President Signs E-LABEL Act Into Law

The President has signed the E-LABEL (Enhance Labeling, Accessing, and Branding of Electronic Licenses) Act (S-2583), a bill that would essentially legislate what the FCC already did on its own initiative.

That is according to the Republican leadership of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, where the bill originated.

The bill, which passed both Houses of Congress last month, requires the FCC to allow the manufacturers of electronic devices with integrated screens to put FCC-required label information online — so it can be accessed on the device's screen — rather than having to etch it on or affix it to the physical device.

It had bipartisan support and moved rapidly through the Congress.

Another bipartisan bill out of the committee, the STELA Reauthorization Act (STELA), had yet to get the President's John Hancock at press time, according to the committee.

The bill applies to devices with integrated displays — smart phones, tablets, TVs — and directs the FCC to allow electronics manufacturers to display FCC-required information on those screens instead of having to be etched in or affixed onto increasingly small physical real estate.

The bill essentially makes law what the FCC already made policy earlier in the year, and in that sense is somewhat of a lily-guild, though it does make the FCC policy, which could be changed at the FCC's discretion, into a law that can't.

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.