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E. Stratford Smith, NCTA's First General Counsel, Dies at 95

E. Stratford "Strat" Smith, an attorney who served as the first general counsel of the leading cable-TV trade association, died on Dec. 25 at age 95 in State College, Pa.

The much-honored attorney, along with Robert C. Barnard, was counsel to the cable industry in the landmark Fortnightly Corp. vs. United Artists Television case that established cable systems' right to retransmit broadcast TV stations' signals.

According to an obituary notice published by the Koch Funeral Home in State College, where a memorial service will be held tomorrow (Dec. 29), Cablevision magazine observed in 1988 that: "Fortnightly stands as nothing less than a landmark decision. It paved the way for [cable] industry development and it preserved a climate for entrepreneurial adventure and opportunity."

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