SHVIASatellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999
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services;" (234) and SHVIA, which aimed to put cable and DBS
In 1999, SHVIA addressed these concerns by extending the statutory copyright license for distant signals for another five years(18) and by amending the license in several respects.
Responding to the nationwide litigation, while at the same time providing a way to indirectly regulate increasing cable rates, SHVIA also created an incentive for the DBS service to evolve from its role of merely delivering distant network signals to unserved households to its current status of potentially competing with cable in the delivery of both multichannel programming and local broadcast programming.
For the first time, SHVIA granted to DBS carriers the permanent right to retransmit the signals of local stations into their own local designated market areas ("DMAs")(25) without seeking the permission of the local stations in advance and without being required to pay royalties in the usual manner associated with a statutory copyright license.
In addition to the basic carriage obligation, SHVIA also imposes a variety of other duties in exchange for the use of the statutory license, with the aim of equalizing the regulatory treatment of satellite and cable.
Congress made this aspect of [sections] 338 abundantly clear in the Conference Report accompanying SHVIA when it stated that satellite carriers had a choice whether to incur local carriage obligations, and that satellite carriers were free to carry any programming they wanted without using the statutory license if they could clear the property rights.
Moreover, SHVIA does not deprive any programmers of potential access to carriage by satellite carriers.
Congress explicitly stated that SHVIA was designed with the following two principles in mind: First, SHVIA's legislative history stated that "promotion of competition in the marketplace for the delivery of multichannel video programming is an effective policy to reduce costs to consumers;"(189) and, second, the legislative history emphasized the importance of "protecting and fostering the system of television networks as they relate to the concept of localism.
In enacting SHVIA and [sections] 338, Congress intended not simply to favor one class of programmers over another, but to preserve the structural integrity of the nation's broadcasting system by supporting the principles of localism, universal service, and diversity.
The three interests underlying SHVIA and [sections] 338 are important and substantial.
The extension of a royalty-free compulsory license for local television signals was recently added by the SHVIA.
The lawsuit contends that Section 338 of SHVIA violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution because it favors certain local broadcasters over all other programming and it penalizes DBS providers for carrying popular stations by forcing them to carry every station without monetary compensation.