House Leader: Broadcast flag must protect fair use rights

June 16, 2003

The U.S. House of Representatives leader that oversees copyright law has warned that a broadcast flag used to protect television programming from copying must also protect the fair use rights of Americans.

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House subcommittee with jurisdiction over copyright law, said that any upcoming FCC regulations involving digital television should not “have an adverse affect on how consumers may legitimately use lawfully acquired entertainment products.”

The FCC has not yet decided to proceed with approval of a broadcast flag technology. However, now that the commission has finished its ruling on the contentious broadcast ownership rules, it is expected to begin dealing with several pending DTV issues, including the copy protection issues.

For more information visit www.house.gov.

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