July 2004 Archives

Sometimes I can't decide if I'm paranoid or if they're really out to get me. Then I run across this line from Ted Turner:
Today, the only way for media companies to survive is to own everything up and down the media chain--from broadcast and cable networks to the sitcoms, movies, and news broadcasts you see on those stations; to the production studios that make them; to the cable, satellite, and broadcast systems that bring the programs to your television set; to the Web sites you visit to read about those programs; to the way you log on to the Internet to view those pages. Big media today wants to own the faucet, pipeline, water, and the reservoir. The rain clouds come next.
Ted's talking about the collapse of ownership restrictions on broadcast media. The agency charged with stewardship of the public interest against the (natural) self-interest of Big Content, the FCC, has become the instrument through which Big Content has increased their control over the media landscape.

With the Broadcast Flag the FCC has extended their aggressive advocacy of Big Content's agenda to technology. That brings me back to yesterday's TiVo post.

The hopeless fight to maintain business models based on artificial scarcity reaches ever-greater heights of lunacy. Picking up where Mad Jack Valenti left off, the MPAA (along with the NFL) has decided that TiVo's a threat to their industry because future enhancements may cause more people to actually watch stuff.
Attaway said that even if TiVo's system prevents mass Internet distribution, if each of TiVo's customers add 10 devices to a registered group, many potentially unrelated users would be able to see the copied show.
Advertisers and product-placers take note: the MPAA doesn't want people to see movies or shows.