[opendtv] Group Warns DVRs Endangered

  • From: Monty Solomon <monty@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: undisclosed-recipient: ;
  • Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 08:48:49 -0400

Group Warns DVRs Endangered 

By Katie Dean
02:00 AM Jul. 28, 2004 PT

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comments from the MPAA.

Television fans who like to choose when and where they watch their 
favorite programs are in for a rude awakening next year when new copy 
controls encoded in digital television streams will limit such 

Broadcasters have been steadily moving from broadcasting content in 
analog to digital format over the past several years, as required by 
the Telecommunications Act of 1996. To protect this digital content 
from piracy, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a rule 
that digital television tuners recognize copy controls, called the 
broadcast flag (PDF), encoded in content streams. Digital 
video-recording devices would detect the broadcast flag, and the flag 
would prevent users from making multiple high-quality copies of the 
programs for illegal distribution. As of July 1, 2005, it would be 
illegal to manufacture or import devices that can receive digital 
programming without responding to the broadcast flag.

To fight the impending rule and to stoke backlash from TV viewers, 
the Electronic Frontier Foundation earlier this month launched the 
Digital Television Liberation Project to guide people on how to make 
their own personal video recorders from off-the-shelf parts. The 
digital-rights group is encouraging people to buy digital TV, or DTV, 
tuner cards for their PCs, and is distributing instructions on how to 
build TiVo-like digital video recorders. The idea is to get people 
hooked on the charms of time-shifting -- recording a program and then 
watching it at a later time -- and to help them understand what they 
would be missing once the broadcast flag rule goes into effect.



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