What is the MPAA's real power? They just act as a thug for the movie houses, right? So, they can use strong arm tactics without giving the individual movie houses a bad reputation.
But, I think they do have some power.. Like in the DVD cases, where manufacturers did things they didn't like. Such as the Apex DVD player with a VGA port. Or, any of the DVD players that could be configured to ignore regions. I think they threatened those companies with refusal to license them the necessary DVD technologies (DeCSS). Without this, they couldn't play many DVD's, if they reverse engineered it, they would be in violation of the (ridiculous) DMCA.
Presumably, they will have some similar bit of technology in HD Recorders that lets them hold manufacturers hostage again.
Does this piss anyone else off to no end? Putting artificial restrictions on my (100% legal) use burns me up. Is any of this really going to stop the big time pirates that actually interfere with their profits?? I doubt it.