Leahy: Broadcasters Should Be Compensated for Content Use
Tells NAB audience he will fight for industry's rights to reap fruit of their labors
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/5/2013 12:01:42 PM
Leahy is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose oversight includes copyright issues.
He called it a testament to their work that broadcast content was in such high demand, and the reward for that hard work should be theirs. He pledges to stand up for those rights.
He did not specify any threats to that model, though broadcasters would cite fights with Aereo and Dish or the use of that content.
Leahy also praised broadcasters for being a source of news and comfort following the Sandy Hook shootings, saying "we wept and prayed, sometimes with broadcasters." That said, he praised broadcasters for being part of the conversation about violence, specifically for their announced participation last week in a cross-industry effort to promote the ratings system and other parental controls.
Leahy was among a trio of legislators addressing the audience of some 500 broadcasters from around the country. The others were Rep. Gene Green (R-Tex.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R- Utah). The common theme of their brief addresses was that broadcasters are an important asset because of their local focus and first informer status in emergencies and that incentive auctions must be voluntary and not undercut free over-the-air TV.
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