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TiVo Has to Fund Your Local Stadium 437

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-just-plain-wierd dept.
Strudelkugel writes "The Washington Post has a truly Kafka-esque article regarding TiVo, the broadcast flag, the NFL and limited file sharing. "TiVo, the company that makes the digital-video-recorder boxes that inspire such strange idolatry among their users, is in a weird spot. It's asking the Federal Communications Commission for permission to add a new feature -- the option for a TiVo user to send recorded digital TV programs via the Internet to nine other people." Just wait until your read the rest of the story..." This one is actually really worth a read to see just how bizarrely corrupt this all is. Enjoy.
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TiVo Has to Fund Your Local Stadium

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:34PM (#9858074)
    ...than taxpayers having to fund a local stadium?
    • by zogger (617870) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:58PM (#9858188) Homepage Journal
      ...funding their local "education" establishment and huge amounts of those monies going to subsidise the NFL and NBA "farm teams" in the schools? since when is getting children addicted to professional sports part of an "education"? Aren't there other athletic and fun pursuits that might cost less available? Why not make those businesses fund them instead? Why should people on pensions-more or less pretty fixed incomes, be asked to support professional sports leagues to perpetuate the societal addiction to team sports? If these profitable businesses have enough to pay salaries in the millions per year to "sports stars",it seems like they can fund local schools "teams" then, don't ask the tax payers to do it.
      • It's probably not a popular opinion here, but people go to college to get the skills to attempt to get a job in their chosen field (vet-med, engineering, modern dance,...). Why should it be any different for football and basketball players? Only a small percentage of those who play the sports in college go on to be professionals - and the fact that scholarships are given to many who don't go on give a lifetime of opportunity to them that an education affords.

        I personally like college football and basket

        • by PsiPsiStar (95676) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @02:00PM (#9858496)
          I'm not sure what you're arguing for here.

          People don't go to college to major in football, typically.

          You pretty much answered your own question. The purpose of college sports is not, with most schools and for most students, to prepare atheletes for a career in atheletics. That's not where their priorties lie.

          • by endoboy (560088) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @02:54PM (#9858797)
            People don't go to college to major in football, typically.

            hmmm... don't get out much do you?

            A large percentage of the guys playing division one football went to college for precisely that major... the "phys ed" degree is a often a figleaf at best

            • His statement was correct:

              People don't go to college to major in football, typically.

              You are saying:

              Football players do go to college to major in football, typically.

              A much different statement.

          • by DABANSHEE (154661) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @03:57PM (#9859084)
            In Europe soccer players don't go off to uni to further their career, they simply go & get a job at a footy club playing soccer.

            Here in Sydney, Australia, Rugby League players don't go off to uni to further their career, they simply go of & get a job at a footy club playing the greatest game on earth. Then later they retire & buy a pub or sports store or become a commentator.

            It seems to me in the US a college education has become a prestigue/class thing that everyone's expected to have if they don't want to be consided a red neck illiterate, never mind the fact it's not desirable for everyone to desire a college education.

            AFAIC sports people are much better off pursueing their sporting career by playing their sport when they're young 'n strong. They can always go to uni mature-age in their 30's after they've retired from injuries.
          • No, but unfortunately the parent poster is correct, huge amounts of needed capital are siphoned off to support sports. And don't get me started on how schools will deliberately allow an athletically-gifted student to underperform academically. Sadly, sports are an ingrained component of our school system, and students and society alike are suffering for it.
        • by thoth (7907) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @02:23PM (#9858618) Journal
          Why should it be any different for football and basketball players?
          Professional sports leagues shouldn't use our university system as their minor leagues. They should establish universities that grant degrees in football, basketball, whatever. Sort of like a trade school. You would attend, and work on your degree in football. Get your B.S.football or B.S.basketball, and enter the league. No taking up space at a university praying to be drafted before you graduate.
        • I completely agree with you. The public school system need only spend on football what it spends on other electives like language or art. If the art students can go on to be professional artists for such a nominal extra investment, why can't the football players do the same? In fact, I'll bet the success ratio of art students being able to be professional artists is greater than that of football players. Perhaps there would be even more professional football players if we cut the funding of football!
      • by JAZ (13084)
        Just fyi.... around here the local highschool football teams make enough money in ticket sales to find the program. So the tax payers get it started, but then it goes on to generate a surplus, that occasionally goes to fund other things - though not often enough IMHO.

        j
  • Account (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:35PM (#9858080)
    Free registration required (THEY READ YOUR THOUGHTS).

    a/c: slashdot42@slashdot.org
    password: slashdot

    Enjoy.
    • Re:Account (Score:5, Informative)

      by hawley Griffin (796320) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:42PM (#9858116)
      BugMeNot.com was created as a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of web sites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information (such as the New York Times). http://extensions.roachfiend.com/index.html#bugmen ot [roachfiend.com]
      • Re:Account (Score:3, Funny)

        by Tassach (137772)
        Does it really matter if the NYT "knows" that I'm a black woman born in 1938 and live at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue?
        • No, it doesn't. But I at least have difficulties in remembering what userid/password I've registered with - NYT is certainly not the only site that requires registration. The BugMeNot plugin is IMHO (along with Web Developer) the most useful FireFox plugin out there.
          • But I at least have difficulties in remembering what userid/password I've registered with
            So you pick a userid which is unusual enough that it's unlikely to be used by anyone else, and use it everywhere. BugMeNot is a good idea but doesn't help you when you're using a computer (like the one at work) that you can't install FireFox on.
  • by crazyray (776321) * on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:35PM (#9858082)
    This article really highlights just how out-of-control the broadcast flag has become. As an owner of the HR10-250, the high definition Directivo, I wonder if this $1000 box will become worthless next July?
    • by the_mad_poster (640772) <shattoc@adelphia.com> on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:26PM (#9858313) Homepage Journal

      The entire SYSTEM is out of control. The article covers everything from the abuse of the broadcast flag to benefit rich folks at the top of effectively monopolized industries to the fleecing of taxpayers to fund "public" stadiums that they have to then pay exhorbitant prices to get into, and pay exhorbitant prices to eat in. Just think, you could be funding your local superstar's overblown salary so that he can snag 14 million dollars a year to support his coke habit. You ARE funding the FCC to tell you what you can and (more often than not) can't do with the video signal broadcast from that stadium your tax dollars built. If you live in California, you're paying tax dollars to enforce "protection" measures in movie theaters by funding police that now have to respond to copyright violations.

      People amaze me. They just do. It just never crosses that thick bone barrier in the majority of this country's moronic populace that every which way they turn, whether it be shopping at Wal-Mart, buying movie tickets, buying CDs, or buying sporting even tickets, that they're actually paying people to make them poorer. The sheer ignorance that the regular public has proven itself capable of is overshadowed only by the fact that the situation just keeps getting worse. Not only are they not smart enough to stop it, they're too dumb to see that they're being fed their nieghbor's body parts in the trough.

      • that they're actually paying people to make them poorer.

        Paying people without getting poorer would be a real trick.
        • by M. Baranczak (726671) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @03:58PM (#9859086)
          Paying people without getting poorer would be a real trick.

          I think you're on to something there. What we need is GPL'd money. You'd be able to make as many copies as you want, and fix the design to your satisfaction (I never liked the new asymmetrical style; also, they mis-spelled Adam Weishaupt's name on the $1 bill - I've been waiting forever for them to fix that) as long as you include the licensing terms on each piece. This requirement might be kind of tough for coins, but I think today's microengraving technology is up to the task.
        • Paying people without getting poorer would be a real trick.

          A pretty well-known trick then - e.g. every company is paying its employees to do something. You tell me, the companies that make a profit - are they getting poorer or richer?

          Or me paying a stock broker to manage a portfolio - and (s)he does what I expect.. I'm getting richer, right?

        • by thogard (43403) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @08:21PM (#9860254) Homepage
          Study the concept of non-zero-sum-gain sometime. While in the short term your statement is true, its not always. Back in econ 101 we lear that if you have two people and one is good at fishing and the other better at basket making, if they can trade products and both be better off. What the poster was commenting about is about buying the $1.26 item at Wal-Mart vs the locally made one at $1.96 means your going to decrease the total wealth in your area and then you end up paying more in taxes so your transaction turns out to be a negitive-sum-gain.
    • I wonder if this $1000 box will become worthless next July?

      Quite the contrary - when the only boxes you can buy are hobbled with the broadcast flag and other DRM, it'll probably become a lot more valuable!

  • Analog outputs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kithraya (34530) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:39PM (#9858096)
    My favorite part of the article is the bit about going to Congress to get ligislation enacted to get rid of or disable analog outputs. That single line pretty much sums up (in my view) just how out of control this broadcast flag has gotten.
    • Re:Analog outputs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by slughead (592713) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:59PM (#9858192) Homepage Journal
      And yet you guys still don't vote Libertarian [lp.org]. We've been saying for years that the FCC just continues to get more and more powerful, in addition to being an evil censoring draconian cesspool to begin with. We told you that no republicrat would ever take power away from them, and that it would continue to get worse.

      But nooo, you wouldn't listen to me, "oh it's just a little bunny rabbit" you said...
      • Re:Analog outputs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:17PM (#9858265) Homepage Journal
        This year is not the year to vote libertarian. I saw it said no better the other night on Real Time with Bill Mahr. Voting anything other than the current two parties on the presidential election means absolutely nothing, because if you loose, you've wasted your vote.

        However, voting libertarian for a Senate or House seat, or even more local government building up the third party from the ground up is the only way to go in the United States political system.

        So if you want to vote libertarian, do so to fill seats in the house/senate not the presidential race. That'll never fix anything but let Bush back in office because the people more likely to vote libertarian would vote against Bush (not necessarily FOR his opponent either, but just to get him out of office)
        • Re:Analog outputs (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Dan Ost (415913) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @03:15PM (#9858891)
          Voting anything other than the current two parties on the presidential election means absolutely nothing, because if you loose, you've wasted your vote.

          This is a dangerous misconception.

          A vote for a losing party is not wasted as long as there isn't a single
          dominant party. As long as there are two dominant parties, then there is
          competition for votes. If a non-dominant third party gets some small percentage
          of the votes, then there is pressure on both of the dominant parties to make
          changes in order to appeal to those voters so as to better compete against
          the other dominant party.

          In effect, a vote for a non-dominant third party is actually a more powerful
          vote than a vote for a dominant party since a third party vote can change the
          policy of both dominant parties as long as they have reason to believe that
          they can earn your vote (this is why you should never come off as a fanatic
          since nobody expects to appease a fanatic).
        • by Catamaran (106796)
          I'd vote libertarian if it weren't for the fact that I disagree with them on most of the issues.
  • by $exyNerdie (683214) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:39PM (#9858097) Homepage Journal
    Understand that TiVo itself is no hero. Its proposed system is thoroughly hobbled. The people to whom you'd send recordings online would need you to add them to a "secure viewing group" by ordering special security keys for their Windows computers, associated with your TiVo bill. Each viewer would need to plug one such key into a PC to receive, watch or edit your recordings.

    Makes me wonder if they will ask for the contact info of the receiver/viewer friend also?

    • Makes me wonder if they will ask for the contact info of the receiver/viewer friend also?

      Makes me wonder if they will ask for proof if the receiver is a real friend or have other affiliation
  • ARGGH (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sockonafish (228678) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:40PM (#9858100)
    Why do we keep subsidizing broken businesses? The NFL isn't like the airlines or Amtrak, our country could still function normally if some of the less profitable teams folded.

    How did the cat get so fat?!?!
    • Re:ARGGH (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SpacePunk (17960) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:09PM (#9858229) Homepage
      Can you say "bread and circuses"?

      I knew you could!

    • by FreeUser (11483) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:20PM (#9858284)
      Why do we keep subsidizing broken businesses? The NFL isn't like the airlines or Amtrak, our country could still function normally if some of the less profitable teams folded.

      Sports is the mechanism by which the powers that be keep the American people dumbed down, sedate, and easily controlled. More so than religion (although that is certainly also a potent tool in undermining a person's ability to think critically), more so than a shoddy educational system.

      Sports is the true opiate of the poeple. Baseball fans who can't balance their checkbook routinely excersize college level statistical analysis on their favorite player's batting averages and team's performance. Clearly these people aren't stupid per se, or necessarilly ignorant, but their creative and intellectual capacity has been stupified and hijacked toward ends that present no competition or threat to those who rule. The message is quite clear and effective: "think as much as you like, as long as it isn't about something important."

      The last thing they are ever going to do is allow a key component of the Bread and Circuses America is spoonfed to fall, regardless of how much of the rest of the economy subsidizing their existence will harm. Just as the Romans would routinely choose to ship expensive sand for the Colesium, rather than much needed food for the people, so to will our government choose to prop up Hollywood and the NFL, at any expense.

      To do otherwise risks the very real possibility that the sleeping, fooled and distracted masses of America might actually arise from the couch and get involved politically, and that is something none of the current politicans want ... particularly the current administration.
      • by Sheetrock (152993) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @02:01PM (#9858503) Homepage Journal
        Gee, it's a good thing you didn't mention how the worship of sports in our culture helps to create and reinforce the undercurrent of hatred and resentment of the intellectual in our society from school-aged children on up and acts as yet another control on meaningful dissent.

        You might touch a nerve.

    • Re:ARGGH (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ghack (454608)
      Why do we keep subsidizing broken businesses? The NFL isn't like the airlines or Amtrak, our country could still function normally if some of the less profitable teams folded.

      This is, for several reasons, a relatively ignorant statement. The first problem with the statement involves categorizing the NFL a "broken business." The NFL has a nice profit sharing system that is damn near communistic. In fact, because of the sharing scheme, even the worst teams make alot of money, and cities, essentially, have
    • Re:ARGGH (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vaguelyamused (535377) <jsimons@rocketmail.com> on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:55PM (#9858468)
      You forget the car companies. People always rail against Amtrak and the airlines for being subsidized by the government. They complain these businesses shouldn't receive subisdies and should stay afloat on there own. However they ignore by FAR the biggest transportation subsidies go towards the automotive transport systems. Rail companies are expected to build and maintain track yet how many roads have Ford and GM built? If the government spent even a small percentage of what it spends on roads on rail and transit systems that would be much more efficient, less polluting and far less dangerous
      • Re:ARGGH (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mdfst13 (664665)
        Automobile companies do not pay extra to support roads, but fuel companies do. Nationwide, more money is collected from fuel taxes than is spent on roads. Fuel tax costs *are* included in the costs passed on to consumers. It would be different if taxes on rail travel were used to subisdize rail transport, but in fact, some of the excess from fuel taxes (from cars and trucks!) is used to subsidize rail companies.
  • by gid13 (620803) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:41PM (#9858107)
    I'm tired of this. Stop restricting information flow with legal means. Stop having copyrights and patents. If people want to keep secrets, let them encrypt their data. If people want to hack that encryption, let them try.

    It's a ridiculously tiny jump from freedom of speech to freedom of information. The only reason it seems like a big jump to having no copyrights is that, although we're far better off than some parts of the world, we don't REALLY have free speech.

    Bottom line: if they want the TV revenue, let them take the risks associated with having it out there. As the article says, at this point an online viewer would be lucky to watch the game by the next day anyway, and who knows? Maybe this kind of exposure would draw in MORE fans and let them sell out MORE games. Maybe.
    • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:57PM (#9858182) Journal
      It's a ridiculously tiny jump from freedom of speech to freedom of information. The only reason it seems like a big jump to having no copyrights is that, although we're far better off than some parts of the world, we don't REALLY have free speech.

      The US constitution, while protecting speech, explicitly authorized (even mandates) the protection of innovation by granting monopolies on copying.

      In the case of literature and the like this is intended to keep publishers from printing copies without paying the authors, for a limited time.

      In the case of inventions to encourage invention by protecting against reverse-engineered copies for a limited time in return for publication of complete descriptions of how to "practice the invention" after the time expires.

      Over two centuries of legal hacking have worked around the original intent of the provision. But the provision is still there. And the Constitution is the SOLE authorizing document for the government - the "kernel code", so to speak.

      If you want to make such a change, you need to amend the consititution. That's a really tough road to hoe.
      • Agreed completely. If I had the ability to mod up a reply to me, I'd do so here.
      • Escrowed Release (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:44PM (#9858408)
        n the case of literature and the like this is intended to keep publishers from printing copies without paying the authors, for a limited time. ...

        If you want to make such a change, you need to amend the consititution.
        That's a really tough road to hoe.


        Especially if it is paved with asphalt. Really, that's "tough row to hoe" as in "row of corn."

        I think it was Valenti who was quoted as saying that he wants to define "limited time" as "forever" but since his lawyers told him that's not possible, he'll settle for "forever minus a day."

        But, just as the copyright industry is "legally hacking" the provision, we could do the same thing (if we had the power to get an amendment in place, we certainly would have the enough power to do the following) -- define "limited time" to the first 10 seconds after publication.

        The difference between Valenti's absurdity and my apparent absurdity is that his position is akin to eating his own feedcorn -- by destroying the public domain, eventually there will be no raw material to draw on as a basis for new creations, everything will require licensing and royalties and you can be certain that as soon as there is no longer any "free" competition for raw material, the cost of the not-free stuff will skyrocket.

        Meanwhile, my proposal still leaves open plenty of room for artists to make money. Not distributors and the other types of middlemen who make up the copyright induistry and only serve as bottlenecks today, there is no room for them to make much money, certainly not the gazillions that they do today. But the artists, the actual creators of the work can still get paid and even paid well if they are successful by implementing the idea of escrowed release to the public domain. Essentially, they set a total price for their work, interested buyers pay into an escrowed account. Once the total meets the price (or the seller lower his asking price), the work is released to the public domain. Artists who create popular work will be able to fetch successively higher prices for each new release.

        One might argue that under such a scheme it is impossible to get started in the first place since no one will know the quality of your work. My response is that under today's system so many artists work for next to nothing all of their lives that simply releasing a few pieces of work for free as advertising is effectively no different than the way things work today and provides a much higher probability of achieving some level of success in the long run.

        Perhaps a simpler, more catchy way to say "escrowed release to the public domain" would be - "work once, paid once (just like everybody else)."

        PS, googling for "streetperformer protocol" will turn up a white paper or two describing one form of escrowed release to the public domain.
  • Frostbite (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Ok as long as the NFL will handle all the frostbite injury lawsuits in Buffalo. This is the same as horse racetracks (in NJ, for example) saying that they MUST have slot machines to keep interest in horse racing alive....doesn't make any sense at all.
  • Silly bastards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fname (199759) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:41PM (#9858111) Journal
    Wow, the NFL sure is spending a lot of effort to prevent people from watching their in-market game-- which any sensible DirecTV customer can do today. Sick of the Raiders game being blacked out in Oakland? Well, just "move" to Los Angeles, and you'll be able to see every game on Sunday Ticket. And there are more ways than that.

    Do you think the NFL will come after me for a DMCA violation-- is this considered a workaround of an effective security method?
  • TiVo Has to Fund Your Local Stadium

    I don't see where the article says that TiVo has to fund the local stadium. Here's the relevant excerpt:

    This is an important point: The NFL is not asking the FCC to protect its television business -- never mind that the flag exists only to stop indiscriminate file sharing, not cure every copyright-infringement issue.

    No, the NFL is asking for help with a stadium business, one that already benefits from massive government welfare. (A December 2002 Buffalo News story c

  • by pegr (46683) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:45PM (#9858132) Homepage Journal
    Jim Burger, a lawyer for TiVo, fumed about the NFL's complaint: "Maybe their engineers understand how to inflate a football, but I don't think they understand encoded, encrypted MPEG-2," TiVo's tightly secured format.

    Perhaps it is Mr. Burger that doesn't understand. The ability to rip unencumbered video streams from a hacked TiVi has existed for sometime now. If you want to know the future, Mr. Burger, study the past...

  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by XryanX (775412) <[XryanX] [at] [earthlink.net]> on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:45PM (#9858133)
    From the article:
    "Until that can be answered, his lobby contends that the safest course is to block Internet sharing -- after all, he noted, you can just pop a DVD in the mail."

    Don't they also dislike the idea of people using DVD-Rs to distribute their material?
    • Shouldn't they be more worried about the latter option? It's much easier (and faster) for me to send or receive a DVD in the mail as opposed to sending / receiving the same amount of data over my internet connection...
  • by rde (17364) * on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:48PM (#9858143)
    In many ways, we're seeing examples of how people want dumber technology. Hands up the number of people who hang on to outdated CD-ROM drives because they ignore the corrupted crap that infests so many of today's alleged CDs? (recently, I didn't realise I'd bought an unrippable CD until after I'd ripped it). When the pernicious broadcast flag becomes endemic, people are once again going to look for older tech to overcome it. Tivo will find itself out-featured by older models, ones that ignore such crap.

    To my mind, this is a sure sign that things are going wrong (as if more signs were needed); the broadcast flag and other silliness are anti-technology (and anti-business) because they'll discourage people from upgrading. Of course, they'll be banking on the fact that relatively few people will stick to such technologies, but it only takes one person with a linux-based PVR and a copy of gtk-gnutella to totally screw the pooch.

    One thing about the article, though; it implies that the NFL are wasting their time because bandwidth limitations mean it'll never be practical. This assumes that super-duper ultra-high-speed connections will never be available (or at least commonplace); this is a specious argument, I reckon. Not that I'm arguing for it; I just dislike arguments that can be easily overcome.
    • by babyrat (314371) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:31PM (#9858339)
      Of course, they'll be banking on the fact that relatively few people will stick to such technologies, but it only takes one person with a linux-based PVR and a copy of gtk-gnutella to totally screw the pooch.

      And what happens when your capture card in that PC dies? Any new one you buy will have to honour the broadcast flag. The Broadcast flag isn't an over-night fix, but 20 years from now when all the hardware that doesn't support the broadcast flag has died, it will reign supreme - except of course for the foreign hardware that illegally trickles in from places that are not the land of the 'free' thus are not mandated to provide broadcast flag censorship.
  • by foidulus (743482) * on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:58PM (#9858184)
    watching a game on television/their computer a replacement for going to the game? If possible, I would much prefer to go to a game rather than watch it on TV. Being able to watch a game on TV has no bearing on whether or not I will buy a ticket. The atmosphere is just so much different. Plus, you can decide what you want to watch, you aren't forced to watch what the camera is pointing at. This is just another one fo those "enablers", it enables them to do all sorts of stupid shit to cover up the fact that they just can't sell tickets.
    There is a reason people don't go to Buffalo games in November and December, it's fucking freezing! Do they seriously expect someone to say, "Well, it's so cold out that really don't want to go to the game, but since I can't watch it on TV, I will go anyhow"? My best guess is that they will just not watch the game, or go to a bar or something to watch it, where people pay even less attention to the commercials....
  • by Bruha (412869) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @12:59PM (#9858193) Homepage Journal
    When it comes to technology our own government leaders are out of touch. GB does not even use email and if that's a example of how smart our USPTO,Congress, and others are then were in big trouble.

    I dont believe that what Tivo is doing is such a bad thing. What I do believe that the cable companies who are trying to knock Tivo off it's seat are probably the cause of the problems in the first place. All they had to do is put a bug in the ears of the RIAA,MPAA, and the NFL the latter which probably knows the least about the device. Then those groups go arguing to the FCC where they might have a slight idea of what MPEG2 consists of but I'm sure the group arguing against Tivo conviently forgot to mention the slow speeds of our current broadband services.

    Now 3 years down the road this will be a changed world in the US as the FTTP rollouts will be in full steam and will have probably crossed the 2million mark or even more and it would be a standard thing to have a 10/10 connection to the internet. It's even faster between neigborhoods with testing in Keller TX, on multi gig transferrs taking a few seconds. So I would expect that people could then easily send videos to others. Hell with a little work Tivo could turn your box into a Napster for tv shows, and other recordings using the combined networked Tivo's as local servers.

    Back to my point. These groups want to shut Tivo down so they can profit on their own distribution methods and limit choices to the consumer so they can inflate prices as they please. And it's true that NFL teams tend to milk whatever city they reside in through taxes. Now they want to milk the consumer even more through limited choice and high prices. If they wanted to do otherwise they would work with Tivo to come up with a acceptable solution and restrictions. However since they're not I have to stick with my original theory.
  • What's this "broadcast flag" shit? I guess anything is possible over there these days. If you can run a compiler, seriously, use mplayer and forget about copy protection/DRM stuff for good.

  • Corporate welfare (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:22PM (#9858296)
    It's refreshing to see the NFL has been rather open about the whole purpose of FCC-recognized corporate welfare. When asked why the NFL was demanding governmental heavy-handedness and intervention in the free market, the NFL suit answered:

    "It's a question of pure ability to sell tickets," said Frank Hawkins, the NFL's senior vice president for business affairs.

    Exactly. Hawkins goes on to explain that "they'll never sell out those December games if they are unable to enforce the blackout rule" (meaning manipulate, coerce and destroy consumer choice). The honest answer, however, is that the value of a northern market outdoor stadium seat significantly diminishes as it gets damn cold in December. And this is the consumer's problem how?

    Has the NFL ever studied popsicle sales, especially looking at them in, say, January in Detroit? (Clue: The local Good Humor man doesn't drive down neighborhood streets when the outside temperature is lower than that of his product!) What about the hot soup sales at Disney World in July? If you've hit Disney's parks at different times of the year, you'll learn that they're well in tune to the weather and consumer behavior (ever notice the umbrellas that amazingly pop up all over at the stands just as the drops are starting to fall?)

    If these businesses were run like the NFL, we'd have the government shutting down grocery stores in Orlando and limiting the only food choice to Campbell's Cream of Brocalli in order to protect the Disney soup racket.

    Just as the RIAA doesn't understand (nor care about) the consumers of its industry's products, the NFL has lost it on fans. A Cleveland Browns seat may be worth $125 in September, but certainly not in December. Their inability to understand this is not grounds for absurd government intervention, and any bureaucrat that supports this nonsense is probably on someone's payola (hey Junior Powell - get your Redskins season tickets yet?).
    • Exactly. Hawkins goes on to explain that "they'll never sell out those December games if they are unable to enforce the blackout rule" (meaning manipulate, coerce and destroy consumer choice). The honest answer, however, is that the value of a northern market outdoor stadium seat significantly diminishes as it gets damn cold in December. And this is the consumer's problem how?

      This may be true in some markets, however, the steelers have not had a game that did not sell out since the early 1970s. Part of i
  • Diable Analog (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:28PM (#9858322) Homepage Journal
    Even if this were to fly ( much to the glee of the RIAA and MPAA ) how do they propse we listen/watch things?

    Ive not seen too many digital earbuds.. or digital portable TVs...

    Espically audio, it has to be analog at some point.. but then again, if they ban A/D converters, then i guess they have won.. and hopefully noone will listen to music again, until the laws are repealed and the morons that are passing them are put in jail.

  • by CdBee (742846) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:31PM (#9858335)
    I guess we're coming to a point where the consumer protests about the lack of "added value" in broadcast media. When you go to a football match, or a baseball game, or a rock concert you're getting to see people performing live for your entertainment. That shows talent and professionalism, and it's the sort of thing for which people should expect to pay a reasonable price.

    Broadcast media,however, is a service for which we already pay once in channel access charges, and now technologu is being deployed to prevent us sharing the pre-packaged, re-transmitted coverage of old events for which we've already paid if not once then several times.

    Contrary to the apparent beliefs of the broadcast industry, subscribers are sophisticated enough to know when they're being ripped off, and when a service provider loses the trust of its customer base no amount of law or technology can save them.
  • by vehn23 (684035) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:45PM (#9858414)
    Peter: Ooooh, tape this for me

    Brian: Oooooooooh sorry, the VCR hasn't worked since you tried to tape Monday Night Football

    (flashback, Peter puts tape in VCR and presses record, then security guards bust in)

    Security Guard: Do you have the expressed written cocent of ABC and the National Football League?

    Peter: (holding up contract) Just ABC

    (Peter jumps out of the way just as they begin shooting at the VCR)
  • by PsiPsiStar (95676) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:48PM (#9858428)
    This one is actually really worth a read to see just how bizarrely corrupt this all is. Enjoy.

    Heh. Yeah, nice try.
  • by buckhead_buddy (186384) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @01:55PM (#9858465)
    This really does relate to the topic at hand. I'm not trying to be morally superior or anything. Just want to give you some advice about reducing your tv habits before the DRM kicks in.

    I gave up television a year ago tomorrow when I moved and decided that I couldn't afford the price of cable at least for a month or so during the transition to the new location.

    I've always been a television junky though and really expected that I'd get something: satellite, cable, or even go back to antenna broadcasts. I'd come in from work and HAVE to have the tv playing something in the background. I remember even driving around for several weekends evaluating different recording technologies (Tivo looked the most promising) and I probably would have even bought one in anticipation if I'd already decided whether I was getting satelite or cable service.

    For housewarming, christmas, and my birthday I received some fantastic DVD series (Six Feet Under, Babylon 5, some britcoms and music documentaries) that I'd put into my computer or dvd player when I just wanted something on. Six Feet Under was so good that I actually thought of getting HBO to see the show (but I'd have missed two seasons which weren't out yet on DVD).

    I was talking to an old friend who knew of my pop-culture, tv-addicted habits. He wanted me to watch the new Battlestar Galactica but I told him that I didn't have cable. Not to worry he said, it'd be rebroadcast that night and later in the week if I thought my cable would be back on then. He was in shock when I told them that I didn't have a subscription and didn't really intend to get one. They said that such a declaration from a television addict like me was akin to Bill Gates switching to Mac OS X.

    With some efforts above and beyond the call of my friend, I did wind up watching the Battlestar remake and quite enjoyed it. I probably would have liked it better without the incessant commercials (on a DVD release or something). I'd forgotten just how annoying those things can be.

    Now with stories like this, it appears that the DRM is only going to get worse. The advertising is only going to get longer and bolder. I wish I could say that my decision was one of moral rectitude, but it was really one of evolved practicality. I can say that giving up tv is a whole lot easier than you probably imagine (I certainly couldn't imagine it).

    Give it up now while your friends can still videotape those one or two shows that you "must see". It'll only get more expensive and more difficult when DRM comes on the scene.
  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @02:04PM (#9858519) Homepage Journal
    Ok, suppose that TIVO plays along with this little farce. It will pass on the additional expenses to the customers in some form or another. Higher expenses, higher prices. No big deal, right? (I would be pissed though. I hate pro sports, and never watch them, so why should I have to pay anything?)

    UNTIL, some SE Asian company makes a Tivo clone that does everything that a tivo does, EXCEPT pay attention to broadcast flags, or pay 'protection' fees to the NFL. Now they have a product that is better, and cheaper, because it left a feature out. Basically they have built a better mousetrap by not adding something on.

    Adding 'features' like CSS, Macrovision, Broadcast flags, and Trusted Computing Controls will ALWAYS fail because if you have a single company/person who decides not to play by the rules, they can build a better product by simply not doing adding in the encryption features.
  • by grimani (215677) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @02:21PM (#9858610)
    "This one is actually really worth a read to see just how bizarrely corrupt this all is. Enjoy."

    thought only to be possible "once in a blue moon", by actually really reading the article cmdrtaco has proved us....well, right.

    once in a blue moon, indeed.
  • by saikou (211301) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @02:47PM (#9858754) Homepage
    Ever since I moved here from Europe I was wondering WHY I am not allowed to watch local stations from other areas. I mean they are already on the transponder, why can't I see local ABC from, say, NY? FCC does not allow that to protect local tv stations monopoly. If it was not for this rule, you'd always be able to watch your favorite game by simply switching to another local station.
    So, perhaps we should do something about that rule first. And when all local stations (ok, many local stations if not all, satellite feed is limited in size after all) are easily available anywhere in continental US, NFL et all won't be able to force local black-out, as viewers would simply flip the channel.
  • by snarkasaurus (627205) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @02:50PM (#9858772)
    Can this be the same Slashdot where I get flamed all the time for mentioning the Second Amendment?

    You boys and girls seem all upset when the Federal Government starts depriving you of your toys and amusements, like analog plugs for your TiVo. Lots of complaints about how dumb and crooked all these arguments are I see. Well, you know, you're right. It is dumb and crooked.

    Welcome to Gun Owner Land kids. How do you like it so far?
  • by UpLock (640192) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @03:14PM (#9858879)
    This is not about the broadcast flag and only vaguely about fair use and your rights as a consumer. This is about TiVo establishing their right to redistribute content ths same way your local cable provider redistributes you local broadcast station. CATV tested these limits in the midwest in the fifties with tall towers and local coax. Ted Turner broke the mold with TBS and CNN making Atlanta a global distribution hub. TiVo is taking this to the Internet, as a new means of redistributing content. They just push the cable headend out to your TiVo box and let you serve your friends and your common programming interests. Thus the requirement for subscriber ID's. TiVo needs to know who, anonymously aggregated, is watching what--because, like all television networks, they will rise or fall as a business by proving market demographics, both to advertizers and to content vendors who will want to get on their network--to distribuet movies. Don't be confused by the appeal to the FCC--this is part of TiVo's on again-off again struggle to find a business model they can defend.
  • by serutan (259622) <snoopdoug@g e e k a zon.com> on Sunday August 01, 2004 @04:04PM (#9859114) Homepage
    To keep this in perspective, let's remember that the whole copy-protection issue is an accident of history. Publishers, broadcasters and record companies have been able to flourish all these years because the general public simply didn't have the capability to widely distribute copies of things. If distributing copies had been as trivially simple as it is now, at the time sound and video recordings were invented, there would be no media companies because there would have been no market for records and tapes. People who wanted to make money in that area would have had to do it in a different way, or not at all. We would not have it ingrained in our minds that the world can't function properly unless someone owns or controls the distribution of every image and sound they produce. It's not a moral imperative, it's just an idea we are used to. If we want to, we can get used to other ideas just as well.
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @04:13PM (#9859159) Homepage
    During the OJ trial I learned that he makes $25,000 a month from his retirement package from the NFL. That's obviously $300,000 a year.

    I consider that an obscene amount of money considering he only worked 10 years for the NFL. And even then he only worked at most 6 months out of each year.

    If the NFL can afford to give someone who worked less than five years a lifetime salary of $300,000, it has a LOT of money.

    Thus the question is: Why can't its owners buy their own god-damn stadiums?!?!

  • by tkrotchko (124118) * on Sunday August 01, 2004 @05:19PM (#9859477) Homepage
    We've given the FCC veto power over consumer electronics.

    We've given the RIAA, MPAA, and virtually everybody who owns "content" veto power over consumer electronics.

    Why should I pay for something that I don't control? If I pay all that money for a Tivo, don't I have the right to decide what to do with it?

    Apparently not.

    If not for this hidden article in the Post, how many people would even be aware how much intrusion into our lives is happening via these folks?

    You either let your congressman/senator know now, or yet another right will be lost. If it isn't already.
  • by TyrranzzX (617713) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @10:00PM (#9860688) Journal
    I haven't watched TV in 3 years; instead, I either go to my local bittorrent site and get the shows from there if there's something worth watching, or I'll buy a DVD of anime here or there. I also don't get commercials this way, which is really really nice because I hate them with a vengance.

    Frankly, TV is going to go downhill as better p2p networks, storage, and more bandwidth become available. And with those, better business practices. We've got 320 gig harddisks now, with dsl connections. In 10 years, we'll have several terrabyte sized disks with t3 pipes going to each household, if the economy keeps on it's path, not to mention more processing power. If a decent quality movie fits on a cd, then a 120 of them will fit on a drive; that's a quite a library...

    I only see this as a law that will attempt to slow the speed of this adoption. We'll also see other adoptions such as being able to buy an entire season of some show for $5-$10, whereas you're paying for faster bandwidth to download a high quality copy that's insured against bad stuff and isn't crippled or bad quality in any way. P2P is reliable but it isn't fast, you don't get insurance against bad copies, low quality, or that someone didn't rename bad porn as a movie. I personally don't see it slowing down the adoption at all; whatever encryption they make, someone will inevitably break and rebroadcast.

    As for the few topics above this that are talking about taxes going to fund corporations; as long as the people don't know, they won't care. Grease the monkey and he'll grease you back, that's the name of the game.
  • end of inovation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doppler00 (534739) on Sunday August 01, 2004 @10:23PM (#9860782) Homepage Journal
    Wow this is truly amazing. Anyone remember the day when we all had VCR's and we could record anything that was being broadcast and send copies to friends? Do you think the FCC was ever involved when VCR manufactures added a feature to automatically record a program at a certain day and time? No. But suddenly, now that technology as improved they want to stop it.

    There was never a broadcast flag in the past, why should there be one now? Did someone force me to sign an EULA before I watch TV broadcast on public airwaves? In the past there was a natural limitation that prevented games broadcast locally from being seen in other areas of a country (the signal only transmitted so far), now the FCC wants to maintain that limitation through an artificial administrative control system?

    Look, if they want to attack someone it shouldn't be the end user or the company that manufactures the device. They are only going to hurt the consumer and the hardware manufactures. Maybe shuting down websites or people who are providing copies of programs to 100's of strangers would be appropriate. But telling a manufacturer that they have to change a 1 to a 0 in their code is ludicrous. Frustrating consumers is just wrong.
  • Quid Pro Quo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clambake (37702) on Monday August 02, 2004 @06:08AM (#9861846) Homepage
    "It's a question of pure ability to sell tickets," said Frank Hawkins, the NFL's senior vice president for business affairs.

    Why is the NFL allowed to say this but Tivo not allowed to counter with "It's a question of the pure ability to sell Tivos"? Seriously, what makes a professional sports team more important than any other business?

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