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Appeals court kills broadcast flag

The Federal Communications Commission's broadcast flag has been shot down
by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. In a ruling
released today, the court found that the FCC had "exceeded the scope of
its delegated authority" when it created the requirement.

5/6/2005 10:56:52 AM, by Eric Bangeman

In March 2004, the American Library Association and a handful of other
groups filed an appeal of the original FCC rule. The core of the argument
was that the FCC had no business telling consumer electronics
manufacturers how to design their products without a specific mandate from
Congress. Other, similar FCC directives such as closed captioning and V
chips both resulted from legislation passed by Congress.

The broadcast flag is a 2003 FCC creation that was ostensibly designed to
spur adoption of digital television by clamping down on "television
piracy." According to that line of reasoning, if content creators could be
sure that their programming could not be shared (or even recorded), they
would be far more likely to embrace digital TV. Of course, with the
viewing and usage of content being heavily restricted, it is hard to argue
that it benefits consumers. ...