Last week, courtesy of NBC, people with a Windows Media Center DVR setup got a rude reminder that broadcasters can flip a switch (called a broadcast flag) to tell DVRs not to record a show. Here's the thing: Honoring the flag is actually optional for software and hardware makers, after courts smacked down the FCC proposal to make them mandatory. But Microsoft has confirmed that they do whatever the broadcaster tells them, again, even though they don't have to. NBC hasn't confirmed yet whether or not the American Gladiators flag was intentional, but their history doesn't give me a fuzzy feeling. Update: NBC says it was an accident.
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