Congressman Sets Deadline for US Digital TV Parties

17 July 2002

America’s technology and entertainment industries have two months to thrash out an agreement on how to deliver digital television and protect content from piracy.

That was the message from House Commerce Committee chairman, representative Billy Tauzin (Republican, Louisiana), who has told staff to prepare legislation to force a compromise. Hearings are scheduled for September, the cut-off point for the industries involved to reach a consensus and have it included in the bill.

At issue is how to prevent high-quality digital broadcasts being used to produce pirate copies of movies and other content. It is feared that without such protection, networks and movie studios will not release digital programming.

One proposal on which interested parties are near to agreement is a ‘digital flag’ embedded into broadcasts of movies and TV shows that would tell recording devices such as DVD machines not to tape the program. However, some are worried this would prevent consumers recording shows to watch later.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff