Rough Book

random musings of just another computer nerd

FCC Broadcast flag struck down!

From C|Net News:

Court yanks down FCC’s broadcast flag

Published: May 6, 2005, 9:52 AM PDT
By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET

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 over-the-air TV broadcasts.

Full Article

Let me be the first to say, take that you bastards! Time and again, I’ve seen how consumer rights are being stamped on by the RIAA, MPAA, and the FCC and by such bullshit laws like the DMCA. Finally we have something that actually helps the consumers. A major victory, for sure.

The court was absolutely correct in this ruling. The FCC has no constitutional authority. They overstepped their bounds, and had no right imposing their authority over consumer choice and the private industry.

However, I don’t know if this is the end of the broadcast flags, since the courts have basically said that the FCC needs to go to Congress. So I’m pretty sure the MPAA is lobbying pretty hard right now and calling in some favours. But at the very least, you have people in the Congress who are accountable and answerable to their constituencies, which wasn’t the case with the FCC. I hope this pans out well in the end.

There were also some funny remarks from the judges about the case:

“You’re out there in the whole world, regulating. Are washing machines next?” asked Judge Harry Edwards. Quipped Judge David Sentelle: “You can’t regulate washing machines. You can’t rule the world.”

Heh. Right on the mark. The story is also on Slashdot.

Cinco de Mayo

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo. I went down to Tempe and met up with Josh, Suhrid and Lance. We paid the $5 cover charge to get into Macayo’s and walked around and had a couple of beers. Well, Josh, Lance, and I did. We pretty much just hung around the patio and checked out the hotties (there were more than enough to go around). After that we met up with Sakeena, Marcella and April and just hung out at the parking lot. There was a local band playing, and they did some pretty decent covers of some cool songs. I had a couple of Margaritas and by the time I was done, I was… well… drunk. We then went over to Fatburger where we got something to eat. I wasn’t sober enough to drive, so I decided I would just sleep in my car until I was. Suhrid drove Josh and I over to the parking lot. Oh yeah, before that. On our way there we saw these girls who were wearing pretty much next to nothing. Bikini’s and g-strings and… wow… yeah. They were standing outside McDuffy’s I think… or maybe it was Margarita Rocks. I can’t remember. Anyway, I got to my car and slept there for an hour and a half. I was sober after that and drove home. But I’m really hungover this morning… getting too old for this… not in college anymore…

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