February 20, 2005 9:25 AM PST

Federal effort to head off TV piracy challenged

A digital-rights advocacy group is mounting a legal challenge to a new FCC regulation intended to prevent piracy of digitized broadcast.
The New York Times

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I don't understand.
Isn't the sharing of TV broadcasts protected under the Betamax ruling?
Posted by Azio (35 comments )
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Recording and time shifting are protected by Betamax and fair-use. Also the Betamax says the makers of devices capable of substantial non-infringing uses are not liable for any infringing uses.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
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Re: Betamax
The betamax ruling would indeed protect
timeshifting, limited sharing, and
indemnification of manufacturers of products with
substantial noninfringing uses.

That said, US law was ammended by the DMCA to
make digital content a separate class of
materials subject to a completely different
regime of protections. For example, there is
effectively no fair-use right to digital content,
the punishment for redistribution is several-fold
more harsh, it provides for prior restarint on
use of works and extends to authors the right to
bind licensees of a work to limits on the works
use ex post facto.

Digital TV would fall into this category, so the
betamax decision really doesn't apply.

Trickier still, digital technology lends iteself
far more readily to retasking and incorporation
with other digital systems, so it's likely that
there is far more limited indemnification of
vendors (it would be hard to argue that anything
really qualifies as having a substantially
non-infringing use).
Posted by Gleeplewinky (289 comments )
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Desperate Act Of Dying Broadcast Medium
The "free" broadcast networks continue to see declines in viewership because of limited and poor content quality. Les Moonves of CBS predicated that in 10 years free TV would cease to exist. Their fixation with copy protection is just a red herring.

There is virtually nothing on broadcast TV that is worth recording anyway. The majority of what I record comes from PBS, which my tax dollars pay for. For the networks to be concerned about mass copying and redistributing such stellar content as Everbody Loves Raymond and The Swan shows just how out of touch they are. Movement to digital TV does nothing for content other than improve resolution. Junk content, laden with 20 minutes of commercials per hour is still junk. The broadcasters can lobby the FCC all they want to prevent copying, but their viewership will just keep decling as viewers move from "free" TV to pay TV. The same thing is happening with "free" broadcast radio vs. pay radio. Same problems - crummy content and way too many commercials. These network execs need to go back to business school to learn about consumer demand. Free is no bargain if it's schlock.

Posted by Stating (869 comments )
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It's not about movie downloads in practice
It is clear that Hollywood is making noise about all this only in order to panic lawmakers to enact stronger overall copyright laws.

Once device-dependent DRM is fully in place, we'll be able to playback a movie on the DVD player we PAID a FEE to record it to, but if we want to play the recording on another devise, we shall have to pay again.

This is not about movies or TV being pirated via the Internet. It is about creating new artificial revenue streams with the aid of new laws enacted on the PRETEXT of preventing Internet-based piracy.

The real goal is to create a pay-per-fart world where every time we think or speak, listen or view, we pay recurring fees to mammoth faceless corporations.
Posted by PolarUpgrade (103 comments )
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Exactly, but theres more...
Don't forget they don't want to switch over there broadcast stations either, if they can get the FCC to create some DRM standard, it will slow there process of having to evolve to HDTV only. This is basically a way to slow the enforcement of the broadcast flag. This is a pissing contest, and with only 5% of homes ready for HDTV, I don't see this happening by 2006. Just imagine the FCC having to give 95% of house holds a damn box just to get DRM TV, most homes having 3-5 televisions a piece. That makes there profit from selling the free air space far less. This is just another example where the consumer decides what the future holds for technology, not the government and content creators.
Posted by (13 comments )
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