May 07, 2005

So Long, Broadcast Flag

Good news for consumers. For now, you can still control how content is stored and used in your home:

The broadcast flag rules would have required digital televisions, DVD recorders and other consumer devices made after July 1 to recognize a digital code transmitted in the broadcast stream. These new digital TVs would permit recording only on devices that obey copy-protection rules.

The flag was intended to prevent people from recording digitally broadcast shows on their personal computers and then uploading them to online file-sharing services. The American Library Association joined with Public Knowledge and eight other organizations to challenge the broadcast flag order. The groups argued that the FCC lacked the authority to regulate what happens to digital television transmissions once they reach the home.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia agreed. The court said Friday that the FCC overstepped its authority by imposing technology mandates on consumer electronic devices.

``We can find nothing in the statute, its legislative history, the applicable case law, or agency practice indicating that Congress meant to provide the sweeping authority the FCC now claims over receiver apparatus,'' the court wrote.

09:33 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack