1.22.2006

EFF: Hollywood Plants Its Flags In Our Homes

EFF:: "Hollywood Plants Its Flags In Our Homes

On Tuesday January 24th, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold hearings on the government regulation of digital media in the form of the broadcast flag, and the audio flag. But even before the committee hears the arguments, Hollywood lobbyists have already planned the results. Drafts are being passed around Congress by Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) of a 'Digital Content Protection Act' that would make both flags laws at a stroke.

If this bill were to pass, government - and the entertainment industry - would control what you could do with digital media in your home. The broadcast flag would place TV shows in a DRM ghetto, where your right to copy, back-up, sell, time-shift or convert them into formats convenient to you would be at the whim of the broadcasters. The audio flag would give the FCC matching powers over 'digital audio broadcasting,' including satellite radio, digital HD radio, and potentially even Internet radio. Fair use would be frozen into 'customary historical use'.

There's no benefit here for artists or customers, and for infringing copiers, evading these copy controls will be as easy as ever. No matter how inconvenienced individual users would be by a flag, pirates would be able to bypass it. The bill would usher in a new world of anti-consumer electronics, and a chance for the MPA"


Thanks to Absolute Michigan Blog for pointing this out.

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