Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media

Japanese Digital TV Viewers Complain About DRM Restrictions 371

Posted by michael
from the wake-up-and-smell-the-tea dept.
Riktov writes "The Japan Times reports that that viewers of digital broadcast TV, which started this past April, are complaining to national broadcaster NHK about restrictions on recording. Many of the complaints seem to arise from viewers who are confused as to why they can't copy rather than angry that they can't copy, but in the end all viewers are learning the hard way about content restrictions."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Japanese Digital TV Viewers Complain About DRM Restrictions

Comments Filter:
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:26PM (#9252908)
    The scary aspect of this story is that the people who are buying the DRM-encumbered TVs don't even seem to understand what they're giving up compared to traditional TV signals. Because, afterall, they CAN record the shows, but just to one copy. It's the second copy that is blocked, and most people don't think of their computer as a video editing device, and as a result they don't even comprehend the need of having anything more than one copy.

    The market isn't rejecting the DRM, instead their turning to us geeks and saying "What are you kids making a fuss about?" That's not a good sign for us at all...
    • by davez0r (717539) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:33PM (#9253003)

      we don't have any explaining to do. we've got TV modding to do! enter a new mod-chip industry. i'm thinking you stick a little doo-dad in between the signal decoder and the output to the screen.

      if i'm thinkin' it, then chances are there's an enterprising korean kid somewhere who can actually do it with little more than some chop sticks and a little chicken wire.

    • by Timesprout (579035) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:36PM (#9253031)
      You can start with me. What exactly are they giving up by only being able to copy once? Seriously how many times do you want to copy the same program from tv ? You didn't create the content, you dont own it so what divine rights do you have to it?
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:48PM (#9253165)
        Generally speaking, I don't record much TV (haven't been watching much of it lately). Sometimes I do find that my wife will record a show and ocasionally a friend will ask if we recorded it if they missed it. Now under the current broadcast flag scheme, would a friend be able to watch a recorded copy of a show if we give them a copy? In this case, it's not that I would be distributing anything that they couldn't have already gotten themselves if they had remembered to record the show or been home to watch it. So helping someone who forgot to set there device to record is unable to watch the show then?
      • by The Vulture (248871) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:59PM (#9253268) Homepage
        To me, the problem isn't only with one copy, but as the article states, "Because programs that have been copied once cannot be duplicated or edited digitally, editing the programs via a personal computer has become impossible."

        This poses a bit of a problem for me. At the moment, I have made it my goal to record all six seasons of CHiPs (yes, I have a thing for cheesy police shows), and put them on DVDs for my personal viewing pleasure (as it is highly unlikely to come out on DVD). Part of that involves removing the commercials from the recorded episodes.

        Using MythTV with a PVR-250, I can do that (the resulting stream is just MPEG-2, I can edit it in any MPEG-2 editor), and then throw it into a DVD authoring program, add a menu and maybe some special effects, and there I go. I can't do that with this new setup.

        Plus, what's up with having to insert a card into your TV? Why the heck should I have to identify myself to a TV? (The article doesn't say what the identification is used for.)

        -- Joe
      • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @06:42PM (#9253680) Journal
        What exactly are they giving up by only being able to copy once?

        The ability to make a backup copy, maybe? The ability to edit it. The ability to run it through some filters. The ability to re-encode it to another format. The ability to send it to my other Tivo, maybe? They don't keep track of how many copies you currently have, they can only keep track of how many generations of copies it can go through. I could be doing everything perfectly legally, by deleting old copies, but this DRM would stop my perfectly legal activities.

        You didn't create the content, you dont own it so what divine rights do you have to it?

        Just because they own it, what right does it give them to dictate exactly how I'm allowed to watch it? If I want to remove every violent scene from a movie, why shouldn't I be able to do so? If I want to edit out the intro and the credits, why shouldn't I be allowed?

        I can't believe there are people like you that actually think companies should be able to literally micromanage our lives.
      • Re:copy once (Score:3, Interesting)

        by danknight (570145)
        I also think that this is just the next step towards the end game of an 'on demand' world. Anybody remember that commercial where a guy goes to a hotel in the middle of nowhere and the clerk informs him that they have every show ever made available on tv? I have comcast 'digital' cable and there is at least 40 shows on in demand. I can watch the current Sopranos episodes any time I want for Free!! (of course cable and HBO cost $50/month) eventually they could have every show.(maybe say 25 cents for old tv s
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Part of the reason that Japanese viewers feel this way is probably because of the NHK man. Let me explain the NHK man comes whacking on your door in Japan and demands money from you because they "know" that you are watching NHK. Japanese law says this is legal and everyone should pay for these public broadcasts. It makes the whole experience no less annoying. It goes something like this, while sitting in the house eating Ramen on a Sunday,

        (Knock, Knock, Knock) Sumimasen
        (Silence we try to pretend we're
      • Seriously how many times do you want to copy the same program from tv ? You didn't create the content, you dont own it so what divine rights do you have to it?


        What right do I have to it?
        Who else can I trust to ensure I have a copy of the show once the copyright expires?
        That is after all why you are getting a copyright on it in the first place, so that the public domain can have it for anything/everything after the term expires.

        How many works have been lost so far that are rightfully the property of the
      • " you dont own it so what divine rights do you have to it?"

        Pray tell, why do you think there is a divine right to copyright protection?

  • Confused? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Not confused, bitter that they can't record. They are just too polite to admit it.
    • Re:Confused? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @07:56PM (#9254332)

      Yup. Maybe Riktov has missed some of the finer points of Japanese culture. The article itself doesn't even suggest that "most" customers are confused, ...drawn a flood of complaints from TV users... ...more than 15,000 inquiries and complaints...

      The only references to confusion/lack of understanding are "Customers often ask me about 'duplication control' but I have difficulty in helping them understand it," said store manager Yuki Kanno. and "But the duplication control is difficult for elderly people to understand," a sales clerk said. - both from the industry side of the argument. Customers are pissed, and they aren't accepting the explanations given to them by sales people. Maybe that's because it was a bad idea?

      They suggest it's due to popular TV dramas being copied and mass marketed around Asia. Imagine that - broadcasting media and then people having it for free! I'm not saying selling the copies is right, but if the media companies aren't competitive in that market, they should be addresing that rather than screwing their bread and butter customers. I wonder which particlar media companies are behind this? The article seemed to leave this snippet of information out...

  • by ForestGrump (644805) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:29PM (#9252943) Homepage Journal
    Suprnova.org changed their site to japanese on apr 1. Must be because they were expecting japanese visitors.

    -Grump
    • Re:Coincidently (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kenja (541830)
      Suprnova.org has a round robin DNS setup. So depending on when you connect you get a diferent server. Some are in other countries and are setup in a diferent language. Not 100% sure thats what you saw, but thats how its setup.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:29PM (#9252944)
    NHK is Disrespectful to recorders!
  • by Tree131 (643930) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:30PM (#9252957)
    It's not long before some kid from Norway writes another version of DeCSS or DeDRM. All he has to do is move to Japan for a month or two...

    Anyone live in Japan and want to host him? Anyone know the guys email address? :)
    • It's not long before some kid from Norway writes another version of DeCSS or DeDRM. All he has to do is move to Japan for a month or two...

      Very true but it's not going to help the older consumers that are the ones purchasing the new digital TVs. They have a hard time grasping what the restrictions are let alone how to circumvent them.

    • Re:it's not long.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bi()hazard (323405) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:49PM (#9253180) Homepage Journal
      This will probably get modded up funny, but the kids with minimal resources will likely be the first ones to break these schemes.

      Consider one group that's going to have problems with this setup-the anime community. Check the links Taco put on the front page and you'll see it's a well organized international community of thousands of hardcore enthusiasts. Some of them put a lot of effort into getting high quality copies of Japanese TV shows. As soon as these DRM schemes start getting in the way of fansubbing Naruto within 24 hours of its Japanese airing, you're going to see a lot of smart, technical people with too much free time dedicated to breaking the restrictions.

      I predict that people like the anime fansubbers can make a laughingstock of the DRM in a matter of days. So imagine what professional pirates will do. Even without beowulf clusters. There's groups making millions off the bootleg videos that have become ubiquitous in Asia. They have professional-quality printing equipment and the ability to make packaging the average consumer can't tell apart from the real thing. The perception that DRM prevents copying will just make it easier to convince people that bootlegs are real, and it won't slow down the pirates at all.

      So whether you're getting your Japanese TV shows from groups that encourage buying DVD's [animesuki.com] and respect foreign licenses or greedy pirates [slashdot.org] flooding the retail market with bootlegs and providing the argument in favor of these systems, the DRM won't be much of a problem.

      It's only going to screw you over if you're an elderly Japanese couple that wants to watch your TV the same way you could with your fancy VCR (that still blinks 12:00).
    • by Dr Caleb (121505) <thedarkknight.hushmail@com> on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:49PM (#9253185) Homepage Journal
      Anyone know the guys email address? :)

      I think it's DVD.Jon@guantanamo.cu, but he's awfully slow to reply :)

  • by saikou (211301) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:30PM (#9252959) Homepage
    I bet the "confusion" is due to famous cultural differences. Where Japanese customer would politely note that "I am confused on how this feature work. Perhaps it's just me, but I can't record the show from tv", US one would spray phone with saliva and salty words, demanding to know "who's that @ssh0le who put this piece of s..t into production"

    Hopefully something good comes out of it, and industry would get its nose rubbed into real life customer experience...
  • B-CAS card? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mz6 (741941) * on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:30PM (#9252960) Journal
    "In addition, the broadcasters' move has made it necessary for viewers to insert a special user identification card, known as a B-CAS card, into their digital TV sets to watch programs."

    I guess this begs the question as to why do you need a card to watch TV when the purpose is to not allow duplication?

    Sure.. I guess it could have it's positive uses... Like if you ground your kids from the TV, you just take away their access card and they can't sneak in a program or 2 when returning home from school. It could also lock out programs that children cant watch, depending on the V-chip ratings. But this is in Japan, where they don't have the same censorship the US now has. The article really doesn't get into it...

    • I can just imagine it:

      Honey, where's my TV card?

      or CRUNCH!

      What are we supposed to do? Put it in our wallets? Hmmm... that's kind of funny actually...
    • Re:B-CAS card? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MenTaLguY (5483)
      Does anyone think this card sounds too much like the start of a something like the "Listener's License" in Tales from the Afternow [theafternow.com]?

      (especially if combined with measures like those I consider here [slashdot.org]...)
  • by burgburgburg (574866) <splisken06@email . c om> on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:30PM (#9252962)
    In addition, the broadcasters' move has made it necessary for viewers to insert a special user identification card, known as a B-CAS card, into their digital TV sets to watch programs.

    The US implementation is going to do away with such a cumbersome step. It will simply require a blood sample to identify your DNA to confirm you are an authorized viewer. Of course, it will also have special retina burning devices to ensure that only the authorized individual can view the product. Visual piracy immediately punished. No appeals!

  • Leading the way (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fiz Ocelot (642698) <baelzharon.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:31PM (#9252966)
    And thus Japan leads the way in consumer electronics. It is difficult though, as I'm looking for a HDTV. It's hard enough trying to figure out what's better, DLP/LCD/CRT RPTV. Then I want DVI, but not Drm enabled dvi. But if I do that, will they end up down sampling my picture? arg, leaning towards DLP though...

    I think right now an easier solution would be to just get a hdtv card in a htpc and use that to record shows.

    • argh!! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      too... many... letters and acronyms! (head explodes)

      "Excuse me, sir. Seeing as how the V.P. is such a V.I.P., shouldn't we keep the P.C. on the Q.T.? 'Cause of the leaks to the V.C. he could end up M.I.A., and then we'd all be put out in K.P."
  • But Im sure the japanese media conglomerates made sue everyone knew that the broadcast flag was *GOOD* for you!

    Perhaps they need to personify the broadcast flag into a cutesy anime character, to allow them to sell it better:P
    • I think that Itchy and Scratchey would be perfect to represent the 'do not record' flag. One of them can use a chainsaw to cut off the legs of the other when he tries to watch a movie with a friend without the proper license.
  • by Otto (17870) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:32PM (#9252974) Homepage Journal
    (emphasis mine)

    The duplication controls have been adopted to protect broadcast copyrights, an NHK official said, adding, "Easy violation of copyright would make movie and music copyright holders reluctant to provide their works and prompt actors and singers to refuse to appear on TV."

    Really? You mean they're not going to act or sing anymore? How are they going to get paid?

    This guy is a total fuddite.
    • Given that appearing on TV can make you a crap [dmu.ac.uk] load [shef.ac.uk] of money [lufbra.net] doing random shit, I think no one is going to care a rats ass about piracy except the networks worrying about advertising figures.
    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:45PM (#9253129)
      Actors and singers actually love for their work to appear on TV and for it to be as much in the open as possible. Afterall, only the most elite actors and singers (who are so rich most of them don't care how much money they get... their biggest problems in life are not money-based) are paid based on the gross of the movie, or ever get positive royaties from the record companies.

      It's the major copyright holders, who just happen to also be better known as the MPAA and RIAA member companies, who don't want to see movies and songs copied. Major actors and singers might go along with their handlers in backing anti-copying campaigns, but if they didn't want to take part in TV, then there'd be hundreds of people glad to take their place.

      PSST... the kids appearing on American Idol are not being paid cash for doing so. They're given free accomidations in Hollywood and taken care of nicely while they're with the show, but they're not promised a financially rewarding expirience by the producers. However, people are lining up like crazy to audition for the show because even so-bad-it's-funny suinger William Hung is making money after appearing on the show. The grand prize winner isn't even given a direct cash prize, they're given a recording contract that they're required to agree to as a condition of the contest. It's the people who come in runner-up or even unranked positions who stand to profit more than that...
    • This is the most insightful comment I've seen. This is all about disintermediation, it is not about whether or not actors, singers, writers, or whatever will be paid.

      If we want people to make stuff, we're going to have to figure out a way to pay them. All this DRM garbage is about making sure the way we pay them still has money going through the same hands it always did.

      Personally, I'd rather a completely collapsed content industry than this dangerous, freedom-sucking garbage. The content industry would rebuild itself around a model that actually worked for everybody instead of a model that largely padded the pockets and insured the profits of the current set of middlemen.

    • Well, that's the point. How are they going to get paid?

      I'm not saying it's ever going to come to this, but the point of Television is to sell commercials. Selling commercials means money.

      Suppose there were two families, and one watched show A, and the other show B, and then the next day, they traded tapes. Or maybe it's two good friends. Or a brother and sister.

      The next day, the person gets to skip through all the commercials. This isn't so bad, really, because the networks know that not everyone is goin
    • Your post brings to mind a major perspective issue that has been shoved down the throats of consumers for a while: That we are here to serve industry.

      Of course, we all "know" that industry is here to serve us, but we've given them free reign. Industry (particularly the media, and other "celebrity" industries) is under the impression that we should pay what they think. This is because their previous leaders (the ones with intelligence) have brilliantly conditioned us as consumers to believe them!

      You
  • Flagness: You can now only watch! You cannot record! Ahahaha.

    Jo: We'll see about that, Flagness. That's my recorder, you can't tell me what to do!

    Flagness: I own the stream you fool!

    Jo: I pay for the stream! Everybody pays for the stream! That stream is as good as ours!

    Arfie: Arf!

    Jo: You tell 'em, Arfie! We're not taking it anymore!

    Flagness: I cannot be toooooooooooooooold!

    Jo: Wanna beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet?!

    *Shink*

    Tune in next week to see who dies!
  • by DrewBeavis (686624) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:32PM (#9252982)
    The article didn't say that people were returning the tv's... too bad. People can complain all they want but they are still buying. Those of us who know better and aren't buying are either too few to matter or will end up HAVING to buy when analog tv goes away. Its just a matter of time for us in America...
    • or will end up HAVING to buy when analog tv goes away. Its just a matter of time for us in America...

      From what I've read (example [wikipedia.org]), it's supposed to be within two and half years.

      Of course, when the mandate was issued it probably seemed like a feasible idea to those without foresight. But now try getting re-elected when everybody (including the poor) is required to shell out over $1000 as well as dump every single existing analog set in the country just to maintain a previously available service. The was
  • What do we want? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:32PM (#9252988) Homepage
    Harsh, overbearing DRM RIGHT NOW, before consumers forget 'how things were'.

    People like Apple slipping in the unreasonableness slowly so you gradually ajust to it (compare the 'no DRM at all, don't buy it and let the market kill it' position pre-iTunes to the current 'reasonable DRM is ok, it's not their fault' now*) are FAR more dangerous that the flat footed attempts of the WMA crowd.

    The more violently the content producers introduce this stuff the better the chance of the populace waking up for the tenth of a second required to scare the media companies really badly and getting rid of DRM for at least a good long while more.

    So this kind of thing is a good thing, not a bad thing. In the long run it'll mean less arbitrary restrictions and presumption of guilt for everyone.

    *This is not a flame, this is the truth. I can't think of one slashdot post pre-iTunes (that was modded up anyway) that said that DRM would suffer anything but a crippling death because people would refuse to buy restricted products, then they would HAVE to come back with unencumbered goods. Now we see people falling over themselves to offer a misguided company congratulations because they fuck you over SLIGHTLY LESS THAN EVERYONE ELSE. Wonderful.
    • by dmaxwell (43234)
      *This is not a flame, this is the truth. I can't think of one slashdot post pre-iTunes (that was modded up anyway) that said that DRM would suffer anything but a crippling death because people would refuse to buy restricted products, then they would HAVE to come back with unencumbered goods. Now we see people falling over themselves to offer a misguided company congratulations because they fuck you over SLIGHTLY LESS THAN EVERYONE ELSE. Wonderful.

      It isn't just congratulations. You're absolutely right. The
  • Confused = angry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 12ahead (586157) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:32PM (#9252991)
    Comes with the culture. Japanese hardly get angry - being confused is already quite a strong word in their culture. In addition, the article does not mention confusion, but rather the customers being upset and complaining. Sorry, if the slashdot blurb makes such a big point of this confusion vs anger thing, I had to set this straight, before the readers get confused themselves.
  • by m2bord (781676) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:33PM (#9252996) Homepage Journal
    is that fact that the consumer holds no rights over anything anymore. we have the right to buy the product and that's pretty much it. when you buy a new car, there is a black box in it that records what you do and it's built into the cars computer systems and cannot be removed. to remove it not only voids your warranty, it renders the car useless. cd's and dvd's are being made only to play on industry approved machines. thanks to backwards lawmaking...industry tells the consumer what to do with their product much in the same way a home-owners association can tell you what you can and cannot do with your home. the only way to fix it is to remove the whole of congress with new elected officials and that's not likely to happen. so i reckon that we should get used to it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:33PM (#9252998)
    http://www.macfergus.com/niels/dmca/cia.html
  • by nate nice (672391) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:34PM (#9253006) Journal
    "Where is the NHK TV camera? Hello, Tokyo!"

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:34PM (#9253009)
    The "Sony Betamax" Supreme Court decision that allowed the VCR to come into existance really may come up for a challenge when Hollywood tries to push a system like this stateside.

    See, the Betamax ruling gave us the right to time-shift programming that comes down from TV stations, but that time-shifting implies that we're not going to keep our copies forever. It's impossible to keep an analog VCR tape forever because it will age and degrade over time, and analog copies are always lossy as well. However, a digital copy that you can recopy to avoid media-aging issues can in fact be kept forever.

    There's no such thing at this moment as a law that enumerates all of our "fair use" rights when it comes to media that we have legally obtained. "Fair use" is just the result of things that Hollywood wishes we couldn't do but they can't take us to court over them because they're not (yet) against the law.

    Right now, there's really nothing at all that prevents American broadcasters for using encryption on their HDTV broadcasts, and leaving only a low-quality MPEG stream available for those who don't want to play along with their scheme. Some stations in Utah are in the process of proving that with the current cable-over-DTV scheme, where they use their DTV channel to relay only an SD copy of their analog content, and then instead of ever going HD they use the remaining bandwidth to relay pay-to-watch cable channels.
    • It's impossible to keep an analog VCR tape forever because it will age and degrade over time,

      Whereas in reality, we watch tapes from the early 80s with decent quality. So that's not quite true. Sure, to a cinephile, it's lost, but to the average consumer, VHS is eternal until destroyed.

      and analog copies are always lossy as well.

      We're not talking copies... we're talking home use of TV signals. Let's not cloud the issue for the moment.

      However, a digital copy that you can recopy to avoid media-aging

  • You would think that the money grubbing companies would have found a new business model. Allow people to "buy" copies from recorded DRM material. Now by allowing "buying", the companies would have to do something smarter than just turn off DRM since once a non-DRM copy got out, well the cat's out of the bag. So maybe an unique user id code is embedded so a copy that is illegally distributed can be traced back to the source. Of course, I sure someone could come up with a way circumvent that as well. The
    • Then the argument comes in as to who actually 'owns' the copy. Would it work just like the movie industry does for say DVD? Granted, most shows are already being ported to DVD, but what about those that aren't? Would there be another policy in effect for this or having to build a contract around DRM content?
  • key cracking effort (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SuperBanana (662181) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:37PM (#9253043)

    A couple months ago, I came across a program with very little documentation that was a distributed key cracker/finder for some sort of DTV encryption key. It was being publicized by an anime group- with encrypted DTV, the fansub groups can't get high quality 'raw' versions to subtitle and re-encode.

    If anyone has details or can find it, please reply...

  • Interesting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cshark (673578) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:38PM (#9253055)
    I wonder if it will lead to declining sales of digital tv's in Japan. If I had any vested interest in hd or digital tv here in the US, I would be paying close attention to this. Good thing I don't, sounds like it's going to be a mess.
  • by cft_128 (650084) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:39PM (#9253067)
    This article needs to be forwarded to Michael Powell at the FCC. See what a pain in the ass this creates for the consumers that you are supposed to protect?

    I hope this gets the electronics manufactures to lobby the FCC to lighten up - it will affect their bottom line if people do not want to upgrade their TVs and VCRs/DVRs because of consumer unfriendly restrictions.

    • Mike Powell? Please. Unless you're a lobbying group who can line his pockets so well that he has trouble walking, you're not affecting anything. Consumer opinion has no bearing; the FCC is operating strictly on a highest-bidder policy at the moment, and the MPAA has him in pocket to the tune of millions. Think you can beat that? Go ahead.
      • Mike Powell? Please. Unless you're a lobbying group who can line his pockets so well that he has trouble walking, you're not affecting anything. Consumer opinion has no bearing; the FCC is operating strictly on a highest-bidder policy at the moment, and the MPAA has him in pocket to the tune of millions. Think you can beat that? Go ahead.

        It looks like the electronics industry will give it a shot [eetimes.com] and start a lobby [alliancefo...ogress.org]. After some further reading it looks like they are not going all out against the flag [alliancefo...ogress.org] thou

  • stupid . . . (Score:5, Informative)

    by loraksus (171574) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:42PM (#9253100) Homepage
    More and more people will now just download what they want to watch / edit / et al - this will push more and more people underground. The RIAA hasn't had much success with stopping such a thing, (ooh, 500 people served every month?) so I wonder how much success the networks etc will have with it.

    Right now, you can download damn near dvd (read tivo compressed with xvid) quality rips of virtually every tv show off the internet - and usually very quickly (assuming you have broadband and that you are trying to get something that was aired in the last month). These rips have no commericals and look even better than what I get through the cable tv.

    I really can't see why people would want to actually sit in front of a TV and suffer through 20 minutes of commericals, especially given the fact that you can watch it when you want and not have to worry about setting the damn vcr or any of these bullshit copy restrictions.
    • Re:stupid . . . (Score:2, Insightful)

      by stubear (130454)
      And Slashdot wonders why their favorite shows keep getting cancelled. With comments like this is it truly any wonder?
  • There are no content restrictions here. Everyone is perfectly free to take the subject matter or information presented, if any, and publish it elsewhere.

    It is not possible to copywrite content. Once I've uttered that green frogs exist in the world, you're free to go about repeating that. I can't stop you.

    What you mean is, restriction on the bits that encode a particular presentation. Those are indeed copyrighted. The content, if any, is however free.

  • easily duplicated (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cheeze (12756) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:48PM (#9253167) Homepage
    There aren't too many other devices that it would be possible to limit the copying. What if it cost almost nothing to make a car, but the car companies decided they didn't want you to do that. The car companies decided they want to own the rights to all of the cars in the world. What would happen then? If something is easily reproduced, why does it then immediately need to have someone restricting it? Companies that stay in business keeping their monopoly on competing technologies is excatly what the governments are supposed to protect against. Well, that and stuff like invaders from other lands (which they fail horribly).

    on a side note, wouldn't it always be possible to make nearly loss-less analog copies of digital media and then re-encode them to a digital format of your choice?
  • The FCC is required (Score:4, Informative)

    by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:52PM (#9253215) Homepage
    The FCC is required to serve the public interest, right?

    Then why can't we just, like, launch a lawsuit demanding the FCC is bound by their own rules to prohibhit "DRM" from being broadcast on public airwaves?

    Also, that said, we have really got to come up with a way to get the public to realize that "digital rights management" means that CORPORATIONS get to digitally manage YOUR rights.
  • by nightsweat (604367) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @05:53PM (#9253228)
    Don't buy the TV's, don't watch the shows.

    Is your life really incomplete if you don't find out what happened on Enterprise or the Sopranos? TV isn't a given. Its relevance is likely to be transient. Transition it along faster by refusing to watch DRM encumbered broadcasts.
  • The duplication controls have been adopted to protect broadcast copyrights, an NHK official said, adding, "Easy violation of copyright would make movie and music copyright holders reluctant to provide their works and prompt actors and singers to refuse to appear on TV."

    Reluctant to provide their works or refuse to appear? I guess if we're reluctant to purchase / view / support DRM then where does the DRM effort go? Hopefully to the junk heap.
  • Greed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by manitoulinnerd (750941) <joelbrunetti@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @06:09PM (#9253358)
    It isn't the fact that corporations want to see a profit from their products that bothers me. Corporations are around to make money. That is what they are around to do. Producing music, television, movies, etc is just a byproduct. Don't kid yourselves. What bothers me is that are now starting to have expectations about how much they should be making (and that their profits should be constantly increasing) and have started to view all of their customers as criminals. As mentioned, advertisements are a crucial part of any "free" media. Internet and television are prime examples but the advertisers don't seem to know the bounds. Commercials have been taking more and more air time. Pop-ups were just the beginning and I have now seen some websites with an add directly on top of the page that prevents me from reading it. Because of the views and actions of these corporations and the inability for them to cooperate with a changing marketplace they will ensure their doom. Unfortunately most people don't notice the heavy hand that has come down on them, and when they do they are confused. Most people (outside /.) don't understand the implications of DRM or why they are coming about. Regardless of any DRM imposed the determined (some are righteous, some are criminals) will find a way around these. If only the errors could be seen, but greed can effect sight in many ways.
  • by now3djp (621650) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @06:17PM (#9253446) Homepage
    Hi.
    I purchased Panasonic DMRE85HEBS (me things they got the 2nd and 3rd letter in wrong order!)

    product [panasonic.co.uk]

    They did not mention in any technical description that it had CPRM (DRM for hard discs and DVD-RAM). Bad customer support or what? I've not be encombered so far.

    CPRM the register article [theregister.co.uk]

    Here is some info from the manual.

    From the Glossary
    CPRM technology is used to protect broardcasts that are allowed to be
    recorded only once. Such broadcasts can be recorded only with CPRM
    compatible recorders and discs.

    From the information on use of the player
    * You can record broadcasts that allow "One time only recording". You
    can transfer (dub) a recorded title to a CPRM compatible DVD-RAM,
    however the title is erased from the HDD.

    The future is bleak - the future is CPRM and other DRM :(

    Cheers, now3d
  • by rlp (11898) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @06:47PM (#9253740)
    (AD 2004)

    Viewer: "Main screen turn on"
    Screen: "All Your Bits Are Belong to Us!"
    "You have no chance to record, make
    your time!"
    Viewer: "What you say?"
  • Easy solution. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jrockway (229604) * <jon-nospam@jrock.us> on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @08:18PM (#9254504) Homepage Journal
    Okay, so we can't copy the unencrypted video. Why don't we record the encrypted video and run it through the decoder whenever we want an unencrypted copy?

    Man in the middle attack. Once only for computers :)
  • by nysus (162232) on Tuesday May 25, 2004 @09:25PM (#9254971)
    Let's not forget the overarching logic (or lack thereof) behind our copyright laws, or any law for that matter. The dirty secret is that they are all completely contrived. There is no property, there is no ownership. We have merely thrust these social contrivances on a universe that is amoral and lawless. The only true law that exists is the law of power, which says that he with all the power can do whatever the fuck he wants.

    People who argue that corporations have certain "rights," just don't understand how the world works. You have consumers, who are trying to get as much content as possible for as little money, and you have media conglomerates, who are trying to give away as little content as possible for as much money as they can get. From this built-in confrontation we've created a social contract in the form of laws to settle disputes and smooth the way for transactions which makes most people happy.

    Problems arise, however, when one side gets too much power. And that's exactly what's happening in the content distribution business. If the law doesn't suit the needs of media outlets, they can change it. If the economic playing field isn't in their favor, they will work to tilt it. In short, media giants are abandoning the symbiotic social contract they once had with consumers. They are basically saying "fuck you" to consumers. "We have the power to have absolute control over our content so we will," they say in so many words. Of course, consumers also pretty much said "fuck you" to the media corporations when they started downloading, copying, and distributing content when the power to do so became available. But my goal here is not to try to point blame.

    My real point is that the media companies have much more power than consumers to change laws in this age of technological disruptions. Consumers are just too divided and powerless to compete in the political world where all these decisions are made and will come out holding a very short end of the stick. This isn't good for me and it isn't good for you, unless you are Rupert Murdoch or Ted Turner.

    So now that you know how it all works, go out and organize and "Fight the Power" and always remember which side you are on.

Happiness is a positive cash flow.

Working...