Trading The Broadcast Flag For A Change In The DMCA
from the horse-trading dept
After the courts announced that mandating a broadcast flag was outside the scope of the FCC's authority, it didn't take long for the entertainment industry to start pushing for legislation to change that. They also went on their sob story tour, telling the world that there would be no more broadcast content without the broadcast flag, while at the same time admitting that they had no problem inconveniencing all Americans by breaking their existing consumer electronics products. The good news was that (for once!) Congress didn't immediately kowtow to the industry and rush through a straight-from-Hollywood bill to the floor. Instead, they actually pushed back and said they didn't see a reason to push for the broadcast flag. However, now comes the horse trading period. Rep. Rick Boucher, one of the few Congressmen who actually seems to believe in fair use rights has put out a public statement offering a trade of sorts: Congress will approve the broadcast flag, if the MPAA lets Congress defang some of the DMCA, with Boucher's DMCRA bill. The idea is that with fair use protected, the "worst" of the broadcast flag is clipped. Of course, you have to wonder why, exactly, Congress feels the need to get permission from the MPAA to do anything? Aren't they a private organization with a clear position trying to protect their business model? Why should Congress need to trade or get approval from them for anything? Why can't Congress just do what's best for the people (okay, okay, stop laughing...)?