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MPAA Pushes Once Again To Close the Analog Hole 275

Posted by kdawson
from the encrypted-pipe-to-your-eardrum dept.
Tyler Too writes "The MPAA is once again trying to badger the FCC into approving Selectable Output Control, which would plug the 'analog hole' during broadcasts of some prerelease HD movies. MPAA bigshots met with seven staffers from the FCC Media Bureau last week, calling the petition a 'pro-consumer' (!) move designed to 'enable movie studios to offer millions of Americans in-home access to high-value, high definition video content.' At least the studios are now acknowledging that SOC would break the functionality of some HDTVs, an admission they were previously unwilling to make: 'What's interesting about the group's latest filing, however, is that it effectively concedes that the output changes it wants could, in fact, hobble some home video systems. "The vast majority of consumers would not have to purchase new devices to receive the new, high-value content contemplated by MPAA's" request, the group assures the FCC.'"
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MPAA Pushes Once Again To Close the Analog Hole

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  • by AnalPerfume (1356177) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:09AM (#29310039)
    They will always be back.
    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:17AM (#29310111) Journal

      How do you deal with that problem?

      Cut off the head.

      (aims sniper rifle)

      • by Jurily (900488)

        (aims sniper rifle)

        That's not the head, that's a puppet. Money is controlling this abomination.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by geekoid (135745)

          Eventually they won't be able to get people to do it if everyone before them has been killed.

          Money is a tool, it doesn't control anything, people do.

    • A less-messy solution is to amend the People's Constitution:

      Amendment __ : "Strike the phase 'exclusive Right'. Replace with 'temporary privilege'."

      • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:38AM (#29310309) Homepage Journal

        A less-messy solution is to amend the People's Constitution:

        Amendment __ : "Strike the phase 'exclusive Right'. Replace with 'temporary privilege'."

        The law already says "for limited Times" which ostensibly means temporary, but the Supreme Court turned that into toilet paper by upholding serial term extensions in Eldred v. Ashcroft. An amendment to outlaw perpetual copyright on the installment plan would have to explicitly outlaw legislative extensions of the term of a subsisting copyright.

      • by reebmmm (939463) on Friday September 04, 2009 @10:21AM (#29310813)

        So what does temporary mean, "forever less a day?" The constitution already provides for a "limited" time, and the forever less a day is effectively the argument that has won to date.

        Really the best strategy regarding copyright duration is something like this:
        a) an author receives an initial copyright for a period of 10 years. No formalities required.
        b) between years 10-15 (term + 5 year grace period), and author with sufficient interest in maintaining the copyright should have to i) register the copyright, and ii) pay some less than nominal fee. The copyright will continue for an additional 30 years (a total of 40 years).
        c) thereafter, the author pays an increasing amount for each additional 30 year period.
        d) the copyright automatically expires on the 100th year.

        This has lots of benefits: 1. everyone gets a copyright in their works without any formalities. 2. If it is economically viable after 10 years, they can pay a nominal amount and register it (no more orphan works). 3. It will last for most every author's lifetime and then some. 4. It puts works that an author no longer considers valuable into the public domain in relatively short order.

        • by mmeister (862972) on Friday September 04, 2009 @10:34AM (#29310975)

          Please do no present your rational and reasonable ideas on copyright. Clearly we have all moved beyond rational thought.

          Think about who lobbies Congress on this issue, mega-Corporations that have everything to lose if they don't have perpetual copyrights. It's easily worth a few million to buy off Congressmen and Senators to guarantee unending copyrights that could generate billions over the years.

          Corporations have taken over America.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by SteveFoerster (136027)

          Regardless of what the auth^H^H^H^Hcorporation who owns the copyright does, allowing copyright for a century is insane. Statistically speaking, that's longer than my school-age children will live. Which part of "temporary" is so confusing?

        • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday September 04, 2009 @10:42AM (#29311063)
          No, what really needs to happen is: A) You have a 5 year period of no formalities, however it is very limited in what you can peruse legal damages for. B) You can register your copyright and get it for 10 years plus less limited legal damages if you sue because now everyone can know that it is under copyright, C) You can renew your copyright for a maximum of 30 years, or until the author's death, whichever comes first.

          b) between years 10-15 (term + 5 year grace period), and author with sufficient interest in maintaining the copyright should have to i) register the copyright, and ii) pay some less than nominal fee. The copyright will continue for an additional 30 years (a total of 40 years).

          This "less than nominal fee" will be the next version of the RIAA/MPAA, here, waive all your rights to it and we will keep renewing your copyright because you can't afford it! Plus 30 years is too long, especially in the age of digital copies, lets see here, 30 years ago was 1979, assuming your hardware still works, most data will need to be painstakingly recovered using hard-to-find/expensive equipment, the data will then need to be read and then most certainly will need to have an emulator written in order to run the programs.

          c) thereafter, the author pays an increasing amount for each additional 30 year period.

          Again, it leads to new forms of the RIAA/MPAA in the future in order to pay for these.

          1. everyone gets a copyright in their works without any formalities.

          This is not necessarily a good thing. This leads to traps where someone might have came up with something, put it on the internet, you never read it but you make something similar and they accuse you of plagiarism.

          2. If it is economically viable after 10 years, they can pay a nominal amount and register it (no more orphan works).

          The same thing will happen, just with a large publisher with a huge sum of cash. The copyright never falls into the public domain, the artists get screwed and orphan works (as in works that are never released but still have copyright on them) still happen.

          3. It will last for most every author's lifetime and then some.

          Again, how is this a benefit? Look at Shakespeare's works, most of them were adapted from works that would still be under copyright if your system had been in place when he was alive. It is a natural part of art to borrow and adapt.

          4. It puts works that an author no longer considers valuable into the public domain in relatively short order.

          Which in general it won't. While the every day chatter of the internet would go into the public domain, if an artist doesn't think something is worthwhile they won't publish it. If it isn't published it isn't copyrighted, even after their deaths if someone takes it and publishes it they still have the copyright from when they publish it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by reebmmm (939463)

            This is not necessarily a good thing. This leads to traps where someone might have came up with something, put it on the internet, you never read it but you make something similar and they accuse you of plagiarism.

            So what? There is no legal liability attached to plagiarism; copyright infringement is the only legal issue. Plagiarism is merely a moral, ethical issue that share elements of copyright infringement. And to your example, copyright infringement has a defense of independent creation. Among other things, the author would have to show access to the "infringed" work.

            The same thing will happen, just with a large publisher with a huge sum of cash. The copyright never falls into the public domain, the artists get screwed and orphan works (as in works that are never released but still have copyright on them) still happen.

            Of all the works in the world, works owned by a "large publisher with a huge sum of cash" is likely the minority of all copyrights.

            Besides, the poi

  • Do they mean.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Pouic (1051024)
    ...human ears?
    • by purpledinoz (573045) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:35AM (#29310269)
      Hollywood already started encrypting the story lines of movies. I watched Quantum of Solace, and the story made no sense, it was completely scrambled. I'm waiting for the brain-implant chip that will unscramble the story.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yeah, simple encryption was already quite visible in the 2000 film Memento (the plot played backwards), but later dropped for the more secure, random key plot you mention.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by maxwell demon (590494)

        No, it wasn't encrypted. It just was, as the title promised, a quantum story. Since you cannot observe the complete quantum state, quantum things usually don't seem to make sense to the classical mind.

        • by rickb928 (945187)

          Precisely. Viewing it changed the state.

          In fact, if you watch it again and again, you come to different conclusions. Unless you're not really watching it, in which case you're not really observing the state, and so while it doesn't change, you wouldn't know that.

          You do know that Physics is intended to make sense out of nothing. And it seems to work well for that.

    • by squidfood (149212) on Friday September 04, 2009 @12:49PM (#29312815)
      Well, I've got some output for them from my analog hole if they want it.
  • Oxymoron (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:11AM (#29310049)

    "High-value content ?!"

    MPAA, listen closely: when it comes to TV, there is no such thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "High-value content ?!"

      MPAA, listen closely: when it comes to TV, there is no such thing.

      I think you have made the mistake of assuming that they "listen".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nitehawk214 (222219)

        "High-value content ?!"

        MPAA, listen closely: when it comes to TV, there is no such thing.

        I think you have made the mistake of assuming that they "listen".

        And they make the mistake of thinking that we must watch.

    • Re:Oxymoron (Score:4, Informative)

      by Ollabelle (980205) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:15AM (#29310087)
      No, it's high-value all right. To them; and once they monopolize the output stream, then it'll become ever more high-value, i.e. expensive.
      • by TheHawke (237817)

        Please define high value content. Is it the value the ack-ack's place upon what they consider to be high value, or is the the value the artists place on their works?

      • Why buy it? I don't.

        Disclaimer: I've never been a "consumer", so I can't understand why people who appear to be normal accept being referred to as "consumers", or why they run out and purchase every moronic bit of shit they see in a commercial.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178)

      If you equal "cost" or "price" to "value", then yes.

      In the view of the MPAA, "high-value" probably means "content that will generate lots of money". Not anything related to artistic merit.

      • by Znork (31774)

        Price rarely equates to value and with monopoly protected products far less so. The whole point monopoly rights lies in the ability to control price without competition, and avoiding market discovery of the equilibrium point of value, when the price of non-scarce goods like the MPAA products would otherwise fall towards zero. The value to individual buyers on the other hand may lie anywhere above the sale price for the deals that do happen and anyway below the sale price for the deals that are foregone.

        Of c

    • Re:Oxymoron (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:35AM (#29310275)

      If it was worth watching I would have watched in the the Cinema .....since it is on TV it is either old hat, or is about to go straight to DVD ... neither is High Value ...

      I live in the UK so if this ever comes here they will discover that besides a flat fee TV licence, most people do not pay for TV at all ....and it is generally good quality

      There is very little "high value" content that people can be bothered to pay for ... except for live broadcasts ....

      • by mmeister (862972)

        As an American, I wish that I could pay for a UK license (last I checked, I can't) and receive the shows you get. It's definitely better quality than MOST of the stuff that airs here.

        We have 500 channels, 480 of which are probably showing some damn infomercial at this moment.

    • Nonsense (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Of course there is.

      Who wouldn't pay big money to see Big Brother or the Jerry Springer show in high definition 3D surround sound with extensive commentary on every second of the show?

      The key problem right now is that the MPAA can't close it's A***** Hole, so you're getting crap quality. If the MPAA were able to convince the FCC to close the MPAA's A***** Hole, there would be a lot of fresh new talent out there.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:14AM (#29310077) Journal

    No it isn't "HD" but it does provide a nice clear DVD quality image (640x480) which is good enough for most people. Heck even blurry 320x240 ipod downloads are good enough, since most of what Hollywood makes is crap anyway. It might as well look as bad as it plays.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770)

      Not to mention that they'll need to patch the digital hole. Before the big breakthroughs on AACS/BD+ there were HDCP breakers and HDMI capture cards to make pure digital copies, even though it had to be transcoded since it was already decoded. AACS/BD+ isn't totally broken in that AnyDVD must release new versions of the decrypting tool but HDCP is, just like CSS is for DVDs. There's no fixing that without replacing every HDMI and DVI/HDCP connection out there.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Seakip18 (1106315)

        Heck, like many other problems, you can just throw a little less money than they are extorting out of you to solve the problem.

        For $180, you can begin get a HDMI to Component converter. [hdtvsupply.com] It's not as cheap as those other solutions but it's still cheaper than running out to get your MPAA approved device.

  • Future Post (Score:5, Funny)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:15AM (#29310083) Journal
    Subject: New Setup

    posted by eldavojohn (898314) * on 2060.09.04 9:05

    So, being an old man, I thought I would go legit and get all of my path transmitters MPAA approved. I already had the Z-Ray player that has a 128 core processor to handle all the Z Discs and decrypt the DRM but I spent the extra $50 on the MPAA approved cord from that to my MPAA approved TV (which already has a 256 core processor to hand the encryption). Once all that was in place, I made the big purchase. It was only $100 to have an MPAA approved zoning specialist come in and stake off and area of my living approved by the MPAA for me and my family to view their copyrighted material in. Once that was complete, I got triplicate signoff on a form that allowed me to pay $500 to install two units on either side of the room that emit some sort of crazy field so that the photons leaving my MPAA TV unit can be seen normally within the MPAA designated zone in my living room. It's really neat to stand outside it and see static and then step inside and see it perfectly. You also have to put on headphones (only one set) to hear the sound because they haven't found a similar technology for it yet. Whatever it is that those things generate sure is strong. If the dog gets too close to one of them, it shits itself and walks in circles for about an hour. Also, you can't have metal things on you otherwise they heat up and burn you.

    But a couple thousand later and I can finally sit back and not worry about being prosecuted. You guys are all chumps for not enjoying this sort of MPAA certified technology!
    • by twmcneil (942300)
      Bummer, my mod points expired yesterday. Dude, that was seriously funny!
    • by arielCo (995647)
      Oblig [xkcd.com], the first thing that came to my non-MPAA-approved mind
    • by Thaelon (250687)

      I wouldn't worry about it too much.

      There will always be hackers cracking this stuff so we can enjoy the content however we please. And there will always be copyright infringers willing to share more user friendly copies.

      Sooner or later they'll realize that forcing a more unpleasant experience on their legal users is not a good business model. Probably about the same time they go out of business completely.

    • by Culture20 (968837) on Friday September 04, 2009 @11:36AM (#29311757)
      Subject: Re:New Setup

      posted by noodlesoupeaternoodlesoupeater (1093892093) * on 2060.09.04 9:10

      Splarg! u kinna spella wut-is 128 core processor? We use powers o 10 in CS, Mr anchent. roundup maths. u men 130 cor cpu! Splarg ina half! ROFLOLMAOWTFBBQSTWKKA!!1!!
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:17AM (#29310109)

    Just once I would like to know what it was like to have a government that represented me, and told the MPAA/RIAA to shut *its* hole. Unfortunately, with the Democrats beholden to Hollywood, and the Republicans beholden to big business, it's likely that the MPAA/RIAA will get whatever they ask for in the end.

    If their DRM only effected pirates, it would be one thing. But at this point, the DRM is becoming so oppressive that it's having a negative effect on those of us who *try* to be honest. When I have to crack my player just to be able to skip 10 minutes of mandatory commercials at the beginning of a DVD/blu-ray, that's a sad day. I have already refused to pay for any more movie tickets because of this--I'll be damned if I'm paying $10 to sit through a bunch of TV commercials at the beginning of a movie (anyone remember when the beginning of a movie had a cartoon and a couple of trailers, and *NO* soda or car commercials?). Now the DMCA has turned me into a criminal just because I insist on controlling the $20 disc I legitimately *bought*.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Just to add to your point, FYI, according the MPAA you haven't bought anything.

      Next they will try to figure out a system where you pay more if more than one person is in the room viewing the disk.

      • You didn't read the slashdot post of the set top box with the IR sensor, or camera, or whatever?
    • by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:32AM (#29310243)

      Companies who lose sight of who the real customer is often die - a slow, lingering demise, but terminal nonetheless.

      Methinks the great failing of Vista (and M$'s overall strategy flaw) was that M$ decided the customer is Dell (and other huge-volume buyers), IT departments, and DRM-lusting IP/content owners - forgetting that the real customer is each user clicking their way around the screen. Result: some 50% of Apple users are new to the product line, happy to put up with Jobs as a benevolent dictator who cares about their experience, happy to escape being treated as a mere marketing resource of eyeballs and wallets.

      So long as we still have some technological liberties, someone will realize who the customer really is, serve them, and be rewarded - and drive **AA & government control out.

      • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:38AM (#29310299) Homepage Journal

        The current state of consumer ignorance about technology allows this type of corporate abuse. At least part of the solution is education. Tough because you have a populace that for the most part doesn't care until they get burnt with a DRM restriction.

        The second part of the double whammy though is government and big media in bed with the corporate approved POV on this.

        Still... someday the DRM crap will be pushed so far as to cause a critical mass and there will suddenly be "outraged" people on CNN talking about it... but we're going to be deep in the crap pile by then.

        • It is worse than that when the DRM kicks in most people assume they have done something wrong and it is their fault it doesn't work.

          To be honest I just don't bother now, I have plenty of things to do that don't involve sitting watching a box.

          • by Shagg (99693)

            To be honest I just don't bother now, I have plenty of things to do that don't involve sitting watching a box.

            Like going online and sitting watching a monitor.

        • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday September 04, 2009 @10:58AM (#29311249)
          I think the problems are twofold, on one hand you have things being simpler, that is to use a computer almost anyone with a few hours to kill can pick up a keyboard and mouse and at least sorta figure it out. 30 years ago though, you needed to attend a class or read a book to figure out how to use a computer. On the other hand you have tech support being nationally done with large retailers (such as Geek Squad in Best Buy) this leads to the people who people "trust" giving them answers that please them and their company's bottom line. For example ask them why you can't do something with DRM and they would say it simply isn't possible, however, they might be willing to sell you some "authorized" equipment to do the job. So when the only information they are seeing is the "its not possible" from "tech support" and the "its not possible" when they ignore them and try to do it themselves with little knowledge, they assume that its just a feature not added in rather than a feature intentionally removed and that the system is truly defective by design.
      • Kudos to Jobs and his crew, but if your real customer is Dell and the *IAA, then you have a better hand. You can eventually cut the price of your product to zero, or lower, and still make money.

        Apple has an uphill battle, but it is winnable. Just look at the bottled water industry to find out how to sell a product that most people can get free or nearly free.
    • by maugle (1369813) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:36AM (#29310279)

      If their DRM only effected pirates...

      Ah, but their onerous DRM does effect piracy: It creates new pirates where there weren't any previously!

    • by mttlg (174815) on Friday September 04, 2009 @10:18AM (#29310779) Homepage Journal

      >If their DRM only effected pirates,

      DRM has nothing to do with pirates. The goal of DRM is to give the content providers full control of the distribution system, right up until the point where the light hits your eyeballs (and I doubt they'll stop once they get that far). Ideally, they would want every viewer to pay every time their content is heard or viewed, but for now they'll settle for ensuring that every view is through an approved path that they have been directly compensated for. This ensures that people aren't using content in any non-approved manner, regardless of whether such non-approved use is legal. The pirates may be inconvenienced, but they will continue to operate. The real payoff is in convincing the public that following the **AA's mandates is perfectly acceptable, thus allowing them to do as they please with home entertainment, without regard for individual rights.

      This is a dangerous path to go down, but we're already a fair way along and there seems to be no way back. HDMI and Firewire are already locked down, so it's not surprising that they want to turn off component. Regardless of their "pre-DVD release" example cited in the article, it is clear that if this is allowed, it would be applied to all HD content across the board by default, except where otherwise required by law (e.g., DTCP). From there, it's only a small step to disabling SD video altogether (after all, everyone has an approved HD viewing device now, right?).

      The biggest threat to this industry isn't the pirates, it's a population that believes that how they view content should be up to them and not dictated by a higher power. This is the mentality that allows people to justify turning to piracy when the legal route is too difficult. Rather than making the legal route easier (as the music industry seems to have figured out in only a decade or so), the MPAA is committed to creating a world where they are an altruistic god showering the people with "high-value content," asking only for our money and obedience in return. The scariest part is the thought that some of the people in control might actually believe that what they are doing is for the public good.

      • by cnvandev (1538055) on Friday September 04, 2009 @12:34PM (#29312621) Homepage

        Look at the name, they called it exactly what it was. Digital Rights Management: a system by which the rights of a user to in any way use a digital signal are managed. Whether that signal's passing from DVD player to screen, torrent file to hard drive, .avi on a CD to your college roommate, or NAS in the basement to the laptop propped up on your knees in bed; the RIAA has made it very clear that they want to (and, to a degree, have been able to) control the way the set of bits representing a work of art, that they feel they own, is used. DRM has never been about stopping pirates because that would be too limiting of a concept. Why put all this effort into stopping pirates when they can stop other small nuisances that *IAAs have probably never quite liked - things like lending DVDs to neighbours,

        The biggest threat to this industry isn't the pirates, it's a population that believes that how they view content should be up to them and not dictated by a higher power. This is the mentality that allows people to justify turning to piracy when the legal route is too difficult. Rather than making the legal route easier (as the music industry seems to have figured out in only a decade or so), the MPAA is committed to creating a world where they are an altruistic god showering the people with "high-value content," asking only for our money and obedience in return. The scariest part is the thought that some of the people in control might actually believe that what they are doing is for the public good.

        This hit the nail right on the head. Users feel they have the right to do what they want with what they consider "their property," whether it's that DVD they shelled out 30 bucks for, or the .avi of a free, independant movie they legally torrented from an animation studio. For some reason, organizations representing the industry (not the artists them selves) feel that in the digital age, our concept of property has to change in order for art to continue to be produced. Any rational person would beg to differ.

        The worst part is that this doesn't even "close the analog hole" in any way. Sure, it stops one portion of it - recording/viewing media through component cable - but that's putting a band-aid on a chest wound. The real analog hole is the fact that, in the end, the screen is being displayed visually - it's just photons. We happen to have a method of captuing photons spread across a period of time, the video camera. Sure, it'll look crappy at first, but people will get better at normalizing the colours or finding different capture methods, and, as has been seen before [slashdot.org], users will adapt to the worse quality format because it's the one that's not fleecing them.

        Personally, I'm keeping my older equipment until stores eventually realize that trying to redefine the legel definition of property outisde of the court system turns more customers away than pirates it keeps at bay - which, last time I checked, was virtually nil.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Sfing_ter (99478)

      Wait - You're saying the Demopublicans and the Republocrats provide the same outcome? Shit. Perhaps we give them a paper cut with the Constitution.

    • by mmeister (862972)

      Actually, the RIAA and MPAA did pretty well under Republicans as well.

      Truth is, corporations own most of the politicians. Since they never know which side is in power, they buy both sides. Problem solved --- for them.

      Meanwhile, our society begins to decay more and more.

    • Buy your movie ticket, turn up at the start of the film, then get your snacks.

      Get your snacks from the shop down the road; It'll be cheaper, and you have 20 minutes to kill. You could just get Cola, or a couple of beers. Who will tell?
  • So lemme get this straight. The MPAA and their handlers want the general population to live on their knees, justified by the possible "benefit" to consumers (god I hate that word) like "parents who can't afford a babysitter." If they can't afford a babysitter, why would they be paying good money to watch pre-release movies? Shouldn't that money go toward food and rent? (yeah, I know, that's a completely different rant.)

    The MPAA and their ilk would love the consumer population to live on their knees an
  • calling the petition a 'pro-consumer' (!)

    Of course it pro-consumer. It will ensure that only role you can play is being obedient couch potato.

    Also that might help finally solve the problem with the pesky indie studios by making it even more expensive to air anything anywhere.

  • by purpledinoz (573045) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:29AM (#29310211)
    That sounds like too much effort. They should just close the digital hole first. Encrypt the content using a 8192bit key and then throw it away. It fixes all the piracy issues. It would be decades before any pirate could recover the key, and since no player could play it, there would be no way for the pirates to steal the analog signal. It kills 2 birds with 1 stone. If the MPAA wants to buy the patent from me, that'll be $1M please.
    • ... on the MPAA executive board. And bonus points to headshots!
    • You jest, but when the **AA starts to encode content specifically to each user, they'll stop copyright infringement. They'll encode so that only you can decode, and if you give the content to someone else they'll be able to use their master key to track it back to you and you'll be banned from watching movies for life. (or bankrupted by the lawsuit)
  • by iCantSpell (1162581) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:33AM (#29310253)

    This is why I have absolutely no problem with downloading anything and everything I want.

    They claim their losing money because I download content for free... Something interesting here.

    1. I wasn't going to buy the movie anyway.
    2. You can't lose money you didn't have.
    3. The movie sucked anyway.
    4. It's not my fault you think $50 million dollar special effects makes a good movie.
    5. You want me to pay you to tell me how to use my property?
    6. You didn't know as long as I can see it I can copy it?

    • 4.

      I would agree with this point. Transformers (1 & 2) weren't all that great, but I would pay $10 just to see Megan Fox. Any movie with her ( and a select few other actors ) is worth $10 to watch, regardless of plot or effects.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:40AM (#29310331) Homepage
    your television was not designed to offer you value. your television is an illuminated advertising engine designed to make sure you continue to perpetuate the myth that consumerism is a healthy and natural part of your life.

    the MPAA wants the analog hole closed because its business model of closed services mandates it.

    the MPAA will get what it wants not because of democrats or republicans, but because the MPAA is a very powerful lobbying force in american and international politics capable of influencing most governments at a rather fundamental level. "art" or "artists" have nothing to do with anything the MPAA stand for.

    so how do you defeat it? most americans cant. by opting into the present model of television and entertainment a collective "boiled frog" response has been given. by ignoring fundamental principles of television broadcast and accepting as a norm things like inline advertisement and product placement most americans are inclined to believe this system of MPAA enforced content is acceptable. the news segments on most television channels, once designed to fulfill a federal content requirement to give back to communities, have all but dissolved into reactionary sensationalized content mills designed to keep you reacting and hooked long enough to sell you more things you likely never needed.

    the saddest part of these "news" programs is that most do more to divide us as a people and a nation than they do to "give back" in any form, crafted to entertain and hold the interests of a select group by hard left or hard right opinions and stories.

    its all a bit off-topic, i know, but for any of us to wring our hands, shake our heads, and wonder what ever will be done to stop this evil empire while we all shuffle off to the theaters for the next installment of Transformers is paradoxic. We have all done so much to make sure this "interest group" continues to dominate.
    • We first have to ask which analog hole they want to close.
      Well depends on the analog hole, but I think given their anal affection with politics the probably want to plug the rear end.

  • Oh noez! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AtomicDevice (926814) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:41AM (#29310341)
    My mythtv box will no longer be able to play ripped dvd's to my massive 40" gateway destination CRT (that's right, I've got one). Err. wait, this digital cable mumbo jumbo is a total racket anyways. The more the make it an expensive pain in the ass to watch tv, the more people will just watch stuff on hulu (with fraps running in the background). And besides, even in you need to be the biggest super nerd with expensive equipment to crack their ridiculous encryption, if one person in the whole world can do it, they'll put it on the internet, and we'll all have it for free on our own time the way we want it. Perhaps the should consider a convenient, inexpensive, and value-additive method of selling me their content.
  • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:41AM (#29310343) Homepage Journal
    From the article:

    "The side effect," warns the consumer group Public Knowledge in an educational video it has put out on this question, "is that SOC would break all eleven million HDTVs in the US that don't have digital input.

    Not only that, but blocking all analog outputs would break 80 million standard-definition televisions [engadgethd.com]. True, SDTV is the past and HDTV is the future, but the present has always been a mix of the past and the future. So I don't see how "The vast majority of consumers would not have to purchase new devices to receive the new, high-value content" when it isn't yet true that "[t]he vast majority of consumers" already own an HDTV.

  • More DRM... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Coren22 (1625475) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:41AM (#29310349) Journal
    I think the *AA really believe that they are losing money to pirates, millions of dollars per pirated movie. They don't realize that they are losing money to the lack of actually good content being put out. What ever happened to the day when you would go to the theater and have to choose which movie to go to because many of them looked like they would be good to watch? They also seem to have forgotten the rights of "consumers" to consume their content any way they please. I would like to be able to copy movies to my laptop hard drive, or the SSD I have stuck in the ExpressCard slot so that I can watch them on flights, or let the kids watch them on car rides, but that option was taken away long ago to protect their rights to not have people see the movies for the crap they are before deciding whether to buy the movie, or pay to watch it in the theater. I have been recently heartened by some things I have seen recently with movies; you can now buy movies with the rights to download them to your computer. Unfortunately, even this is encumbered by massive DRM. I am not allowed to move the movies between computers in my home, I am not allowed to back up the movie in any way, and when I rebuild my computer, the movie is gone. I guess when they claim you are renting the movie when you pay 20$, they really mean it. What ever happened to the cheap movies and music we were told would come about when we moved off of magnetic media (cassette and VHS)?
  • by AftanGustur (7715) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:44AM (#29310373) Homepage
    Those are the same people that promised that the DVD region coding and CSS system was only to protect new films from being watched in countries where they hadn't been released yet.

    Where in reality, even 50 year old B/W cowboy films are region coded and copy protected when they are re-released on DVD.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MemoryDragon (544441)

      Those are the same people that promised that the DVD region coding and CSS system was only to protect new films from being watched in countries where they hadn't been released yet.

      Where in reality, even 50 year old B/W cowboy films are region coded and copy protected when they are re-released on DVD.

      You did trust them, didnÂt you. I didnt believe their bull**** from day zero. I would have been positively surprised though if they hadnÂt been lying. The media industry is like that give them a knife and they will stab you if they see they can get money out of you. Ah and yes before that they will buy a law which makes backstabbing in certain cases legal.

  • by CodePwned (1630439) on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:46AM (#29310385)
    You cannot control the flow of information. Corney sounding I know... but it's true. People will always find a way to view things the way they want. Eventually the law catches up with that. You hear the people preaching that "It's futile what the RIAA/MPAA is doing... blah blah" or "Their business model is outdated..." and frankly i get tired of hearing the same of drivel repeated by people who don't truly understand business or accept that most people don't WANT to "hack" their stuff. They just want it to work. They have a death grip on things. With Copyrights, Patents and Trademarks at an all time profit high their business is nowhere close to being destroyed. People want to be entertained and they will buy what entertains them. Most people don't give a rats ass about region coding, encryption etc... they just know it works. However... lately... to my bewildered amusement people are becoming more intelligent about these issues. Politicians and those usually uncaring are suddenly forced to recognize the problems as they are starting to affect them. The biggest being the completely unnecessary transition to Digital TV. It affects their pocket books. People start to realize just how strong of a grapple hold the industry has and have start to voice their concerns. Politicians have begun to realize they can gain support from their constituents by championing against the RIAA and MPAA. What was once a huge profit source for BOTH republicans and democrats has now become the target of ire from their customer base... AND those they supposedly protect (the artists). The genius of it all is that normal everyday people... are starting to think again. They aren't fanning over Paris "no brain" Hilton. Watch the news... it's slowly (painfully) changing from covering Britney Spears latest escapades... to now covering useful news like the economy, our lives, jobs, family etc. We are being encouraged on every front to promote Transparency. That movement... makes what the RIAA and MPAA do seem wrong to the normal joe and right now... Normal Joe is afraid of losing his job... angry at the decisions made by the previous administration... and looking for a source of anger. People touching his money... really piss him off. Enjoy these thoughts.
  • tear them a new a-hole

  • Isn't it their job to know that this wouldn't help anything?
    They already have the option of offering Americans "in-home access to high-value, high definition video content"
    This is evident because: Americans already HAVE "in-home access to high-value, high definition video content"

  • by drkich (305460) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [enilhcikd]> on Friday September 04, 2009 @09:55AM (#29310469) Homepage

    I don't know about you, but the title, "Close the Analog Hole" sounds like something you would hear on a pr0n site.

  • by Wowsers (1151731) on Friday September 04, 2009 @10:10AM (#29310665) Journal

    I wanted to help the RIAA/MPAA close the analogue hole, but the closest I could come up with is to use my thumbs to plug my ears, and the rest of my fingers to cover my eyes. Maybe that's what they think of modern content they produce which is accounting for falling sales, so crap you should not watch or listen to it. Your fingers are "digital" encryption!

  • you have to get rid of that pesky thing called THE HUMAN EAR

    otherwise, if people are still listening WITH THEIR FUCKING EARS, the signal has to go analog at some point, and there you can intercept a signal

    fucking morons

  • My HDTV has no digital inputs. Yes. It is old. It only has analog component video. It *is* 1080i, though, and I don't feel like I should have to replace it because the MPAA is worried I will try to copy their crappy content through analog video cables. It also renders my friend's fancy video projector obsolete for the same reason. This move is totally anti-consumer.

    There is a seriously large digital hole. Its called making a 1 for 1 copy of a DVD. Yes, I know that does not affect broadcast programs,

  • MPAA Guy 1: We want to rape consumers
    FCC Guy 1, 2, 3: Hahahahahahaha
    FCC Guy 1: Next time you come in here to waste our time we are going to bill you $2000 per hour

    How it probably went
    MPAA Guy 1: We want to rape consumers
    FCC Guy 1, 2, 3:>/b> Hahahahahaha
    FCC Guy 1: Hand over the sacks of money and the legislation.
  • The final straw (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Friday September 04, 2009 @10:34AM (#29310977)

    If they do anything that stops me using my mythbox to record tv I will totally cancel cable.
    I'm too busy and my time is too valuable to me to only watch live broadcast at their start times, mostly because of all the commercial breaks, but also usually I'm just too busy to be around a a set time.
    A normal 90 minute movie on cable takes like 3 hours even though they have cut the movie down 'for content' which is a PC way of saying 'removed good content to make more space for advertising breaks'.
    Cable is already too expensive and has so terrible programming quality that I need mythbox to filter out all the commercials and shitty shows so I get anything worth watching at all. If they break my ability to use mythbox I'm seriously gone from TV. Netflix, Hulu etc here I come.
    Good job there MPAA on killing the cash cow.

  • ...that when the EFF does it, it's a heroic effort to educate the ignorant government regulators, but when the **AA do it, it's badgering?

    Was the submitter afraid we wouldn't know whether this was good or bad without the slanted language? Just curious...

  • If you don't want to play by my rules, I'm leaving, and taking my marbles with me!

    That's it in a nutshell. They own the marbles (aka content). They figure that it's friendlier on the consumer to be able to watch under restricted guidelines than not at all.

    In reality, the consumer doesn't care much about "high-value HD content," pre-releases, etc. Most TV viewing is on stupid series, and more often than not, reality shows. Far more people will plunk down and watch the latest rampant overpopulating family wee

  • In the end, the ones that would win here are the electronics manufacturers that then would sell us ways to bypass the protection, just like all that region locking DVDs did was to make sure that Europeans would buy off brand players that can play anything anyway.

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Friday September 04, 2009 @11:01AM (#29311279)

    Any legitimate claims they have about preventing piracy is pretty much becoming meaningless.

    When will we reach the point where the rights of the consumer, out weighs the rights of the manufacture to treat all their customers like criminals?

    MPIAA/RIAA is pretty much digging their own grave. Any chance copyright holders have in preserving their rights to market their work without fear of poaching, is quickly diminishing through draconian measures the MPIAA and RIAA are taking.

    Once you lose the will of the general populace to protect your interests, you pretty much lost the battle...

    I'm all for enforcing the current laws by going after blatant copyright violators who sell pirated CDs or DVDs on the streets. I'm even for them going after the people who distribute copyrighted material through p2p networks without the consent of the copyright holder. However when they start making it difficult for you to actually use what you paid for, then we have no choice but to seek out the street vendor or the p2p network. I'm not buying more equipment just so they can impose more restrictions on me.

  • ... the parody hole first. All the people watching bad movies and making fun of them is costing the industry trillions!
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday September 04, 2009 @11:51AM (#29311979) Homepage Journal

    That's like trying to tell the stars in the universe to e ligmitht in the form of encrypted ones and zeroes instead of photons - it just isn't fucking happening because the majority of the universe, physics and all, works on analog, not digital.

    If I can see this content, I can record it, period. There's not one fucking thing you can do to stop it.

  • by Chris Tucker (302549) on Friday September 04, 2009 @03:13PM (#29315473) Homepage

    EVERYTHING is encrypted until the electrons hit the phosphor or the current hits the transistors in the LCD.

    Six months (hell, six weeks!) after China starts churning out the compliant TV sets/monitors, the grey market will have TVs/monitors with some manner of video/audio out ports, either blatantly obvious or as solder pads on the PC inside the display.

    The quality of the display will be excellent, as will the quality of the unencrypted A/V output.

    China does not care a fat rat's ass about what the MPAA wants. It is, and will always be about the money. Running a third shift once or twice a week and sourcing cabinets without the LG/Samsung/Sony/fill in the blank logo on them will be something very familiar to most Chinese electronic manufacturing firms.

    Show of hands, how many here already have a "grey market" DVD player that's both region free, plays NTSC/PAL DVDs, and will also play .avi, DivX, Xvid, mks, etc?

    Yeah, I thought so.

    And if nothing else, someone will figure out how to fool that encrypted signal into thinking it's displaying on a TV/monitor, while it's actually just sending that signal to an MPEG encoder and thence to a hard drive.

    One more reason to build a Linux box, I guess.

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