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Citing Copyright, NBC's Rick Cotton Promotes Filtering Illegal Content Online

in Broadband Updates/FCC/National Broadband Plan by

In an interview for C-SPAN's "The Communicators" series scheduled to air on Saturday, Rick Cotton, executive vice president and general counsel of NBC Universal, discussed his views about online piracy and counterfeiting – particularly with recent developments regarding the Internet and the pending launch of a national broadband plan by the Federal Communications Commission.

Cotton said that there as a need to protect the innovation of creative works, and claimed that intellectual property animated 40 percent of the growth in the economy.

“What drives our compatibility to compete is our innovation, our ingenuity, our technical inventions and our creativity,” Cotton said. “But if we are not prepared to protect those engines of growth, particularly at a time when out economy is in a ditch…we are really handicapping ourselves and handcuffing ourselves in our terms of getting out of the ditch.”

Cotton promoted the idea of wide-scale filtering of illegal content, including copyright-infringing movies as well as child pornography.

“Looking at the big picture, over 50 percent of [internet service provider] bandwidth is [devoted] to carrying illegal content,” Cotton said. “This also imposes additional and unnecessary cost.”

As the FCC generates its national broadband plan, he said, the agency “needs to see if the old regulatory constraints really serve the public interest today,” he said.

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