Broadcast Flag Ruling Angers MPAA

By Jon Newton 5/09/05

MPAA boss Dan Glickman is angered by the decision of an appeals court to haul down the entertainment cartels' Broadcast Flag.

The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) was among vested interests who’d been counting on a clear win in the American Library Association v FCC case.

At the cartels' behest, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) had provisionally ruled digital TVs would have to recognize a ‘broadcast flag' embedded in programs.

Jon Newton

And, "When it comes to digital recording, it'll be Hollywood's DRM way or the highway," as the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation expressed it.

"Want to burn that recording digitally to a DVD to save hard drive space? Sorry, the DRM lock-box won't allow it. How about sending it over your home network to another TV? Not unless you rip out your existing network and replace it with DRMd routers. Kind of defeats the purpose of getting a high definition digital signal, doesn't it?"

However, the FCC had far exceeded its authority, said those arguing against Hollywood.

The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia agreed.

“You've gone too far,” said Judge Harry T. Edwards. “Are washing machines next?"

Without Broadcast Flag, “program providers will have to weigh whether the risk of theft is too great over free, off-air broadcasting and could limit such high quality programming to only cable, satellite and other more secure delivery systems,” threatened Glickman.


Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.


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