If the big media folks have their way, sometime in the future any electronic device you buy (TV, DVD, DVR, etc.) will be required to carry circuitry capable of detecting a "broadcast flag" in the program giving it instructions on what to do with the file.
What kind of instructions? Well that’s one of the vague parts of the law being pushed by certain members of Congress. The legislation only tells the FCC to order manufacturers to place the flag software in their equipment. What happens after that is up to the big media companies.
Among other things, they could use it to block a show from being recorded, set the number of times the program could be viewed, or prevent it from being transfered to a portable device. The bottom line is that the person paying for the program – that’s you, incidentally – will have little or no control over how it’s used.
Copyfight lists the sock puppets (their term, not mine – but it fits) who are once again supporting this piece of crap. A helpful commentor extends the information by adding the
bribes contributions received from various big media companies by each of these "representatives" of the people.
The broadcast flag. Just one more way big media want to restrict your fair use rights and make everything you watch or listen to pay-per-use.
If you’re interested, the Electronic Frontiers Foundation has more about the flag and their campaign to kill it.