Washington Post: FCC Deserves a Digital Thanks for Nothing

The Federal Communications Commission has figured out how to make digital television more appealing to the millions of consumers who haven’t bought into it: Force manufacturers to make hardware that’s less capable than what’s sold today.

Susan Crawford: “I’m unhappy with what the FCC has done, because it seems to be boundless, unprincipled, and based on irrational assumptions.”
Arnold Kling: An Open Letter to Jack Valenti

Please note that it is inaccurate to refer to broadcast HDTV as “free TV,” particularly in the wake of the broadcast flag regulation. In fact, HDTV is going to be very expensive for the economy as a whole, as millions of devices will now have to be made to conform to the Broadcast Flag standard. Furthermore, I predict that individuals will spend time and resources trying to “hack” the Broadcast Flag, which will lead to modifications of the technology, which will layer on more costs to the economy.

(via Copyfight)