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MPAA again seeks SOC waiver from FCC

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 02 Sep 2009 21:02 User comments (8)

MPAA again seeks SOC waiver from FCC The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has filed another request for the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to give a waiver on the 2003 "plug and play" order which prohibits altering a video stream to disable the analog or digital signal to consumers home theater equipment. The MPAA first made the request in June 2008, but consumer groups such as Public Knowledge opposed the waiver and former FCC Chair Kevin Martin didn't like the idea either.
The MPAA claims that the waiver, which will allow the use of "selectable output control" (SOC) measures, will enable studios to link up with broadcasters to air pre-DVD releases that will benefit consumers. "Physically challenged or elderly consumers who have limited mobility would have greater choice in movie viewing options," a filing from the trade group reads.

Pro-consumer groups are not convinced however, largely because the use of SOC will inevitable disable some HDTV's in the United States when they try to view such broadcasts. Public Knowledge warned that SOC would, "break all eleven million HDTVs in the US that don't have digital input" and allow the MPAA to control when and how you view content with equipment you have already paid for.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) went even further and said that as many as 20 million HDTV sets could cease to function as they did when they were bought. Public Knowledge then came back to add that CEA figures are actually a low estimate, because you also have to account for digital video recorders (DVR) and other consumer electronics hardware that can only receive from analog connections.

"At its core, the position of CEA is that technology should be frozen in time, and any new services that require advanced technology should be banned," the MPAA fired back in a meeting with Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. "This position is quite astonishing, coming from an organization that in the past has advocated in favor of technological innovation."

Of course, 2009 brought about a new U.S. Administration, and on the Presidential inauguration day, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps took on the role of acting chairman. In early February, Sony Pictures schooled Copps on the, "advantages of expanded consumer choices in the marketplace" that is says would result from a waiver. Copps' position on the matter is unknown so far.

The MPAA's latest filing now attacks Public Knowledge's 11 million figure (number of would-be-affected HDTV sets in consumers' homes), saying it fails to cite a source and even if it were true, that PK counts homes where there would also be at least one television set that wouldn't be affected by the "protected" broadcasts. The MPAA maintains that the vast majority of consumers would not experience any change from the broadcasts.

The whole situation not only brings up the complications surrounding the protection of digital content and the consumers' rights it might affect in some forms, but also the background fight between consumer electronics companies and content creators about how much influence a content company can have over electronics products.

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8 user comments

13.9.2009 3:43

Quote:
The MPAA's latest filing now attacks Public Knowledge's 11 million figure (number of would-be-affected HDTV sets in consumers' homes), saying it fails to cite a source and even if it were true,
is this the same mpaa that calculates damages without any evidence to support it , they obviously dont like it when someone does it to them

23.9.2009 4:22

What the h**l MPAA!

First you spend 30 years enforcing a psycotic rating standard that considers mass murder to be less offensive than the act of love. Now you want to dissable countless TV sets, DVRs, and HTPCs. What's next? What more can you do to make the media industry suck?

This kind of B.S. makes me want to pirate movies...just to spite those bastards.

33.9.2009 4:41

Quote:
The MPAA claims that the waiver, which will allow the use of "selectable output control" (SOC) measures, will enable studios to link up with broadcasters to air pre-DVD releases that will benefit consumers. "Physically challenged or elderly consumers who have limited mobility would have greater choice in movie viewing options," a filing from the trade group reads.
Oh brother.

43.9.2009 4:55

I know of some people who are physically challenged. It's a sad condition really and it's a wonder they can speak! The poor, poor mpaa is challenged right between their ears!!!

Actually all this boils down to is the mpaa saying trust me and just waiting for the chance to tell consumers f u....



oh wait they already do that don't they.

53.9.2009 12:25

Didn't the MPAA or someone in Hollywood lose a case similar to in trying to ban DVR's in the first place and the president closed the case cuz it was unconstitutional or something like that a few months ago? With them loosing that battle surely they would lose this one cuz this is just messed the hell up, This could damage DVRs not just regular ones but could probaly hurt Direct TV and the Tivo DVR depending if this thing the MPAA wants to do. First they say what we can and cannot do to movies now they want to block TV and DVRs? this is BS man

63.9.2009 17:00

Quote:
The MPAA claims that the waiver, which will allow the use of "selectable output control" (SOC) measures, will enable studios to link up with broadcasters to air pre-DVD releases that will benefit consumers. "Physically challenged or elderly consumers who have limited mobility would have greater choice in movie viewing options," a filing from the trade group reads.

This is a BS reason. Why? Because they... ALREADY CAN DO THIS using not just "today's" technology, but "yesterdays" "outdated" technology as well. Very VERY easily.

This is ONLY and ONLY about removing the ability to record what is being broadcast. It doesn't actually DO anything. Anything BUT disable the ability to view, and thus, record. In this manner, it's a step backwards, not forwards, in BOTH accessibility AND technological innovation.

Quote:
"At its core, the position of CEA is that technology should be frozen in time, and any new services that require advanced technology should be banned," the MPAA fired back in a meeting with Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. "This position is quite astonishing, coming from an organization that in the past has advocated in favor of technological innovation."

While I don't entirely agree with the way that the first quote was worded.. As far as the second quote goes, it has already been stated and proven that this SoC is in no way a technological innovation. It's removes the ability for current day innovations (dvrs and any similar such device) to function, and offers no alternative innovation of it's own, that is not possible over current day standards/equipment.

Quote:
The MPAA's latest filing now attacks Public Knowledge's 11 million figure (number of would-be-affected HDTV sets in consumers' homes), saying it fails to cite a source and even if it were true, that PK counts homes where there would also be at least one television set that wouldn't be affected by the "protected" broadcasts. The MPAA maintains that the vast majority of consumers would not experience any change from the broadcasts.

A source isn't entirely necessary. Retail stores/chains, manufacturers, and independent firms, all release different forms of sales numbers. Generally what they post publicly is only the most vague of sales information. But they do record everything. If a firm really wanted to know how many sales of units/models without digital inputs have happened within the past couple years, they could very easily get a hold of this information.

The situation is different here, because even if they didn't cite a source, sources with hard factual numbers, actually do exist. Something that can never be said about the MPAA/RIAA's cases.
Quote:

The whole situation not only brings up the complications surrounding the protection of digital content and the consumers' rights it might affect in some forms, but also the background fight between consumer electronics companies and content creators about how much influence a content company can have over electronics products.

This is also technically wrong in that, it has nothing to do with the (actual) "content creators" having control. Fact is, they rarely if ever have any form of control over their own content. It's all about how much control the "rights holders" can force out of us.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Sep 2009 @ 17:01

73.9.2009 19:31

Quote:
The MPAA claims that the waiver, which will allow the use of "selectable output control" (SOC) measures, will enable studios to link up with broadcasters to air pre-DVD releases that will benefit consumers. "Physically challenged or elderly consumers who have limited mobility would have greater choice in movie viewing options," a filing from the trade group reads.
yeah, right...although you forgot to add your mentally challenged brethren to the statement.

SOC sounds alot like that HDMI DRM Sony came up with for there blue-ray players (some poor fools call it an incompatibility issue but we all know the real reason)

the MPAA want to own the airwaves but the FCC wont let them.

84.9.2009 8:05

Quote:
Quote:
The MPAA claims that the waiver, which will allow the use of "selectable output control" (SOC) measures, will enable studios to link up with broadcasters to air pre-DVD releases that will benefit consumers. "Physically challenged or elderly consumers who have limited mobility would have greater choice in movie viewing options," a filing from the trade group reads.

This is a BS reason. Why? Because they... ALREADY CAN DO THIS using not just "today's" technology, but "yesterdays" "outdated" technology as well. Very VERY easily.

This is ONLY and ONLY about removing the ability to record what is being broadcast. It doesn't actually DO anything. Anything BUT disable the ability to view, and thus, record. In this manner, it's a step backwards, not forwards, in BOTH accessibility AND technological innovation.

Quote:
"At its core, the position of CEA is that technology should be frozen in time, and any new services that require advanced technology should be banned," the MPAA fired back in a meeting with Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. "This position is quite astonishing, coming from an organization that in the past has advocated in favor of technological innovation."

While I don't entirely agree with the way that the first quote was worded.. As far as the second quote goes, it has already been stated and proven that this SoC is in no way a technological innovation. It's removes the ability for current day innovations (dvrs and any similar such device) to function, and offers no alternative innovation of it's own, that is not possible over current day standards/equipment.

Quote:
The MPAA's latest filing now attacks Public Knowledge's 11 million figure (number of would-be-affected HDTV sets in consumers' homes), saying it fails to cite a source and even if it were true, that PK counts homes where there would also be at least one television set that wouldn't be affected by the "protected" broadcasts. The MPAA maintains that the vast majority of consumers would not experience any change from the broadcasts.

A source isn't entirely necessary. Retail stores/chains, manufacturers, and independent firms, all release different forms of sales numbers. Generally what they post publicly is only the most vague of sales information. But they do record everything. If a firm really wanted to know how many sales of units/models without digital inputs have happened within the past couple years, they could very easily get a hold of this information.

The situation is different here, because even if they didn't cite a source, sources with hard factual numbers, actually do exist. Something that can never be said about the MPAA/RIAA's cases.
Quote:

The whole situation not only brings up the complications surrounding the protection of digital content and the consumers' rights it might affect in some forms, but also the background fight between consumer electronics companies and content creators about how much influence a content company can have over electronics products.

This is also technically wrong in that, it has nothing to do with the (actual) "content creators" having control. Fact is, they rarely if ever have any form of control over their own content. It's all about how much control the "rights holders" can force out of us.
Ye I should have said Rights Holders ye, or Content Providers, but I won't edit it out now since it's been up for a few days.

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