No, The FCC Should Not Have the Power to Cancel Contracts

Some casual reading on set top box proposal. But it’s important to note that the issue here is remarkably similar to the DOJ 100% licensing rule.

1) non-legislative likely unconstitutional attempt to establish what is essentially a statutory license.
2) interferes with private contracts.
3) comes at the behest of Google int the 11th hour of Obama administration.

Truth on the Market

Copyright law, ever a sore point in some quarters, has found a new field of battle in the FCC’s recent set-top box proposal. At the request of members of Congress, the Copyright Office recently wrote a rather thorough letter outlining its view of the FCC’s proposal on rightsholders.

In sum, the CR’s letter was an even-handed look at the proposal which concluded:

As a threshold matter, it seems critical that any revised proposal respect the authority of creators to manage the exploitation of their copyrighted works through private licensing arrangements, because regulatory actions that undermine such arrangements would be inconsistent with the rights granted under the Copyright Act.

This fairly uncontroversial statement of basic legal principle was met with cries of alarm. And Stanford’s CIS had a post from Affiliated Scholar Annemarie Bridy that managed to trot out breathless comparisons to inapposite legal theories while simultaneously misconstruing the…

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