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Raising the (Broadcast) Flag

I'm underdecided as to whether to create "Legislation" or "Media" categories, but for now, this will do.

As reported earlier this month, the FCC issued an order earlier this month, mandating the Broadcast Flag for use in digital television/HDTV.

At first glance, the Broadcast Flag seems to have as much to do with libraries as Napster does.

This comment to the FCC -- submitted jointly by the American Library Association, the American Association of Law Libraries, the Association of Research Libraries, the Medical Library Association, and the Special Libraries Association -- does a good job of illustrating why it does matter for libraries.

If I can be trusted to summarize: the Broadcast Flag is a layer of government-enforced DRM that has the (very likely) potential to seriously erode the already precarious status of fair use as it extends to digital content, among other concerns about innovation, control and access to such content. Forgive the gross oversimplification. Less gross and less simplified is Edward Felten's take on it. ALA has a neat little description and update.