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Audio Broadcast Flag Introduced in Congress 200

Posted by Zonk
from the flagged-for-pvp dept.
Declan McCullagh writes "We found out in mid-2004 that the RIAA was lobbying the FCC for an audio version of the broadcast flag. But because a federal appeals court slapped down the FCC's video version last year, the RIAA needs to seek formal authorization from Congress. That process finally began today when the audio flag bill was introduced. It would hand the FCC the power to set standards and regulate digital and satellite radio receivers, and RIAA Chairman Mitch Bainwol says it strikes "a balance that's good for the music, good for the fans, and good for business." The text of the bill is available online."
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Audio Broadcast Flag Introduced in Congress

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  • by cloudmaster (10662) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:02PM (#14845714) Homepage Journal
    Well, at least they're not gonna make old receivers illegal or inoperable. I guess that must be the part that "strikes a balance" which is "fair to consumers". If you think there'll ever be anything good on satelite radio, buy your hardware now... :)

    (2) shall not make obsolete any devices already manufactured and distributed in the marketplace before the implementation of such regulations; and
    (3) shall not be inconsistent with the customary use of broadcast content by consumers to the
    extent such use is consistent with the purposes of this act and other applicable law.
  • by cloudmaster (10662) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:05PM (#14845749) Homepage Journal
    It's bad for consumers because they are going to have to replace otherwise working radio equipment, right?

    Not as written. That's why it's good to RTFA *before* posting...

    (2) shall not make obsolete any devices already manufactured and distributed in the marketplace before the implementation of such regulations
  • by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me AT hotmail DOT com> on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:10PM (#14845799) Homepage Journal
    I predict you'll be hearing from more than one person who has lost music transfering from one computer to another - I know I've talked to a few of them. Nothing like trying to move say 60 songs from one machine to another and afterwards only having 50 of them.....

    I for one don't use iTunes and prefer to rip the USED CDs I buy instead. Screw 'em!
  • by garcia (6573) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:14PM (#14845851) Homepage
    The broadcast flag is bad for consumers and business.

    Depends on the business. If your business is selling equipment that kowtows to the broadcast flag or your business depends on making the legal RIGHTS of your customers' a logistical nightmare then it's great for business.

    It's bad for consumers because they are going to have to replace otherwise working radio equipment, right?

    That didn't stop Congress from *forcing* digital TV adoption and even going so far as to say that they will pay for "low income households" to receive the converter boxes. The rest of us can eat shit and die and suffer and eat the broadcaster's protected content.
  • Alarmist (Score:3, Informative)

    by amliebsch (724858) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:21PM (#14845916) Journal
    Big deal. The bill has a total of one sponsor and hasn't even been referred to committee yet. Folks, any legislator can introduce a bill on anything. Most of them die in committee and never see the light of day. Get back to me if it makes it out of committee.
  • Re:As usual, (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:41PM (#14846091)
    >Why is a broadcast flag bad? You don't OWN the material that's being beamed into your house, any more than you own a movie that you happened to go see in a theater.

    Airwaves are a public resource. The public resource has been licensed by the FCC in different manners and monies gained in different amounts for different activities. Spectrum that is for a single private individual's use only is VERY expensive and is generally not receivable without special equipment. Spectrum that is for everyone and anyone is VERY cheap and is generally receivable with any equipment. [yes, this varies also by power and bandwidth]. But now people who have licensed spectrum for the use of anyone at all want to use their cheaply purchased public resource for their own special private commercial usage.

    Think of it this way: In your local downtown there's probably a free water fountain. Now imagine if the local water bottling station managed to pass a law that said they could hook into that water fountain and use it to bottle their water. You, the public, get to pay for the water that they plan to sell back to you! And... now you don't even have the old water fountain to show for it! You've been ripped off.

    You don't get it both ways. If you want to sell TV service then you get a special private spectrum (a section between 2 - 3 Ghz) and you pay a lot of money for that privilege (some local MMDS companies already do this). If you want to broadcast on the frequency commonly known as "channel 6" (ie: 82 - 88 Mhz), however, then you get a low price from the FCC, but you absolutely MUST allow anyone to do as they please with what they pick up (barring basic copyright laws that prevent you from copying your timeshift recordings for friends or rebroadcasting for public use).

    Adding a broadcast flag would be no different from a HAM radio operator broadcasting encrypted TV and charging for it. Absolutely illegal right now, and even if it weren't, incredibly unethical.
  • by texas (43689) <cgili1@@@yahoo...com> on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:43PM (#14846113)
    But you don't have the right to tape them.

    Who's a dolt? Fair use doctrine does indeed allow time shifting (recording for later playback). It was validated by SCOTUS in the early 80's Betamax case, and hasn't been overturned by any subsequent decisions. If you don't believe me, here's the EFF's take on it [eff.org].

    So I guess that makes you a dolt too, spouting off about that which you know so little. It's people like you who are willing to just take whatever bread crumbs they toss us that are allowing them to get away with crap like this in the first place. Get educated about your rights, or shut up.
  • Re:As usual, (Score:4, Informative)

    by peragrin (659227) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:44PM (#14846121)
    Um you better go reread copyright law again. You have a legal right to copy all music you want from the radio or TV.

    As long as it's for yourself and you don't distribute that material.

    the broadcast flag prevents such things. hell they want to make tivo illegal unless it's sanctioned.

    I will listen to music or watch TV the way I want to not how I am told to by others.
  • by Gadzinka (256729) <rrw@hell.pl> on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:49PM (#14846161) Journal
    There is an over-the-air, unprotected digital radio broadcast system in the UK operating for years now. And you know what? The sky didn't fall.

    Robert
  • Re:As usual, (Score:2, Informative)

    by deck (201035) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:53PM (#14846200)

    You my dear poster are definitley a TROLL. RIAA employee?

    The problem with the brodcast flag and other DRM (Digital Restictions Management) is that they WILL eventually be used to manipulate the media to ensure that the message is only what the powers that be want it to be whether it is in the music or the image.

  • Re:Curiously absent (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:16PM (#14846370)

    > good for the artists and musicians we represent

    Actually, the RIAA represents only the music publishers, and specifically does not represent artists or musicians.

    (If you're a musician, try applying for membership in the RIAA and see how far you get.)

    When an artist signs a recording contract, he/she does not become an employee of the publisher.

    The relationship between the publisher and the artist is more like a business-to-contractor type of relationship.

  • Re:Moronic (Score:3, Informative)

    by edwdig (47888) on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:49PM (#14846630)
    You should try listening to XM before you bash it. The sound quality is definitely noticably better than on Sirius. It's rare that I have any complaints about the sound quality on XM, but Sirius really makes me cringe sometimes. The talk stations aren't great on either, but Sirius's talk stations are especially bad.

    XM's web streaming, otoh, ugh, that's barely listenable at best. Haven't heard Sirius's yet so I can't compare that.
  • Follow the Money (Score:2, Informative)

    by jmulinix (860561) on Friday March 03, 2006 @07:21PM (#14846853) Homepage
    Looking at the FEC(Federal Election Commission) records the sponsor of this Bill, Mike Ferguson you will find the following additions to his Campaign Fund.
    TIME WARNER POLITICAL ACTION CMTE 2/26/2004 $1000
    TIME WARNER POLITICAL ACTION CMTE 6/24/2004 $2000
    TIME WARNER POLITICAL ACTION CMTE 9/23/2004 $1000
    Though a little peculiar Mike Ferguson gave $1000 back to Time Warner on 03/16/2005.
  • Re:One word (Score:3, Informative)

    by AnalogDiehard (199128) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @10:47AM (#14849763)
    You reading this RIAA?

    As a matter of fact, a member of the RIAA (Universal Music) has acknowledged [theregister.co.uk] that they do read /. articles on p2p. And they're not happy at what they see.

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