Will the broadcast flag interfere with consumers ability to make copies of
DTV content for their personal use, either on personal video recorders or
removable media?
This is the folly of creeping regulation. A little piece now, the rest
later.
Pirating of digital works is a problem, but we have mechanisms,
including severe penalties, to combat piracy. We have already so limited
the rights of fair use, that the right is dissapearing. We seem to have
forgotten that the constitutional purpose of copyright is not to enrich
owners of the rights, but to promote science and the useful arts.
Would the digital flag interfere with consumers ability to send DTV content
across networks, such as home digital networks connecting digital set top
boxes, digital recorders, digital servers and digital display devices?
Ultimately, most assuredly.
Would the broadcast flag requirement limit consumers ability to use their
existing electronic equipment (equipment not built to look for the flag) or
make it difficult to use older components with new equipment that is
compliant with the broadcast flag standard?
For older, depends on how the flag is implemented.
Would a broadcast flag requirement limit the development of future
equipment providing consumers with new options?
Unknown to me, but clearly dependent on the implementation.
What will be the cost impact, if any, that a broadcast flag requirement
would have on consumer electronics equipment?
Unknown to me, but clearly dependent on the implementation.
Other Comments:
We should not abandon the primary constitutional purpose of copyright, to
promote the benefits to society not to enrich content owners. We have
imposed undue burden with the extension of copyright duration, and the
draconian results of the DMCA anti circumvention provisions are only now
beginning to become apparent. We have redefined fair use, so that a
"spontaneity" requirement has crept in that appears no where in the law,
case or statutory. If a use is fair use, no per copy fees are owed, yet
recent court decisions have held that when a copy permission for fee system
is in place, that lost fee revenue is a market value loss, and thus
virtually no fair use is permitted. Add that to the DMCA provisions that
prevent fair use being made of copy protected materials. We should reverse
this trend, not continue down this path.