FCC to kill Tivo and all modern DVRs

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by AmbitiousLemon, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

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    down in Fraggle Rock
    #1
    http://www.eff.org/broadcastflag/

    Today, you can use any device you like with your television: VCR, TiVo, DVD recorder, home theater receiver, or a PC combining these functions and more. A year from now, when the FCC's broadcast flag mandate [PDF] takes effect, some of those capabilities will be forbidden.

    Responding to pressure from Hollywood, the FCC has adopted a rule requiring future digital television (DTV) tuners to include "content protection" (aka DRM) technologies. Starting next year, all makers of HDTV receivers must build their devices to watch for a broadcast "flag" embedded in programs by copyright holders. When it comes to digital recording, it'll be Hollywood's DRM way or the highway. Want to burn that recording digitally to a DVD to save hard drive space? Sorry, the DRM lock-box won't allow it. How about sending it over your home network to another TV? Not unless you rip out your existing network and replace it with DRMd routers. Kind of defeats the purpose of getting a high definition digital signal, doesn't it?

    The Broadcast Flag:

    The essence of the FCC's rule is in 47 CFR 73.9002(b) and the following sections: "No party shall sell or distribute in interstate commerce a Covered Demodulator Product that does not comply with the Demodulator Compliance Requirements and Demodulator Robustness Requirements."

    The Demodulator Compliance Requirements insist that all HDTV demodulators must listen for the flag (or assume it to be present in all signals). Flagged content must be output only to "protected outputs" or in degraded form: through analog outputs or digital outputs with visual resolution of 720x480 pixels or less--less than 1/4 of HDTV's capability. Flagged content may be recorded only by "Authorized" methods, which may include tethering of recordings to a single device.

    The Demodulator Robustness Requirements are particularly troubling for open-source developers. In order to prevent users from gaining access to the full digital signal, the FCC ties the hands of even sophisticated users and developers. Devices must be "robust" against user access or modifications that permit access to the full digital stream. Since open-source drivers are by design user-modifiable, a PC tuner card with open-source drivers would not be "robust." It's not even clear that binary-only drivers would qualify.

    Together, these rules mean that future PVR developers will have to get permission from the FCC and/or Hollywood before building high-definition versions of the TiVo. The products that they do build will be epoxied against user experimentation and future improvement. The rules mean that open-source developers and hobbyists will be shut out of the HDTV loop altogether.
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #2
    Holy flashbacks Batman. :eek: :rolleyes:

    Wasn't this issue resloved 20 years ago? Oh, that's right... Thank you DMCA. And thank you US Courts for ruling in favor of the DMCA and agaisnt 20 years of precident.

    I don't have a DVR so I guess I'll never know what I'm missing...


    Lethal
     
  3. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    #3
    i bet it will get kncoked down in teh courts again if enough people complain about it; then again piracy is rampant or is becoming rampant so who knows could be a toss up, but i say i bought it should be able to keep it
     
  4. MacFan26 macrumors 65816

    MacFan26

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    #4
    Sounds like something the RIAA would do. I'm not all into the HDTV stuff yet, mostly because I can't afford a good enough TV that it would be worthy of high definition. TiVo, etc. are pretty popular though it seems, I can imagine the user base will only grow.

    edit: :eek: 500th post! I'm finally a 6502! Yay! :D :D
     
  5. sonyrules macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Ohio
    #5
    Another great example of what the government is trying to do. Hold back technology.

    I have a tivo, and i dont know what the big deal is about. Oh course, they are supposed to introducing models with DVD burners in them, so who knows
     
  6. Stelliform macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

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    #6
    Didn't Hollywood have its highest grossing month every last month? The music industry is suffering not from piracy as much as they are trying to control the artists too much. Obviously Hollywood doesn't have this problem since I know alot of people who rip movies, but Hollywood just seems to make more money.
     
  7. nospleen macrumors 68000

    nospleen

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    #7
    Anyone notice the ads at the bottom of this thread? Tivo, ReplayTV, etc.. :D

    edit: the google adds change, when I refreshed it showed ibooks. But, it was still pretty funny when I looked down the first time.
     
  8. FelixDerKater macrumors 68000

    FelixDerKater

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    Apr 12, 2002
    #8
    The music industry is suffering from the popularity of rap and the mindset of the people who listen to it. After all, the music itself glorifies theft, so what is the big surprise that people are pirating it. Country on the other hand is actually growing in sales and listeners.
     
  9. cubist macrumors 68020

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    #9
    I don't understand how a government burocracy could think they have the authority to make such a rule. Then again, there's a lot of precedent for that, too.
     
  10. hotwire132002 macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

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    #10
    Don't get me started on the FCC....

    I am not a fan of them.

    Question: Will the new HDTV eyeTV work with this stupid HDTV DRM? Anyone know?
     
  11. anonymous161 macrumors 6502

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    Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains
    #11
    hmm

    I'm sorry, but I want to know why I am subjected to 20 minutes of commercials every hour if I can't even do anything with the programming I receive. Originally, television was broadcasted over the airwaves and each consumer set up their television box with an antenna to pick up the signals. In exchange for the content you received, you were subjected to commercials from advertisers who paid for the show you were watching. Along came satellite and cable and at that point you could pay x dollars a month for the line that came to your home, the cost of which was offset by the sheer number of channels and the higher fidelity of the signal. Now we have the ability to watch and record programming in a better quality picture, but we pay plenty for this, with higher equipment costs and higher cable/satellite rates for the "new" hi-fi content. My point is, just like when you buy a cd/download an iTunes song, you pay for that content at that time. The courts decided years ago that we could make copies of our content for personal use. I know that the internet/digital technology has made piracy pervasive, but it's not like the cost of media has gone down in the past twenty years. CD's still realistically cost $12 bucks/$10 for just the digital content via download and basic cable costs $40 bucks a month, before you add digital channels, HD content, and the various HBO's. After you spend $80 bucks+ a month for your HD programming to view on your $6000 HDTV, you are still subjected to the commericals that were supposed to pay for the content in the first place. On "pay" channels (HBO, etc) you pay them directly for the content. Now they feel that this programming that has already been paid for by commercials (and then paid for again with syndication royalties) is worth so much that you must get their approval to view it at your leisure. This is BS. How dare the FCC/Media tell me what to do with something that comes over my airwaves/bandwidth. If I want to take an episode of friends and splice it with donkey fetish porn and post it on the internet, I should have that right. I paid for it the first time I watched it by sitting through the commercials and if I paid the cable company for it, or the satellite company for it, then I shouldn't have to sit through any of the damn commercials in the first place. I don't care how much money they think they lose with piracy, because they make too much money in the first place. The dayrate for any actor on tv is almost as much as I make in a month anyway, so screw them. I don't suppose Michael Powell will have a problem, because if he doesn't have enough money to buy an HDTV and an "approved" recorder to watch Janet Jackson's boob flash over and over again he can just go borrow money from his daddy or any number of the millionaires in the Bush administration or congress. I imagine though that he is picking up a pretty fat check from NewsCorp or some other big media company.
     
  12. anonymous161 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    And another thing

    The FCC is supposed to act in the interest of the American people (which is total BS because if I got an antenna and started broadcasting my own talk radio show the FCC would come and arrest my for using my airwaves). The FCC is supposed to design guidelines and approve standards for broadcast media (including HDTV). These standards are supposed to ensure compatibility not just of competing products, but also products from one generation to the next, that way the financial burden of the consumer is minimized. Therefore, I don't see how the FCC can change these standards to reflect this new digital rights protection. Obviously they can because they are, but I don't think its in the public's best interest, which should invalidate the entire administration because they are flat our not doing their jobs. If the FCC were truly in to protecting the people, they would tell the tv/movie industries to F*** off. It's not like Hollywood is going to stop producing content just because they don't get their way. If I have to live under this big government then the least they could do is cater to my needs instead of big business's wishes.
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13
    On 2nd thought I can see, I think, the motivation behind this.

    Why buy a DVD (or HD-DVD in the future) when you can pull an exact copy off of HBO and make your own DVD? And releasing TV shows on DVD has become big business, but why buy them on DVD if you can record them right off the air and burn it w/no loss in quality?

    Welcome to the double-edged sword of the digital age.

    Hollywood makes bank on DVDs. Some movies only get made because the studio knows that DVD sales will pick up the slack if box office numbers aren't good.

    DVD has created a brand new revenue stream. Yes there was VHS before, but VHS never moved anywhere close to the amount that DVD does.


    Lethal
     
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #14

    They aren't your airwaves they are the publics airwaves. And they are a limited resource which is why they are regulated. Are you just ranting or have you even tried getting a license and starting your own low power FM station?


    Lethal
     
  15. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #15
    holy flashbacks batman.... had me in fits of laughter...thankin you
     
  16. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #16
    Just so you know, Hollywood is run by Democrats so this is not as much Powell as it is more Jack Valenti or Spielberg
     
  17. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    Bay Area
    #17
    You're right, that's what this is about. But it's bull**** that they're doing it. There's no "piracy" here. People pay for the shows, and the courts have already said it's ok to copy those shows for your own personal viewing.
     
  18. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

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    #18
    The problem is that the many are punished because of the actions of the few.

    Its a fine line to protect the rights of copyright holders and allow the vast majority of users easy access. Most people are honest about their TV/TiVo/etc. I would say that 90% plus use it for home use. Some do not.
    Back with VCR, I can say that I certainly taped episodes of shows like Friends or ER and passed them around to others who missed the shows. With TiVo its better quality and debatable if its easier or harder to pass along. But the concept has not changed.

    Problem is that all of this new DRM will drastically impact the 90% of us doing it legit. It will for a brief moment impact those copying HBO or pay per view and illegally distributing content. But the hacks will be there, very quickly. Look at Direct TV and DIH hacks. You can go online and buy all you need to hack satellite tv. Most people don't but some do. If the government puts all sorts of restrictions on my life, to attempt to catch a few criminals, then we have to examine the role our government plays. I am all for going after the bad guys, and I do feel that a work copyrighted should be respected within reason, but if I cannot copy a 30 minute sitcom, skip commercials and easily transfer the content to another source (say my laptop, or a friends tv to view) then I am having my rights infringed upon. With Pay tv its slightly different as, like a movie ticket, I am paying for the immediate experience, so I would be more willing to accept that I cannot copy a first run film off PPV, but I darn well should be able to tape news, sitcoms, etc. without commercials and hassle.

    As for Hollywood and politics, many big wigs in Hollywood are liberals. Many hold rather conservative views. Big business is big business. I think you can GENERALIZE that many of the creative types are liberal, and many of the business types are conservative. That said, someone like Spielberg may have different goals and a different agenda than Valenti or FOX or ABC, etc. Its hard to lump an entire industry made up of hundreds of trades and thousands of people.
     
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #19
    The shows are free to the public over the air. Advertisements and syndication pay for them (cable is a bit different but ads and syndication still make up the bulk of the revenue). Part of decision in the "Sony" case back in the 80's was that people taping shows caused no harm to the studios/companies producing those shows. But that is changing. Instead of an over-the-air singal recorded onto a consumer VCR we have digital HD signals that can be captured and and burned with little/no loss in quality. And instead of studios hoping to make their money back in syndication they are now releaseing entire TV shows for sale on DVD. Now the "tivoing" of shows can cause finanical harm. How many people would've bought the series finally of Friends on DVD if they could get the exact same thing over the air and burn it?

    And don't think that the movie studios aren't watching the music industry and going "Yeah, we don't want to screw up the way they have." The studios are also watching technology. The key to containing pirating is to keep it from getting out of control in the first place. Laws/guidelines created for the analog world typically have no place in the digital world.

    Again. The double edged digital sword.


    Lethal
     
  20. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

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    #20
    This is true. As consumers we cannot have our cake and eat it to. But, as consumers we have a choice. Don't buy into it. Like lemmings if they release DVDHD with uber security and we all rush out and buy new players and new disks, then we are guilty of enabling it. I know its not as simple as holding out, but we as consumers can send a message.

    The FCC and others want HDTV in America soon. But if they place chips on the hardware, and consumers choose not to buy them, then it stands a chance to fail
     
  21. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

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    #21
    Except that you won't be able to buy anything without it. Effectively this means that as soon as the DRM'd tech hits the market, you never buy another TV or player or disk. Most customers would much rather put up with the loss in convenience, however much they complain.

    Not so few. LethalWolfe's right--they aren't worried about a few people selling pirated copies of a movie, they're worried that when DVRs become as commonplace as VCRs every single schmoe with cable is never going to buy another DVD season box set of any series ever again. And they're probably right.

    It's not a question of dishonesty or criminality, so much as that people are so used to taping stuff via VCR that they don't view a DVR as anything different, even though they still view a DVD purchase as better than a VCR tape. When the consumers really hit on the clue that burning a DVD from your DVR and purchasing a DVD of the same show are functionally equivalent, everybody will go out and buy a DVR, and the entire TV-to-DVD market will go Poof!
     
  22. pickles macrumors newbie

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    San Francisco
    #22
    Put more features on the DVD release

    Now I don't think that people will stop buying shows on DVD because they recorded them on a tivo. I would rather have the the full series on DVD WITHOUT commercials that I don't have to skip through, the extras that the studio will put it and the nice packaging. I don't want to have to edit all of those programs before I burn them to disk. That just takes too much time that I would rather spend doing something else. I also don't want to have to have a RAID setup to store all of that content (I would want one for all of my music in pure CD quality though). :)
     
  23. nyassa3898 macrumors newbie

    nyassa3898

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    #23
    I own a replay dvr and you'd miss if it you had one. I can't believe the fcc is doing this and like another poster said one person ruins things for everyone. My cable company gets there 80 bucks a month and replay gets their 12 for the service. I use mine in place of my vcr as most people do whats so bad about skipping commercials and if thats so bad why was the fast foward feature created???????
     
  24. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

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    #24
    5C Copy Protection is already enabled on HD

    I'm getting my 5C Compliant Hi-Def DVR sometime next week (Scientific Atlanta SA8000HD) and I can tell you that I won't be going to the video store anymore to rent or buy. I'll have everything I need to enjoy my new HD addiction and if I have to wait 2 months beyond the DVD release date so be it.

    The broadcast flag is already enabled on all Hi-Def channels today. No need to talk about next year. I was recording HDTV to my G5 until Comcast turned on 5C to all my Hi-Def channels. It doesn't matter if it's set to "Copy Once" you won't be able to copy even once without a 5C compliant device. I would dig a compliant demodulator for my Mac :p If you want to record without one you're SOL. So is the requirement a bad thing? Not necessarilly. 5C copy protection is already enabled. It's gonna take an act of God to get them to back up on that one. IMHO the fact that the FCC is mandating compliant devices will only make it easier for us to store our favorite shows...
     
  25. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #25

    There is no way I can make this sound nice but oh well...

    Did you actually read the thread before you posted?


    Lethal
     

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