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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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2006 @ 11:50pm

    Re: Stop whining about broadcast flags

    It's not the broadcasters who own the IP. Hell, my equipment would have to honour the broadcast flag if it was set on something that's in the public domain.

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