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Tech Pros Union Knocks Set-Top Revamp

Another union has stepped up to oppose FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's set-top revamp plan.

The Department of Professional Employees (AFL-CIO), which represents more than four million tech workers in various professions, including journalism and entertainment, said Monday it was joining what it called a "growing chorus" of unions and guilds opposed to the revise.

"The FCC proposed rule creates an unacceptable and unworkable de facto compulsory licensing regime that requires creators to allow their work to be shared across multiple platforms without compensation and without regard to the creators’ rights to exclusively control their distribution," Union President Paul Almeida said in a statement. "The one-sided proposal undermines the value of creative works, shrinks revenue streams that middle-class creators depend on to make a living and threatens the hard fought wages and benefits of creative industry workers."

Related: House Judiciary Committee Will Look Into FCC Set-Top Plan

Almeida said the FCC does not have the authority to do that. Cable operators and studios agree, though Wheeler has said it does not create such a licensing regime.

The union joins the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and others opposing the plan. The Writers Guild of America West, by contrast, supports the chairman's proposal.

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.