October 15, 2009 | By Fred von Lohmann

Hollywood Pressuring FCC on Selectable Output Control Again

Our friends at Public Knowledge have been doing a great job in Washington, D.C., fighting against the MPAA's efforts to selectively disable the high-definition analog (i.e., "component" video) outputs on your cable box. In essence, Hollywood is telling the FCC that it won't give Americans early access to blockbuster movies unless the FCC lets it kill your analog outputs.

Public Knowledge has an update today, letting us know that Hollywood is back at the FCC pushing for this anti-consumer, anti-innovation change in the FCC rules:

The MPAA claims it needs this power in order to prevent infringement of “high value content” its members would make available to Americans “for the first time” — or, as we like to call it, “the exact same content in the exact same format at the exact same quality, 30 days earlier.” It also continues to ignore the fact that other studios already release content this early, and that the content in question is available on the Internet long before the proposed window. Clearly, something else is actually at work here: the MPAA is attempting to hold content ransom to convince the FCC to give them the ability to control how consumer electronics are built and used. And to get there, it has asked the FCC to give them a special immunity to the pro-consumer rule that bans SOC without a single iota of evidence that it is necessary.

For more, check out the comments filed by EFF, PK, and a number of other consumer groups with the FCC last year or Public Knowledge's issue page about selectable output control (SOC).


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