FCC Enters Copyright Debate
August 12, 2002
On August 8, the Federal Communications Commission formally began considering whether to adopt a "broadcast flag" standard designed to limit consumers' ability to make copies of digital-broadcast television programs. The Commission is seeking public comments by October 30. The "broadcast flag" is a way of marking digital-television content so that consumer electronics and computers will recognize the marks and limit the making of copies. CDT and other public interest groups have urged the FCC to consider the consumer implications of such a standard, including its impact on reasonable copying for personal use and the continuing usefulness of their electronic and computer equipment. In a July report, CDT, Consumers Union, and Public Knowledge outlined consumer questions posed by the broadcast flag proposal.