How Can The Same Senators Vote Against Net Neutrality, But For Broadcast Flag?

from the consistency? dept

Those who are against adding any language to the latest Telecom Act on net neutrality keep saying it’s important not to regulate the industry — because government involvement leads to inefficient results that could strangle the technology. That’s a defensible position (though, there are reasonable responses to it). However, what makes no sense at all is for a Senator to declare that net neutrality legislation isn’t needed because it’s a bad idea to regulate this important technology… and then turn around and support the idea of a broadcast flag in the exact same bill. We mentioned back in May when Senator Stevens telecom bill first came out that he had brought back the broadcast flag concept that refuses to die. After the courts told the FCC that they couldn’t mandate a broadcast flag, the entertainment industry hasn’t missed an opportunity to try to sneak the broadcast flag amendment into just about any bill they can find. Today, as the Senate debated various amendments in the telecom bill, they decided to keep the broadcast flag in there (though, it’s possible that someone will introduce an amendment to get rid of it later). However, it’s hard to see how someone could credibly claim that net neutrality legislation is bad because it adds regulatory hurdles to a new technology, while at the same time saying the broadcast flag is good, because it adds an even bigger regulatory hurdle to technology. About the only reason to support both seems to be if you have to make good to friends you have in both the telco industry and the entertainment industry. Update: At the House (not Senate) hearings on the broadcast flag: “We have to stop measuring creativity by the financial interests of ten companies.”

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Comments on “How Can The Same Senators Vote Against Net Neutrality, But For Broadcast Flag?”

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ebrke says:

Re: Stop whining about broadcast flags

You know, some months ago I was upset by the idea of a broadcast flag–you know, all I want to do is timeshift a few shows I like because I go to bed really early because I have to get up at the crack of dawn, etc.

But really, you’re right: screw them. I’m not going to die if I miss these shows. I realized that I frequently don’t watch what I tape now. And the stuff goes into syndication and you get it rerun forever on cable channels, and there’s less and less that’s worth watching anyway.

Malcolm says:

“About the only reason to support both seems to be if you have to make good to friends you have in both the telco industry and the entertainment industry.”

Look – If the good Senator can piss off the people who give him money, or piss off – well, the rest of us, he’ll piss off the rest of us. Every time.

After all – what can we do, fire him for incompetence? If all of the Alaskans with an interest in staving off the broadcast flag rose up against him, would he feel any heat?

John Sununu is talking about introducing an amendment to remove the broadcast flag language. The House version of the bill doesn’t have any language like that in it at all.

Keep pushing your Congresspersons, in the Senate and in the House, to stop this thing. Don’t send email – bots can send email. Make a phone call on the way to work, and let the offices of your lawmakers know how you feel. They’ll respond to those. And don’t let up the heat.

Sean (user link) says:


If you think about it for a few moments, you notice that this all seems to be about publicity for both sides. If you think for a moment longer, if you can somehow stop givingour attention to this it may just go away, as they thrive off this negative and positive attention.

But hey, it’s almost impossible to do that, and if we did they may just start passing bullshit laws and bills that will throw us into a full on Communist Government.

Oh well. Fuck all this bullshit. Just leave the Internet the way it is, a place where we truely are ‘free’.

That’s my two cents.

hexjones says:

Re: I agree with the senator.

I agree with him saying that government regulation is a bad idea…it simply is…a capitalist economy is meant to be let be and ran fluid and free…the government shouldnt influence it.

I like what Tim Berners-Lee said “For example, the market system depends on the rule that you can’t photocopy money.”

Meaning that there IS an important role that government plays in a free-market. There isn’t really capitalism unless everyone plays fair.

Don S says:

Re: Re: I agree with the senator.

There is more to the Broadcast Flag than just a digital marker on the signal. It also involves allowing content creators the right to approve or disapprove of any technology that might be able to play said content. This would also apply to satellite radio. If this gets on the books, Hollywood-mandated DRM won’t be far behind. THAT is what all the fuss is about and why you should be very concerned about it.

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