Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media Encryption Security United States

FCC Considers Mandating HDTV Copy Protection 421

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the pay-to-play dept.
HeavenlyWhistler writes "The Washington Post reports that the FCC will make a ruling this month on whether or not to mandate that all HDTV receivers implement copy protection when a 'broadcast flag' is detected in the received television signal. Movie and TV studios are pushing for this in an attempt to limit consumers' home-recording rights. An October 8 article states that CBS, under orders from Viacom CEO Mel Karmazin, has threatened to stop all HDTV broadcasts unless the broadcast flag is approved. While the comment period on the proposal (Docket 02-230) is over, the FCC web site will still let you submit comments. The EFF also discusses this issue."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

FCC Considers Mandating HDTV Copy Protection

Comments Filter:
  • by Manes (17325)
    Wouldn't this be ridiculously easy to overcome with a gizmo that just filters out the broadcast bit?
    • Lawmakers tend to have this belief that simply by passing legislation, technology can be made to do everything they want it to, and nothing they don't want it to. Somebody will point out to them that it would be impossible to enforce a law like this, and it will be the last we hear of it.
      • Somebody will point out to them that it would be impossible to enforce a law like this, and it will be the last we hear of it.
        Unless that "somebody" comes with a sufficiently large bribe, sorry, 'campaign contribution', they are likely to be ignored in favour of big businesses.

        Hopefully common sense will win out, but I'm not too hopeful.

  • If a movie is shown on a television station, it is interupted every 30 minutes (in Europe, maybe the US is even worse?) for a shitload of commercials. If I really want to enjoy a movie, I wouldn't record it from tv, but I would rent a DVD, for which I pay about the same price as I would for a DVD-R in the near future.

    Same goes for most shows that could be of any interest to me (although I can't rent those on DVD).

    • The US is worse. On average, a movie being aired will be interrupted every 18 minutes. In fact, I took a mass comm. class, and the statistic is that for every hour of broadcasting, 22 minutes consists of commercials. As a contrast, from 1948 (when TV first started being broadcast on a regular basis after WWII) until the last 1980's, for every hour of broadcasting, only 12 minutes consisted of commercials. I think what's at fault is that instead of Madison Avenue delivering a poignant, succinct message i
      • Why do people even bother watching TV with that many adverts? 22 minutes per hour is insane. I find the 7.5 minutes allowed here (UK, terrestrial stations) annoying enough.
        If people are prepared to put up with that much crap to watch tv, maybe they'll just accept not being able to record it too.
        • in .nl, we have 3 'public' channels. They are government-funded, and are obliged to show a minimum amount of certain types of content, like cultural reports, documentaries, so it's not only soap-opera's, sports and the worst excesses of 'reality television'.
          These channels have a relatively low amount of commercials, will show an entire movie uninterrupted, and do occaisionally even show something worth watching.

          The maximum amount of television I've seen uninterrupted at a commercial station is 45 minutes,
        • Why do people even bother watching TV with that many adverts? 22 minutes per hour is insane. I find the 7.5 minutes allowed here (UK, terrestrial stations) annoying enough.

          If you have a US produced "hour long" programme then there is only actually 42-43 minutes of content. So it's a choice between either a 50 minute slot and the 7.5 minutes of adverts. Or an hour long slot including, in addition, 10 minutes of station promotion and trailers.
      • I think what's at fault is that instead of Madison Avenue delivering a poignant, succinct message in 30 seconds, every commercial has to be a 'production' with bells and whistles, flash and glam.

        Don't forget that commercials must be much louder than the actual program to annoy viewers. I love watching a show and having to turn the sound way up to hear the dialog. A couple of minutes later it breaks into a commercial for a car ad that I have to turn down, then turn the sound back up when the dialog for

        • Actually, i saw a documentary on this once. What happens, is they do normalize the sound. The problem is, is that the advertisers know this, and make every sound in the commercial at maximum volume. This gives the illusion that it's louder, without actually being louder per se.

          Think about the loudest sound in the TV show you're watching, like a bomb exploding, or when the characters yell at eachother. Now imagine the entire show that loud. Just like a commercial, isn't it.
        • Then the advertiser's plan is working. What they do is compress the audio in commercials (often multi-band compression) so that it sounds louder without actually distorting or violating any of the FCC regulations about overmodulated broadcasts.

          The theory is that you're listening to a show -- which (if it's mixed well) has it's own lower-than-maximum level for dialog to begin with -- when they go to commercial, you'll hear the ad and pay at least a little bit of attention. Advertising, I hear (I'm not in

        • Didn't Magnavox or Panasonic have a television with that "normalizing" feature?

    • as somebody already pointed out(got no mod), most of the real reason is that when you record you can just skip the commercials(and don't need to wait and watch the rerun).

      however.. such disabling of recording(artificially) is just decreasing the value of the said service on purpose, and that just sucks(i for one don't like to buy devices that are purposedly made to suck).

      anyways.. give it few years for boxes that record it anyways, regardless of the flag, if this passes through(most dvd players seem reg f
    • The point of recording HDTV movie broadcasts is that if they are a fresh HDTV transfer, then they probably have higher visual quality than DVD. But recording edited for content and commercial laden movies off of the broadcast channels is preposterous. Viacom has a whole family of channels they are looking to protect though.
  • by salesgeek (263995) on Friday October 17, 2003 @08:17AM (#7238377) Homepage
    RIAA, MPAA, now the broadcast TV industry really just don't get it: the purpose of all this digital technology is to lower the marginal cost of copying and editing information. Every copy protection scheme is doomed to fail, even in a "trusted" computing environment. At the end of the day, it's all binary data and it costs NOTHING to reproduce it. If anything, the media should be embedding advertising and so on so they can sell commercial time on the traded files. It's an opportunity.

    Incidentally, there would be substantially less file swapping going on of TV shows if the networks made them available on DVD or electronically. I'd love to be able to go FOX and buy the episode of the Futurama I missed the other night for a reasonable - considering it was free on the air price.

    I hope congress and the FCC see Viacom's threat to halt HDTV broadcast for what it is: an attempt to ursurp the governement's power. In fact, I hope we all wise up to the increasing granularity of intellectual property and reverse that trend. At the end of the day, the people will wise up to it and the people absolutely will limit intellectual property rights.
    • I hope congress and the FCC see Viacom's threat to halt HDTV broadcast for what it is: an attempt to ursurp the governement's power.

      The government's power comes from the people (at least in theory), and cannot be usurped. If the people decide that copy-protected HDTV isn't acceptable, even a crooked regulatory agency can't make them purchase the receivers in question.

      As always, voting with our wallets is our last (and in this case, maybe only) resort.

      • by Alsee (515537) on Friday October 17, 2003 @01:51PM (#7241523) Homepage
        If the people decide that copy-protected HDTV isn't acceptable, even a crooked regulatory agency can't make them purchase the receivers in question.

        True, the government cannot force consumers to but crippled productes. But the government CAN prohibit the public from buying anything other then crippled products. The end result is just as bad. When the government tries to impose a specific anti-consumer technology and fails the result is that the product and the good technology is exterminated.

        This exact situation happened with the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) passed in 1992. This law mandated that all digial audio recording devices MUST contain a DRM system known as SCMS - Serial Copy Management System.

        What was the result of this law? It exterminated a host of new technologies and products. Case in point: Digital Audio Tape. DAT was a perfectly good technology. It had all of the digital benefits of CD, but it used standard audio cassettes. Think back to 1992, if you could have gotten "CD quality" from normal audio cassttes, don't you think it would have sold like hot-cakes?

        What happened? Early adopters jumped on it, but suddenly you had a few thousand people screaming bloody murder when bands recorded THEMSELVES and the DRM system blocked them from making copies. They were the copyright holder, yet the copy control system denied them their legitimate right to make copies.

        DAT is a ten year old perfectly good technology. I defy anyone to walk into a mall and find a DAT device, a Digitam Minidisc, or a host of others. People simply won't buy a crippled product, therefor an entire decade of technologies were exterminated. This is what happens when the law attempts to impose DRM.

        The first new successful digital recording technology since 1992 has been the IPOD MP3 player. And the only reason MP3 players are legal is because of a LOOPHOLE in the Audio Home Recording Act. That law does not apply to computers. If you look at MP3 player advertizements you will see that they add in small print touting semi-silly features like datebook software. By being "computers" with software for other uses they aren't strictly a "recording device".

        The idiots in the RIAA shot themselves in the foot. One of the reasons CD sales are down is that people are no longer buying music they already own on cassette. Every time there is a new format they got to make massive "re-sales". Records, 8-tracks, cassettes, CD's. In order to prevent "digital piracy" they exterminated DAT, Minidisc, and all new digital media. They lost the chance to make "re-sales" in all of those formats. And the irony is that they blame the drop in sales on "piracy".

        -
    • Incidentally, there would be substantially less file swapping going on of TV shows if the networks made them available on DVD or electronically.

      As well as episodes being broadcast everywhere at the same time (or at least within 24-36 hours). Thing is that US broadcasters would have to start following the rest of the world and broadcast series in order.

      I'd love to be able to go FOX and buy the episode of the Futurama I missed the other night for a reasonable - considering it was free on the air price.

      R
    • At the end of the day, the people will wise up to it and the people absolutely will limit intellectual property rights.

      Nonsense. Americans are the most clue-resistant people on the face of the Earth. They can be relied on to do whatever is most convenient/profitable/etc at any given moment in time, without regard to future consequences. All one needs to do to enslave Americans is to do it in small steps, making sure that each step is the easiest thing for the victim to do at that time.
    • salesgeek: for a reasonable - considering it was free on the air price

      But it wasn't free. You may not have paid for that particular episode, but it was definitely paid for by someone. By the advertisers, mostly.

      Possibly the channel was also a basic subscription cable package (Sky One, Fox's sister channel which shows Futurama first in the UK, is available only as part of a basic subscription; I guess that Fox is much the same in the US).

      Would you be happy if the DVD/MPG/AVI they sold you for a "reason

    • If anything, the media should be embedding advertising and so on so they can sell commercial time on the traded files.

      That is a possibility, but the sad fact of the matter is that advertising doesn't work...at least not to the effect that advertising companies (adcos) think it does.

      The failure of banner ads elucidates this: for the first time, ever, adcos were able to analyse the actual impact of ads. Where people paying enough attention to the ads to click through? What they found was that the click thr

  • WHEN are these media people going to finally realise that if you can see it or hear it you can snag it ?
    • WHEN are these media people going to finally realise that if you can see it or hear it you can snag it ?

      On the 14th may, 2014, at 7.15AM
      I'm sure it wasn't a retorical question :)

      Anyways, they should call it the Evil Bit, not broadcast bit :)
  • Wont change a thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DaHat (247651) on Friday October 17, 2003 @08:19AM (#7238381) Homepage
    I've spent the last 6 months working with professional and broadcast level digital tv encoders and decoders, even writing a fair amount of software on both sides. This flag is pretty pointless, and is often a laugh when discussed at work.

    With the hardware we build and work with, the sort which a broadcaster would use to both create and monitor their transport stream, the ability is needed to record and play back at will, thus, such a flag would pretty much be ignored by our systems if implemented. Besides, if you end up modifying the ATSC standard, in order to prevent breaking all previous encoders/decoders on the market, you would need to make such modifications to portions of the stream which are unused, and existing off the shelf parts would ignore such a modification. Thus, the protection starts off ineffective.

    Even after the existing non compliant decoders/recorders/etc on the market are retired to due age or death, newer hardware which ignores such protections would still be available, you'd just have to pay a fair amount.

    What's on my Christmas list this year? A DTV decoder as well as a recorder/player unit, cost for both? About 15k. As sad is it is to ask, how important is your right to copy to you? Is it work 15 thousand dollars?
    • I've spent the last 6 months working with professional and broadcast level digital tv encoders and decoders, even writing a fair amount of software on both sides. This flag is pretty pointless, and is often a laugh when discussed at work.
      With the hardware we build and work with, the sort which a broadcaster would use to both create and monitor their transport stream, the ability is needed to record and play back at will, thus, such a flag would pretty much be ignored by our systems if implemented.


      Of cours
    • by Rich0 (548339)
      Not to mention the fact that you create a situation where a pirated copy of a show off the Internet is more useful than the official broadcast version.

      These days lots of people download cracks to games they legally own just to get around the hassle of digging out the CD every time they play it.

      No matter what happens, somebody will always be able to pirate the data stream, and only one person has to leak it for it to get spread all over the Internet. The TV broadcasters make their money when a show is fir
      • Hell, I download cracks to games I legally own because it's the only way I can play with a backup copy of the cd.
      • If users can't time shift then that's going to kill the market right there. One of the reasons I own a VCR is so I don't have to rearrange my schedule to fit the broadcaster's time slot whims.

        At least the PC HDTV tuner cards have time shift options but I wonder if that will go away if these broadcaster weenies start throwing around frivolous SLAPP-type lawsuits.

        BTW: why should anyone give a d@mn whether CBS will show HD? Their average audience is literally 50+ years old, most of those people probably wo
  • If CBS stops broadcasting hdtv signals they'll have a nasty surprise when the FCC revokes the rights of broadcasters to use the regular spectrum they're using now.
    • by ostiguy (63618)
      CBS/Viacom has other options - currently, Comcast subscribers cannot get the local HDTV cbs feed rebroadcast because Viacom is shaking down comcast for money/ carriage of other viacom channels/whathaveyou. So, given how few HDTVs have built in tuners, Viacom could just press on the cable/sat companies to require the set top boxes to do things their way.
    • Given the FCC's pro-corporation behavior of late, do you really believe this will happen? I think eventually it will, but certainly not right away. The FCC definitely wants to sell off that spectrum, but they're nowhere close at this point. If CBS in that market was all that's standing in the way, I could see this happening.
  • Yeah right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Effugas (2378) on Friday October 17, 2003 @08:20AM (#7238384) Homepage
    Stop the HDTV push?

    And give up all that money from spectrum allocation and sales?

    Sorry, can't stop laughing. Um no.

    --Dan
  • by arvindn (542080) on Friday October 17, 2003 @08:20AM (#7238386) Homepage Journal
    Evil bit. And we all thought it was just a harmless April fools' joke. :-P
  • FCC sources have also revealed a last-minute amendment to the proposed ruling which would require all HDTV broadcasts to comply with RFC3514 [ietf.org].
  • ...sounds fair enough really.

    Really, I have no problem with this!
    If you really want to enjoy a movie repeatedly, you can rent/buy the DVD. If you really want to watch an episode of a soap that you might otherwise miss, you can still use a VCR ro record it.

    As it happens, I don't actually have a TV ;-)

    Tom.

    • (oops, there goes my karma....!)

      Tom.

    • Pay per view is sucking wind... People do not subscribe to it. What people subscribe to is pay TV like movie channels. (As I do as well). Well, based on these movie channels every now and then I record the movie on my VCR for later viewing.

      As a result I have the flexibility of Pay per view, but pay only a MUCH lower monthly fee. Adding this "Do not record" bit the broadcasters are forcing people to get pay per view, since PPV can be anytime.

      Will it work? Not a chance as I will be taking those little
  • The rule would not affect consumers who record shows the old-fashioned way, with VCRs. Nor would it affect programming received on a cable or satellite system, in part because consumers pay for that content.

    I was worried I wouldn't be able to use my PVR to time shift, but it looks like this won't change a thing except for those who are picking up the free to air signal. I'm still against this on principal, but at least it wouldn't affect me (or most of us I would think) since I subscribe to satellite.

  • I know I read elsewhere that the FCC had previously rules that *digitial* TV (DTV) signals must have minimum recording rules (see this article [bayarea.com] for example). These specifically allow at least one time recording of a DTV signal for personal use. Yet, HDTV (high definition TV) may have difference restrictions? This seems really odd, and part of the problem is the slow process of implementing two different but new standards at the same time. I believe that HDTV will be carried by DTV in the FCC vision of
  • send a fax from the eff's action center [eff.org].

    Hollywood is at it again, trying to control the design of new digital technologies. If the motion picture studios have their way, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will force all future televisions to include Hollywood-approved "content protection" technologies. Fair use, innovation and competition will suffer. What's more, the "broadcast flag" technology that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has proposed is so weak that it will do nothing to

  • HDTV is hardly 'real' nowadays, it's still a long way from being adopted by the public. Especially with a medium as widely spread as television, it's going to take years of broadcasting 'old' television signals to provide backwards compatability, so your mother and your grandma can still watch television the way they're used to do.
    I think it's a reasonable guess to say that plain old television will stick around for another 10 to 15 years. (Or, as long as modern televisions continue to live...)

    In about 1
    • I agree, but I see FCC's version of HDTV as an obstacle to this technology- perhaps extending your 10-year prediction to more like 20 or 25 years. It's government-legislated technology, and it is already not anywhere near what could be acheived if markets dictated the best solution- which I think is your mega-band internet/tv/music/phone/etc. network. (Oh, and wireless and ubiquitous would be nice too.)

      I see this sort of crap as proof of what I've been saying all along: a government organization is inca
  • An October 8 article states that CBS, under orders from Viacom CEO Mel Karmazin, has threatened to stop all HDTV broadcasts unless the broadcast flag is approved.

    Who gives a crap? Oh, that's right, the 10 people with HDTV sets. What a shame, they won't be able to watch The King of Queens in HDTV. Watch as those 10 HDTV owners switch to the remaining HDTV programming.

    While the comment period on the proposal (Docket 02-230) is over, the FCC web site will still let you submit comments

    Yeah, because, a

    • I want my TIVO! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Esion Modnar (632431)
      Let's face it- Powell and his cronies do whatever the fuck they want to. Correction- whatever the media companies want them to do.

      Yeah, I'd have to pick my jaw up off the floor if the FCC actually rejected this. They've gotten so bad about pandering to the media companies, even Congress has had to slap them down.

      And this will kill HDTV. It's having a hard enough time as it is. If you can't record it, to watch shows when you want, it's not worth the money. The media companies want things to go back to

  • by ultrapenguin (2643) on Friday October 17, 2003 @08:33AM (#7238452)
    HDTV has always been a "slow moving" process. Stations were given a frequency range to use for HD, and given a requirement of something like broadcast at least 30+ hours of HD content.

    But nobody cared. STB's required to receive it back then (and still) too expensive for casual home user. Sales of analog TVs still outnumber those of HDTV-capable TV sets.

    And now, they are going to make it even more difficult for people to enjoy this new-and-expensive technology? If anything, to increase HDTV adoption they should make the units cheaper, and allow people to do more with this new technology than they could do with their old analog equipment.

    For new technology like this to catch on, people need incentives to use it, not more limitations compared to old technology. If I was in the market for a HDTV set now, I wouldn't buy it if I found out that my use of it would be restricted to only watching it, and not being allowed to timeshift/record what I wanted.

    Oh, and on the topic of copy protection, the copy protection, the bits these people are talking about are most likely the DTCP_descriptor bits, described in detail at http://www.dtcp.com/data/info_dtcp_v1_12_20010711. pdf from your friends at DTLA - The group which digital/HDTV people will learn to hate real soon now. In short, it talks about adding a special descriptor to the mpeg2ts streams which deals with things like copyonce/copymany/copynever, and also things like retention, how long a show can exist in recorded format on a DVR/PVR unit.

    Retention_State_Indicator Retention Time
    000 Forever
    001 1 week
    010 2 days
    011 1 day
    100 12 hours
    101 6 hours
    110 3 hours
    111 90 minutes
    ^ yes, sometimes they won't even let you have it for more than 90 minutes :(

    • Retention_State_Indicator Retention Time
      000 Forever
      001 1 week
      010 2 days
      011 1 day
      100 12 hours
      101 6 hours
      110 3 hours
      111 90 minutes


      How short-sighted is this? Would another couple of bits really hurt that much?
    • Retention_State_Indicator Retention Time
      000 Forever

      how long before someone comes up with a technological gizmo or patch that sets those three bits to 000 before passing them along to the recorder???

    • For new technology like this to catch on, people need incentives to use it, not more limitations compared to old technology.

      Exactly. You know what my incentive is to buy an HDTV capable set? NOTHING. There is NOTHING on TV worth watching in HDTV. NOTHING. Hell, I refuse to pay for cable and my apt. complex has made it cost prohibitive to get a dish.

      I watch fuzzy TV every night (except Fox which comes in fine) and I am ok with it. For the two hours of TV a day I might passively watch (outside of foo
    • No need to encode the times into 3 bits, there is a lot more information available at video bandwidths. No longer are we sending tiny streams of data from big old dinosaur iron to terminals. Just encode either an absolute or relative date.

      That said, having a field which tells PVRs how long it can keep the copy would also affect advertising rates. If a show can only be viewed once at broadcast time, and never seen again by the general public, it will have a smaller advertising base. When the broadcasters al
  • Dear Chairman Powell,

    As a consumer of American-manufactured electronic products and an owner of many, many copyrighted songs, movies, and other digital media, I strongly object to the proposal that implementation of "broadcast flag" support be mandatory in consumer video equipment supporting the HDTV standard. It is an inappropriate regulatory restriction on fair use rights granted to me by U.S. copyright law and will unnecessarily limit my choices, rights, and ability to enjoy copyrighted media that I leg

  • the 'industry' or the goverment? should money make the rules the money plays by?

    as far as i can see the goverment could tell the industry to jump into a big hole(and turn green and fuck themselfs) if it doesn't intrest them to use the spectrum and give it to somebody else to transmit on, i'm QUITE SURE that there would be FEW takers for the transmitting rights. if they don't want it, fuck them, they don't have to transmit or build the cables and show the shows with adverts if they don't want to, it's not r
    • Do you still have any doubts about that question? It may differ from country to country, but I'm sure in the US it's largely the industry telling their representatives (not yours in any case...) how they would like things to be run.
      Which civillian is getting any benefit from, for instance, the DMCA and the strict IP regulations that are in place?
      A company like SCO however is now trying to make a big load of dollars out of something they didn't do any intellectual work for, because the legal system allows th
  • Look at DVD's, which became dirt-cheap because you can't copy them. Thanx to the uncrackable.... eh..

    Look at DVD's which have regions to avoid... eh... and ofcourse dvd-players can only play 1 region.. no cracks available... eh... well..

    What was I trying to say?

    Are they going to give the money back to those people that bought a dvd recorder to record their favorite tv-show because they can't be there at that time? Oh... but ofcourse... they've already implemented that great idea of View on Demand.... eh.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday October 17, 2003 @08:43AM (#7238511) Homepage
    Oh yeah, this is a smart move.

    Although, HDTV was doomed from the start with the FCC screwing up the formats, allocations, basically every aspect.

    and now with cable companies rolling out HD in a very lame way by only supplying massively compressed channels effectively removing any advantages fo HDTV. Anyone that buys a $13,000.00 HD Plasma TV should be insanely pissed when they get home and get a slightly better but widescreen version of regular TV from that cable provider.

    I recently researched HDTV. the cable channels look just like the regular channels but with more visible artifacts. off air RARELY transmits anything but regualr DTV.. very VERY little HD content is broadcast. and there is no such thing as a HDTV DVD... so I would have been better off with the $2500.00 Daewoo Enhanced DTV.

    Now they want to make it 100% impossible for me to record the programming... Nice.. no Tivo,no DVHS, no way of timeshifting because of one thing..... Greed.

    • I don't know what you are watching, but Comcast definitely doesn't compress HDTV. The satellite providers might because of their precarious position (they market tons and tons of channels, but also want to cater to the HDTV crowd, and they just don't have enough bandwidth and birds in the sky to keep both camps happy). It sounds like you might be talking about regular digital cable, where some compression artifacts can be seen on some channels. There is not a ton of content out there, and Comcast is only ra
    • Acutally I'd say "this is the year of HD." HD glass sets are now below $2000, and VOOM [cableworld.com], a 39 HD channel satellite service, is launching. They'll even have HD porn [cableworld.com].

      Keep in mind that the vast majority of people receive TV from cable or DBS satellite. Cable systems are lining up more HD channels for digital cable, and now satellite is adding HD content to stay competitive as well.

      That said, the industry "dirty secret" is that many over-the-air HD broadcasts are done at a higher bitrate (and higher quality

    • Yeah, this is sick. Just when HDTV was starting to possibly catch on, yet another corporate wrong move to screw it up.

      I bought a HDTV back in January. I just get my signals OTA (over the air) and the quality is great.

      But I'm sick of all the positioning and red-tape that's going on with the FCC and broadcasters. Just do it, already! HDTV is better than old-and-busted NTSC, period. And it's not expensive to rollout as the networks complain; PBS was the first to switch and they still have the most and b
  • If HDTV is going to have built-in copy-protection, then the simple result is that I'm not going to buy a HDTV. If this law passes, they're going to crush the market for HDTV before it ever takes off. Not to mention, the only reason I watch ANY TV is because I have a TiVo which lets me watch the shows I want when I want to. TV isnt important enough to me to schedule my life around. These anti-copy technologies more often hurt the people honestly using them. Like the ACC MP3s you buy from iTunes- it's suppo
  • I submitted a comment on the FCC page concerning the constitutional purpose of copyright.

    I am not in favor of copyright violation. I do think unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material should be illegal. However, the US Constitution clearly intends for all copyrighted material to eventually enter the public domain.

    Current lengths of copyright are too long in my opinion. Technological mechanisms that prevent copying altogether are simply unconstitutional. That is fact, not opinion. All copyrighted m
  • An October 8 articlestates that CBS, under orders from Viacom CEO Mel Karmazin, has threatened to stop all HDTV broadcasts unless the broadcast flag is approved.

    Mel is the COO, not the CEO! Sumner Redstone, who is quite up there in years, is still quite alive and kicking and is still the CEO of Viacom.

    Just keeping the facts straight!
  • I'm a great believer that every action has many many consequences and if you look at this type of action its pretty apparent the people taking it either aren't thinking about consequences or are just plain moronic.

    CBS decides to stop broadcasting in HDTV, I have to think this is a bluff. They are in a poor enough competitive position as it is. From a personal perspective the big 3 networks have pretty much dropped off my radar map awhile ago. If I lay out a couple grand for HD equipment this will insure
  • Control

    It's what we want, and it's what they want. (They being the entertainment industry, the media, whatever you want to call 'em)

    However...the two parties want different types of control.

    They want a return to before the 60's. When they had sole reign over what you saw, when you saw it, and how you paid for it. Want to watch a TV show? Have to wait until they air it, and watch the commercials they want you to. Movies? Have to pay for each and every viewing. On their schedule.

    Lately, the scale has ti
  • Ok this does assume the FCC has balls but think about it.

    The FCC has allready mandated that over the air broadcaster have to give up there alalog broadcasting channels at some point in excahnge they get free new bandwith for there HDTV station.

    CBS says they will stop broadcasting in HDTV if people can copy it.

    FCC grows a backbone and says thats fine your not allowed to broadcast on your analog stations after point X and if you dont utilize your HDTV station we will take back that allotment as well.

    End o
  • Not when the FCC Chairman thinks that Tivo is "God's Machine" [slashdot.org]...

    The FCC has a great history of putting the broadcast companies back in their place when they get out of line. They also have a very good history of making the right decisions on this sort of thing. I'd be really amazed if they sat by and took this kind of attitude from CBS, and downright shocked if the ruling mandated any form of protection that allowed the broadcaster to control something like the length of time a show can stay on your PVR.

    T
  • Go ahead and stop broadcasting HDTV. It won't stop us from taking away your NTSC spectrum on schedule. Not that it will hurt you much, anyway: by your demographic, all of your viewers will be dead then.
  • I've wondered... When storage capacity increases enough, someone could build a device to record the entire spectrum. A wide band antenna and amplifier feeding an A/D converter sampling at a few billion samples per second. You would play it back by stuffing the data through a D/A converter and rebroadcasting EVERYTHING. You could pull all TV, radio, CB, etc... channels out of the recording with the respective devices. You can't use a broadcast flag or any other technology to stop this. We just need storage o
  • Very humorous (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StormReaver (59959) on Friday October 17, 2003 @09:28AM (#7238898)
    When considered from the perspective of my TV viewing habits, this whole HDTV + copy protection gets to be rather funny.

    I stopped watching most over the air broadcasts early in 2003. The shows have become less than mediocre, and I have lost my patience with the overabundance of unentertaining commercials (even if they were entertaining, the frequency with which the interrupt the primary mood and flow of the main show render them extremely annoying very quickly, usually after the first showing).

    With the increasing frequency of the few good shows now being released on DVD, I can watch them at my leisure completely uninterrupted and at excellent quality. This further reduces my desire to watch even those shows over broadcast TV.

    Even though I make a good living, I am quite miserly with my money. I have to spend time considering whether watching TV is worth even the few hundred dollars needed to buy a new analogue TV when my existing one dies. Spending thousands of dollars on an HDTV set is laughable. Nothing on TV or DVD is good enough to justify spending anywhere near that much on a mere viewing station (which is all a TV set really is).

    This is where the media broadcasters become hilarious from my perspective. They want me to spend thousands of dollars on a viewing station that makes me endure the worst parts of broadcast TV (annoying commercials), won't let me store and watch the broadcasts at my leisure, and won't let me edit out the commercials (which is what I do with my VCR via the pause button on those occasions I actually watch and record broadcast TV).

    So HDTV essentially boils down to being nothing more than an extraordinarily expensive DVD player minus all the benefits a DVD player provides, and minus most of the benefits that we currently have with analogue TV broadcasts (with transmission clarity being the only remaining benefit if you're willing to endure a high degree of even clearer crap).

    Pardon me if I don't rush out to buy this garbage, and instead scratch my head wondering why anyone would want to buy into this. I already have better things to do with my time, so TV broadcasters have to provide an extreme incentive to pull me to the TV. Instead, they seem to be doing everything in their power to drive me away; so I shrug and do things other than watch TV.

    This in turn saves me money on products I don't buy due to advertising exposure, even on those rare occasions where the advertising makes me aware of something that I would actually want.

    The only downside is that legislation protecting these nearly worthless digital broadcasts would also adversely restrict the usefulness of other digital products that I would want.
  • 1) Don't worry about it. It's not likely to happe. Many posters seem to have this opinion, and I tend to agree with them.

    2) Go get yourself a PCHDTV card now. (Linux users only.) It puts the raw Transport Stream packets into /dev/dtv0. You can just write them to a file. MPlayer will play the stream. The 'broadcast flag' must be acknowleged by your player/recorder to prevent recording. I just don't see the MPLayer folks taking the time to implement it. And, if they do, use /* */ to fix the problem.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) Action Center has a very easy to use form [eff.org] for sending a letter to the appropriate folks.

    Please take a minute to fill out the form and submit. If you're a member, you need only enter your e-mail address, another great reason to join [eff.org] the EFF.
  • Who runs the spectrum in the US? It's the FCC. They should drive that point home to CBS by pulling it's licence if they don't comply with mandatory HTDV broadcasting.
  • That should be interesting. We never watch TV transmissions from the networks anymore except for Jeopardy! and emergency notices (weather, school closings). My kids' Thomas the Tank Engine tapes are more entertaining than 99% of the guff sent out over the airwaves and cable. I suspect we're far from alone. I'll be waiting to see the share figures for the following month or two.
  • I say let CBS withhold HDTV. This is going to hurt me? I am reminded of the infamous:
    "Your contract with the network when you get the show is that you're going to watch the spots," said Jamie Kellner, the CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, in an interview with CableWorld magazine this past spring.

    Sorry, but I cannot see how this is going to be possible without such easy circumvention that it becomes a waste. They sell converter boxes under a "wink-wink-nudge-nudge" today. When the flag is agreed upon,
  • Consumers will find a way to get what they want. Right now, consumers want to experience entertainment on their own time, on their own terms.

    Quoth the article: "But the entertainment industry does not want digitally enhanced "high-value" entertainment sent free over the air to be easily copied and distributed on the Internet. "

    Why does the ??AA see such a stark difference between two free modes of distribution? Control. Note that this does not line up with consumer preference.

    "Now the [FCC] agency is
  • Why can't we just record the raw waves from the antenna and "play" them to decoding equipment? The decoder won't know the difference, and in analog form the "evil bit" means nothing. This is some pretty bad security here.
  • So the studios and broadcasters want to protect content against copyright infringers and this works against the 'fair-use' and 'time-shifting' rules that allow for personal recording of content. Sounds oddly familiar.

    While the studios and broadcasters have rights to protect their content, these rights should not be allowed to override the rights of consumers to 'time-shift' content. As someone who records anything to be watched (on a vcr no less - tivos are still too expensive), this threat of rule change

You have a tendency to feel you are superior to most computers.

Working...