A Reuters story on the FCC’s impending adoption of broadcast flag requirements for digital TV:
“The approval, expected as early as next week, would be another step
along the long road to the higher-quality, crisper digital signals,
which have been slowed because of worries about piracy, high-priced
equipment and limited available programming.
An agency spokeswoman declined to comment on when the five commissioners would vote on the issue.
Consumer advocates have warned that consumers will have to buy new DVD
players if they want to play programs that have been recorded on
machines that recognize the digital flag. But agency officials stressed
that that always happens when new technology hits the market.”
I don’t know where to start. The idea that digital TV adoption
has been slow because of piracy fears is just plain silly. If
we’d had the broadcast flag earlier, people would have rushed out to
buy multi-thousand dollar sets so they could watch two or three
channels of digital programming (which most cable operators just
started offering in the last year)? Spare me. And the
comment about new technology always being non-backward-compatible is a
bad joke. It’s instructive that this is the attitude. Users
shouldn’t expect that consumer electronics products they buy will work;
the content industry reserves the right to blow them if it feels
threatened. Ain’t progress grand?