×

Could Aereo Get Relief From Congress? Don’t Bet on It

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Aereo may have done little to shift the media landscape from the status quo, but some Capitol Hill lawmakers say the decision shows the need to update copyright and communications laws for the digital age.

In fact, Justice Stephen Breyer, writing the majority opinion, said that those who are worried that existing copyright law stifles technology “are of course free to seek action from Congress.”

That is much easier said than done.

House Republicans have already been reviewing the Copyright Act and the Communications Act with an eye toward an overhaul, but such a change may be years in the making. Even then, any significant changes are likely to set off a fierce lobbying battle.

As Gordon Smith, the CEO of the National Assn. of Broadcasters, told C-SPAN’s “The Communicators” on Wednesday, changing copyright law is “extremely difficult to do because it is essentially about picking winners and losers.”

While Smith was cheering the decision, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Assn., was criticizing it.

“We believe laws should be clear and favor innovation,” he said. “Innovators should not have to get ambiguous laws changed to give consumers new products and services.”

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said that the decision “reinforces the ongoing importance” of the committee’s review of copyright law.

“It is my hope that we can identify improvements to our copyright laws that can benefit both the content community and the technology community, as well as consumers, by maintaining strong protections for copyrighted works and strong incentives for further innovation,” he said.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, said that the case “underscores the mounting need to modernize the 80-year-old Communications Act, which serves as an important, yet outdated, framework for the communications industry.”

 

More Biz

  • Editorial use only. HANDOUT /NO SALESMandatory

    BTS' Label Big Hit Entertainment Enjoys Record Profits

    Big Hit Entertainment, the Korean music label which represents pop sensation BTS, recorded bumper profits in 2019. The Seoul-based company saw revenue nearly double to $508 million, and operating profit grow by 28% to $85.4 million. The diluted profit margin was explained by moves to diversify the company away from its reliance on BTS, through [...]

  • Quicksand Scandinavian Cinema

    Sweden Is Not on Lockdown Despite Coronavirus Threat

    While most of the world is on lockdown mode, Sweden has taken a different route, with schools, restaurants, some theaters and most public venues still open. The Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, has asked people to behave like “adults” and not give in to the panic, and advised them to work from home, as well [...]

  • The Barbican presents Viviana Durante Company,

    London's Barbican Extends Closure, Focuses on Digital Offer

    Leading London cultural center The Barbican has extended its temporary closure until June 30, but in the meantime it is focusing on its online program. Nicholas Kenyon, The Barbican’s managing director, said: “Having reviewed the current government advice and looking at how long social distancing measures are likely to be in place, we feel we’re [...]

  • Fringe

    Edinburgh Festivals Called Off Due to Coronavirus Concerns

    The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the U.K.’s largest arts festival and the launchpad for countless comedy and stage acts, will be shelved this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Fringe is among five Edinburgh festivals that have been canceled in light of COVID-19 concerns. This group also includes the Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh International Book [...]

  • MPTF

    Motion Picture Retirement Home Resident Tests Positive for Coronavirus

    A resident at the Motion Picture and Television Fund retirement home has tested positive for coronavirus, as nursing homes have become especially vulnerable to the illness. In a statement, MPTF CEO Bob Beitcher said two other residents are also showing symptoms of coronavirus, and have been placed in an isolation unit. The facility is working [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Launches $10 Million ‘Crew Aid’ for Touring Staff Impacted by Coronavirus

    As anyone who’s ever attended a concert can deduce, musicians aren’t the only ones suffering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the live-entertainment industry: An entire economy of roadies, technicians, security and many more have been deeply impacted by the postponement of virtually every concert tour in the world. Live Nation, the world’s [...]

  • Songs for Screens Anzie Blue

    Songs For Screens: How Chvrches Scored a Synch Smash in Netflix's ‘Elite’ With 'Forever'

    Chvrches frontwoman Lauren Mayberry was taking a break from making her band’s upcoming fourth album when she began a self-isolated quarantine at her home in Los Angeles the weekend of March 13 — the same weekend that Season 3 of the teen drama “Elite” debuted on Netflix to an especially binge-hungry audience. Though Mayberry was aware that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content