Will the broadcast flag interfere with consumers ability to make copies of
DTV content for their personal use, either on personal video recorders or
Absolutely! This is yet another attack by an industry that does not
understand the technology and seeks to further restrict the "fair use"
aspect of the copywrite law. There needs to be no difference between the
analogue and digital models of usage. I would not purchase restricted use
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?
Again, it would. With the advent of MP3 and other similar formats and
technologies, I now have the ability to have a home jukebox for music and
video. Further, I can easily take and use the content on my laptop: all
permitted uses today under the fair use clause. This is not redistributing
the content to others in violation of the copywrite holders rights,
however, it does allow me to access and use the content that I have paid
for in the method most convienient to me.
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?
Indeed, I would imagine that I would be required to purchase new equipment
to make use of this restrictive technology. The United States took
"forever" to adopt digital and HDTV technology and formats - this kind of
technological leap REQUIRES the adoption of new products to utilize the
technology, and the old broadcast formats are still supported; however,
being required to buy new equipment to address the paranoid beliefs of the
bloated entertainment industry is unacceptable.
Would a broadcast flag requirement limit the development of future
equipment providing consumers with new options?
Of course it would. Much as the DMCA has crippled software and hardware
development and greatly reduced the rights of the individual content user,
this would stifle the innovative new ideas for use and managment of the
What will be the cost impact, if any, that a broadcast flag requirement
would have on consumer electronics equipment?
Yes. See my answer to Question #3
It is with great sadness that I view the way that the Government has
subverted the fair usage rights of the people by listening to the unfounded
mewings of the entertainment industry. Instead of evolving with the times
and technology, they have instead turned to the time honoured tradition of
buying the legislation that they desire. It's truly a pity that the
Government is no longer for the people and is instead for the corporations
that line the pockets of the legislators. This is also evident in the
recent moves of the FCC to allow the consolidation of media corporations
and the collapse of the independent and wider ranging voices able to be