Put down that remote!
September 5, 2000 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Put down that remote! The MPAA wants to equip the next generation of video recorders with copyright-protection technology, to allow broadcasters to prevent you from recording their shows.
posted by harmful (12 comments total)
I'm sure they could try this, but in this day and age, where a large majority of kids and young adults know a lot about electronics, I am sure some sort of chip, or device would be produced to by-pass this, or instructions on how to remove the technology from the product.

Let them try.
posted by da5id at 1:39 PM on September 5, 2000

Um, didn't the Supreme Court pretty much tell Jack Valenti to get stuffed on this issue back in the Betamax case?
posted by aaron at 2:45 PM on September 5, 2000

Are they terrified of TiVo? Or a vast internetworked high speed TiVo community?
posted by mathowie at 3:24 PM on September 5, 2000

The Home Recording Rights Coalition has a "Write the FCC" page/petition for this issue.
posted by tingley at 3:49 PM on September 5, 2000

"Dang! I Love Lucy is using Streaming Javascript again -- you can't Save As the part where Ricky comes home and finds Lucy hip deep in meringue pies!"
posted by dhartung at 8:23 PM on September 5, 2000

Not all Supreme Court rulings are based on the Constitution. The Supreme Court ruling in the Sony/Disney case was based on a detailed interpretation of the "fair use" provision of copyright law as passed by Congress.

But it did not provide a constitutionally guaranteed right; it was just based on current copyright law. Congress can change that law. Congress can remove that right. The Supreme Court ruling does not prevent that. No constitutional principle was involved here.

But it won't happen. VCRs not capable of recording off the air wouldn't sell and the VCR makers know it; they've got just as much lobbying money as MPAA, if not more, and they don't want to see their market collapse. (Which is why Sony was willing to fight Disney all the way to the Supreme Court the last time.)

Also, this is a very popular provision with voters, and would definitely get publicized if Congress started seriusly considering outlawing it. I think you'd get a major outcry from the voters, and despite what it sometimes seems, Congress really does care what voters think, at least sometimes.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:25 PM on September 5, 2000

Oh, one more thing: the chances of the VCR makers doing this without being forced by a law is nil.

Ultimately, the MPAA doesn't have enough leverage on the VCR companies to force them to do it "voluntarily", and there's no way the necessary law would pass. MPAA is living in a dream-world.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:29 PM on September 5, 2000

Okay, Sony owns Columbia, and is thus a member of the MPAA.

And Sony... made Betamax video recorders. And still makes videos today.

posted by holgate at 1:27 AM on September 6, 2000

All right!
posted by daveadams at 7:03 AM on September 6, 2000

You've got to wonder -- if they don't want people dubbing copies of movies ... and now they don't want people to record stuff off the air ... then what do they think a video recorder is for?
posted by webmutant at 9:01 AM on September 6, 2000

Disturbing idea I just thought of: If this technology were implemented, could broadcasters somehow force watching ads in recorded shows, as is done with DVD's?
posted by harmful at 9:55 AM on September 6, 2000

>>Sony owns Columbia...<<

Yeah, but not during the Betamax days. Back then Sony was strictly hardware.
posted by aaron at 9:48 PM on September 6, 2000

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