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FCC Commissioner Wants To Push For DRM 337

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the why-run-for-public-office-unless-you-can-force-your-views-on-others dept.
RareButSeriousSideEffects writes "Techdirt reports that 'Newest Commissioner Deborah Tate has apparently announced that while she knows its outside the FCC's authority, she's a huge fan of copy protection and hopes to use her new position as a "bully pulpit" on the topic.'"
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FCC Commissioner Wants To Push For DRM

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  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:44AM (#15157012) Journal

    Well, I guess it's her prerogative and privilege to use the bully pulpit to endorse, embrace, and encourage DRM, but it makes me nervous when the government and its actors role play about technology and how it should be meted out. Their original responsibility (at least the FCC's) is to fairly and equitably maintain the distribution of the commodity that is radio spectra.

    It's troubling when someone with no apparent business background and understanding of technology to the depth necessary to grasp what DRM has done and will do gets a bully pulpit this high and this visible. I don't know one of the referenced articles is accurate in describing how Ms. Tate love for DRM really is a result of:

    Apparently, her love of country music has brought her to this studied position
    but, "love of country music" seems anemic justification and mostly a non sequitur in justifying something of magnitude DRM.

    Sometimes government just doesn't seem very representative any more, and sometimes it just doesn't seem just.

    • by Pichu0102 (916292) <pichu0102@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:51AM (#15157095) Homepage Journal
      Power corrupts. That's all there is to it. Add money from corrupt companies in (I'm looking at you RIAA), and it's a recipe for disaster to everyone but those with power and money. Even then, those people may find themselves regretting their decisions.
      • by DaHat (247651) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:37AM (#15157573) Homepage
        Does power corrupt or does power attract the corruptible?
        • by hesiod (111176) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @12:11PM (#15157881)
          > Does power corrupt or does power attract the corruptible?

          Everyone is corruptible in one way or another... However, it is still a good question. I believe that both are true, but not universal and not always intentional. For many, the desire to help others grows into an arrogance that leads them to believe they must force people into behaving in a way that is acceptable to the corrupted individual. The whole "Politically Correct" bullshit was started with good intentions but led to people trying to curtail free speech. The war in Iraq could very well have been intended as protection from attack, but its actual effect has been a decrease in protection.
        • by Valdrax (32670) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @12:42PM (#15158181)
          That's sort of a "chicken and the egg" question, but I think that those who actively seek power are of two casts generally:

          1) Those who want the leverage to change the world in a way that they couldn't accomplish without power.
          2) Those who want to benefit themselves in a way that they couldn't accomplish without power.

          In many cases, the line between the two is very fine since most people believe that what will benefit them will benefit society in general. It's what you do when you know they're in conflict that defines your character and your ability to recognize they're in conflict that defines your wisdom.
        • Either Way (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TubeSteak (669689)

          Does power corrupt or does power attract the corruptible?

          Either way, doesn't this lady have a boss (the Chairman of the FCC) or someone in her PR Dept who is supposed to tell her to STFU & stick to doing her job?

          As background, there are 5 Commissioners, 1 of which is designated as the Chairperson by the President and only three Commissioners may be members of the same political party.

          If she actually does follow through on pushing for DRM, it means at least 4 other people + Pres. Bush (actually, whicheve

    • by Ithika (703697) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:53AM (#15157126) Homepage

      Apparently, her love of country music has brought her to this studied position

      but, "love of country music" seems anemic justification and mostly a non sequitur in justifying something of magnitude DRM.

      Yes, most definitely irrelevant. Can we find someone whose love of country music has brought them to the studied position that "only money-grubbing assholes want DRM"? Just to even up the balance and demonstrate how useless her reasoning is?

      • Can we find someone whose love of country music has brought them to the studied position that "only money-grubbing assholes want DRM"?

        You could try finding fans of Van Zant, I suppose since their CD was one of the XCP rootkit CDs. Then again, I don't listen to country music, so I'm not sure if that's a hard or easy task to find Van Zant fans, but given all the other artists affected by the root kit, I'm leaning towards hard.
    • It's troubling when someone with no apparent business background and understanding of technology to the depth necessary to grasp what DRM has done and will do gets a bully pulpit this high and this visible. I don't know one of the referenced articles is accurate in describing how Ms. Tate love for DRM really is a result of:

      Apparently, her love of country music has brought her to this studied position

      but, "love of country music" seems anemic justification and mostly a non sequitur in justifying something of magnitude DRM.

      To be fair, the quote is based on an article about this on the Technology Liberation Front [techliberation.com] web site:

      Last night a FCC commissioner came out in favor of...DRM? Yes, at a reception sponsored by the DC Bar Association in her honor, Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, the newest addition to the FCC, spoke eloquently on a number of issues but perhaps most remarkable was her advocacy for strong copyright protections. Hailing from The Music City, Nashville, this former Tennessee Regulatory Commissioner proclaimed her love for country music and the artists that wish to use DRM to protect their content.

      Of course, this is just her personal opinion. However her position on the FCC lends it credibility it wouldn't ordinarily have. I don't know her tech credentials, but I doubt she's on top of the whole subject and is just espousing a knee-jerk reaction based on the usual political babble. She's probably a frustrated country artist at heart. Anyway, she's so obsucre as government people go, I doubt her promotion of DRM is going to create a groundswell of public support anytime soon.

      • by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:07AM (#15157278) Journal
        She's probably a frustrated country artist at heart.
        since we're conjecturing, i think what we have here is a slightly misguided person on a massive power trip. now that she's a person of consequence (to herself at any rate), she feels that she has the right, NAY the obligation!, to champion issues that she feels are morally correct, even if they are completely outside the normal functioning of her job.

        she's just misguided. any rational person would examine the pros and cons of anything they decide to champion. All we have to do is wait for some DRM f***up to affect her life before she thinks "hmm, maybe it does more than it claims to do...." it's just too bad that people don't do that in the first place.

      • Anyway, she's so obsucre as government people go, I doubt her promotion of DRM is going to create a groundswell of public support anytime soon.

        There will never be a groundswell of public support. What there will be is industry telling us why they need DRM, but no one will ever want it. The maddening part is that things like HD-DVD and Blue Ray will be unmitigated failures because of the barriers that DRM puts in the way of them actually being useful.

        When DRM blocks the use of products by consumers, or req
    • I think the general audience (read: most of the people) will come to its senses. It is just a matter of time. When the iPod guy will find that Apple is not the greatest portable music player producer anymore, he will have to realise that his $750 worth of music legally purchased needs to be paid for again. Having to come to that is most unfortunate, but it seems as if it's going to be the way to go.

      BTW: Is it legal to burn a CDA out of your iTMS tunes and then rip it to MP3? I know it's horrible in plenty o
      • BTW: Is it legal to burn a CDA out of your iTMS tunes and then rip it to MP3? I know it's horrible in plenty of ways, but is it legal?
        According to the iTunes Music Store Terms of Service [apple.com], it seems that you can.
        See Section 9 (Purchase of Apple Content)
      • BTW: Is it legal to burn a CDA out of your iTMS tunes and then rip it to MP3? I know it's horrible in plenty of ways, but is it legal?

        Of course it's legal. If you own the track, you are able to make personal copies of it under the Fair Use clause. The only hindrance to that would be if you had to defeat some sort of DRM to get it to MP3 (hence violating the DMCA), but iTunes itself provides a way to burn a CDA, stripping the DRM. Once it's on CD, you can convert it to whatever format you'd like.

        The pro
    • Sometimes government just doesn't seem very representative any more, and sometimes it just doesn't seem just.

      What's "representative" about the FCC? It's a bunch of unelected beaurocrats with nothing better to do. Seriously, how much effort does it take to manage the radio spectrum for the US, particularly now that it's pretty much all been doled out? A couple of guys with a decent software application?

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:44AM (#15157018)
    But it should be up to the companies themselves whether to use it or not. Having a government-defined standard is also a good idea and adds to the competitiveness of the DRM provider marketplace.
    • Either you are paid by the music and music cartels or you have no idea what DRM is. It is not a "Feature" like the packaging on MP3 players seem to suggest.

      Look it up on http://wikipedia.org/ [wikipedia.org]
  • by gasmonso (929871) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:48AM (#15157063) Homepage

    Shouldn't the FCC focus on bigger issues like boobs indiscriminately appearing on the Super Bowl. Or how about shock jocks saying naughty words on the radio. Geez, stay focused FCC!!

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:50AM (#15157083)

    Just so long as you remember this:

    she knows its outside the FCC's authority

    In other words, have any hobby you like. Just don't confuse your hobby with your job.

  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:51AM (#15157094)

    Deb can preach the myriad benefits of DRM from her 'bully pulpit' as much as she likes...the fact is that the FCC has no authority on this matter, so her preaching won't go beyond establishing her personal views on the issue. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals made the limits of the FCC on this issue quite clear when they struck down the Broadcast Flag [uscourts.gov] (PDF warning).
    • by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:02AM (#15157224) Homepage
      the fact is that the FCC has no authority on this matter
      Yet. And the federal government has no authority to raise drinking ages to 21, or to mandate a 70 mph nationwide speed limit, and yet they have done so (albiet indirectly).

      The FCC does have a lot of power, especially for an organization who's original intent was simply to allocate RF spectrum. They could force DRM in other ways, or could decide that DRM was not outside the FCC's authority after all -- or perhaps Congress could decide that it should be under their authority. Who knows? As long as this is a hobby of hers, I won't complain, but I hope it remains so.

      As for her `love of country music' being what led her to this, well, how many cds (probably not copy protected, I might add) and records/tapes (not even digital, so DRM does not apply) did the RIAA have to give her/sell to her to bring her to this conclusion? How many hours of listening to the radio (no DRM, but under the FCC's juristiction) did it take to realize these two loves of country music and DRM?

      Or was it satellite radio that lead her to this? DRMed, and under the FCC's juristiction, but it's that DRM (encryption) that causes the FCC to lighten up on them a bit and allow swearing and such?

      • Satellite radio is not considered to be using the public airwaves. That part of the spectrum is for private or subscription use. So you can pretty much put on it what ever you want. Same as Satellite and cable TV . DRM has nothing to do with it except that is how they make money. There seems to be a real distinction between VHF/UHF/long wave parts of the spectrum and microwaves.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:02AM (#15157225) Homepage
      Oh god no. That is exactly how they want you to think. She will act as a powerful persuasion tool on the senate and house and be looked upon as an "expert" by the braindead morons running our country.

      She is highly dangerous and only public outrage, and many MANY calls for her resignation will be an acceptable solution.

      Unfortunately getting tech people as a group to do anything is like herding cats. It's just not possible.

      If the FCC recieved tens of thousands of angry letters about it as well as the senate and house represenatives recieve angry letters as to her views to tear down fair use and americans rights they will stand back and take notice.

      But nothing will happen which is a giant signal to them that amercians and Tech people want DRM desperately.
    • DRM also refers to:
      There are technical measures that could be used not to restrict use or access, such as to monitor use in order to record rights of a content consumer

      so DRM should be used by theaters, radio stations, and re-broadcasters of all sorts to track the exact counts back to the rights holder, and eliminate the guess work now done to pay out royalties.

      So I completly support the development, and implementation within the music/video world of DRM. However I agree with most of slashdot, the DRM need
  • by ausoleil (322752) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:51AM (#15157097) Homepage
    When all is said and done, it is the market that will ultimately decide whether DRM is a "good" idea.

    If, for example, the record companies leave the installed base of CD players unable to play the latest and greatest CD they are pimping, it will not sell.

    Yes, I know it is not so simple, but really - think of it this way - if the next gen of DVD players is too cumbersome to use because of DRM, the whole platform will fail. Think of DiVX, the old rental DVD scheme that Circuit City and other sold for a time. You might have a hard time finding it today.
    • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:14AM (#15157346) Homepage Journal
      Right. Because the market has never had a bad idea forced on it by legislation. Did the "market" decide that it wanted the DMCA?
    • 'When all is said and done, it is the market that will ultimately decide whether DRM is a "good" idea.'

      That's only true when the market's allowed to decide. When the government (men with guns) steps in to mandate DRM, outlaw non-DRM technologies, and criminalize circumvention (as with the DMCA), people have no choice.
    • What does that mean? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 2short (466733)
      "The market will decide what succeeds or fails" is a silly tautology, "the market" is just a personification of such decisions after the fact.

      "The market will decide what is good" is false; the market makes dumb, short-sighted decisions all the time. The market doesn't care about "good" the market cares about "profitable", in the very short term.

      "The market" is just the collective decisions of lots of people, deciding things for various reasons, presumably including the FCC commisioners endorsement of an
  • by Linux_ho (205887) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:51AM (#15157101) Homepage
    How can you be a huge fan of DRM? I guess she's never bought a "CD*" only to find it wouldn't play on her CD player. * "Disc does not comply with CD specifications and may not play on some players due to DRM implementation" /actual text printed on Sony "music disc" I got as a gift. Was able to listen on the multi-format DVD player in my home entertainment system. Unfortunately I mostly listen to music at work, where I can't play this disc...
  • What again is that organisation about? So far, I didn't really see what benefit they offer anyway.
    • They are the ones who "think of our children". :-)

      Largely what they were supposed to do is make sure standards of broadcast technology were adhered to. E.g. licensing spectrum, making sure TV signals are in their respective bands, etc, etc.

      This whole "policing morality" bullshit is not new but it's also a lot different now than say 30 years ago. Nobody would have given two shits about a nipple showing off at a superbowl in 1978. That it happened in 2004 [or 2005?] is a crying shame and we must fight this
  • A short note (Score:3, Interesting)

    by paulthomas (685756) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:53AM (#15157119) Journal
    I just sent an email to Commissioner Tate [fcc.gov]:

    Dear Commissioner Tate,

    I have read that you are in favor of DRM. I do not like having my freedom to tinker with technology and enjoy media I have purchased hampered by government intervention and paternalism.

    Please let DRM succeed or die on its own merits -- on market forces alone.

    From a concerned citizen who both authors and enjoys media.
  • Me too! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:53AM (#15157122) Homepage Journal
    I've just gotten a job with the Department of Motor Vehicles, and while I know it's normally outside the DMV's jurisdiction, I'm a big fan of the death penalty for grouse hunters, hockey players, and Girl Scouts, and will use all my resources my new job to bully others into furthering my agenda.
  • by Coopjust (872796) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:57AM (#15157176)
    DRM doesn't prevent piracy. It just takes our rights.

    Which is easier:

    A) Buying a copy of a song on iTunes with a mediocre bitrate, many limits, and incompatible with most players, or

    B) Downloading a copy in an extremely high bitrate, in a format that many players use?

    DRM drives people to piracy, it doesn't prevent it. Songs I buy in iTunes can't be played, for example, when I plug my iPod in my Xbox 360. MP3s can. Burning it to CD and ripping is lossy, and the bitrate is so-so. If I buy the song, shouldn't I be entitled to a copy I can play on many devices?

    People download MP3's because their versatile, not free.
    • People download MP3's because their versatile, not free.

      You make the same mistake as all the other slashbots, by framing the actions of others in what you think to be true.

      People, as a rule, will take anything not nailed down. This is why people download stuff. Not because it's "more versatile," which doesn't even register for most people, but because they can get it for $0. Zero Dollars. Free.

      Anyone who wants something easy will just buy an iPod and get songs off iTunes.
      • You make the same mistake as all the other slashbots, by framing the actions of others in what you think to be true.

        People, as a rule, will take anything not nailed down...

        You really have to smile at this... :)

    • It stops the people who buy on iTunes from creating mash-ups of the songs they purchased, and it prevents "just anyone" from selling their music on the accepted marketplace. (the iTunes Music Store) ... those are the features of DRM that the music industry is truly interested in, despite their claims about it "preventing piracy".
  • metablogging? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timster (32400) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:58AM (#15157194)
    This is a link to a story on a blog that consists of a link to a story on another blog that doesn't cite any sources. This is an interesting way to create a news story, but I can't figure out how to tag it. "metablogging" came to mind, but that doesn't really seem to sum it up very well. Can anybody think of something better?
    • This is a link to a story on a blog that consists of a link to a story on another blog that doesn't cite any sources. This is an interesting way to create a news story, but I can't figure out how to tag it. "metablogging" came to mind, but that doesn't really seem to sum it up very well. Can anybody think of something better?

      Gossip?
      Speculation?
      Rumour?
      US intelligence on WMDs in Iraq?
      Cowboy Neal?
    • Viralblog.

      Rumor spreading.

      Whatever, facing two mirrors at each other may give the illusion of infinite depth but won't give you any more information. Same result here.
  • I hope they figure out some really effective way to implement DRM, so long as it doesn't exclude the option of having NON-DRM content. As long as I can install and use Linux and go online without having to prove I'm using a "DRM compliant" OS, I'm not particularly worried. If they finally get DRM to work, it will drive people to alternatives that don't use DRM. Sounds good to me.

    Every time I hear more stories about DRM I keep thinking of the Star Wars line about tightening grip = more people escaping and
    • What we need is a website with Napster like popularity and only free music and movies available.

      OK, I'm a pretty staunch opponent of DRM and I did write to our beloved FCC member and ask her how I'm supposed to get my DRM'ed music onto my MP3 player. But still, I have to ask (based on your statement above about free music and movies) how it is that the artists who produce the works are supposed to make a living. I personally think that the system we had in place 15 years ago worked just fine. Pre-DRM

  • by stlhawkeye (868951) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @10:59AM (#15157201) Homepage Journal
    Copy protection is not the same thing as DRM. It's a form of it, and there's nothing wrong with a company voluntarily implementing copy protection on its content. We as the consumers can then decide whether or not we want to purchase copy-protected products and we retain the ability to make choices in a liberalized economy.

    That's completely different from federally-mandated DRM, which gives us no choice in what we buy, and forces upon us the business whims of the content cartels. That is not a characteristic of a free market, nor of a liberal democracy. I understand the need of the business to protect itself from people whose illegal activities threaten their botton line. I seriously do completely understand that. But I do not think that enacting federal laws that impact all customers negatively in the effort to mitigate the behavior of a minority of customers is asinine.

    • Copy protection is not the same thing as DRM. It's a form of it, and there's nothing wrong with a company voluntarily implementing copy protection on its content. We as the consumers can then decide whether or not we want to purchase copy-protected products

      Think of it as a preemptive strike. If you're not with the pirates/hackers, then you're a terrorist.
    • Speaking of DRM != copy protection, I'd be all for government involvement in DRM, if the government mandated consumer protection DRM.

      That is, encrypted DVDs allow full copying of content after expiry of Copyright period, allow for easy copying of individual snippets for use in other media presentations and for fair use, etc.

      If my rights were being managed properly, I'd be a lot happier.
  • Great! Now maybe we can make even more money by having the FCC regulate random sounds we hear in public spaces, our thoughts or even our posts!

    P.S. If you just read the above post, it is pending protection by DRM in the near future. So, in order to avoid a lawsuit, please send your 2 cents right away.
  • Extremely unethical (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Odiumjunkie (926074) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:03AM (#15157236) Journal
    Publicly admitting an intention to abuse a relatively high-ranking public position to further a personal agenda should be ground for dismissal.

    Imagine if the head of the Electoral Commission announced that he "was a fan" of a particular political movement, and was going to try to use his "bully pulpit" to promote it. That would be utterly intolerable.

    I think that, although less serious, this is an equivalent situation - a public official announcing an intention to promote a corporate movement, possibly even hinting at using her department's sway with private companies to further her agenda. Even if it was something less controversial than DRM, it would still be completely out of order.
    • Pragmatically... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ghostlibrary (450718) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:22AM (#15157414) Homepage Journal
      I think she should be kept in office precisely for her ill-advised comment. Anyone who makes such an assertion is better than their replacement-- who will likely have the same opinion but not be foolish as to state it. Heck, she just gave opponents of DRM ammunition to lobby against any bullying she does, and she's forewarned them of her agenda.

      When in doubt, keep the noisy idiot over the cunning schemer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:07AM (#15157270)
    The FCC periodically appears to do bad things. The best solution I've found is to write Congress and protest the FCC's BUDGET. Congress won't address individual issues, or FCC decisions. However, Congress controls the FCC budget. I and others have made complaints to Congress, in that the FCC has too large a budget, as their people have time/resources to do bad things, and a LARGE budget reduction is in order. Furthermore, the monies from the reduction can be redirected elsewhere. Congress has been previously persuaded by this type or argument. Therefore, if Ms. Tate is so over-paid and under-worked that she can be on a "Bully Pulpit" for DRM, then the FCC's budget is in serious need of reduction! I know, that Congress little regards it's constituants, but, constituant supported reasons to reduce agency budgets and use the money else where appears to resonate.
  • A response email (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Odiche (513692)
    Dear Madame,
    The FCC was originally set up to regulate the Radio airwaves. Then you took it upon yourselves to regulate the TV broadcast spectrum. Following that, you decided that censoring programs was within your mandate as well. (Lets ignore all the 1st amendment issues right now).

    Now you have decided to enter the fray on the side of DRM. Either pro or Con, this should be a completely business decision. There is nothing that needs regulating via the FCC with regards to DRM.

    I respectfully request that you
  • by RexRhino (769423) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:18AM (#15157385)
    The government is the real danger of DRM... any kind of Digital Rights Management will be easily circumvented. Sometimes it is only a matter of days before hobbiests are able to break DRM on a product.

    The danger comes from when the government starts arresting people who post DRM circumventing software on their website... or mandates that DRM must be built into hardware (it is very easy for hobbiests to distribute software to the people, but not hardware)... Or prohibits public libraries from circumventing protection.

    If companies want to use DRM, so be it. That should not be where we focus our attention... because DRM is a joke. We need to stop the government from enforcing DRM at all costs!
  • During the industrial revolution, the southern states tried to isolate themselves from change by fencing themselves off from the rest of the union. Today, industries are trying to isolate themselves from the changes of the information age with DRM.

    The difference was that back then there was a clearly divided north and south. Today we are all mixed in together. Then the government was on the side of the industrial interests over the plantation interests. Today the government is on the side of the media i
  • I for one am for DRM, even though it can be sticky in some situations. People used to at least rent movies to copy them, but now, zero money is going to the movie producers for pirated movies. It's gotten to a point where downloading a song or movie from the internet illegally has become so widely accepted socially that DRM may be necessary. I just download stuff due to the convenience. But when half the people download movies and convert them to DVD, it doesn't sound very convenient...

  • New in the country? Looking for a good tutorial on how our government works, but not enough days to burn walking around the capital and digging up the dirt? Here's a quick guide to the underpinnings of our system:

    http://www.time.com/time/press_releases/article/0, 8599,1109304,00.html [time.com]

    CRONYISM. Study it, discuss it, live it, learn it. We don't hire competent people, we hire OUR FRIENDS and any other greedy lamprey that has attached themselves to us and looks good in a suit.

    So remember this folks. If you decid
  • and hopes to use her new position as a "bully pulpit" on the topic.

    I walked TFA and TFA's TFA looking for the exact quote, but the TFA's parent seems to say the exact opposite.

    If she really said this, I am prepared to express outrage to anyone who will listen, but would like to make sure this is what it is purported to be. Does anyone have more information on this?
  • 180 degree turn (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BoredWolf (965951)
    It confuses (but does not surprise) me that the FCC has turned into what it is today. 25 years ago, the FCC was there to allow an equal opportunity for all voices to be heard. They promoted diversified holdings of news publications and broadcasting stations. Most of this media is now concentrated in the hands of 7 or so major companies. Who would have though that having a multitude of voices heard would mean the revealing of scandal, criticism of the government, and questioning of special interests. If
  • Does she even have one?

    I don't mean a brain, that's a no-brainer.

    As the 'Newest Commissioner', does Deborah Tate even have a "bully pulpit"?

  • Howto contact her... (Score:2, Informative)

    by oPTIKALfIRE (604294)
    I just sent a professional - but also nasty gram over to her @

    http://www.fcc.gov/commissioners/tate/mail.html [fcc.gov]

    Feel free to do the same :)
  • by GodWasAnAlien (206300) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:36AM (#15157564)
    The protection of DRM by the goverment (From FCC regulation or DMCA type laws) is at odds with Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution.

    This clause lets the government assign exclusive rights of a work for a limited amount of time (to encourage science and art).

    Currently, No DRM has an expiration or time limits of any kind, so by protecting or mandating DRM, the government is in effect allowing exclusive rights of a work and unlimited amount of time ( with no regard to the effect of this on art and science ).
  • by feijai (898706) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @11:56AM (#15157747)
    It's referencing a Techdirt rumor article, which in turn only cites a random blogger who appears to have made the claim without any attribution at all. My BS detector is going off big-time. It *is* /. though: should I have that fixed?
  • by mpapet (761907) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @12:00PM (#15157788) Homepage
    And nothing else is done. Get that righteous indignation off your chest and go about your business.

    Meanwhile, in the corridors of power, the party line remains intact. "Corporations know what is best for the consumer. It's in their best interest." And the other party line, "Anyone against DRM only wants to steal copyrighted material."

    And what exactly are *you* doing to change that opinion? Nothing.
  • Defrock Her (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @12:34PM (#15158107) Homepage Journal
    How about firing her for abusing her position of public trust? She's not busy enough regulating porn, stopping municipal WiFi, dropping barriers to media monopolies, breaking up the Internet into multiple telco fiefdom "tiers"...

    I want a cushy Federal gig where I can blow off my work to use it as a bully pulpit for ponies!
  • by gilesjuk (604902) <.giles.jones. .at. .zen.co.uk.> on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @01:58PM (#15158869)
    So where is the evidence that TV broadcasts and people videoing TV shows ever ruined the media giants?

    TV still exists, Hollywood exists and Disney etc are larger than ever. So there is no need to restrict people left right and center. In fact it's all theory that people who have "pirate" media would have purchased it had they not been able to pirate it. The pirate market is seen at possible growth and revenue when in fact many people pirate it either because they can't afford it or just don't want to spend that amount of money on the media in the first place.
  • Control (Score:3, Insightful)

    by carrier lost (222597) on Wednesday April 19, 2006 @02:02PM (#15158898) Homepage
    What is so fascinating about this entire mess, is the obsession with control.

    Once upon a time, media companies produced content and released it when they desired. They manufactured "stars" and "hits" and neither rarely occurred outside Big Media's control. And if they did, they were quickly co-opted.

    Digital distribution and the internet put an end to all that.

    DRM is nothing more than a desperate attempt by these companies to put the genie back in the bottle; to return to the days when they competed only amongst themselves and controlled access to product with an iron fist.

    So, the fact that a government functionary would profess favor for a technology whose only real purpose is to stifle creativity and prop up some very entrenched yet increasing obsolescent businesses is a rather amazing demonstration of how pervasive this mindset is.

    MjM

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