U.S. Copyright Office Confirms Set-Top Box Rule Violates and Degrades Existing Law
Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) issued the following statement after receiving U.S. Copyright Office analysis regarding the copyright policy implications of the Federal Communications Commission’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the matter of Expanding Consumer’s Video Navigation Choices, Commercial Availability of Navigation Devices, also known as the set-top-box proposal. The Copyright Office analysis responds to a bipartisan request from Representatives Blackburn (R-TN), Butterfield (D-NC), Collins (R-GA) and Deutsch (D-CA) for the Copyright Office’s comment issued on July 15, and maintains that the NPRM would detrimentally impact copyright owners and consumers by compelling transmission of copyright protected content without programmers' consent.
“We appreciate the Copyright Office’s thorough, thoughtful and timely response to our request for a written assessment of the potential copyright implications of the FCC’s pending set-top-box proposal. The Copyright Office’s written analysis makes clear that the FCC’s set-top proposal conflicts with established copyright law and policy, and would negatively impact content owners and consumers. We asked the Copyright Office to put its analysis in writing so that Congress and all interested parties might benefit from the expertise of the Copyright Office, an expertise that Chairman Wheeler himself recognized earlier this year in testimony before Congress and through requests for informal Copyright Office briefings for Commission staff. It should now be clear that any steps to promote set-top competition, whether by regulators or the private sector, and whether relying on alternative devices or applications, must not compel transmission of copyright protected content without programmers' consent,” Blackburn said.
The Copyright Office analysis is consistent with concerns expressed by a growing body of stakeholders, including 180 members of Congress, over the FCC’s proposal and believe the FCC should reconsider its approach.
Read the full U.S. Copyright Office analysis, HERE.