[mythtv-users] FCC admits CableCARD a failure, vows to try something else

Rod Smith mythtv at rodsbooks.com
Sat Dec 5 02:36:51 UTC 2009

On Friday 04 December 2009 05:08:18 pm Johnny wrote:
> Now any
> individual can share a video with anybody they want in the whole world
> and do it for free. That is going to make it worse for the media
> companies. But I agree that the DRM schemes will be unsuccessful at
> preventing this, and will only hinder those who pay for the content.

How about watermarking? If STBs or some future CableCard replacement inserted 
a watermark in the video files, then the copyright holders could go after 
anybody who widely distributes captured video. This would even deter people 
sharing video on a small scale, providing the presence of the watermark is 
widely publicized -- if I give a video to my next door neighbor and he then 
uploads it to YouTube, the copyright holders would come after me, and my 
knowing that would make me less likely to share the video with even one 

It's my understanding that the movie studios already do something like this 
with films shown in theaters, to help them track down on that source of movie 
piracy. Whatever technique they use for that is obviously robust enough to 
survive capture via camcorder and transcoding into whatever formats the 
pirates use, so something similar ought to work for more direct digital 
capture. Of course, you'd need a big database and a large number of unique 
watermarks that could be easily identified by the copyright holders. I don't 
know if current watermarking techniques would be up to that challenge.

Rod Smith

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