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Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @

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« MPAA Goes After Television BitTorrent Tracking Sites | Main | Felten on RFID on DVD »

May 12, 2005

MPAA Shopping Draft Broadcast Flag Legislation

Posted by Ernest Miller

Public Knowledge has what they believe to be draft language from the MPAA to give the FCC the authority to implement the broadcast flag:

An Act

To ratify the authority of the Federal Communications Commission to implement a Broadcast Flag.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


(a) AUTHORITY.-- 47 USC Section 303 is amended to add a new subsection (z) to read as follows:

(z) Have authority to adopt regulations governing digital television apparatus necessary to control the indiscriminate redistribution of digital television broadcast content over digital networks.

(b) RATIFICATION.-- The Report and Order in the matter of Digital Broadcast Content Protection (__ C.F.R. ___) which was adopted by the Commission on November 4, 2003, effective January 20, 2004, and the Order in the matter of Digital Output Protection Technology and Recording Method Certifications (__ FCC Rcd ___) which was adopted by the Commission on August 4, 2004, is ratified.
PK's reaction?:
Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn said, "This language is more sweeping than even the FCC contemplated. It would give the Commission unparalleled new power over the development and use of digital and analog consumer electronics technology. It empowers the FCC to approve technologies that prevent currently used video cassette recorders (VCRs) from working, and would allow the FCC to shut off every TiVo in every home today. Clearly, we hope Congress will reject this big-government, anti-consumer approach."
Perhaps the name of this proposed act will be "The Federal Personal Computers Regulation Commission Act of 2005." One also wonders why the RIAA hasn't gotten into the act, since it applies only to digital television and not digital radio.

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Broadcast Flag


1. Commons Music on May 13, 2005 01:46 AM writes...

Thanks for bringing this all to our attention, Ernest.

If anyone who reads this wants to stop it, visit this page.

Permalink to Comment

2. Precision Blogger on May 13, 2005 08:33 AM writes...

Let's just pray the name of the bill ISN'T:

Emergency $112 Billion Dollar Military Spending Bill of 2006"!

- The Precision Blogger

Permalink to Comment

3. Precision Blogger on May 13, 2005 09:42 AM writes...

I'm worried that the MPAA will settle for a lot less and try to portray themselves as "willing to compromise".
- The Precision Blogger

Permalink to Comment

4. Cap'n Ken on May 13, 2005 02:03 PM writes...

Thanks for shining some light on this, but Jesus is that a scary prospect. Hopefully it ain't going anywhere. Hopefully ....

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