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January 30, 2005
Kill P2P to Save TV?
That's what the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) proposes, says Fred von Lohmann in a Deep Links post analyzing the organization's brief [PDF] in MGM v. Grokster:
[NAB's] take on the case? P2P must be banned, lest it erode the profits of broadcasters. ...Funny, we recently heard the same thing from certain broadcasters in the fight over the "broadcast flag" regulations -- digital television technology must be locked down, all in the name of protecting ad-supported TV. In fact, they went so far as to threaten to stop broadcasting digital TV unless they got their way.
Too bad the NAB broadcasters didn't make that puerile threat in their brief: "Unless you ban P2P, we'll stop broadcasting." Because if they had, then we could have called their bluff, taken away their free spectrum, and given it to someone who is willing to play. ...
Oh, and did I mention that 85% of Americans now pay for their television programming? And that some of the most innovative programming to hit TV is produced by HBO, which manages without ads? Makes you wonder whether it's a good idea for the Supreme Court to start regulating Internet technologies to protect one, and only one, business model.
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