H.R.4756 - Satellite Viewers' Rights Act101st Congress (1989-1990)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Tauzin, W. J. (Billy) [D-LA-3] (Introduced 05/09/1990)|
|Committees:||House - Energy and Commerce|
|Latest Action:||House - 05/29/1990 Referred to the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.4756 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)
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- Bill and resolution texts for 1989-1992 (101st-102nd Congresses) predate authenticated digital publishing.
Introduced in House
HR 4756 IH 101st CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 4756 To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to provide for the competitive development of direct to home satellite television communications. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES May 9, 1990 Mr. TAUZIN (for himself, Mr. SWIFT, Mr. COOPER, Mr. SLATTERY, Mr. BOUCHER, Mr. HALL of Texas, Mr. HAYES of Louisiana, Mr. CHAPMAN, Mr. OLIN, Mr. WEBER, Mr. WILLIAMS, Mr. GORDON, Mr. GALLO, and Mr. DEFAZIO) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce A BILL To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to provide for the competitive development of direct to home satellite television communications. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `Satellite Viewers' Rights Act'. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds that-- (1) many satellite-delivered programming services have unnecessarily restricted options for consumers wishing to choose between competing television programming distributors; (2) there has been a substantial increase in the penetration of cable television systems over the past decade, with cable television services now available to over 85 percent of American households; (3) since deregulation in 1984, the cable television industry has matured and today is more capable of competing with alternative programming delivery systems; (4) presently 3,000,000 Americans own C-band home satellite television systems and the number is growing at a rate of 350,000 to 400,000 each year; (5) there is disparity in wholesale pricing between programming services offered to cable operators and to satellite programming distributors; (6) nondiscriminatory wholesale pricing for satellite delivered programming will encourage the greatest possible competition in the television marketplace; (7) independent, noncable third party packaging of satellite delivered programming will encourage the availability of programming to the widest possible audience; (8) the best remedy for any potential abuses of franchise monopoly by cable is the infusion of competition, and the most viable and likely competitor is home satellite television in C and Ku-bands; (9) the emergence of Ku-band Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) service as a viable alternative programming delivery system within the next several years will allow for significant reductions in antenna sizes and, thus, expand the home satellite market in urban and suburban regions; and (10) in order to promote the development of direct to home satellite service, Congress must act to ensure that copyright holders of television programming services will provide access to their programming services on fair and nondiscriminatory terms. SEC. 3. MARKETING OF CERTAIN SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS. Section 705 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 605) is amended-- (1) by redesignating subsections (c), (d), and (e) as subsections (d), (e), and (f), respectively; and (2) by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection: `(c)(1) Any person who encrypts any satellite delivered programming shall-- `(A) make such programming available for private viewing by home satellite antenna users; `(B) when making such programming available through any other person for distribution through any medium, establish reasonable and nondiscriminatory financial, character, technical, and service criteria and requirements under which non-cable distributors shall qualify to distribute such programming for private viewing by home satellite antenna users; and `(C) when making such programming available through any other person for distribution through any medium, establish by the effective date of this subparagraph or January 1, 1991, whichever is later, price, terms, and conditions for the wholesale distribution of such programming which do not discriminate between the distribution of such programming to distributors for cable television subscribers and distributors to home satellite antenna users, nor among different distributors to home satellite antennas users, except that this subparagraph shall not prohibit rate differentials which are-- `(i) attributable to actual and reasonable differences in cost of the creation, sale, delivery, or transmission of such programming as between different delivery media; `(ii) attributable to reasonable volume discounts; `(iii) attributable to bona fide agreements for the distribution of such programming which were in effect prior to the enactment date of this subparagraph; or `(iv) attributable to the retransmission of network television programming by any person who encrypts such programming if such person is not engaged directly or indirectly in the retail distribution of programming to home satellite antenna users and is not affiliated with, owned, or controlled by any cable television system operator. `(2) Nothing contained in this subsection shall require any person who encrypts satellite delivered programming to authorize or license any distributor for a secondary satellite retransmission of such programming to home satellite antenna users, but, if any person who encrypts satellite delivered programming authorizes or licenses such a distributor, the provisions of paragraph (1)(B) and (1)(C) shall apply. `(3) Any person aggrieved by any violation of paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection may bring a civil action in a United States district court or in any other court of competent jurisdiction. Such court may grant temporary and final injunctions or other equitable relief on such terms as it may deem reasonable and appropriate to prevent or restrain such violations. `(4) Any person aggrieved by any violation of paragraph (1)(B), (1)(C), or (2) of this subsection may bring a civil action in the United States district court or other court of competent jurisdiction. Such court may grant temporary and final injunctions on such terms as it may deem reasonable and appropriate to prevent or restrain such violations; and (i) direct the recovery of damages to a prevailing plaintiff, including actual damages, or statutory damages for all violations in a sum of not more than $500,000, as the court considers just; and (ii) direct the recovery of full costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, to a prevailing party. `(5) As used in this subsection-- `(A) the term `satellite delivered programming' means video programming transmitted by a domestic communications satellite intended for reception by cable television systems or home satellite antenna users and does not include any internal satellite communication of any broadcaster or broadcaster network; `(B) the term `home satellite antenna users' means individuals who own or operate satellite television receive-only equipment for the reception of satellite delivered programming for viewing in such individual's single family dwelling unit; and `(C) the term `person who encrypts' means the party who holds the rights to the satellite delivered programming or who establishes the prices, terms, and conditions for the wholesale distribution thereof. `(6) This subsection shall cease to be effective 7 years after the date of enactment of this subsection.'. SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE. The amendments made by section 3 of this Act shall take effect 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act.