NBC Used The Flag

Aron Schatz
May 20, 2008

Page All:

Page 1
It turns out that NBC did use the DRM broadcast flag to block recording of its shows. Another reason to switch to fully open systems that give you full rights. Microsoft's own Media Center blocks recordings so you get what you paid for... a cheap hacked system that sides with the media cartels instead of consumers. This is why MythTV works so well. It is free and unencumbered by meaningless DRM. What's worse, this may have been a test by NBC to see if people would care that they couldn't record shows. Bad press and resentment from the community said they did. It is a good thing that people are aware of the issue and that people know that Media Center from Microsoft trashes consumer rights.


The NBC spokeswoman said the network had no intention of blocking the show but declined to specify how the error was made. Flags that have been issued accidentally aren't uncommon, some industry insiders say. While acknowledging that it "fully adheres to flags used by broadcasters," Microsoft said that it was working with content owners to reduce the number of false flags. "The success of the entire distribution chain is dependent on all involved maintaining the necessary checks and quality control so that coding is correctly applied," a Microsoft spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail to News.com. Meanwhile, the larger issue for some is that Microsoft and possibly other hardware and software makers will honor broadcast flags. "Customers need to know who Microsoft is listening to and how that affects their equipment," said Danny O'Brien, a staffer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for Internet users.

I love how Microsoft tries to spin everything that they do wrong. Face it Microsoft, you are doing a disservice to consumers. There is no other way around it.


Medium Image View Large