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New Bill Threatens to Plug "Analog Hole"

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the information-wants-to-be-encrypted dept.

Media 374

ThinSkin writes "In an effort to encourage consumers to embrace digital content, The Electronic Frontier Foundation is fighting a bill that would restrict owners of analog devices from recording analog content. For instance, if a fan wishes to tape a Baseball game on his VCR, the VCR would re-encode the content of that game and convert it into a digital form, which would then be filled with right restrictions and so forth. The process would be driven by VRAM (Veil Rights Assertion Mark), a technology that stamps analog content with DRM schemes."

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374 comments

Paragraphs (0, Flamebait)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948192)

Someone should enlighten the author of that article about the purpose and use of paragraphs. What a wall of text.

Ignore that (0, Offtopic)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948211)

Sorry, only in Opera does it appear paragraphless. Looks fine in Opera and Firefox. I apologize for this interruption.

Re:Ignore that (1)

Hey, Retard... (915400) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948229)

...are you drunk and retarded? It appears 'paragraphless' in Opera but looks fine in Opera and Firefox?

Re:Ignore that (1, Funny)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948233)

Clearly I'm talking about different versions beyotch. And yes, you insensitive clod, I am drunk and retarded.

Re:Ignore that (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948260)

How about that... I am too.

Re:Paragraphs (2, Funny)

RandomPrecision (911416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948391)

It's the format of the headline that somewhat bothered me. I had my browser window tall and thin, thus displaying "New Bill Threa to Plug Anal Hole".

Re:Paragraphs (1)

wheany (460585) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948444)

The author clearly knows about them, since he uses the closing paragraph tag </P> all the time. He doesn't open a single one, though.

Article text for your convenience (1)

Karma Troll (801155) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948197)

Next-Gen "Analog Hole" Legislation Proposed
By Mark Hachman
November 2, 2005


The Electronic Frontier Foundation has unearthed a proposed bill that would regulate any analog recording device, allowing content providers to encode rights restrictions inside the content itself.

The Analog Content Security Preservation Act of 2005 [eff.org] is scheduled to be debated in a U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property on Thursday. Think about how big your tongue feels in your mouth.

Although the bill lacks an official author, an executive at the Motion Picture Association of America said that the bill has been jointly developed by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the chairman of the committee, as well as by several consumer-electronics and computer companies. The bill has yet to be read or voted upon within the House or Senate.

As presented, however, the bill would close the so-called "analog hole" on virtually all devices. Although digital streams can be encrypted and encoded with various restrictions and permissions, once converted back into an analog format, the stream can be copied or manipulated freely -- the analog "hole," first referred to by Hollywood and the Motion Picture Association of America around 2002. The provisions of the act would take place a year after its enactment.

Such an analog hole allows a consumer,for example, to tape a televised baseball game on his VCR, even if Major League Baseball expressly forbids him doing so. Under the new legislation, such rights would be enforced through technology.

According to the MPAA, the legislation is necessary to help shift the industry toward digital content, with the content restrictions such a format allows.

"Sometimes I think that people feel that the MPAA is a bunch of Luddites," Brad Hunt, chief technical officer of the MPAA, said in an interview Wednesday afternoon. "In this case, we are trying to incent the consumer to embrace the digital conversion, the digital connection...and that's why we need to drive this technology forward."

The bill would essentially require all analog devices, such as televisions, to either re-encode a signal into a digital form, complete with rights restrictions, or to encode the rights restrictions into the analog stream itself. Manufacturers would also be forbidden to develop a product that would remove those restrictions. Exectives at Veil Interactive, the developer of the VRAM technology at the heart of the legislation, described the technology as one that would not be noticeable by consumers.

Privacy advocates, however, protested the proposed act.

"[I]f you're someone who actually wants to infringe copyright by downloading video from the Internet, this will have zero effect on you," said Cory Doctorow, EFF's European representative, writing in his blog, BoingBoing.net, on the subject. "This is not a proposal to protect copyright -- this is a proposal to bootstrap Hollywood's limited monopoly over who can copy its movies into an unlimited monopoly over the design of devices capable of copying its videos."

However, devices sold before the date the proposed legislation would be enacted, such as today's televisions, would be grandfathered in, according to the terms of the legislation. In addition, devices that were designed "solely of displaying programs," and ones that could not be "readily modified" for redistributing content would also be exempt.

The bill would also grant a wide degree of latitude to content providers to regulate the use of their content, using the "CGMS-A" (Content Generation Management System--Analog) and Veil Veil Rights Assertion Mark (VRAM) restrictions.

While CGMS-A has been available to U.S. broadcasters since the mid-1990s, most U.S. broadcast content has been transmitted without restrictions attached to it. However, HBO and its subsidiary channels have used CGMS-A to restrict users from making more than a single copy of its broadcasts, and prevented them from making any backups of its pay-per-view programs. The CGMS-A technology is also supported by programs such as Microsoft's Windows Media Center.

The Veil VRAM will serve as a watermark, asserting the content holders' rights, which will be governed by schemes encoded inside the CGMS-A, which will in turn be transmitted using the vertical blanking interval (VBI) inside the content stream.

About the only loopholes granted to consumers under the new rules are the ability to back up a single copy. From there, however, the bill grants content holders the right to prevent users from making another copy or retransmitting the content into other devices or formats. The proposed legislation also prevents a middleman rebroadcasting the content -- such as a local television network -- from stripping out the rights restrictions or mechanisms.

In late September, legislators voiced frustrations with current legislation in the wake of the Grokster ruling, which involved copyright and peer-to-peer file sharing. At the time, senators like Sensenbrenner and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) actively solicited advice from industry representatives on how to craft legislation to prevent content from being illegally copied.

The MPAA's Hunt said Wednesday that Sensenbrenner "had taken a real leadership role" in developing the legislation, which had been co-developed by an undisclosed number of CE and PC companies.

However, in a commentary published to its website this week, the EFF raised the spectre that content providers would be granted absolute control over how users viewed and interacted with their programs.

"And what might these MPAA-specified, government-mandated technologies do? They prescribe how many times (if at all) the analog video signal might be copied - and enforce it," the EFF said. "This is the future world that was accidentally triggered for TiVo users a few months ago, when viewers found themselves lectured by their own PVR that their recorded programs would be deleted after a few days.

"But it won't just be your TiVo: anything that brings analog video into the digital world will be shackled," the group added. "Forget about buying a VCR with an un-DRMed digital output. Forget about getting a TV card for your computer that will willingly spit out an open, clear format. Forget, realistically, that your computer will ever be under your control again. To allow any high-res digitization to take place at all, a new graveyard of digital content will have to built within your PC."

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 3:07 PM PDT on Nov. 2, 2005 with comments from the MPAA's Hunt.

At first glance on my screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948201)

It read New Bill threatens to Plug "Anal Hole"

Now that would be anal.

Dupity Dupe (5, Informative)

kernel_dan (850552) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948203)

Dupe [slashdot.org] . But I do like the information-wants-to-be-encrypted dept.

Re:Dupity Dupe (5, Funny)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948225)

The **AA might just manage to plug the Analog Hole, but /. will never plug the Dupe Hole.

Re:Dupity Dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948281)

This story is a dupe [slashdot.org] !

You readers have been living in a dream world. There are no slashdot dupes.

Re:Dupity Dupe (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948372)

It's not a dupe. The MPAA just wanted to tear us a new one.

Not Really a Dupe (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948415)

That other article discussed the same thing, but it was weak on details and heavy on ranting. This one is much more meaningful.

Re:Not Really a Dupe (0, Offtopic)

ArgieNomad (850645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948461)

1- Post it
2- Don't edit (or even read!) it
3- Someone writes it well
4- ???
5- Profit!!

As a record store owner. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948205)

My business faces ruin. CD sales have dropped through the floor. People aren't buying half as many CDs as they did just a year ago. Revenue is down and costs are up. My store has survived for years, but I now face the prospect of bankruptcy. Every day I ask myself why this is happening.

I bought the store about 12 years ago. It was one of those boutique record stores that sell obscure, independent releases that no-one listens to, not even the people that buy them. I decided that to grow the business I'd need to aim for a different demographic, the family market. My store specialised in family music - stuff that the whole family could listen to. I don't sell sick stuff like Marilyn Manson or cop-killer rap, and I'm proud to have one of the most extensive Christian rock sections that I know of.

The business strategy worked. People flocked to my store, knowing that they (and their children) could safely purchase records without profanity or violent lyrics. Over the years I expanded the business and took on more clean-cut and friendly employees. It took hard work and long hours but I had achieved my dream - owning a profitable business that I had built with my own hands, from the ground up. But now, this dream is turning into a nightmare.

Every day, fewer and fewer customers enter my store to buy fewer and fewer CDs. Why is no one buying CDs? Are people not interested in music? Do people prefer to watch TV, see films, read books? I don't know. But there is one, inescapable truth - Internet piracy is mostly to blame. The statistics speak for themselves - one in three discs world wide is a pirate. On The Internet, you can find and download hundreds of dollars worth of music in just minutes. It has the potential to destroy the music industry, from artists, to record companies to stores like my own. Before you point to the supposed "economic downturn", I'll note that the book store just across from my store is doing great business. Unlike CDs, it's harder to copy books over The Internet.

A week ago, an unpleasant experience with pirates gave me an idea. In my store, I overheard a teenage patron talking to his friend.

"Dude, I'm going to put this CD on the Internet right away."

"Yeah, dude, that's really lete [sic], you'll get lots of respect."

I was fuming. So they were out to destroy the record industry from right under my nose? Fat chance. When they came to the counter to make their purchase, I grabbed the little shit by his shirt. "So...you're going to copy this to your friends over The Internet, punk?" I asked him in my best Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry voice.

"Uh y-yeh." He mumbled, shocked.

"That's it. What's your name? You're blacklisted. Now take yourself and your little bitch friend out of my store - and don't come back." I barked. Cravenly, they complied and scampered off.

So that's my idea - a national blacklist of pirates. If somebody cannot obey the basic rules of society, then they should be excluded from society. If pirates want to steal from the music industry, then the music industry should exclude them. It's that simple. One strike, and you're out - no reputable record store will allow you to buy another CD. If the pirates can't buy the CDS to begin with, then they won't be able to copy them over The Internet, will they? It's no different to doctors blacklisting drug dealers from buying prescription medicine.

I have just written a letter to the RIAA outlining my proposal. Suing pirates one by one isn't going far enough. Not to mention pirates use the fact that they're being sued to unfairly portray themselves as victims. A national register of pirates would make the problem far easier to deal with. People would be encouraged to give the names of suspected pirates to a hotline, similar to TIPS. Once we know the size of the problem, the police and other law enforcement agencies will be forced to take piracy seriously. They have fought the War on Drugs with skill, so why not the War on Piracy?

This evening, my daughters asked me. "Why do the other kids laugh at us?"

I wanted to tell them the truth - it's because they wear old clothes and have cheap haircuts. I can't afford anything better for them right now.

"It's because they are idiots, kids", I told them. "Don't listen to them."

When the kids went to bed, my wife asked me, "Will we be able to keep the house, David?"

I just shook my head, and tried to hold back the tears. "I don't know, Jenny. I don't know."

When my girls ask me questions like that, I feel like my heart is being wrenched out of my chest. But knowing that I'm doing the best I can to save my family and my business is some consolation.

Some people are offended by my blacklist system. I may have made my store less popular for pirates and sympathisers, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to save my industry from destruction. I am inspired by artists such as Metallica that have taken a stand against the powerful pirate lobby. When everyone believes 2 + 2 = 5, to simply state the truth, that 2 + 2 = 4, is a courageous act.

Re:As a record store owner. (4, Informative)

riotstarter (650328) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948263)

Re:As a record store owner. (4, Interesting)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948480)

My horseless carriage business faces ruin. We should outlaw these new-fangled "automobiles".

Riiight. That's just too bad, isn't it. If your business model is suddenly irrelevant, that's just way too damn bad for you.

Anyway, the real purpose of this bill is to prevent people from recording their own movies. Every camcorder made now will have to have DRM protection -- which will allow the movie industry to prevent you from recording independent films. With no independent films, the MPAA will be the only game in town for movies. Profit profit profit.

I wish Congress would tell the MPAA and RIAA that if they keep lobbying for this shit they'll repeal copyright completely. That would be so hilarious that I think I'd cry.

Re:As a record store owner. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948277)

The parent raises an important point. If a troll is genuinly funny, should it be modded troll or funny? Should it be modded +1 or -1. Nice effort.

Re:As a record store owner. (0, Offtopic)

MLopat (848735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948295)

Wow, assuming there's any credibility to your story (and that's probably a real stretch) you assaulted a minor? Good for you. So maybe we should add your sorry ass to a list, you know, one like the sexual offenders list. How are you going to explain to your kids that daddy had to close down the store to afford a lawyer and still has to serve 3 months? Imagine their haircuts then.

Re:As a record store owner. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948412)

I would have thought that the drop in CD sales was more to do with people buying online and downloading from sites such as iTunes, then the effects of piracy.

Or possibly it's due to the fact that "Family music" and "Christian rock" isn't that popular with the CD buying demographic.

Re:As a record store owner. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948482)

So, as you focus on christian families and you've seen a drop in customers, does that mean that they are the biggest pirates?

New meaning to an old word (1)

soma_0806 (893202) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948208)

I guess encourage now means the same thing as force...

Re:New meaning to an old word (2, Insightful)

bstone (145356) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948253)

I thought the DMCA was justified because, now that things are digital, copies are just like the original and that's why we needed all that new protection. Now we find that the rights for analog have to be just like the rights for digital. If it's really such a big issue that all the rights have to be the same, the easy way would be just to pitch the DMCA, wouldn't it?

Re:New meaning to an old word (5, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948378)

This is the problem with thinking of the so-called "intellectual property" as property.

The whole point of copyright is that it's the idea that matters*; and yet, once we can finally decouple the idea from the carrier medium by making it into a stream of bits that can be sent across the world within fractions of a second, we see that trying to reapply the previous metaphor of the physical object requires that we impose such drastic controls, since the most natural thing to do is to spread information, unlike when the idea depended on the replication of the media as well---you can't click and drag a second copy of a book from the first one.

I think that the selling of ideas by copy cannot be done anymore, unless you impose this unnatural and invasive system onto the flow of information, and that it's going to be a painful process to widely come to this realization. Everyone struggles to find a replacement system to compensate for the loss of by-copy sale (a ransom system? a patronage system?), but surely the search for more money does not trump the free exchange of ideas.

* Yeah, that's probably not exactly right, but IANAL, and I need sleep, so it's the best I can do.

Re:New meaning to an old word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948337)

yeah, it seems everything is that way now... check my site [therightcoast.net] yo

This doesn't matter for us...! (4, Funny)

QQoicu2 (797685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948214)

"[I]f you're someone who actually wants to infringe copyright by downloading video from the Internet, this will have zero effect on you," said Cory Doctorow, EFF's European representative, writing in his blog, BoingBoing.net, on the subject.

So, of course, most /.ers have nothing to worry about. :-)

Re:This doesn't matter for us...! (5, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948274)

Well, not exactly. Many of the people who download stuff illegally do it because there isn't a convenient legal alternative. The absence of that alternative is a big part of the fuel for the piracy culture.

So this crazy DRM stuff really will have some effect on illegal downloaders: It will increase the number of people who do the same thing, increasing the quality and quantity of the files available, while making it less likely for each given individual that she'll get in trouble. If there is going to be a realistic move to reduce piracy, it will have to involve making it convenient to stay legal and play by the rules. These DRM roadblocks do just the opposite. The more of these stunts I see, the less wrong piracy starts to seem. It's like they try to punish the people that play by the rules. Yeah, what an incentive!

Re:This doesn't matter for us...! (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948339)

Many of the people who download stuff illegally do it because there isn't a convenient legal alternative.
Nono. You mistake being a cheapskate for an ideal.

The only reason they download it for free, is because they can't get it for free in stores. More likely than not, the majority of people warezing stuff on line wouldn't pay for it. Ever. But they enjoy it.

Re:This doesn't matter for us...! (3, Insightful)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948341)

if by convenient, you mean free, then I guess you're right.

my experience has been that downloading has two major upsides: EVERYTHING is available, and everything is free.

piracy will increase if nothing changes simply because a generation is growing up accustomed to free product. It won't make sense to pay. It will only get worse as more people become web-centric.

I can't speak as to the effects of DRM, but understanding the fundamental psychology of the consumer/downloader is important.

Take your average convenience store... tell the clerk to disappear and monitor the cameras for a half an hour. Only a small number of people will leave the cash for their purchase on the counter. Most will loot and bail.

The music industry has fucked up by letting too many people get shit for free for too long. It's a culture dynamic. Hollywood is a little better - they got these download deals jumping off on college campuses where you get billed on tuition statements for the shit you download.

Let me get used to free shit; don't get mad if I don't want to pay later.

As for this DRM shit, it's desperation, but what are the record companies gonna do?

Hmm... (1)

DoktorGonzo (513156) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948215)

I feel that the MPAA is a bunch of Luddites.

Hmm...Agree with me...or else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948397)

"I feel that the MPAA is a bunch of Luddites."*

Translation: They're not doing what I want.

*You might want to look up the definition of luddite.

Re:Hmm...Agree with me...or else. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948476)

"'Sometimes I think that people feel that the MPAA is a bunch of Luddites,' Brad Hunt, chief technical officer of the MPAA, said in an interview Wednesday afternoon"*

Translation: You shouldn't post without the RTFA-N008 dependancies.

*You might want to look that up the in the article

No Way !! (4, Funny)

fodi (452415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948219)

You CANNOT use an acronym with 'RAM' in it to describe something not relate to memory. That's a sin !!!

Re:No Way !! (1, Funny)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948273)

Also, you cannot use RAM in a way which pertains to plugging an analog (read: human) hole! Er...

To be debated yesterday... (5, Informative)

MLopat (848735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948220)

Gee thanks. From the article "The Analog Content Security Preservation Act of 2005 is scheduled to be debated in a U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property on Thursday."

So how about a news article discussing the first round of debates?
Here's a link to the bill [72.14.207.104] .

Re:To be debated yesterday... (4, Informative)

fafalone (633739) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948338)

Here's a video of the hearings, nearly 2 hours long (show your love of the committee by slashdotting it!) (only available in real video): Oversight Hearing on Content Protection in the Digital Age [streamos.com]
They talk about the broadcast flag as well, but is from Thursday and about plugging the analog hole.
From http://judiciary.house.gov/Oversight.aspx?ID=202 [house.gov]

MOD Parent up please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948349)

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks :)

hehhh heheheehehehehe (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948238)

You said "analog".

heh ehe he he heeh eh

Who are they kidding? (4, Interesting)

Orinthe (680210) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948240)

Does anyone really believe that the government could make it illegal to record anything in analog? Come on, think about it--when I want to record my home movies, they're going to require that I only have a DRMed, digital copy? Or if I want to make an audio tape, I'll have to use an expensive, DRM-encumbered digital recorder, instead of a cheap cassette player? Or more pertinent, when a linguistics researcher or reporter wants to record a conversation, or a filmmaker wants to make a movie--there can't be any realistic expectation to force them to go not only digital, but DRM-encumbered digital.

Even if such a bill were to be passed, it would be laughed at as the public went on its merry way using older analog and unencumbered digital devices.

Re:Who are they kidding? (3, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948265)

Does anyone really believe that the government could make it illegal to record anything in analog?

I didn't used to think so. But upon reflection I've changed my mind. I used to think there's no way the government could put the mp3 genie back in the bottle, but for the most part that's exactly what's happened.

Look, any government that can make growing and consuming a plant in your house illegal can make analog recording illegal.

Re:Who are they kidding? (1)

Chemical (49694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948299)

How and when did the government put the "mp3 genie back in its bottle"? AFAIK mp3 "sharing" is as rampant as ever, and sales of mp3 players are brisk.

Re:Who are they kidding? (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948307)

Even if such a bill were to be passed, it would be laughed at as the public went on its merry way using older analog and unencumbered digital devices.

Yet many of us are being forced to adopt digital TV and Radio.

Re:Who are they kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948357)

You are not being forced to adopt digital TV. If you were really opposed to it you would not buy any TV service. Same goes for radio. It's a luxury; if you don't like it, you can live perfectly well without it.

Re:Who are they kidding? (1)

aka1nas (607950) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948362)

Thta's different because it is being broadcast over public ariwaves, which the government can more easily enforce legislation upong those doing so. There is no way for them to effectively enforce a law that outlaws all existing analog recording devices.

Re:Who are they kidding? (5, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948380)

1. Prison is big business in America.

2. Most if not all polititions are lawers who game the system in their favor.

3. DRM will be another nail in the coffin to inforce the limit of free speech.

We know what kind of rules and regulations are being (or trying at least) to limit the freedom of speech in the blogisphere. Now the scumbags inside the DC beltway want to limit speech of the podcasters.

Yes... I'm paranoid. But given the trends lately, can you *really* blame me?

TRUST NO ONE!

Re:Who are they kidding? (1)

Rick and Roll (672077) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948454)

People would laugh at it.

But if it passed, and there wasn't a huge backlash, it would pretty much be Nineteen Fucking Eighty-Four.

And I was hoping we could stave it off for another fifty years.

Re:Who are they kidding? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948489)

i'm shooting for 1776

keep an eye on your sporting goods store flyers i have seen .50 cal rifles in there every once in a while for under $500, anything that can shoot down a hovering chopper will be useful when the shit hits the fan.

if you aren't strong enough to control the kick on a .50 cal get a good .30-06 don't bother with shotguns.

Re:Who are they kidding? (4, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948477)

Does anyone really believe that the government could make it illegal to record anything in analog?

Yes. By definition in-fact.

Even if such a bill were to be passed, it would be laughed at as the public went on its merry way using older analog and unencumbered digital devices.

Oh yeah, you'd be laughing for a few years... Then your digital recorder will break down, and you'll stop laughing.

Better to start now.

Y'know, at some point the whole argument... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948242)

wraps around! I mean, until our brains offer digital ports for input, all of our digital media ultimately has to present its content in analog form for human input. Given that analog recording devices have been around since... well... since Thomas Edison shouted "Mary had a little lamb" into an ear trumpet recording (in analog) on tin foil, I doubt that the content management folks will ever be able to put the analog recording genie back into the tube.
 
I have especially delighted in using my lovely Dolby-equipped Sony tape deck to make a few dozen copies of the latest VanZant CD.
 
There's no purpose to this post other than to point out the futility of the DRM folks trying to stuff toothpaste back into the tube. As the gatekeeper in the Wizard of Oz said, "Ain't no way, ain't no how!"

Gotta love those bills without an author yet (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948252)

What can I say, you gotta love those bills that don't yet have an author. Kindof like the textbooks in California and Texas.

Backwards? (1)

The Angry Artist (877090) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948254)

With a little changing of the act name, ACSPA -> SCAT Act.

Secure Content of Analog Technology Act of 2005.

I believe the SCAT acronym accurately describes everyone's opinion of this legislation.

I found chief technical officer of the MPAA Brad Hunt's comments funny.

"Sometimes I think that people feel that the MPAA is a bunch of Luddites," Brad Hunt, chief technical officer of the MPAA, said in an interview Wednesday afternoon. "In this case, we are trying to incent the consumer to embrace the digital conversion, the digital connection...and that's why we need to drive this technology forward."

The funny part isn't that the MPAA is saying that it wants to drive digital formats forward by pushing them backward -- the funny part is that the MPAA has a "chief technical officer."

Re:Backwards? (1)

LividBlivet (898817) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948399)

Brads brother Mike also works at the MPAA.

Pretty funny when the secretary pages the building : "Has anyone seen Mike Hunt?"

How about THIS idea (4, Insightful)

LardBrattish (703549) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948268)

Sell good value (non DRM) products and more people will buy them.

Decent books with CDs - sure you can download the tracks of the internet but you get a really nice package if you buy the legit copy.

They can stick all the DRM they want onto a CD - it doesn't force people who think it's poor value to buy it. I think DRMed "CDs" are poor value & refuse to buy them on principle; so all they are doing is shrinking their potential market antagonizing their customers while the MP3s roam free on P2P.

Put out something worth buying and I'll buy it. Video recorders that restrict use are poor value - I'll stick with my old one thank you very much...

Blah (1)

Brantano (908473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948270)

What ever happened to the United States being free? It seems in the past year, more government associations are trying to shush up the people's rights and control what they see, what they record, and what they do. Is it really that much of a bane on Television Stations if a person records a football game while he's at work with an old vcr? How is this any different than it being recorded on a DVR? What if that said person doesnt have a digital cable box and watches Fox Sunday Football on his rabit ears? This is not affecting a single damn person and its horrible that there trying to pass a LAW that hinders what someone can do with analog content.

I personally cant wait for all these old government conservative officials that run these shitty conservative government organizations to die and there companies to fall into obscurity.

There are 2 problems... (3, Insightful)

Anyd (625939) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948457)

The first is that you can *gasp* fast-forward through commercials. This has been an issue since the first generation DVRs. And after-all commercials>money>lobbyists>bills-like-this. The second is that all those recorded shows are then (obviously) uploaded to the internet, where all the single mothers and grandfathers download them while cackling like the wicked witch of the west (duh!)

Analog Holes! (2, Funny)

sockonafish (228678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948271)

In the future, speakers that produce piracy-inducing analog sound waves will be outlawed. All music will be transmitted directly to your auditory nerve.

Oh wait, nerves use analog signals. All nerves must carry DRM!

My question is... (1)

elgee (308600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948275)

Is printed matter analog or digital? Or does it depend how it is copied? If I scan it, it is digital. If I use an older copier to copy it, is it analog?

My "favorite" part (4, Interesting)

lheal (86013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948276)

"Sometimes I think that people feel that the MPAA is a bunch of Luddites," Brad Hunt, chief technical officer of the MPAA, said in an interview Wednesday afternoon. "In this case, we are trying to incent the consumer to embrace the digital conversion, the digital connection...and that's why we need to drive this technology forward."

Of all the disingenuous malarky. "Incent the consumer". Since when did "incent" become synonymous with "bufu"?

They want to keep me from making copies of stuff I buy, so if it gets ruined I have to buy another one. Or so I can only play it from the media I bought it on.

Guess what, pally: most of the stuff I listen to is on sweet old vinyl. I want to preserve the music from my analog media, and the best way to do that is digitally. But don't try to tell me I can't do whatever I want with something I buy, as long as I don't try to give it to someone else.

/rant.

Re:My "favorite" part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948473)

Of all the disingenuous malarky. "Incent the consumer". Since when did "incent" become synonymous with "bufu"?
For that matter, since when was "incent" a word at all, outside of the MPAA's marketing department? I think the word he was really looking for was "coerce."

Big F*cking deal (1)

Browzer (17971) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948284)

Who records anything anymore anyway especially in analog? The crime should be wasting tax payers money debating the right of the citizens to record using baseball as an example when there are 150+ games/year/team. Couldn't they use an event that happens once a year as an example?

put in copy prevention and lose copyright (5, Insightful)

bigpat (158134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948286)

A rational and consistent intelectual property law would one be that prevented copyrighted content from using copy prevention technology at all. After all it has the protection of law, then why should people be prevented from making fair use of the content?

I see copy prevention technology as being no different conceptually from a trade secret. If you decide to hide a technology as a trade secret rather than sharing a technology through a patent then your technology can be reverse engineered legally and you get no protection under law. The trade off is that society gets access to your new technology and you get legal monopoly for a number of years. If you don't share the technology via a descriptive patent, then you don't get a legal monopoly. So, similarly if you decide to prevent copying using technology rather than by using copyright law, then you should get no benefit under the law because you are ultimately depriving society of the content if it is never released in a copyable form.

Re:put in copy prevention and lose copyright (4, Insightful)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948416)

Copyright is increasingly being viewed as property. From the my.mp3.com ruling [uh.edu] :
Copyright, however, is not designed to afford consumer protection or convenience but, rather, to protect the copyrightholders' property interests.
If the legislature and courts take the view that copyright is akin to property, then protecting it via technological means (akin to locking the doors on your house) just makes sense, and doesn't remove the owner's right to the property they're protecting.

Re:put in copy prevention and lose copyright (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948447)

A rational and consistent intelectual property law would one be that prevented copyrighted content from using copy prevention technology at all. After all it has the protection of law, then why should people be prevented from making fair use of the content?

I've never understood this about the government. To solve the problem of people breaking the law, they pass more laws. If it's illegal to do something, and people are still doing it, making it a little more illegal isn't going to stop anyone.

Do they really think someone's going to say "If only I had these cassette tapes on CD, I would rip them and post torrents somewhere. But all I have are the cassette tapes, and that would be breaking the 'Analog Hole' law. Damn you MPAA, your law has ruined my plan to illegally share music." Give me a break.

What?? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948287)

Sorry I gotta post AC as I modded before RTFA, but look at this paragraph:

However, devices sold before the date the proposed legislation would be enacted, such as today's televisions, would be grandfathered in, according to the terms of the legislation. In addition, devices that were designed "solely of displaying programs," and ones that could not be "readily modified" for redistributing content would also be exempt.

If all the old capture cards, VCR's, DVR's and the like are going to be 'Grandfathered' in, what's the goddamn point? I mean, anyone with enough technical knowledge to do this, is already going to have the equipment, and I sure as hell am not going to throw it away because a new bill passes.

Copyright our articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948289)

Maybe slashdot should copyright its articles. Maybe that would prevent further dupes.

Analogue Rights Management? (4, Insightful)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948291)

First of all I trust that whatever they think about that, there will always be a "DVD Jon" [wikipedia.org] somewhere that will point the poor design of the schema/algorithm. The tighter they'll hold, the more they'll loose.
We only need to avoid those chips being installed into our brains in order to enforce the brohibition to tell our friends about the football match we looked at. We paid for one private view, not for a public performance!

Re:Analogue Rights Management? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948359)

Re:Analogue Rights Management? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948497)

Nah, he just misspelled "lose" like every other faggot on the Internet who never graduated middle school, but consider their own opinions important just because their mommies bought them a computer.

Let's googlebomb that "bunch of Luddites" (1)

adnonsense (826530) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948305)

Like this: A bunch of Luddites [mpaa.org]

Re:Let's googlebomb that "bunch of Luddites" (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948343)

The funniest part is that when I clicked on that link, all I saw was the Firefox ad-block icon-widget. (insert mumbling about how content-free MPAA movies are...)

Let's googlebomb that "bunch of Luddites"-Godwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948429)

Apparently "Luddite" is the next "Nazi".

Whomever you disagree with, LUDDITE!

Did anyone else think.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948306)

Holy crap! There are two Bills?!?!

Uhhhh.. that's just indecent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948310)

Firefox. Windows. This page opened in new window. 2nd tab opened afterward.
This story's tab reads:

New Bill Threatens to Plug "Anal...


Just wrong.

a hole, huh? (0, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948313)

Can't say analog hole without saying: fucking government, always trying to fuck you right in the a..nalog hole.
This is so stupid that a government (any government) is acting as a business protection agent. Of-course it looks like that's all governments do nowadays.

I don't get it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948332)

Who is Bill and what is she doing to Ana Log?

*sigh* (5, Insightful)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948333)

Another attempt to squelch innovation that will just redirect homebrew efforts in the direction of circumvention. Call me when they shut down eMule/aMule/xMule, Kademlia, or BitTorrent (or BitSpirit (BT/Kad-like subsystem), for that matter).

I'm bored of this stupid timeline... you know:
P2P services arise
RIAA/MPAA kills one
P2P piracy increases due to consumers being pissed off that the RIAA/MPAA has no respect for their rights (or their tastes... this summer had nothing good in the theatres aside from the Guide, you know)
RIAA/MPAA freaks and claims P2P services are to blame, inviting legislation/technology that fucks fair use while not doing any real good
P2P piracy increses, for much the same reasons as before, while homebrew programmers work around the new legislation/technology
RIAA/MPAA freaks
P2P piracy increses

A quote from a relevant link of the article:
"We have a bright young public who sees nothing wrong with downloading...it's going to destroy the copyright industry, it seems to me ... [peer-to-peer networking] is either going to be legal, or it isn't going to exist."
  - Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

You're right, Dianne. But you haven't quite gotten the point.
Unregulated, P2P users were still buying good CDs. But every time new anti-p2p legislation is enacted, new anti-circumvention technology added, and for each p2p site shut down, it alienates the Industries from their customers. Each time, the animosity that was once limited to the tech-savvy grows ever outward into people who'd never have thought bad of their content providers.

There are easy ways to fix this; one is to stop with the lawsuits. Worst. Press. Ever. Another is to start producing quality. People won't want to steal that which is actually worth paying for. The real item is to fix copyright law. 95 years past the original author's death is rediculous. How about 15 years past initial release? If I knew I could, for example, download episodes of the original Battlestar Galactia without legal repercussions, I might reconsider downloding Sci Fi's Season 2 DV cap that's floating on Bittorrent.

This law doesn't matter to anyone with a brain. A TV card with an offending chip can be "repaired" by anyone determined enough. You'd have to integrate your crap into the DAC and MPEG-4 encoders of every device, then hope someone doesn't hack the controls out of the software, or that someone doesn't make an open source version, fully functional (and easily modified), on the premise of interoperability.

Yeah, release the drivers for linux in closed source code. Someone will build ones for their amiga system and claim interoperability. Release for amiga, and you'll have the BeOS people doing it. Do BeOS, and there's a few flavors of BSD that would be clean. BeOS covered? How about Minix? You're not going to win here without spending a few billion in development, and then you'll still lose to those who don't cower under a legal premise and have names like "Thundulator". The term is "Unenforcable", or, in colloquial terms, "Useless fuck of a law".

Meanwhile, the cycle's going to go on until either the MPAA/RIAA have run out of money to throw at the problem, due to the combination of lack of consumers willing to pay to be fucked in the ass, or until they basically cow under - and eat what crumbs consumers will give them AFTER the content creators have been paid - like the good little middle-management fucktards they are.

In conclusion, Dianne is partially right. Their either will be legal AND free P2P, or there won't be an RIAA/MPAA. Actually, I'm kinda pushing for both.

Makes your Tivo unable to record (2, Insightful)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948342)

If the broadcaster doesnt want you to record 'their' shows you cant tivo it.

(1) Copy Prohibited Content. An Analog Video Input Device shall not record or
cause the recording of Copy Prohibited Content in digital form except for
retention for a period not to exceed 90 minutes from initial receipt of each unit
  of such content, including retention and deletion on a frame-by-frame,
minute-by-minute or megabyte-by-megabyte basis, using a Bound Recording Method,
and provided that such content shall be destroyed or otherwise rendered unusable
prior to or upon expiration of such period.

And in unrelated news... (4, Funny)

mpaque (655244) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948356)

-- April 1, 2008 --
A new closed captioning system for home video use was announced. The device is capable of writing arbitrary bit streams into various lines of the vertical blanking interval data, to allow the addition or modification of closed caption data for personal use and home viewing.

Note that posession of this device within the United States is a felony punishible by exile to the New York or Los Angeles Maximum Security Prisons.

Subtle Hint (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948383)

That's plug the analog "LOOPhole." Not plug the ANAL ag hole. Is CowboyNeal trying to tell us something? What hole are you talking about here, CowboyNeal?

Microsoft's new clipboard in Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948401)

The clipboard in Vista will be DRM'd.
Finally, our assignments won't get copied and pasted without permission.

Celebrity Jeopardy, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948408)

I can see it now:

Sean Connery: "I'll take Anal Log Hole for $200, Alex"
Alex Trebek: "That's Analog Hole"
Sean Connery: "Your mother's face was a hole, ya hog-wallerin' mamma's boy--HA, HA, HA, HA, HA!!!"

Not the only hole being plugged (5, Interesting)

Basehart (633304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948424)

This brings to mind the latest iTunes compatible communication device [engadget.com] from Motorola which doesn't have a headphone socket. Instead it is rumored to require a bluetooth device with which to experience the stereo audio feed.

If it ends up never having a stereo socket, and subsequent devices don't have an audio output either, we could be seeing the beginnings of a closed system which stops "pirates" in their tracks by sending audio directly to a device which lives inside your ears.

Although there are bluetooth products out there which have audio out, they may soon start becoming scarce if this is indeed how the industry intends to keep music in a closed loop.

Christ I hope they pass this and worse (5, Insightful)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948439)

Copyright and patent and trademark, ie Intellectual Property (sorry, RMS) is so screwed up now that I hope that take it to the extreme and paralyze the bloodsuckers by making them sue each other for infringement. Think of it ... from whom will they profit more, mere consumers who are only good for $5K per shakedown, with all the overhead that entails, or each other, good for several hundred million and the chance to run them into the ground? They are, after all, your competition.

Yes, pass this sucker. Make copyrights last forever. Make story plots patentable. Go ahead. See how much control you have over popular culture, you morons. Watch popular culture pass right on by, out of your control, beyond your puny stilted imagination. Paint yourselves into corners of your own making, spend all your energy fighting each other and hoarding and enhancing your little corner of the past, while the future bypasses you utterly and forever. While you think of a zillion ways to regurgitate your patented storyline, which is all you can do because your competitors have their own patented storylines which they are busy regurgitating, people will develop their own tools which they will share freely, and other people will swap these and improve these and make their own unpatented stories and their own uncopyrighted and locked down culture.

You morons will be left holding ancient patented and copyrighted dreck which has been projectile vomited to a fare-thee-well because you have a 300 year patent on it, or a 500 year copyright on it, and heaven knows Disney has to protect Micky from all those hordes who have only one goal in mind: how to appropriate Mickey for their own perverted uses. Yes, that's right, the truth is out now, I have seen the transcripts of the meetings. Sony wants nothing more than to lock up Mickey for themselves, they have wet drems at board meetings when they salivate at the prospect of hijacking Mickey if you don't keep thsoe patents and copyrights in force. They have entire teams of lawyers searching for loopholes to grab Mickey form your slippery paws because you slipped up and saved a few megabucks by not hiring that one brilliant lawyer before Sony did.

Morons, I say, morons.

Re:Christ I hope they pass this and worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13948500)

Best. Rant. Evar.

disgusting... (2, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 8 years ago | (#13948464)

"Sir, we've made the new digital systems so restrictive that people would rather stick with older systems they actually had some control over..."

"Okay, we'll have to cripple those too."

Completely disgusting. And our Congress? They'll roll right over and do it too.
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