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Groups unite to plug analog `reconversion'

After months of bickering with information-technology and tech types over ways to stop illegal
Internet distribution of digital programming content, Hollywood and broadcasters
are trying a cooperative approach.

To stop viewers from circumventing copy protections by reconverting digital
content to analog and back to digital, the various industries have formed the
Analog Reconversion Discussion Group.

It has had one negotiating success already: Tired of snickers generated by
calls to "plug the analog hole," the group agreed that "reconversion" is a
better term.

Dubbed "Ar-dog," a reference to its acronym, the group is modeled on the
Broadcast Protection Discussion Group that agreed to disagree over the broadcast
flag copy-protection scheme.

ARDG's first meeting was two weeks ago; the next is March 5 in Los