Reason #842 Why My PVR Will Not Run Windows

Looks like DRM is more and more infringing on fair-use rights, here is a case of HBO targeting PVRs based on Windows Media Center. Basically HBO is setting a flag that tells media center that it’s not allowed to record it. This of course doesn’t affect me if I use a VCR to record the show for later viewing, but heaven forbid one creates a digital copy. So my thinking (and that of many others) is this:

I don’t get HBO, but if I did, and wanted to record a DRM restricted show for later viewing and wasn’t allowed to I’d simply go to my favorite torrent download site and get the same show, probably in HD, completely commercial free. Content providers provide content and need to get paid for that (from commercials or whatever). However, to quote Princess Leia “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”. Of course, you’d apply this to the tigher grip that the MPAA and RIAA, and the more DRM and restrictions they put on, the more people will seek a less intrusive and less pain in the ass method of getting content.

I remember an interview with someone in the MPAA where they basically said that you shouldn’t be allowed to go to the bathroom while commercials are on. I could forsee a future where there is a detector in your TV to keep track of the watchers, and if they leave, the TV pauses commercials until the user returns. Maybe a bit extreme, but not unforseeable in my opinion.

Anyway, I thought a while back about using Windows Media Center to play around with a PVR to avoid some of the DIY-PITA factor of using MythTV. After seeing this, no chance, sorry, I’ll use something that’s going to be a bit harder to set up and will give me less pain to do what I want it to do. I’d plead to Microsoft and their legions of “we’re one of you guys!” bloggers to change this, but both MS and Apple have to walk a fine, fine line to keep their friends at the *AA to get the content, and also keep the users.

This isn’t all Microsoft and MCE’s fault though, as Thomas Hawk posts, HBO is largely to blame as well. However, MS isn’t taking a stand here either.

Another interesting note that someone had a couple of weeks ago is that these days content providers (ie: record labels) have way too much input on the creation of how their content is played. Back 5 or 10 years ago you never saw record companies having any input on the way their records, CDs or tapes were played. These days though, the *AA have a lot of influence on the actual players that play their music. Or at least, that’s what it sounded like, I’ll see if I can dig it up.

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