Items tagged "Analog Hole"

Press Release

Public Knowledge Warns Senate of Harms From Closing Consumer Electronics Connections

June 20, 2006 Analog Hole , Press Release

For immediate release June 21, 2006

Consumers would be harmed and innovation would suffer if Congress passed legislation that closed off analog connections to digital consumer electronics devices, Public Knowledge President and Gigi B. Sohn said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Committee held a hearing on "The Analog Hole: Can Congress Protect Copyright and Promote Innovation?" The "analog hole" is the shorthand term for connecting an analog consumer electronics device, such as a TiVo or Slingbox, to a digital device, such as a digital TV. The motion picture industry wants to ban such connections out of fear that movies will be illegally copied because the conversion from digital to analog formats strips out copy protection coding.

Sohn said, however, that closing the analog hole "would be profoundly anti-consumer and a radical change in the historic copyright balance. Closing the analog hold would immediately restrict lawful uses of technology and make millions of consumer devices obsolete."

In her testimony, Sohn said that by closing the "analog hole," consumers would be harmed as everyday tasks such as time-shifting, place-shifting, recording TV shows onto a computer or moving content over a home network would be prohibited. Devices purchased before the closing of the analog hole may not work with devices purchased after, Sohn added.

In addition, she told the Committee in her written statement: "The ability to transfer content that one lawfully buys from one device to another has helped to drive the huge market for content and devices. Closing the analog hole will limit this ability and with it consumers' enthusiasm for purchasing these products."

Sohn said that the U.S. Copyright Office and the Motion Picture Association of America have advocated using analog conversion of digital material should be the only way for consumers to engage in fair use of copy-protected digital content.

Her full written statement is here.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Asks Congress Not To Enact ‘Broadcast Flag’ Controls

January 23, 2006 Analog Hole , Broadcast Flag , News & Analysis , Press Release

Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, urged Congress not to limit consumer choice or hamper innovation by enacting legislation allowing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to implement content controls on digital TV and radio.

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Harold on The Future of Your Cable Box on The Kojo Nnamdi Show

January 27, 2010 Analog Hole , FCC , MPAA , Network Neutrality , Plug and Play

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.

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DECE and the War on Ownership

January 15, 2010 Analog Hole , Anti-circumvention , DRM , MVPD , TV Everywhere

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…

**Ownership vs.

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MPAA: Still No Reason to Break TVs, DVD Copy Protection Does Not Stop Copying

December 11, 2009 Analog Hole , DRM , Fair Use , HDTV , Plug and Play

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.

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SOC in Context

November 9, 2009 Analog Hole , DVR , MPAA , Set-Top Box , 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.

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Warner Brothers to FCC: When We Say SOC Is Necessary, We Mean Not Necessary

November 4, 2009 Analog Hole , Fair Use , FCC , HDTV , Plug and Play

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.

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Camcording, DVD-Ripping and Normative Behavior: the MPAA’s Disingenuous Argument Against Fair Use

May 11, 2009 Analog Hole , Copyright Office , DMCA , DRM , Fair Use


If you were following the DMCA Section 1201 anticircumvention rulemaking proceedings last week, you likely saw Tim Vollmer’s video of the MPAA’s demonstration on how to create a film clip by pointing a camcorder at a TV set (embedded above). This demonstration was the MPAA’s response to an exemption request filed by educators, who are seeking to exercise their fair use rights by breaking the CSS encryption on DVDs in order to make short clips for classroom use. As you’ll recall, a group of media studies professors led by Peter DeCherney successfully filed for just such an exemption in 2006 (for more on that, see our video interview with DeCherney, embedded after the break). Three years later, the educators have returned, in an attempt to renew the exemption and to expand it to include students in media studies classes as well as educators outside of the media studies field. Despite having three years to regroup, the studios returned with the same tired, apocryphal argument: despite the fact that DVD-ripping is already widespread, if educators are allowed to legally rip, demand for DVDs will plummet and the industry will collapse. As an alternative, they suggest camcording, a cumbersome process that produces low-quality clips while requiring a significant investment in video recording equipment. Practical matters aside, the MPAA’s argument for camcording also happens to contradict a number of the organization’s other arguments against fair use–a fact that was not lost on many of the witnesses at last Wednesday’s hearing.

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How Hollywood Studios Promote File Trading: Delete Movies Off Digital Shelves

December 10, 2008 Analog Hole , Broadcast Flag , DRM , FCC

It's gotten so easy to rent movies on the ?tv that my wife had actually rented one, 27 Dresses, three times. Yes, the money we've spent to rent this particular movie has added up to more than the cost of owning the video. No, I'm not bitter about it or anything. Earlier this week, I was helping her put some movies on the ole' iPod so she could have some in-flight entertainment for a work trip. Of course, she wanted to have 27 Dresses again, so I said, "Can we please buy this movie once and for all?!"

Unfortunately, when I went to the iTunes Store, the movie was no where to be found–for rent or purchase. I wondered if anyone else had experienced this. I swore we rented it from iTunes, and verified it in my purchase history. The closest I could get to the movie was its soundtrack, it didn't appear to be available on the other movie download services either.

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Reflections on the 10th Anniversary of the Sonny Bono Act

October 29, 2008 Analog Hole , Broadcast Flag , DRM , Fair Use , Orphan Works

The 10th anniversary of the DMCA is not the only infamous 10th anniversary that Public Knowledge gets to “celebrate” this week. Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the enactment of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998. That law extended copyright terms from 50 years after the life of an author and 70 years in the case of corporations, to 70 years beyond the life of an author and 95 years in the case of corporations. Named after Sonny Bono, the late Congressman best known for his musical and personal partnership with the performer Cher, the law has taken countless works out of the public domain, greatly weakening the wellspring of creativity and knowledge from which new creativity emerges.

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