Like many personal blogs of its era, this blog is moribund, a casualty of what we might call "the Facebook effect." However, as of late 2015, two things are clear: (1) The Indie Web is a thing, and (2) the re-decentralization of the web is a thing. So who knows?
2016 2017 (!) could be the year this blog rises from its own ashes. Stay tuned!
The future of television is digital. In fact, the FCC has already said that television manufacturers will be required to include digital television (DTV) tuners in their sets after 2007. You may not have heard much about DTV yet, but Hollywood is already there, lobbying the FCC for regulations that will force “content protection” technology into every DTV device, including televisions, PVRs (including digital TiVos), and any computer that touches a DTV signal.What does this really mean? Well, if the FCC mandates the broadcast flag, then someday, your digital Tivo will tell you things like, “Sorry, but FOX says I cannot let you record the Super Bowl.” In other words, we will end up living in a world in which you pay for the privilege of receiving content, and are then restricted from doing things that are legal with the content you have paid for.
The technology that the MPAA has pushed on the FCC is known as the “broadcast flag.” Here’s how it works. Content owners plant a digital “flag” in their broadcast television programs, designating whether the program is to be “protected” by devices that receive it. The FCC then forces all the makers of DTV tuners — whether implemented in hardware or software — to adopt “content protection” technologies that will recognize and respect the flag. All “downstream” devices (such as digital recorders, computers, or display devices) must also include the same technologies if they want full access to the programs.
© 2016 Matthew Newton, published under a Creative Commons License.