June 27, 2000
10:01 AM   Subscribe

And now, here's something we hope you'll really like...
Californian David Simon decided that It Would Be Nice If you could use the Internet like your VCR. The MPAA and the Studios disagreed. Is this guy crazy? Or crazy like a fox?
posted by baylink (8 comments total)
posted by milhous at 11:10 AM on June 27, 2000

I thought Fox shuts down websites.

(And congrats to baylink on the first "Rocky and Bullwinkle" reference of the Summer Movie Hype season. Expect to recieve some fan e-mail from a flounder.)
posted by wendell at 2:31 PM on June 27, 2000

Definitely Fox....

I understand MPAA's concerns, but when will everyone learn that you can't fight the new technology?

The smart move would be to make the same thing, patent it first, and then sue his ass off for "stealing your idea".

In my "bookie-by-nature"* opinion, a much more effective strategy than "yet-another-trademark-infringement/piracy" lawsuit.....

*This is not, of course an endorsement for gambling... but I definitely see a www.bet_on_lawsuit_outcomes.com coming in the near future for your entertainment pleasure.....
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 3:05 PM on June 27, 2000

I can recall some years ago, many hacker enthusiasts were trying to prove hackers actually serve a positive influence on the technological world for corporations. Because hackers would find the loopholes and chinks in the armor for fun.

It could have been a lot worse. if hackers weren't there, many corporations would have been oblivious to their weaknesses, and someone more sinister or vengeful than the average hacker may have taken advantage of it without any warning.

Some of these things that we're doing now have been possible before, but it's just SO DAMN EASY now to make copies of copies of copies of anything. It's good that there are pioneers like Robertson and Simon who do it, and then make a stink about it. So the entertainment industry realizes that, ANYONE can do this, and if they don't respond to this threat now, they will suffer for it sooner than later.

But imagine, if EVERYONE did this now. There's far too few right now to make an impact. it's like when HAM radio (or even now pirate radio) was at its highest popularity. Even then it was little more than a few handfuls of diehard enthusiasts. It was small enough to be policable. Serious offenders could be found.

But what if EVERYONE started doing it at the same time. How could the entertainment industry stop literally millions of people simultaneously plugging their tvs to their computers and rebroadcasting tv to the 'Net. Sure they'd take out some people. Maybe even half before they gave up, but if the rest didn't back down, the only way the stations could stop it would be to stop broadcasting, which would mean they'd be putting themselves out of jobs completely. So they'd have to adapt to the new environment.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:52 PM on June 27, 2000

The guy was insane to think that he wouldn't be sued. His thinking was that since he recorded the shows commercials and all, that his service was exactly like a VCR. I thought the service was pretty good. He had gotten a lot of hits after a Slashdot posting about a month ago. He also had just upgraded his connection and servers right before he got sued. I assume that that was not a coinicidence. The really interesting thing is that, as far as I can tell, there was no cease and desist letter sent to this guy before the complaint was served. Now, I'm no litigator, but I think the cease and desist letter is pretty standard practice because nobody likes expensive litigation. This could be a harbinger of more aggressive tactics on the part of the tv, movie, and recording industries. The beast might have awoken. The question then remains, is the beast wrong on this one? I think not. This is not fair use. He was planning to upgrade to some sort of paid service. Oh well, now how will I see the Real World without cable?
posted by Bezuhin at 3:53 PM on June 27, 2000

"How could the entertainment industry stop literally millions of people simultaneously plugging their tvs to their computers and rebroadcasting tv to the 'Net. "

Lawyers. They are very good at this sort of thing.

Think about it this way. If you found that the first few people they sued had had their wages garnished to pay 50K judgements, would you keep broadcasting?
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:17 PM on June 27, 2000

Well, y6, you know, if enough people do it, yeah.

It's called civil disobedience -- because "doing it because we didn't want the damned politicians to make it illegal in the first place but they did it anyway because they'd been bought off" is too long for a sound bite, I guess -- and it's been damned efficient in the past.

Time Warner is *not* warm, fuzzy, and loveable... even to the people whose mortgages it pays... and it has no hope of ever being so again.

The public stock market is, in the end, responsible for this... and we're starting to see the price, finally.

Wonder just how this will play out...
posted by baylink at 8:10 PM on June 27, 2000

Civil Disobedience! There ya go! Yeah! Long live Thoreau the bastard! =)
posted by ZachsMind at 7:42 AM on June 28, 2000

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