Senate Commerce Committee Endorses "Broadcast Flag" Proposal
June 28, 2006 at 1:49 PM (PT)
The oft-debated "broadcast flag" copy-protection legislation proposal has cleared one more hurdle, as members of the Senate Commerce Committee endorsed the idea of requiring digital TV receivers to restrict redistribution (over the Internet, in particular) of over-the-air broadcasts yesterday (6/27). While the controversial measure would also allow for similar rules on digital radio receivers, many Senators, including NEW HAMPSHIRE Republican JOHN SUNUNU, oppose the legislation as it is written now because of worries that it may thwart technological innovation.
Said SUNUNU, "I have concerns about the flag language because it is a technology mandate and because the technology mandate may actually discourage innovation and discourage different products from coming into the market."
The controversial legistlation, which is backed by mainly by the various entertianment lobbies (the RIAA and MPAA are both vocal propoents), was originally produced in '03 by the FCC, which wrote rules that would render the selling or distribution of any digital TV product illegal, a move that was blocked last Spring by a federal court which ruled that the FCC had no authority in the matter.
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