EFF: Breaking News
EFF Speaks Out on Digital TV Standards to British Lawmakers

Comments to House of Commons Warn About Regulation

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed comments with the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) in the British House of Commons about plans for digital television broadcasting in Europe. In comments submitted last week, EFF expressed concern that switching off analog broadcasts could result in new digital television standards that unduly restrict the public and manufacturers.

The Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) — a group that creates standards for digital television in Europe, Australia, and much of Asia — has proposed a complex system for restricting digital broadcast programming after reception, analogous to the disastrous broadcast flag proposal in the United States. This system, called “Content Protection Copy Management” (CPCM), has been under discussion since 2003.

More disturbing information at the link posted above and the links below:

For EFF’s full comments submitted to the British House of Commons: http://www.eff.org/IP/DVB/dvb_critique.php

One-page summary: http://www.eff.org/IP/DVB/

For EFF’s action alert on the US broadcast flag: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=129

Boy, they try to get you coming and going.

On the summary page above, Cory goes on to say;

CPCM allows rightsholders to specify restriction of playback to a single “household,” granting copyright holders a veto over which households are “legitimate” and which ones are “illegitimate.”

No account of the exceptions to copyright that safeguard education, criticism, free speech, and fair dealing is taken in CPCM. An educator who may have a legal right to show a clip to her class has no means of taking restricted content out of a CPCM system and into a classroom. A volunteer adding assistive information for disabled people to a programme has no means of extracting the programme into an environment where this activity can take place.

The proponents of CPCM promise an as-yet-unspecified “compliance body” that would require manufacturers to adhere to a set of rules for designing DTV equipment, that would ban Free and Open Source Software-based tuners, players, recorders, and so forth (on the grounds that these technologies could be modified to remove the restrictions set by the rightsholders or broadcasters).

I hope those in the UK see the very real danger of a ruling like this.

Thanks Cory.

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