A technology very similar in nature to the broadcast flag destined for televisions and home recording devices has greatly upset many consumer rights activists. The "audio broadcast flag" that the RIAA is so excited about has many people in an uproar, including the head of the Consumer Electronics Association, Gary Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro describes the technology as quite literally an "attack" on fair use, and that it hurts, not helps, the industry, and that the RIAA seeks treatment above the law:
According to that same statement, Shapiro is again accusing the RIAA of looking for special rights above and beyond that proposed for other entertainment mediums. "Although the RIAA continues to try to muddy the waters, this much remains clear: the music industry no longer agrees that a consumer's right to make a first generation copy of a song includes the right to play it back when and how the consumer wishes," he said. Shapiro here refers to the fact that the RIAA would like to block the ability to record unencumbered digital music from either digital radio stations or satellite services such as XM or Sirius.
While strong in words and perhaps seen by some as overly paranoid, the cries Shapiro is making are being mirrored by many, and the same things are starting to be realized by many technology advocates worldwide, as the article brings out. When the RIAA can't get their way, they attempt to litigate or legislate their way out of it. They are willing to strip the rights of people who pay for their own entertainment in an attempt to pursue those who cause minimal financial harm to the company. Unfortunately, that's the way the media industry works, and it will take a lot more than just strong words to protect consumer rights.