September 20, 2020

Broadcast Flag for Radio

JD Lasica has an important story about an FCC proposal, backed by the recording industry, to impose a broadcast-flag mandate on the design of digital radios. As JD suggests, this issue deserves much more attention than it has gotten.

He also has copies of correspondence on this issue exchanged between RIAA president Cary Sherman and Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) CEO Gary Shapiro. Shapiro notes that this proposal directly contradicts the RIAA’s “Policy Principles on Digital Content,” which say this:

Technology and record companies believe that technical protection measures dictated by the government (legislation or regulations mandating how these technologies should be designed, function and deployed, and what devices must do to respond to them) are not practical. The imposition of technical mandates is not the best way to serve the long-term interests of record companies, technology companies, and consumers … The role of government, if needed at all, should be limited to enforcing compliance with voluntarily developed functional specifications reflecting consensus among affected interests.

The FCC’s proposal will be open for public comment between June 16 and July 16.