The HDTV Broadcast Flag is dead. A federal appeals court rules that the FCC didn’t have the authority to require that every consumer-electronics device sold in the US conforms to the copy-prevention desires of the TV and movie industries.

This is a huge move. The MPAA and friends will almost certainly appeal to Congress and try to get them to pass a similar set of requirements, but it’s not entirely clear that they’ll be able to succeed. Personally, I’m kind of cynical about this sort of thing, but Cory Doctrow doesn’t think that Congress will be very enthusiastic about voting to break people’s TVs.

For now, it means that we don’t need to hoard PCI HDTV tuner cards. Since I still haven’t got around to buying mine, this is clearly a good thing.