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Discussion Starter · #1 ·




I have copied a letter written by the Electronic Frontier Foundation concerning the arrest of a Russina software writer. This is very pertinent to the issue of HDCP. There would be no HDCP without the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Hopefully this law will be eventuallyfound to be unconstitutional.


We must realize that this law is being used to muzzle legitimate speech and, in the case of hdtv, invade the very privacy of our homes by controlling what we can see, when we can see it, and how we can see it.


In my view, it is legitimate to bring actions against those who ACTUALLY distribute digital copies of music and movies on the net, or elsewhere, for profit without paying the appropriate royalties. It is not legitimate to control the personal use of property that I paid for.


The arrest of Sklyarov is just a manifestation of the abuse the public in this country is and will be subjected to because of the DMCA and the entertainment industry.


"Dear Attorney General Ashcroft:


I want to express my dismay and disappointment with the Justice Department that it arrested and plans to prosecute visiting Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov. This is a travesty of justice, all in the name of protecting software industry interests at the cost of basic civil liberties. This is fast becoming an international incident, with foreign academics dropping out of US-based research programs and conferences. Organized protests have been held around the country and in Moscow. This is a major embarrassment for "the Home of the Free" and a grave injustice to an innocent foreign national.


Sklyarov and the company he works for did nothing wrong, and nothing illegal under US or Russian law. Pointing out security weaknesses in poorly designed systems is part and parcel of the computer security field. And helping people convert content from one format to another that they can use is not crime.


The anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) being used against him were clearly never intended to censor software with substantial legtimiate uses, or research, in this way, as you yourself pointed out in the Congressional record, as a Senator when the DMCA was being considered for passage.


The charges should be dropped immediately, and Dmitry should be allowed to return to his family in Russia where he belongs. "

 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pgnewarkboy:
We must realize that this law is being used to muzzle legitimate speech and, in the case of hdtv, invade the very privacy of our homes by controlling what we can see, when we can see it, and how we can see it.


In my view, it is legitimate to bring actions against those who ACTUALLY distribute digital copies of music and movies on the net, or elsewhere, for profit without paying the appropriate royalties. It is not legitimate to control the personal use of property that I paid for.
By and large, I agree with you, except for a few things in the paragraphs quoted above.


First of all, I agree that the law is being used to muzzle legitimate speech. Second, I agree that circumvention as an experiment or an academic exercise should be both legal and protected.


I think, however, that characterizing HDCP as an invasion of privacy is an overstatement that tends to weaken your argument.


Currently, the movie studios and the networks already control what, when and how you see all of their content. You don't have ANY intrinsic right to view ANY content generated by a movie studio. Rather, it's up to the studio to decide when and how you are offered the opportunity to view that content, and how they should be paid for it.


The argument the studios will use is that they're providing a paid service by which you can have a theater-like experience without the hassle of actually going to the theater. As a condition of providing that experience (which they're not obligated to do), they may require that it be non-recordable.


As an analogy: when you go to a theater to see a movie, you pay $8 or so to see the show. When you leave, you don't take a copy of the print with you. You're not allowed to take a camcorder into the theater to record the show you paid for and watch it again at your leisure, either. It's a one-time event that you've paid for. They're simply leveraging technology to bring that experience home to you in a convenient and comfortable environment.


In this case, I think they have a legitimate argument. Remember, it's their content, and they're free to NOT let you see it at all. If the rules they set are too onerous, you're welcome not to pay them to view the content, and market forces will hopefully tend to drive them towards a solution acceptable to both parties.


The real issues here are the issue of fair use and use of public spectrum. I think it's crystal clear that anything broadcast over the public airways should be available for fair-use home recording, and I think there are ways to guarantee fair use without opening the door to piracy. Any effort to put encryption or fair-use restrictions on a program broadcast over the air should be fought to the death.


But, when you get to paid services like satellite and cable, well, it's their content and their network, and they can do what they want with it. If you don't like it, don't pay 'em.


I don't think, by the way, that this will mean that we'll never see home-recordable HD broadcasting. I think television and movie studios will continue to provide this content, either as original network programming to generate advertising revenue, or as theatrical material eventually released to broadcast once the theater and PPV interest dies off.


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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"But, when you get to paid services like satellite and cable, well, it's their content and their network, and they can do what they want with it. If you don't like it, don't pay 'em."


Not exactly. Fair-use applies to publishing in all of its forms, whether it be the printed word, satellite tv, OTA, CDs, or brain-fone (yet to be invented). It does not matter whether the distribution system is for pay or is free.


The point is, the studios do not have the right to make published material non-recordable. The movie theater example is logical, except for the fact that movie theater do not publish the material - they exhibit it. The case law for fair-use draws a clear distinction between these two forms - a concert is an exhibit, a CD of a concert is a published item.


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â€The point is, the studios do not have the right to make published material non-recordable. The movie theater example is logical, except for the fact that movie theater do not publish the material - they exhibit it. The case law for fair-use draws a clear distinction between these two forms - a concert is an exhibit, a CD of a concert is a published item.â€


So can you provide us with a reference to this case law that states that piping a PPV movie into your home by satellite for exhibition on you TV constitutes publishing? Seems to me that it is nothing more that a digital transport system used to replace the film in theaters. But I’m willing to read the case law and draw my own conclusions.



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We need another amendment to the Constitution.


The right to fair use of entertainment we pay for once.


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Ken Elliott


[This message has been edited by kelliot (edited 08-11-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dkeller_NC:
Not exactly. Fair-use applies to publishing in all of its forms, whether it be the printed word, satellite tv, OTA, CDs, or brain-fone (yet to be invented). It does not matter whether the distribution system is for pay or is free.


The point is, the studios do not have the right to make published material non-recordable. The movie theater example is logical, except for the fact that movie theater do not publish the material - they exhibit it. The case law for fair-use draws a clear distinction between these two forms - a concert is an exhibit, a CD of a concert is a published item.

Hm. It seems like you could make an argument that it's paid home exhibition.


I can think of plenty of instances where I have "published" information that I can't copy. For instance, I have a CD full of navigation data that I can't even use myself, because I haven't paid for the key to unlock all the map regions. I have plenty of DVDs and videotapes that I can't copy (at least easily). How are these different? Is every videotape I buy at Tower Records in violation of the law?



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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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"Hm. It seems like you could make an argument that it's paid home exhibition.


I can think of plenty of instances where I have "published" information that I can't copy. For instance, I have a CD full of navigation data that I can't even use myself, because I haven't paid for the key to unlock all the map regions. I have plenty of DVDs and videotapes that I can't copy (at least easily). How are these different? Is every videotape I buy at Tower Records in violation of the law?"



The most pertinent case law is the Supreme Court Betamax decision.


And actually, you can easily copy both the navigation CD you mentioned (in its entirity - bit-by-bit), and you can easily copy both the DVDs and videotapes. The fair-use doctrine doesn't necessarily cover the ease with which you can make these copies, but it does protect you from prosecution. One rather odd juxtaposition copy-protection and fair-use rights is contained in the Digital Home Recording Rights Act - it actually mandates the inclusion of the Serial Copy Management System - and in another section of the same law, prevents copyright holders from bringing suit against you for copying digital music.


The content-creators, of course, have never accepted Fair-use and the laws that support it. For this reason, many, many copy protection schemes have been implemented to try to circumvent our rights.


What has changed, unfortunately, is abomination of the DMCA. It makes the circumevention of copy-protection illegal, in direct conflict with fair-use (and possibly the first amendment). The truly ironic thing about the DMCA is that it doesn't explicitly abolish fair-use rights, and in fact contains a very weak statement about consumer's fair-use rights and the protection thereof, while simultaneously criminalizing the excercise of those rights if circumvention of copy-protection is necessary to to so....



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ABC = Another Boring Channel. Watch CBS on Monday Nights!


[This message has been edited by dkeller_NC (edited 08-11-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
JustMike - You make a good argument. There is one very big hole in it though. For the last 30 years people have been watching movies, on TV;Cable (more recently Sat.) and have had the ability and the RIGHT to copy that material.


The only difference now is the DMCA and the entertainment industry to use that law to take what the courts and the law previously gave use.


At best, the DMCA is ambiguous as to its statements regarding the fair use doctrine. The entertainment industry has to decided to interpret the law in its favor. The law should be amended to clarify that the fair use doctrine still exists.


The public can do something about this by writing our representatives in Congress. The public, however, won't do this en masse until they fully understand what is happening to them.


That is why I support the idea of leveling fraud charges against hardware manufacturers and retailers selling HD "ready" or "capable" sets that will be neither in the not too distant future. That will make the issue public and catch the attention of the mass media.


I recently saw a press release on Widescreen Review Magazine for Panasonic's new line of HDTV's. They all have analog inputs only. Surely this must be some kind of misrepresentation.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pgnewarkboy:
JustMike - You make a good argument. There is one very big hole in it though. For the last 30 years people have been watching movies, on TV;Cable (more recently Sat.) and have had the ability and the RIGHT to copy that material.


The only difference now is the DMCA and the entertainment industry to use that law to take what the courts and the law previously gave use.
That's simply not true, though. I've heard no discussion of encrypting SD broadcasts, and the copy protection systems now being talked about incorporate a "down-res" output which can be copied. You've lost nothing.


What you have not gained, though, is the ability to record HD content the studios don't want you to record.


My point is that without that encryption, they are 100% within their rights to decide not to broadcast the content in HD format at all. Should they decide not to, you will also not be able to record it at home.


With the encryption, you at least have the opportunity to watch it in high-quality format at home.


I was also trying to argue that the encrypted content would probably be limited to PPV-type "early-run" movies. I think that there will probably be plenty of non-encrypted HD content, just as there is today with the broadcast networks' programming, sports, and some movies that have outlived their PPV and rental cycles. So, current HD sets won't be limited to just viewing SD content, although they may not be able to view these encrypted broadcasts (which sucks for early adopters, I agree completely).


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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JustMike:
That's simply not true, though. I've heard no discussion of encrypting SD broadcasts, and the copy protection systems now being talked about incorporate a "down-res" output which can be copied. You've lost nothing.


What you have not gained, though, is the ability to record HD content the studios don't want you to record
Excellent post. This is the crux of the debate: some people, very understandably, want to stretch the doctrine of fair use to cover HD-quality DBS transmissions of movies, and Hollywood wants to take steps now to build in technology that will give them a margin of protection against a future "MP-3" debacle. Very understandable. I agree wholeheartedly with you, Mike, that our ability to view HD is no more threatened than it is right now. They can turn off my DTC-100 for any of the movies on HBO or PPV. They haven't. Instead, I get FREE HD, just by buying my HBO subscription. Other HD content, such as OTA, is also unaffected. The only thing that MAY be affected is PPV of recent releases, something I don't watch now, and probably won't watch much in the near future, unless and until first run stuff is available in HD PPV for a very reasonable price. Just my personal view, your mileage may vary.

John




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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
JustMike - My point is that there is NOTHING in the DMCA that says SD CAN be copied. Per your argument the MPAA has chosen to exhibit their movies in my house and therefore have the right to limit my ability to copy- logically that must include SD as well as HD.


AS far as the big excuse about MP3 is concerned, the music industry was quite successful at shutting down Napster. What I am saying is that they should go after those who copy beyond personal fair use.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pgnewarkboy:

This is very pertinent to the issue of HDCP. There would be no HDCP without the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
I don't see why not. I don't see any way that HDCP is dependent on the existence of the DMCA.


There seems to be alot of confusion surrounding the limited fair use rights granted for time shifting and personal copying by the Digital Home Recording Rights Act and other laws enacted by congress. First, they're not constitutionally protected; they're rights given to us by Congress. This is distinct from the Fair Use right to excerpt copyrighted material, on a very limited basis, for the purposes of reviewing, news reporting, and research; this does have some Firsat Amendment basis.


But there's nothing that requires content providers to make it easy, or even possible, to copy or time-shift. If a provider wants to publish something on a medium that self-destructs after the first viewing, there's nothing to prevent them from doing so (which was basically the idea behind divx).


What has changed is that previously, if you could figure out a way to circumvent the content protection and use it for your own personal time-shift and copying pervisions, that was OK. But with the DMCA, some are reading it to say thais is now prohibited. The law contains are statement about not being construed to limit Fair Use rights, so appears to me to be self-contradictory. But clear if you build an unencryption "device" and sell it or give it away, your breaking the law.


The spooky part is that a computer program is being considered a "device". So you have the situation that if you put a few symbols on a piece of paper and stand on a street corner handing out copies, you could wind up in jail. I think this is the frist time in the 200+ history of the USA that this could occur. Even if you had gotten a hold of the secret receipe for Coca-Cola and were handing out copies, the worst that could happen to you would you'd be sued by Coke.


AS for the Russian guy, I don't know anything about the details of the case. Every left-wing Birkenstocked hacker that believes "information should be free", and wants to Napsterize everything, hides behind the excuse that he's merely "conducting research". If he just came here to discuss, in general, the content protection algorithms used in the e-book and their specific weaknesses, that would be one thing. But he embodied those concepts in an executable program that any kid could use, and made it available to users in the USA, well, he should have been smart enough to stay home. I'm sure Adobe expects something for all the money they must send to politicians in Washington.




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You have a right to install OTA and dish antennas on property under your control.


See http://www.fcc.gov/csb/facts/otard.html
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BarryO:


There seems to be alot of confusion surrounding the limited fair use rights granted for time shifting and personal copying by the Digital Home Recording Rights Act and other laws enacted by congress. First, they're not constitutionally protected; they're rights given to us by Congress. This is distinct from the Fair Use right to excerpt copyrighted material, on a very limited basis, for the purposes of reviewing, news reporting, and research; this does have some Firsat Amendment basis.


{{Thank you, Barry!}}


Every left-wing Birkenstocked hacker that believes "information should be free", and wants to Napsterize everything, hides behind the excuse that he's merely "conducting research".


{{Now that's FUNNY!! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif }}

I spent some time in the Former Soviet Union this year and observed that you can "get anything you want" in Boris's "restaurant." Literally any CD, Microsoft Software, with documentation, you name it - all copied and for sale everywhere for a song. A good bit of the planet similarly disrespects our system of copyright. Maybe some of the reason for this fellow's trouble is cultural background.


John




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Visualize Whirled Peass> c>
 

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Quote:
JustMike - My point is that there is NOTHING in the DMCA that says SD CAN be copied. Per your argument the MPAA has chosen to exhibit their movies in my house and therefore have the right to limit my ability to copy- logically that must include SD as well as HD.
Actually I think I read the analog outputs will be required to use Macrovision. And all new VCR models in this country are legally required to honor MacroVision now. So SDTV is potentially encumbered also.


- Tom


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Getting started with HTPC:
HTPC FAQ , DScaler , Xcel's Links , and
The Anti-DMCA Website .
s>
And Free Dmitri Sklyarovs>
 

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"This is the crux of the debate: some people, very understandably, want to stretch the doctrine of fair use to cover HD-quality DBS transmissions of movies"


No stretch is required. Current fair-use doctirne covers all forms of published material - no matter what its vehicle or its resolution.


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Well, I just got done reading relevant bits of the DTCP Adopters Agreement, and here's what I gathered.


0) Legalese makes my head hurt. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


1) Analog output is absolutely permissible, including at HD resolutions. Depending upon the content protection fields set in the programming, compliant devices may put out full-res HD unprotected, full-res HD with Macrovision and/or CGMS-A analog protection signals (some of which do allow recording, by the way), or down-res ("Constrained image") signals, with Macrovision or CGMS-A or without. So, not all SD content will have Macrovision on it or be unrecordable.


2) Unencrypted digital output (full-res and down-res) is permissible, depending upon the protection fields set.


3) Content providers are *explicitly prohibited* from turning on the down-res provisions on OTA broadcasts and commercial-sponsored broadcasts (i.e. those with commercial breaks in them). They may use them for PPV, VOD and the like. They're also allowed to use them for "Pay Television Transmission", which I interpret based on the glosssary to be HBO, Showtime and such. However, keep in mind that most non-premium cable and satellite channels have commercials in them, and the use of down-res is forbidden for those broadcasts.


Sections 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 cover analog and digital outputs.


Lastly, let me just editorialize a bit on the original topic. It's clear to me that the DMCA is a bad law that needs overhaul or sacking. You get strong protection by using strong crypto, not by using lame crypto and making it illegal to talk about how to break it. Putting restrictions on speech and research into cryptography is a really bad idea.

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Mike Kobb

(Formerly "ReplayMike", but no longer affiliated with the company; these opinions are mine alone.)


[This message has been edited by JustMike (edited 08-11-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Lastly, let me just editorialize a bit on the original topic. It's clear to me that the DMCA is a bad law that needs overhaul or sacking. You get strong protection by using strong crypto, not by using lame crypto and making it illegal to talk about how to break it. Putting restrictions on speech and research into cryptography is a really bad idea
My thoughts exactly!


Larry




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DFAST is EVIL! BOYCOTT ANTI-CONSUMER 5C/DVI/HDCP/DMCA MANUFACTURERS!

Join Electronic Freedom Foundation
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
JustMike- We certainly agree that the DMCA is a bad law as written. I am very intrigued by your analysis of the license agreement.


Most importantly that HiRes to analog is not explicitly prohibited. If correct, (its a complicated area and I appreciate your interpretaton but it might be wrong)the whole question of copying is highly susceptible to public pressure. Public awareness is key and the sooner the better.


I recommend we contact our local fraud bureaus about HDTV "ready" sets now being sold. They should have a warning about their limitations - at a minimum.


Local government action would bring attention to the copying issue and might result in a boycott of the new equipment that is susceptible to control.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by gnosys:
I spent some time in the Former Soviet Union this year and observed that you can "get anything you want" in Boris's "restaurant." Literally any CD, Microsoft Software, with documentation, you name it - all copied and for sale everywhere for a song. A good bit of the planet similarly disrespects our system of copyright. Maybe some of the reason for this fellow's trouble is cultural background.


John


I have also lived in Russia for a few months and I can vouch for John's statment. I could buy Microsoft package for $10. CD's were sold in every shop on the street for a couple of dollars. If Bill Gates had collected money off of every pirated copy he would probably be the first trillionare. It was very disturbing the lack of respect they had for American laws. I can understand companies wanting to stop this rapping of material, however if I buy a DVD and I want to make a VHS copy to take with me on a road trip, then what says I can not do that, or what law says the studios have a right to keep me from doing that. Microvision protection on DVD's is where all this started. Now that studio's have gotten away with it they are evenually going to a DIVX way of life. They ultimally want you to pay every time you watch. If they had it there way you would have to pay to turn on you TV.

There is a simuliar situation with Chevrolet Corvettes. There are installing a "black box" like what is used on airplanes that records all data when the car is involved in a crash. Owners are upset about this because it is taking away there privacy. This seems relevent because ulitmatly the DBS companies will be able to come into your home and alter your signal at your DBS receiver. How is this not an invation of private property.


None the less, we are getting into uncharted territory and still after all the laws already in place, people both public and privatly are pushing the evelope.


Someone mentioned a few days ago if HDTV is made cheap enough then there will be no profit to prirate material. I think this is the best course of action.


My two pence, and then some.



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Hate everything sony!!!
 
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