Bye, Bye, Broadcast flags!!!

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by RichA, May 7, 2005.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    Court Nixes 'Broadcast Flag'

    By Michael Grebb
    Saturday, May 7, 2005

    WASHINGTON - In a blow to the entertainment industry, a
    federal appeals court on Friday found that federal
    regulators overstepped their authority by requiring
    consumer-electronics manufacturers to help restrict
    digital home recording.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
    reversed a Federal Communications Commission order that
    required makers of consumer-electronics devices capable
    of receiving broadcast digital TV signals to recognize a
    "broadcast flag," which is code that allows content
    owners to place limits on redistribution of digital
    content streams. The rule was to apply to devices
    manufactured on or after July 1, 2005.

    Specifically, the court admonished the FCC for exceeding
    what's known as its "ancillary authority" over some
    reception devices (consumer-electronics products) by
    trying to regulate a function not directly related to the
    actual transmissions themselves.

    "In other words, the Flag Order imposes regulations on
    devices that receive communications after those
    communications have occurred; it does not regulate the
    communications themselves," the court stated (.pdf).
    "Because the demodulator products are not engaged in
    'communication by wire or radio' when they are subject to
    regulation under the Flag Order, the Commission plainly
    exceeded the scope of its general jurisdictional grant."

    Public-interest groups, which opposed the original FCC
    order as unreasonably restricting fair-use rights, were
    beaming on Friday.

    "It clearly was a slam dunk," said Gigi Sohn, president
    of public-interest advocacy group Public Knowledge.

    Sohn said the decision should also help rein in the FCC,
    which she claimed has been exceeding its authority on
    matters involving new technologies.
    RichA, May 7, 2005
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