Most people take it for granted that they can record anything that appears on their television (assuming they can figure out how to work the recording device) and save it for playback any time they want. But as Cory Doctorow points out, there are some media companies who would like to put some restrictions on that ability and some cable operators who may be willing to roll over and do it for them.
Fortunately, Congress has adjourned for its long winter nap without passing a recent attempt to trash the fair use laws which would give the media companies legal rights to restrict the ability of consumers to record material coming over their cable. The distributors of movies and television shows (and music for that matter) would dearly love to charge you for each viewing of their products. They also want Congress to force the cable and satellite companies to go along with their plan.
But unfortunately, both the media companies and their pet Congress will be back with a new version of this legislation. It won’t take long for them to find just the right combination of knives to slice and dice our fair use laws.