Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Digital movie or TV filtering runs into DMCA/DRM problems: analogy with COPA filtering arguments?

Seth Schoen of Electronic Frontier Foundation has an interesting analysis of the Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007, which it had commented (to the FCC) on with “Examination of Parental Control Technologies for Video or Audio Programming, here.

Movie studios had sued ClearPlay over a product that skipped particular scenes in movies, and Congress passed the Family Movie Act in 2004 to protect innovators who offer playback movie editing from copyright infringement claims.

Then there is a product called TVGuardian, a V-chip alternative from Principal Solutions, which apparently will become ineffective in a digital environment unless the product is allowed to circumvent Digital Rights Management in order to filter shows for minors.

In the COPA case, many of the plaintiff’s arguments were based on the effectiveness of filters. In digital TV, DMCA anti-circumvention provisions can prevent similar effectiveness of filtering technology of shows and movies.

The link for Schoen’s analysis (June 8) is here.

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