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Stop the Broadcast Flag

EFF Action!Tell Your Senators to Kick Out the Flags! Senator Stevens has introduced a bill that includes not just the broadcast flag, but the audio flag too. Write to your senators now, and tell them to keep the entertainment industry's tech mandates off the law books!

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On May 1st, Senator Stevens introduced the "Communications, Consumer's Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act" (S.2686). Buried inside this 125 page bill is language that would create a broadcast flag in over-the-air TV transmissions, and give the FCC power to create a similar technology mandate for digital radio.

If this bill were to pass, government - and the entertainment industry - would control what you could do with digital media in your home. The broadcast flag would place TV shows in a DRM ghetto, where your right to copy, back-up, sell, time-shift or convert them into formats convenient to you would be at the whim of the broadcasters. The audio flag would give the FCC matching powers over "digital audio broadcasting," including satellite radio, digital HD radio, and potentially even Internet radio.

There's no benefit here for artists or customers, and for infringing copiers, evading these copy controls will be as easy as ever. No matter how inconvenienced individual users would be by a flag, pirates would be able to bypass it. The bill would usher in a new world of anti-consumer electronics, and a chance for the MPAA's and RIAA's member companies to seize even greater control over all media distribution and use.

Write to your senators now!

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