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Congressional Report Takes Issue With Broadcast Flag Technology
June 1, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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There is a flurry of activity on the Internet reporting the Broadcast Flag may be pushed further into obscurity. The broadcast flag was already in trouble, as the United States District Court of Appeals ruled on May 6th, 2005, the FCC overstepped its jurisdiction by enacting the regulation.

In a nutshell, broadcast flag technology is a small bit of code that transmits with a digital signal. The receiver would have a recognition device in order to read the flag. The flag tells the digital receiver what level of copy protection is accompanying the transmission. If the broadcast flag regulation were to pass, all digital televisions would have to integrate this anti-piracy module.

In addition to the FCC regulation, those in support of broadcast flag technology tried incorporate the broadcast flag requirement into the upcoming Digital Television Legislation. This legislation will require broadcasters to cease transmitting in analog by December 31, 2008.

However, a "new" (April 2005) Congressional Research Service report has taken issue with broadcast flag technology. In the CRS report, fair use issues seemed to have been overlooked by broadcast flag legislation.

“Current technological limitations have the potential to hinder some activities which might normally be considered “fair use” under existing copyright law.20 For example, a consumer who wished to record a program to watch at a later time, or at a different location (time-shifting, and space-shifting, respectively), might be prevented when otherwise approved technologies do not allow for such activities, or do not integrate well with one another, or with older, “legacy” devices. In addition, future fair or reasonable uses may be precluded by these limitations. For example, a student would be unable to email herself a copy of a project with digital video content because no current secure system exists for email transmission.”

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Studies/Research
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Other

You can read the report here.

You can discuss this article here - 7 replies

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