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Editorial: Clean STELA

As Congress prepares to tackle renewal of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA), we want to associate ourselves with Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who has suggested not getting the process bogged down with retransmission consent debates that will almost certainly not be resolved by the time the bill has to pass or sunset.

Last time around, various extraneous issues helped push the process months past the deadline and produced the embarrassing scenario of senators having to ask copyright holders to treat distributors as though the blanket license had been renewed, when it hadn’t, on the promise that it would be.

The traditional re-up period has been five years. A clean reauthorization, but this time for, say, three years, will allow for some immediate certainty, with the promise of a quicker review turnaround if changing circumstances warrant teeing up other issues next time.