Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Lisa M. Ezra


Digital online piracy of television programming is a growing problem that has the television industry, production studios, and the Motion Picture Association of America searching for a cure. The FCC's planned cure is the "broadcast flag," which requires manufacturers of television equipment to bear the burden of protecting broadcast programming from pirates. The FCC's scheme not only contains several loopholes allowing pirates to circumvent the flag technology, it also protects only a tiny fraction of digital television content, at the cost of consumers. This note explains the ineffectiveness of the "broadcast flag," and suggests an alternate scheme based around copyright law and a new business model akin to one implemented by the music industry.