AfterDawn: Tech news

Appeals court says no to broadcast flag

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 07 May 2005 8:15 User comments (8)

Appeals court says no to broadcast flag A U.S. appeals court has dealt a blow to the Entertainment Industry by ruling that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has overstepped its authority by attempting to force manufacturers to make devices capable of reading a "broadcast flag" after 1st July 2005. This broadcast flag would give content providers a chance to place restrictions that they hoped would seriously limit re-distribution of recordings made. The court's argument was that the FCC tried put restrictions on content after the actual transmission.
"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. "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 were delighted with the decision.

"It clearly was a slam dunk," said Gigi Sohn, president of Public Knowledge. "This case is about much more than the broadcast flag," she said. "This case is about ... the power of the FCC over the internet and associated technologies." According to the FCC's requirements, consumers could make personal copies of content but couldn't re-distribute it on P2P networks for example.


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8 user comments

17.5.2005 19:57

uh YES take that litigators. The entertainment industry goes too far. Personally, I will not pay for a gimped signal, they are better off letting the people who have minds do what they want, as they are paying for the programming anyways. If the broadcast flag does go into effect, I am not going to pay for those signals, it will just force me to take other means, which I shouldn't have to in the first place. In fact I would pay more, just to know that I have full control over what I am paying for, where's that plan?

29.5.2005 7:16

I would recommend that anyone interested in this topic read the info at and then go out and buy a HDTV tuner card for your PC or Mac. The units built prior to July 1, 2005 are not required to comply with the broadcast flag, if it ever is implemented. BTW: You also get the benefit of HDTV on your desktop for a small fraction of the cost of a dedicated unit. My HD card cost $150.

39.5.2005 9:13

klezmorim that article you link is from may 6th and it assumes that the broadcast flag was going to be put through, which as this article shows ... did not happen, thus you do not need to rush out and buy because this article shows how the FCC lost that case and will NOT be able to mess with your hardware

49.5.2005 9:53

Well, Soul007, if you read the article that was linked under the "Stop the Clock" headline, you would have read this: "The fight isn't over yet, though. The flag's proponents at the MPAA will head to Congress to get authority for the rule" ( How *that* battle turns out, we can only guess. No, you may not need to rush out and buy a HDTV card, but considering that over-the-air (OTA) analog TV broadcasts are scheduled to cease on Dec. 31 next year, buying a HD tuner card for $150 is a cheap way to go "Digital."

59.5.2005 15:45

This is the kind of thing that would get the general public up in arms regarding DRM technologies. When they can't record things that he could currently, there will be some upset people. Everyone is used to recording their favorite shows and anything that prevents that will not be very popular. It's a lot harder to take away something that everyone is used to doing. Transferring recordings need to be made easier, not more difficult. With new devices such as the PSP capable of displaying video and others on the horizon, there will be more digital copying than ever by the people who would never think of ripping a DVD currently.

610.5.2005 9:55

Here is what I think is stupid. I am going to refer to programming that is "FREE" TV. You know, The channels you can get by simply setting up an antenna in any country. Anyway here it goes. These are suposed to be free TV so why do you have to pay extra to get them on Direct TV or Dish network? Why should there be a problem if they are shared P2P? After all they are free and you are not makeing a buck to put them on P2P. So I do not see how this would hurt the entertainment industry in any way. The only thing that may be different in P2P is the comercials are missing but so what. It is still "Free" There are no laws in US that say you can't record such networks but yet the shows have that unauthrized copy disclaimer in them. A bit twisted government in this area don't you think? I guess it now makes sense to me why I get taxed for 1/2 acre of land but own 2.5 acres of land. You won't see me complain about that one. On the cable TV / Satalite front I can see how this would hurt the entertainment industry but not enough to cry about. Sharing a cable only show on P2P would be as much pain to them as a small cat scratch. Get over it. Millions of people are paying for Cable. You are getting plenty of raoyalties just off that. If the millions of dollars you make of cable cant pay you personal bills then you need some serious finace counciling. Most people paying for the service are mid to lower class and do have legitament resons to cry about thier finance situations. Do you realy need to pay 3 million for a home? The only thing I can see to justify that is VANITY. But realy that is not reason enough. Why don't you buy a home and clothes as well as a car that just meet your needs. Yes it is nice you are rich but you could do other things with it than spend on just yourself. Just think you could create jobs and help the mid to lower class stop whining about thier finance situations. But the day most of you will wake up and see others exsist besides yoursefls will probaly be when Hell freezes over. Now there are some good ones that do share what they have and do help with communities but most don't and whine and cry over this very issue. I guess you can apply all I have said to anyone in any form of entertainment. Just like the MP3 thing they cry about. Maybee this is our way of speaking up and saying we are tired of putting up with BS. If your producers where not 50 times greedier than you then things would be cheaper to us and we may not have to P2P anything. Think about it. -Del

710.5.2005 10:04

Oh yeah, One more thing. No matter what you try to prevent P2P in any time period will be cracked/Hacked days after it is out. There is no way you can win this battle no matter how hard you try. So all those nice Programs you spend millions to develop so people can't share them are worthless and you wasted your money makeing them. And lets say you manage to dismatle P2P. Well days after that happens something else will come out to do the same thing. The funy part is that while you are spending millions to prevent this we never pay anything to get the thing that Hacked you. There are even ways to share files non P2P and you can watch it being shared and not know it was a TV show. So you see, Just save your money and let thing be what they are going to be. The billions you spent so far have stopped absolutly nothing. I myself do not know the ways of hacking. I just know about it and how nothing can defeat it. I know this is a bold comment to post but they should know the truth. I guess I should have messeged this one through a proxy server but oh well. I currently don't have any of that content on my system anyway. -Del

811.5.2005 0:12

del, I feel your payne they just want more control than they should be allowed to have anyways, which is what this rulings about. Just like the internet, even if you were behing a proxy, they can still trace it back. If it does come out, cracks have already been theorized. It is a waste of time, rather than innovate they litigate. Business is changing, innovation will drive sales as "the dinosaurs" (stagnant business models) die off. Like I said, I will pay more knowing that what I have is not gimped.

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