The MPAA is working to block a TiVo feature allowing customers to easily move video among platforms. This is a clear indication that Kevin Law's forecast that the MPAA will follow the RIAA straight into meltdown is accurate.
In the music domain, the iPod and iTunes show what could have been done with a usable, legitimate but minimalist protection scheme, introduced early. How many billions have the labels left on the table by going to war with their customers?
Sadly, the TiVo affair shows the video content business on the same road. Here's a chance to add some value for appreciative customers, and get a minimalist scheme of protection out there before things like BitTorrent and DivX get large audiences. Instead, we hear the crackle of legal and lobbying small arms fire preceding another war with customers.
Dumb, but not surprising. I've long had a source - who will remain forever nameless - close to the ongoing movie, CE and computer industry negotiations regarding content protection. This person's characterization of the content side can be reasonably summarized as 'lawyers all the way down.' Risk aversion and contract nitpicking have that industry focused on avoiding slippage, while the audience begins to eye the exits. Sic transit gloria Hollywood.