Aunty’s Readers Sound Off About the FCC Broadcast Flag

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As you might imagine, Aunty’s readers had lots to say about the FCC’s “broadcast flag”, which is a system which will be required in all devices capable of recording from television, signaling the presence of copyrighted material, effective July 1st of this year. A detailed account is available in our article “Why PC Owners Should Care About the FCC’s Broadcast Flag”.

Here’s what our readers have to say:


“You write “sold in the United States”. What about free products like an open source media player? Or is it only for hardware?” – samba

“Now for the good news. Except for a couple of shows, which are supposed to get the ax this season, network television, in my opinion, sucks. If what I have now doesn’t work for a long time to come, then maybe I’ll do something really radical, like read a book.” – Hal

” ‘In theory this sounds reasonable, however many say that it suffers from the same issues as do the current schemes for the digital rights management of audio content, namely that there is no one standard, and the standards donít play nice with each other.’ It appears that someone has forgotten the “one standardâ€? applied by the US government: Increasing the wealth of the wealthy always takes priority over consumer rights, constitutional rights and human rights.” – Sheenada

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“This is simply another example of petty bureaucrats making themselves by expanding their control at the expense of public freedoms.” – CHS

“Ah, yes. As always, there’s a pro-business Republican (I’m a republican, too – just not one who believe that profit is next to Godliness) ho has bought into the myth that this is government’s idea. It isn’t. It is BUSINESS wants, business pushed the governement into mandating (because consumers wouldn’t buy their products if there was an alternative), and business benefits from. All government gets is the rap for it. Do look beyond propaganda.” – Mad-Eye

“Bottom line: What can we, as a private citizens, do about it?” – Don S

 

“What can we, as private citizens do about it? There is one thing that we can do that would have a great impact on this decision. Vote with our checkbook. Don’t buy the products. Business is all about the laws of supply and demand. If demand is not there, then business will have to change the supply to create a demand or else go out of business.” – Danny B

“Oh, here we go again. When are they going to ban copy machines and tape recorders? Property owners are entitled to prevent others from ripping them off. But do they have to do it in such a half-baked way?” – Ken

“i guess what i’m wondering is who gave the FCC the power to tell manufacturers what they have to build into there systems. this fight with the recording and broadcast industries has been going on for a long time in many different forms (anyone remember betamax?) in response to point number 5…..government gets the rap because they alow bussneses to tell them how to run the country instead of the people like it was intended in the first place. (taken a look at gas prices lately?)” – tony

“The broadcast flag is really only a half baked idea. It won’t stop copying of content and distribution on the internet. All that needs to occur is that the digital signal be converted to analog at some point, thus removing the broadcast flag. It’s not like the stuff being distributed on the net is SD/HD quality now anyway. It really only harms those who have no intent to distribute copyrighted works.” – ZacOz

“Perhaps we will be forced to make our purchases outside of the USA. I am fairly certain that some builders/suppliers are stockpiling as we discuss this. We may be able to buy, it will just cost more. There are several sites where it is possible to not only to download programs to beat current content protection schemes, but also provide pdf files as guides and instructions for doing that. Mom and Pop local stores will lose out on sales and the large chains will not carry those products. Big business and Big government.” – mike1734

“Prediction – in five years this function will be unused and forgotten. Remember the “V-chipâ€? (I think: aka “Parental Chip) for opting-out of M, R, and X rated broadcasts? As far as I know it is still required, but who ever knew how to use it, or wanted to, and are broadcasts still flagged to trigger it? If this gets bad enough (ie, if more than ten percent of shows use it) there will be hardware and software hacks for thse who know how to use the ‘net and a screwdriver. The so-called “content providersâ€? pushing this (and the MUCH more disturbing “Let’s censor ISP’s and kill P2P”) are actually the lawyers, who are legal whizzes but know as much about current technologies as Fred Flintstone – and, as brought in Betamax, probably don’t beleve they should be included (in BetaMax Jack Valenti admitted he had a VCR, he and his family used it totime-shift and speed past commercials, and he would try to keep doing so lest the rest of the family forced him to move out). Some of the companies have already realized, like Sony, that they have pitted one division against another and may end up in court suing themselves, heh heh. There are other possible uses for the flag, think of this one as a bit set in a byte. They may serve some actual purpose.” – John Anderson USA

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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