D.C. Circuit Stymies Broadcast Flag

Looks like the hearing in February pretty well telegraphed the sentiments of the three-judge panel, as they unanimously told the FCC Friday to stop trying to play copyright police:
In the seven decades of its existence, the FCC has never before asserted such sweeping authority. Indeed, in the past, the FCC has informed Congress that it lacked any such authority. In our view, nothing has changed to give the FCC the authority that it now claims.
Full decision available in pdf format. In very simple terms, the FCC has authority over the airwaves, and that authority extends from the point of transmission to the point of reception. What happens to information after it gets conveyed and processed by a receiver (like decryption) is not within the FCC’s regulatory purview. “As the Supreme Court has reminded us, Congress ‘does not . . . hide elephants in mouseholes.'”
So, if the FCC cannot mandate HTDV decryption devices in television sets, there is no point in encrypting the signals – meaning the public will be free to record digital TV and radio signals. At least for now: all the MPAA/RIAA et al. have to do is convince Congress to give regulatory authority over radio and TV receivers to the FCC, and the legal resistance will basically have to start over.