Taking out the garbage in 2013

4“It’s really quite simple; most corporations exist wholly and solely for the benefit of their investors and shareholders, to whom they  answer exclusively.

Among the worst  are the the entertainment cartels with the movie and music industries well to the fore.”

I wrote that at the end of last year  in a post quoting an Anonymous press statement  explaining why  Big Pharma will be one of  its principal  targets of  the new year.

But there’s another corporate outfit which once again needs serious attention from the  Anonymous collective, as well as the Obama administration, since  the latter has appointed  itself virtual Guardian of the World.

And that’s the ill-named, corporate music industry operated Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) which represents significant elements of the  US music industry although many of its founding ‘members’ are foreign.  

Will Obama  at long last clamp,down on the RIAA, the people who run it  and its activities?

Not a hope in hell.

For now, above  are four  of its  highly paid leading lights — left to right ex-chairman and CEO  Mitch ‘The Don’ Bainwol, Cary ,’Tough Love’ Sherman (now  The Boss), Jonathan Lamy, and Cara Duckworth.

Not only but also,  the upper echelons of the Obama administration  Department of Justice  are riddled with ex-RIAA employees but no one seems to find that   in the least untoward.

A couple of years ago, when I still owned and operated freedom of speech site p2pnet, I and my friend the late Fred Wilhelms,  a well-known, well-respected entertainment lawyer of whom Dave Marsh wrote on his blog CounterPunch , “…Wilhelms would be the [music] industry’s ethicist-in-chief if the industry had ethics,” collaborated on this »»»

In the intro, I wrote:

“Here’s why I hate Big music’s RIAA,  and the sleazebags associated with, and/or working for, it:

“They’ve caused all kinds of misery to to some 40,000 innocent Americans, including young children, accusing them of being criminals and thieves.  Even worse, they got away with it.

“Victims include a dead grandmother, who didn’t even own a computer, a former Vietnam helicopter pilot,  man living in a homeless shelter — a 12-year-old child, a disabled mother, a woman seriously ill from multiple sclerosis, an elderly home health aide who doesn’t know one end of a computer form another, among many others.

And all in the name of copyright infringements as they use tax-payer-funded resources to further their hard-core commercial interests .

“They claim  shared files equal sales last and that anyone infringing (violating) their copyrights is exactly the same as a thief who walks into a store and steals a CD off the shelf. The assertion is obvious and arrant nonsense.

“And a Chicago student threatened to kill herself after being terrorised by Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG’s RIAA  as part of their sue ‘em all marketing campaign .

“I posted about it  in Delete your file share apps RIGHT NOW !

“I’d heard from Mary (not her real name) much earlier than that.

R – E – S – P – E – C – T

“There’s a list which boasts many (most) corporate music industry heavies as members, not to mention lawyers, PR reps and others who work for them, or used to, RIAA, BPI, IFPI, MPAA, you name it, lurkers, people with many and various related interests, vested and otherwise —

“– and people like me whose interests definitely aren’t vested. Unless you believe the idea that customers deserve respect, and that the now accepted music industry business practice of suing innocent men, women and children in the name of corporate profit, should be shot down in flames, falls into that category.”

The post went on »»»

As Aretha Franklin once sang, all we want is a little R – E – S – P – E – C – T.

In Movers, shakers, losers and fakers, an earlier post based on the list, “The corporate music industry tries to give the impression anyone, anywhere, is at any given moment in danger of being nailed by the corporate music industry for beingmassive online distributors of copyrighted music’,” I said.

“However, literally hundreds of millions of people share music with each other all day, every day, on a variety of P2P applications. And the chances of any one of them becoming a victim are akin to their being struck by lightning, or winning a lottery.

“Or of the RIAA issuing a truthful statement.

“Nonetheless The Few, such as Brittany Kruger, are – thanks to Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG – made to suffer for the totally fictitious ‘crimes’ of The Many in hopes of dissuading them from getting their music fixes from anyone other than the Big 4.”

And yet the lamescream media parroted just as though it  came from a credible and reputable source

But With sharing, no one has been deprived of something he or she used to own.

Chicago student threatened to kill herself after being terrorised by Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG’s RIAA  as part of their sue ‘em all marketing campaign .

It isn’t news in the sense I posted about it in Delete your file share apps RIGHT NOW !, and I’d heard from Mary (not her real name) much earlier than that.

R – E – S – P – E – C – T

As Aretha Franklin once sang, all we want is a little R – E – S – P – E – C – T.

In Movers, shakers, losers and fakers, an earlier post based on the list, “The corporate music industry tries to give the impression anyone, anywhere, is at any given moment in danger of being nailed by the corporate music industry for beingmassive online distributors of copyrighted music’,” I said.

“However, literally hundreds of millions of people share music with each other all day, every day, on a variety of P2P applications. And the chances of any one of them becoming a victim are akin to their being struck by lightning, or winning a lottery.

“Or of the RIAA issuing a truthful statement.

“Nonetheless The Few are – thanks to Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG – made to suffer for the totally fictitious ‘crimes’ of The Many in hopes of disuading them from getting their music fixes from anyone other than the Big 4.”

in a comment to our story Eagles’ Don Henley wants copyright wrongs, righted , p2pnet associate editor Fred Wilhelms, says “in 1999, the RIAA attempted, and succeeded, in the ‘ midnight amendment’ of a telecommunications bill. The language that was slipped into the bill stated very simply that, for purposes of copyright, all sound recordings were works-for-hire and solely owned forever by the copyright holder.”

He goes on ,”The switch was made by a House Judiciary staffer who, wonder of wonders, within weeks became VP of Legislative Affairs for the RIAA, going from an $80,000 a year job to one that paid north of $600,000 a year. Cary Sherman and Hilary Rosen swore there was no connection. There were only a handful of people who realized before the floor vote what the change was (I was one of them, having co-written the totally unrelated language that was swapped for the RIAA cuckoo’s egg.)

And we were powerless to stop it from happening. The immediate excuse from the staffer and the RIAA was that the “work-for-hire” provision was merely a “technical correction” and didn’t change the current law at all.

The campaign to revoke the law started almost immediately, and in the forefront from Day One was the Recording Artist Coalition (RAC) which was founded by Don Henley and Sheryl Crow pretty much on the day the bill was passed. The two of them threw their names, and, more importantly, their own money into the fight, and they got others to stand with them. It was largely through RAC’s lobbying efforts and their testimony before Congress that the work-for-hire provision was revoked two years later. Henley and Crow and the RAC prevented an RIAA coup-d’etat that would have stolen rights from every recording artist to eventually recover ownership of their own works. This was a good thing, and it was largely their doing.

RAC has never been a consistent voice on filesharing, because the hundreds of members have hundreds of opinions and the issue is actually divisive within that group. However, RAC never endorsed the RIAA lawsuits, and avoided standing with the RIAA on this issue starting with their non-participation in the RIAA’s puppet production of “Musicians Against Piracy” in 2002. You can dislike Henley and Crow for their politics, but you should know the facts before you do.

(And before the questions arise, I don’t know Henley or Crow, and I’ve never worked for RAC, either.)

And I’d alluded to the travesty in a now elderly story on broadcast flag in which I wrote: ”

Howard Coble, Mitch Glazier, Reach Out Rosen, Howard Berman,
Billy Tauzin, Fritz Hollings, Jack Valenti, (dada da da)
Here’s Uncle Tom Cobbley and ALLLLLL,
Here’s Uncle Tom Cobbley and all …

66(Sung to the tune of Widdecombe Fair)

The official deadline for submissions to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Hollywood’s Broadcast Flag scheme was passed on December 6. What now remains is whether or not this, the entertainment industry’s most blatant attempt so far to directly control what consumers see and do, will be forced through.

Concocted by that small group of movie companies and record labels known collectively as Hollywood (with a handful of associated hardware and software manufacturers lurking behind them), Broadcast Flag ostensibly calls for purpose-built technology to be ‘inserted’ into streaming stations under the pretext of preventing copyrighted items from being pirated.

Actually, it’s part of an ongoing, very carefully orchestrated plan by Hollywood and others to plug directly into user environments – ie, private homes – to control what’s being played and/or viewed also gaining, in the process, hitherto private and confidential information from, and about, users and their habits.

There was, for instance, the tightly focused RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) bid to get government sanctioning to spy on music listeners under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which it had dreamed up in the first place.

It was forced to back down. But, like the tobacco industry, Hollywood operates on the dripping tap principle. Drip, drip, drip. Eventually, everyone goes mind-numb. Tunes them out. And then they slip something past. Again.

Other components of the Hollywood attempt to not merely dominate, but totally control, the international entertainment market include:

  • US senator Howard Berman’s P2P hacking bill behind which Hollywood would have been able to pretty well hack at will without fear of prosecution or retribution – from the law, at least. Of it, Ed Black, President and CEO of CCIA (Computer & Communications Industry Association) said here, “Hollywood moguls have long railed against illicit tampering with their protected content by ‘hackers’ and ‘Internet pirates.’ Now the Hollywood studios and the recording industry seek statutory authority for their own hacking, spoofing, and virus attacks, with the capability to shut down many Internet websites and services at their discretion.” He added, “No other industry has been deputized to prosecute its own enforcement actions, and we see no compelling reason to provide this enormous grant of power to Hollywood.”
  • We also had Senator Fritz Hollings’ anti-piracy CBDTPA (Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act), described here by Home Recording Rights Coalition chairman Gary Shapiro as, “a particularly dangerous delegation of broad, unfettered regulatory authority, which could have severe, adverse, long-term consequences for American consumers. Indeed, this is a breathtaking delegation of authority to a regulatory agency that is ill-equipped to perform such a monumental task.”
  • And this June, there was the Sonicblue fiasco. Sonicblue makes the Diamond Rio range of portable mp3 players, among other products, and has never been exactly popular with the entertainment industry. But Rio really upset them, especially the RIAA. So, copyright lawsuits flew thick and fast until they were eventually settled out of court. Then came Sonicblue’s ReplayTV 4000 DVR with ‘autoskip’ to allow you to bypass commercials. And not only that, ReplayTV 4000 has a high-speed Net port so you can download and transfer video files and share recorded programs over the Net with up to 15 of your friends. In other words, it gives you complete control over how, what, where and when. Enter Charles F. Eick, a Central District Court Magistrate out of LA who, during pre-trial discovery in a lawsuit with Sonicblue in the sights, in effect ordered the company to modify its DVR’s to collect data on what tv-watchers watch and to then pass the information to a group including Paramount, Universal, Walt Disney and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; and, CBC, ABC and NBC – the very same crew which was suing Sonicblue for alleged copyright violations. Federal judge Florence-Marie Cooper overturned her colleague’s order.
  • Also in June, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) joined cable operators in urging the FCC to allow remote shutoffs to set-top boxes, said the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Home Recording Rights Coalition (HRRC). “By supporting what is referred to as ‘Selectable Output Control’, both the MPAA and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), are betraying assurances recently given to the Congress and to consumers,” said the HRRC on its web page at http://www.hrcc.org. The Selectable Output Control capability is, “unconscionable remote control of America’s living rooms and which Hollywood studio executives rebuked earlier this year during congressional hearings on digital copy protection,” states the CEA. “Earlier this year, Hollywood executives told Congress selectable output controls were outdated and no longer needed, provided home copies are not redistributed over the Internet,” said CEA VP of Technology Policy Michael Petricone, “but MPAA’s filing yesterday supports the notion that cable should have the capability of controlling a consumer’s television set. Which position are we to believe; the one expressed before Congress or this latest stance taken with a federal agency?” Which indeed?

And let’s not forget this:

Last summer [2002], the MPAA filed the Content Protection Status Report with the Senate Judiciary Committee and, in it, called for regulation of the lowly analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) found in all kinds of electronic devices.

This is like demanding that the cap on your gas tank is regulated so it’ll only accept gasoline sold by the MPAA and/or the RIAA. If the MPAA (and indirectly, the record labels and system makers) gets its way, every ADC will have a ‘cop-chip’ that’ll shut it down if it’s asked to assist in converting copyrighted material.

And if you think the MPAA and RIAA could never get away with such obvious bottom-line-inspired self-interest, think again.

The record labels and movie companies already regularly use their trade associations to inveigle police agencies around the world into letting them not only initiate, but actually be part of, raids.

Couldn’t possibly be, you say?

Here’s a line from a recent press release from the music industry on an incident in Spain: “Spanish Guardia Civil carried out the operation in collaboration with IFPI (RIAA clone) and the Spanish recording industry association and IFPI national group AFYVE (another RIAA clone). The action was warmly welcomed by the recording industry …”

And there are lots more like it.

So the connection between the entertainment industry and different international police bodies already exists, and has done for decades. And needless to say, enforcement and surveillance agencies around the world would instantly recognize any such newly configured ADC as a heaven-sent opportunity.

But back to Broadcast Flag …
‘Persuading’ the already morally bankrupt entertainment industry into allowing said agencies to piggy-back (and load in) hidden surveillance and feed-back systems would be no task at all. In return, law enforcers would increasingly act for, and on behalf of, the entertainment industry and a cop-chip could, and probably would, become hardly more than a souped-up version of the infamous Clipper Chip of the Clinton administration. Go here for more on the cop-chip.

In the meanwhile, under Broadcast Flag, every computer sold would have to have industry developed monitoring and remote control technology on board. Anyone who tampered with, or disabled, this technology could, and would, be prosecuted by various US government departments.

It seems incredible that things have reached the stage where Broadcast Flag is apparently under serious consideration. But that’s the reality.

Broadcast Flag reared its ugly head early this summer while US Senator Fritz Hollings was trying to pass (and you can take that any way you want ; ) his anti-piracy bill.

The MPAA Copy Protection Technical Working Group (CPTWG) conceived the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group (BPDG) as a way of corraling digital television devices and technologies.

The BPDG, in turn, asked certain software, hardware, and consumer electronics companies – among them, Intel, Philips, Matsushita, Apple, and Microsoft – to get together to develop a standard to prevent digital TV broadcasts from being re-transmitted over the Net in a way that both allows technology, “to thrive” and, “the consumer to be protected,” as Lawrence J. Blanford, President and CEO of Philips Consumer Electronics North America whose company is/was a member described it.

But at the end of the day, it didn’t work out quite like that.

In fact, the BPDP ’standard’ would allow the entertainment industry, et al, to move into your home. And you’d pay the rent.

But to be more accurate, it wasn’t so much the main group that was the problem. Rather, a smaller bunch later dubbed 4C and 5C made up of Intel, IBM, Toshiba, and Matsushita, in the first instance, and Intel, Hitachi, Matsushita, Sony and Toshiba, in the second, had a less than salubrious deal with the MPAA to promote certain ’security’ options and technologies, and to get them into the main standard.

In reality, of course, these secret options WERE the standard.

And you’d never have heard of 5C, at the least, had it not been for the efforts of Lawrence Blanford.

Broadcast Flag is, “really the same model for what’s already been happening on the video side,” CNET News.com quoted RIAA senior vice president of government relations Mitch Glazier as saying. “The concept of a similar ‘broadcast flag’ for digital television signals has already gained approval from an industry standards group, but has drawn criticism from opponents who say the technology will strip consumers of their traditional ‘fair use’ rights.”

The ‘industry standards group’ Glazier refered to was, of course, the BPDG.

“Convened by a few private companies, the BPDG reached many of its decisions in secret and repeatedly evicted reporters from its discussion lists and conference calls,” said the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “BPDG sought the appearance of consensus and downplayed significant disagreements.”

And Lawrence Blanford said the technology supporting the “emerging plan” has the potential to remotely disable a device that’s recording a movie or other program in a consumer’s home.

Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Blanford said in essence, through their private contractual relationships, the small group of studios and companies [5C] would control digital TV technology and how people use their TVs, DVDs, and other devices in the privacy of their homes.

“All manufacturers of TVs, DVDs, and other devices will have to sign up for an overly broad, burdensome and private license, which will govern the encryption technologies that must be in these devices and the process to enforce copyright protection,” stated Blanford.

“This small group of companies will mandate the technologies, control the rules that govern the technologies, and change those rules whenever they desire.

“Most alarming, the public, consumers, licensees, and public officials have not been part of the process that developed the 5C approach, and they would be shut out of its implementation. In short, private interests are taking control of the balance among consumer rights and commercial interests and, as a result, establishing public policy.

“Philips cannot, and will not, accept that. We believe other companies will not accept that. Congress should not accept it either.”

Blanford said Philips had “lost all confidence” that the BPDG will achieve consensus, or that it will allow for serious consideration or adoption of technology solutions of equal merit presented by other interested parties.

“Private industry should be given a chance to reach a consensus,” he added, “but the process should be cleansed by the sunlight of government. Further discussion should be held in an open forum, with the involvement of those who are entrusted with the development of public policy.”

Calling on Congress “to reassert its role in this critical public-private partnership by providing an appropriate, public forum to continue these industry discussions and to foster workable solutions on a timely basis,” Blanford said Philips would offer, “complete support to such an effort, including offering related Philips technologies to all comers, under open, fair and easily available terms.”

He also called on other companies to join this discussion to make sure, “we get this right”.

Notwithstanding his concerns, “most of the hurdles to protecting copyrighted digital broadcasts from being illegally redistributed over the Internet have been overcome and a report is slated to be issued on May 17,” said an April 25 Reuters story.

Shortly after Lawrence Blanford revealed the existence of 5C, in a press release, MPAA boss Jack Valenti said, “The MPAA is very pleased that a broad, multi-industry consensus has been reached on the fundamental aspects of a technology, called the ‘broadcast flag’.”

Broad, multi-industry consensus? This was in truth a small, extremely venal group which, under the guise of guarding members against dangerous new technology, is doing its best to front what it calls a ’standard’ to give members control of digital TV technology and how people use their TVs, DVDs, and other devices in the privacy of their homes.

In fact, Valenti – from 1963 until 1966, a top advisor to former US president Lyndon B. Johnson – warned sternly that new technology threatens an entire industry’s [guess which industry] “economic vitality and future security”.

However, this wasn’t in 2002 – it was in 1982 and Valenti was referring to VCR’s.

Back to Black

Black says the anti-copying quest seems doubtful in and of itself, but, “there is something worse at work here: Proposals from the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group would give Hollywood – not consumers – the right to decide what consumers may and may not record in the privacy of their own homes. BPDG chairmen say they intend to send the proposal to Capitol Hill for incorporation in a national law.

“If the BPDG proposal succeeds, ordinary people will not be able to cut and paste ‘protected’ sections of digital newscasts or other programming for their own use. Indeed, one scheme put forth by Intel and four consumer-electronics companies would make it impossible to view protected recordings on any hardware outside of one’s home.” Worse still, he goes on, the BPDG would let “media moguls” decide which new inventions would be allowed to copy existing media, and which not. Devices such as mp3 players would have to follow anti-copying instructions built into copyrighted media that gave only the producer the right to decide what their customers could do with them.

“They’d even have a place for people who dared to use products that didn’t follow their rules, or tried to go around the anti-copying technology,” says Black. “It’s called prison.”

Computer makers and consumer-electronics manufacturers that complied with the law – again, under pain of imprisonment – would be saddled with the bill for expensive re-engineering the proposal required, Black went on, also making the point that from the advent of the radio to player piano rolls, juke boxes and cable TV, the VCR and mp3 player, new media have threatened the old but, “At the same time, society has found ways to accommodate new technologies, pay writers, artists and other creators, and still hew to the principle that people who pay for content should have real flexibility in how they use it.

“Balanced copyright evolves along with society. It brings about progress. It makes possible innovation and creative uses of others’ work. It gives us old quotes for new books, ’sampling’ from the latest hit tunes, and new software features inspired by the ‘look and feel’ of others’ program.

“But many of those same creative uses will disappear with the BPDG proposal, at least as far as they go in the new world of digital television. Indeed, the plan calls for extending already flawed copy-control technologies into every digital device on the market, from PCs to digital cameras, camcorders and just about anything else that could process a digital image.”

Black reminds visitors to the association’s site that Hollywood tried to kill the VCR, too.

“Consider,” he says: “Until the video cassette recorder came along, no one thought of home taping as fair use. Now, Hollywood makes some 46% of its revenues from videos. Rebroadcasting TV signals over copper wires once seemed pointless and almost certainly illegal, but for the legal environment that gave us the cable TV system we have today.

Entrenched interests tried to exterminate both technologies and failed. They screamed ‘piracy’ and failed. And because they failed, those same interests – Hollywood and terrestrial broadcasters – are wealthier than ever before.”

As Black says, we didn’t believe them then.

Why should we now?

“Unfair, deceptive, and sneaky behavior”

These days, Mitch Glazier is the RIAA’s senior vice president of government relations. But it wasn’t always so.

Before that, he was chief counsel, Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, and former chief of staff to Howard Coble, one-time chairman of said subcommittee.

Mitch gained a certain notoriety when in 1999 he slipped the now infamous “sound recording” amendment into the unrelated Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act, slated for safe passage through Congress. This made music recordings ‘works for hire’ which in turn meant artists weren’t able to get possession of their own masters. Naturally, the artists believed they’d been hung out to dry.

“RIAA had succeeded – in November – in getting legislation through Congress that labeled recorded performances as ‘works for hire’ which artists’ reps said would benefit the recording industry at the expense of musicians,” said a February 17, 2000, Washington Post story by Judy Sarasohn “Special Interests Of Revolving Doors and Turntables.”

“The measure, attached to another bill, came as a surprise to them,” it added.

The amendment not only surprised them – it infuriated them and led to an oversight hearing in May, 2000, chaired by Senator Coble who led off with: “… As many of you know, this amendment has caused some to criticize my colleagues, my staff, and me as having indulged in unfair, deceptive, and sneaky behavior.”

He went on that it was his belief that, “opponents of this language were overreacting”. However, artists and spokesmen for artists, “continued to express anxiety over the issue and I concluded that my calm interpretation did not assuage their comfort [“assuage their comfort”? ; ] nor did it resolve their problem. So I then decided to grant their request for this hearing.”

Mitch ended up at the RIAA as a lobbyist – with a very, very handsome salary increase. RIAA chairman Hilary ‘Reach Out’ Rosen, then President and CEO, claimed the RIAA didn’t know the position was going to come open when Glazier made the changes to the Satellite act. But she didn’t say, and nor was she asked, if she knew an opening of some kind, ideally suited to Glazier’s very special talents, was in the offing.

The bill was eventually repealed, but not before Reach Out, Senator Coble and Congressman Berman (D-CA) had used the hearing to start a mutual admiration club. If you have a strong stomach, go here.

It’s also of interest to note that Howard Berman’s fief is California’s San Fernando Valley – next to LA and the Not-So-Magnificent-Seven movie companies.

And by an amazing coincidence, Berman’s top five contributors during this present election cycle were: Walt Disney Co – $32,000; AOL Time Warner – $28,800; Vivendi Universal – $27,591; Viacom Inc. – $13,000; and, News Corp. – $11,750.

This numbers come from opensecrets.org, which says: “The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organization’s PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.”

It adds that in 1999-2000 (as of December 1, 2000) Berman pulled down close to $100,000 in PAC contributions from the communications and electronics sector which includes, of course, the movie and music folks.

“RIAA Wants to Hack Your PC”

In the meanwhile, in October last year, Glazier was behind yet another ‘amendment’ for yet another totally unrelated piece of legislation which once again would have benefitted the RIAA. This time it was, believe it or not, the anti-terrorism bill – then only just approved by Congress – which caught his eye. As Wired News put it in “RIAA Wants to Hack Your PC”:

“An RIAA-drafted amendment according to a draft obtained by Wired News would immunize all copyright holders – including the movie and e-book industry – for any data losses caused by their hacking efforts or other computer intrusions ‘that are reasonably intended to impede or prevent’ electronic piracy.”

But once again, the amendment was spotted and the story added, “In an interview Friday, RIAA lobbyist Mitch Glazier said that his association has abandoned plans to insert that amendment into anti-terrorism bills – and instead is supporting a revised amendment that takes a more modest approach.”

Omnibus digital television transmission bill

On Broadcast Flag, once more, a July 15 Reuters story said, “Rep. Billy Tauzin, who chairs the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, said his staff has begun to prepare a comprehensive bill that would resolve questions swirling around the new medium, hoping free, over-the-air digital broadcasts would become commonplace before too long.

“The staff has been ordered to begin drafting an omnibus digital television transmission bill and to have it ready by September for discussion, unless all the parties can tell us by September that they have resolved the remaining issues that stand between their reaching agreement,’ the Louisiana Republican said at a press conference.”

On the same date, [Jack] Valenti said, “We are near the edge of an agreement on remaining technical aspects of the broadcast flag, and we’re anxious to avoid further delay. We hope to resolve these remaining matters in the very near- term so that we can move forward with implementing the broadcast flag as expeditiously as possible.”