CNet News writes:
A federal appeals court on Tuesday sharply questioned whether the Federal Communications Commission has the authority to ban certain types of digital TV receivers, including peripheral cards, starting in July.
Two of the three judges on the District of Columbia Circuit panel said the FCC never received permission from Congress to undertake such a sweeping regulation, which is intended to encourage the purchase of digital TV receivers that curb Internet distribution of over-the-air broadcasts of programming such as movies and sports.
"You're out there in the whole world, regulating. Are washing machines next?" asked Judge Harry Edwards. Quipped Judge David Sentelle: "You can't regulate washing machines. You can't rule the world."
LuminousVoid provides background and notes on today's oral arguments. (Hat tip: Lessig Blog.)
Declan McCullagh has the scoop from inside the courtroom today in ALA v. FCC -- the legal challenge the broadcast flag tech mandate. It appears that two of the three judges on the panel are, shall we say, a touch skeptical of the FCC's authority to impose it: . . .
More: BetaNews (Judges Scold FCC Over Broadcast Flag), Yahoo! News (AP), Yahoo News! (Reuters), and Techdirt (Appeals Court Questions FCC's Authority on Broadcast Flags and Washing Machines).
Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced the next stage in its challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's "Broadcast Flag" technology mandate. The organization released a step-by-step guide, the "HD PVR Cookbook," that teaches people how to build a high-definition digital television (HDTV) recorder unaffected by the technological constraints of the Broadcast Flag.
Prior post: Fight Against FCC-required Digital TV Broadcast Flag Heads to Court (Feb. 22, 2005).
Update: More at IPTAblog (including nice overview).
Update: Mark Cuban's blog, Blog Maverick, tells the FCC to "Call their bluff". (Hat tip: Techdirt).
Update: More at The Register (Feb. 23, 2005 - FCC 'Crosses the Line' with Broadcast Flag - Court).
Update: More at TechNewsWorld (Feb. 24, 2005 - 'Broadcast Flag' Prompts Digital TV Debate)