Can Television Route Around the Broadcast Flag?

Re-reading Simson's wonderful rant tonight (in Tech Review, he gives a good overview of why the broadcast flag is evil), I got to thinking about Mike Ramsay, TiVo, and the possibilities of net-based television. As I posted earlier, Mike said that one of his goals with TiVo is to make…

Re-reading Simson’s wonderful rant tonight (in Tech Review, he gives a good overview of why the broadcast flag is evil), I got to thinking about Mike Ramsay, TiVo, and the possibilities of net-based television. As I posted earlier, Mike said that one of his goals with TiVo is to make television searchable and discoverable over the net, in effect, combining broadband with broadcast. To my mind, this makes it possible (though not inevitable) for independent producers and creators to route around the Comcast-DirectTV distribution chokehold by simply creating websites that are tuned for TiVo-like devices. This would also makes it possible for producers to create “broadcast-flag-free” television – to release programming free of that dunderheaded regulation. I wonder, will they? Could the broadcast flag be irrelevant, and will television route around bad policy? If enough folks want their TV from broadband, if enough want to share and manipulate those programs as digital objects, and if enough demand those rights, the market will respond. Right….? The only problem is…the largest provider of broadband in the United States is….Comcast. Sigh.

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

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