News Releases
News Coverage
News Media
PFF Highlights
News Release
CONTACT: Patrick Ross
May 10, 2005
(202) 289-8928
Broadcast Flag's Future Debated on Hill
PFF to Host Congressional Seminar May 20

WASHINGTON D.C. - With the D.C. Circuit vacating the Federal Communications Commission's broadcast flag rule, the debate over protecting high-definition digital content over the air and the future of the digital TV transition shifts to Congress. The Progress & Freedom Foundation will take the debate there Friday, May 20 when it hosts a Congressional Seminar titled "The Future of The Broadcast Flag: Implications for Congress, the FCC and the DTV Transition." One panelist, John Rogovin, was the General Counsel during the time when the Broadcast Flag Order was under consideration by the Commission and was involved in litigation before the D.C. Circuit. He will be joined by MPAA Executive Vice President Fritz Attaway and James Burger of Dow Lohnes. PFF Senior Adjunct Fellow Solveig Singleton will moderate. The event runs from 12:00 - 2 p.m. in the Longworth House Office Building, Room 1537.

Both Congress and the FCC face tough questions related to the broadcast flag, now that the rule has been thrown out by a federal court. Should Congress mandate a broadcast flag, and explicitly grant the FCC the necessary rulemaking authority? Is the FCC the appropriate body to address copy-protection devices? How does the court ruling impact the FCC's rulemaking authority under Title I? Should Congress extend that authority, or should it seek to create a new forward-looking regulatory framework? And what can Congress and the FCC do in the interim to speed the DTV transition?

Rogovin is a partner in the Communications and E-Commerce and the Litigation Departments at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. From February 2003 to January 2005 he was general counsel of the FCC, having served as deputy general counsel beginning in May 2001. Along with the broadcast flag case, Rogovin represented the Commission on Brand X v. FCC and Prometheus v. FCC. Prior to the FCC, Rogovin was a partner in private practice in Washington and served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. Attaway, along with being executive vice president, also serves as MPAA's Washington general counsel. He joined MPAA in 1976 and became a vice president in 1978. Before joining MPAA, Attaway served as Attorney-Advisor in the Cable Television Bureau of the FCC. Burger is a member of Dow Lohnes' Media, Information and Technologies group, where he specializes in intellectual property. Prior to joining Dow Lohnes in 1997, Burger spent nine years with Apple's legal team, departing as a senior director.

Those interested in attending the PFF Congressional Seminar "The Future of The Broadcast Flag: Implications for Congress, the FCC and the DTV Transition" should register online. Lunch will be served. Media questions should be directed to Patrick Ross at 202-289-8928 or Other questions should be directed to Richard Zielinski at 202-289-8928 or

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