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Away From Home

Saturday, May 07, 2005

On the broadcast flag

What did I do today?

I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be.

In other news, the DC Circuit struck down the "broadcast flag" regulation yesterday. For the uninitiated, a brief recap, courtesy of the EFF:

The Broadcast Flag rule would have required all digital TV receivers, including televisions, VCRs, and personal video recorders like TiVo, to be built to read signals embedded in over-the-air broadcast television shows that would place certain limitations on how those shows could be played, recorded, and saved. The sale of any hardware that was not able to "recognize and give effect to" the Broadcast Flag, including currently existing digital and high-definition television (HDTV) equipment and open source/free software tools, would have become illegal.

The FCC was created to regulate communications, but this regulation would have applied only after the "communication" aspect of the broadcast had finished. As such, the FCC lacked the authority to pass this regulation.

Why am I posting about this? Because it's good news. I could possibly have had to upgrade my MythTV box already, which I really did not want to do. Also, it means that, for example, schools which use video for distance learning will not have to purchase special technology to continue. Many schools would have had to completely redo their entire distance learning setups.

Besides, many of you reading this blog consider yourselves to be conservative. You should be especially pleased with this ruling, because it helps to slow the spread of big government.



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