July 22, 2004

TiVo, Whipsawed by the Broadcast Flag

Filed under: commons, open — Wendy @ 5:59 pm

Hollywood sold the FCC on the broadcast flag rule with claims that it would only “limit the redistribution of digital broadcast television content, but not restrict consumers from copying programming for their personal use.” (FCC Report and Order at 3, citing MPAA Comments at 6-8). Now that the FCC has adopted the flag rule, though, the MPAA is changing face. No longer content to prevent “mass indiscriminate redistribution,” Hollywood and its allies want to throw the full force of technology mandates behind all their control dreams.


TiVo finds itself caught squarely in the middle, the Washington Post reports. TiVo developed its first generations of pause-live-TV-and-skip-the-ads products outside Hollywood’s grasp, because time-shifting broadcast signal (NTSC) was a recognized fair use. When flag-encumbered (ATSC) HDTV appeared,
TiVo couldn’t just build, it had to petition for certification as a “covered demodulator product” and “authorized recording method.” TiVo’s petition describes a byzantine system of encryption and dongles to ensure that television won’t escape an authorized secure viewing circle, but the MPAA still wants more: “Will subscribers be allowed to use post office boxes to register a Secure Viewing Group?” it asks in opposition. Might a sports fan share a show with a friend across the country, rather than a daughter in the next room? (docket).

Let’s hope this experience serves as a warning to tech companies: Don’t be lulled by the copyright industries’ claims that “it won’t hurt much.” Ceding to technology mandates gives the entertainment companies a screw they’ll just keep tightening.

See also EFF DeepLinks and Copyfight

5 Comments

  1. TiVo et le partage d’émissions

    Nous avions déjà parlé du TiVo sur poxx, inutile de vous le représenter (pour les retardataires et pour simplifier, c’est un boitier qui permet de faire un magnétoscope numérique, d’avoir une option “replay”, “pause”, sur des diffusions en live, un…

    Trackback by b33rTech : l'actualité avec un doigt de geek. — July 23, 2004 @ 1:20 am

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    Seth Finkelstein writes that the “most chilling” moment from yesterday’s hearing on the Induce Act was the moment when Senator Hatch warned that whether or not the bill passes in its present form, “something has to be done” about copyright…

    Trackback by Copyfight — July 23, 2004 @ 3:09 pm

  3. Gods fucking forbid that we be allowed to share television shows with people across the country. PEER-TO-PEER DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION IS THE WAY OF THE FUTURE, YOU PHARISEES!

    Comment by Loraan — July 23, 2004 @ 5:59 pm

  4. RE: With ReplayTV out of the picture, Studios turn on TiVo

    Trackback by Zaphod's BigBlog(tm) — July 26, 2004 @ 9:30 am

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    There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the MPAA and NFL seeking to block TiVo’s broadcast flag submission. The basic idea is that TiVo wants to give people the ability to share video files among ten registered devices,…

    Trackback by The Importance of... — July 27, 2004 @ 1:27 pm

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