Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy

Philips Targets Wireless TV Retransmission At Home 367

Posted by timothy
from the make-sure-people-can't-use-it dept.
cadfael links to this EE Times story, excerpting: "Philips is attempting to start yet another industry initiative to tackle digital rights management, this time focusing on the wirelessly networked home. 'At stake here,' said Leon Husson, executive vice president of consumer businesses at Philips Semiconductors, 'is the "free-floating" copyrighted content that will soon be "redistributed" or "rebroadcast" to different TV sets throughout a home by consumers using wireless networking technologies like IEEE802.11.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Philips Targets Wireless TV Retransmission At Home

Comments Filter:
  • by bhsx (458600) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:16PM (#2837126)
    Not Expressed Written Consent :)
  • Wireless (Score:5, Funny)

    by juggla (179339) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:16PM (#2837129)
    Imagine! Video beamed right to your TV through the air. What's this world coming to?
    • Re:Wireless (Score:2, Interesting)

      by theancient1 (134434)
      Here's the story I've heard.

      Once upon a time, TV signals were only available over the air -- cable companies didn't yet exist. It difficult to get distant signals without spending a lot of money on a big antenna. One day, a guy who owned just such an antenna decided to offer service to his neighbours by running a cable to their homes. Thus the cable company was born.

      Sounds similar, doesn't it?

      While this isn't a perfect ananlogy (you have to pay for digital cable), recall the case of iCraveTV -- one person put up an television antenna and broadcast the signals over the internet. It's pretty much the same thing, but today, you immediately get sued for trying something like that.

      I guess back in those days, "rights management" wasn't such a big issue. ("Rights", of course, always refers to the rights of corporations to protect their business model.)
    • Nothing New (Score:5, Funny)

      by nanojath (265940) on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:10PM (#2837504) Homepage Journal
      Man you ain't seen nothing. When I was a kid my dad used to open up a book and just read it OUT LOUD... to the whole house! And he was a minister!


      It's sad we've all been so corrupted by IP theft. Thank God Phillips is there to keep us in line.

  • by NecroPuppy (222648) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:17PM (#2837138) Homepage
    After all, I could just run coax to all the TVs in a house. Is this somehow different because it's wireless???

    I mean, whenever I buy a special package, i.e., a pay-per-view, I can watch it on all the TVs in the house...
    • Well yes...duh. You don't have to pay per use fees to run coax.

      You gotta admit it's getting better...It's getting better all the time!

      -Pete
    • " After all, I could just run coax to all the TVs in a house."

      Don't tell them that! Otherwise they might come after me for redistributing copyrighted material from my antenna to my VCR and television.

    • Is this somehow different because it's wireless???

      well, with coax, more than likely there isn't enough stray radiation from the coax to allow your neighbor to access your cable (of course we are all doing this anyway with splitters, etc, but that is beside the point).

      with wireless, you are rebroadcasting your cable signal to your TV. the rebroadcast will probably be available to your neighbors, at least in apartment complexes.

      ah, finally, free cable, without having even to drill a hole from closet to closet for the coax.

      -sam
    • You can pick up a neat little device at Radioshack which will allow you to broadcast video on any cable channel you specify. So if you've only got one Satellite receiver, you can watch the content from it on multiple TV's without needing another receiver. This is all with wires...

      This is soooo getting out of hand. I think it's important to remember that copyright law was written at a time when they had no means to control much other than whether you got a copy of the media or not. Now they think they can tell you everything you do with it anytime you want.
    • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:06PM (#2837479) Homepage
      The problem with wireless is that other people in the neighborhood can free ride off your signal. One student in a dorm might subscribe to cable and rebroadcast it via 802.11 to the rest of the dorm. Or you might have your neighbors hooking into your 802.11 net without your consent and find out that you watch the porn channels or the 700 club.

      The Philips proposal sounds to me to be of the form 'what do we need to do to make this pass likely regulation' rather than 'what can we do to support the RIAA and MPAA'.

      While no DRM solution can ultimately be proof against a moderately determined attack it is certainly possible to produce stuff for the consumer market that does not support piracy without deliberate modification. For example you might see 'home media servers' being sold that store several hundred CDs and DVDs that can be broadcast to a number of access points in the house. These access points would initially be set top boxes but could be embedded in the TV if there was a recognized standard.

      I don't fault Philips for anticipating likely regulation here. I would much rather that Philips produced something that was a reasonable compromise than waited for the RIAA and MPAA to buy votes in congress to either impose something completely derranged or try to kill the field altogether.

      There are already attempts to kill off ReplayTV, the broadcast media would much rather support Tivo which has made it clear will roll over whenever asked. So we lose features like the ad-skip button.

    • After all, I could just run coax to all the TVs in a house. Is this somehow different because it's wireless??? I mean, whenever I buy a special package, i.e., a pay-per-view, I can watch it on all the TVs in the house...

      This is about *digital* wireless. Perfect copies of movies and sound on the internet. The path from your coax to Morpheus is pretty circuitous and lossy. On the other hand, one could imagine a $100.00 "Morpheus box" that allows anyone on the Internet to listen in on any other Internet user's television shows and pay-per-views.

      Is the problem specific to wireless? No. The article says that there are already "solutions" for wire-based digital content. "One existing specification, called Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP), defines a cryptographic protocol for safeguarding audio/video entertainment content against illegal copying, intercepting and tampering as it traverses high-performance digital buses, such as the IEEE1394 standard." "Trying to apply the DTCP -- which requires high-speed encryption and decryption at every digital interface -- over a wireless network is not easy, said Husson."

      So the social "problem" they are solving is not unique to wireless. It is just that they believe that wireless requires a different solution for technical reasons.

  • Big Problem, I hear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by merlin_jim (302773) <{moc.tlupatarts} {ta} {nekcarCcM.semaJ}> on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:18PM (#2837147)
    This is a huge problem. You know, I have friends who are all the time buying 802.11 gear ($200+), and content encoders/decoders ($100/each and requires a PC to run) just so they can broadcast cable from the living room to the bedroom.

    Oh wait, no that was a dream world. Sorry, I'm just not seeing how wireless piracy is a big problem, especially since, by focusing on wireless piracy WITHIN the home, there's an implicit assumption that the transmitter of the content has the rights to view it in the first place... otherwise, the focus wouldn't be in-home transmission, but rather how the content got to the home in the first place...
    • by mblase (200735) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:53PM (#2837394)
      I was puzzled by this concept, myself -- surely I have the right to broadcast my cable TV signal to as many televisions or computers in my own house as I see fit?

      But if we're talking about Wi-Fi, then the problem isn't just inside my house. I'm essentially empowering any Wi-Fi receiver within my broadcast range to see what I'm watching on my own system -- whether it's television, cable TV, pay-per-view, or pre-recorded home video.

      Think of the potential problems. A student in a dorm room could broadcast a rented DVD to every other student in their building, a clear violation of the big "at-home use" FBI warning you see at the start of the movie. A pay-per-view sports broadcast could be sent to everyone in my apartment building. My next-door neighbor could pirate my cable TV feed just by tuning into/cracking my Wi-Fi frequency. It's not a problem if we're talking about broadcast television signals, but anything else is a major violation of copyright, essentially turning my home system into a small pirate broadcast station.
      • by merlin_jim (302773) <{moc.tlupatarts} {ta} {nekcarCcM.semaJ}> on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:14PM (#2837529)
        I wouldn't have such a big beef if that's what they said they were going after, but they never explicitly say that's a problem. They probably don't want to admit that 802.11 and other wireless technologies tend to be very easy to hack, otherwise this wouldn't be a problem at all. As a result, they only mention piracy within the home. I looked for direct quotes, the closest I could get was:

        At stake here, said Leon Husson, executive vice president of consumer businesses at Philips Semiconductors, is the "free-floating" copyrighted content that will soon be "redistributed" or "rebroadcast" to different TV sets throughout a home by consumers using wireless networking technologies like IEEE802.11.

        I wonder how close the above paraphrase is to what he actually said... if he used the phrase throughout a home I would be VERY concerned with what this means for fair use, as I mentioned in my original post...
      • Then they need to go after individule perpertrators, who are innocent until proven guilty, I might add.
        By the way, rebroadcasting in a dorm setting may not meccesarily violate Fair-use, but I see your point.
        the FBI wrning is pretty vague, when you really start to think about it it come down to "down transmit this illegally" but in know way defines what is legal, or illegal. Just putting something in the warning does not supercede the law.

        For interesting copyright reading I suggest here [cornell.edu]
    • by smallpaul (65919) <paul&prescod,net> on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:38PM (#2837654)

      Sorry, I'm just not seeing how wireless piracy is a big problem

      It isn't that it is a problem. It's that Philips wants to develop digital broadcast technologies that will not piss Hollywood off. Hollywood's nightmare is that you could by a $50.00 device that sniffs the packets being sent from your wireless DVD or cable broadcast box to your wireless TV.

      Is this a problem yet? No, of course not. But then MP3 ripping wasn't a problem when CDs were invented either. Now Hollywood wants to figure out the DRM issues but it is too late. The installed base of CD players is too large. Unfortunately, the big companies are now in a mode where they will not release new technology until after they feel like they've got the DRM security issues worked out.

      If Philips doesn't move on this in advance of the demand then the initial market will be captured a tiny little company that doesn't care about DRM. Remember the first MP3 players?

      Am I in favour of DRM technology? Absolutely not. But what they are trying to do makes sense from their point of view. And doing it sooner rather than later makes even more sense.

  • by kilgore_47 (262118) <[kilgore_47] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:19PM (#2837148) Homepage Journal
    Just when we were starting to like them for that whole red-book thing...
  • by stretch_jc (243794) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:19PM (#2837153)
    What is going on here? Didn't Philips just try to prevent 'digital rights management? [slashdot.org]
  • by thesolo (131008) <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:20PM (#2837156) Homepage
    Say I have a DVD player in my computer, which is in my bedroom. But my TV is in my living room. What's the difference between buying a DVD player and putting it in my living room, or streaming the content to a wireless receiver at my TV??

    Unless doing that is somehow illegal (which is unbeknowst to me), I don't see a problem with it at all. I own the media, so why does it matter if I stream it to a different TV in my own house?

    This seems like an attempt to get people to pay if they want to stream the content which they purchased to another location in their own home.
    • by lynx_user_abroad (323975) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:31PM (#2837246) Homepage Journal
      What's the difference between buying a DVD player and putting it in my living room, or streaming the content to a wireless receiver at my TV??

      That depends. Am I the company that won't get to sell you the additional DVD player, or am I the company that won't get to sell you the wireless receiver?

      • I wasn't trying to be funny.


        The content providers have already divvied-up the Internet, but no one yet owns the content layer on the network that runs within your own home. That's unacceptable to them. The home network becomes yet another marketplace for the proprietary technology vendors to fight over.


        And in that battle there will be two losers: you and whomeved doesn't get to "sell you the whatever...."


        When I want moderation as "Funny", I'll include the appropriate :-).

    • "This seems like an attempt to get people to pay if they want to stream the content which they purchased to another location in their own home."

      Smart guy. In fact, this is exactly why they want this technology. From the article:

      -----quote-----
      "we can help content owners create a new business revenue model." Content owners, for example, can start charging consumers every time their digital content is re-distributed within the home, or viewed several times during a certain number of days specified by them.
      -----end quote-----
      • >>Content owners, for example, can start charging consumers every time their digital content is re-distributed within the home, or viewed several times during a certain number of days specified by them.

        Sounds a lot like DIVX' game plan to me. If that's what they are really going for, I expect it to fail just as quickly.
      • "we can help content owners create a new business revenue model." Content owners, for example, can start charging consumers every time their digital content is re-distributed within the home, or viewed several times during a certain number of days specified by them.

        Call me crazy, but to me, that quote reads:

        "We can help content owners create a new business revene model. Content owners can start charging people to do things that used to be free! People will be lining up to pay, because they will be happy to finaly be paying for these things, after having it be free for so long."

        Is there something I'm just not getting here? Because to me, it sounds like the Business Plan from Hell, and one that has a snowball's chance of actually working!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:48PM (#2837366)
      This is all about HIGH DEFINITION content, not existing content like today's DVD's which are:

      - standard resolution
      - digital content delivered via analog signals (for all consumer level DVD players at least)

      Until you have an HD set and HD dish/cable/OTA, this won't affect you.

      All future HD devices will have Intel's HDCP (the HD version of DRM) embedded, complete with certificate revocation lists so that devices which are hacked can be retroactively disabled. Believe me, this won't be a trivial hack.

      Welcome to the brave new world.
  • Enough Already!! (Score:3, Informative)

    by MantridDronemaker (541253) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:21PM (#2837162) Homepage
    Enough already! This is getting ridiculous, soon we're going to get fined or executed or something if you're watching your TV and someone who does not have a valid MSNBC license to see that programming walks in the room and happens to look at your screen.
  • ROI (Score:4, Insightful)

    by corbettw (214229) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `wttebroc'> on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:22PM (#2837170) Journal
    Here's something I'd like Hollywood and their friends to think about: at some point protecting one's IP becomes more expensive than stopping possible pirating. And while the cost will be passed on to consumers, that just makes entertainment devices that much more expensive, meaning fewer of them will be sold with a lower profit margin.
  • by iGawyn (164113) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:22PM (#2837173) Homepage Journal
    The problem with this digital rights management solution, just like all of the others, is that they cannot force people to upgrade. Although there is a certain segment of the populace that will desire to own the latest and greatest everything multimedia, and therefore trip himself into owning devices embedded with DRM, the average American won't want to spend the extra money to upgrade.

    Therefore, unless you give them a major incentive, the RIAA/MPAA is foiled again. No upgrades means that all of the time they spent plotting up yet another scheme to control what we can and can't watch is ruined by consumer apathy.

    If they really wanted people to upgrade, they would (a) develop a new, proprietary format, (b) stop release of all current and future products on CD/VHS/DVD, (c) release ONLY on aforementioned proprietary format. Eventually, enough people would switch to make it worth their while.

    Even with this, though, people will find a way around the Digital Rights Management schemes, as they also do.

    To use a famous quote, "Where there's a will, there's a way." And when it comes to copying CDs, VHS tapes, or DVDs, there is most certainly a will.

    Gawyn
    • Your post kinda reads like it comes from 1997... because that new "latest and greatest multimedia" you mention is DVD. And it was the CD format in 1980-whatever.

      And just as you say, we have found ways around it. But I'm still not buying a DVD player. It's not that what I want to do is "illegal" under the DMCA, it's not that it's too much trouble to get around region encoding, I just don't want to put money into the hands of DRM schmucks. So until I get a free player and know of a reliable source of pirated DVDs, I'll stick with tape.

      The American public will swallow the "This is the same thing... but BETTER!" pitch over and over and over again. And don't you -- or anyone else -- forget it.
    • shh, they'll hear you!
    • The problem with this digital rights management solution, just like all of the others, is that they cannot force people to upgrade

      That is, until they stop providing content in the old format.
      • by alcmena (312085)
        Even though DVDs are protected, every movie released on DVD is also released on VHS. Add to that the fact that not every movie available on VHS is available on DVD yet. The entertainment industry is not stupid. They know that a lot of voters will be very pissed if they suddenly stopped supporting VHS tomorrow. And pissed voters are much more likely to dislodge the MPAA's puppets.

        The same will be true about DVD. The MPAA cannot suddenly stop supporting DVD without a major backlash.
    • Are we not all supposed to move to HDTV broadcasts at some point in the near future, practically mandating a huge wave of upgrades by practically everyone?

      That's why all of the DRM stuff is pushing as hard as it can, to be ready to be installed during this wave of migration.
  • by Xenopax (238094) <xenopax@[ ]mail.net ['ces' in gap]> on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:22PM (#2837174) Journal
    Keeping aliens from infringing on copyrights. Engineers will have to figure out a way to track down all the radio signals that have left Earth in the last 100 years and block them as to prevent alien beings from enjoying content they have not payed for.

    This is related to the article too because phase 2 of the plan is to prevent all wireless transmissions of anything so aliens that have reached earth cannot use thier moon-transglobifiers to enjoy content they haven't paid for. The aliens will just have to rent a house and order cable like everyone else.
    • Maybe the alien RIAA and MPAA have already done this and that is the reason that seti [seti.org] hasn't found anything.
    • Well...I highly doubt that the aliens would be *enjoying* the content that is being sent to them. If ever there was a demographic that could gripe about being negatively portrayed in the media, it would be aliens.

      Would you enjoy movies in which some alien race that is wrongly persecuted/attacked by a group of humans (who are far more advanced than the alien race). Would you get that "warm and fuzzy" feeling when the small band of out-numbered aliens took on the hoard of humans and amazingly triumphed?

      Or perhaps you would enjoy the light hearted romantic romp where, at the end of the movie, the two aliens embrace and share a passionate kiss (except, due to differences in anatomy, their passionate kiss is much closer to our hard-core pornography).

      I think the true concern of the Content Mafia^H^H^H^H^HCreators is that the aliens, upon viewing the content sent out into space, will send new content back to the people of earth (how difficult can it be to create completely derivitive sequels?) and then we'd get all our content for free.
      • Would you enjoy movies in which some alien race that is wrongly persecuted/attacked by a group of humans

        I would! Haven't you seen all those Outer Limits episodes with this theme? There's one where humans put a colony on some planet, but had genocidally eradicated the indiginous aliens before, but in the end the aliens who know about the planet's sun's cycle of frying everything on the surface keep the humans from finding out. There's another one where humans have enslaved some helpless aliens, but a government official is saved by his alien slave after crash landing and sees the light.

        These themes are great. I can certainly envision humans hypocritically enslaving and murdering helpless aliens, the way they've done to each other throughout history. Humans never learn until it's too late.

        Would you get that "warm and fuzzy" feeling when the small band of out-numbered aliens took on the hoard of humans and amazingly triumphed?
        Certainly. Usually the theme is some evil humans, and a bunch of apathetic humans, committing some atrocity against helpless aliens. But there's some small group of humans that has the moral fiber to see the wrongness of this, and somehow help the aliens win freedom.

        These are excellent themes because they show that the enemy isn't out there, it's inside us.
  • by st0rmshad0w (412661) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:23PM (#2837180)
    At what point will some create an analogy quick reference card for these people. This is so stupid I may have a stroke. How is this ANY different from sneaker netting a VHS tape? I know its technically a broadcast, but from a REALISTIC standpoint? Big deal, my neighbor just MIGHT be able to pick it up, or he could just ask to borrow a videotape.

    Apoplexy now!
  • by tommck (69750) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:23PM (#2837181) Homepage
    Does anyone else remember when AT&T (in the old monopoly days) used to charge people for each telephone in the house??

    This certainly seems analogous to me. How can they justify this. It is effectively telling me what I'm allowed to do inside my own house!

    That's crap.

    T

    • by sphix42 (144155) on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:01PM (#2837451) Homepage
      >>It is effectively telling me what I'm allowed to do inside my own house!

      This has been a battle cry for pro-recreational drug use for a long time, yet it's still illegal.

      On a more on-topic note....I think this may be an attempt to prevent copying of digital content...not viewing.

      Who cares if you pick up your dvd and take it into the bedroom? I think what they really care about is if you transmit a dvd movie/whatever strait to your computer.
      • "On a more on-topic note....I think this may be an attempt to prevent copying of digital content...not viewing."

        Not according to the article:

        "By putting the SmartRight technology in place, which enforces rights management in the home, said Lafaye, "we can help content owners create a new business revenue model." Content owners, for example, can start charging consumers every time their digital content is re-distributed within the home, or viewed several times during a certain number of days specified by them."

        This is the outcome of DRM technology: controlled access and pay per view. If you can't see that then you are either a Congressman or watch the TV news.
      • I would agree with you that "pro-recreational drug use " in your own home should be illegal IF the following was true.

        1: If you leave your house while high, you are put in a work detail for 2 weeks (doubleing every time you do this)

        2: If, for any reason, you HARM anyone (wife, husband, child, pet, other human) while under the effects of drugs you are executed.

        3: If you cause ANY disturbance while high you have to pay a large fine (> $5,000 USD)

  • I can see the point of a wireless computer network, especially if you are using handheld devices or laptops. What I really don't see the need for is basically stationary devices needing wireless connections. Even most apartments have cable connections already accessable from any point in the room or allow you to make the changes to do that. If you are super neat and tidy and you had seeing any sort of cabling running around, I am sorry for you.

    I just don't see the justification for all the work (as far as rights go on "redistributing" this) and I really don't see the necessity of investing large amounts of money into something that is ridiculous.

    Use the cable line. It isn't that big of a deal. Unless you have a room that you want to put the TV in the middle of the room I don't see the feasability of this.
  • This is the same phillips, I believe, that just a few short days ago was championed for saying that copy-proofing CD's was against the logo rules.. I love how fast this community can change its mind about someone, based soley on them attempting to protect their interests.

    If you want to see a place where other peoples intellectual products belong to the community, move to a communist country. (Not that there are/were ever any truly successful communist countries, in the true sense of the word communist..). I still prefer capitalism.
    • Re:Note.. (Score:3, Informative)

      by arkanes (521690)
      Well, there aren't any successfull capitalist countries, either, in the true sense of the word capitalist. So get off your high horse.

      You may now finish patting yourself on the back for pointing out a non-existent hypocracy amongst slashdot readership.

    • This is the same phillips, I believe, that just a few short days ago was championed for saying that copy-proofing CD's was against the logo rules.. I love how fast this community can change its mind about someone, based soley on them attempting to protect their interests.

      When your kid makes the honor role, you support them. When they plow the family station wagon into a telephone pole, you get mad. Same kid, but it's the actions that we react to. If you want to point out a double standard, point out that we never give MS credit on the rare occasions when they do something good.

      If you want to see a place where other peoples intellectual products belong to the community, move to a communist country. (Not that there are/were ever any truly successful communist countries, in the true sense of the word communist..). I still prefer capitalism.

      Hmmm...I'll take Democracy over Capitalism. Remember, Communism was a fusion of a type of government and an economic system. In America, we have a type of government which (theoretically) keeps checks on our economic system, but is a seperate entity. DRM is the perfect example of where the checking should occur (by affirming fair use, etc). The idea that We have rights is pretty fundamental to the principles of our democracy, but seems laughable to your average corporation/content syndicate.
    • I love how fast this community can change its mind about someone

      I have a friend who will drop his plans to go pick someone up who needs a ride. He's a good guy. He also is loud and opinionated, and will shout you down if he thinks he is right. He is an asshole. Yup, he's both, and he's my friend, and I can easily balance the contradiction in my mind.

      Is it any wonder that a corporation made up of thousands of decision making managers would have some good aspects and bad aspects? They made a good decision (in the average Slashdotters opinion) a few days ago, and a bad decision (in the average Slashdotters opinion) today. But even that is using a mythical "average" Slashdot opinion. I'm sure you can find some users here that support copyprotected CDs (or see nothing wrong with them).

      Incidently, on this issue, I have to say - they wish to be able to make you pay for each instance you watch the content during the day. Wow. That's a phenominally new concept isn't it - you pay for each time you view it. Some sorta "Pay-Per-View" idea. Groundbreaking, indeed.

      --
      Evan

  • DRM == defect (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dfenstrate (202098) <dfenstrate.gmail@com> on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:28PM (#2837218)
    One existing specification, called Digital Transmission Content Protection (DTCP), defines a cryptographic protocol for safeguarding audio/video entertainment content against illegal copying, intercepting and tampering as it traverses high-performance digital buses, such as the IEEE1394 standard.

    Once again, we are shown that digital rights management hardware is by definition defective. They seem to think their only protection from profit stealing pirates (gasp! seeing stuff on another TV?) is to make broken equipment.

    I, for one, will be voting with my wallet. F*** phillips, and anyone who follows them. I thought the hardware guys where on the side of logic and fair use...

    Maybe I'll write to them and tell them that I won't buy crippled equipment from them that purposely interferes with radio transmissions- and I think the FCC would also take issue with this.
  • by Iguanaphobic (31670) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:29PM (#2837224)
    Is it just me or is now a really good time to start buying uncrippled hardware? I've noticed that the current generation of devices (PVR, MP3 Players, DVD+RW, CD-RW, Hard Drives etc.) do not have DRM technology included. I've also noticed that the next generation of hardware will have this technology included, possibly at gunpoint by the content providers. I will be buying lot's of tech soon to avoid the DRM cripples that are due in all our hardware. I will also be closely monitoring the computer situation to buy my next machine just before they encrypt the BIOS and only allow DRM enabled operating systems to run on these systems. If you don't think this will happen, you have learned nothing from 100 years of corporate behaviour. If they can, they will. Usually just because they can.
  • Wireless video (Score:2, Insightful)

    by peel (242881)
    I, as have many others, have been doing this for years. Back in the day when most households only had one VCR, there was a little gizmo called the rabbit that allowed you to watch the VCR on multiple TV's. More recently I picked up a little device from SmartHome that allows me to send audio visual signals through walls using a 2.4 Ghz signal. VIOLA! Wireless rebroadcasting of recorded shows. I have been watching taped recordings of shows as well as dvds on more than one tv in my house for some time now, I guess because there is no computer involved it's all ok. 2.4Ghz is so 1990s. -peel

    Computers never mkae mestooks. - Atari 800
  • The question is really going to become .. are Titus and Rugrats and Roswell really worth it once we're /forced/ to actually not bend the rules? Does anyone else wonder if consumers and content creators have entirely different economies in their heads?
  • Image a world where you can channelsurf what your neighbors are watching, live or recorded. Maybe have a "private" setting for what you don't want others to see. That would be a hell of a P2P type network.

    Makes one think...

    -Pete
    • >Image a world where you can channelsurf what your neighbors are watching

      "Honey, they're watching the history channel again, those sick perverts! That's it, I'm getting my hedge trimmer back from them first thing tommorow .... "
  • Content owners, for example, can start charging consumers every time their digital content is re-distributed within the home, or viewed several times during a certain number of days specified by them.

    Every time their content is redistributed within the home? So, to compare with the present, they want to charge me to not only buy or rent the video, but also each time I play it? This is just pure evil.

    One thing's for sure: if this isn't extremely cheap, ie $0.05 for each replay or something like that, it will never work, because "content" just isn't that important. I'll just go outside and play fetch with the dog, or have people over for a BBQ. I'm sure most other sane people feel the same way.
    • You're goddamn right the content owners would love to be able to charge you every time you play their content. They'd love your account to get dinged every time you listen to a song on the radio, every time you watch a TV show, every time you read an article. That is exactly the world they're moving us toward. Every day, Stallman's dystopian vision gets closer and no one seems to think that it could eventually come to that, though the content providers would like nothing less.

      What could prevent it would be competition from independent content producers, so the current corporations will tie up all the formats in proprietary protocols and laws to the point where it is impossible to produce content without a license and it is impossible to get the license unless you sign away your content to some big corporation.

      The first step in preventing this is to restore copyrights to their original length. Well, what are you waiting for? You have a letter to your Congressperson to start writing.

  • Imagine being able to watch the same show on multiple TVs inside your house without paying extra for each additional TV. People that do that should be shot! Do they have no ethics?
  • by CDWert (450988) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:37PM (#2837291) Homepage
    This is mostly a moot point, until a TV can be so integrted as not to need an external source in this is all moot. The industry will not for 100 years agree on a standard for that. The signal leaves whatever device you are playing from AND MUST be understood by your common average dumb TV set, NTSC, PAL what have you.

    NOW that said that is the weak link and an Ideal place to transmit from or encode to an alternative Digital Medium, I just got Mplayer encoding right, and guess what was horking all kinds of signals off line, my 300 gig box is just about ready to start filling up with TV shows, movies, races,etc. I want, as soon as I can get the damm remote working with this box.

    Because of the above set up I dug out an OLD (15 year plus TV transmitter, I had , you hook it up and Channel 3 gets vid audio. Im too lazy to wire the upstairs and may be moving soon, so my 32" tv in the bedroom gets REBROADCASTED signaal. They sell these things on ebay for 30 bucks, they work like a charm, you could make your own with 1/3 of that in parts, no IC , all coils trimmers and pots.

    My computer has a tuner card as well, and antenna and I can catch anything I want off my "TIVO KILLER" EITHER via the network, or antenna, I would LOVE to put a box in my trunk and pump over 802.1b so my kids can watch flciks on drives, upload a playlist the night before from my computer in the house to my car in the drive. (I do plan on doing this with my MP3's)

    Sooooooo.....
    As long as a TV can understand the signal there is NO possible way (at present) to keep that signal from being rebroadcasted. With TONS of MONEY being pouredinto this sort of DRM research its amazing our TV sets dont cost $3000 !
    • The digital variety go for some $3000 and go up from there. It's part of why they don't have digital TV in the hands of the masses- it's not lack of ability to mass produce them, it's a lack of desire to put content out that they can't control 100% because someone could make a digital copy of the feed. Since there's not that many digital stations out there right now, the makers aren't ramping up production so the units for sale out there are limited production units and therefore expensive as all get-out.

      When the content providers start realizing that most of this is like worrying about locking up excrement in a fire safe, perhaps they'll lighten up and realize like they did with videotapes that it's better to sell the tapes cheap- in this case, they'll make a hell of a lot more money if they killed region coding and made DVDs mostly priced at $10-20 like most videotapes (I don't care what "added value" they're putting in the DVDs- it's NOT worth a 50-100% increase in the price in most cases...).
  • by og_sh0x (520297) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:38PM (#2837297) Homepage
    Back in the 80s it was perfectly legal to use the wireless Rabbit (remember those?) to transmit TV signals from the living room to the bedroom. This went for broadcast, rented movies, etc. Heck, you can even legally transmit on the FM 88-108 MHz band as long as it follows FCC Part 15 (no external antenna, and under a certain wattage... 100mw I think). Considering that these allowances were made for home-based Fair Use usage, I would consider this a clear-cut violation of Fair Use rights just like copy protected CDs. If you want to make *public* broadcast over 802.11 illegal... Well it already is. Just like it would have been illegal to use the Rabbit back in the 80s to re-transmit cable for the whole neighborhood.
  • by medcalf (68293) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:46PM (#2837340) Homepage
    The thing that strikes me about all of the attempts that I have seen to implement DRM, is that they all work on the principle that the consumer is a thief. If the content owners keep making this argument, and implementing it in hardware, it will actually spawn rampant thievery. After all, today I buy CDs (and rip them to MP3s immediately) and DVDs. If I cannot play a CD in my computer, I'll get it from a pirate online so that I can listen to it. How long, then, until I decide to skip the step of buying the CD in the first place? And it will be the same with movies at some point, I'm certain.

    -jeff
  • Dear executive bigwig,

    This letter is a plea for you to give up your insane obsession with rights management. YOU. JUST. CAIN'T. DO. IT. As the daily march of new technologies makes it easier and easier to transmit and transport data in various forms, it becomes obvious that attempts to stop this from happening are doomed to failure. Despite the successful destruction of the free-wheeling Napster, the trading of "illegal" materials continues, largely unabated.

    The only way this will be stopped is with the propogation of police powers not seen out side of "1984" by George Orwell. There are simply too many channels available -- both on and off the Internet -- for transmitting this data. Stopping it will require buy-in from the community in toto, and the chances of that happening are slim to none.

    Plus you guys have really come across as assholes recently, y'know?

    - Rev.
  • One day, you will be able to buy a DVD that forces you to sit through 15 minutes of previews and advertisements before you get to your movie. And it will be illegal to own a DVD player that will simply skip that crap and let you view the flick. It's coming, folks, it's coming.
  • by letxa2000 (215841) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:47PM (#2837349)
    If I read this correctly they now want to somehow implement copyright protection mesaures at the protocol level? So now not only will companies and courts have control over what I transmit, the protocol will decide whether or not I can transmit? A protocol that prevents use is a protocol that won't be used.

    It also seems to be a contradiction. DirectTV can transmit from their satellite to almost every square foot of North America, but if someone grabs that signal on their private property and decodes it then the person who received it is legally responsible, not DirectTV. But here, for some reason, they believe it is necessary for the sender to have some kind of permission to transmit with a range of a few hundred feet?

    Who even cares? I suspect DirectTV provides a lot more free content to pirates than neighbors transmitting via RF do or will.

    Everyone thought that Internet was great, that the new economy was great, and that all this communication and information would enlighten and unite the world. That was until companies started realizing exactly what that meant...

    • if someone grabs that signal on their private property and decodes it then the person who received it is legally responsible

      There is, unfortunately, precedent for this, at least in the US (though it strikes me as something probably implemented elsewhere in the world, too).

      There are laws on the books that (IIRC) forbid even listening to certain radio frequencies (or, more accurately, criminalizes having equipment capable of picking up those frequencies), because those frequencies are used by police and/or military (or something of the sort). In addition, there are the more familiar laws which (again IIRC) criminalize decoding of cell-phone transmissions.

      While I can understand why they WANT to criminalize such things, as you point out, it sets a disturbing precedent. The signal is being sent through MY (and your and everyone else's) property. It is as if Government, Inc. has legslated permission for couriers to walk through your house any time they want, and requires you to cover your eyes whenever they do so, lest you see things the courier is carrying....

      With a precedent like that, Government Inc can add laws, if they want, that criminalize receiving certain other channels (including 'channels contained copyright-protected materials such as satellite television broadcasts') 'without proper authorization' (e.g. broadcaster-sanctioned equipment only).

      A side effect of things like this that REALLY bugs me is that it inhibits personal educational experimentation. Want to learn about electronics and radio transmissions by building your own receiver? You'd better have the existing skills and ability to design the circuits to specially block out reception of the 'special' frequencies or you're breaking the law. (And this is BEFORE the DMCA, which basically just extended this same prohibition to a ridiculous degree, to include non-broadcast material).

      Personally, I think that if Government Inc. would spend the time and money making decent encryption available, instead of 'don't look' laws, the issue would be moot by now....

      • The signal is being sent through MY (and your and everyone else's) property. It is as if Government, Inc. has legslated permission for couriers to walk through your house any time they want, and requires you to cover your eyes whenever they do so, lest you see things the courier is carrying...

        Exactly.

        For example, I can understand why DirectTV doesn't want people to decode their transmission without paying for it. I can see why they would make every effort to make doing so as expensive and inconvenient as possible. It's in their best interest.

        However, when they decided to build a satellite-based delivery system they knew that their signal would be available to anyone who wanted to pick it up--even if they were not subscribers. As such, they knew there would be people that would receive and use the signal without paying for it.

        If, knowing all that, they still decided to deploy a satellite system it is because they made the business decision that they'd still be able to make a profit. If they had considered non-subscriber use of their signal to be a show-stopper then they would have deployed a cable or fiber-optic system that is more difficult to intercept. But they opted for a satellite system because it was probably cheaper and, with it, the risks and costs of busines that go with it--which include use by non-subscribers.

        It may be illegal to listen in on a cell phone call, but it shouldn't be. And anyone who says something on a cell phone expecting privacy or secrecy is an order of fries short of a happy meal...

        Anyway, I believe that people and companies ought to only transmit that information they are comfortable having intercepted and used. If they are comfortable with their encryption, transmit away. If they aren't, don't.

        Meanwhile, I'm going to use anything I find on my private property. Including RF signals.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Monday January 14, 2002 @02:51PM (#2837382) Journal

    Scenario 1: Ubiquitous wireless home networking. I can get up from the football game and there is a networked screen in the bathroom, etc... In fact, I think somebody did a commercial that illustrated that vision.

    Scenario 2: I can't network anything without paying twice for content I've already bought, and the devices that do it cost more because they have to support real-time encryption. Because of this, I choose not to buy the devices and simply do the "bathroom and snack rush" during commercials.

    This just makes no sense. Once the content is in the home, why should they care how many outlets it comes out of? This is like the electric company charging me more for installing a new socket, even though I'm using the same number of kilowatt-hours.

    Ordinarily I dismiss some of the things I see on /. as AIP/paranoia, but I have to concede to the /. crowd that controls like this for intrahome networking violate fair use, and probably a number of other things.

  • Are people like Phillips automatically assuming that the majority of the public is going to rip them off?

    It doesn't take a genius to steal cable but, really, what is the percentage of people who legitimately pay for cable rather than steal it? I'd be willing to better the overwhelming majority pay for it.

    And it's not as if the customer hasn't paid for the content here. So what if Joe Consumer broadcasts the Superbowl via wireless to the TV in his bathroom? If Joe Consumer is a paying customer, it shouldn't matter.

    The vast majority still pay for their content. Each time I hear a story like this, I get the feeling that many large companies are simply fighting against imaginary enemies.
  • by Detritus (11846)
    This scheme appears to add a lot of hardware and complexity to any consumer electronics equipment that supports it. What is the benefit for the end user? Nothing that I can see. In fact, the end user is saddled with new and annoying restrictions on how content can be viewed. When will these idiots realize that their content is not that valuable? We aren't talking about a video conference of the National Security Council.
  • The ultimate copy protection scheme is right around the corner. Word has it that the major studios will encode their movies on celluloid "film" and maintain exclusive proprietary rights to the product. In order to view it you will have to purchase a "ticket" and attend a "theater" which will post the showing times on the lighted billboard outside.
  • If this isn't a clear cut case of "We can't let people talk freely to one another because they might say things we think are damaging to us!", I don't know what is.

  • This whole thing will fall apart if Joe Sixpack ever fails to get the Super Bowl because of a configuration problem in the copy-protection system.

    Cable TV companies will end up being the first line of tech support for this stuff. But they don't profit from it. Look where we are now. Call Macrovision and try to get tech support for one of their copy-protected CDs that won't play on your CD drive.

  • They haven't even touched on the possible IP violations caused by the trasmission of copywrited material by light to your eyes.
    • Good point. If two people view the same content on the same image-producing device (be it paper, a TV screen, monitor, stereo speaker, etc.) does that constitute TWO copies?

      How about if you hook up four speakers to your stereo system (where two speakers carry the "left" image and two carry the "right" image)? Do you need to pay RIAA, et al for two copies... er, licenses to use the content? What if one set of speakers is in another room? Heaven forbid you should wire in an extra set without sending a gratuity to the radio station.

      There was a time when cable companies tried to charge extra if you put a second TV on the same cable line in your own home. Maybe some still do. I don't watch TV, so this doesn't bother me.

      This all sounds to me like they are trying to narrow your rights to view to not just within your home, but to within a certain room of your home.

      A Monopoly &r game says on the box, "For 2 to 6 players." (Or is it 2 to 8?) When I was a kid, if we wanted more than 6 players, someone would get a bottle cap or a screw or maybe a coin to use as an extra piece.

      If the Media Gestapo has their way, I'll have to buy another copy of Monopoly.
  • by vtaluskie (138739) on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:29PM (#2837609)
    Amazing example of Corporate Split-Personality. Last wednesday folks were hailing Philips for their stance that Philips Says Compact Discs Can't be Copyprotected [slashdot.org] and now this report.

    Either they're really smart or their right hand doesn't know what their left hand is doing :)

  • What I'd like to see stopped is verbal rebroadcasting of tv shows. Every day of your life, you get to listen to a rehash of "Friends" or "Everybody Loves Raymond" through the cubicle farm. You know, "-and then Chandler said" conversations. This has got to be illegal, if only on infliction of emoptional distress. I'd buy anything that would stop these pirates.
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:33PM (#2837631) Homepage Journal
    the law [cornell.edu]

    here it is (a)1 is of particular interest:
    Sec. 111. - Limitations on exclusive rights: Secondary transmissions

    (a) Certain Secondary Transmissions Exempted. -

    The secondary transmission of a performance or display of a work embodied in a primary transmission is not an infringement of copyright if -

    (1)

    the secondary transmission is not made by a cable system, and consists entirely of the relaying, by the management of a hotel, apartment house, or similar establishment, of signals transmitted by a broadcast station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, within the local service area of such station, to the private lodgings of guests or residents of such establishment, and no direct charge is made to see or hear the secondary transmission; or

    (2)

    the secondary transmission is made solely for the purpose and under the conditions specified by clause (2) of section 110; or

    (3)

    the secondary transmission is made by any carrier who has no direct or indirect control over the content or selection of the primary transmission or over the particular recipients of the secondary transmission, and whose activities with respect to the secondary transmission consist solely of providing wires, cables, or other communications channels for the use of others: Provided, That the provisions of this clause extend only to the activities of said carrier with respect to secondary transmissions and do not exempt from liability the activities of others with respect to their own primary or secondary transmissions;

    (4)

    the secondary transmission is made by a satellite carrier for private home viewing pursuant to a statutory license under section 119; or

    (5)

    the secondary transmission is not made by a cable system but is made by a governmental body, or other nonprofit organization, without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage, and without charge to the recipients of the secondary transmission other than assessments necessary to defray the actual and reasonable costs of maintaining and operating the secondary transmission service.

    (b) Secondary Transmission of Primary Transmission to Controlled Group. -

    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (c), the secondary transmission to the public of a performance or display of a work embodied in a primary transmission is actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and 509, if the primary transmission is not made for reception by the public at large but is controlled and limited to reception by particular members of the public: Provided, however, That such secondary transmission is not actionable as an act of infringement if -

    (1)

    the primary transmission is made by a broadcast station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission; and

    (2)

    the carriage of the signals comprising the secondary transmission is required under the rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission; and

    (3)

    the signal of the primary transmitter is not altered or changed in any way by the secondary transmitter.

    (c) Secondary Transmissions by Cable Systems. -

    (1)

    Subject to the provisions of clauses (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection and section 114(d), secondary transmissions to the public by a cable system of a performance or display of a work embodied in a primary transmission made by a broadcast station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission or by an appropriate governmental authority of Canada or Mexico shall be subject to statutory licensing upon compliance with the requirements of subsection (d) where the carriage of the signals comprising the secondary transmission is permissible under the rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission.

    (2)

    Notwithstanding the provisions of clause (1) of this subsection, the willful or repeated secondary transmission to the public by a cable system of a primary transmission made by a broadcast station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission or by an appropriate governmental authority of Canada or Mexico and embodying a performance or display of a work is actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and 509, in the following cases:

    (A)

    where the carriage of the signals comprising the secondary transmission is not permissible under the rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission; or

    (B)

    where the cable system has not deposited the statement of account and royalty fee required by subsection (d).

    (3)

    Notwithstanding the provisions of clause (1) of this subsection and subject to the provisions of subsection (e) of this section, the secondary transmission to the public by a cable system of a performance or display of a work embodied in a primary transmission made by a broadcast station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission or by an appropriate governmental authority of Canada or Mexico is actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and sections 509 and 510, if the content of the particular program in which the performance or display is embodied, or any commercial advertising or station announcements transmitted by the primary transmitter during, or immediately before or after, the transmission of such program, is in any way willfully altered by the cable system through changes, deletions, or additions, except for the alteration, deletion, or substitution of commercial advertisements performed by those engaged in television commercial advertising market research: Provided, That the research company has obtained the prior consent of the advertiser who has purchased the original commercial advertisement, the television station broadcasting that commercial advertisement, and the cable system performing the secondary transmission: And provided further, That such commercial alteration, deletion, or substitution is not performed for the purpose of deriving income from the sale of that commercial time.

    (4)

    Notwithstanding the provisions of clause (1) of this subsection, the secondary transmission to the public by a cable system of a performance or display of a work embodied in a primary transmission made by a broadcast station licensed by an appropriate governmental authority of Canada or Mexico is actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and section 509, if

    (A)

    with respect to Canadian signals, the community of the cable system is located more than 150 miles from the United States-Canadian border and is also located south of the forty-second parallel of latitude, or

    (B)

    with respect to Mexican signals, the secondary transmission is made by a cable system which received the primary transmission by means other than direct interception of a free space radio wave emitted by such broadcast television station, unless prior to April 15, 1976, such cable system was actually carrying, or was specifically authorized to carry, the signal of such foreign station on the system pursuant to the rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission.

    (d) Statutory License for Secondary Transmissions by Cable Systems. -

    (1)

    A cable system whose secondary transmissions have been subject to statutory licensing under subsection (c) shall, on a semiannual basis, deposit with the Register of Copyrights, in accordance with requirements that the Register shall prescribe by regulation -

    (A)

    a statement of account, covering the six months next preceding, specifying the number of channels on which the cable system made secondary transmissions to its subscribers, the names and locations of all primary transmitters whose transmissions were further transmitted by the cable system, the total number of subscribers, the gross amounts paid to the cable system for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters, and such other data as the Register of Copyrights may from time to time prescribe by regulation. In determining the total number of subscribers and the gross amounts paid to the cable system for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters, the system shall not include subscribers and amounts collected from subscribers receiving secondary transmissions for private home viewing pursuant to section 119. Such statement shall also include a special statement of account covering any nonnetwork television programming that was carried by the cable system in whole or in part beyond the local service area of the primary transmitter, under rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission permitting the substitution or addition of signals under certain circumstances, together with logs showing the times, dates, stations, and programs involved in such substituted or added carriage; and

    (B)

    except in the case of a cable system whose royalty is specified in subclause (C) or (D), a total royalty fee for the period covered by the statement, computed on the basis of specified percentages of the gross receipts from subscribers to the cable service during said period for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters, as follows:

    (i)

    0.675 of 1 per centum of such gross receipts for the privilege of further transmitting any nonnetwork programming of a primary transmitter in whole or in part beyond the local service area of such primary transmitter, such amount to be applied against the fee, if any, payable pursuant to paragraphs (ii) through (iv);

    (ii)

    0.675 of 1 per centum of such gross receipts for the first distant signal equivalent;

    (iii)

    0.425 of 1 per centum of such gross receipts for each of the second, third, and fourth distant signal equivalents;

    (iv)

    0.2 of 1 per centum of such gross receipts for the fifth distant signal equivalent and each additional distant signal equivalent thereafter; and in computing the amounts payable under paragraphs (ii) through (iv), above, any fraction of a distant signal equivalent shall be computed at its fractional value and, in the case of any cable system located partly within and partly without the local service area of a primary transmitter, gross receipts shall be limited to those gross receipts derived from subscribers located without the local service area of such primary transmitter; and

    (C)

    if the actual gross receipts paid by subscribers to a cable system for the period covered by the statement for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters total $80,000 or less, gross receipts of the cable system for the purpose of this subclause shall be computed by subtracting from such actual gross receipts the amount by which $80,000 exceeds such actual gross receipts, except that in no case shall a cable system's gross receipts be reduced to less than $3,000. The royalty fee payable under this subclause shall be 0.5 of 1 per centum, regardless of the number of distant signal equivalents, if any; and

    (D)

    if the actual gross receipts paid by subscribers to a cable system for the period covered by the statement, for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters, are more than $80,000 but less than $160,000, the royalty fee payable under this subclause shall be

    (i)

    0.5 of 1 per centum of any gross receipts up to $80,000; and

    (ii)

    1 per centum of any gross receipts in excess of $80,000 but less than $160,000, regardless of the number of distant signal equivalents, if any.

    (2)

    The Register of Copyrights shall receive all fees deposited under this section and, after deducting the reasonable costs incurred by the Copyright Office under this section, shall deposit the balance in the Treasury of the United States, in such manner as the Secretary of the Treasury directs. All funds held by the Secretary of the Treasury shall be invested in interest-bearing United States securities for later distribution with interest by the Librarian of Congress in the event no controversy over distribution exists, or by a copyright arbitration royalty panel in the event a controversy over such distribution exists.

    (3)

    The royalty fees thus deposited shall, in accordance with the procedures provided by clause (4), be distributed to those among the following copyright owners who claim that their works were the subject of secondary transmissions by cable systems during the relevant semiannual period:

    (A)

    any such owner whose work was included in a secondary transmission made by a cable system of a nonnetwork television program in whole or in part beyond the local service area of the primary transmitter; and

    (B)

    any such owner whose work was included in a secondary transmission identified in a special statement of account deposited under clause (1)(A);

    (C)

    any such owner whose work was included in nonnetwork programming consisting exclusively of aural signals carried by a cable system in whole or in part beyond the local service area of the primary transmitter of such programs.

    (4)

    The royalty fees thus deposited shall be distributed in accordance with the following procedures:

    (A)

    During the month of July in each year, every person claiming to be entitled to statutory license fees for secondary transmissions shall file a claim with the Librarian of Congress, in accordance with requirements that the Librarian of Congress shall prescribe by regulation. Notwithstanding any provisions of the antitrust laws, for purposes of this clause any claimants may agree among themselves as to the proportionate division of statutory licensing fees among them, may lump their claims together and file them jointly or as a single claim, or may designate a common agent to receive payment on their behalf.

    (B)

    After the first day of August of each year, the Librarian of Congress shall, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights, determine whether there exists a controversy concerning the distribution of royalty fees. If the Librarian determines that no such controversy exists, the Librarian shall, after deducting reasonable administrative costs under this section, distribute such fees to the copyright owners entitled to such fees, or to their designated agents. If the Librarian finds the existence of a controversy, the Librarian shall, pursuant to chapter 8 of this title, convene a copyright arbitration royalty panel to determine the distribution of royalty fees.

    (C)

    During the pendency of any proceeding under this subsection, the Librarian of Congress shall withhold from distribution an amount sufficient to satisfy all claims with respect to which a controversy exists, but shall have discretion to proceed to distribute any amounts that are not in controversy.

    (e) Nonsimultaneous Secondary Transmissions by Cable Systems. -

    (1)

    Notwithstanding those provisions of the second paragraph of subsection (f) relating to nonsimultaneous secondary transmissions by a cable system, any such transmissions are actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and are fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and sections 509 and 510, unless -

    (A)

    the program on the videotape is transmitted no more than one time to the cable system's subscribers; and

    (B)

    the copyrighted program, episode, or motion picture videotape, including the commercials contained within such program, episode, or picture, is transmitted without deletion or editing; and

    (C)

    an owner or officer of the cable system

    (i)

    prevents the duplication of the videotape while in the possession of the system,

    (ii)

    prevents unauthorized duplication while in the possession of the facility making the videotape for the system if the system owns or controls the facility, or takes reasonable precautions to prevent such duplication if it does not own or control the facility,

    (iii)

    takes adequate precautions to prevent duplication while the tape is being transported, and

    (iv)

    subject to clause (2), erases or destroys, or causes the erasure or destruction of, the videotape; and

    (D)

    within forty-five days after the end of each calendar quarter, an owner or officer of the cable system executes an affidavit attesting

    (i)

    to the steps and precautions taken to prevent duplication of the videotape, and

    (ii)

    subject to clause (2), to the erasure or destruction of all videotapes made or used during such quarter; and

    (E)

    such owner or officer places or causes each such affidavit, and affidavits received pursuant to clause (2)(C), to be placed in a file, open to public inspection, at such system's main office in the community where the transmission is made or in the nearest community where such system maintains an office; and

    (F)

    the nonsimultaneous transmission is one that the cable system would be authorized to transmit under the rules, regulations, and authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission in effect at the time of the nonsimultaneous transmission if the transmission had been made simultaneously, except that this subclause shall not apply to inadvertent or accidental transmissions.

    (2)

    If a cable system transfers to any person a videotape of a program nonsimultaneously transmitted by it, such transfer is actionable as an act of infringement under section 501, and is fully subject to the remedies provided by sections 502 through 506 and 509, except that, pursuant to a written, nonprofit contract providing for the equitable sharing of the costs of such videotape and its transfer, a videotape nonsimultaneously transmitted by it, in accordance with clause (1), may be transferred by one cable system in Alaska to another system in Alaska, by one cable system in Hawaii permitted to make such nonsimultaneous transmissions to another such cable system in Hawaii, or by one cable system in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, to another cable system in any of those three territories, if -

    (A)

    each such contract is available for public inspection in the offices of the cable systems involved, and a copy of such contract is filed, within thirty days after such contract is entered into, with the Copyright Office (which Office shall make each such contract available for public inspection); and

    (B)

    the cable system to which the videotape is transferred complies with clause (1)(A), (B), (C)(i), (iii), and (iv), and (D) through (F); and

    (C)

    such system provides a copy of the affidavit required to be made in accordance with clause (1)(D) to each cable system making a previous nonsimultaneous transmission of the same videotape.

    (3)

    This subsection shall not be construed to supersede the exclusivity protection provisions of any existing agreement, or any such agreement hereafter entered into, between a cable system and a television broadcast station in the area in which the cable system is located, or a network with which such station is affiliated.

    (4)

    As used in this subsection, the term ''videotape'', and each of its variant forms, means the reproduction of the images and sounds of a program or programs broadcast by a television broadcast station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as tapes or films, in which the reproduction is embodied.

    (f) Definitions. -

    As used in this section, the following terms and their variant forms mean the following:

    A ''primary transmission'' is a transmission made to the public by the transmitting facility whose signals are being received and further transmitted by the secondary transmission service, regardless of where or when the performance or display was first transmitted.

    A ''secondary transmission'' is the further transmitting of a primary transmission simultaneously with the primary transmission, or nonsimultaneously with the primary transmission if by a ''cable system'' not located in whole or in part within the boundary of the forty-eight contiguous States, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico: Provided, however, That a nonsimultaneous further transmission by a cable system located in Hawaii of a primary transmission shall be deemed to be a secondary transmission if the carriage of the television broadcast signal comprising such further transmission is permissible under the rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission.

    A ''cable system'' is a facility, located in any State, Territory, Trust Territory, or Possession, that in whole or in part receives signals transmitted or programs broadcast by one or more television broadcast stations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, and makes secondary transmissions of such signals or programs by wires, cables, microwave, or other communications channels to subscribing members of the public who pay for such service. For purposes of determining the royalty fee under subsection (d)(1), two or more cable systems in contiguous communities under common ownership or control or operating from one headend shall be considered as one system.

    The ''local service area of a primary transmitter'', in the case of a television broadcast station, comprises the area in which such station is entitled to insist upon its signal being retransmitted by a cable system pursuant to the rules, regulations, and authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission in effect on April 15, 1976, or such station's television market as defined in section 76.55(e) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on September 18, 1993), or any modifications to such television market made, on or after September 18, 1993, pursuant to section 76.55(e) or 76.59 of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or in the case of a television broadcast station licensed by an appropriate governmental authority of Canada or Mexico, the area in which it would be entitled to insist upon its signal being retransmitted if it were a television broadcast station subject to such rules, regulations, and authorizations. In the case of a low power television station, as defined by the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, the ''local service area of a primary transmitter'' comprises the area within 35 miles of the transmitter site, except that in the case of such a station located in a standard metropolitan statistical area which has one of the 50 largest populations of all standard metropolitan statistical areas (based on the 1980 decennial census of population taken by the Secretary of Commerce), the number of miles shall be 20 miles. The ''local service area of a primary transmitter'', in the case of a radio broadcast station, comprises the primary service area of such station, pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.

    A ''distant signal equivalent'' is the value assigned to the secondary transmission of any nonnetwork television programming carried by a cable system in whole or in part beyond the local service area of the primary transmitter of such programming. It is computed by assigning a value of one to each independent station and a value of one-quarter to each network station and noncommercial educational station for the nonnetwork programming so carried pursuant to the rules, regulations, and authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission. The foregoing values for independent, network, and noncommercial educational stations are subject, however, to the following exceptions and limitations. Where the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission require a cable system to omit the further transmission of a particular program and such rules and regulations also permit the substitution of another program embodying a performance or display of a work in place of the omitted transmission, or where such rules and regulations in effect on the date of enactment of this Act permit a cable system, at its election, to effect such deletion and substitution of a nonlive program or to carry additional programs not transmitted by primary transmitters within whose local service area the cable system is located, no value shall be assigned for the substituted or additional program; where the rules, regulations, or authorizations of the Federal Communications Commission in effect on the date of enactment of this Act permit a cable system, at its election, to omit the further transmission of a particular program and such rules, regulations, or authorizations also permit the substitution of another program embodying a performance or display of a work in place of the omitted transmission, the value assigned for the substituted or additional program shall be, in the case of a live program, the value of one full distant signal equivalent multiplied by a fraction that has as its numerator the number of days in the year in which such substitution occurs and as its denominator the number of days in the year. In the case of a station carried pursuant to the late-night or specialty programming rules of the Federal Communications Commission, or a station carried on a part-time basis where full-time carriage is not possible because the cable system lacks the activated channel capacity to retransmit on a full-time basis all signals which it is authorized to carry, the values for independent, network, and noncommercial educational stations set forth above, as the case may be, shall be multiplied by a fraction which is equal to the ratio of the broadcast hours of such station carried by the cable system to the total broadcast hours of the station.

    A ''network station'' is a television broadcast station that is owned or operated by, or affiliated with, one or more of the television networks in the United States providing nationwide transmissions, and that transmits a substantial part of the programming supplied by such networks for a substantial part of that station's typical broadcast day.

    An ''independent station'' is a commercial television broadcast station other than a network station.

    A ''noncommercial educational station'' is a television station that is a noncommercial educational broadcast station as defined in section 397 of title 47
  • Ok, I'm all for fair use rights (if you couldn't tell by the sig and the link), but I'm looking at this in a different light. I don't see this as squashing fair use. Encrypting means the PPV that I paid for and I'm broadcasting within my house can't be swiped by the dude next door who sets a receiver close enough to his outside wall. My set of devices are all keyed to a certain encryption, so I can watch what I want anywhere I want in the house, but nobody can intercept it. That actually protects my rights, most specifically privacy.

    This also keeps people from setting up "pirate" TV stations and such to broadcast the latest boxing match (*cough*fixed*cough*) to everyone on the block. I admit that might be a flawed reason because of FCC and whatnot, but I'm trying to demonstrate the logic here. This doesn't seem so much like a "copy-protect" as a "transmission-protect" method.

    It's worth following, though :)
    • Hate replying to myself, but clarification here after a second read. This part does bother me (in relation to the "Thomson Multimedia's proposed SmartRight copy protection"):

      Content owners, for example, can start charging consumers every time their digital content is re-distributed within the home, or viewed several times during a certain number of days specified by them.

      Um, can we say DivX? That scheme will surely fail just like DivX did (and the way the "official" digital music sites are). People don't like to pay for what they feel they already have.

      Better idea...have us pay for the equipment and then let it be done. Charging for retransmission means your equipment won't be bought, and no money. Even the marketdroids should understand that concept.

      I don't give SmartRight two years lifespan on the market, if it even makes it to market.
  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Monday January 14, 2002 @03:41PM (#2837668)
    Every time "rights management" technology is discussed, it seems to include a rather large number of functionality issues. This particular article touches (briefly) on performance hits for the various schemes presented. As if theft of consumer fair use rights isn't enough.

    It seems that the only way consumers in the future will have freedom to use the content they have paid for (think of it as media functionality) is to turn to pirated works. And once they have put forward the effort and expense to track down a suitable pirated work, one has to wonder how often the consumer will feel like bothering to purchase the legitimate product for that added bit of moral highground.

    Content owners seem deturmined to shoot themselves in the foot. And its the various technology companies, and their sales/marketing team, that are assuring the industry of an oportunity ("them's feet are good eatin'") and selling the shotguns.

  • IIRC cable companies charged per set, though many people put in their own splitters (which the cable companies frowned on, to the point of field techs chopping the extra wires or worse.)

    I presume there's a way for Philips to collect a fee for this or both them and the cable provider.

    For the most part I don't watch much TV anymore, particularly since losing first ABC then WB (and winding up with 2*NBC) in my market, but this is probably in reality a minefield. I have doubts about whether it'll come to pass, like 50% of what I've seen at CES of the past.

  • It seems that with all the DRM - advertising and content sponsorship will be at odds with the content providers - or is it that instead of getting advertisers to pay for our consumption of content, we are now going to pay for it ourselves?

    Doesn't it seem like content rights holders are going to go head to head with the content distributors?

    Advertisers want their advertisements to be seen by as many people as possible. Content distributors (TV networks) rely on advertising to pay for the content. DRM generally (though not always, I suppose) want the consumers to pay for the content. Why should we, as consumers, start paying for so much content when advertisers used to always pay for them for us?
  • I must admit, I find myself in a quandary.

    On one hand I love technology and the ways it frees me to do what I want with what I have. I can rip CDs to mp3s and listen to them on my iPod or computer without lugging around tons of discs. I love short movie files of stuff I can find on the internet, like movie trailers. I love the fact that I can record TV shows to a hard drive or a DVD to play back later. I have a lot of fun playing the latest games, but I hate to have to jump through hoops to play them when they require passwords and other forms of protection.

    On the other hand I hate the abuses these technologies open up. I firmly believe that artists, songwriters, performers, and programmers should get paid for their hard work. I have no problems with companies charging for a good product. The problem is that all of the things I like about technology can be used to subvert the process of compensating all of these people for their work. Eventually piracy can lead us down the road to crippling the free movement of data and the ease-of-use that comes with it.

    So my question is how do we balance things? How can we ensure that the Fair-Use laws are upheld, yet still prevent the pirates from having free reign? Can a balance be struck between fair compensation and freedom to use a product? Does anyone here have any ideas that don't go to the one extreme of no protection of copyright or the other extreme of total lock-down of data?
  • Hmm... so let me see if I understand this. If I take my computer, rip all my DVD's to DivX, then get a wireless card, anybody close enough to me in my apartment complex can potentially watch those movies.

    Okay, fair enough. Given the range of 802.11, I think maybe 6 people are close enough they'd get a decent signal. Which is fine because I think I wouldn't be able to handle much more than that since a dvd rip is roughly 1 megabit.

    For this to happen, all 6 of my neighbors would have to not only have computers (I think 2 of my neighbors have computers), wireless cards, and I'd have to talk to each one to give them information on how to hit my computer to get the info.

    I just don't see this happening. First off, with all the neighbors I've had in the past, I can only think of one that'd actually even try it, let alone rely on it.

    Secondly, I'm the only guy I know that has a computer permanently hooked up to a television. (gotta put my demo reel on VHS somehow!) I can't imagine any of my neighbors watching a movie on anything but their television.

    Third, for all the trouble this would take, I'd have better luck just sending them the movie over ICQ than by trying to get all this wireless bs worked out. As bandwidth improves, wireless as way to transmit it is even less interesting.

    I think wireless networks will take off, but I have trouble seeing people sharing their networks to other people. Who'd want to? I'd be afraid of security issues. I don't want my neighbor finding a way into my computer and reading my torrid emails to my girlfriend.

    I think the industry is solving the wrong problem. Instead of trying to encrypt very specific files over 802.11, how about trying to figure out how to make money on this. Check out http://www.intertainer.tv for an example. You pay them $4, and you can watch a full length movie immediately. That's a better service than I'd ever care to provide, and they can make money on it.
  • copy protection and digital rights management over the wirelessly connected home has gained "a sense of urgency,"

    Even if you accept the most extreme position on protecting IP, there is absolutely no legitimate interest in people moving content from one place to another within the home.

    The only reason it has "gained a sense of urgency" is that it would be required for a universal end-to-end iron-fisted lockdown on everything.

    Digital Rights Management is an embodyment of the worst possible authoritarian regime. It MUST have total control of everything. Anything not under total lockdown is a potential leak that threatends to bring it crashing down. Everything must be devoured or destroyed.

    -
  • by scott1853 (194884) on Monday January 14, 2002 @04:06PM (#2837853)
    Ya know, I don't think we'd need to worry about the government implementing the Matrix, it's going to be the RIAA and MPAA, and Microsoft.

    Why the hell would they think it's cost effective to prevent somebodies next door neighboor from grabbing a signal for some WWF pay-per-view event. By spending millions of dollars in man hours and equipment, they're going to protect themselves from the theft of a $7 show, that the thieves probably wouldn't have even watched if they had to pay for it.
  • by MsGeek (162936) on Monday January 14, 2002 @05:00PM (#2838145) Homepage Journal
    ...maybe this technology might bring a more viable option for encrypting 802.11x traffic. Right now WEP is useless, and unless you encapsulate everything zipping around the network in encrypted tunnels you are fair game for "wardrivers."

    We need a practical means of strong crypto for wireless. If this need coincides with the questionable need for the MPAA and the RIAA and other entities to nickel and dime us every time we look at their precious content that's beside the point.

    The threats to the doctrine of Fair Use need to be addressed. Reasonable Intellectual Property rights (emphasis on REASONABLE) need to be preserved, but so does the doctrine of Fair Use.

    However, a lot of these ideas I've read about in the article sound like great ideas for solving the current wireless (In)security problems.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

Working...