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CEA Calls On Congress to Promote Innovation And Consumer Choice


The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet today held a hearing entitled, “Digital Future of the United States: Part V: The Future of Video.” Several leading entrepreneurial companies – including Sling Media, Google and TiVO – testified that American innovation if allowed to flourish will ensure that we remain the world’s leader in technology. In reaction to this important hearing, Michael Petricone, senior vice president of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® said, “Today was a good day for those concerned about the future of U.S. competitiveness.”

Petricone continued, “Continued innovation depends on the restoration of consumer fair use rights, the preservation of the Supreme Court’s Betamax doctrine, and legitimate opportunities for innovators without the prospect of losing their companies via excessive and unfair damage awards. CEA endorses legislation such as H.R. 1201, the Fair Use Act, which will help ensure that technology and innovation will continue to drive the American economy.”

To foster innovation, Petricone also called on Congress to focus on consumer choice and removing barriers to investment. As most Americans receive their television over cable, Congress should ensure that consumers have the widest possible choice of commercially available set-top boxes. Section 629 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 should be enforced to guarantee that innovative, competitive devices, including those that rely on CableCARDs, can enter the market and be supported.

Petricone concluded, “In today’s digital marketplace it is essential that no service provider be allowed to exercise absolute control over innovative devices at the edge of the network. Provided that the device does not harm the network, manufacturers must have the freedom to build new devices and consumers must have the freedom to attach them to the network of their choice.”


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