Congressional Quarterly reports that a new "broadcast flag" bill will go to markup sometime in March, according to Sen. Ted Stevens, chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Says CQ:
The legislation would be a major victory for content providers such as the Motion Picture Association of America, the lobbying arm of the movie studios. Content producers argue that without piracy protections, the upcoming transition to digital television would make it easy to download copyrighted, over-the-air programming and illegally redistribute it on the Internet.
Stevens said he expects his committee to take up legislation granting the Federal Communications Commission authority to require any device capable of receiving a digital TV signal to obey a “broadcast flag” — a set of coded instructions that would restrict consumers from redistributing copyrighted content on the Internet.