Cliff Benham wrote: > In reality, just like the cable and satellite companies > today, all [the bell companies] wanted was to keep those > equipment rental fees coming in every month. Congress giveth, and Congress could take away. It looks like Congress gave the FCC the authority to make th rules for consumer device compatibility with cable systems, in 1992, which the FCC did in 47 CFR 76.630. So this applied to analog basic tier channels, and they had to be unscrambled. When digital cable appeared on the scene, the FCC wrote 47 CFR 76.640, which does not specifically discuss a "digital basic tier," and instead it does discuss this POD device requirement for DTV sets, to unscramble the digital tier signals. Presumably, at the time, the "basic tier" was assumed to be analog. At the same time, the broadcast flag issue was still alive, so the NCTA petitioned the FCC to allow the scrambling of the digital tier to be used as a de facto implementation of a broadcast flag compliant technology (MB Docket 02-230). In this letter, the NCTA petitions the FCC to adjust the old rules of 76.630 (which were written for analog and no issue with broadcast flag) for a digital basic tier ruling which would not read like 76.630. Since then, as I showed previously, the FCC gives cable systems the option of several ways to transmit their basic tier (OTA channels), in analog or in digital. And never in any of this does the FCC mandate use of clearQAM, that I have found. Even though in principle, now that the broadcast flag was determined to be beyond the FCC's charter, the FCC could mandate something along those lines. Enfin bref, while it is easily shown that FOTA stations cannot copy protect or scramble content that they transmit free (over the air), in the wording of 17 USC 1201 and the wording of the Betamax decision, I don't see anywhere that such provisions apply to anything transmitted over digital cable. And it's not a leap to include DBS in this too. And then of course, cable companies are allowed to decide when to dismantle their analog tier. Still, Congress could decide to change all of this. Possibly, a Democrat-controlled Congress could tell the FCC to reword 76.630, I would think, to explicitly mention clearQAM for a digital basic tier. Bert _________________________________________________________________ It’s the same Hotmail®. If by “same” you mean up to 70% faster. http://windowslive.com/online/hotmail?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_hotmail_acq_broad1_122008 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.