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In Japan, a Battle Brewing Over the Right To Record 4k and 8k Broadcasts (itmedia.co.jp) 105

AmiMoJo writes: Japanese broadcasters have indicated that 4k and 8k broadcasts may have recording disabled via a 'do not copy' flag [via Google Translate], which receivers would be expected to obey. Now the Internet Users Association (MIAU) and Shufuren (Housewives Federation) have submitted documentation opposing the ban. The document points out that the ban will only inconvenience the majority of the general audience, while inevitably failing to prevent unauthorized copying by anyone determined to circumvent the protection.
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In Japan, a Battle Brewing Over the Right To Record 4k and 8k Broadcasts

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    That 'do not copy' flag is like the 'do not track' one?

    • by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @11:03AM (#51446007)
      No. They are renaming the "Evil" bit.
    • Yes, this just creates a market for recording devices that ignore the "do not copy" flag, or for inline converters that filter it out.
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Yes, this just creates a market for recording devices that ignore the "do not copy" flag

        And a market for lawyers to sue manufacturers, importers, and users of recording devices that ignore the "do not copy" flag.

        • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
          I already have my solution. BTW, did you know that some minor tinkering will also gain you the ability to capture video [aperturelabs.com]? No circumvention required, and nothing required from a manufacturer. Since HDCP has done nothing but cause many problems, I'd be very happy if the content industry went back to what they do best, and leave electronics to others. Just imagine being able to show your movies on 2 TVs without having to buy anything. Just plug and go. wouldn't it be great? HDCP is what is preventing that reali
  • Evil bit again? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @10:30AM (#51445763) Homepage

    And, once again broadcasters and copyright assholes want veto power over technology, and the evil bit of "thou shall not record" has reared its head.

    Every new piece of technology immediately gets co-opted as corporations tell us what we're allowed to do because they apparently feel the world exists to serve their fucking business model.

    Oh, and of course if ratified the TPP will make this entrenched in law -- so you could spend life in prison for recording a show to watch later.

    • TPP FTW! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > Oh, and of course if ratified the TPP will make this entrenched in law [...]

      That bears repeating, slowly and loudly: Japanese, look at all the goodness TPP is pouring over you.

      Fight it tooth and nail.

      Of course, Aussies, NZers, and -- yes, USians too. Let your representatives know that you *don't want that crap ratified*. Don't listen to what lobbies and corrupt politicans say about it. It's always a bad idea to let lobby groups write laws.

    • It is just a Flag - "Please be honest!"

      Look - the law in the USA is we can record under fair-use. But - if this flag were to indicate "don't allow people to Share the recording" (for original playback only) --- I can see that. Sort of a mark in the sand - reminding people that Copyright exists. Kind of like those "FBI Warning" on DVD videos. One must enforce trademark/copyright to keep them real. So great - send us the Flag to show that copyright is being enforced.

      Now - what they really need is a techn

      • So what does "original playback only" mean? You can only play it back on the device you recorded it on? What if that hardware gets upgraded?

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          Sony's original "fair use" argument for the legality of the Betamax VCR was that the time-shifted recording would be watched within the next two weeks. The "fair use" argument for archiving is less clear.

        • Yes - as tepples replied too -- it is time shifting. When you're done watching it gets deleted.

          I was suggesting a (somewhat) simplistic compromise. Consumer can record to a device to watch later - but if said device has an option to upload/share with friends - then those shows with the flag set couldn't be shared.

          Of course - taking a VCR tape to a friends house to watch a show is sharing. So how does one do that in our current technology world?!

          We just need to balance the rights of the copyright holder

          • I was suggesting a (somewhat) simplistic compromise. Consumer can record to a device to watch later - but if said device has an option to upload/share with friends - then those shows with the flag set couldn't be shared.

            Which is pretty close to what ReplayTV DVRs did (and still do).

            On the ReplayTV you can send a show to another ReplayTV, but it won't let you send a show that your machine received from another machine.

            That didn't stop ReplayTV from being sued, but I think that was more about the automatic commercial skip feature, not the show sending.

            (Speaking of commercial skip, ReplayTVs have a secret feature that will be useful on Sunday: you can set it to automatically skip over the show content and only show the commer

          • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

            The copyright holder has a distribution license. (That's all copyright ever was) Nothing prevented anyone from taking their copy and making a million copies and stuffing them in their basement. That's not a violation. It's also not a violation to lend your legal copy to a friend. Nor is it illegal for your friend to make a copy. What is illegal is for you to make a copy and give that to your friend.

            Copyright distribution houses have fought tooth and nail to redefine copyright as their sole right to make a

        • You can only play it back on the device you recorded it on?

          When I was looking for a PVR for TV, this is what I was told about the "record to USB" options.

          What if that hardware gets upgraded?

          You lose all your content. Tough shit. Read the fucking contract. If you don't have a hardware device that stores the content (possibly in a "disc" form factor), then you don't own it.

    • It's asking you to respect your own honor and integrity by not taking something the owner is willing to share but not give to you. The logic that says because determined dishonorable people will do it that it should be honorable for me to do it beggars belief.

      Furthermore even if you have no honor when the door is closed and your are anonymous at your computer then it still is highly effective. For example, I'd truly like to watch Black Sails. But it requires a Starz membership I don't think is worth the p

      • It's asking you to respect your own honor and integrity by not taking something the owner is willing to share but not give to you. The logic that says because determined dishonorable people will do it that it should be honorable for me to do it beggars belief.

        What? First, the reason copyright exists is because I tolerate it. That's why there is law that says that I can copy a TV show, not only law that says that it's illegal. So there is no "owner" that's willing to "share" but "not give" as there is no owner that has that option!. We haven't given them that option, and that's that. We've given them a limited say in who gets to copy what, under what circumstances, and that's it. If they don't like to live under those limits, then by all means, don't let the door

      • You do realize that this bit will make it so you can't use a Tivo to be able to catch that show that was on while you weren't home?

        With more and more people getting rid of their cable subscriptions, is it really a good idea to push more people away?

        • Should it not be there choice? Let them decide their business model. As I said, I'm not forking my money over to Starz because I don't like their bussiness model. But I'm also using my dislike of their choice as a reason for pirating the show. In fact I respect that they are making it possible for me to see it if I choose to. The place where piracy matters is when it's the only option-- when something is not (practically) available. And as far as bussiness models go, I'm fairly sure Starz will be drop

      • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

        I would not argue with your decision to not pirate a series out of principle.

        However, the fact is that for Starz to be affected by piracy, piracy has to be removing subscribers who would pay to watch their series. If that is happening, there is a loss.

        That said, I've never seen Black Sails. If it is an awesome show, I might well want to watch it regularly, even pay to do so. But if I never see it, I may never generate the interest in the first place.

        I do think that piracy can create more interest and actu

        • However, the fact is that for Starz to be affected by piracy, piracy has to be removing subscribers who would pay to watch their series.

          Or it's a condition imposed on Starz by the studios that license movies and TV shows to Starz. If Starz doesn't "do something about piracy", it would cause licensors to decline renew the licenses to exhibit movies and TV shows on Starz, and that would cause to drop their subscriptions.

          • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

            Yes, everyone would have to be on board with the new model, I don't want to give the impression that I think Starz could just decide to offer things for free. But it benefits the studio as much as the cable channel, in the end. If you have more eyes on the screen, there's more demand for product to be produced.

            Either way, the whole system should rethink how it does business. Piracy can be a problem, but it isn't automatically a drain on income. That's because with something like movies or music, you can

            • Why would I pirate something that costs $0.99?

              Depends on whether it includes offline use, whether that's $0.99 period or $0.99 plus the cost of broadband where you want to watch. And if that's as a passenger in a vehicle, prepare to pay a cell carrier $10 to $15 per GB.

              • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

                To be fair, I did not ask,

                "Why would I pirate something from iTunes?"

                I asked, "Why would I pirate something that costs $0.99?" That could include the ability to format shift and maintain your own copies and own them for that 99 cents.

                The point I'm making is that, as the price goes down, the ability and desire for people to pay for it goes up. Some people don't care if they can hear it in their car. But that inability to listen to it in the car is *still* an artifact of old types of control.

                Some other peo

      • For me the issue is time shifting. I'd like to be able to grab a copy to watch later and then delete it. Rather require streaming in real time during the hours I watch TV, I'd rather stream it in the wee hours when internet traffic is at a minimum and then watch it the next day or even later. Similarly when I was on DirecTV we used to have pay-per-view movies and then could keep them on the DVR for a long time (once I had one stored for a year before I got around to watching what I paid for). Then they

    • the cable co box can DVR stuff but you cable card system (maybe not tivo) can't. They need to fix so both are on the system level.

    • But then the state will cover your doctor bill + the high cost of drugs due to the TPPA locking out generic drugs.

  • by taiwanjohn ( 103839 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @10:32AM (#51445781)

    Unlike past efforts, our NEW copy protection scheme will totally work.

    By the way, by any chance, would you happen to be in the market for a bridge?

    • Re:This time... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @10:48AM (#51445917) Homepage

      You know the scary thing? As I pointed out above, if the TPP is ratified, then the copyright cartel will have even more clout to do this.

      ISPs and pretty much every piece of technology on the planet would be made subservient to the demands of the copyright lobby.

      It won't "work" in the sense of actually stopping anything, but it would suddenly carry much harsher legal penalties, and both ISPs and governments would be responsible to police this on behalf of the copyright holders.

      The TPP is written in such a way that pretty much everybody works on behalf of the IP groups ... which probably means they're feeling quite emboldened these days.

      Because if it comes into law, they'll pretty much hold all of the cards.

      Reason number 9,862 why that TPP is a terrible idea, and will only help multinational corporations instead of the actual citizens.

      • Re:This time... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by taiwanjohn ( 103839 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @11:04AM (#51446017)

        Reason number 9,862 why that TPP is a terrible idea

        Keep counting... you've got a long way to go yet.

        Is it just a coincidence that the most 'exciting' candidates on both sides in the current election (Trump and Sanders) have both come out against the TPP? (Yeah, Clinton has come out against it too, but nobody believes her.) I honestly don't know a single person in America who thinks these so-called "free trade" deals are a good idea, and yet here comes another one.

        The liberal talk-show host, Thom Hartmann, likes to refer to the TPP as the Southern Hemisphere Asian Free Trade Agreement or SHAFTA.

      • by dargaud ( 518470 )

        Reason number 9,862 why that TPP is a terrible idea, and will only help multinational corporations instead of the actual citizens.

        All it would take is to find a way to automatically pit corps one against the other, and watch how long it'd take before those dumb laws are pulled. But I'm not bright enough to think of a way.

      • Reminds me of when the US set up a government in Iraq, everyone in that government full of hope that state building would work but before things started breaking apart. Almost the very first thing they did was try to set up a new set of IP laws. The electricity wasn't even working and yet they thought that copyright and patents were more important.

    • Unlike past efforts, our NEW copy protection scheme will totally work.
      By the way, by any chance, would you happen to be in the market for a bridge?

      When the content industry acts like this, I imagine them like they are a little old lady by a slot machine. Sure, the last 200 coins she inserted didn't pay off, but this coin will DEFINITELY win the jackpot. Sure, the last 200 or so DRM schemes broke, but this one will be unhackable. The difference is that the little old lady will eventually hit the jackpot i

      • No, they're assuming the majority of consumers will be too lazy or too cheap to buy a device to defeat the latest attempt at copy protection. Kind of like the manufactures of this year's new version of Teflon pans assume people wont remember that the previous 20 versions of Teflon all flaked off withing a few years, due to the fundamental physical principle that if nothing sticks to it, then it doesn't stick to the pan! And yet they're still making money selling the "new and improved!" Teflon pans!
  • by Pseudonymous Powers ( 4097097 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @10:32AM (#51445783)

    Japanese broadcasters have indicated that 4k and 8k broadcasts may have recording disabled via a 'do not copy' flag [via Google Translate], which receivers would be expected to obey.

    Wait, they're demanding that their content receive special legal protections solely on basis of its resolution? Wow, I thought I couldn't be any more disgusted with IP lobbyists, but as usual, Japan is always finding new ways to surprise me.

    • by gnupun ( 752725 )

      Wait, they're demanding that their content receive special legal protections solely on basis of its resolution?

      Why not? As resolutions tend towards movie-ilke quality, the more valuable they are perceived by the TV studios.

      Music companies don't care if you copy low-quality music (like concerts or cassettes), but will sue if you copy high quality (256-bit mp3 and higher) music files.

      • Why not? As resolutions tend towards movie-ilke quality, the more valuable they are perceived by the TV studios.

        Music companies don't care if you copy low-quality music (like concerts or cassettes), but will sue if you copy high quality (256-bit mp3 and higher) music files.

        "Yeah, you can copy the odd-numbered samples, go ahead, we don't care about them. But don't you dare copy the even-numbered samples, because that's where we put all the creativity!"

      • by jtmach ( 958490 )
        I'm not sure I believe this is true. I've been to many concerts where they've stated no recording devices.
        The music industry has not successfully sued (settled maybe) very many "home" pirates, but I don't recall sample quality coming up in any of the lawsuits I've read about.
        The movie industry on the other hand has a history of going after cam quality videos.
        It seems that they are much more likely to go after well known exploiters, those they can make money off of, or those they can make precedent off o
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The broadcast system for 4/8k has a "no recording" bit. They were talking about having it enabled all the time for everything. Previously it was expected to only be used for things like movies, if at all.

      They have tried other ridiculous schemes in the past, like a DVD protection system that allowed you to only make first generation copies (but as many as you like).

      A common feature on Japanese TVs is the ability to record multiple channels. Back in 2011 Panasonic released models that can record all broadcast

  • Seems like the broadcasters are shooting themselves in the foot! If you can't record, you can't store up a bunch of shows to watch later.

    This means that people won't watch broadcast at all, but rather will default to streaming services for convenience of watching when they want.

    Seems like they've got the wrong solution. Instead of "do not record", it should be "do not copy the recording you make to other media"--which, guess what, is what most people do anyway with their DVRs.

    Best,

    --PeterM

    • Don't DVRs skip advertising anyway? Meaning, it is in the industries best interest to drive them away ?

    • If I were in the business of intrusive ways to protect my imaginary property, I could think of a bunch of far better options that would actually do them some good rather than this incredibly obvious fail. For example:

      1) If evil bit is set, then don't allow fast forward (and return to normal playing if fast forwarding). Set evil bit during ad breaks, product placements etc.
      2) If evil bit is set, then do not allow viewing on anything other than the device that recorded the content (so no network or copy-to-us

    • Aren't most broadcast shows you'd want to timeshift available for free on the internet anyway, with less commercial interruption?
  • The premise is right that restrictions inconvenience users who aren't interested in piracy and probably drive many of them to piracy. There are many other issues, too. And this isn't limited to Japan. I don't know the specifics of Japan, but we have similar issues in the US. It's possible to record over the air programming, but cable is heavily locked down. Aside from local channels, which are still encrypted and require a cablecard to record, the copy control information (CCI) flag is typically set to copy
    • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @11:51AM (#51446367)

      The premise is right that restrictions inconvenience users who aren't interested in piracy and probably drive many of them to piracy.

      Yep, and it's not just the DRM. I've found that legitimate channels are often worse than illegitimate ones in many ways. Hulu is a fantastic example of this. You pay monthly and are still subjected to advertisement. Even at the highest paid service level with (mostly) no ads, Hulu insists on plastering a damned watermark of the local affiliate station (essentially an advertisement) over the stream for the entire duration of the show. Actually, calling it a watermark is a stretch, because it's not even translucent - it's nice and bright and in your face for the entire show. It's very distracting to me.

      Moreover, Hulu doesn't provide past seasons of many shows, so if you haven't been watching for the past few years already, you can't catch up. What's the point of an on-demand streaming service if they don't provide a full catalog so new subscribers can catch up? I could rent those shows, but the prices are outrageous. That's old-school broadcaster thinking for you. Idiotic.

      On the other hand, I could easily download every show I currently watch on Hulu via bittorrent with better quality encoding and no distracting watermark, and I can download all past seasons of any show with no hassle. Why am I being a chump and paying Hulu for the privilege of a degraded experience? Well, because I want to support the shows I like, I suppose. I've honestly been considering cancelling Hulu, as I already subscribe to a few other streaming services. This is what happens if your legitimate offering is worse than pirating.

  • Business as usual (Score:5, Insightful)

    by m76 ( 3679827 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @10:41AM (#51445863)

    Most copy protection devices only achieve the task of annoying the living crap out of legitimate users, while doing nothing to prevent grand scale piracy.

    • annoying the living crap out of legitimate users, while doing nothing to prevent grand scale piracy.

      If you think that is true, you have not got your head deep enough into the sand!

  • In Japan (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pikoro ( 844299 ) <initNO@SPAMinit.sh> on Friday February 05, 2016 @10:43AM (#51445891) Homepage Journal

    In Japan, most TVs and DVD/BR players contain the ability to record. It is fairly entrenched to record shows for later viewing, especially things like daytime dramas, hence the housewives outcry. This will affect millions of daily viewers.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Reading about this and things like TPP just piss me off.

  • Even if (hypothetically) the industry got a lockdown on all TVs and recording devices so the only devices that could display or record video had to obey the industries rules, you would STILL have the "analog hole."

    It's technically possible (but not cheap) to make a sensor as big as a TV that has enough resolution to record every TV pixel faster than the pixel is changing.

    Add a little computing power to take care of "bleed over" from neighboring pixels and a well-endowed copy-shop could make a full-resolutio

    • The best way for the industry to deter that level of well-funded piracy is to make everything available for home viewing worldwide at the same time, and in all formats that consumers want at the same time

      Except not every studio is big enough to hire voice actors for dubbing into all languages at the same time and to seek classification for potentially objectionable content in all countries at the same time. And it'd have to be industry-wide and phased in over a long time, as upstream licensors (such as music publishers and record labels for music used in a movie) still price-discriminate based on region, and there exist decades-long exclusive territorial distribution agreements for existing works.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you thought copyright was bad here in the US... you haven't seen anything yet. Copyright law in Japan is draconian.

  • Just a reminder, we've been there, seen that ("Home taping is killing record industry profits!"):
    http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/i... [kym-cdn.com]

  • Anybody remember how macrovision spawned an entire market for synch pulse regenerators?
  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Friday February 05, 2016 @01:26PM (#51447361) Journal
    This is the age of the DVR. Who the hell actually watches a broadcast TV show when it's actually scheduled? Everyone records it on a DVR and watches it later. Wait, not allowed to record it? Gee I guess that show doesn't get watched then. I'm sure content providers will just love that, their shows all die in the ratings because people aren't willing to have their lives rotate around a TV show schedule. This is about as stupid as stupid can get; you'd think some politician thought of it, it's about as pants-on-head retarded as wanting backdoors in encryption. Also it won't work, there'll be hacks around it, and it'll just promote the idea of filesharing those shows even more than they would be otherwise. Stupid idea, needs to die, LET PEOPLE RECORD WHAT THEY WANT.
  • Maybe Japan is different, but I really suspect that 4K and 8K broadcasts are simply not going to be a big thing. People who with the latest technology are a lot more into streaming than broadcast TV.

    The broadcasters giving streaming services another leg up seems idiotic, and business as usual.

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