Macrovision attacks analog to digital converts in court

By Justin Mann on August 17, 2006, 8:36 PM
Could it eventually be made illegal to transfer your own analog media to digital? While this same ball has been tossed around in various forms for decades, recently Macrovision has gone to court to do just that. Arguing that it violates the controversial DMCA, Macrovision is seeing to make it illegal to circumvent the copy protection they implement on analog video streams when converting them to digital. Of course, that would defeat the entire purpose of converting it in the first place. In particular, a company named Sima, whom make products to do just that, has come under attack:

Macrovision objected to the devices, which remove its copy protection from both VCR and DVD signals, making it simple for a user to copy movies (though only in analog format). Earlier this year, the Court agreed and issued a preliminary injunction against Sima, which was upheld in June.
Several other companies and organizations are siding with Sima, however, and are heading back to court. Macrovision's ACP is fairly easy to get around and found to be more than an annoyance than anything. Personally, I hope Sima gets their way. Too often people are trying to tell you what you're allowed to do with things you own. I think the quote from EFF sums up the entire situation quite nicely:

As the EFF puts it, "If Macrovision wins, digital video innovators will be stuck carrying the albatross of Macrovision's analog noise for years to come."
Let's hope this turns out for the good.




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