Re: Copyright politics in the digital age

Date: Wed Jan 24 2001 - 01:52:43 MST

Jim Fehlinger wrote:
> One of the nasty little conspiracies alluded to in this article:
> More than 20 years after Sony et al. won the Betamax case in
> the U.S. Supreme Court, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association
> of America) seems bound and determined to prevent consumer
> taping of digital TV (and don't forget, that's not just HDTV, it will be
> **all** TV by the time the decade is out, if the FCC has its way).

Of course I can record anything in clear which a human has to eventually
be able to see with his unmodified visual system: I just have to grab it
directly from frame buffer, or film it off-screen (if the more rabid content
controllers insist on putting cryptography into the last stage before
the photon stream to the retina. You've surely seen the people who filmed
off the last StarWars movie off-screen the first time it ran, and
published .iso images of it on the web? The quality was even quite
tolerable, and it was before modern compression algorithms like DivX.

I personally don't watch TV, whether analog or digital, but I could imagine
that people would want to grab certain things and publish them just because
they can. For instance, a certain group of transhumanists might record relevant
news items, and push them into the forthcoming anonymous global publishing
infrastructure (freenet, mojonation).

I dunno about all these super-special HDTVblahblah digital TV norms, the
future is clearly flexible-format, rendered in software using hardware-accelerated
(de)compression (of course, this also has the achilles foot of shifting standars,
in an attempt to lock userbase). On the long run I hope wall-sized video projectors
and personal head-ups will push current displays (whether CRT or LCD) into speciality

Realtime broadcasts will need high QoS, though this can be alleviated by using
deep buffers, but this is utterly immaterial for overnight and background downloads.
I think video rental shops might be facing rather harsh times rather soon, at least
in regions with xDSL coverage. They just can't compete with a much larger number of
available videos, and the better quality and absence of physical and personal overhead.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:24 MDT