There is merit in your idea... I don't know if there is too much bad blood by now between the carries and the broadcasters to allow such a thing, though. But it would be a good compromise. Those old boxes if they were rigged as LiL-only boxes would become essentially no different than the digital converter boxes that many people have to use for their older TVs now anyway.
No, no. no. They are nothing like the digital converter boxes that just tuned to FREE OTA broadcasts. You talking about re-transmission from satellite, not an OTA tuner box.