Broadcast Flag is back again, supersized.....

N

nitstalker

Thread Starter
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Mar 9, 2004
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Dont they ever, ever, ever give up? Apparently not.... Our pal, Senator Stevens (doesnt Alaska have anything better to do?) introduced legislation yesterday to overhaul the telcom laws, and wouldnt you know it, he added in the broadcast flag... and... apparently, he doesnt only have the MPAA in his back pocket, he's got the cable companies as well. But the good thing is it doesnt sound like he has alot of support in congress, but who knows... It goes to committee for hearings.

The full text of s.2686 (135 pages) is not yet available, but here are some key points that I read from some of the news sources that have their hands on it:

- gives the FCC back the broadcast flag

- gives the FCC the audio flag

- allows the FCC to meet with without all commissioners present

- makes VOIP providers pay Universal Service Fund

- require cable modem revenue fund rural telecommunications

- requires satellite licensees offer the same services to noncontiguous states that contiguous states get

- probibits cable/satellite companies from entering into exclusive agreements for sporting events

- releases the cable tv rate regulation where E* & D* have less than 15% of customers

- allow cable to downconvert digital channels to analog

more info:
http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6330262.html?display=Breaking+News
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6330240.html?display=Breaking+News
 
L

landlocked

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 9, 2006
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Columbus, OH
Me thinks he's backing this because of the studio/MPAA/etc lobby AND with the understanding that some of his biggest Dem Foes in California will back off from attacking his pork project/bridge.
 
I

iKramerica

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 20, 2004
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so he wants to move Alaska and Hawaii? Otherwise I'm not sure how he can force sat companies to offer all the same channels to those markets.

And he wants to double hit VOIP customers with fees.

What a jerk.
 
Jim5506

Jim5506

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HMMM... no exclusive agreements for sporting events. Would that nullify the NFL's exclusive contract with D* for Sunday Ticket?
 
Claude Greiner

Claude Greiner

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Sep 8, 2003
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Jim5506 said:
HMMM... no exclusive agreements for sporting events. Would that nullify the NFL's exclusive contract with D* for Sunday Ticket?

I kind of agree with that one, and from the sounds of it yea it would eliminate exclusive agreements.
 
waltinvt

waltinvt

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nitstalker said:
... and... apparently, he doesnt only have the MPAA in his back pocket, he's got the cable companies as well.

I think it's the reverse that's true.
 
N

nitstalker

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Mar 9, 2004
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Ok, well the text of the bill is now online:

http://stevens.senate.gov/docs/F79C86E5-BADD-BD3F-67EFBD5AC7056D3B.pdf

Its a whopper, 135 Pages long... ‘‘Communications, Consumer’s Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006’’.

I skimmed through it... damn there is alot of garbage in it... If you want to go to sleep, read this thing, it is sure to put you in a coma....

Anyway, here is some stuff I thought was interesting:

First bit of it is table of contents

Next is "War on Terrorism" - oohhh ahhhh

- wants lower telephone rates for armed forces personnel calling home...
- emergency communications system

Next Section " Universal Service Reform, Interconnection"

- cool, discount USF charge for family pricing plans up to 3 phones
- they want the census bureau to include who has internet access at home
- voip is now considered a communications carrier and subject to taxes, usf, etc
- satellite broadband suppliers can tap the USF to deploy equipment to customer
s homes in unserved areas

Next Section "Streamlining Franchising Process"

- they are striking the old term "cable operator" and replacing with "Video Service Provider"
- all applications for franchise must be considered within 30 days or it is automatically approved for 15 years.
- "No State of local government may regulate direct broadcast satellite services"

Next Section "Video Content"

- a cable/satellite company which has interest in a programming vendor may not influence the vendor regarding sale, prices, terms, or conditions of programming to any unaffiliated cable/satellite company
- prohibit exclusive contracts between programmers and cable/satellite distributors
- continues to allow blackouts
- strange clause- "Nothing in this section shall apply to the signal to the signal of any broadcast affiliate of a national television network or other television signal that is retransmitted by satellite but that is not satellite broadcast programming;
- sunset clause - 10 years
- exemption: any contract that grants exclusive distribution rights to any person with respect to satellite cable programming and that was entered into on or before June 1, 1990;
- exemption: any contract that grants exclusive distribution rights to any person with respect to MVPD programming that is not satellite cable programming and that was entered into on or before July 1, 2003, except that the provisions
of subsection (c)(2)(C) shall apply for distribution to persons in areas not served by an MVPD.
- if the exempted contracts are to be renewed or extended after the bill becomes law, they are no longer exempt.

- before the FCC grants a license to a satellite carrier, it shall ensure that, to the greatest extent technically feasible, if service is available to the contiguous states, it will be available to the noncontiguous states

- broadcast flag
- broadcast flag shall permit transmission of:
short excerpts of broadcast digital television over the internet
broadcast digital television content over a home network accessible to a limited number of devices
broadcast digital television over the internet for distance learning purposes
permit government or nonprofit education to use copyrighted works in distance education courses
permit redistribution of news and public affairs programming

- regardigng any station transmitting only digital signals, cable operators shall carry the digital signal without material degradation. but may offer the digital signal and a downrezzed analog version

- you may not retransmit child porn - thats a no brainer
 

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