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MPAA Asks Again For Control Of TV Analog Ports 466

Posted by Soulskill
from the keep-barking-up-that-tree dept.
suraj.sun passes along this excerpt from the Consumerist: "The Motion Picture Association of American wants to rent movies to TV viewers earlier in the release window, but they don't want anyone potentially streaming that video out to other appliances. That's why last week they went back to the FCC to once again ask for the power to disable analog ports on consumer television sets. This capability is called selectable output control or SOC, and the FCC banned it back in 2003. SOC would allow 'service operators, such as cable companies, to turn off analog outputs on consumer electronics devices, only allowing digital plugs' such as HDMI. The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers."
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MPAA Asks Again For Control Of TV Analog Ports

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  • Pirates (Score:5, Funny)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:29PM (#30073940) Journal

    The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers.

    While I usually just laught at pirates stupid reasonings to pirate content (stupid record labels, support the artists directly, blabla), this is even more fun.

    "Do what we demand, or suffer."

    • Re:Pirates (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nhytefall (1415959) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:32PM (#30073978) Journal
      It does make one wonder who is the true enemy... content pirates (those who take content for free), or those groups attempting to stop them and produce said content.

      As Pogo said,

      We have met the enemy, and he is us."

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gedrin (1423917)
        Thought experiment:

        World without content pirates gives you access to X life enriching pieces of content.

        World without content producers gives you access to X life enriching pieces of content.

        Choose the world where X is greater.

        For the pirated content consumer, the obvious ideal is a world where the number of pirates and producers are both maximized. For the person who chooses not to consume pirated content, the ideal is a world where producers are maximized, and pirates exist only to make producers gre
        • For the person who chooses not to consume pirated content, the ideal is a world where producers are maximized

          However, the way to maximize producers isn't necessarily a broader scope of copyright. Without a meaningful right and ability to make fair use and other unregulated uses of a copyrighted work, a lot of producers can't produce due to copyright restrictions on derivative works.

          • by ground.zero.612 (1563557) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:05PM (#30075818)

            For the person who chooses not to consume pirated content, the ideal is a world where producers are maximized

            However, the way to maximize producers isn't necessarily a broader scope of copyright. Without a meaningful right and ability to make fair use and other unregulated uses of a copyrighted work, a lot of producers can't produce due to copyright restrictions on derivative works.

            At the point when "content providers" (I really fucking hate political incorrectness...) reach into my home, and disable features on a device which I own; I feel compelled to wish someone would kill them until they are dead.

            Really, the FCC has no business interfering with my usage of my communications technology until that usage interferes with some medium they regulate.

            Universal Studios, Sony Pictures, etc, can kiss my fucking ass if they ever get the power to do this, I will stop buying DVD/Blu-Ray releases, cancel my subscription to DirectTV and Comcast, smash my HDTV on the doorstep of the local BestBuy and take a shit on it. I will then use multiple computers/servers spread around the globe to pirate every fucking thing I can get my grubby ex-consumer neo-pirate hands on, even if it means going to jail.

            Some causes require martyrdom to see the goals come to fruition.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Runaway1956 (1322357) *

              Without the theatrics, I'm way ahead of you. I haven't been in a theatre in ages, and I don't buy the crap that Hollywood produces. I've voluntarily watched 3 movies in about 18 months. (as opposed to listening to the crud the wife rents, and blares out of the living room) I grabbed all three movies from the internet. Support the "celebrities"? Support RIAA, MPAA, or any of the other mafiaa? Me? No way in hell.

              I'm not the martyr type, really. If I felt that strongly, I'd take other routes - which we

            • by Chaos Incarnate (772793) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:36PM (#30076408) Homepage

              Really, the FCC has no business interfering with my usage of my communications technology until that usage interferes with some medium they regulate.

              Without the FCC's interference, "content providers" would already be able to use the communications technology that you willfully purchased that supports their disabling the analog out on your devices at the providers' whim.

              It's the FCC saving you from the providers. You already surrendered to them.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by mi (197448)

              reach into my home, and disable features on a device which I own

              They would only do this, if you allow them. If you wish to watch a movie, that they produced, they get to set the rules. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as the relationship is voluntary: "By pressing 'Continue' you allow us to disable the analog outputs of your electronics for the duration of the feature presentation. Press 'Cancel' to return to the menu."

              I will then use multiple computers/servers spread around the globe to pirate ev

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Thinboy00 (1190815)

                Why should I, the consumer, have to agree to a fscking EULA every time I want to watch a stupid movie?

        • Re:Pirates (Score:4, Insightful)

          by poetmatt (793785) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:21PM (#30074878) Journal

          this has nothing to do with anything, really. what is your point?
          "Piracy" (and the gross misnomer of the term) exists because the companies seek to restrict any and all control of their products to allow them to be established into new markets. Piracy and content are phrases made to dilute the argument and attempt to put it on a physical level.

          How many attempts to legally offer solutions to what the MPAA/RIAA have refused haven't been sued out of existence or taken control of and made useless? I can't point to a single one that is still around like that.

          The short answer is, everyone can make "content", and so everyone is a "content producer", thus there is no reason the MPAA is an exclusive "content producer" anymore than I am myself.

        • Re:Pirates (Score:4, Interesting)

          by hoggoth (414195) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:23PM (#30074952) Journal

          Choice three: No corporate content producers, music art and drama are produced by everyone "in the small". No blockbusters. Everyone enjoys gathering around telling stories, playing music, singing. Particularly creative people make videos, movies, write plays, books, lyrics. Shakespeare wasn't signed by a label.

          The way "content" is owned controlled and restricted now most people only "consume" entertainment. In my grandparent's time everyone produced entertainment. Sure, it wasn't as polished or grand as the professionally produced entertainment we are fed today. But is passive consumption of entertainment really that entertaining compared to interacting?

          • Re:Pirates (Score:5, Insightful)

            by TikiTDO (759782) <TikiTDO@gmail.com> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:18PM (#30076052)
            While I am very much for people generating their own content, there is certainly room in the market for large corporate producers as well. If the world depended on individual entities to make everything, we'd be lucky to have anything more than crude hammers and drafty shacks to live in.

            You asked if passive consumption of entertainment is really any good; I would venture to say that is serves some purposes. Everyone needs an escape, the human mind simply cannot deal with everything that happens in the world. This content merely provides a simple and safe avenue to reach that. Other people might work out, drink, smoke, go clubbing, waste time on the internets, or what have you.

            The main issue we face today is not who produces the content, but how it is owned and handled. Right now, the only way to get something is to pay a pre-defined price for it. This has been a workable system before, since most products required you to pay a static cost for material, large scale manufacturing, delivery, sales, the wages to support all this, as well as a more fluid cost criteria for profits and R&D. With much of the content we want getting digitized, though, there are less and less static costs associated with the process. A system where the majority of the revenue goes to recoup R&D cost, and then moving to nearly pure profit, is a system that can truly support the idea of patronage.

            In fact, patronage, or paying what you believe the content is worth to encourage the creation of new content, has been around for a very long time. I believe the idea needs to be updated for modern usage, for instance, by making it really simple to donate, by suggesting pre-set donations, and by adding incentives or benefits for those that do donate, while not penalizing those that do not, but that's getting into details. The fact is, you can have both corporate and individual content generators, because they would target different markets.

            A common argument is that patronage would not stop piracy, but I prefer to instead see it as *nothing* will stop piracy. As long as you are selling a product that people will actually, physically have, it will be pirated, end of story. Also, when you try keeping the products out of consumers hands, or otherwise close it down, many people will simply not buy your product because it will quickly grow stale and boring. So, why fight piracy then? Instead, your business model needs to be updated to account for it, and take advantage of the human mindset behind it.

            Further, a lot of pirates are actually pretty reasonable people. They will download the game, song, or movie, and if they really like it, they will buy it. The issue then becomes a matter of price. If I get a game that provided me with $30 worth of entertainment, I would be happy to pay $30 for it, but I simply will not pay $60. Some may say that I should not have downloaded the game if I was not prepared to pay for it, but that is simply not how human nature works. We are creatures of curiocity; we like to try and to explore new things, and we always want the latest and greatest. I would even venture say that trying to change this would stifle innovation, and hurt your long term profits more than anything else. The simple fact that the content is out there means that a lot of people will be interested in it. Telling people they cannot have it is like telling the oceans to part, and let you through: When you can do something like that, you get your own religion.
            • Re:Pirates (Score:4, Insightful)

              by evilWurst (96042) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @03:47PM (#30077614) Journal

              I'd like to add that patronage not only has a long history, but that it's also still being practiced right now, in nearly every community: every high school and college band is being paid for by some combination of the community, the students, and the students' parents.

              I bring it up because it shows that we're already comfortable with the basics, and because I don't think purely anonymous internet patronage would work well enough on its own. But community patronage for rehearsal space and local performances, combined with internet patronage? That just might work. The college students in particular are already plenty talented and capable of playing gigs for cash, and internet donations, however sporadic and unreliable, might be just enough to bump a hobby-that-sometimes-breaks-even up to the level of an actual stable career for a LOT more musicians than are currently able to make a living from it.

              For the music-loving public, compare the current model (most musicians 'starving', and a few make mega and get rich) to one where we have a LOT more musicians making music and getting merely 'normal' pay from it. The latter model works out better for both the public and the musicians - the public gets more and cheaper music, and the musicians get to pursue their calling full time.

              Could this concept be pushed into other media? Certainly, though perhaps not as quickly as music could be right away. Theatre, movies, and even software could benefit from the hybrid model. Software's already touching on it with open source projects being sponsored by companies (they get the use of the software for themselves, and then a bunch of prestige for releasing it). TV shows once followed this model, too, Back In The Day.

          • Re:Pirates (Score:4, Informative)

            by Count Fenring (669457) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @04:41PM (#30078510) Homepage Journal

            Shakespeare wasn't signed by a label.

            F'reals?

            Shakespeare is perhaps the worst possible historical example, here. There's a reason his acting company was called The King's Men - it's because he had a royal patent from King James. I could go further, but honestly, don't take my word - look it up.

            Even ignoring that Shakespeare was a big-deal playwright, "signed" by the King himself, it's still a bad analogy. Plays in Elizabethan and Jacobean England were nothing remotely like the oral-tradition utopia you're painting here, or stories told by someone's grandpa, or fireside singalongs. Theater was "consumed" in all the senses that you use here; it was covered by copyright, it was performed for monetary consideration, and it actually served much the same purposes as movies and other media do today. Hell, while it did tend to be rowdier than modern theater, it was still primarily a passive entertainment.

            Heck, "piracy" in the modern sense was actually a big deal - most London printings would be followed shortly after by a pirate edition from Ireland or Scotland.

        • Re:Pirates (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:28PM (#30075076) Journal

          These extremes are misleading. Piracy exists because the content producers and consumers do not agree on acceptable terms for the content. At one extreme, you have content producers wanting to be paid every time anyone watches their film. At the other extreme, you have consumers not wanting to pay at all. Some of these consumers are not able to pay anything, so they can be discounted from the discussion: No matter how you set the price or what conditions you impose, they will not pay. Some consumers are willing to pay, but not pay as much as the producers want. Some are willing to pay, but the format that they want (e.g. DRM-free downloads) is not available, or the available formats are not available in their area (e.g. TV shows that air in the US but are not legally available outside the USA for several months).

          If you want to reduce piracy then these three groups can all be targeted: make your product cheaper, more convenient, and more available. The studios, in making this request, are trying to make their product less convenient and less available. Maybe they are also planning on making it cheaper, but there's no reason to expect that. I am still amazed at the business model of companies that have a product that I want, refuse to take my money in exchange for it, and then complain that pirates are destroying their profits.

          • Re:Pirates (Score:4, Informative)

            by nabsltd (1313397) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:25PM (#30076186)

            At one extreme, you have content producers wanting to be paid every time anyone watches their film.

            At one extreme, you have content producers wanting to be paid every time anyone watches any part of, uses screenshots from, discusses or otherwise references in any format their film.

            Fixed that for you.

            Note that I didn't mention that they want facial recognition hardware and software installed in displays so that they can charge per person, instead of just per showing.

          • Re:Pirates (Score:5, Funny)

            by unitron (5733) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:54PM (#30076728) Homepage Journal

            Maybe they are also planning on making it cheaper...

            And they have personally assured me that they are fully committed to doing exactly that, just as soon as their sideline business in aviation gear for swine begins producing sufficient offsetting revenue.

        • Re:Pirates (Score:4, Insightful)

          by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabre ... g ['s.o' in gap]> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:29PM (#30075086) Homepage
          Your experiment includes the implicit assumption that the only way for the content producers to get paid is via selling copies of the media (which has no marginal cost to reproduce). Being as that isn't the case (movie theaters, product tie-ins, fan access to stars and writers and so on, etc), your thought experiment really isn't a valid representation of the realities, and isn't useful. "Pirated" content cannot be counted as a lost sale, because people who download media illegally do not magically have the money to purchase them legitimately, or even the desire to do so if the illegal option were removed.
        • Re:Pirates (Score:5, Insightful)

          by geckipede (1261408) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:29PM (#30075094)
          I think you'll find that it's content distributors that the pirates want to see gone. A world without content producers would be a world without any humans left. People carry on having creative urges and doing something about it whether or not there's money involved.

          The only place where amount of content produced would be genuinely affected by a complete shutdown of payment for media is film and television.
        • Re:Pirates (Score:4, Interesting)

          by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:18PM (#30076042) Journal

          For the person who chooses not to consume pirated content, the ideal is a world where producers are maximized, and pirates exist only to make producers greatful for paying customers and provide incentive toward price moderation.

          Sort of. MPAA members are like the corporations to whom workers owe their souls from 9 to 5. Pirates are like the unions. They prevent the MPAA from having so much control that they start to abuse consumers.

          I'll explain. The MPAA members, like any corporation, have no real incentive to do any more than is necessary for the consumer. Their natural tendency is to charge the highest price they can, offer as little as they can get away with, and maximize profits by forcing people to repeatedly purchase the same content. If they could, they would use an all-rental model as the DIVX debacle demonstrated, and nobody would ever own anything. Consumers rejected that because they had DVDs as an alternative, but there's nothing preventing the industry in all its near-suicidal goodness from moving steadily toward that model.

          The existence of pirates makes such goals impossible. Pirates find ways around DRM that limits rentals to being rentals. The analog hole is the last guaranteed trivial way to achieve this, and as such, it is the last resort of those who feel we should be allowed to own content. Similarly, it provides limits on how high the price of media can get because if it gets too expensive, people will just pirate it.

          The real problem here is the cost of making movies. We live in an era where the technical costs of making a movie are rapidly dropping, but the cost of hiring big name stars remains insanely high, and a significant number of people think that these big names are important when choosing what movie to watch because they are a sign that the movie has the full support of a major studio and is thus less likely to suck. While there is some truth to this, that means that it is nearly impossible to significantly increase competition due to scarcity of that resource. So no matter how abusive the MPAA member companies become, there's no reason to believe that new competition will come in to fix things---no reason to believe that the free market will correct the gouging. Add to this the nature of the relationships between studios and the movie theaters, and you have a very, very difficult market to enter without tying yourself somehow to one of the major studios (e.g. the Disney/Pixar relationship before Disney bought them).

          In the absence of a free market, something has to provide controls over the operation of the monopoly or oligopoly. Piracy provide those controls. In the absence of piracy, it would necessary for the government to provide those controls to protect consumers from the industry, and I'm not convinced that our politicians have the intestinal fortitude to take on the MPAA members and limit them....

          Im not saying that piracy is good---it isn't. I'm merely saying I'm certain that a lack of piracy would lead to an industry that is so abusive that it would make the current industry seem like Mother Teresa.

        • Re:Pirates (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mcmonkey (96054) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:59PM (#30076820) Homepage
          Thought experiment:
          World without content pirates gives you access to X life enriching pieces of content.
          World without content producers gives you access to X life enriching pieces of content.
          Choose the world where X is greater.

          The problem with your experiment is the party you leave out: the content distributors.

          Remember, when you're dealing with MPAA, RIAA, Sony, even Disney these days, you are not dealing with content producers. You are dealing with distributors.

          These companies are not interested in ensuring the future production of creative works. They certainly do not care about the quality of the works produced. They only care about distribution, and specifically about reducing your options to get content.

          The MPAA does not want a world where more movies are produced. They want a world where you can only get movies from the MPAA and its members.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by erroneus (253617)

          I appreciate the conservative view point you are trying to put across, but there is one human factor that conservatives frequently fail to recognize. That factor is greed. Greed leads those in control of whatever product or factor of production to abuse the public at every opportunity. Prices are never low because of the goodness of anyone's hearts. They are low when they are required to be by law, when there is sufficient free, fair and unrestricted competition and when other forces, such as "pirates"

      • Re:Pirates (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ByOhTek (1181381) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:00PM (#30074454) Journal

        you are assuming the media companies are trying to stop the pirates.

        The pirates, are a straw man for the media consortium to be able to give the users less (i.e. less work on the media companies part), while still ensuring payment of the same price.

        I see both as the enemy - the pirates for giving the media companies this tool, the only tool in their belt, as well as being so inundated with a sense of entitlement that they can't consider doing without... And the media companies for just being greedy bastards.

        • Re:Pirates (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Unequivocal (155957) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:15PM (#30074746)

          Well said. Mod up. This isn't about piracy, this is about controlling what we can do with the content, so they can charge us at every transaction point. Put it on an ipod? $.50, transfer to a new computer, $5, stream this to your kitchen, $1.25.

          • Re:Pirates (Score:4, Insightful)

            by rahvin112 (446269) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:32PM (#30076332)

            Don't forget, they want to kill Used Movies sales as well. One purchase, no resale. DRM has always been about killing resale, in games, movies and music the biggest threat the associations see is the resale of used product because they see it as depriving them of a sale. Piracy is a minor issue when compared to resale of used products, but they are beating on the drum of piracy because the politicians are listening and the studio's and producers know they can use it to kill resale.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Narpak (961733)

        The Motion Picture Association of American wants to rent movies to TV viewers earlier in the release window, but they don't want anyone potentially streaming that video out to other appliances. That's why last week they went back to the FCC to once again ask for the power to disable analog ports on consumer television sets.

        I reckon that it is rather pointless to imagine that such a policy will affect people's ability to download/watch pirated content. If people want to watch a movie/series for free then there is very little stopping them as it is. At least if something like this offer existed those that wouldn't mind paying would be able to do so.

    • Re:Pirates (Score:5, Funny)

      by introspekt.i (1233118) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:34PM (#30073996)

      "Do what we demand, or suffer."

      On the contrary, I think delaying the release for the next Ryan Reynods + Sandra Bullock movie is good for everybody.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)

        I am already willing to wait for these "blockbusters" to hit the $5 movie bin.

        I really couldn't give 2 hoots if it is on PPV a few weeks earlier.

        Although I do object to not being able to record the cable I paid for in all of it's HD gory.

    • Re:Pirates (Score:5, Insightful)

      by buswolley (591500) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:42PM (#30074134) Journal
      Ya know.. I don't want any more goods and services. I have enough, thank you.
    • Re:Pirates (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mark_in_Brazil (537925) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:38PM (#30075284)

      The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers.

      While I usually just laught at pirates stupid reasonings to pirate content (stupid record labels, support the artists directly, blabla), this is even more fun.

      "Do what we demand, or suffer."

      This reminds me of the insurance companies. They promised car insurance premiums would go down if a Federal speed limit of 55 miles per hour were established. They promised car insurance premiums would go down if seatbelt laws were passed. They promised car insurance premiums would go down if strict "drunk" driving laws were passed. They promised car insurance premiums would go down if car manufacturers were required to put three-point seatbelts in cars. They promised car insurance premiums would go down if car manufacturers would make airbags standard equipment.

      Anyone want to guess whether the insurance companies made good on their promises?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers.

      While I usually just laught at pirates stupid reasonings to pirate content (stupid record labels, support the artists directly, blabla), this is even more fun.

      "Do what we demand, or suffer."

      Ain't it great? They're basically saying that if we let them hold our electronics hostage, they'll stop holding their content hostage.

      Problem with that (threats aside) is that they can't keep their stuff forever. Eventually they'll release it no matter what - after all, if they stop selling movies, they stop making money.

      So shorter release waits? If someone is so desperate to see a movie that they have to see it NOW, then they probably saw it in theaters. People who rent are used to some wait.

      So more

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Darinbob (1142669)
      "All right, you asked for it. Prepare for the ultimate in MPAA punishment! No movie for you! For three additional months anyway! Hah, who's laughing now? Where are you going to get your content... Wait, stop that. What are you doing? A book?? Seriously? That's so lame. No explosions, special effects, or director commentary. Stop reading and look at me when I'm fulminating at you! OK, I'll be back tomorrow to deliver my ultimatum again after you've grown bored with last millenium's technology.
  • Two words (Score:5, Informative)

    by Karem Lore (649920) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:31PM (#30073960)

    One begins with F and the other with O

  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moogied (1175879) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:32PM (#30073968)
    Shouldn't this be a decision that consumers make? I buy a certain TYPE of set that enables this and I can see there dumb ass content a week earlier.. if not, then we get normal release times.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by flonker (526111) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:47PM (#30074202)

      The problem with that is, *all* sets will be of that type, or people who buy new devices would complain that their device is supposed to be new, yet they're still locked out of whatever. A few years later, they won't release any content without the anti-analog flag. At which point old TV sets won't work, (again,) and grandma won't have access to important information about hurricanes and stuff.

      If the anti-analog flag is there, many people will want to use it on everything because they won't consider the negative effects. It's just human nature.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The problem with that is, *all* sets will be of that type, or people who buy new devices would complain that their device is supposed to be new, yet they're still locked out of whatever. A few years later, they won't release any content without the anti-analog flag. At which point old TV sets won't work, (again,) and grandma won't have access to important information about hurricanes and stuff.

        Can we just disown Grandma and leave her to fend for herself already? She's holding back technological progress!

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Narpak (961733) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:13PM (#30074694)
        And those bent on ripping and sharing it online will find workarounds anyway; thus only limiting the possibilities of people already obeying the law.
    • by nametaken (610866)

      I say we just let them suffer until they HAVE to bring new products and services, and they still don't get to muck with my Tv hardware.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheCarp (96830)

      Sorta maybe. Its a total sidestep of the issue. The problem is that neither the content providers nor the device makers have really ANY incentive to educate consumers as to the difference. Rather than a balanced idea of what you are giving up vs what you may gain, they will be told "This device supports the new Recording Industry Advanced Feature HD format for the latest in crisp video and sound quality". What they wont know, unless they happen to be of the small percentage that cares to investigate, is tha

      • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by causality (777677) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:13PM (#30074706)

        What they wont know, unless they happen to be of the small percentage that cares to investigate, is that the "feature" they are buying into is actually a loss of feature and a relinquishing of control over their own equipment.

        You want less BS like this, expand that "small percentage". Bite the bullet and decide that maybe doing some legwork and investigating the truth of a claim before accepting it at face value is how human beings should be. Consider that doing otherwise is a defective practice as evidenced by the deception it leaves one open to. Accept that illiteracy or pure inexcusable laziness would be the only reasons for failure to do so, ever since the advent of Google.

        Then imagine what would happen if everyone came to accept these few simple things. Most or all of the control exerted over us by various political and corporate entities comes from their power to deceive, misrepresent, and outright bullshit. That's why the MPAA doesn't say "we want dictatorial control over hardware we don't own" and instead says "this will help us deliver more content." Of course the MPAA is the least of what this mechanism has brought us. I'd like to see what would happen to governments if the general population learned to have high-quality bullshit detectors. Right now, the majority who can't (or won't) handle basic research and argumentation are accepting faulty policies, endorsing flawed ideas, and generally creating a terribly gloomy and cynical world for the minority who can.

    • by Thansal (999464)

      Until they ONLY make releases for those types of sets.
      </paranoia>

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by davek (18465)

      Shouldn't this be a decision that consumers make? I buy a certain TYPE of set that enables this and I can see there dumb ass content a week earlier.. if not, then we get normal release times.

      What a perfectly reasonable solution! However, you're falsely assuming that the MPAA or the FCC have any care whatsoever about the consumer. Its never been about the consumer, its about controlling and maintaining the status quo and the lifestyles of Hollywood royalty.

  • I wonder... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clang_jangle (975789) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:34PM (#30073994) Journal
    Wonder how well that would work for people using a computer with a TV tuner for watching?
  • by sohmc (595388) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:35PM (#30074004) Journal

    It's bad enough that the American public has to live through really bad sequels. It's even worse that Hollywood hasn't had a decent original movie in a long time.

    Now, even the lawyers can't think of new ways of screwing the consumer!

    You just can't make this stuff up.

  • Cartel (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:35PM (#30074008)

    When is the MPAA and RIAA going to be broken up as a cartel? They all price match each other, control pricing, and even sue as a group.

    It's a perfect cartel. I wonder if they like OPEC? Probably.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's only a cartel when it doesn't involve American corporations.

      • Restraint of trade (Score:4, Informative)

        by tepples (727027) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [selppet]> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:28PM (#30075068) Homepage Journal
        Anonymous Coward wrote:

        It's only a cartel when it doesn't involve American corporations.

        Standard Oil and AT&T breakups involved corporations headquartered in the United States.

        But seriously: Nine companies (Sony, Time Warner, News, GE, Disney, National Amusements, WMG, Vivendi, and EMI) are thought to make up the Music And Film Industry Associations of America (MAFIAA). It appears some people believe the collective actions of the MAFIAA members rise to the level of "restraint of trade or commerce", and the United States should prosecute them for Sherman Act violation. I'd like to see some collected evidence of Sherman Act violations by these companies so that one of us can submit a detailed crime tip to the FBI.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:37PM (#30074046) Homepage

    It's now easier to click-and-leech digital copies than it is to fiddle around with cables to make your own crappy analog copy. Hell, you can download a digital copy while you're watching the DVD/cable movie that they ostensibly think you're planning to analog rip.

    I can't think why they'd even care about the analog hole any more, other than that it's a pure power ploy. They push for something crazy like this, then reluctantly accept a "compromise" position like adding another hojillion dollars to the statutory damages for copyright infringement.

    Or, and this may be a real possibility, they are simply batshit cuckoo-bananas insane and just can't stop fighting a battle that they lost a decade ago.

    • by Tihstae (86842)

      Or, and this may be a real possibility, they are simply batshit cuckoo-bananas insane and just can't stop fighting a battle that they lost a decade ago.

      Ding ding ding. We have a winna!

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:55PM (#30074378)

      Even if all the digital data is encrypted. The hardware/software will unencrypted the data right before it goes to the components that displays the information. A little tap from the chip and you have a TV that will make digital copies of your movies. Once one person has the digital copy within 24 hours anyone who wants it can get it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kozz (7764)

      It's now easier to click-and-leech digital copies...

      If you know of any ways to capture Hulu streams (either via webpage or their desktop app), I'd love to know. Even if it means the commercials are embedded, I've got no problem with that. The ability to download a show NOW to watch LATER (say, someplace where I don't have 'net access) would be awesome.

      For the record, I've done my share of Googling and trying different capture apps that haven't worked as advertised. Maybe you know something I don't (I'm hoping).

  • by Gizzmonic (412910) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:39PM (#30074072) Homepage Journal

    Would any sane person consent to having their TV outputs shut off just so they could watch a movie a few weeks before the DVD release? I didn't think so.

    Also, HDMI's protection has been cracked for years now anyway...it's not like they're preventing piracy. I don't understand this obsession with "the analog hole." You're only going to hurt Mom & Pop who are still connecting their cable box on channel 3 with the RF connector. Everyone else is using HDMI anyway.

  • Every time... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sootman (158191) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:40PM (#30074090) Homepage Journal

    ... I think I can't hate the **AA any more than I already do, they pull crap like this. "The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers." Really? REALLY?!?!?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by broggyr (924379)

      The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers."

      The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could charge for more goods to consumers."

      There, fixed that for you.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:40PM (#30074102)

    The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers.

    The ability to turn those plugs on and off would not affect their ability ("could offer") to offer more goods to consumers, it might affect their willingness ("would offer") to offer more goods to consumers. However, I think the reason they used the words they did is because they don't necessarily want to offer more goods to the consumer, they just want more control over the consumer.
    The MAFIAA has this idea that since they can't control what you do with the product once they let you have it (and thus possibly allow someone to gain access to it without paying them), they should do without the money they would make by selling it to you in the first place.
    Further, as they tighten their control over the products they sell, they can't understand why they are selling less and less of that product.

  • MPAA control (Score:5, Insightful)

    by prakslash (681585) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:41PM (#30074116)

    Slashdot story in 2012: MPAA asks again for control of bank accounts
    The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly control consumers' bank accounts, they could offer more goods to consumers.

  • Unbelievable! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:41PM (#30074118)

    "The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers."

    Fuck you, you fucking fucks!

  • Sense a great deal of modern television sets are practicly embeded computers, this move will hopefully be the push to launch homebrew TV bios.

    I would love to flash a HTC to enable cool video overlays or to allow simultaneous stream dumping.

    • by Rockoon (1252108)
      I know mine is. Hell, I am 100% certain that it has an AC'97 audio chip and i've never opened it or otherwise checked out the technical specs of the device. Yes, the feature set (effects) of AC'97's is *that obvious* when you hear it.

      It also takes more than a few seconds to "boot up"
  • @publicknowledge has an excellent 2-part video recap, here
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5t2DYT_SV8 [youtube.com] and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyAeZwvvI7w [youtube.com]
    and an issue section with several articles, http://www.publicknowledge.org/issues/soc [publicknowledge.org]

  • by Puzzleer (309198) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:45PM (#30074170)

    Ironically, there is only one product I know of that can even record content that comes out of the component output, and that's the Hauppauge HD-PVR. It's not like people all over the place are using the component video outputs to steal content (and those who do could probably just as easily hack around HDCP).

  • by Wardish (699865) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:47PM (#30074200) Journal

    If the mpaa want's people to use TV's (or other devices) that have such restrictions they they should set up factories and SELL them. If the market wants them then tally-ho.

  • What's the point? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:49PM (#30074240)

    If they want to force people to get rid of old TVs, they won't succeed. Because instead of spending the $1k or more on a new TV, they'll probably buy stuff like an HD-Fury2 so they can continue using their older HDTV set.

    The Hauppage HD-PVR has been around a long while now, sure it only does component, but so do many older TVs. Blocking analog out does nothing that an HD-Fury2 can't fix.

    So what, exactly, does this do again?

  • Let's say the FCC rolls over and says, "Sure! Plug all the holes you want!" and the SOC becomes reality. Then what? Will I be prevented from using a video camera to record the TV screen as it's playing? Digital implants in our optic nerves to prevent us from seeing contents for which we haven't paid?

  • I think the offering more goods line is mostly a load of bunk. But lets assume it's true. Do we want more overpriced goods that are fundamentally lower quality because we can't use them in the way we choose within our own homes having paid for them? Or are we happy with fewer goods which actually allow our property to function properly?

    We should be able to have a full range of content without reducing the value of other, physical goods that we own. But if we can't have that, I'd personally rather stick

  • Groups representing public interest against these agendas (and lobbying for DMCA reform) should apply the same logic used to defend such oppression to the auto repair industry to demonstrate its absurdity.

    "If only we could selectively disable people's engines, we could offer more innovative repair services to the public!"

  • Just read the article and I don't get what the MPAA is even asking for?

    How in the world would they shut off my TV's inputs?
    AFAIK, component cables do not provide any control or data link to the TV.

    Obviously, if my cable provider wanted to shut off the analog OUTPUTS of the cable box they rent to me, they can do that.

    What are we talking about here?????

  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:55PM (#30074376)
    Why potentially cripple all of the television appliances just to allow a minority of people to watch movies a few days earlier? Once such a remote disable ability exists, it will be used and abused.
  • The article states...

    "The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers."

    It should be... "The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they would want to offer more goods to consumers." ...because it has absolutely nothing to do with the ability of offering more goods--it's all about the industry's desire to control what the consumer can do with what the consumer pays for.

    It's an impasse that will likely only

  • by mmell (832646) <mike.mell@gmail.com> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:06PM (#30074542)
    Given that Blu-Ray/DVD/MP4 streams can all be ripped digitally without resorting to analog (with all the quality degradation that brings) - and given that somebody with sufficient skill and equipment to use the analog hole probably also has the skills and equipment to rip digital video without resorting to analog techniques - who cares?

    Besides, if Hollyweird's streamed content breaks my TV, I'll just (A) Sue, (B) Vote with my wallet, and (C) Sue. Even if (A) and (C) are eliminated from the list, I'm pretty sure a lot of the cash-spending public will employ option (B).

    Which reminds me - do they really have anything to offer which makes this kind of tradeoff worth it? I'll admit that occasionally something really worthwhile comes out of Tinseltown, but not that often IMHO; and even then I think I'll be okay waiting a few extra weeks and buying physical media rather than letting some nameless, faceless entity screw with the firmware in my home electronics.

  • I want DRM! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by janimal (172428) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:25PM (#30075004)

    I, for one, welcome such an advancement. (Yea, I'm trolling with the subject, but I do want to make a point)

    I have a satellite decoder/PVR on my TV that lets me record HD movies (true, I can't get them off the box), and lets me rent movies for 24 hour periods (VOD). I do not pirate, as I'm happy to pay for my content. But, guess what, I haven't rented a VOD movie yet. Why? Because the deal sucks. I'm sure the idiots who invented it will figure out what's wrong sooner or later (price).

    I say: Let the MPAA have their DRM and let's see how much more they sell. If they get the kind of control they want, then we'll have the freedom not to buy their produce. I'll be more than happy to stop paying if they give me a worse product.

    It's not like i need to see 2012 on my TV before it comes out on BD; hell, I don't have to go see it on my TV at all (I already paid to see it at the theatre).

    Why give these idiots arguments to sponsor projects, like "pirate taxes"? I'd much rather have DRM in my TV and PVR than have to pay a pirate tax or some other stupid blanket scheme.

  • by nsayer (86181) <nsayer.kfu@com> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:31PM (#30075126) Homepage

    The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers.

    In other words, if they don't get their way, they're going to take their ball and go home. Wah.

  • Ok, give me a list (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SnarfQuest (469614) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:33PM (#30075160)

    The MPAA is arguing that if they could directly turn those plugs on and off, they could offer more goods to consumers.

    Ok, I want a list of goods that it is impossible for you to offer now, but would be possible by turning off the analog ports.

  • by Danathar (267989) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:22PM (#30076136) Journal

    I kid you not, if they turn off analog component video I GAURANTEE you that somebody will engineer something that fits over the front of 1080p display and acurately captures every last bit. You may not be able to buy it for your home, but stuff will continue to get onto the internet.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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