Broadcast Flag Vendor Keeps Its Technology Secret
“If you’ve been reading here lately, you know that I’m no fan of the Sensenbrenner/Conyers analog hole bill. The bill would require almost all analog video devices to implement two technologies called CGMS-A and VEIL. CGMS-A is reasonably well known, but the VEIL content protection technology is relatively new. I wanted to learn more about it.
“So I emailed the company that sells VEIL and asked for a copy of the specification. I figured I would be able to get it. After all, the bill would make compliance with the VEIL spec mandatory — the spec would in effect be part of the law. Surely, I thought, they’re not proposing passing a secret law. Surely they’re not going to say that the citizenry isn’t allowed to know what’s in the law that Congress is considering. We’re talking about television here, not national security.
“After some discussion, the company helpfully explained that I could get the spec, if I first signed their license agreement.”
Freedom to Tinker. Analog Hole Bill Would Impose a Secret Law. Jan. 23, 2005.
VEIL Interactive Technologies. VRAM Adopter Agreement. (.pdf, 112 KB) No date.
VEIL Interactive Technologies. About VEIL – Technology. No date.
Freedom to Tinker. CGMS-A + VEIL = SDMI? Jan. 17, 2006.
BNA. Sensenbrenner, Conyers Introduce Bill To Secure Analog Content From Piracy. Dec. 23, 2005.
Public Knowledge. Draft Bill: Digital Transition Security Act of 2005. (.pdf, 112 KB) Dec. 16, 2005.
Public Knowledge. PK’s Testimony on the Content Protection in the Digital Age: The Broadcast Flag, High-Definition Radio, and the Analog Hole. Nov. 3, 2005.
HBO. HBO Copyright Protection Background. No date. (“Commencing in June, HBO will include a technology in its program services that provides copyright protection information to consumer electronic equipment connected to analog outputs of cable and satellite set-top boxes. The technology (CGMS-A — Content Generation Management System for Analog) enables compliant digital recording devices to abide by federal digital encoding rules.”)
Nick Parker. Analog Hole: Today the USA, Tomorrow the World. Slyck. Jan. 27, 2006.
Declan McCullagh. Senate May Hoist Broadcast Flag Again. News.com. Jan. 24, 2006.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the intersection of business, law and technology. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.