[mythtv-users] Broadcast Flag Article mentions MythTV and quotes
michael_chmilar at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 3 18:35:22 UTC 2005
--- Andy Long <andymyth at gmail.com> wrote:
> What about the case of
> broadcast television or OTA-HD content. No one pays a nickel for
> that, and never have, yet I haven't seen NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS or any
> others go belly up.
The networks make their money by selling you (the audience) to
advertisers. If your recording contains the commercials, and you
don't have a mechanism for skipping or excising the commercials, then
watching or sharing your recording has not done any harm to the
networks. You are just helping them with additional distribution of
As to the larger debate: U.S. copyright is a very sensible and
workable law (except for the "extensions" that media companies have
won). The problem with the broadcast flag is that it is far more
restrictive than copyright law. The broadcast flag prevents "fair
use" of media, which is legal according to copyright law.
As to the "cracking" of HDTV receivers that adhere to the broadcast
flag: This is where the DMCA comes into play. It is illegal to
circumvent a copyright protection mechanism. The protection mechanism
can be pathetically "weak" (such as the DVD CSS protection), but that
does not matter. While this does not prevent the underground from
distributing the information about cracking, it does stop
manufacturers and importers from selling a pre-cracked plug 'n' play
device to the masses, in the U.S.
The FCC broadcast flag proposal does mandate that devices be
reasonably secure against cracking, which probably means the
protection mechanism must be stronger than DVD CSS. It also stops an
HDTV card maker from adding a weak mechanism, and then "leaking" the
simple crack to the web.
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