Copyright Protection To Move From Cable To In-Home Networks

[qi:035] An arcane little agreement between Hollywood studios, consumer electronics companies and CableLabs — the industry group that helps set the technology standards for the cable operators — could have long-term ramifications for how we (the people) consume digital content inside our homes.

The agreement centers on Digital Transmission Copy Protection over IP technology  (DTCP-IP), which is meant to protect content that comes over digital cable and is then pushed around over in-home IP networks.

The approval permits CableLabs licensees under DFAST, CHILA, and DCAS to protect pay-per-view and video-on-demand transmissions against unauthorized copying and unauthorized Internet retransmission, while assuring consumers’ ability to record broadcast and subscription programming, in digital formats, for personal use.

DTCP is the creation of DTLA, also known as “5C,” after the five companies that got together in 1998 and proposed the standard. Hitachi, Intel (INTC), Matsushita (MC), Sony (SNE) and Toshiba came to together to jointly develop the DTCP technology for the protection of audiovisual and audio content against unauthorized interception or retransmission in the digital home environment. (More on their Wikipedia page.)

All the parties involved are spinning it like this is a great thing for the consumer, but whenever incumbents and Hollywood are involved in something, there is a good chance the consumer is getting shafted. If you have any additional insights, please let us know via the comments section. Of course, you can always email us.