Hollywood Plants Its Flags in Our Homes

They are at it again! How many times must we say NO!

On Tuesday, January 24th, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold hearings on 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 (D-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, pirates would be able to bypass it. The bill would usher in a new world of anti-consumer electronics and a chance for the MPAA’s and RIAA’s member companies to seize even greater control over all media distribution and use.

If you live in one of the states below, your senator is on the Senate Commerce Committee. Let him or her know that these flags would mark a new era of Hollywood’s control of the home and of our digital networks.

You have a senator on the committee if you are a resident of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, or West Virginia.

Write to the Committee:
http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=205

If you’re not in one of those states, it’s still important for you to write to your senator and representative to support DMCA reform and take some of the bite out of these
preposterous mandates.

Support DMCA reform:
http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=115

More Information:

The Draft Digital Content Protection Act:
http://eff.org/broadcastflag/dcp_act_2006.pdf

Our Analysis of the Bill
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004340.php

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Comments on: "Hollywood Plants Its Flags in Our Homes" (1)

  1. For what reason should the middle-man who does not work have the most power over someone else’s products?

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