BETHPAGE, N.Y., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- For thirteen days, millions of viewers have been unable to view Fox broadcast programming on Cablevision's systems, and are now missing the World Series, which began last night.
In light of this harm to the public, Cablevision is calling on governmental entities and non-profit organizations to consider retransmitting the World Series over the Internet for free.
In the 1976 Copyright Act, Congress gave governmental entities and non-profit organizations a critical role to play in retransmitting network broadcasting to the public. Specifically, 17 U.S.C. 111(a)(5) provides that a so-called "secondary transmission" of broadcast programming is not a "public performance" for which a copyright license would be required if that secondary transmission is made by any "governmental body, or other non-profit organization" without (1) "any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage" and (2) "without charge to the recipients of the secondary transmission other than assessments necessary to defray the actual and reasonable costs of maintaining and operating the secondary transmission service." Congress also excluded these entities from the FCC's retransmission consent regime.
Under the clear language of this statutory exemption, a governmental entity or non-profit entity could, for the purpose of serving the public interest, retransmit the World Series free over the Internet. With a simple antenna and Internet streaming capacity, a governmental entity or non-profit organization could do a tremendous public service and extend the reach of this broadcast programming – just as Congress intended when it enacted 111(a)(5).
The decision whether to retransmit the World Series is one that only a governmental entity or a non-profit organization can make for itself. Cablevision urges any entity interested in providing this public service to independently examine the law.
Cablevision's purpose in issuing this press release is to heighten public awareness about this existing statutory exemption, and to call upon governmental and non-profit entities to consider making use of it for the World Series and fulfill the critical role that Congress gave them in the dissemination of public broadcasting for free.
Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE :CVC ) is one of the nation's leading telecommunications, media and entertainment companies. In addition to its Optimum-branded cable, Internet, and voice offerings, the company owns and operates News 12 Networks, MSG Varsity and Newsday Media Group. Cablevision's assets also include Rainbow Media Holdings LLC and its programming and entertainment businesses, AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv and IFC Entertainment, as well as Clearview Cinemas. Additional information about Cablevision is available on the Web at www.cablevision.com.
SOURCE Cablevision Systems Corp.