Black December continues
To continue with the tune of liberties being squashed all over the Internet, here's what's newest new in copy protection and digital restrictions management (DRM):
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.
So writes New Scientist.
The idea here is that every single device recording of video (including your cell phone camera, and digital tv recorder, and DVD recorder, and VCR recorder, and... well, you get the picture) must have a small chip that will prevent you from photographing anything you don't have rights over.
So, if you're taping your baby's first steps, make sure you turn off any TV screens nearby, or your camera might turn itself off "just in case". Watch out for buildings or statues that will have systems that will send the "copy protected signal" and prevent you from photographing (unless you pay a fee, of course). Watch out for people, who steal these devices, and enter buildings undetected - because security cameras are turned off.
If you read the law proposal carefully, you will also see that it limits time-shifting (i.e. recording a program off the TV to be watched later) to 90 minutes. After this period, the device must delete any program so recorded. So, want to watch that game a bit later tonight? No can do, it's probably been deleted already. You only paid to view it live, you need to pay separate to watch it later. It's as if a baker came to your house and threw away your bread, if you didn't eat it by the best-by date.
Watch for this law to be brought into the EU in 2006, and to Finland in 2008. And start screaming really loud, if you see it approaching.
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