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News Release
November 10, 2003
CONTACT: David Fish
(202) 289-8928

Friday Hill Briefing: Broadcast Flag & Copyright
Experts to Discuss Hot-Button Issues; Sign-Up Information Below

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Text With copyright protection and the so-called broadcast flag near the top of Washington’s digital policy agenda, a diverse panel of experts meets Friday to discuss both topics. The latest Progress & Freedom Foundation Congressional Seminar will feature the chair of the FCC’s Digital Television Task Force and other panelists on November 14, from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m., in Longworth House Office Building, Room 1539.

Participants include: Rick Chessen, associate chief, Federal Communications Commission’s Media Bureau and chair of the FCC’s Digital Television Task Force; Mike Godwin, senior technology counsel at Public Knowledge; William F. Adkinson, Jr., senior policy counsel at The Progress & Freedom Foundation; and Robert D. Atkinson, VP, the Progressive Policy Institute.

Millions of people illegally copy files over the Internet, resulting in substantial lost revenue to the music industry. Content owners have responded with lawsuits against “file-sharing” systems. While this tactic has met with some success, many argue that imposing liability on these systems will retard technological development. More recently, the recording industry brought legal actions against several hundred people for making large numbers of songs available for copying over such systems, and has been roundly criticized by file-sharers and their supporters. The main alternative to copyright liability is the adoption of technological protection mechanisms. Last week, the FCC said all digital televisions must by 2005 recognize and comply with the “broadcast flag” – a digital code to limit redistribution of over-the-air broadcasts.

The PFF seminar will help answer important policy questions: How should intellectual property be protected on the Internet? Do actions against those copying files violate their rights? Where do the real interests of consumers lie? What mix of available mechanisms for IP enforcement will best serve content producers and consumers? How and when will the contentious online piracy fracas be resolved?

Those interested in attending should register by contacting Andrea Knutsen at 202-289-8928 or Lunch will be served.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation