Sunday, December 23, 2007

Japanese Copyright Laws: TVs can Show Sports Sounds, but Not Pictures 

Sitting around in the Marshall Islands Resort hotel on Majuro, blasted from jetlag and too many hours inside whizzing aluminum tubes, I switched on the TV to the NHK channel to try and learn a little bit more Japanese. The Japanese newscast was as strange and cute as usual: earthquakes, super-trains, another Godzilla movie... and then the sports highlights came on... sort of. NHK played the audio of fans cheering in the background and an excited announcer shouting "he shoots, he scores!" (well, that's what it sounded like they were saying), but instead of a soccer ball being kicked around on some grass, they showed this great pic below:

And then the damn thing came on again a few minutes later, and I had to scramble for my Canon SD750 once more:

Gotta love (if indeed the TV message is actually true...) copyright laws that somehow mess up the one thing TV is really good at-- showing pictures!

As our government keeps trying to ram through new copyright restrictions, this is another object lesson about how a lot of overly-restrictive copyright laws make things difficult for companies just trying to do business, and can screw TV viewers out of seeing some good soccer action!

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