FC: CCIA statement on broadcast TV protection; EFF CBDTPA video

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sun Jun 02 2002 - 20:36:13 PDT

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    EFF video (a must-watch if you're at all interested in such topics) on CBDTPA:
    Washington Post article on the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group's 
    apparent impasse:
    Date: Sat, 01 Jun 2002 11:44:36 -0400
    From: Will Rodger <wrodgerat_private>
    Subject: CCIA Statement on BPDG process
    To: politechat_private
    Declan --
    We sent this to the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group yesterday. The=20
    BPDG, of course, is the Hollywood-backed process to, somehow, keep the=20
    studios' movies from being pirated over the Internet. Some say it's just=20
    the ticket to avoid things the recently-introduced CBDTPA. A report from=20
    the discussion group is expected Monday.
    Some participants have told members of Rep. Upton's subcommittee that we=20
    will see a private-sector agreement to protect such content in the=20
    immediate future.
    We doubt the future is so near.
    CCIA Statement on the co-chairs final report
    The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been monitoring the=
    BPDG process for several months. During that time we have been keenly aware=
    of the difficulties of creating a digital rights management system that=20
    could protect high-definition content while at the same time protecting=20
    fair use for consumers and future innovators alike.
    The co-chairs report purports to do so, but falls far short, in part=20
    because of the open-ended veto power it has given content owners over=20
    technologies that could be used to infringe their copyrights. Philips=20
    Electronics, among others, has already outlined the conflict that has=20
    resulted from this arrangement.
    Such difficulties are a real concern: Intellectual property, after all, is=
    a cornerstone of our industry and something without which we and our=20
    members would have no business at all.
    But intellectual property in the United States is and always has been a=20
    balance between owner and consumer of that property. Part of that balance=20
    includes building technology and business models that account for the=20
    interests of other industries and consumer themselves. History tells us=20
    that juke box owners, piano-roll makers, broadcast music and cable TV=20
    didn't just bring new media to consumers, but changed the way established=20
    media did business, often with the help of the legal system.
    We see no such evolution in the BPDG. Instead of a process that embraces=20
    new technology, we see one that attempts to keep it at bay.
    Worse, we fear the BPDG approach to intellectual property will ultimately=20
    bring all of IP into ill repute. Maximalist approaches that treat consumers=
    not a partners but as parties from which to extract only profits will breed=
    contempt for law as surely as Prohibition ever did, and thereby encourage=20
    the piracy this effort is supposed to prevent.
    The BPDG approach has been marred by repeated and credible claims of=20
    back-room dealing by a small number of parties who have excluded most=20
    participants from real decision making. Such closed-door talks raise not=20
    only issues of fairness and copyright, but competition law as well.
    Over the years, CCIA has participated in numerous standards-setting bodies.=
    Each has included numerous affected participants, all of whom worked=20
    towards making systems more interoperable, not less. We call on all BPDG=20
    participants to include more companies, more consumer advocates, and to=20
    write strict sunshine rules so that all parties are included all=
    We also call on participants to look to the market first -- and the=20
    government last =96 to protect the legitimate interests of all stakeholders.
    Will Rodger
    Director Public Policy
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