Minority programmers have fought long and hard to establish a toehold in the video marketplace. Their businesses – and their ability to continue serving diverse audiences – hinge on their right to negotiate fair, enforceable licensing deals with TV providers and other distribution partners. When these rights are trampled, the diversity of our television ecosystem is threatened.
We’re encouraged that the FCC has abandoned its original proposal to unbundle pay-TV services that could have given away programmers’ content for free. But the revised framework the FCC is now proposing is still troubling. The new proposal will reportedly create a new compulsory licensing body with the power to nullify or rewrite private licensing agreements – giving third parties with a poor track record of respecting minority creators’ rights a direct role in deciding how diverse programming can be used.
Any proposal that strips minority programmers of their right to freely control the licensing of their own work is concerning and HTTP looks forward to working with the FCC to ensure that all stakeholders’ concerns are acknowledged.