This isn't over yet, but the news is trickling out that the Court of Appeals has decided today that the FCC had no authority to mandate the broadcast flag. It's likely that more details are forthcoming about the ruling (the initial Reuters report is just 3 quick paragraphs). This isn't all that surprising, given the statements made during the case. Once the court felt comfortable that those involved had standing, they seemed to agree that the FCC didn't have the right to tell consumer electronics makers how to build their equipment. It's likely, of course, that this case isn't done yet, and will be appealed upwards. It's also likely, given the way politicians work these days, that Congress may step in to try to change things and give the FCC these rights that they really shouldn't have. In the meantime, though, this is a victory for both fair use and the ability to innovate without having to ask permission first. Update: As expected, there's plenty of commentary on this one coming fast and furious. Ernest Miller has a good summary of key passages from the ruling.
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