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Draft of 'Broadcast Flag' Treaty Now Available 324

Posted by simoniker
from the flag-this dept.
The Importance of writes "If you liked the broadcast flag, you're going to love WIPO's proposed 'broadcast flag' treaty (PDF link). The draft treaty will give copyright-like rights to broadcasters, cablecasters and, if the US gets its way, webcasters. As a broadcaster, you wouldn't have to own the copyright in what you broadcast, but you could still stop people from recording your broadcast, reproducing it or distributing it. The treaty also includes DMCA-like protections, in case you try to circumvent the broadcast flag. The treaty is going to be discussed in Geneva, June 7-9. The draft is discussed over on Corante.com and late last year on the DMCA activists list."
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Draft of 'Broadcast Flag' Treaty Now Available

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  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:32PM (#8795598) Homepage Journal

    but you could still stop people from recording your broadcast, reproducing it or distributing it.

    I would assume "old" recording technologies such as VCRs and PVRs would still be able to record the signal? (Current protection, Macrovision, is easily scrubbed from a signal.) These bastards have forgotten what the term "Fair Use" is all about.
    • by Unnngh! (731758) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:36PM (#8795640)
      Depends...I remember toward the end of the VHS days, many manufacturers started limiting the signal strength on the tape. The tape would then play back to a monitor but any recordings would be unwatchable. You had to use a signal booster to record. They could possibly limit the signal strength and these technologies would not work.
    • I just read that Nvidia is now complying with Macrovision. Here's [slashdot.org] the Slashdot story.
    • by maxbang (598632) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:45PM (#8795750) Journal

      True, but what happens when everything moves to pure digital and they close the analog hole? With "trusted" computing looming on the horizon, stuff like this is very creepy. When they take away our ability to play media on older hardware (e.g., a movie-on-demand whose codec is only available in broadcast flag compatible hardware and whose emulation would be too inefficient to be practical), then we're screwed. I know there will always be ways around this, but it still annoys me. If nothing else, I don't want to see someone be branded "Broadcast Flag Jon" somewhere in Scandinavia.

      • by stephenisu (580105) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:50PM (#8795806)
        Until I can't see it or hear it, there will alway be an analog hole...
        • Heh - Fahrenheit 451 style, we'll soon be memorizing and reciting episodes of "Sister Sister" on a remote island somewhere, far from the prying eyes of the evil broadcast flaggers.

      • True, but what happens when everything moves to pure digital and they close the analog hole?
        Not as long as I (and about a million other Engineering graduates) know how to build ADCs and DACs from scratch.
        • by grub (11606)

          Not as long as I (and about a million other Engineering graduates) know how to build ADCs and DACs from scratch.

          Just wait... one day you'll have to go to a DMCA accredited school for those courses and sign legal forms saying you'll only use your knowledge for Good (company profits) and not Evil (fair use)
      • by Anonymous Coward

        We (Average Joes) don't have the millions of dollars the Broadcast Fuckers have. All you can do is not support them. Don't buy a new TV, cancel all forms of TV (satellite, cable) and make sure they know why.

        If you see TV elsewhere don't buy from the advertisers you see. Tell your friends and family. People don't like being treated as children and premptively as thieves. Knowledge is your weapon.

        Thankfully they can't DRM good ol' paper books.
        • We (Average Joes) don't have the millions of dollars the Broadcast Fuckers have.

          But you can vote the palms those dollars grease out of office. Congress can decrease the length of copyright protection just as easy as they can increase it.
      • When they take away our ability to play media on older hardware (e.g., a movie-on-demand whose codec is only available in broadcast flag compatible hardware and whose emulation would be too inefficient to be practical), then we're screwed.
        When they do that, stop watching. Money talks. This is the only answer.
    • These bastards have forgotten what the term "Fair Use" is all about.

      Untrue. They know exactly what it's all about - and they hate it.

  • I don't see how (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:33PM (#8795607)
    You can prevent people from recording. You can try, but you'll probably fail just as everyone else has prior.
  • by scumbucket (680352) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:34PM (#8795615)
    With the hardware that most manufacturers build and work with, the sort which a broadcaster would use to both create and monitor their transport stream, the ability is needed to record and play back at will, thus, such a flag would pretty much be ignored by most systems if implemented. Besides, if you end up modifying the ATSC standard, in order to prevent breaking all previous encoders/decoders on the market, you would need to make such modifications to portions of the stream which are unused, and existing off the shelf parts would ignore such a modification. Thus, the protection starts off ineffective.

    Even after the existing non compliant decoders/recorders/etc on the market are retired to due age or death, newer hardware which ignores such protections would still be available, you'd just have to pay a fair amount.
    • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:40PM (#8795693) Homepage Journal

      such a flag would pretty much be ignored by most systems if implemented.

      At the moment, sure. However I don't doubt for a moment that there is a concentrated effort to develop and patent a chip which all broadcasts will have to pass through before it hits the TV set. The V-Chip is already in TVs but that's just to keep kids from seeing "bad" TV, the next step is having the broadcasters control what we do with the signals, as if we're all children.

      nb: I cancelled my cable months ago

      • The V-Chip is already in TVs

        And that's been such a rousing success [msn.com].

        But to be fair, the V-chip was merely implemented to prevent our future citizens from becoming conditioned to violence and growing up to be hardened criminals.

        With the broadcast flag we're talking about a much more serious issue to the fabric of civilization - the potential loss of revenue by content owners from unregulated viewing of copyrighted media!

        Given it's importance, I expect effective unambiguous government regulations to be

    • True, what is really interesting here is that presently there's not that much of a difference between "studio quality" and "consumer quality" equipment when it comes to recording standards. That is to say, if your camcorder captures something newsworthy, your local TV station doesn't have to do much to get it on the air other than throw it in a playback machine.

      What's more, some TV stations actually have the right to republish another station's news content... and that is simply plucked out of the air with
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:57PM (#8795884)
      The change to the ATSC standard is trivial. They are adding a single flag to the stream that says "This is protected content". This can be added to existing encoding hardware with a firmware update. But, this is irrelevant to the issue.

      The problem is that in early 2005, it will be illegal to sell hardware that does not obey this flag. So, the major changes come at the receiver side, not the broadcaster. It adds complexity and cost to the hundreds of millions of receiving devices. Even though my current PC is completely capable of recording, viewing, and modifying HDTV content, which I've been doing for a couple years now... In order to do that in 2005 and beyond, I need to buy all new hardware, which enforces DRM control as defined by the big media companies.. You want to copy this weeks episode of "The West Wing" to your powerbook to watch on that long flight? No can do.. Not until you buy a new laptop that obeys DRM, and makes sure thieving bastards like you don't have open access to this precious material.

      Once it goes into effect, the current ATSC receiver cards will no longer be sold. Eventually, a new breed of receiver cards will come out. They will enforce the flag in hardware, and will not pass the transport stream to your PC, unless it also has hardware support for DRM, and the stream can be saved in an encrypted format.

      So, say goodbye to any open source software to modify the transport stream (like I have today, to transcode HDTV to save in DVD format, or edit the streams to remove commercials). Say goodbye to broad innovation in digital TV. This locks the current structure firmly in place.. Disney, Viacom, GE, and Fox have their positions cemented. You'll watch their programs in the way that they allow, you'll watch their commercials, and anyone who tries to circumvent that will have their DRM license revoked and a lawsuit slapped on them.

      Yes, there will still be some basic HD receiver cards floating around which do not care about the broadcast flag. But, how does that matter? Any product you want to buy in the future will be crippled, and the flag will give the big media companies an easy way to sue anyone who dares to challenge their stranglehold on digital media.
      • What would a requirement to use the broadcast flag mean for a software radio like the GNU Radio [gnu.org]? It seems to me that once software radio matures to the point where we can interpret these transmissions in real-time then all the software has to do is ignore the broadcast flag. Or do will they try to require all software to adhere to this flag as well?
  • Ok.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:34PM (#8795616)
    The more they make TV a pain to own, pay for or operate, the more star systems will slip through their fingers.

    er. wait... I mean, eventually I'll get tired of it and stop watching TV altogether.
  • No fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by herrvinny (698679) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:34PM (#8795617)
    As a broadcaster, you wouldn't have to own the copyright in what you broadcast, but you could still stop people from recording your broadcast, reproducing it or distributing it.

    I say if you don't have the copyright to what you broadcast, you shouldn't have the right to prevent redistribution.
  • by October_30th (531777) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:34PM (#8795621) Homepage Journal
    you wouldn't have to own the copyright in what you broadcast, but you could still stop people from recording your broadcast

    I don't see what's so outrageous about this.

    • by isorox (205688) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:40PM (#8795698) Homepage Journal
      Nothing wrong with the broadcaster sayign "hey, dont record this". There is nothing wrong with recording things (set in law since the time shift case) There is something wrong with them telling you you cant modify your own equipment to ignore their request.
    • by Inebrius (715009) * on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:51PM (#8795809)
      When your hardware start listening to the Megalocorps and won't permit you to record, pause, skip, change channels, volume, turn off your TV...

      Will that make a difference then?

      We already can not fast forward through the commercials on several DVDs, even though we purchased the DVD or legitimately rented it, and own the DVD player. This is due to agreements forced upon the hardware manufacturers. It is the law that makes it a crime for you to try and fix this unwanted feature, and that part is entirely wrong.

      Also, I don't see how placing additional non-flexible restrictions advances the sciences and useful arts, when your equipment refuses to record clips of various media for debate, parody, discussion, etc.
    • Say, a local cable operator putting a "no copies" flag on all programming, to disable all compliant recorders.

      "Hey, we've got this great new video on-demand feature to sell you..."

    • How about a broadcaster who keeps you from recording movies that are in the public domain? Sure, they say they won't but with this flag, they can.
  • Too many bosses (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stanmann (602645) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:34PM (#8795622) Journal
    I am a citizen of the US, I vote for my "leaders" and one way or another have a say in the laws I must follow. BUT A treaty saying what I can and cannot record.

    BAH!

    Those who won't follow it can't be forced to and those who will aren't offending anyway.

    Taiwan will still be the primary source of bootleg video movie and software and the US will be a primary consumer.
    • Given the US's history of ignoring treaties it doesn't like (Kyoto, etc), I can't imagine the rest of the world would be too keen on having an MPAA-authored treaty shoved down it's collective throat.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:35PM (#8795632)
    Imagine if all of these groups spent as much time dealing with dictators, genocide, hunger, slavery, child abuse, rape, privacy, female genital mutilation, government spending and other important issues as they do protecting corporate greed.
    • Well, we'd probably end up with innovations such as the "dictator flag." Saddam can be our first test subject. We will simply tattoo a "D" on his right hand and release him. To conform to standards, no country should allow anyone with said "D" tattoo to run their country. If they do, they will incur UN punishments. Yep, that should be effective.

      On second thought, lets let these people stick to doing relatively unimportant tasks.
    • What about male genital mutilation?

      Oh yes, it's part of accepted Western culture. Silly me.

      K

      • Male "genital mutilation" isn't sexually impairing, nor is it even really mutilation.

        Mutilation Mu`ti*la"tion, n. L. mutilatio: cf. F. mutilation. The act of mutilating, or the state of being mutilated; deprivation of a limb or of an essential part.

        Sure, it does indeed change the dynamics of sex a little, but from what I understand, a circumcised penis is usually more pleasurable for the woman.

        I'm not saying that male circumcision is absolutely and without a doubt not a bad thing, but to comp

  • DMCA & Such (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:36PM (#8795638) Homepage Journal
    I'm starting to believe that this stuff doesn't matter.

    I hate to sound all Princess Leia, but they keep piling this nonsense on, and we keep ignoring it/circumventing it (and ignoring the laws against circumvention). At some point the whole thing becomes a joke and enforcement becomes impossible.

    That's not to say that I don't think we'd be better off without this stuff. I'd rather not be a criminal, if it's all the same. OTOH, I'm not going to run Windows just so I can watch DVDs that I've bought.

    I guess time will tell.

    -Peter
    • Re:DMCA & Such (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bfields (66644)

      I hate to sound all Princess Leia, but they keep piling this nonsense on, and we keep ignoring it/circumventing it (and ignoring the laws against circumvention). At some point the whole thing becomes a joke and enforcement becomes impossible.

      This is all well and good if you're a consumer who just wants to watch the stuff and maybe keep a personal recording or two.

      What if you actually want to use outlawed tools for research or political activism or your own art? Then your violations are public knowledge

    • Re:DMCA & Such (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Azghoul (25786)
      Can't argue your point. It's an interesting thought experiment to consider the result if 'they' were able to pass every possible copyright restriction. What would the world look like then? How far would they go before their whole system collapsed like a deck of cards?
  • as in.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zogger (617870) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:37PM (#8795652) Homepage Journal
    ... this would outlaw such things as time shifting? And they could accomplish that...how?

    Yes, I'm waiting for some smart guy who can understand lawspeek to read the PDF and translate it into a paragraph or so of normal english.

    Next they'll want to brain scan you and make sure you don't REMEMBER a tune or news story or a video scene, because you would be avoiding some royalty payments...
  • Content (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:38PM (#8795664) Journal
    Lets see:

    Good content sometimes makes money.
    Bad content sometimes makes money.
    Good content sometimes loses money.
    Bad content sometimes loses money.

    YET people still make money making content WITHOUT restrictions on "fair use". The question is, does RESTRICTING fair use make MORE money or LESS money?

    The various media outlets know that CONTENT is going to be King soon, and that Advertisements are slowly going to lose out.

    They are trying to prop up revenue streams with bad ideas that aren't going to work. All technological measures can be twarted, and in the long run, do not work.

    People will pay for content worth consuming. Bands will have to play more concerts, poets will have to do more readings etc. Recording is/was just a new form of revenue which has approached the end of its useful life, in regards to generating a profit stream.

    Now we are going to have to go back to what worked 200 years ago, before we had TV, Radio and the Internet.
    • by SideshowBob (82333)
      The question is, does RESTRICTING fair use make MORE money or LESS money?

      You've got the question backwards. The point of copyright is to further the people's interest by encouraging the creation of new works. So long as copyright is providing enough incentive to entice people to create more art, then the system is working as intended.

      It isn't the copyright system's purpose to maximize profits for creators, but merely to ensure that there is just enough - and no more - commercial advantage to keep them p

      • Somehow, somewhere along the way popular perception changed to the idea that copyright serves the author. Not so, it always was about the people's interest.

        No, it was always about serving both. If you don't appropriately serve the author, he isn't incented to keep creating works that benefit the people.

        What's happened is the author has been more successful at using his resources to push the benefit line so its much more in his favor. The totally decentralized people haven't been able to muster an effec
      • You've got the question backwards. The point of copyright is to further the people's interest by encouraging the creation of new works.

        People created works before copyrights because they LOVED doing it. People create works today without copyrights all the time, because they love DOING it. Copyrights neither encourages them nor discourages them.

        Copyrights have brought us people like Britney and that "painter of light" guy. Artists not concerned with art for art sake, but Artists looking to make a buck.

  • So I'd be able to stop people from "reproducing" my broadcast of a bunch of songs, w/out talk, in the specific order I broadcast them?

    This would make it difficult to generate your own mix CD for the car...

    First, you'd have to check to make sure no one had ever broadcast the songs you wanted to record in the order you wanted to record them...

    -bs

    • I guess I'm confused by this then:

      but you could still stop people from recording your broadcast, reproducing it or distributing it

      should that be "AND" and not "or"???

      I don't disagree with either of you, but how do you stop someone from reproducing something from scratch?

      -bs

  • ah jeez (Score:4, Funny)

    by maxbang (598632) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:38PM (#8795669) Journal

    If I read that correctly, this means that even if I release something for free to the public, they can *still* find a way to prevent people from copying it and distributing it? In that case, I throw my full support behind the lo-techs and their falling cars of doom. Get your VCRs ready. I may even start carrying around 80 gigs of divx files in my head, childhood memories be damned.

    • Yep, you're reading it correctly, even public domain programs will be flagged. In other words, broadcasters will have even more rights than the authors! Programs that have absolutely no copyright protection will be ILLEGAL to copy!!!

      http://www.tvtechnology.com/features/Masked-Engi ne er/f_mo_the_masked_engineer-01.21.04.shtml

  • by smackjer (697558)
    The same adage will always be true... If you can play it, you can copy it. No copy protection mechanism will ever escape that simple fact.
  • by fahrvergnugen (228539) <fahrv@hotmail. c o m> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:38PM (#8795674) Homepage
    This seems like as good a time as any to ask:

    In the discussion following a similar article a few months ago, someone posted a list of the different states for the broadcast flag, and their corresponding values (ie. 000 forever, 001 1 hour, 010 2 hours, etc.). However, I've been unable to find it again.

    Does anyone have this information that they could re-post here? It's pretty relevant to the current discussion.
  • fortunately the system in europe at the moment makes it hard for such chips to be installed. at least for a while, this will not be an issue over here.

    something interesting i notice is that the better the quality of the media (be it music, tv, movies) the harder their are being made to be copied. on one end this makes sense as quality and so resell value is better. on the other hand it becomes more and more a pain in the butt to actually enjoy your rightfully purchased art, be it tv, movies, music.

    fin
  • It'll be cracked (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    there is no way they can lock things down well enough to stop people finding a way of making a copy of the content. Even if everything is 100% locked down, you can still take the DVI-D stream from your video card and capture the co-ordinates on the video stream with the television tuner software playing. I bet people will go out of their way to pirate content just because the powers that be are trying to stop them.
    • Re:It'll be cracked (Score:3, Informative)

      by InsaneGeek (175763)
      Unfortunately there is HDCP for encrypted DVI video. This will require that your display device be able to properly talk HDCP with it to do key exchange. No public key exchange no key to the encrypted content. They are allowing content to be played at a lower res if you don't do the exchange or if your outputing to analog.

      Unfortunately the industry learned alot from the DVD encryption issue, and now have put in capabilities to revoke keys. So if I'm playing a dvd in a known cracked player, all they hav
  • by JoeShmoe (90109) <askjoeshmoe@hotmail.com> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:41PM (#8795705)
    Of course, I'd dearly like to know what exactly this broadcast flag is supposed to be...but I'm willing to bet that this broadcast flag is going to essentially come down to a small sequence of bits (like the "second generation" marker that is used to prevent you from dubbing one MiniDisc digitally to another) or a signal overlay (like Macrovision that causes severe degredation if you copy the content). I don't think there's ever been a time that all the various hardware and content groups have been able to agree on a standard.

    So, here's how I think it will shake out. There will be a small bit sequence in a digital broadcast that says "do not copy". It will be trivial to add that support to hardware, and simple to include that in broadcasts.

    AND ...simple to remove. Sure, the majority of the audience will be stymied, seeing the error message on their VCR/PVR/DVR and giving up, but there will also be a large percentage...the same people who go out and purchase "video enhancers" to remove Macrovision...that find ways to defeat it. That works for me. Sure, we are breaking the law, but it's civil disobedience, just like making backups of your DVDs and, just like the original Betamax case, time shifting your viewing material.

    Maybe, eventually, some company somewhere will sue people who bypass this signal, or a company who makes a signal filter. When that happens, hopefully they will have the balls to take it through the court system to try and positively affirm the public's rights the way previous cases have.

    - JoeShmoe
    .
    • Sure, the majority of the audience will be stymied, seeing the error message on their VCR/PVR/DVR and giving up

      I dont't think they'll give up, I think they'll get really angry.

      I'm beginning to wonder whether all of this crap (broadcast flag, forced HDTV switchover, various flavors of DRM) is all part of some huge experience to see just how much consumers of entertainment will take.

      On a personal note, I've already given up on the recording industry and will never buy another CD again. The day my Myth bo
    • by Kjella (173770)
      AND ...simple to remove. Sure, the majority of the audience will be stymied, seeing the error message on their VCR/PVR/DVR and giving up, but there will also be a large percentage...the same people who go out and purchase "video enhancers" to remove Macrovision...that find ways to defeat it.

      Before: A few people did that kind of advanced "hacking", and in small circles
      Now: A few people do that kind of advanced "hacking", and everybody gets it over p2p nets.

      Where I really don't think they have any idea wha
    • by 3terrabyte (693824) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:16PM (#8796088) Journal
      Maybe, eventually, some company somewhere will sue people who bypass this signal, or a company who makes a signal filter.

      There's no MAYBE in that sentence. It is absolutely going to happen. With the DMCA tied to this, it will be illegal to even try and make a machine that will ignore the broadcast bit. And they've learned from their mistakes from DeCeSS, and failing to sue DVD-John from Norway.

      The companies are slowly lining up everything exactly the way they need it to hit a home run and have an iron fist on this right out of the starting gate.

      Ever wonder why HDTV is going so slow in catching on? Because they want to get all this crap out of the way to start with.

      And the U.S. government will pass ANY LAW they can to make this happen because they have a deadline on selling all the HDTV airwave range to these companies. They desperately HAVE to sell this spectrum to the content companies because it's been allocated in their budgets for many years now.

    • Sure, we are breaking the law, but it's civil disobedience, just like making backups of your DVDs and, just like the original Betamax case, time shifting your viewing material.

      Don't forget that the second and most important part of civil disobedience is getting caught and paying for the crime to win the sympathy of the masses. Man I can't wait to see so many of you geeks who like to argue over trivial things go to jail or be forced to declare bankrupcy.
  • by bludstone (103539) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:43PM (#8795723)
    through over-regulation.

    Theres a massive market for high quality recording off of tv/dvd/hd/whatever. All that legislation like this does is raise the barrier to entry, and thereby cause LESS competition, giving the consumer (fitting word in this example) less of an option.

    Besides, if/when it becomes widely known that you cant record your favorite sports game/movie/whatever with these new tools, people simply wont purchase them, and will stick with their old equipment.

    And when that happens, theyll blame "piracy."

  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:44PM (#8795742) Homepage Journal
    evil_bit broadcast_flag sue_and_kill_evil_pirate's_dog

    0 1 0
    1 1 1

    evil_bit
    1 forAll evil_pirates
    0 forAll good_guys(TM) = {RIAA, MPAA, political_puppets}

    broadcast_flag
    1 always 1
  • by Sanity (1431) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:47PM (#8795773) Homepage Journal
    The last time we saw this kind of monopolistic control of information, it led to the dark ages.

    The second dark age will not be caused by organized religion, but by the "content" industries and those politicians that deliberately or unwittingly serve their interests. Their power will come, not from the flawed dogma of authoritarian religion, but from the flawed dogma of intellectual property.

    The people pushing this are not creators, in fact, if they really understood creativity they would understand why the whole concept of knowledge as property is so flawed. Walter Elias Disney understood, but those that control today's Disney Corp certainly does not (or just don't care).

    The free software movement is a powerful demonstration of why these concepts are flawed, but could be rendered powerless by some of the more potent forms of intellectual property, such as patent law.

    We must fight this on the political battlefield, if you haven't contacted your political representatives about this - now is the time.

    • How true. Sad to think that Disney was built on the back of so many public domain stories. Even sadder to think about how long they'll "own" the copyright to (for instance) the recent movie, "League of ExtraOrdinary Gentlemen" or the lawsuits they'd bury you in if you tried to use that movie yourself in the wrong way.
  • by Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:50PM (#8795799)
    one word: SUX0r

    I have only given the treaty a quick scan, and see no fair use provisions

    Article 9

    Right of Reproduction

    Alternative N

    Broadcasting organizations shall enjoy the exclusive right of authorizing the direct or indirect reproduction, in any manner or form, of fixations of their broadcasts.

    Alternative O (1) Broadcasting organizations shall have the right to prohibit the reproduction of fixations of their broadcasts. (2) Broadcasting organizations shall enjoy the exclusive right of authorizing the reproduction of their broadcasts from fixations made pursuant to Article 14 when such reproduction would not be permitted by that Article or otherwise made without their authorization.

    [End of Article 9]

    Article 16

    Obligations concerning Technological Measures

    (1) Contracting Parties shall provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures that are used by broadcasting organizations in connection with the exercise of their rights under this Treaty and that restrict acts, in respect of their broadcasts, that are not authorized or are prohibited by the broadcasting organizations concerned or permitted by law.

    Alternative V

    (2) In particular, effective legal remedies shall be provided against those who: (i) decrypt an encrypted program-carrying signal; (ii) receive and distribute or communicate to the public an encrypted program-carrying signal that has been decrypted without the express authorization of the broadcasting organization that emitted it; (iii) participate in the manufacture, importation, sale or any other act that makes available a device or system capable of decrypting or helping to decrypt an encrypted program-carrying signal.

    Alternative W (2) [No such provision]

    Article 15

    Term of Protection

    The term of protection to be granted to broadcasting organizations under this Treaty shall last, at least, until the end of a period of 50 years computed from the end of the year in which the broadcasting took place.

    [End of Article 15]

  • They want their content displayable on any device but they don't want to pay for the devices.
    I paid for the TV set.
    I paid for the PC. (The P is for Personal, remember?)
    They came up with the DVD player and the Xbox. Fine, make those gadgets able to read DVD and obey *Their* rules. That's implied.
    If they want PCs to read them too, well then, they can't have it both ways!

    These TV people and Spammers want the same thing: a Free Ride on US.
  • It will just increase piracy. There's going to be old video capture cards out there for years that ignore the broadcast flag. If people can't do what they want with new equipment, they'll just return it. People will eventually migrate to sources on the internet to get their commercial free, already encoded fix for TV. I think this idea will backfire in a bad way for them. Just my $0.02.
  • Entitlement (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@@@pitabred...dyndns...org> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:54PM (#8795861) Homepage
    Because you not only get a chance to make money, but you're entitled to it, and if anything changes and you can't adapt, fuck them, change the law so you're still profitable.
    We Americans as a whole have become a bunch of self-important, arrogant, whiny twits, who seem to believe that we are owed something simply because we exist.
  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:56PM (#8795877)
    ...when amassing a huge collection of Ed, Edd, and Eddy episodes is outlawed, only outlaws will amass a huge collection of Ed, Edd, and Eddy episodes.

    Gravy!
  • by broothal (186066) <christian@fabel.dk> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:57PM (#8795891) Homepage Journal
    Man - I can't even watch a movie or listen to music without feeling like a criminal. It's time we invented a new form of entertainment. Open source entertainment with a GPL like license. In the 90's it was "information wants to be free". In the new millenium, entertainment wants to be free. (That's not free as in beer)

    Standard disclaimer - I am an entertainer, and I do both "freeware" shows (open mic nite) and paid shows.
  • wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bored Huge Krill (687363) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:59PM (#8795907)
    Gotta love this bit:

    Alternative V

    (2) In particular, legal remedies shall be provided against those who:

    (i) decrypt an encrypted program-carrying signal;

    (ii) receive and distribute or communicate to the public an encrypted program-carrying signal that has been decrypted without the express authorization of the broadcasting organizatoin that emitted it;

    (iii) participate in the manufacture, importation, sale or any other act that makes available a device or system capable of decrypting or helping to decrypt an encrypted program-carrying signal.

    so... this means that digital TVs would become illegal. Or, in fact, any device that would allow you to actually watch the encrypted TV, since the proposal is that a device which can decrypt the content under any circumstances (even to watch it) is illegal. Period. No exceptions. Only part (ii) here has an exemption for express authorization by the broadcaster. Part (i) makes it illegal to watch TV if it was encrypted (since you have to decrypt it to watch it) and part (iii) makes it illegal to sell a TV.

    Y'know, I'm thinking maybe that isn't what they meant. Isn't overbroad legislation wonderful? :-)

    • Y'know, I'm thinking maybe that isn't what they meant. Isn't overbroad legislation wonderful? :-)

      Maybe it's exactly what they meant. If whiny broadcasters were lobbying me all the time about such a trivial thing, I think I'd take a lot of satisfaction in passing a law which 'accidentally' made it illegal to watch their product :-)

    • Re:wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DunbarTheInept (764) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:33PM (#8796364) Homepage
      If you design a law that effectively makes all forms of an activity illegal, but then get to enforce it selectively only in the cases where you want to, then you have written yourself a blank check that allows you free reign to legally control that activity. So don't for a minute think that it is ignorance or accident that caused this law to make all TV watching illegal - it's probably deliberate.

      Make all TV watching illegal by default, and then selectively enforce this when and where you want to, and now you have full legal control over the television market.

      That's why I don't respect the argument that "if they can't catch you doing it, then who cares that they made a benign activity illegal? It's no real harm, right?"

  • the idea of a broadcast flag is a good one - there should be metadata telling you exactly what is copyrighted material, but it should be your choice if you want to 'break the law' and record it. At most gadgets should simply say 'it is illigal to record this material, are you sure you want to continue?' and let you choose. why should manufactures be forced to cripple their hardware? why should consumers be banned from buying/owning un-crippled hardware from overseas? this is a monopoly in so many ways - why
  • by tweakt (325224) * on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:04PM (#8795959) Homepage
    Of course I know this signal would be turned on only for specific programming (Superbowl, etc). But still the possibility could arise that the broadcaster/distributor is not honoring the actual copyright holder's wishes. What happens when the actual copyright owner grants an open license to freely copy a program, but nobody actually can?

    Do we really need this? What will it solve? Television programming is ALREADY copyrighted. By adding this explicity copying restriction then are calling all television viewers CRIMINALS.

    Also. This thing needs a new name. Just like DRM's correct name is "Digital Restrictions Management". Calling this a "broadcast flag" isn't descriptive enough to the average person. It needs to be referred to as something else. "Copy prevention flag", etc...

    Also, keep in mind, it's really not preventing only copies to be made. It actually prevents you from even making a FIRST GENERATION recording of a live program as well. Guess what, no more timeshifting. TIVO just got a whole lot less useful. No more instant replays of Janet Jackson's boob.

  • by jafuser (112236) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:08PM (#8796001)
    What's going to happen when people start walking around with "personal memory augmenters" that record everything they see and hear for their own personal data mining later on?

    Are they going to make such a device illegal because you might wear it to a concert / movie / theme park and then get to play back your experience again later?

    What happens when the technology advances so far that it becomes a sort of implant?

    When we begin to become practically symbiotic with such a device such that our competitiveness and our daliy lives begin to depend on it more and more, will we still be told by large media organizations what we can and can't re-experience?

    When our human memories become fully meshed with technology (which I expect will happen within the next 100 years), where will we draw the line between our rights to re-experience something from memory and the content producer's right to get compensated for repeated experiences?
  • Really, this ranks up there with the DMCA and lawsuits against children sharing files. And to think, just a decade ago average voters didn't give a damn about copyright extensions and other such nonesense. This one may just be ticket to wake them up when they find they can't timeshift their favorite reality dribble.

    Now all that will be necessary is to remind them that is Congress that has the power to set copyright terms, and it is they who have the power to elect Congress. Now matter how much money the *A
  • oh, well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MasTRE (588396) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:17PM (#8796098)
    Anyone else thinking "you know what? keep your damn content - I'll take on a new hobby, go out enjoy nature, read more books, learn to cook, take up hiking, etc." ? If they're going to these great lengths to protect their content, why not just keep it to themselves? It's like going into the water at the beach. You're afraid you'll miss this crap until you fully do it - disconnect. Then you realize what a fool you've been wasting your non-refundable, one-shot & short life in front of a non-interactive tube.
    • Re:oh, well (Score:3, Interesting)

      by absurdhero (614828)
      Exactly what I was thinking. They keep their content, I'll make my own and distribute it with the bf off. Its just like proprietary software. It will fail because independant broadcasters will render it obsolete, or, if that is illegal, oh well. I guess I won't be watching television or listening to recorded music from large record labels. It's their loss.
  • by Prototerm (762512) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @04:53PM (#8797493)
    The reason TV broadcasters want this is not to stop piracy. In a nutshell, they need to stop Tivo (and Replay, and all PVR's) for two reasons:

    1. They have lost all control of their schedules. With easy, good-quality time-shifting, they can no longer target a particular show for a particular day and time. Counter-programming one show against another is futile.

    2. They have to stop people from easily skipping commercials. With any PVR, that's a simple matter of recording a show, and starting to watch it about 20 minutes after it starts.

    Instead of adapting to the new reality of the consumer being in charge of their own entertainment, the broadcast networks are forced into these draconian measures.

    The first network to use this flag will get a lot of complaints, and lose viewers to the competition. That competition will be most happy to use its lack of the broadcast flag as a major selling point.

    Corporate greed created this flag, and that same corporate greed will prevent its widespread use. This whole issue will become a tempest in a TV plot.

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