Ladies and Gentlemen, you have 48 hours to stop the broadcast flag. If you remember, they tried this sometime ago, but it was struck down. What is the Broadcast Flag? Basically it is a way for the money-hungry bastards at Hollywood and the MPAA to control what you can view, and when. Today, you can easily download HDTV content to view at a time that's convenient for you. If the broadcast flag is in effect, there are a few things that you will not be able to do. Restrictions can take the form of the following:
- Flagged content cannot be saved. Even if you are able to save them, there will most probably be reduction in quality.
- You will be unable to skip commercials. This is the same deal with the bullshit they show you in DVD's these days. You have to sit through the previews and commercials before you can get to the actual movie.
- You will not be able to burn downloaded content from the hard-disk into a DVD, if you wanted to save space.
- Want to send the content to another node on the home network, or another TV? Nope. The broadcast flag won't let you do that either.
- Content can only be viewed by "authorized" devices. So suddenly you'll have to replace all your hardware with ones that have been "blessed" by the assholes at the MPAA
End result? A big "fuck you" to consumer rights. Of course, the MPAA and Hollywood will tell you that this is all done to fight piracy. In addition to that, they will even tell you that you might be helping terrorists because of piracy, so of course, this is also helping "The War Against Terror". It never surprises me how low these bastards can go. The broadcast flag is complete abomination. There is no way it will make a dent in piracy, especially large-scale. Current use of consumer electronics by American citizens to download and view shows at a later time, fall entirely within fair-use rights. If the flag is authorized, everyone will need Hollywood's permission before they can create anything, or risk being sued. I can only see this stifling innovation.
This underhanded and cowardly tactic is not new for them. If you remember, they tried to sue VCR makers and MP3 player makers. If we had these kinds of laws 20 to 25 years ago, we wouldn't have many of the things we take for granted today. Things like MP3's and iPods. Hollywood and the MPAA have a right to distribute their content. But when that right encroaches upon my right to decide WHAT to do with that content, and how I decide to view it and when and where I decide to view it, I have a problem.