Friday, September 16, 2016

CONYERS, GOODLATTE Raise Copyright Concerns with FCC’s Set-Top Box Proposal

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the following statement regarding copyright concerns with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) set-top box proposal.

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“Regardless of whether one supports or opposes the FCC’s efforts to create set-top box alternatives, we have very serious concerns that this should not be accomplished through a compulsory copyright licensing process that may well exceed the FCC’s jurisdiction. The proposed text of the FCC’s revised set-top box proposal has not been given to Congress, but published reports indicate that the FCC is considering a licensing body to develop a one-size fits all standard apps license.  There are many unresolved questions about this proposal, not the least of which is the fundamental question of whether the FCC even has the authority to create such a regime.  We are also concerned that this proposal encroaches upon the Judiciary Committee’s copyright jurisdiction, and may not adequately protect creators’ rights and the contractual rights of parties.  We will be conducting oversight over this matter in the weeks and months to come.”

Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers also joined Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) in sending a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler requesting that he release the text of the set-top box proposal in order to allow all stakeholders time to examine and discuss the implications of his proposal.
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