“Hollywood wants to be sure that you can’t do anything with video from TV or cable without the film studios’ permission. So while you may want to be able to stick a DVD full of home movies into your Mac and edit a five minute short for your distant relatives to download from your iDisk, Hollywood wants to be sure you won’t be able to do the same with that episode of Buffy you recorded from the TV. When your distant relatives download your home movies to their computers and burn them to DVD, Hollywood wants to be sure that what they’re burning is really a home movie and not a Law & Order episode that slipped through the cracks and made it onto a Web site.
How can this be accomplished? Once the video is on a DVD, a Web site, or your hard disk, neither your Mac nor your TV can tell the difference between Buffy and your holiday videos. There’s no easy answer, and lucky for us, the Betamax doctrine says that just because someone might do something illegal with El Gato’s EyeTV or a real iTiVo, it doesn’t mean you can’t have one. It’s enough that there are legal things that can be done with the technology. But absent any way to achieve Hollywood-grade perfect control over the technology’s use, the BPDG simply won’t let it come into being. It will be illegal to manufacture this device.”