Say That Again

by Mike Masnick

Appeals Court Questions FCC's Authority On Broadcast Flags And Washing Machines

from the regulating-washing-machines dept

As noted previously, a Federal appeals court is hearing a case wondering whether or not the FCC has the authority to impose the broadcast flag mandate, without getting specific permission from Congress. It sounds like the court may be skeptical of the FCC's authority, but that doesn't mean they'll rule against the Broadcast Flag. There were two separate quotes, both using "washing machines" as an example, wondering if the FCC was overstepping its bounds. Judge Harry Edwards: "You're out there in the whole world, regulating. Are washing machines next?" Judge David Sentelle: "You can't regulate washing machines. You can't rule the world." However, it appears the judges are also wondering if those who filed the complaint really have a case, as it's not clear that they're being particularly harmed by the move. It's good that the judges are questioning where the FCC's authority ends, especially in relation to their ability to regulate new technologies.

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  • identicon
    Bob Dole, 22 Feb 2005 @ 1:30pm

    Washing machines ARE regulated.

    The U.S. Department of Energy already regulates washing machines. Article

    Your toilets and shower heads are regulated, too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TJ, 22 Feb 2005 @ 5:35pm

    Get back to us?

    It is good the court seems to realize the FCC is over-reaching. But this issue about harm that the courts too often want to fall back on is frustrating. "Please get back to us AFTER someone has been harmed." Why can't the court rule when something is obvious, like striking down an FCC rule made without any authority. While sad, at least there is a good reason why someone can't be locked up for violating a restraining order until they violate it and potentially do harm. But the court could prevent harm from happening here after July 1 by blocking the broadcast flag from ever taking effect, at least without proper legislation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    RareButSeriousSideEffects, 22 Jun 2006 @ 1:57am

    Re: Get back to us?

    Indeed - the limits of the FCC's authority do not change in accordance with the harm done to someone when they overstep them.

    Any court worth its salt would see this as the red herring that it is and move along.

    (Of course, courts that are worth their salt are in short supply...)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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