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46 Federal Communications Law Journal 469 (1994)


The Cable Act of 1992 required, for the first time, that cable systems receive the consent of broadcast stations to retransmit their signals. While the fees that some stations had hoped to extract from the cable systems have generally not materialized, broadcasters may be able to use their expertise in the provision of local news and programming to gain additional cable channel space for this local-interest programming. The Author explores the historical interaction and conflict between cable systems and local broadcasters over retransmission rights. The Author also examines the courts' and FCC's responses to the copyright issues surrounding retransmission. Focusing on the opportunity that the Cable Act of 1992 and technological changes have provided to bring about a flourishing of local interest programming, the Author concludes that it is now time to revisit the question of copyright liability for cable.