The entertainment industry is big, and it’s powerful, but I never thought they ran the United States. Even when the DMCA was passed I didn’t think so. But today I read two news stories that make me wonder.
The first one is so absurd you really have to read it twice to believe it. It seems the FCC is claiming it has authority to regulate all instrumentalities, facilities, and apparatus “associated with the overall circuit of messages sent and received” via all interstate radio and wire communication. That, btw, includes personal computers, PVRs, and any other device that could receive digital TV signals now or in the future. FCC’s basis for this argument is that they have to do it to make HDTV adoption happen. This is why the FCC now thinks they can dictate what you can or, rather, can not do with your audiovisual gadgetry.
The second item comes straight from the lobbying arm of the RIAA and MPAA via your friendly entertainment industry representatives in the US Senate. It seems like there’s a new copyright bill in the books every week. This time it’s something called the Intellectual Property Protection Act (HR2391). Now, it has all the usual “share music or movies online and go to prison for the rest of your life” stuff all the other bills have, but this bill goes even further. It actually has the audacity to prohibit skipping commercials or other promotional announcements when recording movies for home viewing. At least they let you skip the commercials when viewing the recording though, for now.