Now this is interesting. From the good folks at News.com:
In general, consumers would have been able to record broadcast-flagged shows and movies, but would only be able to play them back on the same device. The FCC rules specify that all devices must uniquely link "such recording with a single covered demodulator product, using a cryptographic protocol or other effective means, so that such recording cannot be accessed in usable form by another product."
Broadcasters are not required to tag their shows and movies with the flag. It's up to each local station and network.
During oral arguments in February, the three judges on the appellate panel foreshadowed this week's decision by suggesting that the FCC had overstepped what the law permits.
"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."
We're not out there building washing machines. Nonetheless, this is a welcome turn of events for the emerging Internet TV industry as a whole. And it just made my HDTV shopping choice a little bit easier. See, this ruling is already helping the consumer electronic industry!