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November 5, 2005
More on the Horror...the Horror...the Horror
Wendy Seltzer @ the Berkman Center, in a lengthy interview giving her reaction to Thursday's House subcommittee hearing on the horrifying trio of RIAA/MPAA proposals to impose government technology mandates on innovators:
I've been particularly disturbed by the impact that a technology mandate would have on hobbyists and tinkerers. Right now, I can (and have) built an open-source personal video recorder -- imagine a TiVo on steroids -- to record and playback HDTV. I'm not redistributing television indiscriminately over the Internet, I just like being able to pause live TV or move recorded shows to my Treo to watch at the gym. If the broadcast flag were implemented, I wouldn't be able to buy replacement parts for that machine; even those building commercial TiVos would need to impose government-approved restrictions. [Link & emphasis added.]
Wendy @ Legal Tags: "The question that left Dan Glickman cold came from Rep. Meehan, asking about the compulsory licensing of technology standards: (paraphrase) Do you think tech companies should have to surrender their intellectual property to protect yours?"
Update: Frank Field @ Furdlog: "Jesus H. Christ! This is what I get for being away from this for a couple of weeks...I am sure that proponents will point to this language as supporting innovation:
Section 101. No person shall
(b) manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide or otherwise traffic in any
technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that —
(2) has only limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to modify or cause an analog video input device to no longer conform to the requirements set forth in subsection (a); or
Of course, any novel
application is not going to have more than 'limited commercially significant purpose or use' until it gets disseminated and understood (c.f., TiVo). As written now, without the funds to implement VEIL, a firm looking to develop a new application (or, God forbid, an open source application!) would be formally restricted."
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