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Television Media

New Yorkers Get a Taste of Digital Restrictions 269

Posted by michael
from the imagine-a-chip-stomping-on-a-human-face-forever dept.
InfoMinister writes "From SiliconValley.com, another peek into the future of Digital Rights Manglement. A software conflict at the set-top invoked copy restrictions on all unscrambled digital TV programming delivered to Cablevision's 3 million subscribers in metropolitan New York."
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New Yorkers Get a Taste of Digital Restrictions

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  • This isn't DRM in action, this is a plain and simple case of a bug. Sure some channels are "open" but they still need to be decoded by something. The config or code or whatever it is was done incorrectly so all channels were scrambled.

    This isn't getting a taste of DRM, its the digital equivalent of your analogue signal being blocked by bad weather or the antenna falling off the roof.

    DRM already exists on cable, that is exactly what subscribing to HBO is about, so they already have experience of it. This however is giving them the same experience on their TV that they know and love on their Windows box... failure.
    • I think the point they were getting at was: "Now they have a taste of what it will be like when DRM bugs"
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:45AM (#4280601) Homepage
      DRM already exists on cable, that is exactly what subscribing to HBO is about,

      WRONG!!!!!

      I can videotape HBO all day long, then I can take that videotape and copy it 90 billion times. or I can record HBO with my Tv capture card and thne copy that Divx 90 bajillion times..

      there are NO DRM restrictions on cable. is is nothing that prevents me from recording the shows on EVERY channel including pay-per-view for my use and time shifting.

      Yes, I record pay-per-views. and watch them twice! Oh the horror! I am causing the downfall of Cable TV!

      Get real, and get a grip... there are NO Digital Rights Managements controls in Cable TV. The DCT 3000 and the DCT 5000 do not have the capability.
      Those two Digital cable boxes are in the majority of cable systems. anything else is a minority or a beta-test. (Cox, Chartet, AT&T/Comcast use Motorola DCT 3000's and 5000's... and I believe that AOL/timewarner does to, althoug I do not know that for a fact like the others.)
      • by Anonymous Coward
        "Yes, I record pay-per-views. and watch them twice! Oh the horror! I am causing the downfall of Cable TV!"

        You, sir, are a thief, a criminal, and an ingrate. Every time you watch that pirated copy of pay-per-view programming, you steal food off of the plates of those who worked hard to produce it. These people rely on re-broadcasts to recoup their cots, you inconsiderite twit! How do you sleep at night knowing that you are sending hard working and now destitute people into the street because YOU want to watch your Tyson fight over and over again?

        You, sir, sicken me.

        • by evilpenguin (18720) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @10:16AM (#4281520)
          I know this is a troll or a joke, but up until the DMCA we had established in the courts, and then later by statute, that consumers of intellectual property had so-called "fair use" rights. So long as our friend was copying and repeatedly watching for himself, he was within the law (not necessarily so under the DMCA, one of the worst pieces of legislation I have seen). You see, I do believe in the idea of intellectual property law as a method to encourage cultural production by granting a time-limited monopoly on its use.

          The natural world used to protect the consumer's rights. Once you bought a book, it was basically impossible to keep you from reading it more than once, or to prevent you passing it on to a third party. No big deal -- once that third party has it, if you want to read it again, you need to buy a new one.

          Not so with digital media. They can count how many times you read it. They may, in future, be able to tell when you pass it on. They certainly can tell when you copy it. They can have perfect control. Fair use goes right out the window.

          I have gotten angry on other discussions with the IP thieves who say "everyone copies software." I don't. I don't download mp3s. But I do want my fair use rights. If I want to copy a CD onto a cassette or make a CD of my favorite songs, or time-shift a broadcast, or re-read a book, then I think I should be able to.

          As a writer myself (with a book out under copyright), I want my annuity from my act of creation. But do I really need my lifetime plus seventy years? I'd like to see copyright capped at life of the author, or, say, 50 years from filing to expiration. I'd like to see the DMCA repealed. It wasn't necessary. And it makes a pencil a circumvention device. It's ridculous. If we are going to have software patents, they ought to expire faster than patents for "real" inventions -- say in 3 years. I'd rather not have software patents.

          On my more radical days, I'd like to see it impossible for corporations to own IP. I'd like to see it such that only individuals may own it. An awful lot of the abuse of these laws (IMHO) comes from corporations owning the IP. I mentioned that I wrote a book. One of the prices I had to pay to get my work published was that the publisher holds the copyright. I don't really own my own book. Yes, I'm being modestly compensated, but not so well as I might. I'm not accusing my publisher of anything -- I walked in with my eyes open -- but a lot of eager young bands, for instance, aren't aware of what not owning their music might cost them. If corporations couldn't own IP, this particular kind of abuse would diminish dramatically.

          So, despite my convictions about the wrongness of copying and distributing copyrighted works, there is plenty wrong on the IP ownership side as well.

          There is some comfort to be taken in the fact that this has erupted before. The copying machine and the VCR both caused firestorms. Things worked out. Not necessarily perfectly, but decently for all concerned. There is hope that this newest will as well. But there is no room for complacency. The entertainment lobby learned from their losses in the courts over Xerox and Sony. This time the did a legislative pre-emptive strike (the DMCA). This fight will be harder and there isn't room to sit on the sidelines.

          If you haven't already, I urge you to check out the EFF [eff.org]. Think about it, and if you agree with them, consider contributing. We need a lobby that has at least a significant fraction of the power of the entertainment lobby if we want the idea of "fair use" to continue to exist.
        • These people rely on re-broadcasts to recoup their cots

          well then, they should consider not giving their cots away or maybe buying a real bed.
      • WRONG!!!!!

        I can videotape HBO all day long, then I can take that videotape and copy it 90 billion times. or I can record HBO with my Tv capture card and thne copy that Divx 90 bajillion times..

        Unless I'm wrong (i'm in the UK, so might easily be), the only time you'd actually not be able to record HBO is if your video recorder or TV Capture Card acted upon the copy restriction bit being set.

        In other words, the original poster might not be wrong. HBO may be sending the copy restriction bit with its programming, it's just that your capture devices are ignoring it because they don't know what to do with it.

        Some day (if we're not careful), all recorders and TV cards will understand what this bit means, and act on it ...

        • I'm in the UK too, and stopped watching any of the pay-per-view stuff as soon as they put the macrovision crap on those channels. It's a sort of DRM since you have to use additional equipment to clean up the MV crap to get a decent recording. No, I don't intend to sell copies of "Scary Movie 2" at the local flea-market - I'd just like to be able to watch it a couple of times before recording over it.

          I now just hire DVDs for all my films - still the same MV on there, but at least I can watch it over a couple of days for the same price of one viewing on Sky...
      • AOL/TW Uses Scientific Atlanta set-top equipment for digital cable.
      • Digitally restricting rights to information...

        If you don't pay for HBO you don't get it. Their license does not include DRM on the recordings but there certainly is Management of access even though the information is available to the box.

        I know that few can see that this is DRM, and that the "new" DRM ideas are just extensions to many of these ideas but applied to commodity items rather than big ticket elements like live sports broadcasts.
    • by Chewie (24912) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:59AM (#4280654)
      Will someone read the goddamn article for once? I blockquote:
      This software conflict somehow triggered a copy protection scheme known as 5C, which is designed to prevent mass duplication of television shows and movies. It labeled all digital programming off limits to copying. For now, the glitch prevents viewers from digitally taping any cable show using a next-generation digital videotape recorder called DVHS, the HDTV Insider newsletter reported. These devices recognize the programming as copy-blocked -- and turn off.
      It is clearly a DRM issue. (Score:4, Insightful) my ass.

      (I know, I've been trolled. Don't care. Haven't had coffee yet.)

      • Like the parent post said, as well as the article, "This software conflict somehow triggered a copy protection scheme known as 5C, which is designed to prevent mass duplication of television shows and movies."

        Now assuming you yourself read the article, you will observe that this was caused by a bug that triggered the DRM software, NOT caused by the DRM software itself.

        No matter how hard you try to pin this one on DRM, it still goes back to simple human error.

        • by Zathrus (232140) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @08:39AM (#4280866) Homepage
          From the original parent post:

          This isn't getting a taste of DRM, its the digital equivalent of your analogue signal being blocked by bad weather or the antenna falling off the roof

          Which is a total and utter misunderstanding of what 5C is.

          5C most certainly is DRM. It serves no purpose to the consumer except to place artificial restrictions on what, when, and how you can watch shows being broadcast over DTV or digital cable.

          Was it human error that caused it to be activated in this circumstance? Sure. But it's still DRM.
        • This IS a DRM problem, bug or no. There WILL be bugs in any piece of software and when a bug causes you to lose access to content that you payed for and that you would be able to access without DRM then it is a failing of DRM! This is almost exactly like losing the ability to play your wma's because Microsoft turns on DRM by default but doesn't backup your key by default, so lose your os without a specific key export being done and even if you have a backup of the files they are useless. DRM is about controll and treating all customers like thiefs, and when it is poorly implemented (and it will be because look at the companies that are behind the DRM bandwagon) there will be further negative consequences for the customers.
      • Will someone read the goddamn article for once? I blockquote:

        [blockquote deleted]

        It is clearly a DRM issue. (Score:4, Insightful) my ass.

        I think it's funny that you talked about people not reading the article, and then you blockquote a couple lines from it- and this gets you modded you up as "5, Informative".
  • Cablevision (Score:2, Interesting)

    by The Magic Yak (559288)
    Cablevision has raised rates everytime I look at the bill. Don't get me wrong, Optimum Online is very fast and nice and few problems occur. But lately, between Cable and the Modem and an $80+ cable bill every month, I'm getting very close to switching back to basic broadcast television. With such poor broadband subscriber sales, the last thing this company should do is restrict more consumers. I'm assuming money is somehow behind this. Anyway, I'm going to write an "upset subscriber" letter and I encourage anyone else affected by this to do the same. If this extends to all recordings on PVRs (I'm assuming only digital right now) then rest assured, I don't need the bandwidth and they will lose me as a customer.

    that's my two cents.
    • Re: Cablevision (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:38AM (#4280564)


      > Cablevision has raised rates everytime I look at the bill. Don't get me wrong, Optimum Online is very fast and nice and few problems occur. But lately, between Cable and the Modem and an $80+ cable bill every month, I'm getting very close to switching back to basic broadcast television.

      Don't fear the rabbit ears.

      I ditched premium cable ages ago, for exactly the reason you describe. More recently my apartments quit carrying basic cable, so I went out and found a pair of rabbit ears. I haven't regretted it.

      Yes, there's hardly anything on but trash, but there's still more on than I ought to spend the time watching. I get ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, WB, and PBS. If they each only have two hours of fun stuff per week, that's still a whopping 12 hours eaten out of my 112 waking hours per week.

      • All you need is The West Wing and The Simpsons, anyways :)
      • Thats why I pay 5 bux extra a month on my Sat service, so I can get the local channels in clearly. And that is true, most of the shows I watch are on the these channels. (And me and my wife both work, so I use 2 vcr's to record our tv shows, cheaper and more powerfull than tivo)

    • by stego (146071)
      Every month I open my cable bill and I'm like, 'damn thats a lot of money'... I've just dropped to basic + internet and will save $45 next month. I'll save $500+ over the next 12 months. Will I miss the extra channels that much?

      Is this post off-topic? maybe, maybe not... Voting with your wallet is certainly a way to influence what goods/services get or continue to be offered at which prices...
  • Testing 1,2,3 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oculus Habent (562837) <oculus.habent@gm ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:29AM (#4280509) Journal
    Maybe it wasn't a glitch so much as it was a test of the system to see if it would work.

    Cablevision isn't stupid - they can see the coming of the DRM Age, and a quick test to see how many people were affected by it now will help them guage the response when DRM is required.
    • Re:Testing 1,2,3 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by N3WBI3 (595976)
      I highly doubt that, I work in Cable software development and I can tell you that you *NEVER* test on a production system, especially in a market as large as NY..
      • I highly doubt that, I work in Cable software development and I can tell you that you *NEVER* test on a production system, especially in a market as large as NY..

        You don't understand the OP's point. This wasn't a software test. This was a marketing test, to see if users would scream.
        • No I did understand, I also understand the state of the industry. Right now cable companies are in a bad way, and you dont mess with your customer base now.

          Large Cable companies have very sufficent testing methods for back end, front end, and end user issues. If this was for a limited number of people I could see it *MAYBE*, but in a marketpalce where DSL/Dish Networks are gaining market share every day you cant screw with the customer.

          If we want to do an update which involves taking order q's down for 5 minutes in the production environment we need approval from the VP of our department, and the RVP for that corp.

    • by MeNeXT (200840)
      If your butterscotch got mixed into my vanilla you would...

    • Cablevision isn't stupid...

      And what planet are you living on? You can't even name me ONE cable or phone company that has at least half a brain

  • MY Rights (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kenp2002 (545495)
    I don't konw about you "outsiders" but I remember in the Constitution they were concerned with MY rights. Where did this Digital Rights nonsense come from? You would figure after 9-11 people in congress would get their priorities straighten out. Oh well just one more reason to pay close attention on who is running for senate and house.
  • The Future? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gunnk (463227) <gunnk&mail,fpg,unc,edu> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:33AM (#4280534) Homepage
    I'm not sure I see "the future of digital rights management" in this situation. The future IS that you will find more restrictions on what you can copy (barring court rulings that uphold consumer rights in the digital age). However, I think the idea that we won't ever be able to record any digital show (as seems to be suggested by this article) is a bit extreme. There are too many giant electronics companies that make big money off selling home video recorders -- they won't go quietly. Likewise, Joe Consumer WILL get up in arms if he can't record one football game on one channel while watching another on a second. Will we enjoy all the same freedoms that we currently enjoy? Doubtful. Will we find all our rights gone in the digital age? That's doubtful too.

    The article points less to the future than to the present: software bugs keep people from being able to do what the set out to do. That's nothing new...
    • Re:The Future? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by zaffir (546764) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:42AM (#4280584)
      I don't think one single PVR manufact has attempted to lobby against DRM requirements. Intel and AMD were certainly opposed to the SSSCA for a while, but now that they see a chance to make tons of cash on it, why should they? Remember, they've both signed on for MS's palladium, and they're two of the biggest forces in the tech industry. Everyone else seems to just not care.
      • Heck, the PVR companies are the ones being sued. The problem is that the PVR companies (TiVO, Replay) are having enough trouble just keeping themselves afloat, they don't have the resources to go out and hire tons of lobbyists and a hoarde of lawyers to fight these issues. If you want to keep your TiVO or Replay, you're going to have to take up the fight yourself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:35AM (#4280545)

    "He says rules are designed to reflect home use -- while addressing piracy fears that prevent Hollywood from releasing more high-quality content."

    You see! I knew there was a reason Hollywood wasn't releasing high-quality content.

  • Won't Affect us? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by z_gringo (452163) <z_gringoNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:37AM (#4280552)
    From the article:

    ``The content industry denies it will affect how consumers watch, enjoy and record television,'' said Kraus. ``

    Isn't that exactly what the feature is designed to do? If it won't affect how we watch, enjoy and record television shows, then why did they invent it?

    Yes, I know that the article goes on to say it is mainly for Pay-per view events and such, but it clearly has far wider potential, and it wouldn't have been designed this way if they didn't have the intention of using it to "Affect the way we watch, enjoy and record Telvision shows"..

    • Yes, the spin was remarkable. The only example of something they'd ever want to restrict would be a pay-per-view fight. And I thought to myself, "That wouldn't bother me, because after the fight is over, why would I want to watch it again".

      Who would ever want to tape a live sporting event (especially a high-quality digitial version of one)? But if no one would want to tape this, why would they even need to put a restriction on this sort of thing.

      Now, maybe I'm wrong and people DO want to tape pay-per-view fights. In that case, it WILL "affect how consumers watch, enjoy and record television".

      So either they're only going to restrict things that people don't want to tape (why bother?), or they will affect consumer behavior.
      • There are plenty of people who, if they could, would keep a video library of every NFL game ever filmed. They'd be able to tell you from memory who played what position in which game, what team they were from before that one, their contract details, what college they went to, and on and on.

        I know a whole bunch of these folks; and I have no doubt at all that there are boxing fans who would be just as obsessive about it, and would watch their recorded matches like deadheads listen to their concert tapes; they'd trade them
        like baseball fans trade their cards.

        I even know guys who would (and some who *do*) do this with *golf*. Now, I don't understand why one would watch golf, let alone watch it on TV, and the thought of recording such a thing would never occur to me... but it is done.

  • by Jerky McNaughty (1391) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:38AM (#4280558)
    From the article:
    He says rules are designed to reflect home use -- while addressing piracy fears that prevent Hollywood from releasing more high-quality content.

    High quality content... Not a whole lot of that seems to come out of Hollywood any more. Depending on how you interpret that quote, it could mean that Hollywood has generated all kinds of great, high quality stuff, but they just aren't releasing it because they're afraid of piracy. If that's true, then why generate the content in the first place? :-)

    • I gotta say, I could give a rat's ass about Hollywood Content. There's far better programming out there from many of the specialty channels.

      I really don't care at all if they release their latest rehash movie-of-the-week on cable or by satellite. I'll buy DVDs for the movies I want to see - at least there you have a decent value for your money (unlike cable).
  • Equal access rights (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bozovision (107228) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:47AM (#4280608) Homepage
    Perhaps the time has come for some sort of legal recognition of common access rights for some technologies...

    - You don't have a conversation quota that you can't exceed.
    - You aren't blocked from using the roads - there is open access to everyone.

    That's because these are commons.

    Perhaps, at some penetration point, there needs to be recognition that a technology forms a cultural commons and should be open to all without barriers.

    In the same way that monopolies are regulated as a special case, perhaps it would be sensible to have a body of law governing the use of commons.
    I would think it would need to:
    - Guarantee access
    - Prevent enclosure
    - Promote innovation
    - Provide for the designation of new commons

    Lawrence Lessig are you reading this?

    (Bozo's big thought for the day. Now back to work...)
    • That sort of leads me to an interesting thought: It could likely proove Constitutionally impossible to use DRM technology with broadcast media. By using the public air waves it's likely that your content must be equally public. This could be similar to law dealing with performances, speaches, etc. given in public places and the rights to have personal coppies of them - assuming no personal profit is made from said coppies... So this leads me to think that I have every right to make digial or analog recordings of this weeks "West Wing" coming to me through the frequencies the FCC gave NBC, ditto for any movies that may be showing on broadcast TV - after all Hollywood must have released them for the public air waves, so I should be able to make my personal coppies. Any public liberties lawyers out there?

      Of course, this doesn't have much to do with cable. I didn't read my contract but it might be possible (especially with a "legally new" medium like digital cable) to restrict copying of content delivered digitally. You might be entering into an implicit or explicit agreement with the digital content provider that you will sit quietly and watch the television and not record it. Other than it being rather obnoxious and ungenerous of Hollywood and cable companies to do this to consumers, I don't know what you can do about this within existing public speach laws...

      Any thoughts?

  • Few Worries (Score:2, Interesting)

    by meis31337 (574142)
    First off, I think this is some frightening stuff here. The article quotes something along the lines of saying that this doesn't impede the home user, it is too prevent high-quality pirating of these works. This is ludicrous. What gives anyone the right to limit the quality at which I record stuff?? Why wouldn't I want to use Firewire if it brought me the best quality?? It is limiting and against my rights as a subscriber and consumer.

    Secondly... I can't believe these things are in place already. I don't have Cablevision, I get ATT Digital Cable... but my service sucks. I don't even have digital capabilities coming out of the cable box. I have a crazy sound/video system, but I am stuck with composite video and stereo audio coming from an rca connection.... I get screwed like this and they have all this copyprotection up and running already? This is a damned injustice.
  • by BigASS (153722) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:52AM (#4280629)
    "The future looks like the world where you press record and it doesn't work and you don't know why. You no longer control the media you pay for." - Some guy who can't record.

    Well.. I hate to break it to this guy, but you've never _really_ controlled the media you pay for. Your only control is the very limited ones the media companies afford you under extremely narrow conditions. Step outside of the bounds of those conditions and you are now a pirate according to the powers that be.
  • by generic-man (33649) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @07:56AM (#4280640) Homepage Journal
    Hey Cablevision! Before you start alienating your viewers with all this DRM hoo-hah, maybe you should consider letting them watch the Yankee games [yesnetwork.com] without going to a sports bar.

    Cablevision has refused to carry the YES Network since the beginning of the season, resulting in many fans becoming pissed off and a booming demand for satellite service. And yet they still have the balls to run commercials saying how customers need crappy Long Island news channels [news12.com] and boring local programming [metro.tv] instead of a popular sports team.

    If I end up living and working on Long Island, I'd consider Cablevision for their cable modem service alone. Give me a dish any day.
    • Cablevision has refused to carry the YES Network since the beginning of the season, resulting in many fans becoming pissed off and a booming demand for satellite service. And yet they still have the balls to run commercials saying how customers need crappy Long Island news channels [news12.com] and boring local programming [metro.tv] instead of a popular sports team.

      As far as I am concerned Yankees fans can blow it out their ass. I am a Cablevision subscriber, and am definitely NOT a Yankees Fan. The concept of the YES network trying to force Cablevision to include their channel in the basic package thus making all subscribers, fans or not pay for it is ridiculous, and I support Cablevision's stand 100% on this issue. YES should be a premium channel that is paid for by the fans, not every subscriber.

    • And yet they still have the balls to run commercials saying how customers need crappy Long Island news channels [news12.com] and boring local programming [metro.tv] instead of a popular sports team.


      I'm not all that familiar with the NY area, but are those broadcast stations? As in, over-the-air broadcast?

      If so then they fall into the "must carry" clause for cable stations. A cable company must carry all regional broadcast stations upon request of the broadcaster. So sayeth the FCC. Declining to do so is a quick way to losing your license and get hit with heavy fines.

      As for Yes - know nothing about it. But if Cablevision is the predominant cable carrier in the area, maybe the Yankees should've considered selling rights to a channel that's actually carried locally... while CableVision may be asses for not carrying it, you can't simply lay all the blame on them.
    • I've often said the only time anyone watches News 12 (or reads Newsday, for that matter) is because they know they're going to be on/in it. We've only been keeping Basic cable to get a couple bucks knocked off our Optimum Online bill (I -think-). And yup, we use DirecTV. I won't mention the fact that there's *still* nothing to watch.. whoops.
    • Cablevision has refused to carry the YES Network since the beginning of the season

      Actually, they refused to make it part of the basic package and raise their monthly price for all of their customers. It was the Yankees organization that kept YES off Cablevision by refusing to allow it to be made a premium station that only the people who wanted it would have to pay for. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who aren't Yankee fans, even in New York (there are actually two Major League Baseball teams in New York, but one of them seems to have taken most of the season off).

      Baseball is the only sport I follow, but I haven't watched a single game this year and would not like being forced to pay for a station that covers a single team, even if it happened to be my favorite team. It's all these special interest channels in the basic package that keep me from paying for premium channels I might actually want. I would gladly trade Animal Planet, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, NESN, Fox Sports, The Golf Channel, The Game Show Network, Nickelodeon, ABC Family, Disney, Noggin, The Food Network, MTV, VH1, HGTV, E!, Fox News, CNN, QVC, HSN, CKSH, and all the religious channels for just the main HBO channel. However, if I have to pay for all that crap to begin with, I'm not going to spend even more for a channel I'll only watch once in a while. If only more cable companies would have the balls to stand up to pricks like Steinbrenner and irate Yankee fans and keep stations like this out of their basic cable packages...

    • Blame YankeesNet for their bullying tactics.

      Cablevision has been more than willing to offer YES as a premium-tier channel, so that only the people who want to watch the channel will have to pay for it. But YankeesNet has refused, because they want every cable subscriber to fork over an extra 15 cents per month or whatever to them, whether they care about the Yankees or not.

      I can appreciate the argument that Cablevision is hurting its customers more than it's helping them by standing its ground, but morally Cablevision is in the right on this one.
  • by t_allardyce (48447) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @08:14AM (#4280715) Journal
    Can we cut the crap here and start calling them Digital Restriction Mechanisms or something. If the whole of slashdot starts doing it, then maybe other sites/media will take it up. If anyone asks you what it stands for its not Rights Management, this is a cheap marketing tactic, dont let then get away with it.

    This is pretty offtopic i know..
    • I think DRRM, or Digital Rights Restrictions Management, is a more appropriate term. It addresses the fact that it involves the users' (which most people are rather than creators) rights, but only as a method of restricting them.
    • by WCMI92 (592436) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @08:57AM (#4280985) Homepage
      "Can we cut the crap here and start calling them Digital Restriction Mechanisms or something. If the whole of slashdot starts doing it, then maybe other sites/media will take it up. If anyone asks you what it stands for its not Rights Management, this is a cheap marketing tactic, dont let then get away with it."

      THAT is one of the best comments on this I've ever seen... You are right. By calling DRM "Digital Rights MANAGEMENT" instead of "Digital Restrictions Mechanisms" we are OURSELVES aiding their marketing!

      Wish I had mod points. And I will be using your name for DRM from now on.
    • I think your term is spot on, although if you look at it, it's Managing our Rights (managing them right out the window...)
    • Can we cut the crap here and start calling them Digital Restriction Mechanisms or something.

      But if they called it that, then Joe Consumer might think that it's a bad thing. Kind of like Copy "Protection". You want to know that the system you are buying is Protected, don't you? If it was "Prevented", you might not be quite as willing to buy it.
    • Digital Restrictions Management is actaully a lot more accurate than what they say, and is also more accurate than most of the very negative things coming up here (digital rights restricion or management is wrong, as it is not restricting rights, just the ability to use your rights on the devices. Also it may be restricting a few things that you don't have rights to do).

      I also think "Copy Prevention" or "Copy Prevented" is pretty good too. Very accurate and same acronym as the RIAA is using.

      In both cases there is a reasonable chance that our wording will catch on, if everybody uses it consistently in all documentation, including ones in support of DRM or DRM schemes.

    • Yep add me to the list, Digital Restriction Mechanisms it is.

      Spread the word people.
  • If you want something pay for it.
    If what you are paying for doesn't provide what you want, stop buying it.

    People complain they can't do this, they can't do that, and that their provider for service X doesn't do or permit action Y.

    Well fine, either don't use that provider, someone is willing to provide almost any service for a price. Pick your service, pick your price, you might get it you might not, if you can't afford it, that is your problem.

    Services for sale, heavily restricted internet access (ie library). Unrestricted internet access dedicate (personal T1).
    You could view a movie (rental/cable).
    If you pay enough you can buy the rights to a movie including distribution, but sadly most people don't think it is worth the money, so they dont' buy it.

    This is a free market, you are free to buy their service or not buy their service. If you don't like it too bad.
  • PR spin.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nolife (233813) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @08:43AM (#4280893) Homepage Journal
    Cablevision says it does not prevent recording on more familiar consumer devices, such as a videocassette recorder or a Tivo-like digital video recorder

    Really means.. Oh the analog hole and the Tivo that we don't have control over (yet). If they could take it away they would take it away. I suppose Macrovision might accidently slip its way into the cable lines next. This is a perfect example of what rights you are losing due to the media cartels. What are your advantages to using this?

    He says rules are designed to reflect home use -- while addressing piracy fears that prevent Hollywood from releasing more high-quality content

    Another twisted comment. So I guess for the last 20+ years that the VCR has been around, Hollywood has been holding off on quality content because they knew it would be copied. Now that there is suddenly a chance of controlling it, the really good actors and directors that were "holding out" are going to start making shows. I do not foresee any change of the quality of programming based on this.

    And the movie studios and broadcasters ultimately get to decide what shows to protect

    If this concept is FULLY explained to the potential consumer and not hidden as a footnote on page 25 it will not sell! Why would you pay hundreds of dollars for a piece of equipment that has a strong chance of not recording what you really want to record in high quality digital?
    • They have macrovision too. You can not record anything that your get from the video OnDemand service.

      Cablevision is the worst. I lobbied my coop board so I could get a dish and was rejected. :(

      It's Cablevision or broadcast only for me.
  • The critical point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr (15451) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @08:46AM (#4280918) Homepage

    There's one point the DRM opponents should be harping on here. The industry has claimed that there's provisions in the systems that insure fair-use rights can't be restricted. The 5C rep says the same in the article. Yet, here we have it, those rights that were supposedly protected were shut down completely at the accidental flip of a switch. DRM opponents should drive home the fact that this shows that those provisions aren't any insurance that fair-use rights can't be interfered with, they're merely a promise by the industry that while they can shut down fair use any time they want they won't actually do it. If they decide to go back on that promise, maybe because a major studio decided to twist their arms, the people affected have no recourse and no way to recover their fair-use rights.

    Keep hammering home that point.

  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @08:47AM (#4280922) Homepage
    Isn't that this happened. IT's that "digital" technology as it's been implimented has been done in such a way as to KEEP any control from the consumer.

    With an analog cable TV, an analog VCR can be used to record anything from it you want.

    Not so with digital. I believe it's unethical to sell something to someone and then tell them how they can use it AFTER the sale...

    Frankly, if we ever have a chance to wake up rageing hordes to burn down the offices of Jack Valenti and Hillary Rosen, the two individuals we have to thank for the fact that DTV has been implimented in this way, it will be the day that Joe Blow can't record a show or movie from TV.

    This is a "right" that most people have enjoyed since the 1980's. It's something nearly everyone has done, even the most nontechnical. Once taken away, they WILL react.

    • With an analog cable TV, an analog VCR can be used to record anything from it you want.
      Not so with digital.

      But if you convert the digital signal to analog (which is what the cable box does, for most digital cable subscribers), then you can still record it on your VCR. These restriction mechanisms only apply to digital recordings.

      So you haven't lost anything. You can still do everything you can do now, make recordings, share them with your friends, watch them as often as you like. It's just that they have to be analog recordings, as has been the case for decades.

    • With a cable subscription, you're subscribing. You have not purchased the content being provided. You have not purchased any exclusive or specific right to make recordings of that content.

      I doubt they're pulling a bait-and-switch by signing up customers with promises of utter IP freedom before locking down restrictive clauses. Read the fine print in the contracts, I'm sure it already states that many forms of copying may not be legally allowed, technically feasible or not.

      Broadcast television viewers have even less right to complain: nobody sold you anything but the TV, which yes you bought on the good faith that there would be broadcasts for it to receive. Stations which put these signals into the air have zero obligation to you on what they have to let you do with the contents of those signals.

      Perhaps Hollywood has already won by converting the masses to media consumers rather than just witnesses: when was the last time you bothered to record (rather than purchase) a broadcast movie? television show?

      Neither are particularly worth the hassle any more - if they are, get a Tivo. The point being that media has a very short shelf-life anymore, people don't spend so much energy revisiting collections of TV shows they've taken from the airwaves over the years; even these are being released in seasonal packs on DVD, which you can *then* actually by and claim your fair use rights about.

      The Simpson's have hit the nail on the head again:
      CBG: "As a loyal viewer, I feel they owe me." Bart: "What? They've given you thousands of hours of entertainment for free. What could they possibly owe you? If anything, you owe them."
    • call me callous but the only difference betwen Spam in my email box and the TV set re-re-running "Petticoat Junction"as filler between the ads is that I can delete Spam without having to read more than the subject line.

      I threw the set out years ago. My watching is limited to "The Sopranos" last Sunday at my local bar and the rest of the time, my back is to the set and I'm talking with people.

      Hillary Rosen and Jack Valenty can hang onto their crap until its all squeezed out between their fingers. They can't make me watch it or the damn commercials.

      The Web was supposed to let us FIND what we wanted, when we wanted, where we wanted. Well that got fucked up by the very engines that were supposed to help us. Instead Google et al. drown us in irrevancies because they search on an entire document instead of a phrase or a meme.

      In the meantime, Madison Avenue has taken this opportunity to kill the goose that laid their golden egg by eliminating the messy content/ad-matrix.

      Between reruns of shows with less and less content, trimmed to make more room for the ads, and the pap we're getting in new shows, there's nothing worth wasting the electricity for.
  • I recently (May 2002) moved into a house from an apartment. I had to obviously disconnect my cable, and I thought that I'd not hook it up at the house for the first couple of months until the bills settle a bit. I haven't hooked it up yet, and you know why? I totally do not miss it. I can get my news on the web, and download episodes of shows I used to enjoy watching on TV (Futurama, Stargate, etc) then burn them to VCD and play them on my DVD player. Four months TV free, and not missing it! I have more time to get caught up on some books I've been meaning to get into, work on my website, hang out with friends and family. I find my evenings aren't as "short" as before, since I'm not sitting zombie-esque in front of the TV for hours, with the exception of watching a DVD or messing around on my PS2.

    Anyway, that's been my experience, I'm no longer paying $45 CAN for crummy service and only about 5 channels of worthwhile content in a 100.

  • Since when did it become that the consitution guarantees "...life,liberty, the pursuit of happyiness, and Hollywood producing content."
    I mean, when did it become that we HAVE to make sure Hollywood push out more crap. With a notable few exceptions, would our lives be any different without the hordes of movies that see how many cars can blow up, or how many people can be killed with a soup spoon. Or without the billions of recordings of the Backstreet boys.

    Every time I read about why some company is putting in DRM (Digital Rape Mechanism), they reason it out saying so Hollywood can give us high-quality content. BAH! That is the biggest load of crap there is....enough ranting, haven't had my coffee yet....

    • Since when did it become that the consitution guarantees "...life,liberty, the pursuit of happyiness, and Hollywood producing content."

      Since they inserted the bit in Article I Section 8 specifying that Congress shall have the power to "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;".

      If the granting of copyright on their works is not promoting the progress of cinema arts by encouraging the wide distribution of movies, then it's clearly not doing its job and the studios should lose copyright protection for the movies that they're holding back.
  • If Cablevision can't return the boxen to their 'pre-DRM' state, I say, "GO Cablevision!"

    I'd love to see a month go by of restricted service, followed by a huge angry mob of New Yorkers going down to Cablevision and 'fixing' the problem.

    Too bad it's not hosing up analog RCA outputs too.

    I think the t(h)reat of death and dismemberment by the largest city in the U.S. would stop any little pussy company from fscking with my fair use rights.

  • by Tokerat (150341) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @09:34AM (#4281217) Journal
    An attorney for the consortium of technology companies that developed the 5C copy-protection technology said just the opposite is true. He says rules are designed to reflect home use -- while addressing piracy fears that prevent Hollywood from releasing more high-quality content.

    Hollywood doesn't realize that piracy is rampant right now because it's not worth paying for the good-quality copy. They're very foolishly making a chicken-and-egg problem out of this when they dont' need to be: Consumers say "If you don't make quality stuff we'll just pirate it because it's not worth paying for." and Hollywood says "We're not going to make quality stuff if consumers aren't going to pay for it.

    To put it more simply, I paid for "Fellowship of the Ring". I downloaded "Dude, Where's My Car?"
  • Cablevision violated strict licensing agreements when it imposed copy bans on generic cable programming
    Or, did Sony violate those conditions? If it's a software clash, then maybe the blame isn't clearly in either's court. This could just make the whole mess the more confusing and difficult to resolve, although Cablevision are at leas working on it, so presumably accept some responsibility.
  • From what I can tell the only reason DRM was introduced in the first place was because with digital copying you get a picture perfect reproduction. This means that no matter how many times you copy the video it will always be prestine. The odd thing is that your average Joe will record it for themselves and probably never buy the hardware to make a copy for a friend. On the other hand your average commercial pirate is going to pay for the technology that allows him to by pass DRM, since the whole point is about selling the copies for profit.

    I wonder whether the industry would simply be better off making recorders that simply reduce the quality of the recording to VHS quality. Sure this means there isn't much point in buying a DVHS player, but given that most films that you will buy will be on DVD, is there any point anyhow?
  • ...perhaps DRM will lead to a new renaissance in reading. Books, you know? Nice, analog, books. No mod chip required.
  • ...enormous amounts of money for a next-generation digital recording device that couldn't record ordinary TV.

    This should be a good selling point.
  • ``We have to figure what happened here,'' said Greenstein. ``5C worked awfully hard to put these encryption rules into its agreement to
    achieve a certain level of consumer recording rights. Having fought for it, we don't intend to relinquish it.''


    This just says it all.

    They negotiated carefully behind closed doors to limit our rights and now are pissed that things changed. Even this guy who says that they weren't too far admits that the whole goal was to limit our rights. Perhaps 5G is intended only for PPV but there'll be other "agreements" and other restrictions once digital copying is ubiquitous.
  • by tweakt (325224) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @12:01PM (#4282322) Homepage
    For now, the glitch prevents viewers from digitally taping any cable show using a next-generation digital videotape recorder called DVHS, the HDTV Insider newsletter reported. These devices recognize the programming as copy-blocked -- and turn off.
    Black market mod chips and/or reprogrammed ROMS will be available shortly.

    You can piss off a whole lot of people, but you can never stop everyone. And it only takes one.

  • "it is a example of how copy-blocking can be used to set limits on how individuals use the most ubiquitous of technologies -- the television set" but its NOT entirely accurate is it?

    "the problem only affects subscribers who attempt to record programming through the IEEE 1394 interface, a high-speed digital connection known as Firewire " which is an Apple created technology.

    This could be used by Inter and M$ to attack the only competitor they have in the home market.

    This should be brought before the FTC as anti-competitive restriction.
  • From the r.h.f. archives:

    EULA for your check [netfunny.com].
  • It took them over 30 years to provide digital cable and enhance the consumers viewing pleasure and only a year or two to screw the consumer by blocking recording on digital devices. I believe I now know how this "innovation" stuff works.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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