January 23, 2006
The Return of the Broadcast Flag
There is a draft bill circulating on Capital Hill that would change the way we think about the future of digital TV while freezing in time the way we use broadcast content. Called, the Digital Content Protection Act of 2006, the current draft of the legislation would authorize the Federal Communications Commission to limit the unauthorized copying and indiscriminate redistribution of digital audio and video broadcast content over digital networks. How? By use of a Broadcast Flag, that is to say, by embedding digital code in broadcast content to signal digital TV reception equipment to limit the redistribution of digital broadcast content.
Remember broadcast flags? In ALA v. FCC, No. 04-1037 (May 6, 2005) the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC lacked authority to implement broadcast flag regulations. Writing for the DC Circuit, Judge Edwards made this crystal clear.
We can find nothing in the statute, its legislative history, the applicable case law, or agency practice indicating that Congress meant to provide the sweeping authority the FCC now claims over receiver apparatus. And the agency’s strained and implausible interpretations of the definitional provisions of the Communications Act of 1934 do not lend credence to its position.
[A]ll relevant materials concerning the FCC’s jurisdiction – including the words of the Communications Act of 1934, its legislative history, subsequent legislation, relevant case law, and Commission practice – confirm that the FCC has no authority to regulate consumer electronic devices that can be used for receipt of wire or radio communication when those devices are not engaged in the process of radio or wire transmission.
Obviously, the Digital Content Protection bill would "fix" that problem. And look what else it would do! From the draft:
(2) CRITERIA FOR CONTENT OF REGULATIONS -- In achieving the goal of preventing the indiscriminate unauthorized copying and redistribution of certain digital audio content over digital networks, any proposed regulations to govern digital audio broadcast transmissions and digital audio receiving devices shall –
(b) permit customary historic use of broadcast content by consumers to the extent such use is consistent with applicable law.
"Customary historic use?" As in no change? As in no new storage technologies, no convergance of PCs and digital TVs, nothing after the iPod?
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You need these types of laws to pass and once pass be enforced fully without remorse. Freedom does not mean enslave our children nor does it mean exploit digital footage of children online for enormous profits. It's being seriously overlooked, and these laws are needed to protect adult film exploitation of minors who were exploited from the past and those who could be potentially exploited in the future. It's being overlooked the many adult retail sites that as secondary productions run streaming clips without keeping records of age verification as to the time and date when performer footages were shot. These adult retailers do not even have contracts to display photos, bios and personal info on the independant performers, yet display copyrighted material right on the pages where any child could view also. Ten years of this shaming behavior is enough. Enough is enough! Let's not let down the children! Let's see through what you don't seem to see, and start enforcing these laws like they should be. It breaks my heart deeply to see that for the past ten years that adult sites thrived on the internet... they've slipped by displaying child porn right under your noses. Enough is enough! The Justice Department has never bothered to check these adult retail sites to see that they keep age verifications, to see if there are written contracts to display the performers for profit as though they were models for the site, nor has the Justice Department bothered to pursue these sites for making it easily child assessible to extreme material, for running copyrighted footages sold by minutes or portions as streamers, nor has the Justice Department checked the DVDs with dates between 1998 and 2008 for the past 10 years to see that footages derived from older films may contain footages that in the original older films certain performers were underaged at the time of the original makings of such films. Example: If a performer was born 1970 and shot a scene in 1985, wouldn't that performer be a minor? Then the scene goes into a DVD created 2007. Then photos are derived from it displayed with full view intimacy on an adult retail website, running streaming footages and DVD for sale. That website would be in violation now, when the end result release date is created, whether when the footage was shot until the creation date, and must follow current regulations to not display child pornography. Right now, there are many adult retailers who fall under this category, and should be fined the $500,000 with injunctions included to remove the underaged contents. It will probably take years before the Justice Department figures our what's been going on, especially if it's already been going on for the past 10 years right under everyone's noses.
Posted by: Wonn Roppots | Mar 27, 2008 8:28:05 PM