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Broadcast Flag Back in Congress

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the write-call-email-protest dept.

Television 417

Tyler Too writes "When the broadcast flag was smacked down in court, it was only a matter of time before the MPAA tried to ram it through Congress. The first attempt in June failed, but the EFF reports that they are gearing up for another try. From Ars Technica's write-up: 'This latest attempt involves tacking on an amendment to a budget reconciliation bill. Since reconciliation is about cutting spending--something that always sounds good--such legislation cannot be substantially changed by the Budget Committee once it is presented, nor can it be filibustered.' Looks like it's a good time to call your congressman."

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If something gets shot down once... (5, Insightful)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660328)

...Why is it legally allowed to try again? I mean, it seems like no matter what, if someone wants something done that people don't like, it's not a matter of if it will happen, it's a matter of when it will happen.

Re:If something gets shot down once... (1)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660344)

The devil is in the details. If the regulation's wording changes slightly, then it may be allowable.

Re:If something gets shot down once... (4, Insightful)

HUADPE (903765) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660651)

The last attempt wasn't in a law. According to TFA "the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Federal Communications Commission overstepped its authority in mandating that all consumer electronic devices capable of receiving digital television signals incorporate support for the flag." That means that an administrative agency, the FCC, did not have authority to do it, Congress still might.

Either way, it is a bad piece of policy which should be junked.

Re:If something gets shot down once... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660348)

Because last time it was shot down was on a technicality, basically the FCC was found not to have the power to enforce the Broadcast Flag.. There was no ruling on the Constitutionality of the flag itself..

Re:If something gets shot down once... (3, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660351)

you would be pretty upset if it was a piece of crucial legislation you wanted that had been shot down and thus could never be resubmitted now wouldn't you...

Re:If something gets shot down once... (2, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660439)

Yes, but how bout rules on amendments. Is this amendment in any way related to cost cutting? I doupt it.

Re:If something gets shot down once... (5, Insightful)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660386)

...Why is it legally allowed to try again?

The ability to try again with failed legislation is one of the greatest strengths of our political system, but at the same time it is one of the biggest problems.

The number of other provisions and amendments that make it through in this manner is probably staggering. The only thing that could be done to curtail this practice would be to require single-purpose bills that can't be loaded full of non-related crap. Of course, that would require a major change in our our legislative process works...

Re:If something gets shot down once... (4, Funny)

ThaFooz (900535) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660474)

The only thing that could be done to curtail this practice would be to require single-purpose bills that can't be loaded full of non-related crap. Of course, that would require a major change in our our legislative process works...

Why not just tack your proposal onto some popular bill?

Re:If something gets shot down once... (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660506)

"The only thing that could be done to curtail this practice would be to require single-purpose bills that can't be loaded full of non-related crap"

Alternatively you could just enforce the Constitution: then 99% of laws would be thrown out immediately... including this one.

Re:If something gets shot down once... (1)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660590)

The problem with the constitution is that its meaning depends on context and interpretation; it doesn't cover all situations by a long shot. That's why the SCOTUS exists, they're the "official" interpreters of the constitution.

Line Item Veto (3, Insightful)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660561)

Because God forbid the President be allow to send individual parts of the bill back to congress and tell them to grow the hell up.

Re:Line Item Veto (5, Interesting)

bofkentucky (555107) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660624)

I've come to the conclusion that the president should personally call out the offending pork loader when he vetoes the bill. Post on the white house website what a moron senator X is for ruining a good bill. If we've got 50 24 hour news channels, why not put them to use for ridculing politicians.

Re:Line Item Veto (1, Insightful)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660660)

Not a problem with this congress. The line item veto was introduced because the Republicans kept tacking stupid amendments on to necessary legislation so they could dare Clinton to veto it (and then use it against him in the next legislation; "Clinton vetoed the Feed All Starving Children bill! He hates children!" when he vetoed it because there was a rider that assigned a $10 billion construction contract to Halliburton.)

It's a constant cycle though, notice how the economy tanks after the Republicans have been in power for 6-8 years? Our national debt perfectly reflects the money management skills of most americans...

Re:If something gets shot down once... (4, Insightful)

bedroll (806612) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660394)

That's the way the system works. For dumb things and good things. Imagine if we didn't allow legislation to be reintroduced. We wouldn't have half the civil rights we do now. Sure, it may force dumb things to die, but it would also mean that one especially poor congressional class could permanently ruin our country.

Re:If something gets shot down once... (1)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660420)

if that were the case, all you'd have to do is change something in the law and try again - then its a new law all over again. its like overloading methods, if the signature is different, they're not the same.

Re:If something gets shot down once... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660450)

Because last time, it was not a bill that Congress was approving. The FCC tried to mandate the use of the broadcast flag. The courts said that the FCC did not have the authority to do this. They did not say that the broadcast flag itself was wrong. So instead, the MPAA can't pay off the FCC and has to go pay off Congress.

devils (RIAA) advocate here (1)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660501)



Well a good example would be Jim Crow ... was the basis for society once then changing thinking deemed it unsuitable. Plus isn't Bush installing his new (R) supreme court judges. I think the term hammering it in is more appropriate than one might think. Just a little more lobbying (lube) will do it.

Lubbyist Lube - the only way to greese over congress so you can fsk the American people up the ass

Say what? (5, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660332)

smacked down in court

Hey! I saw that match! The Rock crushed the MPAA with the People's Elbow.

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660587)

Hey! I saw that match! The Rock crushed the MPAA with the People's Elbow.

uh, don't you mean, the People's middle finger!

if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (4, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660335)

From the post: This latest attempt involves tacking on an amendment to a budget reconciliation bill. Since reconciliation is about cutting spending--something that always sounds good--such legislation cannot be substantially changed by the Budget Committee once it is presented...

So, the MPAA is now taking the route on total non-representation. Their initial approach obviously was non-representational/non populist and of course they have their own greedy self-motivation. That's okay, you can petition the government for legislation, and for protection. But they lost that battle and now look to win the war with their own Trojan Horse, a virus if you will (how ironic). The thing I find MOST egregious and offensive about this is they are sneaking their agenda in under the radar in a bill totally unrelated to their issue and likely to be passed. Normally this is a technique to snag pork for legislators and representatives, a sleezy technique for allocating money. But this is more pernicious and evil -- where the intent is to screw the entire entertainment consuming public (virtually everyone). What a crock.

Re:if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660371)

As long as it benefits politicians as well, the odds of getting this "feature" of being able to tack anything onto an unrelated bill is going to stay in place. "Support the More Money for Education bill... (oh, and minorities no longer have rights). Think Of The Children!"
 

Re:if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (5, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660402)

We need a constitutional amendment that disallows text in a law that doesn't fit the spirit of the law's title.

It would make for some amusing titles, and some great TV on CSPAN.

Re:if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660432)

A Very Good Idea(tm)

Re:if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (2, Interesting)

bmongar (230600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660488)

Missouri actually has such a constitutional amendment. It was used to overturn the anti-stripper law last month.

Re:if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (2, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660504)

We already know how well titles reflect the content:

"Patriot Act"
"Clear Skies"
"Medical Privacy Act"

The best-named recent bill was probably

"Can Spam"

Re:if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660518)

Don't forget the nice label "affirmative action" for the policy of denying individuals opportunity for advancement based on their "race".

Re:if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (1)

wh33lz (829744) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660556)

Actually, in the house, all amendments must be germane (on the subject of the pending bill or other business; a strict standard of relevance). This prevents such amendments from being introduced and creating "Christmas Tree Bills." Unfortunately, in the Senate, there is no such rule.

Pork Delivery System (2, Interesting)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660604)

Ain't going to happen. Tell ya why.

It can costs tens of millions to get a federal politician elected. This means that politicians needs financial backers. These financial backers expect favours in return, often in the form of pork. Since getting even a single piece of legislation through is difficult, pork is best delivered as an amendment to a piece of completely unrelated legislation that is already well on its way to being passed.

No unrelated amendments = less pork = less money for politicians.

Whadya trying to do, screw up the whole system?

How long... (1)

Deathbane27 (884594) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660429)

...until some brave independent slips an amendment about terrorism, abortion, gay marriage, gun control, or some other hotbutton issue onto an unrelated bill, so that congress as a whole will wake up, get pissed, and make this sort of bill amending illegal?

Heck, why not use this unrelated amendment attaching tactic to pass the no-unrelated-amendment-attaching law itself?

Yeah, I know it will never work. Congress doesn't give their power tools away. Unless corporations ask for them.

Re:How long... (5, Interesting)

gcatullus (810326) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660484)

This has already happened, witness the "Real ID Act". Ostensibly to streamline drivers' licenses, this act is described as "To establish and rapidly implement regulations for State driver's license and identification document security standards, to prevent terrorists from abusing the asylum laws of the United States, to unify terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal, and to ensure expeditious construction of the San Diego border fence.' It was attached to HR 1268, which was a nescessary spending bill to fund troops in Iraq. No one has woke up yet it apears.

Re:if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660455)

The MPAA knows it works. One of their members already not only got a law this way, they get it re-approved with every new budget.

Disney got a law ORDERING the FAA to impose a no fly zone over Disneyland and Disney World into the Omnibus spending bill - the national budget. When the budget came up for renewal the two years thereafter Disney made sure this order stayed in it. Actually it came from Senator Hollings, "The Senator from Disney."

The ORDER was necessary because the FAA, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security said there was no threat to Mickey. No matter. Disney always wanted a way to keep banner tow planes away.

Grant me a vent, please. (5, Insightful)

abscondment (672321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660491)

Someone seriously needs to organize a giant, demonstrative protest.

We could all crap in tupperware and ship our excrement straight to the MPAA/RIAA, with a signed note saying "Thank you for shitting on the law making system in America".

Re:if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (5, Insightful)

JBHarris (890771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660586)

The article is extremely short on details. What senator (from what state?) introduced this bill?
What is the bill's title? Number?
How can I verify this article?
I will not write an email to my Senators unless I can present myself as an informed citizen.


This article is lite on 'information', therefore doesn't really inform me of anything.

Re:if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660610)

Attaching this sort of crap to other bills ought to be illegal. That's why I live in Minnesota, where it is.

Re:if not legitimately, then by subterfuge (1)

PMuse (320639) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660646)

But they lost that battle and now look to win the war with their own Trojan Horse, a virus if you will (how ironic). The thing I find MOST egregious and offensive about this is they are sneaking their agenda in under the radar in a bill totally unrelated to their issue and likely to be passed.

Every issue should have a separate up or down vote. Two constitutional amendments would help to acheive this end.

AMENDMENT A
Congress shall pass no law exceeding in length this Constitution.

AMENDMENT B
The President may disapprove any item of appropriation in any bill. If any bill is approved by the President, any item of appropriation contained therein which is not disapproved shall become law. The President shall return with his objections any item of appropriation disapproved to the House in which the bill containing such item originated. The Congress may, in the manner prescribed under section 7 of article I for bills disapproved by the President, reconsider any item disapproved under this article.

Dont see why this is needed. (0)

Kenja (541830) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660347)

There is allready a system by which the viewer can block all subject mater that infantile immature and not suitable viewing material. Its called the off button. But then people would have to take responsibility for their own lives rather then having our elected officials do it for them.

Not Parental Control - Copyright Enforcement (5, Informative)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660434)

This isn't to let you block "Debbie Does Backdoor Prison Slut Vixxxens 7", it's to let the people broadcasting the SuperBowl enforce their "right" to prevent you from rewinding to rewatch a play, or CBS to enforce their "right" for you to watch CSI only once and then find it in syndicate or buy the DVD if you want to watch the episode again. It's HBO enforcing their "right" to prevent you from taping "Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy" off HBO, or Comcast preventing you from recording something off pay per view.

This has nothing to do with your rights. This has everything with broadcasters trying to sell the same content more than once, and preventing you from keeping what they've broadcast.

Re:Not Parental Control - Copyright Enforcement (2, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660546)

Ah, my bad. I get all the crap their trying to get passed as law mixed up sometimes. Still, all they need to do to stop people from trying to record their content is to make it not worth watching even once. Seems to be working well enough.

Re:Dont see why this is needed. (4, Insightful)

Castar (67188) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660448)

The Broadcast flag isn't for people to block content they don't want to see. It's for companies to mark content they don't want you to be able to record.

Which, when you look at their public attitudes, has to be "everything". The only thing I can see them allowing is sports events and news. I'm sure they don't want to miss out on possible revenue from DVD versions of TV shows.

Re:Dont see why this is needed. (1, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660538)

The only thing I can see them allowing is sports events and news.

Oh, the NFL and MLB will find a way to block those too I'm sure. "No NFL broadcast may be reproduced without the express written permission of the NFL" If they could, they would make that extend to Tivo and other DVR units as well.

Re:Dont see why this is needed. (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660452)

First they came for not suitable viewing material and I said nothing because I don't watch...

Oh wait!

Re:Dont see why this is needed. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660482)

You got it all wrong. This flag has nothing to do with filtering shows that you can/can't watch. What this flag does it prevents you from copying shows. If this went into effect you couldn't tivo a show, then burn it to a dvd to take with you on a trip, or transfer shows from your tivo to your computer to watch later but free up space on your tivo. You won't able to make your own pvr out of your computer that can bypass this stuff. Turn your pc into a pvr right now and you are fine. Do the same after this flag goes into effect and it is illegal. This has nothing to do with weither or not you can watch a show, but is about what you can do with the content that you watch.

read here for more information about the flag. http://www.eff.org/broadcastflag/ [eff.org]

Re:Dont see why this is needed. (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660542)

This isn't about the V-Chip, it's the broadcast flag... Ex. The Olympic Committee decides to set the broadcast flag.. that tells your Tivo/VTR that you can *NOT* record this... ie, you can't record tv.. this goes through, and people won't be allowed to watch programs on TV except to watch them as broadcast.

Open Ended (2, Interesting)

mysqlrocks (783488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660350)

...Federal Communications Commission overstepped its authority in mandating that all consumer electronic devices capable of receiving digital television signals incorporate support for the flag, the media industry has been working on getting Congress to enact the flag.

Wow, all consumer devices capable of receiving digital television signals? That is very open ended legislation. I hope this only applies to over-the-air signals? Even so, I think it's too much.

GET SOME PRIORTIES!!! (-1, Flamebait)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660352)

The worst natural disaster in history has just occured and you want to talk about "When the broadcast flag was smacked down in court, it was only a matter of time before the MPAA tried to ram it through Congress. The first attempt in June failed, but the EFF reports that they are gearing up for another try. From Ars Technica's write-up: 'This latest attempt involves tacking on an amendment to a budget reconciliation bill. Since reconciliation is about cutting spending--something that always sounds good--such legislation cannot be substantially changed by the Budget Committee once it is presented, nor can it be filibustered.' Looks like it's a good time to call your congressman."??????????? My *god*, people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!

The bodies of 20,000+ dead people could give a good god damn about your network interface cards, your childish Lego models, your nerf toys and lack of a "fun" workplace, your Everquest/Diablo/D&D addiction, or any of the other ways you are "getting on with your life".

Re:GET SOME PRIORTIES!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660422)

I'm willing to bet those 20,000+ dead bodies "could give a good god damn" about my priorities, too.

Re:GET SOME PRIORTIES!!! (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660436)

The phrase "worst natural disaster in history" is often stated by those who have little actual knowledge of history. It would appear that this case is no different.

Re:GET SOME PRIORTIES!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660548)

What are you talking about? Are you trying to say that the comet that wiped out all the dinos was worse? Or that the flood that killed off all but Noah and that which he had on his Arc (or other various tellings of this event such as the Native americans and their story of a huge flood in which a giant turtle was shelter and not an arc...) was worse? Just because more (people/animinals) dieded during those things don't make them worse. :P

Re:GET SOME PRIORTIES!!! (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660644)

Just because more (people/animinals) dieded during those things don't make them worse. :P

Indeed. What qualifies as a "worst disaster" is a disaster where not just more people died, but where more Americans died.

(And that less than a year after the Tsunami...)

Re:GET SOME PRIORTIES!!! (2, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660443)

What the hell are you talking about? CNN.Com is still on Katrina- and word is that *maybe* the dead will hit 2000 once they find them all, certainly NOT the 20,000 many feared. Rita had a death toll in the hundreds. Certainly not the worst natural disaster in history- or even this year, as the Indian Ocean Tsunami took 100,000 lives.

I'm not saying it wasn't bad- and I've got my own wishes for persecution of government officials, both local and federal, for their crimes against the people during this disaster. But it doesn't help very much claiming that it happened today or 20,000 people died.

Bill riders (5, Insightful)

lightyear4 (852813) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660356)

Non-germane riders snuck into bills shall be the death of this country.

Re:Bill riders (1)

aborchers (471342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660516)

Non-germane riders snuck into bills shall be the death of this country.


I think you meant to say not "shall be" but "have been".

The EFF action letters *MISS THE POINT* (4, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660357)

When you write to your representatives and senators, be sure to include the key point that the EFF leaves out:

These laws, when combined with the DMCA, take power away from congress and give it to anybody. Corporations, and individuals alike. Even if they're not US citizens or US based. Congress should reserve the power to grant rights for intellectual property creators for themselves, instead of giving a blank law-making check to content industries.

Make sure you tell your congresspeople that they are giving power reserved for them by the Constitution to whomever wants to wield it.

Re:The EFF action letters *MISS THE POINT* (1, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660447)

Congress should reserve the power to grant rights for intellectual property creators for themselves, instead of giving a blank law-making check to content industries.

What Congress *should* do and what the conglomorates pay them to do are two different things.

but what can we do (2, Interesting)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660361)

bah this is awful.

but more importantly, how can we help stop it? does sending an email from a web form to your congressman do anything? i feel like i'm sending my requests into a black hole deeper than a hotmail feature request form.

does anyone know what the best way to get our views out is? should we call/email/write?

Not surprising. (3, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660364)

Only slightly off topic-does anyone else find the fact that Congress is allowed to "bundle" legislation like this distasteful? Shouldn't each up or down vote be on -one- thing, without all these ridiculous "riders" attached?

Back to the subject-it is indeed also important to contact broadcasters, and possibly the MPAA itself, and make sure they know you won't be watching, and why. And then stick to it. It's not like there's a whole lot worthwhile on TV anyway, and they'll continue to attempt to ram this thing through Congress unless it's made to hit 'em in the wallet.

Re:Not surprising. (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660424)

Like the old saying goes, anyone who has any respect for the law or for sausage should never see either one of them being made.

Obligatory Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660535)

Shouldn't each up or down vote be on -one- thing, without all these ridiculous "riders" attached?

Speaker: Then it is unanimous, we are going to approve the bill to evacuate the town of Springfield in the great state of --
Congressman: Wait a minute, I want to tack on a rider to that bill: $30 million of taxpayer money to support the perverted arts.
Speaker: All in favor of the amended Springfield/Pervert Bill?
[everyone boos]
Speaker: Bill defeated. [bangs gavel]
Kent: I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply doesn't work.

Timing is right (2, Funny)

smchris (464899) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660367)

Now's the time to tack it onto a Katrina spending bill. Republican and Democrat alike will be _forced_ to vote for it "for the children," blah, blah.

Re:Timing is right (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660416)

Now's the time to tack it onto a Katrina spending bill. Republican and Democrat alike will be _forced_ to vote for it "for the children," blah, blah.

What a horrible, badly timed troll! Especially in light of all the money we are sending out the back door to the president's pet project: Iraq.

Besides, your view isn't realistic. Senators, Republican senators mostly, have already said they won't spend money to rebuild New Orleans. Senators as far away as Alaska have been fighting the idea that we even feed any of these people. You think the Katrina spending bill will get rammed through, but it won't go through as fast as defense spending bills have been pushed through in the past few years.

why is it... (3, Insightful)

MooseTick (895855) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660374)

Why is it that the people who seem to complain about this are the ones who also complain about there being nothing good to watch on TV? If there isn't anything good, then why do you care if they put in a flag that prevents you from doing something with someone else's content that they paid to create and distribute?

Is the problem that you could do whatever you wanted in the past with that content, and now that the owner is technically capable of excerising their right to control the distribution of their works it isn't fair?

Because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660427)

"then why do you care if they put in a flag that prevents you from doing something with someone"


Because once it's displaying from your TV, it is your content.

Re:why is it... (2, Funny)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660458)

Why is it that the people who seem to complain about this are the ones who also complain about there being nothing good to watch on TV?

Could you cite stats on that or at least give examples of, say, a dozen specific people?

TIA.

Re:why is it... (1)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660591)

Why is it that the people who seem to complain about this are the ones who also complain about there being nothing good to watch on TV? If there isn't anything good, then why do you care if they put in a flag that prevents you from doing something with someone else's content that they paid to create and distribute?

Just because I am not excersizing all of my rights this very instant does not mean I wish to give them away.

Re:why is it... (4, Insightful)

arkanes (521690) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660605)

Let me make a comparison. I'm not gay and have no interest whatsoever in homosexual pornography. But I would fight against a law forbidding it.

Similarly, though I have no real desire to tape shows off TV, I have a very real desire to preserve my right to do so.

Re:why is it... (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660648)

"Is the problem that you could do whatever you wanted in the past with that content, and now that the owner is technically capable of excerising their right to control the distribution of their works it isn't fair?"

Good thing I don't have mod points, or you wouldn't get an explanation - just a Troll rating. The reason is that they don't actually have a "right to control the distribution of their works". Please site the part of copyright law that says so if that's what you think. They also don't have a legal right to stop me from recording broadcasts. The Sony case confirms my right to record shows for later viewing. The broadcast flag gives them a new right, while taking one away from the public.

On another note, I don't like most of what's on TV, but there are occasionally things that I'd like to watch and sometimes record. It's currently my right to do so. Why don't you think I should be upset when an industry wants to take away my rights by sneaking this through on the back of a totally unrelated bill?

Shut up, Sally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660664)

No matter how insidious the topic, there's always some smart-ass fuck who has to side with the Devil no matter the topic.

Perhaps you could put up a good case for Dr. Mengele's ground-breaking medical work, too?

(Oh no, an exaggeration! Quick, retort by telling me that I'm obviously nuts because I'm comparing this to the acts of a sadistic Nazi butcher!)

Also, you are required to turn this argument around on me by saying I'm one of the inevitable mindless detractors.

For bonus points just reword my post with appropriate word changes! You win the internets!

Neat juxtiposition on the Main Page (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660381)

Broadcast flag coming back, followed quickly by BitTorrent getting venture capital (Mysterious future- if you're not a subscriber you'll see it soon). I guess my question is- what are they going to do with all of those digital tuners the don't pay any attention to the Broadcast Flag?

So are they going to set the "evil bit" also? (4, Funny)

Hulkster (722642) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660389)

Per the RFC [faqs.org]

"budget reconciliation" != "cut spending" (4, Informative)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660400)

When you call your representative, you should be aware of the following:

Congress has made a law that allows a certain increase in budgetary line items per year without calling it an increase. I'm not sure what that allowed percentage is, but if they allow 7% and only raise an item 6%, they can legally say they LOWERED that item's budget!

Our budget includes Social Security receipts but not complete payments. We've never had a truly balanced budget in decades.

Our budget is allowed emergency appropriations that can include money for any pork project as long as "emergency" is in the bill's title.

108th Congress Analysis [lewrockwell.com] what a scam!

My solution (4, Interesting)

vanyel (28049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660401)

...I think that whenever a device includes broadcast flag support, there should be the option to block any program that includes it. If they don't want me to watch their show, then I don't want to watch it.

Re:My solution (4, Insightful)

Medevo (526922) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660477)

I like your idea, but only if there is some way to make me NOT PAY for the content.

Currently, the bundles that cable/satellite offer smack similar to how CD's work, there is a couple good channels in each price increase, along with lots of stuff I don't want (one hit wonder songs and filler).

TV is still trying to hold onto the fact that unless you buy a outrageously priced DVD of LAST SEASON, you are forced to pay for content you don't want. The BBC is going to start moving to a simultaneous release model (online and on air, but people think the online will either have DRM, have commercials, or just be some fancy streaming) for some of its bigger downloaded shows like Dr Who.

Medevo

So who should we call? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660404)

It says senate reconcilliation bill, but says "call your congressman". Should we call our senators or house member?

Totally inappropriate (4, Insightful)

millennial (830897) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660414)

This is the same sort of thing that got the REAL ID act passed. It's totally inappropriate, and it's a hijacking of the true democratic process. Irrelevant riders simply should NOT be allowed on bills.

How can (1, Interesting)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660438)

How can they tack on this crap? Why can't they just pass laws/bills that do what they are supposed to do? I can't understand how Demos/Repubs can get away with this. It's like in California where we have one guy getting his gay marriage bill pushed through without having it put up for a vote by the people......

And then they wonder why we think politicians suck....

It's too painful to defend these guys (4, Interesting)

Prospero's Grue (876407) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660441)

You know, I'm a believer in copyright, and the rights of the copyright owners to make a living from their works - and I've been in more than a few debates in the on-line world where my opinion has been decidedly unpopular.

I've gotta say, though, over time I've been getting more and more quiet - and less inclined to defend the point-of-view of the *AA, whose positions I respected (even if I disagreed with many of their tactics).

I'm already at the point where I'm beginning to fully support DRM-cracking tools and software. They're becoming the only tools consumers have to defend their legitimate rights.

Re:It's too painful to defend these guys (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660513)

I'm already at the point where I'm beginning to fully support DRM-cracking tools and software. They're becoming the only tools consumers have to defend their legitimate rights.

That's because people ignored the eroison of rights all along. It won't be until it's too late that the public will come to their senses and realize the Constitutional attrocities that have been committed under their noses all these years.

Just wait, when TVs no longer work because the media conglomorates can't determine if you are using a computer or an old TV to watch the content then people will finally get pissed off enough to care.

Until then, everyone will just stare at their TVs and laugh and cry when told to.

I prefer not buying and not... (1)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660607)

copying...stealing....whatever you want to call it. Is my life not as full as it was? I don't think so. I dont' miss anything I have stopped buying/consuming: CDs and Cable TV, so far.

Just my $0.02

There is a big difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660635)

"copying...stealing....whatever you want to call it."

There is a big difference. Copying is never stealing unless the "original" that was copied ends up being destroyed. Only then does the definition of theft get met.

Why are they allowed to do this? (3, Insightful)

junster2 (573899) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660457)

Why is an ammendment allowed on a bill that has nothing to do with the original bill?

I wish we had line item veto at the national level. It would keep crap like this from ever seeing the light of day.

If you can't pass a law without being sneeking behind peoples backs, you should really rethink your usefulness within society.

Re:Why are they allowed to do this? (2, Insightful)

ebrandsberg (75344) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660559)

Personally, I think there should be an ammendment to the constitution that would disallow that, one vote by congress, ONE fundamental thing they are voting on--if they can't summarize what the vote is about in spirit completely in a single page document, then chances are there is pork and hidden provisions tucked away in stuff like this. If a court finds that a provision in a bill is not at least summarized in the one page summary, then that provision should be struck down.

Re:Why are they allowed to do this? (1)

wh33lz (829744) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660583)

They tried the line item veto once- then found it was unconstitutional. Besides- do you think "W" would stop a bill that would help big business?

Numbers? (1)

Mercano (826132) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660469)

So anyone have some specific bill/ammendment numbers yet I can reference when I start pleading the case to the local senators?

Sent a message to Washington State's senator (1)

flyingace (162593) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660490)

I just sent a verbose message to Maria Cantwell. I urge everybody to take immediate action on this.

Solving the problem (2, Interesting)

famazza (398147) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660511)

  1. Buy your new TV set broadcast-flag compatible
  2. Go Canada (or beyond Mexico)
  3. Disable the broadcast flag
  4. Get back home

Seriously. Can't MPAA understand that skiping broadcast-flag is as simple as bring a single circuit board from outside US? DMCA is only valid in US, until now, and a passthrough to ignore broadcast-flag is very easy to implement.

Even if US enforces DMCA to other countries (in CAFTA, for example), I have serious doubts that third-world countries will be able to have a serious fiscalization.

Despicable tactics (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660521)

How long will the US legislators (and US citizens) put up with such a corrupt political process? Tactics like these is an affront to government by the people, since the broadcast flag has already been rejected by the current legislative body. If the MPAA were to be successful in this effort, they would literally be hijacking our law making process and twisting to their own selfish ends. I am continually amazed at the audacity of businesses when they become involved in the political process. If our legislators don't out and out reject the broadcast flag simply on the merits of the tactics employed by the MPAA then I say it's time for new legislators.

What about HDCP? (2, Interesting)

ShadeARG (306487) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660523)

As far as I can tell HDCP [wikipedia.org] already prevents you from recording a pure digital source. While the broadcast flag could be ignored, HDCP continuously negotiates between the input and output device to decode realtime picture display. Without an HDCP compliant output device using HDMI [wikipedia.org] or DVI [wikipedia.org] the output is not usuable, which effectively makes it a very hard nut to crack. It will be a very effective form of High Definition DRM once component output is done away with.

Spending should be seperate from non-spending (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660525)

I don't understand why this kind of BS is allowed. We need an amendment that requires laws and regulations to be voted on seperately from budgetary crap.

Links to more easily contact your representatives (4, Informative)

ghee22 (781277) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660553)

link from DownsizeDC.org [downsizedc.org]
link from EFF [eff.org]

Contact your represntative (4, Informative)

sp00 (639381) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660563)

The EFF has setup a contact form here [eff.org] .

Attention on the broadcast flag (1)

null etc. (524767) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660578)

On a somewhat related topic, I wonder why the EFF web site doesn't have any updates about the FBI's task force to crack down on deviant pornography.

First they came for the Jews (2, Insightful)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660639)

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. Pastor Martin Niemöller

BRING IT ON! (3, Funny)

jvollmer (456588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660601)

My message to the MPAA, RIAA et al is,
as King George would say: "Bring it on!"

If they are going to make television less appealing
I'm prepared to ditch my TV and spend the rest of my
life reading and writing.

Try applying DRM to paperbound books I already own, SUCKAS!

I invite everyone else to do the same - If we do, free TV will reappear.
but no one will want it. Indeed, they will have to pay people to
watch it.

3) Profit!!!

If it's not Consolidated Lint, it's just fuzz!

Of course its back (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660614)

And it will keep coming back until its passed.

They have the money, and the will. So its just a matter of time before its passed into a law.

Then good luck ever getting it repealed. In another generation or so, it will just be accepted as ' its always been that way'.

Your Kongress-Kritter could care less. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660623)

Why waste your time contacting them?

If the broadcast flag happens, just walk away from using the broken media.

www.technocracy.ca [technocracy.ca] says:

"Vote With Meaning

The only real vote is purchasing power. What we buy we vote for. With an abundance of purchasing power we can vote as often as we like, every day of the year, and always win our vote. "

Trojan Legislation (3, Interesting)

bubba_ry (574102) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660626)

How is it even possible or legal that this type of legislation can be appended to a bill who's purpose doesn't even come close to the flag proposal? It's not much of a stretch to view this as trojan legislation.

I'm no lawyer, congressman, what-have-you; can anyone out there shed some light on how this is OK? Does it stand on precedent alone (others have done it)? We see it all the time. It doesn't make sense that something as non-topical to cutting spending as the broadcast flag could be introduced this way...

fri57 psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13660632)

another troubled and personal people's faces at risk looking even personal rivalries see... The number watershed 3saay, BUWLA, or BSD OS. Now BSDI is and I probably

Tin foil hat time, people! (0, Troll)

almound (552970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660647)

What is all this talk about conspiracies! Are you all nuts!? There is nothing going wrong ANYWHERE. Right? ... Right? ... Guys?

Many of you have said as much in several replies to obvious nut-job, wacko reports like those about the Chinese censoring the Internet ... or hows-about that one with the Attorney General going after p0rn on the Internet? Politics do's as politics does. (Hehe)

Geeze, do I have to remind you to take your little blue pills every day now?

Ohhhhhh, I get it. This cockamamie story is about GEEKAZOIDS losing your God-given right to infringe upon the copyright of digital content. It's about YOU ... and so now it matters.

Hmmmmmm, ... I bet you'll call me a troll now.

Off-Topic Bill tack-ons should be ILLEGAL (1)

amigabill (146897) | more than 8 years ago | (#13660658)

I nominate we all start encouraging our congresmen and congresswomen to put together some legislation that would outlaw tacking on ammendments to bills which are off-topic to the bill at hand. Copy protection of TV shows has nothing to do with government budget reconciliation stuff. It's off-topic, and has no place being attached to such a bill.

If it can't stand on it's own, it should be illegal to hide it in something unrelated just to sneak it past those voting congresspeople that never actually read what they are voting on. OK, sure, that's most of them, but that should be illegal as well. If you haven't read it, they shouldn't vote on it at all or have to abstain that particular item.

But as these tricks are all part of how they do things, it will likely never change. And reading those laws is surely a lot of work, and they won't want to do that before voting...

So, as it will all remain as is and we the people are screwed, I'm going to ask my congressmal to consider attaching something of my own to this spending bill that will make it legal for me to punch each and every congressperson once a year. Make a big shindig of it all and such, at taxpayers expense of course. And I get to show them what I think of their shenanigans with nothing to worry about myself!
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