MPAA swipes at PVR

Written by Brett Thomas

December 20, 2005 | 21:15

Tags: #bill #congress #copy #digital #law #mpaa #protection #pvr #recording #tivo #tuner #tv #us #video

Companies: #riaa

A new bill before the US Congress favours the MPAA with proposed anti-copying restrictions on all digital video recording devices. Aimed specifically at PVR/DVR technologies, the bill will force all PC TV Tuner cards and TiVo-like commercial devices to adhere to various copy protection standards.

"This legislation is designed to secure analogue content from theft that has been made easier as a result of the transition to digital technologies," Senator Sensenbrenner (R, Wisconsin) said. He further went on to say that "criminals obtain copyrighted content and then redistribute for profit at the copyright owner's expense."

As reported by CNet News, the Sensenbrenner-Conyers Proposal has some of the following items:
  • Digital video recorders with analogue tuners or inputs would only be allowed to record "copy-prohibited" shows for 90 minutes. After that, the digital recording must be "destroyed or otherwise rendered unusable."

  • Analogue video output of "copy-prohibited" recordings would be permitted as long as it was to a VGA output with a resolution of no more than 720 pixels by 480 pixels.

  • Violations would be punished by civil penalties between $200 and $2,500 per product. Commercial offenders would be imprisoned for up to five years and fined not more than $500,000.
Those of you who know me know I've got a tremendous dislike of anything even resembling DRM. But am I so wrong in saying "LEAVE MY COMPUTER AND TV ALONE"? And as for "profiting" from their copying of freely aired content, when was the last time you paid Bit-Torrent anything? Oh, perhaps they mean that this will cut into the DVD sales of TV shows, which the producers are already paid handsomely for when the show airs by the networks.

Personally, I'm a bit sick of the RIAA, MPAA, and the idiots in my Congress that make these ridiculous claims of loss and then make laws to protect against it. But since this is not an opinion column, I'll leave you to tune in to our forums and vent your own spleen.

Oh, but don't record it, or we'll sue.
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