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Sen. Franken Sees Net Neutrality an Important First Amendment Issue

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2010 – Sen. Al Franken says that he believes “net neutrality is the First Amendment issue of our time, and the merger of Comcast and NBC is an enormous concern. ”If no one stops the Comcast and NBC merger, Franken asked: “How long do you think it will take before four or five mega corporations affectively control the flow of the information in America not only on television but online?” Keep Reading

FCC/Media/Net Neutrality

Copps Concerned About Media Consolidation and Deregulation and Cites the Need for Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2010- Federal Communications Commissioner Michael J. Copps fears that industry consolidation will overlook public interest and damage the country’s media landscape. Speaking at a forum concerning the Comcast/NBCU merger at Northwestern University Law School on July 13 Copps feels like this merger is unique, and said “While in some respects it is similar to transactions that we have witnessed before, in other important ways it is new and novel,” since the merger includes broadband and the internet. Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/FCC/Media

Court Strikes Down FCC Policy on Offensive Content

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2010 - A federal appeals court on Tuesday said the Federal Communications Commission cannot continue with its policy that prohibits all "patently offensive" references to sex, sexual organs and excretion because the policy is too vague and chills speech. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan struck down the 2004 Federal Communications Commission policy in the case Fox Television Stations, Inc. v. FCC. Keep Reading

Will This Signal Be Televised? ‘Retransmission Consent’ Unscrambled At Breakfast Panel Of Broadcasters, Cable Industry and Public Interest Reps

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2010 - If you missed Broadbandbreakfast.com's panel session on retransmission consent fees, here's your chance to catch up and re-examine the issues in a complex debate that's been controversial since the enactment of the regime in the 1992 Cable Act. Keep Reading

Small Town’s Telecom Drama Continues: Municipal Utility Sues Cable Group For Discriminatory Access To Programming

NEW YORK, June 10, 2010 - A long-running feud between a municipal utility in Lafayette, La. and Cox Communications appears to have revived itself Wednesday when LUS Fiber filed a lawsuit against the National Cable Television Cooperative. LUS Fiber charges that the cable group is unfairly denying it membership, thus depriving the Lafayette utility from millions of dollars in savings when buying television programming. Keep Reading

FCC/Media ownership

Distributors Should Provide Customers With Prominent Notice of Status of Programming Agreements, Says Local Broadcaster

SAN FRANCISCO, May 26, 2010 - The Federal Communications Commission could easily protect television viewers from having their programming disrupted by business disputes between broadcasters and program distributors by requiring the program distributors to conspicuously notify their customers of pending contract expirations, suggested an executive from a local broadcasting company in a recent filing with the commission. The commission has asked for public input on the question of whether it should change its rules regarding retransmission consent fees, the fees and fee packages that cable, satellite and telecom companies pay broadcasters for carrying the signals to their own customers in addition to compulsory copyright licensing fees. Keep Reading

FCC/Media ownership

Discovery, Ovation and Starz Side With Cable and Telcos Against Broadcasters In Retrans Consent Fee Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO, May 26, 2010 -- The rules governing the terms on which cable and telecommunications companies get to retransmit broadcasters' signals definitely need an update, said a group of independent programmers in several recent filings with the Federal Communications Commission. The filings, from Discovery Communications, The Africa Channel, C-Span, Ovation, Retirement Living TV and Starz, all complain that federal law grants broadcasting companies too much power, and that has resulted in independent programmers' increasing marginalization. Keep Reading

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