Congress divided on broadcast flag plan | Tech News on ZDNet

A plan in Congress to revive the “broadcast flag,” a controversial form of copy-prevention technology for digital TV broadcasts, drew a mixed response from politicians on Thursday.

The article stated that:

“though no politician offered an outright endorsement at Thursday’s hearing.”

The article does mention all three components of the Triple Punch being pushed by the RIAA and MPAA in the article:

One of the proposals asks Congress to authorize the FCC to reinstate the video broadcast flag, while the second proposes a new broadcast flag for digital radio. The third calls for plugging a so-called “analog hole”–that is, outlawing consumer devices designed to convert copy-protected digital material to analog format, strip the copy protections, and then shift it back to digital format.

Finally! Finally we hear some word on this in articles on the Internet.

Glad to hear the oversight committee is split on this one. They should be. Nice to know the comments by their constituents has not gone unnoticed by the Oversight Committee on Thursday.

Granted, this is a hard thing to resolve. But our government, which has failed us as citizens, and innovation in general, in the past (can we say DMCA) need to make sure that citizen’s personal ‘fair use’ is not infringed upon, AND technical innovation is not stifled by corporate interests.

The US Patent Office has done enough damage in that arena already with their short sighted sweeping patents to corporations … most recently with ‘software’ patents granted to the likes of Amazon.com as noted here in The Register’s article entitled “All your reviews belong to Amazon”:

Amazon.com has been granted three detailed patents covering purchase circles, consumer reviews, and search results in the form of products from multiple product categories.

It’s a sweeping landgrab which puts e-commerce rivals on the alert. The techniques granted to Amazon.com by the patent office are already ubiquitous on commercial and social networking web sites.

Patent 6,963,848 filed March 2, 2000 and granted November 8, covers “Methods and system of obtaining consumer reviews”.

Patent 6,963,867, filed on March 31, 2003, covers “Search query processing to provide category-ranked presentation of search results”.

Patent 6,963,850, filed on August 19, 1999 covers “Computer services for assisting users in locating and evaluating items in an electronic catalog based on actions performed by members of specific user communities”.

I am very glad to hear that at least one of our Virginia Democrats (Rep. Rick Boucher) is “not quite sold on the idea yet.”

Where do our other Virginia representatives on the oversight panel stand? I will be finding out. And it will influence my vote…on that one can be sure.

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