NYTimes: Studios' "Digital Armour" Against DTV Copying

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Roberto Carlo, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. Roberto Carlo

    Roberto Carlo Second Unit

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    Now, I may be missing something and I certainly have no particular love for the studios, but I kind of see their point. This past fall, I watched "The Sopranos," "Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone" and "Live From Baghdad" on HBO-HD. It seems to me that an HD recording of these shows would have made one hell of a master for pirates. I mean, "THe Sopranos" season 4 DVD hasn't even been announced.
    Is it really too much to ask to set limits on the ability to copy these programs? Especially in the case of PPV and other premium programming? Okay, maybe not 24 hours. But 72 hours. If the issue is time-shifting, a reasonable amount of time to let people catch up.
    Like I said, I have little sympathy for the studios. And if the MPAA tries to force what's coming through my HD component inputs to be "down-rezzed" I'll leads the pickets outside Valenti's offices myself. I understand that the MPAA et. al. would love to eliminate recording altogether. But isn't a compromise possible?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/05/business/05CONT.html?pagewanted=1&tntemail0
     
  2. Michael St. Clair

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    Roberto,
    I've recorded anamorphic 480i to S-VHS and DVD-R, via the s-video connection. Yep, settop boxes like the DTC-100 can pass HDTV programming as anamorphic 480i through the s-vid port.
    The resulting quality is good enough for pirates. Pirates aren't about having stellar quality, they are about having acceptable quality.
    Limiting recording of HDTV will screw HD consumers, but it won't do a damned thing to slow/stop piracy.
    And your 'Sopranos' example is the exception, not the rule. Other than TV-originated programming, DVDs come out before broadcast. So pirates will have had plenty of time to extract/sell a more-than-good enough 480p widescreen version via DeCSS before any 'dangerously unprotected' version comes across HD cable and satellite. Once again, this protection will not slow/stop piracy.
     
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Trust me, any copy protection scheme they come up with, Hong Kong will have busted inside 3 months, and perfected inside of a year
     
  4. Roberto Carlo

    Roberto Carlo Second Unit

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  5. Benson R

    Benson R Supporting Actor

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    I think the studios know there is no chance they can stop commercial pirates. What they really aim to do is to stop consumers from archiving programing for their own personal use so they can resell it to those who want to have it in their collection.

    The average consumer who likes to record the superbowl now might only be able to watch their recording for a week and after that they would have to buy a prerecorded version if they wanted to keep it.

    Make no mistake this is about increasing revenue not about pirates.
     
  6. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I would also add that one other crucial aspect is the preservation of ad revenue by nullifying time shifting. If anything, that is the primary reason for copy protection of broadcast material in my opinion.
     
  7. Daniel Swartz

    Daniel Swartz Second Unit

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    You're also assuming that the studios will stop at those levels of control. But once a system is in place, you can bet that the studios will keep pushing for even more control. It's just in their nature.
     
  8. Benson R

    Benson R Supporting Actor

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    I don't think timeshifting is going to kill advertising revenue. It might put a dent in it but the core tv audience will watch their favorite programs when they air if they can.

    The real reason for the decline in ad revenue is increased competition from cable tv and other forms of entertainment. In other words increased competition for the same amount of advertising profits.

    Since hollywood realizes the only way they can get electronic manufacturers to put copy protection in their recording devices is to mandate it by law thats what they are doing.

    Any such law does nothing to serve the public good. It only helps a few corporations to keep their revenue at its current level.
     

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