Sunday , April 21 2024

Court Takes Down FCC Broadcast Flag

The US Appeals Court for the DC Circuit has vacated the FCC’s digital TV Broadcast Flag regulation. The court ruled that Congress never gave the Federal Communications Commission the authority to regulate consumer electronics devices with respect to what they do after a transmission has been received, which is what the Flag Order amounted to.

Under the rule, producers were to be required to embed a Broadcast Flag into programs transmitted via DTV signals. Even though a program, once transmitted, would reside on the playback device’s hard drive, the user would be prevented from (for example) archiving it to a DVD in order to save hard drive space. A more detailed description of the regulation can be found here.

“In sum,” wrote the Court in its decision on the case (American Library Association v. FCC), “because the rules promulgated by the Flag Order regulate demodulator products after the transmission of a DTV broadcast is complete, these regulations exceed the scope of authority Congress delegated to the FCC.” The full text of the decision is available as a PDF file here.

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Music, where he covers classical music (old and new) and other genres, and Culture, where he reviews NYC theater. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at where he is on a mission to visit every park in New York City. He has also been a part-time working musician, including as lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado.

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