AfterDawn: Tech news

EFF notes that Microsoft is complying with NBC broadcast flags

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 19 May 2008 18:18 User comments (16)

EFF notes that Microsoft is complying with NBC broadcast flags Yesterday we reported that NBC had sent off broadcast flags thus causing Vista Media Center users to not be able to record TV episodes of "American Gladiators" and "Medium" on Monday night.
After these reports surfaced around the internet, The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced that the same exact thing was happening to over-the-air (OTA) programming, something it had not seen before.

One individual report shows a man attempting to record TV shows from NBC's Raleigh affiliate, WNCN HD, and having an alert tell him "the broadcaster has disabled recording of the programming." The man was recording from an antenna signal and EFF confided that it was the first it had ever heard of OTA programming being restricted.

Broadcast flags, which come part of the upcoming 2009 DTV standard, were challenged in court two years ago by the EFF and the court ruled in favor saying "that using the flags to restrict copying was not appropriate". The law was subsequently thrown out. The panel of judges said the FCC did not have the authority to enforce a law of that nature, which is a clear violation of fair use laws.

The EFF then added that Microsoft was voluntarily adopting broadcast flags into its software, as other similar programs now ignore them and have no trouble recording programming even if it is flagged.

"If it is a deliberate 'feature,' they have some explaining to do,"
EFF international outreach coordinator Danny O'Brien said. "That would amount to putting the desires of content holders above the best interests of its customers."

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16 user comments

119.5.2008 18:33

Way to go EFF !

219.5.2008 19:04

More worrying is - who would want to record a hillbilly dumb-ass red-neck budweiser drinking muscle mary nancy-boy show like American Gladiators ? Geez get a life people !!!!
Trailer parks in Indiana everywhere must have seen a lot of protests

319.5.2008 19:13

**off-topic**
Indiana? I don't deny there's trailer parks there, but... Indiana??? Try my locale! Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia! THAT'S where you'll see a lot of trailer parks!!


**on-topic**
WHERE ARE YOU No-Brainer!! We need your guns on this! ;-) LOL.

Wonder who's getting kickbacks over at M$?

419.5.2008 19:41
david89
Inactive

way to go EFF finally some good news. the contant owners are getting to much rights over what we can do with stuff we pay for suck.

519.5.2008 23:36

I just noticed another broadcast flag on an NBC owned network... During tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw on the USA Network, at approximately 10:50pm EST. My DVD Recorder came up with the "Error, Broadcast Cannot Be Recorded" message. Fortunately, it only shows up as a black section on the DVD when played back.

So yes, broadcast flags can be beaten. I have the proof to back it up, I did lose the feed for about 5 seconds during the DRM error but the recording continued almost immediately afterwards...

Please note, this is the FIRST time I have EVER gotten an error message while recording this show. I can only hope that it doesn't become a regular occurance...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 May 2008 @ 0:02

620.5.2008 0:49
cousinkix
Inactive

I wonder if you can still record this crap TV with a VCR and then convert that VHS tape to a DVD? Does the new digital/analog converter box take the DRM out of the analog signal?

Those boxes hook up between the antenna/cable and the VCR/DVD recorders...

720.5.2008 4:11

What is the point of owning a DVD recorder, TIVO, etc if you cannot record what you want from the television. Broadcast flags may help with copy protection of television shows; however, if you are broadcasting on television, you should expect your work to be recorded. This is the way television has been since the beginning of VCRs and this is the way the people live and expect to continue to live. If networks do want to move toward broadcast flags, then they will steadily begin to lose their customer base.

820.5.2008 9:22

most tv is not worth a second look any way. all i ever did was copy shows i would miss and look at them later then delete it.

920.5.2008 10:35

They don't effect TiVo, Dish DVR, and DirecTV DVR from recording... Apparently its only okay if you pay 5 bucks a month to record shows...

1020.5.2008 10:38

Originally posted by domie:
More worrying is - who would want to record a hillbilly dumb-ass red-neck budweiser drinking muscle mary nancy-boy show like American Gladiators ? Geez get a life people !!!!
Trailer parks in Indiana everywhere must have seen a lot of protests
What are you trying to say there Domie?

I live in Indiana...and not in a trailer park. And i don't watch American Gladiators.

I think leaving your statement at "trailer parks" would've been sufficent.

1120.5.2008 10:55
varnull
Inactive

Yeah.. I was wondering how many rednecks even know what a computer is.

1220.5.2008 11:06

NO LIE:

The other night I was listening to the radio, a song I hadn't heard in years started playing, so quickly I hit record on my trusty old Nakamichi tape deck and recorded the song. About 45 seconds into it. BAM my door got kicked in. They wanted a blood, DNA and a sperm sample in order to monitor and track this "unauthorized" recording I was making , they also made me to sign papers that I would never let anyone else ever hear the recording. I have never felt so violated in my life...

1320.5.2008 11:44
nobrainer
Inactive

Originally posted by H0bbes:
WHERE ARE YOU No-Brainer!! We need your guns on this! ;-) LOL.
Wonder who's getting kickbacks over at M$?
just read the EFF pages dude, all the truth is there. about the orwellion restrictions with blu-ray, bd+, rom mark, hdcp, ict, broadcast flag, anti-consumer licensing, drm check servers, subscription services, ect.

btw, because of the DMCA microsoft, were forced to include the DRM by the MPAA and this is also on the EFF pages.

if ppl record shows for playback thy ain't going to purchase the dvd box sets now are they!

@ Bucknekid

funny, but you isn't that far from the truth.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 May 2008 @ 11:51

1420.5.2008 18:50

Quote:
Originally posted by nobrainer:
if ppl record shows for playback thy ain't going to purchase the dvd box sets now are they!
That is an absolutely correct assumption! I personally am good to watch the season only once anyway, with all the good shows that are out there to choose from.

1525.5.2008 0:40

because of the shift that i work 6pm to 6am 3 and a half on 3 and a half off, i have the wife record a a few prime time shows off the satalite to a vhs and i never have had any problems, and i have dishnet. i could not see paying for a dvr when i could do the same thing with a vhs.

167.9.2008 3:41

What do people think the REAL reason for the 2009 switch is? This is it! Companies have more copyright control over digital than analog. Stuff like this will happen ever more frequently in the future.

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