Note: this is not a canned responce.
As a consumer of digital content, I have a grave concern about the proposed
Broadcast Flag, and lots of other things that they want to do because of HDTV.
Because the broadcast flag defines what uses are authorized and which are not,
unanticipated uses of content which are not foreseeable today are by default
unauthorized. There is always a first step that steps on my given rights (by
the FCC). I understand that the signal that is transmitted by the TV stations
over the air is fair game, public use. If you allow this flag to be used, and
if the TV/Video mfgs. are forced to use this flag to block recording, THEN the
fair free use has been removed... then what is a person to do when they what to
tape a Ball Game when at work on the plane, in a car to grandmaw's, etc.... This
flag has the potential to keep this person from doing this... we are heading
toward a slipperily slop, and I for one do not like what I see.
But as they say, "If you give an inch....". This is the first step to
requiring me to PAY to watch any TV station content transmitted... yes even the
Local News... Force me to view what they want just to get their program. i.e.
like the commercials. I can see it now.. PAYING to watch the "State of the
Union Address". And, don't sit there and say it won't happen.... it sure can..
and almost did when the VCR was trying to come out. As they tried to block the
I feel this is leading down a very dark road. I am a law-abiding consumer who
believes that piracy should be prevented and prosecuted, but is will not deter
the professionals as they have the money and means to defeat this. This will
only hurt the MOM"S AND POP"S... the little people out there and not even slow
down the "True professional pirate"... Just look at the DVD and what you can get
in Aisa... the CD and what is found on the streets of Singapore. It is getting
harder to find good content on VHS and lots of people still have those in there
vans to keep the kids happy on that long trip to grandmaws.. you are provented
from copying a DVD... to analog TAPE..
When and where will "Free and Fair" use of the public airwaves stop and end...
this is the first step.
In closing, I urge you to require the content industry to demonstrate that its
proposed technologies will allow for all legal uses and will actually achieve
the stated goal of preventing professional piracy. And, that coping content
received over the air given to to a friend is not seen as piracy. If they will
not, I urge you not to mandate the broadcast flag.
I see great things for HDTV, but this could be the killer.
Thanks very much for your time, and sorry for the long message and any miss-