[opendtv] Re: Microsoft's Masters: Whose Rules Does Your Media Center Play By?

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 16:42:52 -0400

Monty Solomon wrote:

> Microsoft's Masters: Whose Rules Does Your Media Center Play By?
> Posted by Danny O'Brien

> While its customers are still puzzling over why Vista Media
> Center is suddenly refusing to record over-the-air NBC digital
> TV, ...


This is one of those many examples of the lawyers tying themselves up in

The original FCC intent was abundantly clear. Unfortunately, when the
FCC's broadcast flag ruling was thrown out by the courts, they threw out
the baby with the bathwater. Now the equipment manufactuers can
interpret the words in any way they bloody well please, or so it seems.
And yet somehow, the Betamax ruling should apply here too, so I hope the
courts will step in again.

The situation here is hardly ambiguous.

From the ATSC's point of view, the exact function of this redistribution
control flag is not specified. Section 6.9.12 of A/65 makes this plain:

"It is out of the scope of this standard to assert how any receiving
device reacts when the rc_descriptor is present."

But the FCC (and the courts with the Betamax case) were not so


November 4, 2003            Michelle Russo 202-418-2358
                            David Fiske 202-418-0513


Broadcast Flag Prevents Mass Internet Distribution; Consumer Copying Not
Affected; No New Equipment Needed

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
adopted an anti-piracy mechanism, also known as the "broadcast flag,"
for digital broadcast television.  The goal of today's action is to
foster the transition to digital TV and forestall potential harm to the
viability of free, over-the-air broadcasting in the digital age. >>>The
FCC said that consumers' ability to make digital copies will not be
affected <<<; the broadcast flag seeks only to prevent mass distribution
over the Internet. Finally, the FCC said implementation of the broadcast
flag will not require consumers to purchase any new equipment.


Until someone legally reiterates "that consumers' ability to make
digital copies will not be affected," it's the wild west out there.

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