Posted in: Legal, DRM, Piracy & IP, News by Fraser MacInnes on August 3, 2007

gabble.jpgWhat would you say if we told you that there are people out there that want to make sharing your media between devices over a home network illegal?

You’re talking nonsense, you would say fanning off our claims with a wave of the hand and a shrug of the shoulders.

But according to Jim Burger, a Washington, D.C attorney who deals with piracy in the broadcasting industry, broadcasters want to do just that.

Just Another Way to Make You Pay

Speaking to Inside Digital Media’s Phil Leigh during the site’s latest Podcast, Burger spoke on how the broadcasting industry is keen to put controls on sharing media between devices even if those devices are on a home network and even if the sharing is strictly for personal use.

When pressed as to why broadcasters would want to do this, Burger replied simply ‘because they want you to pay for that right’.

Scary stuff, especially where broadband video is concerned as ultimately it could mean legitimately paid for movies and TV shows would be locked to a single device, unless an additional charge is paid.

What About Fair Use?

At present this situation falls under the Fair Use exemption of the Copyright Act in the US. Broadcasters are claiming however that sharing media between devices over the air constitutes a grey area that needs to be more strictly controlled to fight piracy.

If this does ever come to blows in court, it might be that broadcasters have been too slow to make a move on this. With media sharing hubs such as the Apple TV, the PS3 and the Xbox 360 already enjoying widespread use, broadcasters trying to impose a new business model may find that consumer gripes are not all they have to stand up to.

[Via Inside Digital Media]

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