Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Precis on Section 119

In an earlier posting I stated that the Section 119 compulsory license for satellite retransmissions is not for the faint of heart. The Eleventh Circuit, in an opinion issued two days ago, CBS Broadcasting Inc. v. Echostar Communications Corp., has provided a 44 page precis to the section that is well worth reading for those curious about such things. The narrow issue was whether Echostar had met its burden of establishing that households it served were unserved households within the meaning of Section 119(a)(2)(B)(i). The court of appeals agreed it hadn't, indeed that the satellite carrier had shown no interest in compliance with the Act. Also of interest is the mandatory nationwide injunction. This provision, in Section 119(a)(7)(B)(i), like Horton the Who says what it means and means what it says. The district court thought otherwise and the court of appeals rightly reversed.

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