As a consumer of digital content, I have a grave concern about the proposed
Broadcast Flag. I enjoy the flexibility and control that technology gives me.
The broadcast flag seems designed to remove this control and flexibility that I
Historically, the law has allowed for those not affiliated with creating content
to come up with new, unanticipated ways of using it. If we allow the content
industry to "lock in" the definition of what is and is not legitimate use, we
curtail the ability for future innovation - unanticipated but legal uses that
will benefit consumers.
I am a law-abiding consumer who believes that piracy should be prevented and
prosecuted. However, if theoretical prevention comes at the cost of prohibiting
me from making legal, personal use of my content, then the FCC should be working
to protect all consumers rather than enable those who would restrict consumer
rights. In the case of the broadcast flag, it seems that it will have little
effect on piracy. With file-sharing networks, a TV program has only to be
cracked once, and it will propagate rapidly across the Internet. So, while I may
be required to purchase consumer electronic devices that cost more and allow me
to do less, piracy will not be diminished.
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 piracy. If they cannot, I urge you not to mandate
the broadcast flag.