ERIC Number: ED059622
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Copyright Question in CATV.
The growth of cable television (CATV) will be limited unless present copyright practices are changed. The Federal Communication Commission opposes CATV's importation of distant signals because CATV is exempt from copyright liability. Now, almost all television programs are sold on the basis of long-term territorial exclusivity, which provides that the buyer has sole rights in his area to the program for a specified length of time. In most cases, cable cannot outbid the major broadcasters for programs. Thus there are four basic choices for cable policy: 1) abolish distant signal restrictions with no imposition of copyright liability; 2) abolish or restrict exclusives; 3) subject copyright owners to a compulsory license requirement, making their programs available for cable use at a regulated fee; and 4) impose full copyright liability and limit cable's market penetration. Of these, the second is most preferable. Exclusivity does not maximize copyright revenues. It is used mainly as a barrier against new stations entering the market for programs. Limiting exclusives benefits the growth of new stations and also benefits the public, who have a chance to see a program at more than one time slot. (JK)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, New York, NY.