Broadcasters irked by news exemption


Broadcasters found lots to dislike in draft digital-TV legislation floated by
House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders last week.

They opposed a provision exempting news programs from the 'broadcast flag'
copy-protection method. That could allow shows like 60 Minutes and
Entertainment Tonight to be streamed at will over the Internet.

Whose bright idea was that? A staffer for committee chairman Billy Tauzin
(R-La.) said Rep. Ed Markey did it, but an aide for the Massachusetts Democrat
denied it.

A Hill source pointed to Phillips Electronics Consumer Electronics Co. Why?
Phillips, which wasn't commenting, is a leader in the consumer-electronics
industry's fight to 'balance' broadcasters' copy-protection demands, which
equipment makers said would violate home recording rights.