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Audio Broadcast Flag Introduced in Congress 200

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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  • One word (Score:4, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:58PM (#14845679) Journal
    strikes "a balance that's good for the music, good for the fans, and good for business.


    • Re:One word (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mayhem178 ( 920970 )
      a balance that's good for the music,

      This couldn't be more wrong. What artist wants to have the spread of their music choked off? The music they put their blood, sweat, and tears into? It's not like they're gonna make any more money by having their music "digitally protected" on the radio, either, so where's the advantage? Don't most music "pirates" get their music from ripping CDs, anyways? I can't say I've ever known anyone that pirated music by recording it off the radio and then distributing it.
      • The one right part of it is that it is a balance, at least the way you analyze it; it is bad for all parties concerned.

        So, the negative end of the 'good' scale.

    • Re:One word (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:41PM (#14846089) Homepage
      Only if by "fans" they mean... uhh... nope, nevermind. Only business applies. When the Asshat Association of America can convince me that not being able to listen to my overpriced music is good for me, I'll reconsider. Till then, I'll take money that I would have bought CDs with and donate it to everone's favorite Swedish website.

      You reading this RIAA? Fuck you. We are not encouraged to pay for music by these actions. In trying to stop piracy, you are in fact encouraging it. Get your act together, because if you want to stay in business, you need to think "entertainment business" not "CD business". Stop gouging the bejesus out of us and we won't have to download it questionably. Piracy gets easier every day, but listening to legally purchased music gets harder by the day. Maybe if you can make it so it's not a pain in the ass to listen to our purchased music when it's so much easier (and cheaper) to download it and put it on any player we want, we'll start paying again. Why is iTunes hugely successful when CD sales are plummeting? It's easy and it's at a much more reasonable price. So cut your fucking losses and deal with it, not screw over your actual customers.

      • Re:One word (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Verteiron ( 224042 )
        Strip out the curses and send this to the RIAA and the congresscritters involved with the bill. Posting it here doesn't do any good. Sending it to them probably won't, either, but at least you'll have voiced your opinion at the right people.
        • Only reason I put them in there in the first place was for effect. Seeing that being a 12-year-old living in the projects or a dead grandmother hasn't cut it as a defense against their attacks, I figured they need something to help get the point. They've gotta have someone under their long arms that reads /. and more specifically the stories going to further prove how rediculous their business practices are.

          I can just imagine that letter now...

          Dear RIAA and Congresscritters,
          Yours Truly,

        • If you want your opinion "heard", tell it to Guido and give him $1000.
      • You reading this RIAA? Fuck you.

        They're not reading this. :) You're preaching to the choir, we KNOW it's bad. Now we've got to convince everyone else.

      • Re:One word (Score:3, Informative)

        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.

  • by rossz ( 67331 ) <{ogre} {at} {geekbiker.net}> on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:58PM (#14845680) Homepage Journal
    If the RIAA wants something and says it's good for music fans, you can be sure it will be something to further enforce their monopoly and abuses as well as extract more money out of your pockets while further limiting our ability to listen to music when and how we want to.

    Simple rule of thumb, if the RIAA is for something, I am automatically against it.
    • by TheAxeMaster ( 762000 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:06PM (#14845755)
      As to how this is good for the consumer. I can clearly see how it is good for business. Good for music is iffy at best. All I can see (as I'm sure others will not) is consumers will have to buy new equipment and broadcasters will have to expend money to comply.
      Its about time to put Fair Use into law I think, now if only I could find legislators I trust to do that well...
    • The real insanity is that the government, a representative of the public interest, is attempting to mandate a private lock on a public utlility - the air waves. You want tio strike a fair balance? Make RIAA members pay for each use, i.e. play, on our public utilities. Since they're the bastards trying to shift us towards a licensing model for everything, let them lead the way by their virtuous example. Or we can just all wake up from this idiotic nightmare and roll back to the original, proper, and only log
  • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:59PM (#14845683) Homepage Journal
    The broadcast flag is bad for consumers and business. It's bad for consumers because they are going to have to replace otherwise working radio equipment, right?

    And it's bad for businesses, because when DRM goes wrong [and it almost always is wrong] then the maker gets slapped for it. Sony BMG is learning that the hard way. Music playing businesses, such as waiting offices, or ones that use music on their hold system might find themselves paying more too. The RIAA is not going to stop at screwing consumers, it will make sure businesses give them more money too.
    • DRM doesn't always go bad. Relatively speaking, Apple's FairPlay implementation hasn't had any glaring problems. Yes, Apple did push out a change to the rights with an iTunes update, but it hasn't lead to mass hysteria because of huge problems.

      That said, the "balance" the RIAA seeks is a see saw with them on the end that's touching the ground.
      • by BLKMGK ( 34057 ) <morejunk4me@hotma i l .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!
        • Personally, I rip used CDs as well. Cheaper, no further payment to RIAA beyond what they already got, and I can rip at whatever bitrate I want.
        • Congrats, I think you just gave a RIAA exec somewhere an aneurism! I mean come on they haven't closed that analog hole yet, plus they didn't get anything from your purchase!

          • Listen carefully MPAA/RIAA. Re the aneurism, I hope its fatal. Damnit, you got your ransom for that disk when it was first sold, and it was sold with the understanding that the buyer had unlimited play rights. And if he/she/it gets tired of it and sells it to a used bookstore for 50 cents rather than add to the trash in the landfill, then those unlimited play rights go with the cd to the next buyer. The secret is that when the seller does sell it, he is legally expected to expunge any ripped copies from
        • Perhaps they will license music like OEM Microsoft software, that is, per computer and not transferrable. Replace your motherboard or get a new computer? Buy a new OS, all apps, and all content.

          Why gouge once when you can gouge year after year?
      • FairPlay goes bad all the time. Why just two days ago an MP3 Player owner contacted me and asked why they couldn't get ACC files they created with ITunes to work on their player. Turns out of course that ACC isn't supported on that player, and if the files have FairPlay built into them, then good luck converting to any other format [besides the lossy problem]. They have to start again from scratch ripping using CDex which I also showed has CDdb that means they don't have to type in artists and track name
        • FairPlay goes bad all the time. Why just two days ago an MP3 Player owner contacted me and asked why they couldn't get ACC files they created with ITunes to work on their player. Turns out of course that ACC isn't supported on that player, and if the files have FairPlay built into them, then good luck converting to any other format [besides the lossy problem]. They have to start again from scratch ripping using CDex which I also showed has CDdb that means they don't have to type in artists and track names.

      • I downloaded one album from iTunes. I got a gift certificate. Several songs were corrupted upon download. I never did get to listen to them.
    • 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 HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:29PM (#14845985)
        (2) shall not make obsolete any devices already manufactured and distributed in the marketplace before the implementation of such regulations

        So after the implementation of such regulations they can be made obsolete?

        You gotta love ambiguity in the language used to craft law.

        Seriously, you are legally mandated to love the ambiguity. You don't want to know the penalties for not loving the ambiguity.

        Seriously, the penalties are a matter of national security and you do not want to know them. The penalties for knowing them are worse than the aforementioned penalties themselves, so you really don't want to know any of them.
    • by doublem ( 118724 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:13PM (#14845837) Homepage Journal
      All your Bass are belong to us.

      By the way, Sony is hardly learning "The Hard Way." The vast majority of users don't even know about the rootkit fiasco, and are buying Sony CDs left and right with no intention of stopping.

      The root kit was a blip on Sony's screen, and as far as they;re concerned it's over. Sony doesn't care what a bunch of geeks like us think, just the masses who buy Pop Music CDs.
    • 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 hou
    • The broadcast flag is bad for consumers and business.

      That doesn't matter. All that matters is who's writing the checks, and who controls the media.

      In both cases, the entities in question probably want this legislation. That means they'll get it.

      This will be passed into law despite any opposition, even if it means adding it as a rider to some other all-important bill.

  • RIAA Chairman Mitch Bainwol says it strikes "a balance that's good for the music, good for the fans, and good for business."

    Well one out of three ain't bad, right?
  • by JadussD ( 951436 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:02PM (#14845713)

    "a balance that's good for the music, good for the fans, and good for business."

    This is by far the most infuriating thing I've read all day. They just think it's their right to control everything related to music. The RIAA thinks that they should be able to control what is listened to by fans of music, period. As a musician, I swear I will not ever sign a contract with anyone related to these bean-countering destroyers of culture, and if that means I can never make money, so be it. I just hope the Internet makes these people obsolete and impoverished sooner than later.

    • They just think it's their right to control everything related to music.

      I'm not normally one to complain, but this morning I was walking down the street and humming some top 40 hits to myself, when out of nowhere some old guy in a suit leaped out and hit me in the face with a shovel.
    • by jbn-o ( 555068 ) <mail@digitalcitizen.info> on Friday March 03, 2006 @09:15PM (#14847528) Homepage

      I hope you'll not only share a link to where your music can be found but you'll keep your sensibilities about music and the RIAA when talking to radio stations. I work at a community radio station (WEFT 90.1 FM [weft.org]) which plays a great deal of music licensed by the RIAA. Hardly what I'd call alternative, but mine isn't the only opinion in the place.

      Recently we had a light discussion about what it would take to do webstreaming. For those of you who don't know, the RIAA licenses tracks of their clients and the terms of the license [cpb.org] are rather vague and somewhat hard to shift to if one is used to being able to broadcast almost anything.

      WORT recently announced a new and improved webcast [wort-fm.org]. Their announcement is interesting because it starts by lying claiming that they'll webcast "all of its programming!" (see page 13 of the PDF newsletter). When you read further you see that WORT plans to comply with RIAA licensing restrictions by not webcasting some of its programming (presumably either shows or tracks that can't be webcast at that moment). Like I said, it's not easy to webcast if you insist on doing what you can to avoid losing a copyright infringement lawsuit while playing RIAA-licensed stuff. If you've grown used to the over-the-air rules, which don't restrict you in the way RIAA's webcasting restrictions do, you've got a tough row to hoe. The RIAA's online restrictions say things such as you can't play the same featured artist more than 4 times in a 3-hour period, nor can you play more than 3 tracks from the same CD/tape/record in a 3-hour period.

      I was curious how much adjustment WEFT would have to make to take on webcasting RIAA tracks. So I looked at some of WEFT's playlists and compared them to RIAA webcasting restrictions. Suffice to say, WEFTies don't yet realize how many shows they'll have to change. I forsee much unpleasant discussion about this topic as we wrestle with exchanging increased listenership for playlist freedom and the hassles that go along with assembling an RIAA-compliant playlist.

      /.ers will read this and think that this is a natural application for a database. And if you're thinking this way, you're right but there's more to it than that. WEFT has roughly 40,000 CDs in its library and lots of CDs coming in every week. Finding the financing for the hardware to host the database on alone is a daunting task, finding the volunteer commitment needed to make the database workable for everyone (not just the techies) is another tall order. I'm up for it, but I know a lot more about writing software than I do about writing grant requests, and I estimate we'll need many thousands of dollars to do this in a way that won't fall over when the power dies or a couple of hard drives go bad.

      Still other /.ers might think differently and conclude that we should just stop playing RIAA tracks, or WEFT should severly cut down on the RIAA tracks we play. Again, I'm up for that—I host a public-affairs program called "Digital Citizen" every other Wednesday from 8-10PM where I play only stuff my listeners can share. I focus on copyright law, patent law, and Free Software (as in the Free Software movement) issues. The only RIAA licensed tracks I play are fair-use snippets, so these webcasting rules don't apply to me. Other public-affairs shows (like News from Neptune [newsfromneptune.com]) don't play RIAA tracks at all. The majority of shows on WEFT are music shows and it remains to be seen how receptive they will be to giving up 90% or more of what's in WEFT's library.

      So now you're slightly more familiar with the restrictions from the radio end of things, even on community radio which is ostensibly more accessible to the public and less likely to play the mainstream RIAA-licensed stuff you can hear everywhere else.

  • 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 Anonymous Coward
      Re: they're not gonna make old receivers illegal or inoperable

      And you think they won't reallocate the FM and AM bands to something else like they plan to do with analog TV?
    • I've actually already noticed this with media center edition. The computer I got shipped with a tuner card, media center edition and the ability to listen to FM. Obviously the FM is buffered, but for some odd reason you can't record off of it, MCE doesn't provide that capability. Now I'm sure there's other software that could do this that I could get, but I'm just saying: sign of things to come.
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:04PM (#14845739)
    ...would hand the FCC the power to set standards and regulate digital and satellite radio receivers...

    Coming soon, Howard Stern on HAM radio.
    • Coming soon, Howard Stern on HAM radio.

      The FCC won't be kosher with that!
      • Why not, they haven't policed the profanity on the ham bands in 30 years now, nor the profanity on 11 meters in nearly 40. What makes you think they'll do more than token enforcement in the future? The only enforcement is by the hams themselves, and on 80 meters in particular, its whoever has the biggest linear, with one rig I heard 4 or 5 years ago that had to have been at least 50kw. And it was being run by an idiot with no knowledge of proper modulation, just the steadier he could keep the power meter
  • by masklinn ( 823351 ) <slashdot DOT org AT masklinn DOT net> on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:05PM (#14845746)
    In other news, Donald Rumsfeld declares that Abu Graïb is good for iraki prisoneers and Joseph Stalin declares that gulags are good for political opponents. More exciting news on the redefinition and ironic use of "good" at 11.
    • and Joseph Stalin declares that gulags are good for political opponents.

      Actually, Stalin would have his opponents declare that the Gulag was good for them. I think the RIAA could take a lesson from this and a) have consumers publicly state that the broadcast flag is good for them and has led to a "drastically improved listening experience", b) have some people voluntarily turn in their non-compliant hardware (or turn themselves in as filesharers), or c) surrender to the French [slashdot.org].

    • You forgot that DRM helps you manage your access to music, silly! :-)

  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:07PM (#14845773) Homepage Journal
    good for the fans

    How is content restriction ever good for the fans?

    Are they thinking it'll make content owners happier and therefore produce more stuff, then making fans happier? I don't get it.
  • Curiously absent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:12PM (#14845831)

    RIAA Chairman Mitch Bainwol says it strikes "a balance that's good for the music, good for the fans, and good for business."

    Curiously absent is "good for the artists and musicians we represent".

  • 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.

    No, lad. You want to transmit an audio signal, you accept that I'm gonna do whatever I damn well like when I recieve it. Is it just me, or does anyone else think the RIAA is becoming a bit "precious"?
  • by kuwan ( 443684 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:20PM (#14845904) Homepage
    Yeah, good for the fans because it makes it so they can't do something that they've been able to do since the advent of personal recording equipment - record songs off the radio.

    Yep, it's good for everyone all around isn't it?
  • 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.
  • Intelligent Design (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:23PM (#14845932) Homepage Journal
    Rep. Mike Ferguson, a New Jersey Republican, said his bill--which would enforce a so-called "broadcast flag" for digital and satellite audio receivers--was necessary to protect the music industry from the threat of piracy.

    Necessary? I don't think it's necessary. It'll help, but at what cost to the consumer? And not the Slashdot freeloaders, the honest people who don't pirate anything. Actually, that would include most of Slashdot, none of us ever pirate, we just try before we buy. That's right, isn't it? I'm new here, I don't know the official way we dress up our excuses yet.

    "With exciting new digital audio devices on the market today and more on the horizon, Congress needs to streamline the deployment of digital services and protect the intellectual property rights of creators," said Ferguson, who is a member of the House of Representatives' Internet subcommittee. Rep. Mary Bono, a California Republican, is one of the four other co-sponsors.

    Well, she's absolutely right here on one count. Congress does need to protect the intellectual property rights of creators, because they are currently under massive assault in a legal system that is a decade behind the technology that it regulates. However, as a Republican, Ms. Bono ought to understand that regulating business is rarely the answer to these problems. Or, in this case, regulating consumers. Even worse. What happened to small government staying out of our lives, Ms. Bono? I'm among those that put the Republicans in power during the Clinton administration and you and your ilk have gradually betrayed our trust. Further, it is also the job of Congress to ensure that our rights as consumers are protected, and for all his enthusiasm, I don't think Darth Nader is up to the job. For one, he's not in the legislature. You are, Ms. Bono.

    That's because a federal appeals court last year unceremoniously rejected a similar set of regulations from the FCC, saying the agency did not have authority to mandate a broadcast flag for digital video.

    Further proof that over a long enough trajectory the legal system almost always gets it right.

    At a breakfast roundtable with reporters on Thursday, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said some sort of legislation is necessary to prevent Americans from saving high-quality music from digital broadcasts, assembling a "personal music library" of their own, and redistributing "recorded songs over the Internet or on removable media."

    We already have legislation that forbids this. They don't want legislation, they want mandated hardware controls to enforce it. I have no objections to streamlining the law to get it caught up with technology and limit the impact of piracy on the RIAA's bottom line. I do have a serious problem with legal mandates that enforce technological limits on legal behavior.

    Devices like the Sirius S50, the RIAA worries, can record satellite radio broadcasts but aren't required to include digital rights management limitations.

    Nor should they be. Sirius bought broadcast rights from ASCAP or whoever broadcast rights group does digital radio, just like everybody else does. The industry has its money from Sirius et al. The only barrier to mass copyright infringement is unreadable devices. As Roger Ebert pointed out long ago, anybody who is a hair above marginally technically competant can create high-quality reproductions of almost any playable media using cheap technology, and store the output in any formot. Onto p2p it goes. The broadcast flag is a big expensive pain in the ass that will not address the problem to their satisfaction, and they'll be back demanding MORE legislation in 5 years when their E/P ratio is too high. The broadcast flag is the first step on a long road of incremenetal freedom reduction that winds gradually out of sight into uncharted territory. Actually, it's not so uncharted. We know wha

    • A few points:

      First off the RIAA is not the same as the music publishing industry. ASCAP/BMI/SESAC licenses songs from the publisher for broadcast and live performances, NOT recordings. Mechanical reproductions are licensed from the publisher through the Harry Fox Agency to be cut or recorded.

      Secondly, the Congress does not need to actively protect IP by enacting new laws. The ones we have work just fine. It is the court's job to protect the IP of the involved parties. In the US copyright law is a civil matt
  • US congress needs to introduce an other bill that limits windows as the only OS that can run on the computers (or may be anything that has microprocessor or may be anything MS thinks their OS can run on). This bill should be introduced in the best interest of the people. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OUR CONGRESS representative working for the people.
  • by JustASlashDotGuy ( 905444 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:27PM (#14845967)

    What I want to see introduced is a 'Commercial' flag. This was my PVR could
    more effectively autoskip commericials!
  • The music industry of the last century was mature in that it worked for everyone involved. With the coming of the wired/wireless world came irritants the upset the status quo. The little piggys that ran the music/movie industries are trying to figure out how to turn these new irritants into pearls. It's a if pigs were oysters sorta thing.

    Lawmakers are being asked to legislate the new industry to protect the status quo of the old industry players, the rights of consumers, the cultural heritage of their respe

  • by dudeX ( 78272 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:30PM (#14846003)
    the best democracy that money can buy...
  • Remember, the alternative was not between a bill being introduced, or not introduced- it was between whether or not there would be a democratic debate on this at all. There is no use getting mad at the recording industry for wanting this. It is in its nature. You might as well get angry at the sun for setting at the end of each day. Congress is another matter entirely. But this is the way it is supposed to work. The RIAA represents American citizens that have a right to have their voices heard, the same as
  • by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <mindstalker AT gmail DOT com> on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:36PM (#14846053) Journal
    If it gives the FCC the power to regulate Satallite radio, would this also allow them to impose decency standards to satallite radio? Can we say goodbye Howard Stern.. and to half the buisness model of Sirius...
  • 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.

  • I have no cable or satellite program anymore. COX was such a money sink and all I got was commercials, fake news, religious bullshit, screwed history and science channels, sometimes an old movie, no sex, and PBS (public TV in the US). Well, I still can get PBS for free via antenna, but I do not need it. I use the saved money to buy used DVDs. This is a lot cheaper. If one day the DRM nightmare kicks in, then I say good bye to movie discs, too. Radio is only interesting for me when I drive long distances, le
  • How many people are "pirating" radio broadcasts? As opposed to CDs and pre-ripped songs? Honestly? How is this anything more than a pre-emptive power grab?
    • Exactly. I have a Sirius subscription and the thing I like about it is the larger selection of music. I have many songs in a digital format that I have acquired over the years, but I always like to find new stuff. If I like something enough to add it to the collection I like to get a whole album or at least a few more songs than the current hit. Satellite radio bitrate isn't all that great and I have no playlist so I would just have to record hours to find the song I want. Seems silly to copy songs fro
  • by tji ( 74570 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @07:04PM (#14846743)
    The RIAA can't introduce bills, only our elected representatives can do that. The RIAA can give the congressmen money, and write legislation for them. But, it's the representative that must own up to this.

    So, don't waste time moaning about the RIAA. This is their business, you should expect nothing less from them. They want to extract the most money possible from as many people as possible.

    The people that need to be held responsible are:

    Main Sponsor: Mike Ferguson (R) New Jersey
    Co-Sponsor: Mary Bono (R) California

    Those are the only two listed in the article, the other co-sponsors are not listed. But, in previous actions, it has been endorsed by:

    Eliot Engel (D-NY)
    Greg Walden (R-OR)
    Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

    The TV version of the broadcast flag was quickly withdrawn after it was clear that American citizens were overwhelmingly against it. It's a bit surprising that these rep's are sticking their necks out on this issue.

    We need to let them know this is a bad idea, and let their constituents know that their representatives are pushing this stuff despite their disapproval.
  • Follow the Money (Score:2, Informative)

    by jmulinix ( 860561 )
    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.
    Though a little peculiar Mike Ferguson gave $1000 back to Time Warner on 03/16/2005.
  • You can't beat the man, give up. They have you by the balls. Which balls, the balls = 99% of consumers who don't give a shit that big businesses can do whatever they please and think its "un-American" to question capitalism, even when the markets are obviously and publicly manipulated. I mean whats the alternative, letting people steal Orin Hatch's wildly popular music [hatchmusic.com]? Unthinkable.
  • This is a prime example of why big business likes big government.

    When the government is large and far reaching, it then has the power to legislate and regulate in favor of big business to help squash competition from small business.

    Government here in the US should be minimal (at best) as set forth by the Constitution and the DoI. If the government doesn't have the power to regulate things in which it should not, then it doesn't have the ability to be biased to the largest campaign supporters.
  • Why is the Federal Government even involved in enforcing copyright? These are private-sector outfits that have every right to protect their rights in court at their own expense ... I simply object to the Feds (and my tax dollars!) being conscripted to serve as the enforcement arm of the RIAA. The FCC has overstepped its bounds pretty regularly these past few years: I think it's time to take a hard look at just how much power the FCC needs to do its job, and to more firmly define what that job actually is. F

The best defense against logic is ignorance.