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September 6th, 2000

The MPAA wants your TV next.

Remember the recent brouhaha over DVD encryption? Now the MPAA wants to be able to control what you can and can’t record via digital TV. [Warning: linked page looks wonky due to banner ad.] Sure, TV is largely analog now… but give it 10 years or so, and this will be an even bigger issue.

But imagine that you set your TiVo to record Back to the Future, and find that it can’t record it because the MPAA doesn’t allow it. I’m feeling a pay-per-view scheme in the works, and I don’t like it. While the MPAA claims that they don’t want to destroy "time shifting", they want copy protection built-in. It harkens back to the arguments that the VCR and cable TV would kill each other in the 80s; it was often argued that you wouldn’t need a VCR if you had HBO, and vice-versa. Of course we have a world today in which both coexist (largely because HBO is just so freaking expensive.)

I dunno. I’m getting weary of the RIAA and MPAA’s efforts to control everything. What do you think? -pm

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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