Monday, June 21, 2021

FCC OKAYS PLAN TO BRING FIRST-RUN MOVIES TO HOMES

May 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The FCC on Friday approved an application from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) that would allow movies to be sent by cable and satellite to homes while they are still playing in theaters. The hitch: to prevent piracy, the industry would be permitted to use a system to disable any recording device while the movie is being viewed. The system, called Selectable Output Control (SOC), had been criticized by several consumer organizations. In a statement, Gigi Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, said that the FCC decision will allow studios “for the first time to take control of a consumer’s TV set.” The MPAA petition had also been opposed by theater owners who saw the system as a threat to their business. “We disagree,” the FCC wrote. “This offering will allow the homebound, parents with young children, and others who simply want to stay in for the night to choose a new entertainment option that they may value highly.” Besides, the commission observed, its function is not “to protect industry sectors from competition, which generally benefits the public.” The commission’s action was praised by Bob Pisano, the interim head of the MPAA, who expressed appreciation for the FCC’s recognition “that recently released movies need special protection against content theft when they are distributed to home televisions.”