Sunday, January 29, 2006

Eye In the Sky

Big Brother?

* Action Alert: Hollywood Plants Its Flags in Our Homes

On Tuesday, January 24th, the Senate Commerce Committee will
hold hearings on government regulation of digital media in
the form of the broadcast flag and the audio flag. But even
before the committee hears the arguments, Hollywood lobbyists
have already planned the results. Drafts are being passed
around Congress by Senator Gordon Smith (D-OR) of a "Digital
Content Protection Act" that would make both flags laws at a

If this bill were to pass, government - and the entertainment
industry - would control what you could do with digital media
in your home. The broadcast flag would place TV shows in a
DRM ghetto, where your right to copy, back-up, sell, time-
shift or convert them into formats convenient to you would be
at the whim of the broadcasters. The audio flag would give
the FCC matching powers over "digital audio broadcasting,"
including satellite radio, digital HD radio, and potentially
even Internet radio. Fair use would be frozen into "customary
historical use."

There's no benefit here for artists or customers, and for
infringing copiers, evading these copy controls will be as
easy as ever. No matter how inconvenienced individual users
would be, pirates would be able to bypass it. The bill would
usher in a new world of anti-consumer electronics and a
chance for the MPAA's and RIAA's member companies to seize
even greater control over all media distribution and use.

If you live in one of the states below, your senator is on
the Senate Commerce Committee. Let him or her know that these
flags would mark a new era of Hollywood's control of the home
and of our digital networks.

You have a senator on the committee if you are a resident of
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii,
Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New, Hampshire, New, Jersey, North, Dakota,
Oregon, South, Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, or West

Write to the Committee:

If you're not in one of those states, it's still important
for you to write to your senator and representative to
support DMCA reform and take some of the bite out of these
preposterous mandates.

Support DMCA reform:

More Information:

The Draft Digital Content Protection Act:

Our Analysis of the Bill

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