Committee Considers Broadcast Flag

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The House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property will hold a hearing Nov. 3 on the broadcast flag for radio and TV.

The flag is a security technology to prohibit redistribution of digital TV and radio content. The FCC adopted the flag, only to have a court later throw out the rules out, saying the FCC lacked jurisdiction.

Studios and broadcasters are pushing Congress to give the FCC the express authority to adopt the flag, saying it is crucial to spurring the digital transition by giving content providers protection of their intellectual property.

During the House Commerce Committee markup of the DTV transition bill Oct. 26, Rep Mary Bono (R.-Calif.) got an assurance from committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Tex.) that that committee would take up the issue at a later time, likely in the context of a "fair use" bill that he and Internet Subcommittee member Rick Boucher (D-Va.) introduced in March.

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