Friday, August 1, 2014

Hacking Streaming Video of Hollywood Movies

Three-and-a-half years ago, I wrote about a "Righteous Hack of Hollywood DVD Movies" (read the article here). The brilliant guys at ClearPlay came up with a way to allow DVD users to apply their own parental controls to movies, thereby filtering violence, drug use, sex, profanity, vulgarity to the tastes of the viewer. Hollywood balked and sued ClearPlay, claiming that the creators of those movies were having their babies butchered by technology. The United States Congress said, "Hold on, Hoss. Consumers have the right to control what comes into their homes." ClearPlay won, and that was that.

Unfortunately, ClearPlay had to go into the hardware business, building and selling their own DVD players. And later, ditto for BluRay players. But guess what, sports fans? The DVD/BluRay industry is tanking, in favor of…yep…streaming video.

Enter the geniuses at ClearPlay with an honest-to-goodness hack. Again. Google Play movies come right to your computer browser. ClearPlay hacked the stream, so now you can sign up for ClearPlay, and stream Google Play movies through their filters, setting slide-bar controls for how much smut, profanity, violence, etc. you want, and watch a streamed movie with your children, grandchildren, or even the minister from your church who has dropped by unexpectedly. Better yet, you can either buy the Google Play movie or just rent it.

Next? Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming videos? Walmart? Hell (excuse me, "Heck"), everybody wants to get into the streaming business. No inventories to maintain. No stocking that $5 bin of virtually unsellable DVD movies. No watching your DVD sales tank. And for consumers, forget buying that new BluRay player. If you want to upgrade something, get an 80-inch HD TV with built-in Internet connectivity.

And here's a little fact you didn't know. On any given evening, Netflix consumes  over 30% of all Internet bandwidth in the USA (check out the July 21st WSJ story on Netflix earnings doubling)? Yep, streaming movie technology that gives parents full control of what comes into their homes is now a reality. My "data exhaust" prediction: You are about to hear "howling from the damned" in Tinsel Town.

Righteous hacks, ClearPlay! Keep 'em coming.

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?