Customers using the Microsoft Windows Media Center operating system found themselves unable to record certain shows on the NBC Network. No official response was initially given. The issue kept gaining steam until MS finally acknowledged that it was blocking the content.
They state that they were following the “regulations” set forth by the FCC. If that is the case, then why is DirecTV, Tivo and every other DVR system able to record the same shows that WMC can not?
Aha, therein lies the rub. The reason is because there are no “regulations” prohibiting the recording of any media. The FCC and MPAA attempted to dictate what the hardware makers could allow their hardware to record with something called broadcast flags, but the courts said they were high.
Imagine that your local schools stated that you could not drop your kids off in any vehicle manufactured with a sunroof. This was because you could inadvertently fall out of the car if the earth’s gravity were to reverse in areas with a high concentration of ill behaved children. Although the courts stated they were morons for attempting to enforce something like this, GM produced cars for your region that, if equipped with a sunroof, refused to turn into any school entrance. When asked, GM states “it’s the law”.
What Microsoft is doing is just as lame as my attempt at an analogy.
Microsoft loves digital rights management. They pack it into anything they can; music services, media centers, personal audio devices. If they are able to fit the code into something, you can pretty much guarantee that it will be shipped with it. When asked though, their common response(after their initial refusal to respond at all) is that their hand was forced by the media providers. Just like now. These concrete rules and regulations that they absolutely must adhere to. These absolute laws that they are unable to circumvent.