FCC to step into digital dispute?

Members of Congress in the US are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to settle a dispute between the entertainment and technology industries over how to prevent TV viewers from re-distributing digital content over the Internet.

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By  Marcus Webb Published  July 24, 2002

Members of Congress in the US are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to settle a dispute between the entertainment and technology industries over how to prevent TV viewers from re-distributing digital content over the Internet, according to a report in the New York Times.

In a letter to FCC Chairman, Michael K. Powell, Representative Billy Tauzin and Representative John D. Dingell wrote that the agency should move quickly to require computer and consumer electronics manufacturers to include anti-piracy technology that would prevent TV content from being redistributed.

"While we had hoped that the industry players would achieve a meeting of the minds on these critical issues voluntarily, unfortunately no comprehensive agreement has been obtained to date," the letter read.

In a separate letter, Senator Ernest F. Hollings, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, also encouraged the FCC to act. "Absent robust protection, copyright owners may increasingly restrict their best television programming to cable and satellite networks," he wrote. Earlier this year, he introduced legislation that would have required electronics manufacturers to build copy-protection technologies into their machines. However, it hasn't yet been acted upon.

The Hollywood studios have maintained that they will not send digital copies of movies and other programming unless safeguards are in place to prevent perfect copies from being redistributed online.

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