Amazon execs met with a top aide to FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel last week to pitch their take on the FCC’s app-based set-top revamp order, including that a proposed licensing body is the wrong way to go.
That item remains among the commissioners for vetting after FCC chairman Tom Wheeler pulled the item from a public meeting vote in September after, it is widely believed, Rosenworcel still had issues with its impact on copyrights and contracts.
Source: Amazon Says FCC Licensing Body Is Wrong Set-Top Approach | Broadcasting & Cable
The Motion Picture Association of America, one of the programming industry’s most powerful lobbying groups, joined pay-TV operators Comcast and AT&T in lauding the FCC’s decision to delay the Thursday vote on its revised set-top regulation order.
“The MPAA is pleased that the FCC is taking more time, and we hope they use it to ensure any set-top box proposal remains consistent with copyright policy and avoids harming creators,” the group said in a statement. “As the MPAA and its member companies have repeatedly stated over the last year, we support the FCC’s goal of promoting set-top box competition, but we continue to urge the Commission to forge a path that does not undermine the creative economy.”
Source: MPAA joins Comcast and AT&T in lauding FCC’s set-top vote delay | FierceCable
Top programming conglomerates including CBS Corp, Disney, 21st Century Fox and Time Warner Inc. jointly filed an ex parte letter to the FCC, indicating their strong, unambiguous disagreement with the revised set-top regulation proposal being championed by agency Chairman Tom Wheeler.
“While we continue to appreciate that the FCC has shifted its focus to apps, we cannot support any rules that require our content to be distributed on terms or conditions to which programmers would not agree,” said the media companies in the letter, which was filed after a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the new proposal Thursday.
Source: Disney, CBS, others tell FCC to stay out of the licensing process | FierceCable
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Thursday released his plan to open up the market for television set-top boxes, setting up a showdown with large cable and other pay-TV companies.
Mr. Wheeler’s plan aims to end the cable industry’s powerful lock on the lucrative market for set-top boxes. The devices have long been used to fashion cable signals into TV programming, but more independent suppliers are coming up with new devices that could offer more, including integrated search of cable subscriptions and online streaming-video services, including Netflix and Hulu.
Source: FCC’s Tom Wheeler Unveils His Plan to Open Up Market for Set-Top Boxes – WSJ
Thursday marks the deadline for Chairman Tom Wheeler to say whether he will bring any of three major policy proposals to a vote at the commission’s meeting in September. Major corporate players have a stake in all three debates.
One proposal could give Americans more ways to watch television and, possibly, replace their living room set-top box. A second would crack down on how internet providers use customers’ personal data. And a third has the potential to bring changes to an obscure but valuable market for broadband connections that are used by big business.
Source: High-stakes battles engulf FCC | TheHill
Separate ex parte filings by 21st Century Fox and CBS Corp. indicated that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is preparing to back away from his controversial “Unlock the Box” set-top regulation proposal, morphing the NPRM to look much more like the apps-based counter-proposal put forth by the pay-TV industry.
“The commission representatives indicated that they were seriously considering a revised approach to this proceeding that would ensure that all of programmers’ valuable content would remain inside of, and under the control of, apps developed exclusively by multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) with whom programmers have a direct contractual relationship,” said Fox, in its ex parte (PDF) detailing August 15 and 17 meetings it had, alongside the Walt Disney Company, with Jessica Almond, a rep from Wheeler’s office.
Source: Fox and CBS ex parte filings hint that the FCC is going to make major compromises to ‘Unlock the Box’ | FierceCable
While there seem to be broader problems with the proposed approach to increasing set-top box “competition,” the Copyright Office focused only on those aspects within the scope of its own unique expertise—the serious conflicts between the Proposed Rule and US copyright laws.
The Copyright Office thus explained how those copyright-related conflicts could affect all parties—content creators, MVPDs, third-party software or device developers, and consumers—implicated by the Proposed Rule.
Source: The role of copyright law in the FCC’s set-top box rulemaking