ALA wins lawsuit over broadcast flag

Big big news. The American Library Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation and friends just won their joint challenge to the FCCs weird Broadcast Flag regulations, decision can be read here. Not only does this mean that the FCC has to back off from trying to require all digital video receivers to have special Digital Rights Management embedded [that's Congress's job, the courts say, if they choose to do it] but the courts also agreed that the ALA, and by extention librarians and educators, had standing to file this case in the first place. Here’s an example from one of the librarian’s affadavits cited in the decision.

There is clearly a substantial probability that, if enforced, the Flag Order will immediately harm the concrete and particularized interests of the NCSU Libraries. Absent the Flag Order, the Libraries will continue to assist NCSU faculty members make broadcast clips available to students in distanceeducation courses via the Internet, but there is a substantial probability that the Libraries will be unable to do this if the Flag Order takes effect. It is also beyond dispute that, if this court vacates the Flag Order, the Libraries will be able to continue to assist faculty members lawfully redistribute broadcast clips to their students.

Get more links and some discussion here, plus the great quote from the decision “Congress does not…hide elephants in mouseholes.”

details of my talk(s) at UNC

If you’re in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina on March 21st, please stop by and say hello or come hear me talk about technology and the information poor.