I got an email from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that informed me that the Broadcast flag has been stalled once again. I also saw the blurb on Engadget today. Good work, I hope that many of you signed the online petition or called your reps to let them know whats up. Heres a snippet from the newsletter:
By 6 p.m. on Tuesday (June 23, 2005), the 27 members of the Senate Appropriations Committee received *more than 11,000 emails and faxes* from EFF supporters. That’s nearly 500 faxes an hour. Dianne Feinstein alone received more than 2,600 messages in her inbox. Kay Hutchison, the senior senator for Texas, received 1,441 letters.
(You can read the full release here.)
UPDATE It’s important to remain on top of this and continue to spread awareness as some of the Senators/Representatives don’t seem to get it, or are too deep in the MPAA’s pocket to care what the constituency thinks about fair use. Example: read Senator Feinsteins response to those who emailed about the Broadcast Flag issue.
Full newsletter update:
* Action Update: EFF Supporters Slam Congress to Stop the
Earlier this week, EFF learned that a “Broadcast Flag”
amendment might slip past legislative gates as part of
an appropriations bill. We quickly sent out an action alert
to EFF supporters in states with senators on the Senate
Appropriations Committee, warning that within 48
hours, we could see a new law that would give Hollywood
permanent veto power over how we use over-the-air
digital television and force American innovators to beg
the government for permission before adding new features
It’s easy to see how this could happen. Despite
the courts striking down the flag and powerful opposition
in the Internet community, in many circles it’s still
But that was Monday evening.
Within the space of a few hours, the action alert hit
the Internet. And you slammed Congress.
By 6 p.m. on Tuesday, the 27 members of the Senate
Appropriations Committee received *more than 11,000
emails and faxes* from EFF supporters. That’s nearly
500 faxes an hour. Dianne Feinstein alone received
more than 2,600 messages in her inbox. Kay Hutchison,
the senior senator for Texas, received 1,441 letters.
And these are just the numbers EFF has. We don’t track
telephone calls. But we do know that many of you listened
when we joined Public Knowledge in urging you to call your
senators directly. If you tried to call and the line was
engaged, it was likely occupied by someone else griping
about the same amendment. Staffers report that they are
Today, the phone calls, email messages, and faxes continue
to flood in. This is a mass protest even without voices
from many of the more populous states, which don’t have
senators on the committee.
Suffice it to say that you don’t get that kind of reaction
except for *very* controversial bills. You did it. You
got the attention of every senator on the Appropriations
And so far, it’s working. No one proposed a Broadcast Flag
amendment in the sub-committee on Tuesday. The next
opportunity will be Thursday at 2 p.m. By then, everyone
on the committee will have been briefed by their besieged
staffers. And in the briefings will be words to the
effect that this is an issue with “a great deal of voter
For these senators, the Broadcast Flag now comes with its
own red flag.