FCC Chairman Genachowski Continues Regulatory Reform to Ease Burden

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by reneg, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002


    FCC Chairman Genachowski Continues Regulatory Reform to Ease Burden on Businesses; Announces Elimination of 83 Outdated Rules


    One in particular drew my interest: "In addition, the FCC also announced the deletion of obsolete "broadcast flag," cable programming service tier rate, and broadcast applications and proceedings rules."

    Does this mean I should be getting an update from Tivo soon which ignores the now obsolete "Broadcast flag"? Isn't this what Tivo uses to determine whether a program can be transferred via MRV or is this just wishing thinking on my part?
  2. innocentfreak

    innocentfreak Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2001
    Your link doesn't work.
  3. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    It seems like this ruling would require that the cable company turn off copy protection for all basic tier digital channels.
  4. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    I wouldn't hold your breath. I suspect that TiVos reason for helping to enforce DRM has more to do with avoiding litigation for "facilitating" piracy than it does for an FCC rule that was thrown out by the courts years ago as beyond the authority of the FCC.
  5. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001


    If they remove the definition of broadcast flag, doesn't that mean they could just copy protect EVERYTHING?
  6. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    I don't think so, I think there are different rules that prohibit the cable companies from doing that.
  7. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

    Jan 13, 2005
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the broadcast flag is a bit in the Over The Air (OTA) transport stream. Part of PSIP data, I would guess. Since the broadcast flag was shot down, I don't think that flag is allowed to be set in any OTA broadcast anymore.

    Cable transport uses the CCI byte which is different. But I suspect there were rules about how cable was supposed to use a broadcast flag if it were present. Since it is now a defunct flag, rules about what to do with it don't make sense anymore.

    So to my mind, this is not a big deal for TiVo at all. What I really want to know is if one of the other 82 outdated rules is the one TiVo has a waiver request against. The one that requires a non-cable company box to have analog (or is it digital OTA, or both) tuners in addition to QAM turners.
  8. premiereman

    premiereman New Member

    Aug 18, 2011
    If this holds true, TWC subscribers like myself should rejoice! I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens.
  9. reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    So, essentially it's controlled by a broadcast flag (CCR byte), but not THE broadcast flag. Thanks.
  10. Sapphire

    Sapphire Xtal substance

    Sep 9, 2002
    Not quite. They can send the flag. The broadcast flag mandate was about making it mandatory for receiving equipment to honor it.

    Some of them such as Microsoft (windows media center) honor it voluntarily. Broadcasters very rarely use it though.

    It's the CCI (copy control indicator) byte.

    No, the rule is about broadcast. Cable operators are free to add the flag to channels that are not must carry (i.e. everything except broadcast).

    This change really makes no difference for anyone. The courts prevented the FCC from enforcing the flag mandate, and now the FCC is just removing an unenforceable rule from their books, that's all. They also killed the fairness doctrine which hasn't been in effect for a long time. It's more of a housekeeping exercise than anything.
  11. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

    Jan 13, 2005
    Thanks for the clarification.
  12. bobster954

    bobster954 Member

    Aug 15, 2011

    August 22, 2011
    Neil Grace, 202-418-0506
    Email: neil.grace@fcc.gov



    "Fairness Doctrine" and other obsolete provisions among those deleted; Actions consistent
    with Chairman Genachowski's regulatory reform agenda and commitment to act in
    accordance with recent Executive Order to improve regulation and regulatory review
    Washington, D.C. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski today announced the elimination of 83 outdated and
    obsolete media-related rules, including Fairness Doctrine regulations. Today's action is part of the FCC's
    reform agenda, which includes retrospective review of rules, elimination of rules that are no longer needed,
    and revision of rules to reflect changes in technology, thereby clearing the path for greater competition,
    investment and job creation. Chairman Genachowski has consistently and repeatedly stated his opposition to
    the Fairness Doctrine, which he pressed to eliminate by the end of August. The Fairness Doctrine is not
    currently enforced by the FCC and has not been applied for more than 20 years.
    In addition, the FCC also announced the deletion of obsolete "broadcast flag," cable programming service tier
    rate, and broadcast applications and proceedings rules
    . The elimination of these rules adds to the over 50
    outdated regulations that have already been deleted as part of Chairman Genachowski's robust regulatory
    review process. Moreover, the FCC has significantly reduced Commission backlogs, including an 89%
    reduction in satellite licensing applications and a 30% reduction in broadcast licensing applications. The FCC
    is currently in the process of moving to eliminate 25 sets of data collections from industry that are no longer

    Chairman Genachowski said
    , "Our extensive efforts to eliminate outdated regulations are rooted in our
    commitment to ensure that FCC rules and policies promote a healthy climate for private investment and job
    creation. I'm proud of the work we are doing toward our goal of being model of excellence in government.
    This includes our recent commitment to act in accordance with the recent Executive Order on Regulation and
    Independent Agencies, which is consistent with the values and philosophy we apply at the FCC.
    "The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction. As I
    have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter
    remains dead. The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was
    properly abandoned over two decades ago. I am pleased we are removing these and other obsolete rules from
    our books.
    "Our work is not done. I have directed each bureau at the FCC to conduct a review of rules within their areas
    with the goal of eliminating or revising rules that are outdated or place needless burdens on businesses. We
    are also in the process of developing a retrospective review plan, pursuant to the recent Executive Order. We
    will continue on this regulatory reform track thoughtfully and diligently conducting our reviews of existing
    rules and taking other important steps to meet our statutory obligation and mission in a way that grows our
    economy, creates jobs and benefits all Americans."
  13. tivohaydon

    tivohaydon New Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    No, this is not correct. Just because the FCC doesn't require any equipment to honor the "broadcast flag" it turns out that CableLabs DOES. In order to have CableLabs certified CableCard hardware it's mandated that the hardware honors the broadcast flag.

    How about that as a back door way of getting it implemented?
  14. Sapphire

    Sapphire Xtal substance

    Sep 9, 2002
    No, I'm correct. I was very specific that it would have been an FCC mandate.

    If the FCC mandate had been allowed to stand it would have meant that every piece of DVR software and hardware would be required to honor the broadcast flag.

    Today it is just selected equipment that voluntarily complies with it, which includes CableLabs certified equipment (a manufacturer can produce a tuner or DVR not certified by CableLabs, it just won't be able to use CableCARDs but you can record OTA or ClearQAM content with it.) It's not perfect but it is better than a sweeping FCC mandate.

    Yes and no.

    The FCC mandate would have taken away choice. A CableLabs mandate only affects CableCARD equipment. You can still use a regular tuner and DVR software like MythTV and it would not honor the flag.
  15. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    until the FCC specifically mandates cableLabs to certify only the hardware, as was originally intended, then any non Cable company equipment that uses cable card will need to honor the stupid CCI byte.

    This house cleaning is meaningless
  16. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2010

    But that ruling ONLY applied to OTA broadcasters. Content providers and MVPD's/MSO's can come to any sort of content flag agreement they want (as the FCC is allowing content providers to require DOWNRES of component outputs on MVPD's boxes to SD for selected events), but NOT local broadcasters. "cable" pay-TV channels are not required to have licenses and are not subject to FCC regulations and rules regarding content that local broadcasters must adhere. This is only about finally have funeral services for the already dead BROADCAST flag.
  17. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    The ruling had nothing whatever to do with OTA broadcasters. The FCC had implemented a rule that required "consumer electronics and computer manufacturers to read and obey a “broadcast flag” signal embedded in new digital television signals.". That was what was thrown out by the courts as exceeding their authority.

    I agree with the fact that none of this has anything with the CC1 flag. By the same token, TiVos enforcement of it has nothing to do with any freely reached agreement. They have to do it in order to get Cable Labs certification.

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