Items tagged "Broadcast Flag"

Press Release

Public Knowledge Pleased With Decision Denying Hollywood Control Over Set Top Boxes

December 31, 2008 Broadcast Flag , FCC , Press Release

Background: FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said earlier today that the Commission will not approve during his tenure a petition by the motion picture industry to engage in "selectable output control," also known as SOC. The MPAA and the movie studios it represents (Paramount, Sony, Fox, Universal, Disney, and Warner Brothers) asked the FCC for the ability to "turn off" any output plug they choose, like those on the back of consumer electronics devices of an entertainment system, during special video-on-demand movies on cable television.

The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:

"Consumers won a big victory today with Chairman Martin's statement that he would not approve Hollywood's selective output control petition.

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Press Release

FCC Urged To Protect Consumers’ TVs from Movie Companies

July 22, 2008 Broadcast Flag , DRM , FCC , Press Release

Seven public-interest and consumer groups, led by Public Knowledge, late yesterday called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to turn down Hollywood’s request to take control of consumers’ TV sets and other devices.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Says Data ‘Error’ Calls Hollywood Agenda Into Question

January 23, 2008 Broadcast Flag , DRM , Fair Use , Network Neutrality , Press Release

Background: The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) admitted that the figures it had been using to track “piracy” on college campuses were triple the actual figure. The LEK study purports to calculate a $6.1 billion loss for the industry. See story here

The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge:

“It’s a shame that Hollywood discovered its error so late. For the last two years, the MPAA has blamed college students for 44 percent of the alleged “piracy” causing industry losses. Now it finds a data-entry error brings the real figure to about 15 percent. Because of this revelation, we should question MPAA’s entire study and the figures it had used to persuade legislators to write bills to crack down on what now seems to be a much smaller problem than the industry would have us believe.

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Press Release

Statement by Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn on the death of Jack Valenti

April 27, 2007 Broadcast Flag , DRM , Press Release

For immediate release April 26, 2007

Statement by Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn on the death of Jack Valenti

"In my 10 years at Media Access Project, I worked alongside Jack Valenti and the MPAA in an effort to preserve Federal Communications Commission rules that promoted diversity in broadcast programming. Then, from 2001-2004, as President of Public Knowledge, I opposed Jack and the MPAA on nearly every digital copyright policy issue.

"Regardless of whether we were policy friends or foes, Jack treated me with kindness and respect. There was no one in Washington I respected more for his intelligence, his commitment, his integrity and his ability to work across party lines. Jack was one of a kind, and a national icon. He forged a lasting legacy for the entertainment industry that will be sorely missed."

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Asks House Panel To Oppose Content Controls

June 26, 2006 Broadcast Flag , Press Release

For immediate release June 27, 2006

Public Knowledge Asks House Panel To Oppose Content Controls

Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn told the House Telecom Subcommittee there is no need for Congress to enact content controls on broadcast digital television and digital radio.

At a June 27 hearing on "The Audio and Video Flags: Can Content Protection and Technological Innovation Coexist?", Sohn noted that TV networks are now offering their programs on digital services, including the iTunes store and direct downloads, while Warner Brothers is working with BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer company.

Sohn said in her written statement. "Yet even as innovators in the motion picture and recording industries promote these alternative distribution models and the technologies that facilitate them, their colleagues in Washington are asking Congress to step in and give them protection from the vague threat of massive copyright infringement the industry says these new technologies could facilitate."

She added that the content industry "certainly has not shown that government technology mandates will work to stop actual copyright pirates rather than prevent ordinary consumers from engaging in lawful activities." Sohn said the content industry is "asking Congress to impose three technology mandates: the TV broadcast flag, an audio broadcast flag, and an end to the analog hole. Each mandate 1) injects government into technological design; 2) restricts lawful consumer activities; and 3) increases consumer costs by making obsolete millions of digital devices."

Lawmakers should be skeptical of claims that broadcast flag legislation is "narrow," Sohn said, noting that the rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission "put the FCC in the position of deciding the ultimate fate of every single device that can demodulate a digital television signal. The broadcast flag rules require the FCC to pre-approve television sets, computer software, digital video recorders, cellphones, game consoles, iPods and any other device that can receive a digital television signal."

If there is to be a broadcast flag, Sohn said, it should be accompanies by reforms to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), along with exemptions for news and public affairs, distance education and programming that is in the public domain.

The content controls for digital radio also are unnecessary, Sohn said, noting that the recording industry is pursuing the controls only for the purpose of stopping personal home recording.

The full written testimony is available here

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Asks Congress Not To Enact ‘Broadcast Flag’ Controls

January 23, 2006 Analog Hole , Broadcast Flag , News & Analysis , Press Release

Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, urged Congress not to limit consumer choice or hamper innovation by enacting legislation allowing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to implement content controls on digital TV and radio.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Warns of ‘Federal Copyright Commission’

November 3, 2005 Broadcast Flag , Press Release

For Immediate Release

Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn today that draft legislation to give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authority to control the distribution of digital content would unwisely expand the FCC's power, thwart technological innovation and hurt consumers.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Statement on House Commerce Committee Action

October 26, 2005 Broadcast Flag , Press Release

For Immediate Release

Background: Today, the House Commerce Committee declined to consider an amendment to digital television legislation that would authorize the FCC to institute a broadcast flag regime. The following is the statement of Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn:

"Public Knowledge is pleased that the House Commerce Committee did not take up broadcast content controls in the course of its consideration of digital TV (DTV) budget legislation. We appreciate Chairman Barton's leadership and his recognition of the very complex nature involved in imposing technological mandates not only on broadcast digital television but also on digital radio.

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Press Release

Public Interest and Library Groups ask for Broadcast Flag Hearings

October 6, 2005 Broadcast Flag , News & Analysis , Press Release

For Immediate Release

Today a group of nine public-interest and library groups asked congressional leaders to conduct hearings and examine the complex issues surrounding the "broadcast flag." The flag is a part of the over-the-air digital TV signal that controls whether a viewer may record a program, or otherwise store or use it.

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Press Release

Congress Should Slow Broadcast Flag Consideration, Consumer Groups Say

September 19, 2005 Broadcast Flag , Press Release

For Immediate Release

Three leading consumer groups, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union and Public Knowledge, advised Congress not use budget or appropriations legislation to give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) permission to impose content controls on digital television.

In a Sept. 19 letter to Capitol Hill, the groups said: "We are concerned that Congress may choose to rush into law an authorization for the broadcast-flag scheme without fully considering both the consumer impact of the scheme and the fact that the scheme will require giving the federal government an unprecedented degree of control over digital economy." The letter was sent to the leadership of both chambers, as well as to members of both Appropriations, Budget and Commerce committees.

The letter noted that Congress should take the time to consider more closely the "potential pitfalls" of a broadcast flag scheme and the control it would give to the FCC over technology, the harm to educators. The letter added that the broadcast flag scheme would be "superfluous in light of the content-protection tools the content industry now has."

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