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US law aims to plug TV's 'analogue hole'

作者:项肠旧    发布时间:2019-03-02 08:01:07    

By Kurt Kleiner Manufacturers of video equipment will need to make their devices obey copy controls built into analogue movies and TV shows under a proposed US law. Proponents say the law is needed to plug the “analogue hole” in a digital rights management scheme designed for digital TV. But opponents say it is another rights grab by the movie industry. Congressman James Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican, introduced a bill called the “Digital Transition Content Security Act of 2005”. Unusually, it is meant to plug a hole in legislation which itself has not been passed yet, but which will probably be considered by Congress early in the new year. At issue is a content protection scheme for digital television. The Motion Picture Association of America and others are pushing for a law that requires video equipment to obey “broadcast flags”. These digital signals would control whether a broadcast can be recorded at all, and if so, how many times it can be replayed and whether it can be recopied. The Federal Communications Commission issued broadcast flag regulations in 2003, but a court ruled in May 2005 that the agency did not have legal authority to do so. Congress is expected to consider giving the FCC that authority early in 2006. But the industry worries that even with digital flags, people could still take the analogue output of a digital movie and then redigitise it without the copy protection. So the idea is to embed an additional copy control signal in the analog picture itself. The law would require equipment to work with a watermarking technology called Video Encoded Invisible Light, which inserts a signal that is part of every frame, but invisible to the naked eye. According to the bill, any device capable of converting an analogue signal to a digital signal would have to have a control chip that made it obey the copy restrictions embedded in the analogue signal. John Feehery, a spokesman for the MPAA in Washington DC, says that without the controls in place movie studios might eventually balk at allowing their movies to be broadcast. But critics say the analogue legislation is too broad, and infringes even further on fair use rights – the right to make copies for personal or educational use. “The analogue hole is useful in that respect. It is one of the few ways that people can legally and legitimately exercise their fair use rights,” says Danny O’Brien,

 

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