14 March 2007

Dastardly DRM Plans for Digital Video Broadcasting

Alas, not many people care enough about the threat posed by DRM. But I suspect that quite a few care about their TV viewing, and the traditional freedoms they enjoy in that sphere. So maybe this chilling news will wake up a few people from their digital slumbers:

Today, consumers can digitally record their favorite television shows, move recordings to portable video players, excerpt a small clip to include in a home video, and much more. The digital television transition promises innovation and competition in even more great gadgets that will give consumers unparalleled control over their media.

But an inter-industry organization that creates television and video specifications used in Europe, Australia, and much of Africa and Asia is laying the foundation for a far different future -- one in which major content providers get a veto over innovation and consumers face draconian digital rights management (DRM) restrictions on the use of TV content. At the behest of American movie and television studios, the Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) is devising standards to ensure that digital television devices obey content providers' commands rather than consumers' desires. These restrictions will take away consumers' rights and abilities to use lawfully-acquired content so that each use can be sold back to them piecemeal.

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