Pro-Hollywood bill aims to restrict digital tuners

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 7:32 am

A new proposal in Congress could please Hollywood studios, which are increasingly worried about Internet piracy, by embedding anticopying technology into the next generation of digital video products.

If the legislation were enacted, one year later it would outlaw the manufacture or sale of electronic devices that convert analog video signals into digital ones–unless those encoders honor an anticopying plan designed to curb redistribution. Affected devices would include PC-based tuners and digital video recorders.

“This legislation is designed to secure analog content from theft that has been made easier as a result of the transition to digital technologies,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr., a Wisconsin Republican, said late Friday. Criminals “obtain copyrighted content and then redistribute for profit at the copyright owner’s expense,” he added.

Sensenbrenner’s bill, also backed by Democratic Rep. John Conyers, is designed to plug what technologists have come to call the “analog hole.” That’s the practice of converting copy-protected digital material to analog format, stripping away copy protection, and shifting the material back to digital format with only a slight loss in quality.

Source: News.com


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