Congressman Steve Scalise and Senator Jim DeMint today issued the following statements as the House Energy and Commerce Committee convened a hearing on the future of the video marketplace.
"I applaud Chairman Walden for recognizing the need to hear directly from job creators in the video marketplace about the future and issues they are facing," Scalise said. "In order to understand the future of video, we need to look at its past and understand how far technology has come since the last time the laws governing this industry were overhauled. Over the last several decades, communications and entertainment technology has advanced at a rapid pace, while the laws governing the industry have remained relatively unchanged. Together, the decades-old cable and satellite "compulsory copyright' licenses and "retransmission consent' regulations allow the government into what should be strictly private sector negotiations over how video programming is made available on TVs, smart phones, tablets, and other devices.
"The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers, and we need to implement commonsense reforms that lift the heavy hand of government from traditional distributors and ensure it's not extended it to new technologies," Scalise continued. "I'm proud to join with Senator DeMint in beginning this open dialogue through our legislation, the "Next Generation TV Marketplace Act,' which would allow the market to operate in a way that advances innovation and technology, while simultaneously beniffiting consumers."
"Today's video market is not the same as it was five years ago, much less in 1992," Senator Jim DeMint said. "Most people acknowledge this, and the voices calling for an update of our laws are growing. Public discussion will identify where our old laws are broken, who has productive ideas for the future, and who defends the status quo and fights the modernization of our regulatory structure. I applaud Chairman Walden for holding this hearing, and look forward to our own in the Senate."
Specifically, the Next Generation TV Act would:
Repeal those provisions of the Communications Act that mandate the carriage and purchase of certain broadcast signals by cable operators, satellite providers, and their customers.
Repeal the Communications Act's "retransmission consent" provisions and the Copyright Act's "compulsory license" provisions, thereby allowing negotiations for the carriage of broadcast stations to take place in the same deregulated environment as negotiations for carriage of non-broadcast channels such as Discovery, Food Network, and AMC.
Repeal ownership limitations imposed on local media operators, allowing businesses to evolve and adapt to today's dynamic communications market.