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 Nov 17, 2004 - 01:30 PM - by Michael
* FCC: "We Control Everything."

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
Ars Technica's got a startling look at the FCC's latest assertions in court over the HDTV broadcast flag:

The FCC's brief, filed in response to PK's challenge to FCC's jurisdiction in the flag matter, is breathtaking. FCC's position is that its Act gives it regulatory power over all instrumentalities, facilities, and apparatus "associated with the overall circuit of messages sent and received" via all interstate radio and wire communication. That's quite a claim.
The scope of such a claim is immense, reaching people's PCs and any other conceivable digital television consumption device. Unfortunately, it's evident that much of the FCC's latest legislation (and hubris) comes at the behest of the larger players in the content production industry, which doesn't bode well for consumers. The trifecta of increasingly draconian copyright restriction, combined with the new ability (via the DMCA) of private entities to effectively set their own copyright rules outside scope of the law, and an FCC that thinks it controls as much as it does, create a harsh environment for smaller companies and consumers. Indeed, the FCC's dismissal of 70 years of procedures reflects the potential problems we could face in near future:

 

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