Fair Use: Everybody Bends the RulesWon't it be funny if the FCC's end-user rights-limiting Broadcast Flag screws up Colin Powell's (father of FCC Chairman and Gizmodo-reader Michael Powell) nightly TiVo regimen? It's not that ridiculous to see a simple progression from regulation blocking DVRs' ability to record HDTV streams to regulation blocking DVRs' ability to do other things, like, I don't know, skip commercials:

Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged Tuesday that he is an inveterate user of modern technological tools, including the controversial TiVo personal video recorder, which allows users to skip commercials easily. Interviewed by CNN's Larry King, who said that he had learned that Powell was a "technocrat" [actually a person who favors a society headed by engineers, technicians, and scientists], Powell remarked, "Yes, I like TiVo, I like computers." King: "Why?" Powell: Because it makes work easier for me. ... And I understand that you are an absolute Luddite?" King: "What's a Luddite?" Powell: "Never mind."

Larry King's fear of his own society's shadow notwithstanding, something about calling the elder Powell a Technocrat doesn't quite jibe. If the FCC were headed by engineers, technicians, and scientists, do you think they'd be trying to block our rights to fairly use the gadgets we bought? Mike, if you're listening: don't fuck with Daddy's TiVo. (Thanks, Luke, for the link.)


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