BBspot – MPAA Lobbying for Home Theater Regulations — Can you believe these a-holes? Is this a joke? A hoax?

Los Angeles , CA – The MPAA is lobbying congress to push through a new bill that would make unauthorized home theaters illegal. The group feels that all theaters should be sanctioned, whether they be commercial settings or at home.

MPAA head Dan Glickman says this needs to be regulated before things start getting too far out of control, “We didn’t act early enough with the online sharing of our copyrighted content. This time we’re not making the same mistake. We have a right to know what’s showing in a theater.”

The bill would require that any hardware manufactured in the future contain technology that tells the MPAA directly of what is being shown and specific details on the audience. The data would be gathered using various motion sensors and biometric technology.

It looks like the MPAA is finally doing for it’s business what the RIAA has done for the record industry: do all it can to ruin it.
[OK, a hoax, but a good one]
found by Bobkat

  1. Nate says:

    Nice… bbspot is my first spot for the most accurate and trustworthy news ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Mike Caddick says:

    Please tell me this is some sort of hideously early April Fools joke or something!

  3. JR says:

    Techdirt is reporting this a huge hoax and has the following details. In short it was written by a “the Onion” Clone satyrical news story

    MPAA Home Theater Regulation Satire Hits Too Close To Home
    from the it’s-funny-because-it’s-true dept
    We’ve had a ton of submissions yesterday and today over BBSpot’s article on how the MPAA is lobbying for home theater regulations. According to the article, consumer electronics makers would be required to put technology into their systems that would record what was being watched and details on the “audience,” suggesting that having friends over to watch a movie on your home theater system is a violation of copyright. Of course, if you follow tech news closely, you’re already aware that BBSpot is the technology equivalent of The Onion. That is, all of its articles are satire. We ignored the early submissions, but they just keep on coming — and some of the submitters seem genuinely freaked out about it. This morning, Slashdot also posted the story as if it were real (Update: or not — commenters have pointed out that Slashdot posted it as satire too), at which point we realized why this particular satire works so well: it’s totally, 100% believable. Given everything that the MPAA and RIAA have done recently, no one would be surprised if they actually did try to put in place regulations like this. They’ve certainly tried (and will continue to try) to influence the design of consumer electronics, with things like the broadcast flag, and they continue to freak out at any market shift that doesn’t involve them getting paid every time a piece of content is heard or watched. So, while it’s not true that the MPAA is looking to punish you for having your friends over, it’s so believable that even a well-known satire site is fooling people left and right.

  4. chitown says:

    wow. I think I know why they do things like this. if you put forward a really bad suggestion, than your next less bad suggestion may get passed.

  5. alex says:



  6. Todd Henkel says:


    But close enough to the truth to make me read it all…

  7. Arbo Cide says:

    Wow, I don’t know how John missed that. Biometrics sensors? Plus Dan Glickman used to be Secretary of Agriculture, so I’m not even sure if he is the head of MPAA, who used to be Jack Valenti.

  8. Ben Franske says:

    BBSpot’s tagling is “Satire for Smart People” as the Slashdot discussion on this earlier today showed there may be a lack of smart people.

  9. Ben Franske says:

    BBSpot’s tagline is “Satire for Smart People” as the Slashdot discussion on this earlier today showed there may be a lack of smart people.

  10. MisterRustic says:

    The really sad thing is the even if this were real, the technology could easily be defeated by tinfoil body suits.

  11. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    I work in a “home theater” related company… I printed this article out and littered it all over the office…


  12. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    In #9 – I put quotes around ‘home theater’ when I should have put quotes around ‘work’


  13. Joe says:

    and so goes the old Communist jokes of the past

    (insert fake russian accent here)

    in russia, MP3 listens to you.

    in russia, car drives you.

    in russia TV WATCHES YOU!

  14. Phil_F says:

    they can blow me. When I first started reading, I thought that ‘who cares, I’ll never have anything that could possibly be defined as a ‘home theater” , and then I read thier definition of a home theater. 29″ TV? are they kidding.. stereo…. a couch?!? I have more than four rooms that would qualify. I’m not well off I just have four tv’s with stereo and some furniture. His quote about having friends over to watch a flick would be copyright infringement is INSANE. This guy is aiming for his foot with a howitzer.

  15. vaspersthegrate says:

    This is just the culture of greed, paranoia, and selfishness, not caring how users wish to interact with the product or the community of product users.

    The new online realities are breaking these outmoded and counterproductive measures.

    But boy, how I laugh when I see these companies do the Shoot Myself In The Foot dance.

  16. noname says:

    It seems currently it very unlikely there is a market feasable, practical and reliable “biometric” monitoring system to determine audience membership profiles in home theaters.

    Any marketable system to win consumer confidence would have to be really practical, reliable, undefeated, unobtrusive and easy to use/setup system which of course is unlikely to be cheap. Reliable and undefeatable rules out Microsoft as an OEM. Are people really going to shell out bucks for this.

    Me thinks this a hoax.

  17. PayneX says:

    *slaps forehead*
    Can’t believe this is still going around.

  18. bill says:

    Isn’t this part of the 1984 movie?
    What will they do when they find out that nobody’s watching their crap.

  19. Chuck says:

    Come on Dvorak! You couldn’t have possibly fallen for this crapola…

    Next you’ll think that big business is monitoring our credit card purchases… sheesh.

  20. MPAAA 12 Step Program says:

    Does this mean we can’t watch movies naked anymore? Bummer.

  21. bquady says:

    I love how people argue with the arguments made by the fictional version of the MPAA even after all the posts explaining that the piece is satire. ๐Ÿ™‚

    They just CAN’T WAIT to hurry to the bottom of this page and post some scathing comments! No time to read the earlier comments! Gotta post!

  22. Digital Technology providers have the capability of controlling the content right down to the source. You can copy the content to analog but not to digital device. I’m not so sure consumers will buy into the biometric feedback aspect.

    During the past 5 years we lost so many freedoms.

  23. Bobkat says:

    Sorry that my first post to this blog what such an embarassing one. I failed to notice the source was a sarcasm site. Please forgive!

  24. Yes..but still totally possible!

    Although, I admit, it should have been done on 4/1/07

    And I do take credit for punching up the biometric aspect of it in the headline.

    Did I mention hoax at the outset? I think so.

    That said, I do think Bobkat fell for it.

  25. chrisfromnl says:


    Called “the world’s greatest tech humour site” by The Register, BBspot creates entertainment for the geekier side of the world. BBspot produces a variety of features like fake news stories satirizing the tech and political worlds, the BBspot Mailbag which pokes fun at the Believers (people who believe our fake news) and much more. BBspot was started by Brian Briggs in April of 2000 as a hobby to bring some fun to the web, but grew to the point where Brian “quit his day job” and made the site his full-time occupation in January of 2003. “

  26. topcad says:

    I saw this on Digg two days ago. My first thought: You’re kidding me…then read the article and realized it was all just a joke. Last night, I hear an idiot radio talk show host ask for callers on this new “infringement” of our rights from the MPAA. Way to do your research buddy.

  27. Rich says:

    It’s absolutely plausible. You had me going for a minute!

  28. G.J. says:

    BBSpot is sorta Onion for techies and geeks. So it’s a little absurd to argue over their satire “news” like:

    “Microsoft’s AntiSpyware Tool Removes Internet Explorer”,

    “Microsoft Granted Patent for Creating Insecure Software”,

    “Number of Linux Distributions Surpasses Number of Users” or

    “Linux Developer Gets Laid”

    though they carry grains of truth and undercover criticism (that’s satire after all).

  29. EW says:

    People who believe the stories on BBSpot as fact are also the ones believing the Daily Show on–hello?!–Comedy Central is the same kind of program as Anderson Cooper: 360 on CNN. Oh yeah, and pro wrestling? That’s fake, too.

    And, if I may say so, “Go, Brian!”


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