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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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December 12, 2004

In the Future, Everyone Will Have Fair Use for 2-4 Weeks

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Posted by

I missed this piece when it first made the rounds, but Copyfight readers should check it out. It coins an awful new term: "transitional fair use."


When HBO's "Six Feet Under" returns in 2005, it won't just be the end of a long-running hit series. It may also be a turning point for TV viewers who are in the habit of recording shows to watch weeks or even months later.

[...]

A middle-level executive at Time Warner has approached several cable companies and broached the idea of restricting the ability of customers who use those company's Digital Video Recorders to record several popular Time Warner TV programs.

The term being used by the executive is "transitional fair use," and the scenario laid out goes roughly along these lines:

Viewers would be able to record an episode with their DVR, but there would be a time limit on how long it would be available for viewing. The executive was pushing for an expiration date that coincided with the premiere of the next episode. The consensus of the cable executives was that it needed to be between 2-4 weeks.


You might argue that copyright law, not cable company executives, is what grants or denies fair use. HBO would disagree.

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Laws and Regulations


COMMENTS

1. Mike liveright on December 12, 2004 3:17 PM writes...

This is insane!!!

If I were a content provider I might see the value of "locking" a program onto a specific DVR, though I'd probably just want it locked in a specific "house" but timebombing it seems to be silly. (Idiotic)

We DVR users are limited to our disk and so I expect that all we want is to have 80+ hours of shows that we want to see so that we can see them when we choose.

No Piracy, No reduction in revenue ... Just scheduling them when we want. HOW DOES THIS HARM THE CONTENT PRIVIDOR???

Note: Recently when TiVo announced that they were going to allow the timeboming of shows, I thought it was only for PPV, not for all premium channels.

Permalink to Comment

2. Garth Sanders on December 13, 2004 2:52 PM writes...

There is a difficulty there. Safe-locking a program from normal DV recording wouldn't neccessarily stop them from recording or making copies of the program. It would take a grand scale upgrading to overwork every system, and that's just for the DV recorders...nothing even mentioned about those who could record to tape of other formats and transfer the shows back to a DVD-R later.

Permalink to Comment

3. Larisa Mann on December 16, 2004 3:05 AM writes...

This is what the Chronicle of Higher education does with articles, if a member forwards you one. You have a few weeks to access it and then it's gone. I'm not sure if they can forward you an article from the archives.

Permalink to Comment

4. Jesse Weinstein on December 22, 2004 1:39 PM writes...

Re: Chronicle of Higher education
Er. Can't you just copy and paste the text of the article into an email, then send that to your friend? Or do they try to disable right clicking, too. (Not that that works.) Things like that idiotic timebombing are why I never use the "forward to a friend" "features".

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