AV Related Copyright/OCL General

Worse than no modding . . . . DTV lockdown

Straight from EFF . . . the word on the new push to lock down consumers rights on digital TV.

EFF aims this at Europeans but as you will read it will apply to Australia.

This system requires tight controls over analogue outputs. These outputs are very useful in current digital devices — they ensure compatibility with existing consumer equipment and enable innovative products. Without unrestricted analogue outputs, sophisticated personal video recorders could not exist without special arrangement or permission from copyright holders or broadcasters.

CPCM allows rightsholders to specify restriction of playback to a single “household,” granting copyright holders a veto over which households are “legitimate” and which ones are “illegitimate.”

No account of the exceptions to copyright that safeguard education, criticism, free speech, and fair dealing is taken in CPCM. An educator who may have a legal right to show a clip to her class has no means of taking restricted content out of a CPCM system and into a classroom. A volunteer adding assistive information for disabled people to a programme has no means of extracting the programme into an environment where this activity can take place.

The proponents of CPCM promise an as-yet-unspecified “compliance body” that would require manufacturers to adhere to a set of rules for designing DTV equipment, that would ban Free and Open Source Software-based tuners, players, recorders, and so forth (on the grounds that these technologies could be modified to remove the restrictions set by the rightsholders or broadcasters).