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Appeals court strikes down FCC broadcast flag rules

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Friday that FCC regulations prohibiting the manufacture of video and computer hardware without broadcast flag [MPAA FAQ] anti-piracy technology are invalid. The court said:

The broadcast flag regulations exceed the agency's delegated authority under the statute. The FCC has no authority to regulate consumer electronic devices that can be used for receipt of wire or radio communication when those devices are not engaged in the process of radio or wire transmission.
The regulations, adopted in November 2003 [press release] with support from the motion picture industry and scheduled to take effect in July 2005 were challenged by the American Library Association [advocacy website] and other interest groups concerned that they would restrict librarians' and consumers' "fair use" rights in copyrighted works [ALA resolution, PDF]. CNET has more.

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