The digerati scored a major victory in court today, when the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia struck down an FCC mandate that would have required consumer electronics makers to ship home recording devices with a ‘broadcast’ flag.
This issue has been looming for the last several years, and it’s galvanized both the entertainment industry (which sorely wants the technology included in devices) and the technology industry (which sorely wants these types of mandates eradicated).
One of the biggest fears, frankly, was that by allowing the government to mandate restrictive technologies, it was essentially taking steps to control consumer behavior ahead of time. The broadcast flag, for those not familiar, can limit how you record a television show, what you can do with that show once its recorded, or even if you can record a show.
In other words, you would have a device in your home that wasn’t under your control.