Software and computer companies again called on the Federal Communications
Commission to reject TV copy-protection rules backed by Hollywood and
"Proponents of the broadcast flag have not provided sufficient evidence that
it is needed now and that its implementation would justify the direct and
indirect costs to consumers of such a mandate," the IT Coalition said in reply
comments filed Wednesday.
The coalition is comprised of the Business Software Alliance and the Computer
Systems Policy Project.
If the FCC decides that a content-protection solution should be mandated, the IT
Coalition urged one "created and supported by all affected industries."
The IT group claimed that the flag regime wouldn't guarantee the well-established
right to unfettered home recording.
Supporters of the flag countered in a filing sponsored by the National
Association of Broadcasters, the Motion Picture Association of America and
others that high-value content such as sports and new movies will "migrate away"
from free over-the-air broadcasting if programming is easy to copy and transmit
over the Internet or other forms of file sharing.
The broadcast flag, aimed at limiting unauthorized distribution of content,
was developed with funding from major broadcast networks, the MPAA, the NAB,
station groups and artists and actors unions.
The flag would be embedded in spectrum accompanying video programming and
would tell digital recording and storage devices how many times, if any, a user
may copy a program for use outside personal video equipment.