBO. I DVR a movie off of it, bit perfect, transmitted in HDTV with 5.1.

I can now burn random DVDs with perfect DVD quality copies. As long as I work from the original copy, since I captured it bit perfect, there’s no chain degradation. This is more or less impossible for analog technology.

I think the failure in the logic is it doesn’t matter if it’s bit perfect; only a small percentage of people give a crap if it’s HD DVD quality vs. VHS quality. As such, the impact of this type of piracy has already probably peaked; after all I can always just capture SD and re-compress/burn/what have you. If you want me to not accept a copied off HBO digital TV broadcast as a reasonable replacement for a DVD, include the interesting stuff I don’t get off of HBO on the DVD. Trailers, commentary, etc… Or, if you don’t want to do that, price the DVD low enough that it’s a no brainer to offload the 9GB of storage space from my HD.

Personally, the thought of not being able to schlorp HD content off the air and then transfer it to my PSP so that I can watch it on the bus ride into work the next day pisses me off. I can’t think of any good reason why I shouldn’t be able to time-shift the content in any way I see fit. I’d think that broadcasters would be interested in making it easier to see their offerings. If I see 5 movies that were all schlorped off HBO this week that I really liked, isn’t that a sales point in favor of “Maybe I ought to subscribe to HBO”?

Does Steve know you frequent these boards?

It’s been proven time and again. Antipiracy laws only hurt the paying consumers. The pirates always find a way.

Remember kids, only THIEVES use mod chips on their XBox or no-CD cracks on their games.

Broadcasters May Seek Congress’s Help in HDTV Anti-Piracy Effort

I particularly enjoyed this:

“We’re concerned, because if proper protection is not in place, consumers could lose content,” said John Feehery, executive vice president for the Motion Picture Association of America, the trade group representing the major Hollywood studios.

“See? We’re simply protecting consumers from themselves”

Oh right, they’re going to yank HDTV. Pull the other one.

I’d actually like to see them decide “No, I don’t think we’re going to show telivision after all, seeing as we can’t utterly secure it.” Think of the boost in game sales that’d bring!