The FCC has given Hollywood permission to turn off the analogue output jacks on your set-top box while you’re watching some movies.
The idea is to prevent piracy, obviously. And since you probably rent your set-top box from your cable or satellite company, it’s not technically “yours” anyway.
But it’s still extremely creepy.
The FCC has given Hollywood permission to activate the “Selective Output Control” technologies in your set-top box. These are hidden flags that allow the MPAA to deactivate parts of your home theatre depending on what you’re watching. And it sucks. As Dan Gillmor notes, “Fans of old TV science fiction will remember the Outer Limits. Given Hollywood’s victory today at the FCC — they’ll be able to reach over the lines and disable functions on your TV — the intro to the show takes on modern relevance.”
The FCC says that they’re doing this because they believe that if they do so, the MPAA will start releasing first-run movies (the ones that are still in theatres) for TV. They say that Hollywood won’t make these movies available unless they get Selectable Output Control because SOC will stop piracy.
This is ridiculous.
(Via Phone Scoop‘s Eric Zeman)
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