While people were buying Christmas trees and turkeys, the U.S. House of Representatives, and specifically Jim Sensenbrenner (Republican) and John Conyers (Democrat), have prepared a very nice gift to the MPAA:
(…) I’d like to continue by looking at H.R. 4569, the Digital Transition Content Security Act of 2005, which proves the point I’ve made many times over the years, that when it comes to technology, government doesn’t really know what it is doing. H.R. 4569, which was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on December 16th, is intended to protect the intellectual property rights of movie studios by MAKING ANALOG-TO-DIGITAL CONVERSION ILLEGAL.
Under the Act as proposed, manufacturers will have one year after passage to stop making devices that convert analog signals like music and video into digital forms unless those forms preserve some original Digital Rights Management technology present in presumably the pre-analog stage.
What this is about, then, isn’t making it illegal to use a digital recorder to record from analog microphone. Heck, that would destroy the music industry. Congress’s thinking (if we dare call it that — I see no flashes of synapses firing) is that media are going digital more and more and the greatest opportunity for snatching content is during the actual performance when, for the sake of driving a screen or a speaker, the digital signal goes analog.
What’s covered by this proposed law are things like TiVO and RePlay Digital Video Recorders, TV tuner cards for your PC, software intended to record audio or video streams, or just about any device or program you might use to actually implement that part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that says you have the right (though soon not the equipment) to backup or media-shift your own music and movies.
(from I, Cringely)
And someone had the same reflection as I had and did the research for me:
When I go to opensecrets.org and look who Jim Sensenbrenner’s top contributors are a few names tend to stand out: Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), News Corp., Comcast Corp., Viacom Inc., Motion Picture Assn of America (MPAA) and the Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Office. It’s also interesting to note on Sensenbrenner’s latest reported personal financial statement that he received two all expense paid trips (including other family members) to Vegas and New Orleans from the National Association of Broadcasters and the National Cable and Telecomm Association. I wonder if he was flying first class and I wonder if these people want you to have your TiVo or not?
And isn’t it ironic when you look up John Conyers’ financial information that you find some of the same and some new names as well. Some of the names that stick out as John Conyers’ largest financial contributors? Comcast Corp., Clear Channel Communications, Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Office and ASCAP.