So you know how you invite friends over to watch a movie or play a game and you make a whole party-deal out of it? Well, Microsoft isn't having any of that. In fact, their new patent is aimed at controlling how many people actually utilize their device simultaneously for games, movies and streaming content and it can block said content if they feel the amount of users exceed a predetermined amount of simultaneous viewers.
If this sounds like Fahrenheit 451, 1984 or Equilibrium bullcrap, that's because it is. Game Politics and Eurogamer have some nice write-ups on this crappy patent that would enable Microsoft to [presumably] make use of Kinect or other in-house mobile devices that has their software tech and a camera in it, to monitor and gauge how many people are accessing media content at the same time.
One of the more disturbing aspects of the patent is as follows...
"A content presentation system and method allowing content providers to regulate the presentation of content on a per-user-view basis. Content is distributed an associated license option on the number of individual consumers or viewers allowed to consume the content. Consumers are presented with a content selection and a choice of licenses allowing consumption of the content. The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken. "
Is that not some Jimmy-rustling, bird-poop-in-the-eyes, maggot-pie crap or what?
It seems like our corporate overlords are getting evermore brazen in their attempts to control what kind of content we view and how we view it. This ties into AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner's new six strike policy that will go into effect later this month on November 28th.
Having a company spy on you and your friends and shutdown your content due to copyright licensing (or the lack thereof) is an obvious cash grab. Can you imagine the Xbox 360 pausing a movie right in the middle of playing and saying “Warning: maximum amount of allowed viewers exceeded. Please purchase more licenses to continue accessing your content. Thank you.” And then it takes you to a screen where you have to lay down some extra cash just to keep watching the movie or TV show? The amount of crap contained within that kind of corporate dictatorship cannot be put into words.
Thankfully, gaming media has been all over this and hopefully, media at large will stay on top of this to ensure that people are at least aware of what Microsoft is planning to do. You can learn more about the patent over at the official USPTO website.