Broadcasters want to take away your VCR


OK, that’s not quite true.  But there is an idea being pushed by broadcasters to close what is called the analog hole.  This speaks to the fact that anyone can copy regular TV and share/distribute/re-mix/mash-up what they have copied.  An example of this is the VCR, which happily records whatever analog signal comes through it if directed to.  Another example is video capture cards used in many PCs and video recorders like Tivo or ReplayTV.

Over at Freedom to Tinker, Ed Felton has written up a very good brief on the technology new bill the broadcasters are trying to get passed would use.My own sensationalist headline aside (it won’t take away your VCR, but would impact future sales of video recorders), this is another example of big business trying to restrict users’ rights because some users abuse those rights.  And to be honest, I’m not so sure why it is wrong for me to get a copy of a show from a friend when I missed the show and my friend recorded it.  But if this new bill becomes law, that could very well be impossible in the future.

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