Broadcast Flag

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Scot Hacker is concerned about the effects of the FCC-mandated Broadcast Flag.

The question is, what exactly will happen to media in the presence of the broadcast flag? As I understand it, you’ll still be able to record, but that recording will only be playable on the same device that did the recording. That means no taping Trigger-Happy TV and lending the tape to a friend.

A bigger problem with restrictions on where you can play back recorded media is restrictions on your personal use. Using this scheme and others proposed by the entertainment industry, you can’t record a TV show on the VCR in your living room and watch it on the one in your bedroom. If the device that you used to record a TV show breaks and you replace it, you won’t be able to watch it ever again.

Piracy is certainly a problem, but technological solutions that trample on consumer’s rights are abhorrent.


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