Senate to proceed with digital TV hearings

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The Senate Commerce Committee plans to go ahead with scheduled hearings on TV violence and issues surrounding copyright of digital TV programming, sources say, although the committee won't confirm its schedule.

The committee still plans to look at TV violence on Sept. 26, ostensibly focusing on a bill introduced by Committee Chairman Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) that would ban violent TV programming to late hours. Hollings has introduced the bill repeatedly throughout the years, but it has yet to gain passage of the measure or support in the House.

MPAA President Jack Valenti is expected to testify. As reported by B&C early last week, the committee will examine copyright issues on Oct. 3. Hollings and his staff are drafting a bill directing studios and the software industry to devise a copyright-protection standard.

Sources say Disney CEO Michael Eisner is expected to testify at the hearing. Disney has been the driving force behind Hollings' bill, sources say. - Paige Albiniak

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