The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled that the FCC can’t require hardware manufacturers to include copy protection (the Broadcast Flag) limiting how broadcast media could be redistributed. This is quite a blow to the MPAA in their fight to limit our fair use rights.
In a stunning victory for hardware makers and television buffs, a federal appeals court has tossed out government rules that would have outlawed many digital TV receivers and tuner cards starting July 1.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled Friday that the Federal Communications Commission did not have the authority to prohibit the manufacture of computer and video hardware that doesn’t have copy protection technology known as the “broadcast flag.” The regulations, which the FCC created in November 2003, had been intended to limit unauthorized Internet redistribution of TV broadcasts.
“The broadcast flag regulations exceed the agency’s delegated authority under the statute,” a three-judge panel unanimously concluded. “The FCC has no authority to regulate consumer electronic devices that can be used for receipt of wire or radio communication when those devices are not engaged in the process of radio or wire transmission.”