Policy Forum

Battle over the Broadcast Flag: The IP Wars and the HDTV Transition

February 5, 2003 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST

1st floor/Wintergarden

Featuring Fritz Attaway, Motion Picture Association of America; Jim Burger, Dow, Lohnes & Albertson; Mike Godwin, Public Knowledge; and Andy Setos, Fox Entertainment Group.

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The IP wars have shifted to a new battlefield — the Federal Communications Commission — as the content and the computer industries square off over how to protect broadcast video programming. Programmers fear the “Napsterization” of their programming as digital television transmissions become more popular and propose that a federally mandated broadcast flag be included in all future programming and receiving devices to prevent piracy. Computer companies and many consumer interest groups argue that the FCC should not mandate technology standards for electronic devices and deprive consumers of their fair use rights. Who will prevail in this latest IP skirmish?