posted Sep 06, 2000

FCC To Rule On Copy Protection Technology Dispute DMCA9/6/2000; 9:01:26 AM 'Led by the Motion Picture Association of America, copyright holders want the FCC to require that circuitry be built into nearly every digital TV device - receivers, VCRs and set-top boxes - that will prevent recording programs carrying copy protection information set by the program's owner. Negotiations between the MPAA and electronics manufacturers broke down early this year, and on April 14 the FCC, which had hoped the two parties could reach an agreement, said it "reluctantly" would make the decision.'I guess they're taking another shot at removing the ability to use VCRs for anything except buying prepared video tapes and consuming, consuming, consuming.Note that we've already been around this circle, you've probably seen it come up in the DVD & DeCSS coverage. The early 1980's Sony Betamax court cases established the legality of VCRs. Napster has been trying to use this case in its favor.Now the DMCA comes along and the MPAA wants to use it to strip us of these previously acceptable uses when we move to digital TV... and that move is itself being driven by the MPAA, not by consumer demand, for this very reason. Can we say "effective monopoly?"The sick part is, under the DMCA, the FCC is obligated to rule in favor of the MPAA.The Home Recording Rights Coalition has prepared a message form you can use to send your opinions to the FCC. Please do.


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