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I didn't read through all that but from the first couple posts commenting about it it sounds much like the end result they came up with regarding music CD recoders and the Serial Copy Management System. Basically no restriction on signals that have gone throught the digital to analog conversion. Seems pretty workable to me.


ron
 

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Yes, but the actual requirement is that quote: "in order to help plug the hole, watermark detectors would be required in all devices that perform analog to digital conversions." So, ADC will now be controlled substances like explosives or drugs.


Yeah, that's a great idea! Imagine that you're video tapping on Christmas morning, and in the background is a TV which just happens to be broadcasting the digital watermark. Should the video camera blank out the screen? What is the legal requirement of the company making the recording device? Can they get sued if we all point video cameras at our tv. Will it now be necessary for research organizations, labs, scientific electronics companies, industrial electronics companies, etc, to have a license from the MPAA to use devices that don't comply with their standards?


OK, that's kind of lame example, but it's the sort of question that will need to be answered by the product designers before new technology can be sold to the consumer. However, the language of the proposal is such that the requirement is an all encompassing requirement. And that's really the fundamental flaw in most copy protection systems. This is especially true in the digital age. All it takes is one flaw or one non compliant device and the system collapses like a house of cards.


Of course, the consumer is the one paying for all of this so I don't think the MPAA will spare any expense when it comes to applying copy restrictions to consumer products.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by JoeFloyd
Of course, the consumer is the one paying for all of this so I don't think the MPAA will spare any expense when it comes to applying copy restrictions to consumer products.
Right. But why should the consumer bear the cost of adding the watermark detection which Hollywood wants to CE devices? And why should other electronics manufacturers who use ADCs for all kinds of purposes which have nothing whatever to do with Hollywood's products, be burdened with the added cost? I can't believe that everyone is going to sign up for this. It appears that Hollywood is asking the public to pay for securing the content that they (Hollywood) wants to sell. I say if they want a secure delivery system, let them pay for it.


- Dale
 

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Quote:
OK, that's kind of lame example
Yes, that was kind of a lame example ;)


Hmmm, maybe I should have read further. So it says DACs will have to check for the watermark too? Now that doesn't seem like such a good thing then and also seems a little strange too. Why would they care if a person was copying something coming from an analog source? Even if it originally came from a digital source it has been converted to analog and is therefore no longer "bit perfect" or whatever video equivalent. Am I missing something here or are these guys just out of control?


What extra cost do you really think there is associated with watermark detection? I'd bet it's nill anyway.


ron
 

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Ron,


Try designing a high rate ADC that must also check for a watermark. The issue is that at the cutting edge the hardware is completely maxed out just doing what it is supposed to be doing. If you add in a whole requirement that in addition to just converting an analog signal into a digital signal the device must sift through the bits and look for a watermark, well that may add quite a lot of expense to the design of high speed ADC.


The obvious question would then be, why require watermark detection be added to "non consumer" ADC? Basically what the industry is suggesting is to only require such protection in consumer electronics. But, how does that stop anyone from using an industrial ADC in a way that would piss off the MPAA. This is especially true to professional commercial pirates which would be more than capable of building the necessary hardware using industrial ADCs. Once, one single in the clear digital copy is made the genie is out of the bottle. Or is it?


This is where the DAC in consumer gear comes into play. Let's say that a commercial pirate builds a device and captures the analog HD converting it back to a consumer digital format like D-VHS or some future system like Blue-Ray. Now, the watermark is designed to be robust enough that this encoding will not destroy the watermark. If designed well, the watermark will not only still be recognizable, but also the coping process will leave a signature on the watermark which can be detected. So when a consumer places this "bootleg" copy of the video in their player, the output DAC will see the watermark, know that this copy was not made using an approved process, and prevent playback.


Parts of this process has already been applied to NTSC video with Macrovision. For example, the Radeon 8500 Component video output is limited to 480p due to Macrovision limitations. The ReplayTV Panasonic ShowStopper will not record or even allow viewing of Macrovison protected signals. Tivo is a little better and will allow viewing but not recording of Macrovision signals. It's also the case that the XBOX is limited to 480i when playing back DVD due to the fact that the video encoder chip (DAC) used in the XBOX does not implement the 480p version of Macrovision. So, this process is already underway.


In the case of the ShowStopper (which I own) the device would often mistake a bad signal as macrovision. Since the default behavior was to basically not allow any use of Macrovision signals, this makes the name ShowStopper even more appropriate. Gotta love the MPAA. ;)
 

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Please note the use of the word "should" wrt to what can be output. If they were guaranteeing analog output they would say "shall". I can read this to say that it does not prevent more restriction - if analog is a prohibited output for UC and MC, that meets the requirement too.
 

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yes i say YES YES!!! take a stand hollywood! copy protection is needed for the thousands upon thousands of dvds out!!!! Domestic dvd is rife with copying now and they are losing gabillions of dollars a year by piracy!!!! BLAHHHHHH


it's so stupid...it becomes easier to just buy the dang thing then find a way to copy it...
 

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Forget, for the moment, the silliness of putting a hundred dollars worth of copy protection into a $20 set of speakers.


But instead imagine if all consumer gear including computers was required to have this copy protection technology built-in. Then imagine that all manufactures around the world were required to build this into all hardware and software, in devices that would eventually be in all the consumers homes and in all the computers that programmers everywhere would still have to program somehow.


Now, imagine trying to keep it secret. ;)


- Tom
 
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