The Federal Communications Commission ruled on Friday to allow video-on-demand services to activate signals that would block the copying or other re-use in home entertainment systems of recent releases. According to the Los Angeles Times, the ruling is seen as a victory for the Motion Picture Association. of America, the chief lobbying group for the major studios.
The decision clears the way for people to watch movies in their home shortly after -- or even during -- their release in theaters. The ruling also will permit the use of a so-called selectable output control technology for watching first-run movies in the home. Currently, movies are only available for people to watch in the home on pay-per-view channels, usually about six months after they first appear in theaters and three months after they are released on DVD.