Holywood Raping the Analog Hole

While we were celebrating Halloween, Hollywood executives were busy creating a dreadful monster. They have drafted a incredibly scary piece of legislation, which would make it illegal to produce any kind of electronic equipment or software designed to play, record or encode/decode multimedia without Hollywood’s approval. Essentially they want to ban all open multimedia formats, make DRM mandatory, and cripple Tivo like devices which allow you to record live TV. This legislation will make it illegal to work on an open source multimedia project.

After this thing passes, your Tivo will become useless piece of junk allowing you to record public announcements and commercials, and not much else. You can say goodbye to listening music on linux. You can say goodbye to linux based multimedia devices.

This is as scary as it is stupid. If you break people’s Tivo, and ensure that their tuner cards refuse to record “protected” content they will go back to downloading. Lets’ face it – preventing leaks is impossible. Every single movie produced will be seeded as a torrent, and shared over limewire or whatnot. There is no way around this (other than full blown grade TCPA that would make Orwellian society seem open). All it takes is one clear copy to get out. You can pass some draconian legislation which will cripple electronic and software industry but you will not stop sharing. All you will do is make people more pissed off, and willing to obtain illegal copies.

Hmmm… Let me think. What would I rather have – a high quality digital copy in open format, or heavily DRM’d piece of crap which will expire in a week whether I watch it or not? Especially if I have 99.9% chance of getting away with it!

Come on people, let’s bust this just like we busted the broadcast flag!


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