Of course we should expect this from a Congress that seems more intent on protecting the 1% and sticking it to the 99%. In the same week it is considering breaking the Internet to protect the big media companies from Internet piracy, a bill is introduced that would allow cable and satellite providers to pirate content.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) apparently think so based on the cable- and satellite-friendly bill they submitted today called the Next Generation Television Marketplace Act. It would end retransmission consent — the rules that require pay TV providers to negotiate deals with local broadcasters to carry their programming. It doesn't stop there: The proposal also would end restrictions that enable syndicators to sell shows exclusively into different markets. And it would scrap rules that bar cable companies from importing network programming from out-of-market stations when they can't strike deals with local broadcasters. DeMint used the trendy magic words — "job creation" — to support the bill. To promote innovation, he says, "we need to stop issuing new regulations and instead remove and modernize rules written to address the last century’s business and regulatory models." DirecTV agrees, saying that the proposal would "eliminate byzantine regulations that shackle innovation, competition and consumer choice."
If passed the law would end the usual retransmission hostage-taking we get to enjoy about once a year when the local content providers and the cable people fight over the fees the operators will pay. It would go back to the old days when cable and satellite providers could transmit local programing without paying for it and if they can't agree with the local content creators the providers could then simply replace the programing with similar programing from out of the market.
I feel that cable and satellite providers should pay something for retransmitting local content since I pay for it on my cable bill. Some of that money should go to the local content creators.
How is that fair when Congress wants to go after websites that steal content without due process while looking the other way if cable and satellite providers do it.