The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), which is organizing the antispyware consortium, is now supporting a modified version of the broadcast flag.

“An array of non-profit groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and the American Library Association spent years fighting the idea of a ‘broadcast flag,’ a federal regulation that would have outlawed many digital TV receivers and tuner cards starting July 1…In May, a federal appeals court unceremoniously tossed out the Federal Communications Commission’s regulations.

But now one non-profit advocacy group is breaking ranks with its usual allies and handing Congress a road map to reinstating the broadcast flag. The idea is to reduce piracy of digital TV by prohibiting the manufacture of computer and video hardware that doesn’t sport copy
protection technology”

CDT conflict of interest? “A now-deleted Web page, saved in February 2003 by Archive.org, shows that Time Warner, Disney, and Vivendi (an owner of NBC Universal) have been supporters. Though for the record, a CDT spokesman said Tuesday that only Time Warner (that is, AOL) currently is providing cash.”

IMPORTANT UPDATE AND CORRECTION:

It appears the post by Declan McCullagh at Politech (from which the content of this blog was framed) was innacurate.  According to an email to me from a high-ranking official of the CDT:

1) The sponsor page mentioned [above] was not deleted.  It is still online, but we stopped linking while we are redoing our Website, precisely because it was outdated and included companies that no longer fund us.  We hope to have a new one up sometime next month.

2) Content companies hate our copyright position.  That is why they (Disney, Universal, etc) stopped funding us.  As you know AOL is a member of ASC and other CDT working groups.  Therefore, Time Warner supports us.  Our funding on copyright is almost entirely funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

3) CDT DOES NOT support the broadcast flag.  The paper was saying that Congress SHOULD NOT support a broadcast flag, however, since they are working on it, they should at least consider fixing the completely broken current proposal.

In other words, no story here. 

Alex Eckelberry
Tip o’ the hat to Ben Edelman