Tell the FCC to Say "No" to the Cable Kill Switch | Public Knowledge
If the MPAA has its way, and if none of us speak up about it, they will... then you will no longer be in control of your viewing equipment.
To sum it up... the MPAA wants to be able to selectively control which outputs on your home theater equipment (cable box, tv, vcr, tivo, etc) are active on a program by program basis. So if they broadcast a movie and don't want anyone to be able to record it, they simply send along an extra signal with the program that disables the outputs on the devices.
Currently the FCC bans this sort of thing as a consumer protection. Home recordings of all broadcast material are perfectly legal... but the MPAA has been petitioning repeatedly to be allowed to change this. If they do, then you will be required to buy all new equipment that has this feature or you won't even be able to get the signals. So it's bad for consumers right there. A huge out of pockect expense in a time of not so great economy. It also stifles innovation. The MPAA (and the RIAA for that matter) over the past few years have resisted the changing music and movie markets with a violent passion. They claim that they are merely protecting their copyrighted material, but really they are resisting a change in business models. Many TV studios have jumped on board the changing world and offer their content online and as downloads, but the movie and music industry are trying desperately to hold onto the old model, because in the new model, they are obsolete. When artists can put their music to the world on their own through the internet, they don't need big labels. Same with movies (though to a lesser degree). So they resist and fight to keep things the old way. It's bad for everyone but the executives at the big label and studio companies.
If you enjoy your entertainment, let the FCC know how you feel.