Tell the FCC to say no to Hollywood's insane "Selectable Output Control" kill-switch

Alex sez,
The battle over your home entertainment equipment is heating up again and the time to make your voice heard is now. Hollywood wants the FCC to grant the studios permission to engage in so-called ""Selectable Output Control." SOC is a tech mandate that would allow movie studios to shut off video outputs on the back of your cable box and DVR during the screening of certain movies over cable.

SOC is bad because it could inhibit future innovation, obstruct interoperability, limit fair use and restrict consumer choice. Worst of all, it could force you to buy all new home entertainment gear in order to watch Hollywood films over cable.

Thirteen public interest groups today said the FCC should not respond to the "whims of industry" and grant the motion picture lobby the ability to control how consumers use their television sets and set-top boxes. As many as 20 million TV sets could be affected.

Take Action Now!

Yes, you read that right. The studios want the right to randomly switch off parts of your home theater depending on which program you're watching. And the FCC is taking this batshit proposal seriously.

So do something.

Tell the FCC to Say "No" to the Cable Kill Switch (Thanks, Alex!)


  1. That. Is. Insane.

    Where do they get the gall to attempt these stunts? At what point do we take decisive, unified action to stifle this IP extremism where it starts? At some point, there needs to be severe ouch-I-burned-my-hand-and-need-to-go-to-the-emergency-room type consequences for these moronic moves by the industry. We need to turn their proactive measures into missteps until they get the message. When do we put them on the defensive? And, more importantly, how?

    My proposal- start pushing for our own laws and regulations, lobbying just as strenuously, with the will of the consumers and innovators behind us. Go on the offensive for once, and make them wish they never toyed with this in the first place.

  2. The content industry has lost me. It’s YouTube, the library and old vinyl discs & VHS tapes from now on.

  3. “Worst of all, it could force you to buy all new home entertainment gear in order to watch Hollywood films over cable”

    Isn’t refusing to “upgrade” a good enough way to send the message to service providers that these restrictions are unwelcome?

  4. solution: stop watching hollywood. 98.56% of it is guff anyway.

    or go to the cinema if you feel you must.

  5. Why doesn’t ANY major electronics company just shut this down? Let’s look at numbers here for 2007/2008 (depending on what I find first through google:

    Film Industry: (Box office) $10B + (DVD sales) $22.5B = $32.5B
    Sony: $89.6B
    Philips: $37B
    Panasonic: $28.6B

    Is the reason the film industry doesn’t get crushed is that these aren’t American companies?

  6. lasttide, remember the film industry and tv manufacturers are not two exclusive groups. My first thought was much like you’re. But then I realized that from Sony’s perspective, they can “protect” their movies, sell you a new tv, and if you decided not to watch tv movies, perhaps they can sell you more video games.

  7. The FCC site for submitting comments ignores any formatting you have done, and just submits one continuous paragraph. So… take this into consideration when formulating your comments.

  8. Isn’t their DRM effective enough? Dumb, Recycled Movies ensures that 95% of movies have no appeal to the discriminating pirate.
    Of the remaining 5%, any problem playing my home-rented legitimate copy will result in its return to the store, no matter the cause.

  9. OMG! This is clearly a national security threat! What if terrorists (OMG!OMG!) hacked into this system and blocked important public information broadcasts during an attack!?!?! That could be bad! We might not learn how to use duct tape to protect ourselves or watch TMZ to find out how C list celebrities were reacting to the attack! It would compound the damage of the attack. Thus, clearly, if we implement Selective Output Control, we are handing the (ill defined) terrorists (OMG!OMG!) a tool. Why does the MPAA hate America?

  10. As we all know, Hollywood as always been full of totalitarian Communists–this is just the latest example.


    P.S. My Captcha for this comment is “inafter grandma”. Kinky!

  11. I say let them do it. If we protest enough now so that they don’t do it, they will never get the chance to PROVE TO THE WORLD, by their own hands, how incompetent they are.

    This could actually go a couple ways – one is they flip the switch and nothing happens (because they’re irrelevant), or they flip the switch and their business implodes. Either case I really don’t feel like protecting the industry from themselves.

  12. Canceling Firefly was the last straw for me, so whatever. I cancelled cable and rarely turn on my TV anymore.

  13. Good point heartfruit. On second thought, I’m thinking this is good for current electronics giants. Its in the interest of electronics companies to lock out any future innovative competition by making impossible barriers to entry.

    So, next question: why hasn’t the MPAA and major electronics manufacturers been brought up on anti-trust charges for collusion? The NY AG just hit Intel, these guys are practically an open and shut case in comparison.

  14. coax out from cable box to coax in on tv tuner card in your Myth TV box.

    Make TV your bitch, not the other way around.

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