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  Friday, May 03, 2002


2:42:16 PM  comment []    

Replace "Replay" With Microsoft in this Sentence...

http:/ /  Mercury News: A federal magistrate in Los Angeles has ordered SonicBlue to spy on thousands of digital video recorder users -- monitoring every show they record, every commercial they skip and every program they send electronically to a friend....

Central District Court Magistrate Charles F. Eick told SonicBlue to gather ``all available information'' about how consumers use the Santa Clara company's latest generation ReplayTV 4000 video recorders, and turn the information over to the film studios and television networks suing it for contributing to copyright infringement.

So Imagine if, for some "legitimate" reason, like, say, the Napster case,  a federal judge told Microsoft to write software that will track what media files users were copying and sharing with friends. For Every copy of Windows. (Never mind the allegations that WM player was keeping track of user's DVD choices - I could argue that the player was simply looking up the disk info on the Net like the CDDB choice does in many music programs, whether you believe me or not.) I'm talking about mandated tracking of user's habits and viewing preferences. Forced by the government, with no opt-out option.

When does this stop? At what point is this an intrusion?

I have Tivo. Tivo tracks my viewing. I know this. I signed up for it. It's anonymous tracking. Same as Replay, but with one major difference. These Replay users are getting a new "feature" from the government whether they like it or not.

The court ruling also requires SonicBlue to track individual users -- not by name, but through ``unique identification numbers.''

24601...Jean Valjean? Am I too alarmist? I don't know.

10:05:48 AM  comment []    

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