Oral arguments in the case against the FCC Broadcast Flag were heard earlier this week, and in surprisingly rapid fashion a ruling has been handed down.
The US broadcast regulator has been told by appeal judges it has “crossed the line” with an anti-piracy tag which stops programmes being copied.
cnet coverage: Court questions FCC’s broadcast flag rules and slashdot commentary for good measure.
Note: this finding, while vindicating… doesn’t actually overturn the FCC mandate, as I understand it, but i’m not a lawyer… It just finds that the FCC over stepped it’s mandate, and it seems that the FCC’s stance is if they don’t currently have the mandate, they’ll easily get it from congress. =(
Still a lot to shake out, but it is an encouraging sign. I definitely recommend checking out and if you are so inclined donating to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and scoping out their Digital Television Liberation Front Anti-Broadcast Flag page and their DIY HDTV PVR cookbook
Although I side with the slippery slope folks and think the broadcast flag tramples on fair use rights, engadget attempts to Demystifying the Broadcast Flag with a much less reactionary look at the broadcast flag.