I am a TV and movie buff. I am Hollywoodís dream customer. I have purchased
hundreds of DVDs and thousands of VHS tapes in my lifetime. I also love the flexibility
and convenience of recording shows and movies that I love from television. It is this
incentive that has enticed me to spend up to $150 a month on digital cable, premium
movie channels and broadband internet service. Having an extensive collection of
recordings has not impeded my purchasing in the leastÖin fact, it has increased it. Being
able to record for time-shift and archival reasons has given me the opportunity to view
programs I would have otherwise missed and led to the purchase DVDs when they
became available.
However, all of that will stop if Proceeding 02-230 is adopted and the broadcast flag is
implemented. I will cancel my subscription to cable services and quit buying DVDs and
other original media. I will have spent my last dollar on the entertainment industry. I see
no reason to continue supporting an industry that expects me to keep shelling out my hard
earned money, while they exercise more and more control over what I can and canít do in
my own home. They may gain full control over broadcast, but one thing they canít do is
make me watch it. I will resign myself to viewing items in my collection until my current
video equipment no longer works, at which time, I guess I will take up reading.
Although the entertainment industry is unwilling to accept it, the real pirates in the world
will continue to succeed, regardless of any copy-protection schemes that are thrown at
them. Control methods such as Proceeding 02-230 and the broadcast flag will do nothing
to deter pirates and will only serve to inconvenience all customers.
I encourage anyone involved with the creation and implementation of copy-protection
schemes to read ìRaving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Serviceî by Ken
Blanchard. One of the things it details is that a business can either learn to accept a
certain amount of ìshrinkage,î which will only cost a little in terms of profit, or that
business can treat all of itís customers as potential thieves, possibly eliminating most of
the shrinkageÖbut also most of itís paying customers in the process.
You have to ask yourselves whether the control gained from the broadcast flag is a
suitable replacement for my patronage and the patronage of thousands of potentially
unsatisfied customers like me. The average customer may not care that you are taking
away our rights, but those of us who do are the ones spending the most on entertainment.
Think about itÖand donít make a huge, costly mistake. If you think we wonít take our
money and walk away, you are very wrong.