WASHINGTON (AP) _ A U.S. appeals court on Friday threw out new federal rules requiring anti-piracy technology that would have limited how consumers could record and watch their favorite television programs in the future.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned rules by the Federal Communications Commission that would have required certain video devices to have technology to prevent copying digital television programs. The court said the FCC overstepped the authority given it by Congress.
The controversial rules were challenged by consumer groups, including library associations. They complained that the FCC requirement would drive up prices of digital television devices and prevent consumers from recording programs in ways permitted under copyright laws.
The technology, known as the broadcast flag, would have been required after July 1 for televisions equipped to receive new digital signals, many personal computers and VCR-type recording devices. It would permit entertainment companies to designate, or flag, programs to prevent viewers from copying shows or distributing them over the Internet.
Entertainment companies said the technology was needed to block viewers from recording shows and films and distributing them free online.