MPAA wants to control your TV

Defective by DesignThe MPAA is pressuring the FCC for the authority to cripple recording devices using so-called “Selectable Output Control” (SOC).

Basically, SOC would enable Hollywood to actually shut off the video outputs on your cable box, DVR, or other recording device when particular movies or shows come on. When the movie’s over, the outputs might turn back on. Your devices would dance to Hollywood’s tune.

Most cable boxes and DVRs already include Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and operate using proprietary software — both of which we need to work to eliminate. But just because many of these devices already use DRM, that doesn’t mean we should let Hollywood and the FCC keep adding more. This new form of control would take even more freedom away from people using those devices, would restrict people using free software like MythTV to watch broadcasts and record them, and would set a dangerous precedent elevating Hollywood’s desires over the public’s freedom.

We’re not talking about an imaginary threat here. Hollywood has already tried this sort of nonsense with the Broadcast Flag — which the FCC rejected.

Who gets to decide which outputs you can use on your home entertainment gear — the movie studios or you? File a comment with the FCC and tell them to keep Hollywood’s restrictions out of your living room.

Please file a comment with the FCC. Before you follow the link, you may want to select and copy this sample text:

Dear Chairman Genachowski,

I urge you to deny the MPAA’s request seeking waiver of Section 76.1903 of the Commission’s rules. This waiver would allow studios to engage in “selectable output control,” or “SOC.” SOC would let Hollywood decide remotely which outputs I could use on the cable box and recording devices in my home. The waiver would take freedom away from people using these devices, would restrict people using free (as in freedom) software like MythTV to make and watch recordings, and would set a dangerous precedent against the public’s interest.

People have a basic right to not be controlled by the technology they use. Hollywood and set-top box manufacturers already violate this right by imposing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and proprietary software on the public. If you granted the waiver, you would be giving them even more power to trample on our rights.

Now that audio and video are a natural part of how people communicate, the ability to record, archive, share, and remix audio and video is essential to free speech, political debate and cultural participation. Hollywood and the MPAA are pushing these restrictions because they want a world where they are free to communicate with us, but where we cannot freely communicate with each other. The FCC represents the public, not Hollywood. Don’t give them more power to restrict our freedom to use media or to participate in politics and culture.

As I understand it, the FCC also considers things like convenience, affordability, and economic impact in making its decisions. Other people have presented you with persuasive evidence that SOC will needlessly inconvenience viewers, will unfairly require the purchase of new equipment in order to watch certain movies, and will raise the price of basic equipment. But these questions should not even be considered when the cost is the public’s freedom. Even if Hollywood does find a cost-effective and convenient way to enforce these restrictions, they should still be rejected.

I urge you to deny Hollywood’s waiver request.

Sincerely,

DefectiveByDesign.org is a campaign of the Free Software Foundation
Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Verbatim copying and distribution of site content permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice, and the copyright notice, are preserved.

Related Posts

Slate 7 Android tablet from HP for $169 In less than two months, April (2013) to be exact, you will be able to buy a Slate 7 Android tablet from HP for $169 USD. Announced at the ongoing ...
Blind Inventors Develop Free Software to Enable the Blind to Use Computers For many blind people, computers are inaccessible. It can cost upwards of $1000 to purchase "screen reader" software, but two blind computer programme...
Social Engineering infographic: Phishing and vishing If you have any interest in social engineering, here's a nice infographic for you, courtesy of the folks at Social-Engineer.org. Here are a few tid...
Over a hundred schools using open source More than a hundred schools across Finland are using open source for all of their desktop PCs, according to Opinsys, an open source services provider....
Italy to begin an open source competence centre Italian public administrations considering to use open source can turn to a competence centre specialised in this type of software. The centre, which ...
Introducing the Open Web Foundation Agreement The Open Web Foundation was founded to help developer communities collaborate and share technical innovation on the web, bringing to the world of form...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*