June 23, 2005 | By Danny O'Brien

The Flag Dies -- Again

After an afternooon listening to the fascinating work of the full Senate Appropriations committee in streaming audio, I can safely report that the rumored Broadcast Flag amendment was not introduced. If this was a trial balloon for future proposals, EFF and Public Knowledge supporters brought it down with a heavy barrage of ground-to-air missiles (by our last count, more than 15,000 of them, by fax and email).

It's also safe to say that over the week, senators and their staffers likely became more and more uncomfortable with embracing the Flag without debate.

Will there be other sneaky attempts to get the Flag into law? Of course. That's what lobbyists are paid to do. As a friend in Washington said, "It's that whole eternal vigilance thing, I'm afraid."

But the hotter the topic becomes, the harder it becomes for Hollywood to push. And as time goes on, and more and more Americans have digital televisions and other media devices, the angrier they'll become if what they're accustomed to -- time-shifting, open-source media software, and fair use -- is threatened.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 48-hour campaign. We'll keep you updated as we continue keeping watch to ensure that the Flag doesn't rise again.


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