NCTA Supports Limited Broadcast Flag

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The cable industry's top trade association declared its support for a copy-protection regime that prevents unauthorized Internet retransmission but refrains from stifling technological innovations aimed at home users.

Copy protection is considered a key element in the transition to digital broadcasting. Hollywood studios are balking at releasing films to broadcasters that can be copied over and over again without degradation and sent around the globe on the Internet.

Various groups, including the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, filed comments Friday at the Federal Communications Commission on copy-protection proposals. The NCTA said it supported the so-called broadcast flag, which would signal place-copying restrictions on digital devices.

The FCC is considering adopting copy-protection regulation at the behest of a coalition headed by the Motion Picture Association of America, advertisers, broadcast networks and affiliates.

The Consumer Electronics Association -- members of which make the devices that content providers claim are sapping value from their products -- warned the FCC against copy-protection regulations that erode hard-won home recording rights.

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