My name is Raffi Krikorian, and I am currently enrolled as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) pursuing a Masters Degree at The Media Lab in the Physics & Media Group studying and specializing in large, distributed, networked, and emergent systems. Before entering the program, I was an undergraduate researcher at the MIT Media Lab where I helped design and build Hive1, I worked as a programmer at Popular Power2 creating a distributed computational engine for the Internet, as a free-lance technical writer for the O’Reilly Network3 where I wrote articles on Java4 security and C#5 programming, and as programmer specializing in peer-to-peer (P2P) and networking technology. Many would call me an authority on these subjects.
The initial comments of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), et al., in this docket, assert that the Digital Television (DTV) transition will create a series of risks to their intellectual property interests, and propose the “broadcast flag” in order to address those risks. They provide a laundry-list of new risks from clear-text free-over-the-air Advanced Television Standards Committee (ATSC) broadcasts, including the prospect of redistribution of captured ATSC programming by:
1. electronic mail
2. “shared folders”
3. a web site, and by
4. P2P networked file-sharing software
As a skilled and experienced technologist, I greeted these claims with immense skepticism as they seemed at direct odds with my longtime experience with designing, deploying, and using P2P and networked applications. In response to my skepticism, I undertook a series of experiments in recording and attempting to redistribute ATSC terrestrial broadcast programming. The results of my research are presented below.