Someone in Congress finally flags the evil broadcast flag

Someone in Congress finally flags the evil broadcast flag

Summary: Corey Doctorow: Until now, lawmakers have been reluctant to speak out against [the Broadcast and Audio Flags]. A combination of expert lobbying and technological ignorance has made Congress suicidally willing to consider proposals to break America's televisions....

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TOPICS: Apple
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Corey Doctorow:

Until now, lawmakers have been reluctant to speak out against [the Broadcast and Audio Flags]. A combination of expert lobbying and technological ignorance has made Congress suicidally willing to consider proposals to break America's televisions....But in yesterday's Commerce hearings, two Senators altered the course of events. First MIT grad John Sununu of New Hampshire said that government mandates "always restrict innovation" and then 82-year-old Ted Stevens of Alaska talked about the iPod he'd gotten for Christmas and put the RIAA's Mitch Bainwol on the spot about whether his proposal would break Stevens' ability to move digital radio programs to his iPod and listen to them in the most convenient way (it would)....This is a momentous occassion: two powerful senators have woken up to the impact that these proposals will have on their voters...This is unhappy news for the RIAA.

"Suicidally willing to consider proposals to break America's televisions."  I love that.  Beautifully written Corey. It so eloquently gets the point across.  

So, here's what to do next.  This is a Congressional election year.  Write letters to John Sununu and Ted Stevens praising them for protecting the rights of the People rather than those of special interest groups.  Even if you don't live in their States, remind them that you'd vote for them and against any candidate that sees this issue differently.  Then, make sure you cc: your local Congresspeople.  

Thanks to ZDNet reader Steve Ackerman for pointing me to Doctorow's post.

Update: Despite the way Bainwol was put on the spot (see above), BroadcastEngineering.com has a story that suggests that Senator Stevens actually favors the broadcast flag.

Topic: Apple

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6 comments
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  • Your Senator Needs an iPod

    Better yet, donate here:
    http://www.ipaction.org/campaigns/ipod/

    It's a drive to buy an iPod for every member of Congress, to give
    them a personal stake in understanding the limitations the media
    cartels are trying to force down our throats.
    tic swayback
    • I have a better idea

      Lets get each a Zen Micro, then give them a certificate for 10 free songs from the iTunes music store.
      That should drive the nail home.
      mdemuth
      • Or buy them a Mac

        And then get them a subscription to MSN Music store.....
        tic swayback
  • Anti-piracy definitely needs to be rethought

    This is crazy. Technology and content companies seek to expand their markets by limiting what customers can do like never before. These companies think that anti-piracy measures by definition have to trample the rights and freedoms of consumers. You guys, why don?t you look at ways of safe-guarding your content without resorting to DRM, Gestapo-like tactics? Again, if you make content traceable you won?t have to dread current and future developments in consumer electronics. Allow consumers to do what they please with their licensed content. If their content shows up on the Internet, trace it back to them, and just ask them how it got there. If they violated the law by participating in piracy, then deal with them appropriately. However don?t criminalize your customers en masse, and subject them to onerous restrictions and scrutiny. If you do, after a while, they will wholesale reject what you are offering.
    P. Douglas
  • And in the end

    Money will still carry the day.
    ordaj@...
  • I love...

    ...how Congress thinks they can keep programs off the Internet with a "broadcast" flag. How will this flag affect my ability to hook my TV to my PC, write my own broadcast software, and send out anything on my TV over the Internet? I don't think it will, and for that reason Congress should drop this whole idea; Congress has not figured out what the software industry has known for years: if you attempt to restrict it, some wily hacker will either circumvent the restriction or break it.
    ccranfill