[d@DCC] Broadcast "flag" removes choice....
russell at flora.ca
Thu Sep 16 15:45:04 EDT 2004
> Rich Taylor, MPAA, responds to Michael Geist:
A Vice President of Public Affairs is trying to explain a technology he
does not demonstrate an understanding of. He is probably one of those
people who's VCR still flashes 12:00. This is assuming these folks are
allowed to own VCRs given Jack Valenti claimed VCRs are to their industry
as the Boston strangler was to women alone at night.
The message from his association has not improved over the years, nor
has their understanding of the benefits to all concerned of citizen
Mr. Taylor said, "The broadcast flag, adopted by a multi-industry
consensus consisting of the information technology, consumer electronics
and content communities, is a sequence of digital bits embedded in a
television program that signals that the program cannot be redistributed
on networks such as the Internet. The broadcast flag does not distort the
viewed picture in any way, it does not restrict or limit consumer home
copying, nor does it have any impact on existing consumer equipment."
It is true the flag is just bits of information embedded in the signal,
information just like "please put a blue dot here". In order for this new
information to have any meaning the existing consumer owned and controlled
equipment must be replaced with new industry controlled equipment. This
new equipment is authorized by the (questionably legal) cartels he calls
the "multi-industry consensus".
The signal is encrypted such that only those with the right "password"
will be able to decrypt it, and only industry controlled equipment will
have that "password". Any equipment not authorized by the "multi-industry
consensus" that decrypts the signal will be declared illegal by the highly
controversial anti-circumvention component of the WIPO copyright treaties
which these same special interests have been promoting.
How can rendering obsolete all current citizen controlled consumer
electronics currently used to receive over-air signals be reconciled with
"nor does it have any impact on existing consumer equipment"?
To suggest that this is good news for consumers, creators, or anyone
outside of the executives in the "multi-industry consensus" is typical of
these spin-doctors. Consumers are forced to buy new equipment with
unnecessary "features" that will increase the cost. The new equipment will
be less functional than the current equipment as it won't be able to be
used to carry out the same legal activities like time-shifting which these
broadcasters now want to disable.
Creators will have even more powerful media monopolies to deal with, and
will have poor "take it or leave it" contracts thrown at them with the
executives knowing that they entirely control all the major means of
distribution. Smaller over-air broadcasters will have more expensive
equipment to purchase to communicate with the new receivers, assuming that
smaller over-air broadcasters will be allowed by the "multi-industry
consensus" to exist at all.
Ottawa-area Internet Consultant and technology law policy wonk.
Why creators should oppose DRM
Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
Get Creative: iCommons Canada Launch Party : September 30, 2004
http://digital-copyright.ca/node/view/461 Creative Commons,
Open Access, Free/Libre and Open Source Software: In Canada, Eh!
For (un)subscription information and posting guidelines please see
More information about the Discuss