Several people have written about a new Bell commercial that is running during the Olympics promoting its expandable PVR. The PVR includes an option that allows users to transfer recorded programs to an external hard drive for archiving purposes. The commercial notes the benefits of "unlimited" disk space since users […]
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My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, Ottawa Citizen version, Vancouver Sun version, homepage version) notes that earlier this month, some fans of the NBC television programs American Gladiators and Medium found themselves unable to digitally record the shows on their personal computers. The reason for the blocked recordings raises important technical and legal questions about the rights of consumers to "time shift" television programs in the digital era. The blocked recordings affected people that record television programs on their personal computers using the Microsoft Windows Vista Media Centre. Most people are unaware that Microsoft has inserted a feature that allows a broadcaster or content owner to stop the digital recording of a show by triggering a "broadcast flag" that specifies its preference that the show not be recorded. When the user tries to record it, Microsoft’s software recognizes the flag and issues a warning that the program cannot be recorded.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on May 26, 2008 as Stuck With Analog Rights in Digital World Appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on May 27, 2008 as Canadians Stuck With Analog Rights in a Digital World Appeared in the Vancouver Sun on May 27, 2008 as Canadians Stuck With Analog […]