E&C Leaders: Aereo Decision Highlights Need for Hill Action

The leadership of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, reacting to the Supreme Court decision against Aereo, said that the court's ruling put an exclamation point on the need to rewrite communications laws.

The court signaled that those worried about the ruling's impact on innovative technologies—the court said the narrow ruling should not inhibit those—could turn to Congress for help.

In a statement, House E&C chairman Fred Upton said: "This case underscores the mounting need to modernize the 80-year-old Communications Act, which serves as an important, yet outdated, framework for the communications industry."

The committee is in the midst of a year-long fact-finding mission to collect input on a rewrite, which it hopes to undertake next year.

“The Court’s decision reminds us that the complex communications and technology marketplace is constantly innovating and rapidly changing, and that nuances in the law can have a profound effect on content providers and consumers,” added Communications Subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.).

"The ABC v. Aereo case highlights the regulatory uncertainty that exists in the rapidly evolving video marketplace as a result of our country's outdated communications laws,” said Communications Subcommittee vice chairman Bob Latta (R-Ohio). “I look forward to working with Chairman Walden in engaging in a comprehensive review of the Communications Act to ensure our policies foster robust investment and innovation in the 21st century digital economy.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.