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FCC Approves ‘Broadcast Flag’ Technology

Nov 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Communications Commission last week approved regulations clearing the way for Hollywood studios to prevent Internet redistribution of digital TV programming that is delivered by broadcast stations.
With so-called “broadcast flag” technology, the FCC said, consumers will continue to be able to make copies of digital broadcast programming. But the technology will impede their ability to download digital broadcasts onto the Internet.
Hollywood already has the technology to prevent Internet redistribution of cable and satellite programming. Without being able to offer similar protections, broadcasters were concerned that Hollywood would shift much of its best programming to cable and satellite.
But in statements, the FCC’s two Democratic commissioners-Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein-said they dissented in part from the FCC’s new regulations, largely because the rules will allow broadcasters to protect redistribution of news programming and content that is already in the public domain.