The Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act
March 22, 2002 12:26 PM   Subscribe

The Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act is being spearheaded by Sen. Fritz Hollings of South Carolina. He wants to prohibit the sale of any device that can play, copy or electronically transmit one or more categories of media unless special protection technologies are incorporated. Anyone intentionally violating the CBDTPA would be subject to civil and criminal penalties, including prison terms. Welcome to the 21st century.
posted by Hackworth (18 comments total)
I'm normally mock and despise the slashdot/infoanarchy crowd, but this bill (formerly known as the SSSCA) makes me too angry for words.
posted by gd779 at 12:47 PM on March 22, 2002

hmmm, i guess i'll just have to hang on to the computer i have now with the cd burner in it for a few years yet...
posted by zoopraxiscope at 12:48 PM on March 22, 2002

I can't even begin to comprehend the ramifications, it boggles the mind.

but wait, oh no! I've got to shut down my browser, because it's accessing, displaying, AND retreiving Mefi's copyrighted material! Because my BROWSER is a Digital Media Device!

and you guys better stay off my website, I'll sue anybody that displays it!
posted by LuxFX at 12:49 PM on March 22, 2002

The EFF's protest about the SSSCA. An update will probably come soon.
posted by liam at 1:23 PM on March 22, 2002

didn't we take away South Carolina's right to be total asses after the Civil War, or what?
posted by tsarfan at 1:35 PM on March 22, 2002

The following is a letter I mailed to my senators, please support the cause and mail your senator.

"The growing and dangerous intrusion of this new technology threatens the entire industry’s economic vitality and future security" – Jack Valenti

Honorable Senator Cantwell,

On March 21, 2002, Honorable Senator Hollins presented a bill to the Senate called the CBDTPA (the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act). This bill, if voted into law, would prohibit the sale of any kind of electronic device, unless the device had copy-protection standards built-in as set by the federal government.

The quote above is by Jack Valenti. What is he railing against: Napster?, illegal cd burning?, copying DVDs? No, VCRs, the quote is from 1982. I am asking you to exercise restraint, and instead of legislating copy protection, allow industry to define its standards for itself. America is a capitalist society, and eventually industry will find a solution to this problem.

As you are well aware, Washington is a ‘technology’ heavy state, and in the midst of a recession. Enacting this legislation will only exacerbate this, as companies move jobs out of the country so that they can produce devices that people will buy. Intel, one of Washington’s major technical firms, stands firmly against this legislation.

I do not look forward to a future where I must lease a book for three days, where it is illegal for me to use my VCR, or to convert my home movies into digital format. I realize that this legislation is a far cry from any of these suggested realities, however it is a slippery slope. Legislation can have unintended consequences, the DMCA being used to suppress religious criticism for example.

I will be closely watching the results of this bill. I ask that you please consider my arguments, and vote in a manner consistent with your constituency.

posted by patrickje at 1:41 PM on March 22, 2002

patrickje: Thank you very much for that, I've been trying to come up with something to mail Diane Feinstein about this and I think that hit the nail on the head.
posted by Hackworth at 1:52 PM on March 22, 2002

I want some senator to introduce a bill that would make it mandatory that all discussions of Ernest Hollings include a picture of Foghorn Leghorn.
posted by aaron at 1:56 PM on March 22, 2002

There needs to be legislation that lets us shoot our government representatives if it turns out they're too damn stupid to live...
posted by five fresh fish at 2:23 PM on March 22, 2002

Hackworth: save your stamp. Feinstein's bought and paid for. Try Boxer or your local congressman.
posted by electro at 2:46 PM on March 22, 2002

Hang on to your old VCRs kids, they're gonna be worth its weight in gold on the black market in a few years...
posted by betobeto at 4:16 PM on March 22, 2002

This reminds me. We need legislation now that forces architects and contractors to only design and build buildings with 3 foot thick titanium walls and doors with biometric access mechanisms! Without it, no home or office is safe from burglars! Anyone who builds a building where a child's Mickey Mouse gumball machine could be pilfered should face rigorous prosecution and incarceration.
posted by dchase at 5:27 PM on March 22, 2002

What's going to happen if this goes through?

One person will buy a copy-protected CD, burn it to a CD-R and give it to all their friends. So much for profit.

What would happen if a significant amount of people decided to download whatever music they want, burn it to CD-R and mail a $15 check to the artist?
posted by tomorama at 11:54 AM on March 23, 2002

Patrickje, industry *has* found a solution to the copy protection issue. The solution is to pay off as many politicians as neccessary to get the laws passed.
posted by skylar at 1:11 AM on March 25, 2002

i liked this story a lot, i wrote my congressman already, is it wrong to send links of news i think he should read? :)
posted by rhyax at 8:32 PM on March 25, 2002

dchase: Put an anti-terrorism spin on that 3-foot-wall legislation, force the use of American titanium, call it the "Let's Roll Protection Act of 2002", and it will become law.
posted by hijinx at 8:51 PM on March 25, 2002

I think we need an officially recognized Digital Bill of Rights. Government is obsessed with passing Acts and Legislations that protect the corporations, where is the lobbying for the rights of the consumers, without whom the medium is nothing?

This with a mix of this might hit the nail right on the head.
posted by tomorama at 2:21 PM on March 28, 2002

I'd be shirking my duty if I didn't add contact information to Matt's admonition to write your Congressman.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:27 PM on March 29, 2002

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