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May 2005, Week 4


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 27 May 2005 07:33:11 -0500
text/plain (62 lines)
Although there have been recent victories against pernicious legislation 
to limit how we may (in the U.S.) use material broadcast on television, 
Hollywood's lobbyists are busily try to get Congress to enact new 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation explains it like this (below), and 
provides an easy-to-use Web form for contacting your specific legislator.

* EFF Supporters Liberate Digital TV 

Lots of people were watching television at EFF's offices 
this past Saturday - not on television sets, but on 
high-definition personal video recorders (PVRs) they 
built themselves.  EFF hosted the digital TV build-in to 
celebrate the courtroom victory over the FCC's Broadcast 

As the Chicago Tribune put it, "Imagine a government 
bureaucrat sitting on top of your television set to decide 
if you can record a television show to watch later."  
That's what the Broadcast Flag rule would have done.  It 
gave the FCC the power to veto new TV technologies, 
whether created by consumer electronics manufacturers 
or Saturday afternoon hobbyists.  By beating the flag in 
court, we gave manufacturers and hobbyists the right to 
create the hardware and software they and their
customers want, to watch, record, and playback TV as 
they choose.

Unfortunately, the Hollywood lobbyists are already back in 
Washington, DC, asking Congress to give the FCC the sweeping 
regulatory authority it needs to impose the Broadcast 
Flag.  If they succeed, it would open the door to the
government issuing blueprints for any new technology that 
Hollywood considers a threat.  As the Tribune reminds us,
these are the same people who fought tooth-and-nail
against the VCR - nearly killing what's now a cash cow.

If you haven't already, now is the time to visit the EFF 
Action Center and tell Congress not to break your 
television.  Ask your representative to reject the 
Broadcast Flag and any other government technology mandate 
that would kill innovation at Hollywood's behest.

Give the Broadcast Flag a TKO:

Chicago Tribune: "High Definition Interference":

For the original version of this piece online:

Jeremy Butler

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