Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Opinion: High-Definition Video--Bad For Consumers, Bad For Hollywood - News by InformationWeek

Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing on how consumer HD video products are being used as a carrot to con people into accepting a bevy of DRM that will severely cripple how they can use the content that they purchase.


Anonymous said...

What bunk. Big screens aren't just for hackers who need lots of little windows. They are for artists and those that appreciate their work. NTSC video is pretty awful relative to film, and HDTV is a vast improvement.

The fact that digital media allows one to make perfect copies means the impediments to piracy that naturally occur in analog media (i.e. loss of quality with each generation) are no longer going to be effective. Consumers should, of course, lobby for technologies which allow reasonable flexibility in how they use the media they purchase.

But reasonable anti-piracy technologies will be needed to stabilize the economics around digital media.

Doctorow and his cohorts live in a world where software should be free, media should be free...perhaps everything should be free. But the reality is that people who do good work expect to be paid. Not everyone lives in a quasi-socialist University realm where one is paid a salary to give away their work.

I'll take his conspiracy theories (i.e. HDTV is merely a conspiracy for NAB members to monopolize broadcast bandwidth) seriously when *his* books and articles are all free. The people I know who work in video are excited about the new artistic horizons HDTV allows. The reason for their excitement is obvious to anyone with a discerning eye who looks at the remarkably improved image it delivers.

Wiley said...

I'm definitely looking forward to consumer 1080i and 720p devices... but some of the stuff that people are complaining about has merit. For instance, I was an HDTV early adopter and ended up with a television that does not have an HDMI port. It's a very real possibility that I could be prevented from actually seeing any HD from a consumer HD player because the industry wants to lock out analog HD for fear I might do any one of a number of things that I should really have the right to do, things we take for granted with other media- like backing it up to a drive and managing it ala iTunes.

There's nothing wrong with artists charging for their work, and none of the copyright reformists I know want to change that. The problem is that DRM doesn't stop pirates, it just makes user experiences cruddy for consumers.