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Pact Not to Use Image Constraint Token Until 2010? 285

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hdmi-boogeyman dept.
Devlin C. writes "Ars Technica reports that many major movie studios and several consumer electronics companies have an unofficial pact not to use the controversial Image Constraint Token in movies until at least 2010, presumably in an effort to spur early adoption. As the article at Ars notes, this would explain why both the low-end PS3 and the Xbox360 lack HDMI. The companies think it's not necessary to have right now, and they would rather shave costs than sell future-proof hardware."
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Pact Not to Use Image Constraint Token Until 2010?

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  • by elronxenu (117773) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:54AM (#15385191) Homepage
    This is why it's important to not buy DRM-crippled hardware NOW, even if there is presently a workaround available.
    • by droopycom (470921) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:34AM (#15385369)
      Please go educate the masses of "average consumer".

      I'll bet 90% of people of buy DVDs dont know what DRM is or what it does to them.

      Consumers are just that: they consume. They buy. If the first gen DVD doesnt work anymore because HDMI, they'll just buy another one...

      In a country where people pay $100 a month for premium cable, and where the main reason people buy HDTVs is Live Sporting Event, I dont think DRM will matter.

      As long as Marketing is good - and the Americans are freaking good at Marketing - they'll just pay, thats just the way it works. Good luck changing that.

      • by Richard W.M. Jones (591125) <<rich> <at> <annexia.org>> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @04:14AM (#15385493) Homepage

        Please go educate the masses of "average consumer".

        I'll bet 90% of people of buy DVDs dont know what DRM is or what it does to them.

        In general I think you're probably right, but I did have a surprising conversation last week with someone who definitely wasn't a computer nerd. She had basically been screwed over by iTunes and the 3 computer limit that this software imposes. (Excuse me if I don't get the exact details right -- I'm not interested in buying music in crippled formats for myself). She had activated her laptop and a couple of her work machines, but had then changed jobs and had her laptop stolen. The result was that although she still had the music, she was unable to play it at all, and I can tell you she understood exactly what was going on and she was not happy at all about it.

        So it seems to me that as more people get screwed over by the music distributors, the message will eventually get out, even if only in a simple form -- "my ripped MP3s work, but my paid downloads don't".

        Rich.

        • by solowCX (796423) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @04:47AM (#15385585) Homepage
          I hope you at least informed her that she can deauthorize all of the computers it was previously set up on. You can then re-authorize the computers she actually wants to use. Details on the 4th bullet down... http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/musicstore/aut horization/ [apple.com]
          • I'd like to know how that works in practice - Authorise on 5 computers disconnect 4 computers from the Net (or at least redirect apple to dev/null in the hosts file) De-Authorise All, Re- Authorise 5 more computers, rinse, repeat...

            I'm guessing from the wording of the FAQ that you might need to actually be in posession of the computer(s) in question in which case she's still out of luck unless she can persuade her old employer to let her back in to "get her iTunes" - like that's going to happen...

            • Can't speak for Apple, but I've recently had to do something similar with my old version of Norton Utilities. It allows you to install it on 3 machines, which I've done, but as it's quite an old version those machines are no longer in use (two are in bits, one's a Linux server) and I never deauthorised them.

              In order to install it on my new PC, I had to phone Symantec and ask them to remove the old licences. They did that and I was then able to install. It's a bit of a pain, but not too bad. However, if I wa
            • You don't have to be in possession of the computers. The scheme you described works, but you won't be able to shop in the iTMS from those disconnected computers. I guess that is considered enough of a disincentive for them to just allow it.
              Note that you can also copy your DRM'ed music on as many iPods as you like, without authorizing those.
            • It works great in practice. When I moved out of my old house, I deauthorized all those computers from the iTunes menu on my own computer. I didn't have to have access to any of the other computers, and since iTunes has to connect to their server to authorize songs originally purchased on other computers, it made no difference if those computers were connected or not. In one case, one of the computers I deathorized didn't even exist anymore.

              I guess it's easier to throw around wild assumptions though.
            • Yep that would work! However if you bother to actually read the webpage you will see that:

              If you have authorized five computers, a button labeled "Deauthorize All" will appear in your Account Information screen. This button will deauthorize all computers associated with your account. You can then reauthorize up to 5 computers. Note: You can only use this feature once a year.

              So your repeat cycle is limited to once per year. So unless you are really patient I dont think its a viable option :D

            • You don't need to have the computers. That's a good thing, seeing as how reformatting your PC means you just lost a 'computer' to attrition, if you didn't remember to deauthorize it before the wipe. If her employer reformatted those PC's after she left, then those unique IDs are lost forever anyway. I don't know of a technical solution to determining whether you are trying to cheat, or just reformatted the same PC. Macs, as I understand it, use the Apple Serial Number from the hardware when they are aut

      • I'll bet 90% of people of buy DVDs dont know what DRM is or what it does to them.
        90% of American consumers. If you don't live in America you encounter DVD DRM regularly when you can't play legitimately purchased DVDs on your computer.

        I bought a bunch of DVDs in England when I was living there then I emigrated to Australia. Now any (mainstream) DVD I buy is Region 4 not Region 2. My DVD player is region free but my Laptop is another story so I can't play any DVD I own on My laptop when I want to becaus

        • Doesn't VLC offer region free DVD playing?
          • by LardBrattish (703549) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @04:46AM (#15385582) Homepage
            Doesn't VLC offer region free DVD playing?

            From the FAQ:-

            1.2. Does VLC support DVDs from all regions?

            Well this mostly depends on your DVD drive. Testing it is usually the quickest way to find out. The problem is that a lot of newer drives are RPC2 drives these days. Some of these drives don't allow raw access to the drive untill the drive firmware has done a regioncheck. VLC uses libdvdcss and it needs raw access to the DVD drive to crack the encryption key. So with these drives it is impossible to circumvent the region protection. (This goes for all software. You will need to flash your drives firmware, but sometimes there is no alternate firmware available for your drive). On other RPC2 drives that DO allow raw access, it might take VLC a long time to crack the key. So just pop the disc in your drive and try it out, while you get a coffee. RPC1 drives should 'always' work regardless of the regioncode.

            So, in short, No.

        • If you are using windows, you can install DVD43. It's freeware. Just google for it. I've noticed it causing problems with Nero so you should disable it before burning a disc. I know that similar software solutions exist for Linux but I can't tell you off hand what they are.
          • A better, but non-free, solution for Windows is AnyDVD [slysoft.com]. Transparently removes region code, prohibited user operations, bad sectors and TOCs, adverts/trailers, and supposedly does the same for CDDA protections.
        • Now we've got "fair use" in Australia ...

          Um, we don't have "fair use" - for 2 reasons:

          Reason 1: Despite what the media and politicians have said over the past couple of weeks, no laws have been changed - hell, no new legislation has been tabled, or even formulated! What has been done is an issues paper [ag.gov.au] has been released for public discussion. That's it. The Attorney-General, the rest of the government, and the media have all been misleading you.

          ... does that mean I can legally shift my Region locked DVDs

        • http://www.rpc1.org

          Go there and download the RPC-1 firmware for your drive model. Then, fair use or not, you can watch whatever the hell you want on your compy.
        • Can anyone explain to me why a 40 year old James Bond movie needs to be "protected" from being viewed out of region?

          I think it's to drive the subtitles needed because you're in a foreign country where they speak a different language :-).

      • "I'll bet 90% of people of buy DVDs dont know what DRM is or what it does to them."

        Every European who buys a region 1 or region-free DVD player knows a bit about DRM.
      • I remember when someone that worked at Circuit City was telling me all about Divix. No not the cool video codec but these new DVDs that only played for like two days. I flat out told them that no one would buy them because it was stupid. Where was the last time you saw one?
        Then you had Laser Disks. They where cool, and they had a much better picture than VHS. The problem was that they where expensive and there where multiple incompatible formats.
        The we had HDTV... How many people ran out and bought them? Ev
      • ...where the main reason people buy HDTVs is Live Sporting Event

        Live Sporting Event? Is that what they're calling porn now?

  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@gmai l . com> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:55AM (#15385204) Journal

    At first blush this may seem a happy development, and it will have been if it contributes to the ulimate demise of any future Image Constraint Token or consideration thereof in the future.

    I predict one of two things:

    • the entertainment, as hinted in the article, will get cold feet an renege on what turns out to be a gentleman's agreement only, and goes ahead with the ICT anyway.
    • ICT isn't introduced, and some percentage of the shipped players and/or TV's will have something forked up because the manufacturers had incomplete information, and ICT hampers some percentage of what will be very irritated consumers.

    Of course, we'll all be on point and have been handed yet one more piece of a puzzle to understand (I read the article, I'm not totally sure it makes sense to me) and be able to guide friends and family to informed decisions about what equipment to buy and how to make it work. (To friends and family: "You'll have to make sure the TV and player you buy has HDMI so you'll get to see the pretty pictures. No, wait!, You might not need HDMI afterall. Of course, you'll have to have it by the year 2010.") I'm pretty close to recommending people who have working equipment to stay with what they have. (Of course, that recommendation has the pitfall of putting them in harm's way when suddenly new transmissions and DVDs they've been persuaded to buy don't work with what they have.)

    The entertainment industry has successfully lobbied to enact laws to satisfy their need to control this technology, and now they're showing they can't even manage that!

    Seems like I'm ending most of my posts the same way these recent days...:

    Sigh.

    • "the entertainment, as hinted in the article, will get cold feet an renege on what turns out to be a gentleman's agreement only, and goes ahead with the ICT anyway."

      Sony has already said they won't use it, and they have plenty of reason to follow up on that, given that they will be selling HDMI-less players.

      If some or most movies play just fine over component, but some don't, the publisher of those that don't will take it in the butt in the marketplace. People just won't buy their discs, because they suspec
    • The whole ICT/HDMI switch over plan was pretty much doomed for failure from the get-go.

      + The vast majority of the installed base of HiDef TVs do not have HDMI
      + There's still virutally no computer support for the protocol.
      + The PR Beating that Microsoft took over the "Vista will require a new monitor" FUD.
      + The fact that HDMI is expensive enough that it apparenlty can't be used on low-end players ($500 PS3).

      It was only Hollywood's arrogance that got it this far because any san
    • we'll all be on point and have been handed yet one more piece of a puzzle to understand (I read the article, I'm not totally sure it makes sense to me) and be able to guide friends and family to informed decisions about what equipment to buy and how to make it work. (To friends and family: "You'll have to make sure the TV and player you buy has HDMI so you'll get to see the pretty pictures. No, wait!, You might not need HDMI afterall. Of course, you'll have to have it by the year 2010.")

      ATI, NVIDIA, Phi

  • 1080p HDMI 50" DLP (Score:2, Informative)

    by Enderandrew (866215)
    http://www.secondact.biz/product.aspx?productid=HL -R5078W [secondact.biz] This is just an example that future-proof technology exists today, and can be had for cheap. I'm saddened to see both the cheap version of the PS3 and the 360 crippled without HDMI, but now the tag won't get used until 2010, and perhaps never. I feel a lot more comfortable about the $500 PS3 now honestly, and in 2010 if I need to buy another PS3, they should be in the $200 range or less by then.
  • We'll See (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Adrilla (830520) * on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:02AM (#15385253) Homepage
    I don't trust this "agreement" at all, I think it only lasts until they think they have the dominant format so if they feel enough people have already moved to the new format by 2008 then they'll pull the plug on the pact at that time. It's just a manipulative tool to get consumers to be comfortable before they can pull the rug out from under them and implement their DRM. I swear I don't "steal" music or movies online but the way they treat me as if I'm a criminal, I might as well. At least then there'd be some justification for the way I get treated as a consumer.
    • You might be right. Then again, maybe someone found a serious flaw with the latest DRM crap and they are trying to save face. It seems to me they've always wanted to restrict me. Why stop at the finish line?
    • Business as usual (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Aceticon (140883) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @04:00AM (#15385456)
      The main objectives for movie companies with the new digital distribution formats and HDMI are:
      1) Get consumers to re-buy their whole movie collection again in a new format
      2) Move all or at least the vast majority of their movie sales for home use to a beter protected format so as to defend themselfs from what they currently percieve as their main competition - sharing of movies via the Internet.
      3) Monitize or increase their profits in existing markets (for example: video/DVD rentals) and open new markets (internet distribution) while maintaining or extending their ability to control prices.
      4) Increase their share of movie publishing.

      DRM is the chosen mechanism by which movie publishers aim to remotelly control, enforce and even change (if an internet connection is available) any rules of their choice on the allowed uses of the movies contained on the media that consumers aquire.

      Businesses being businesses, they will naturally use those remote control abilities (pun not intended) to maximize their profits - given their behaviour up to now, this will most likelly include maximizing the amount that consumers pay, up to and including pay-per-single-view.

      At the same time, the bigguest part of the movie industry (as measured by sales and also, quite likelly, by lobbying power) consists of old-style, long existing, entrenched businesses - they are aiming to remain dominant beyond the next 5 years and certainly have long term strategies in place to ensure that it will be so.

      It is clear to all that, before they can achieve their objectives, massive user adoption of DRM supporting hardware is necessary. Assuming that the main players in the movie industry are indeed engaged in a plan which is only expected to give fruit in a medium to long (5+ years) term, it's hardly surprising that they will start by visibly refraining from exercising the remote control that the newest DRM hardware allows them, if they believe that this will accelerate the transition from the current generation of hardware to the new (strong DRM enabled) generation of hardware.

      It should also be pretty obvious, that since they haven't actually signed any contract with any consumers by which they [movie publishers] are obliged to not enable their DRM, this announcement of theirs still leaves open to them the possibility to, at any time and with no penalty to them, change their minds if they believe that the market penetration of the newest DRM enable hardware has passed the point beyond which said hardware has become the de facto standard.

      In other words, their promises are as worthless as the paper they are written in.
      • It should also be pretty obvious, that since they haven't actually signed any contract with any consumers by which they [movie publishers] are obliged to not enable their DRM, this announcement of theirs still leaves open to them the possibility to, at any time and with no penalty to them, change their minds if they believe that the market penetration of the newest DRM enable hardware has passed the point beyond which said hardware has become the de facto standard.

        In other words, their promises are as worth
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:09AM (#15385290) Journal
    Wait a minute, this low end PS3 is getting slammed for not having HDMI but none of the other consoles have it either? WTF?

    Anyway, this is anti-piracy crap and the problem with anti-piracy is that it only hurts the non-pirates. It has already been shown that the next generation copy-protections for movies can be broken. There are some mighty clever people out there who get a thrill out of doing this and not all of them live in countries that could give a shit if some hollywood studio claimes it looses billions.

    Back to silly console business. The Wii is not HD and that is defended because not enough people will have HD tv's for this console generations lifespan. The low end PS3 does not have HD and is slammed for not being future proof?

    This is one reason I stopped reading game reviews, because I started to notice that reviewers never heard of consistency. They would slam game A for being X and then slam game B for not being X.

    Is the computer industry that immature that we can't at least attempt to judge all things equally?

    Either HDMI is important or it isn't. Make up your mind. No I don't get the low end PS3 move either. Yes I am familiar with the way fastfood places offer small medium and large so that the medium looks like the better deal. However the PS3 ain't being pushed as a McD coke. At its price it is supposed to be a fine cuisine served at a top restaurant. One way to tell a good restaurant from a fast food place is the lack of supersizing.

    Oh well, lets continue the endless console debate. Were we slam the console we don't like for not having the features the console we like doesn't have either.

    • It's not about HDMI, it's about Blu-ray.

      Yes, the Xbox 360 doesn't have HDMI either, but it's currently $100-200 cheaper than the no-HDMI PS3. The price difference is because if people buy a PS3, they're forced to get a Blu-ray drive whether they like it or not. And a Blu-ray drive without HDMI has been argued to be a pretty bad deal (a worse deal than simply forcing first-gen buggy hardware onto the masses, most of whom would otherwise wait to buy the cheaper/less buggy 2nd or 3rd generation players).

    • by Osty (16825)

      Wait a minute, this low end PS3 is getting slammed for not having HDMI but none of the other consoles have it either? WTF?

      Back to silly console business. The Wii is not HD and that is defended because not enough people will have HD tv's for this console generations lifespan. The low end PS3 does not have HD and is slammed for not being future proof?

      The tard-box PS3 is getting slammed for not having HDMI for two reasons:

      1. Sony promised not one, but two HDMI outputs on the PS3. We all know Sony lies thro
      • By not putting HDMI on the tard-box PS3, they severely limit the tard-box's potential as a quality Blu-Ray player. Sure, this ICT pact may mean that the tard-box will play BDs at 1080p, but for how long?

        Yes, because if it isn't 1080p, it's not worth having.

        The funny thing about this is that Sony was originally spreading this FUD against the XBox360, and now people have bought it hook-line-and-sinker and are using it to FUD the PS3.

        The reality is that few sets support 1080p, and without the ICT bullshit, the
      • does the gamecube vga lead use the "digital" port?

    • There is a crucial difference between PS3 and the rest: PS3 aims to be a blu-ray disc player for your movies out of the box. This feature is a big part of the cost of a PS3 since it needs obviously a blu-ray drive. Which is expensive.

      Now why would anyone buy a player which is not fully up to spec (no HDMI out) and could be cut off playing those movies anytime in the future on the whim of a paranoid movie industry?
  • The other thing is.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mozumder (178398) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:11AM (#15385303)
    ..how is anyone supposed to COPY and pirate HD video in the first place through non-HDCP DVI interfaces?

    In other words, what problem is ICT supposed to solve? Are there pirates out there right now stealing from DVI signals?

    Also, can't will just convert everything to unencrypted analog and digitize the output. D-A and A-D conversion these days should be no different from a direct digital connection on short-length Component video cables. And, when ICT is finally introduced, they'll just digitize the monitor output by placing a camera in front of it, or digitizing the signals going to the framebuffer or display.

    Eventually there's going to be a leak of the device keys, like what happened to CSS, and encrypytion of all previous AACS discs are defeated. Although future AACS discs can ban these leaked device keys, a new set of device keys will be leaked. Especially in software decrypters. This is because the AACS doesn't actually define a PHYSICAL secret device key spec, and so these new device keys are going to be continuously leaked as they disassemble software decoders or read EPROMs. I suspect there's going to be a lot of banned devices in the MKB of AACS.

    It's always going to be this cat-and-mouse game...
    • by bhima (46039) <Bhima.Pandava@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:49AM (#15385413) Journal
      HDMI & HDCP are not meant to prevent piracy and as such contain *no* mechanism which can.

      What they are is "A hook on which to hang lawsuits" (Ed Felten):

      http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/?p=1007 [freedom-to-tinker.com]

      And that's *all* they are.
    • by cgenman (325138) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:57AM (#15385440) Homepage
      I remember back during the DVD John DeCess trial the lawyers were having a field day describing to the press the amount of damage he may have done. They bandied about numbers in the ten figures and above. And how this facilitates organized crime.

      However, bootleg DVD's were on sale on the streets of NY long before the encryption was cracked. How? Simple. They just made a bitwise copy. They copied everything, copyprotection included, so it ran perfectly fine.

      If nothing else, DeCss was just there to ensure that device manufacturers paid their fees. I assume HDMI is there for a similar reason.
    • Eventually there's going to be a leak of the device keys, like what happened to CSS, and encrypytion of all previous AACS discs are defeated. Although future AACS discs can ban these leaked device keys, a new set of device keys will be leaked.

      And the loverly golden apple there will be getting the PS3's device keys out of it's magic box, and seeing if anyone has the balls to ban that.
    • Maybe not now but eventually you will be able to. Remember that realtime MPEG2 encoding wasn't possible all that long ago. It's not only conceivable but desirable to have a TIVO-like device that records from HDMI inputs and exports over a network. Eventually, pirating full-res HD content over HDMI or anything else would be possible.
  • Imagine? (Score:3, Funny)

    by 6hill (535468) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:16AM (#15385318)
    the controversial Imagine Constraint Token

    I can imagine it being controversial indeed.

    +1 Giggletypo

  • by badfish99 (826052) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:23AM (#15385337)
    Classic tactics. Get people hooked on a product they like, then the price goes up in 2010.

    That's how the drug dealers round here work, and they're making good money. Should work for the movie industry too.

    They'll be hoping that, by 2010, there won't be any of the old non-DRM hardware still in use.

    • "Classic tactics. Get people hooked on a product they like, then the price goes up in 2010."

      Isn't that a colorful way of describing supply and demand?
      • Isn't that a colorful way of describing supply and demand?

        Pretty much, and don't forget inflation. The argument also depends on believing that entertainment is as addicting as recreational drugs.

        Maybe it is, I don't know. But I've spent less and less time in front of the toob as I've gotten older.
  • well (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sentientbrendan (316150) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @03:40AM (#15385386)
    Realistically, if few players are going to support this interface anytime soon, agreement or no agreement, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot to release videos that downgrade video that doesn't go over the interface.

    My guess is that people buying videos won't know anything about he technologies involved just like now, but they *will* notice if some of their DVDs look like crap. A studio that puts out crappy looking videos is going to hurt their bottom line. People will figure, hey, why not just get the DVD cheaper instead of the HDDVD since it doesn't seem to be much better quality?

    All this noise that the studios make about implementing these technologies with end to end encryption is pretty rediculous. The market at large is not concerned one way or the other with their anti piracy initiatives, but they do notice when the their equipment isn't compatible. There's already so little incentive to buy some new expensive DVD player that only makes a difference on HDTVs that no one has anyway that the industry fiddling with the standard at the last minute like this might kill HDDVD and HDTV altogether.

    The public at large could easily forget about upgrading to the next generation. The current tv format has lasted a long time and could last much longer. That really doesn't seem like the worst thing in the world to me... I'm really pretty iffy on how dropping a couple of grand on the new equipment would improve my life in any measurable way.
    • by Eivind (15695)
      I wonder.

      Sure they'd notice if it "looked like crap", but let's be real, even with the downscaling, the contant is still higher-rez than that of current-generation DVDs.

      Yes, it's downgraded, I'm still not sure consumers are going to notice or care all that much.

      A CD that is poorly encoded as 128Kbps CBR mp3 is also significantly degraded, most people couldn't care less.

      Hell, 99% of the movies that are transfered illegally over the net today are recompressed in ways that significantly degrades them.

  • Okay, off with the funky glasses. Since when do they want to sell you future-proof hardware when they can sell you a whole new unit then?? I'm surprised they aren't made to break more!
  • If they don't plan on phasing the tech in until 2010 then it doesn't really matter if the new consoles support it. Given the 5-year product cycle that consoles run on, when they start using the flag, it'll be just about time to get the next generation of consoles.
  • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @04:36AM (#15385549) Homepage Journal
    Get 'em hooked, and then when it's too late, you have 'em by the balls.

    It's very simple - they learned that people don't want DRM, won't buy DRM. So, sell them something without DRM. Don't mention DRM. Then, years down the road when the tech is intrenched, when it's the standard, flip your little secret DRM switch.

    This is literally an industry that has decided to screw its customers. Fuck them.

  • Am I wrong here? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:26AM (#15385858) Journal
    From TFA In the meantime, it appears as though Hollywood is playing it safe, hoping to keep the boogeyman of HDMI at bay while consumers weigh their options. Whether or not the strategy is ultimately about keeping users happy or lulling them into a false sense of security remains to be seen, but we're fairly certain that ICT was designed to be used, and used it will be.

    It seems to me that the issue isn't any of those stated, its about sales. First most 'consumers' don't know the differences between the standards, and any improvement seems good enough, so they are buying the cheapest improvement they can - that only makes sense. The standards are not in play enough to enforce a change across the buying public. The US government is still working to force all users to switch to digital television. Until that happens, joe public won't give a damn. There is only a small portion of the unwashed masses that even cares. Many of them think big screen == high definition still.

    My experience is that if it says HD on it, joe public thinks its the shiznitz, they really don't care, and don't want to earn a EE degree to figure it out. Sony et al are cutting their own throats until they can convince the FCC and joe public that the 'thing they want' is 1080p and BR or whatever they decide on, as if they will ever be able to decide on something.

    That may well be a cynical view, but it is the impression I get from various encounters. I have a SideKick phone, and the number of people that don't even know what it is (is that one of them blueberry's?) or what it can do is totally amazing. Trying to get even the technically savvy to understand that buying HD is difficult decision is crazy. One friend told me of spending 2500 on an HD setup (and he's happy with it) and I asked him what resolution it was.... he wasn't sure. What most people know about the technical details of what they buy is what they learned from the 18 year old salesman... who makes a commission on the sale... ya, that's working out well.

    Any gentlemen's agreement is about setting the marketplace up so they can make money on the formats, and not kill their bottom line with product that isn't selling because of misinformation on the part of joe public. There is no technical reason, its all about the money. If HD products were selling, LALAwood and DVD/TV makers would very quickly work out any details in a short but sharp format war. This is all about sales, and no content provider is getting on board until the hardware makers "show 'em the money". 14 million copies of a DRM'ed movie are a liability if there is nobody to buy them. Hell, 14 million copies of a movie is a liability if there is nobody buying them even if they don't have DRM.

    How may people here (raise your hands) have the capability to do more than 5.1 surround? There are better/improved sound systems... but what's the point, if your ears can't tell the difference in the money you spent? Its going to take some real education to get joe public to understand what the difference is, and then to get him to appreciate it enough to spend the extra money. Its all about the money.
  • by wirehead_rick (308391) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @07:48AM (#15386072)
    This is all about control of the medium - NOT PIRACY!!!! The laws simply do NOT address piracy. Laws are already on the books that deal with piracy. The new laws do not change this. Most piracy comes from _within_ the entertainment industry anyway. Every new 'leaked' CD that comes out never came from a store bought and ripped CD.

    Wake up folks. This is about preventing independant content makers from having access to a high quality cheap distribution mechanism (i.e., The Internet). Todays production equipment costs are plummeting. Any independant content maker has no excuse not to be able to create his masterpiece.

    So today an independant content provider could make a high quality movie, produce it and distribute it for next to nothing (compared to the "old" way of using 35mm film). His costs are hiring actors and his blood, sweat, and tears in shooting, mixing, producing, etc.

    **AA is shitting themselves over THIS! NOT PIRACY. They are slimey little devils. They will do _anything_ and use _any_ excuse to prevent any new production and distribution model that doesn't 'deal' them in.

    • This is all about control of the medium - NOT PIRACY!!!!

      Duh.

      The laws simply do NOT address piracy. Laws are already on the books that deal with piracy. The new laws do not change this.

      Duh.

      Most piracy comes from _within_ the entertainment industry anyway.

      Possible.

      Every new 'leaked' CD that comes out never came from a store bought and ripped CD.

      "Leaked", maybe. But most music online does come from store bought and ripped CDs. Anime comes from someone's TV tuner card in Japan. And there are plenty of full r
    • Ok, you'll have to explain more than that. What, exactly, will stop Joe Content Provider from creating their own HD movies and selling them on BD/HDDVD disks?

      About the only thing I can think of that might make the relationship unequal is that they *may* make it prohibitively expensive for Joe Content Provider to create copy-prevented Bluray or HDDVD disks. But that's a minor inequality, especially if "DRM is not about piracy!!!1!"

      Joe Content Provider will be able to burn blanks like everyone else. The b

      • The worry is that the players will play only copy-protected disks, thus making it impossible to be an independent producer without a license from them.

        Watch out, this is coming. They want piracy to happen. So they can say "99% of all the non-copy-protected disks are pirated copies, we should make them illegal". And they will probably be correct about that 99% number. Then they can mandate that machines that play these pirated disks are illegal.

        Grandpa and grandma will be able to watch their children's movie
    • Wake up folks. This is about preventing independant content makers from having access to a high quality cheap distribution mechanism (i.e., The Internet). Todays production equipment costs are plummeting. Any independant content maker has no excuse not to be able to create his masterpiece.

      SO how exactly is he prevented from doing that? Have iTunes become the new Paradise for idependent artists, have their sales shaken RIAA to its kness? Nope. I'll give you that I find some independent music good, but indepe
  • It sounds like this is a very obvious attempt to sneak DRM-laced units into 80% of consumers' living rooms, then they "throw the switch" and suddenly almost everyone's hardware is crippled. There ought to be a law that the manufacturer can't cripple your product after you've purchased it... they should get sued for destruction of private property.

    But then that's getting back to the completely retarded idea of how manufacturers want to sell you something, and still be the one in control over and owner of i
  • I believe (and have, for the longest time) that the true purpose of Digital Rights Manglement is not to increase profits, restrict piracy, or (ultimately) to fundamentally alter the nature of copyright with pay-per-viewing movies.

    I say that DRM is the studio's plan to have perpetual copyright. Think of it this way: it is, now and until the law is removed, a violation of the DMCA to unscramble CSS. So, when the copyright on Steamboat Willie (or any other DVD-released movie) expires, the studios will have a (

    • DRM has NEVER been about protecting the consumers rights under copyright law. DRM has all been about limiting what a consumer can do with a purchacsed media.

      The **AA groups don't care about consumers, they only care about money, and any way to make people buy multiple copies is a good thing, from their prospective.
  • I predict the next-gen console wars to start in 2010.
  • I'm not getting into either new format because of the hubris of the media industry to think they can artificially cripple the hardware. I have a nice HDTV, but it doesn't have the precious HDMI input, so I will be affected by this ICT flag. Am I just supposed to trust the media companies who "promise" not to use this for a while? I don't think so.
  • Imagine the average Joe buys and HD player now that doesn't have HDMI. He's not going to notice the difference. He's going to buy HD DVDs and watch them like normal until 2010. When he goes and buys yet another HD-DVD from Wal-Mart, pops it in his player and it either a doesn't work or b looks like crap. He's not going to know what the problem is so he's going to return it for another one which will also not work. Now imagine this happening at all Rental Stores and Retail stores. They are going to lose a L
  • This is a really interesting situation. If they use the flag now, they will hinder early adoption and not be able to use the installed base of non-HDMI TV-s.

    But here's the deal: the average consumer doesn't know or care what the hell that flag is, and does it exist on this disk or the other, or whether his player is supporting it. He goes to the shop and buys a HD DVD player and has a HDTV. That's it.

    People will buy non-HDMI players and tv sets now since they'll work *NOW*. And this pretty much sets up post
  • Maybe the MPAA will screw up like the RIAA did and sign a deal with some small distributor, allowing unlimited production of copies, in some country (like Russia), to promote sales of this new format, who will turn around and make them available online in any format you choose for the price of bandwidth + small admin fee... ala: www.allofmp3.com

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @02:27PM (#15388551)
    Here's the deal - the whole pact assumes that by 2010 most consumer equipment will support HDMI, thus allowed them to enable this flag...

    But if that is not the case they WILL NOT enable the flag or risk loosing many sales. That's why it is important if you are going to buy the PS3 to buy only the $500 model, to send a signal that you have no interest in HDMI. The fewer people support HDMI the longer it will take to turn on this flag, and if the timeframe is long enough no-one will ever enable it because there will be no need.

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