Entries Matching: Analog Hole
If you were following our tweets yesterday (and don't forget to follow the tweets of our collective staff, found on this twitter list, too), you may have seen an update that PK Legal Director Harold Feld participated in a discussion about set top boxes, over-the-top Internet video, cutting the cord, and net neutrality on the Kojo Nnamdi Show. If you missed the live show, you can read the transcripts and listen to the recorded audio stream here.
In the media world, there’s an ongoing war about what it means to “own” a copy of something. Most of us are used to the world of paper books and plastic CDs, where the media you buy is yours to do what you like with, be that play it in your living room, lend it to a friend, or (as a practical matter) rip it to your computer for your own use on other devices or locations. But in the world of DRM, the copyright owner gets to decide when, if, and for how long you get to do those things. The latest salvo in the battle to get consumers to accept DRM is DECE: the “Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem.” DECE appears to be an attempt to make DRM interoperate better across different devices, services, and content sources. Is this a good thing – or at least a less bad thing – for content users? I’m not holding my breath…
As devotees of our hit video series Five Minutes with Harold Feld (or as the cool kids call it “5MWHF”) will no doubt recall, on the eve of Thanksgiving MPAA dropped a lengthy filing into the Selectable Output Control (SOC) docket. Among other things, it called Harold a liar. Harold immediately took five minutes to tell MPAA to chillax, and yesterday we filed our official response with the FCC. Although I urge you to read our full reply (I promise it is much shorter than the MPAA’s), if you are in a rush here is the short version. Our response basically made three points.
**Most of MPAA’s Filing is Unrelated to SOC.
The MPAA's attempt to get the FCC to allow Hollywood to impose Selectable Output Control (SOC) on consumers has gotten quite a bit of coverage in the tech-savvy blogosphere over the past few days.
I was reading through the comments on two prominent blogs' postings, Boing Boing's Tell the FCC to say no to Hollywood's insane "Selectable Output Control" kill-switch and Gizmodo's MPAA Still Trying to Plug Your Analog Hole with Selectable Output Control, and it appears that even among a very informed subsection of the public, SOC still causes a lot of confusion. The main point of confusion is the relationship of SOC to other forms of video DRM.
As the Selectable Output Control (SOC) battle continues here in Washington, Public Knowledge just sent a letter to the FCC pointing out that movie studios are doing some of the best work to show why SOC just doesn’t make sense.
As you may recall, the entire point of SOC is to allow movie studios to release movies via Video on Demand (VoD) prior to the DVD release. The MPAA claims that without SOC protection, the VoD releases (which, unlike DVDs, are not protected and therefore theoretically easier to copy) would immediately be used to make perfect copies available to pirates. These perfect copies would destroy the market for DVDs, and ultimately destroy Hollywood. SOC protection would allow studios to protect VoD distribution and therefore save Hollywood.