By way of Jim Hock & Co. over at 463 Communications, the Motion Picture Association of America is apparently demonstrating the awfulness of the proverbial analog hole that recently proposed legislation is looking to cork:
...And when Hollywood studios are concerned, presto, legislation appears. House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner and the committee's top Democrat, John Conyers, have introduced a bill (H.R. 4569), that would put locks on analog conversion devices....
Yesterday, in a blog I wrote about that legislation (which addresses video), I openly pondered whether or not we'll see the same sort of legislation come down the path for audio (rendering just about every speaker on the market obsolete). In response, ZDNet regular "Yagotta B. Kidding" wrote:
Speakers are already moving to digital feed, so it's not that hard to imagine doing the same thing to them that the display interface crowd have done to video: work a cryptographic handshake with "attestation" that only works with "trusted" speakers....The real stinker is that a good speaker puts out an audio stream that's close enough to the original that it can be captured (very easily) by any kind of audio recording equipment. Video capture is tricky enough that adding "you aren't allowed to take a picture of that" gizmos to video recorders doesn't require crippling every electronic device on the planet, but putting locks on audio frequency stuff is another matter altogether.....Audio frequencies cover dang near everything, from your blood pressure monitor to engine controls. Mandating "content protection" that covers them will require redesign of nearly every electronic device in existence, with the least expensive ones priced clean out of the market.
But then, "Kidding" switched back to the video issue with an interesting question:
Who is liable when it turns out that "video content protection" features in medical imaging equipment resulted in a preventable death?