‘Abbott Elementary’ And Quinta Brunson’s ‘Knock-Off’ Copyright Suit Dropped

Abbott Elementary and its creator and star, Quinta Brunson, are out of legal detention. A judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit against Brunson, 34, and ABC filed by writer Christine Davis in 2021, claiming the hit sitcom was a “veritable knock-off” of her show This School Year. According to the court decision, the judge found that “no discerning observer would find the works to be substantially similar.”

What’s In The FY 2025 Budget For Broadband And Technology

The U.S. fiscal year 2025 budget has funds for broadband expansion, tech innovation and digital equity.

 

DirecTV Loses Price-Fixing Case Against Nexstar, Mission And White Knight

A federal judge in New York on Wednesday tossed out DirecTV’s price-fixing case against three TV station owners – including Nexstar Media Group – on the basis that the satellite TV provider lacked antitrust standing to wage the court battle. DirecTV “has failed to show that it suffered ‘a special kind of antitrust injury,’ and therefore lacks antitrust standing to bring this suit,” U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel said in a 17-page opinion.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Algeria Scolds Television Stations For Ramadan Ad Blitz And Immoral Programming

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Officials in Algeria are chiding television stations over the content choices they’ve made since the start of Ramadan last week, injecting religion into broader discussions about […]

Can Cable Do ‘No Locals’ Like DirecTV?

DirecTV, on a Sunday of all things, decided to announce its “No Locals” plan that allows satellite subscribers to drop local TV stations and save $12 monthly or $140 annually. Dish and DirecTV have must-carry and retransmission consent obligations like cable. But satellite TV providers are not required to make their subscribers buy local TV stations before buying the tier with all the cable channels. Could cable adopt Dish’s Flex Pack or DirecTV’s No Locals approach? Since it involves regulation, it’s complicated.

Trump Sues ABC And Stephanopoulos, Saying They Defamed Him

Former President Donald Trump filed a defamation lawsuit against ABC News on Monday, arguing that the anchor George Stephanopoulos had harmed his reputation by saying multiple times on-air that the former president had been found liable for raping the writer E. Jean Carroll.

Meta Files Emergency Petition To Derail FTC Hearing On Teens’ Data

Meta Platforms on Monday asked a federal appeals court for an emergency injunction halting an FTC in-house hearing that could result in a ban on monetizing teens’ data. The social media platform contends that FTC in-house hearings are unconstitutional — in part, because the FTC acts as both prosecutor and judge at in-house hearings.

Supreme Court Signals Wariness On Limiting Feds’ Interactions With Social Media Companies

The Supreme Court seemed wary Monday of imposing harsh limits on how federal officials communicate with social media platforms about content moderation decisions. Sharply questioning both sides, the justices sought to determine when it is appropriate for the government to encourage the platforms to remove controversial content — if ever.

White House’s Efforts To Combat Misinformation Face Supreme Court Test

The justices must distinguish between persuading social media sites to take down posts, which is permitted, and coercing them, which violates the First Amendment.

Potential TikTok Ban Tees Up Legal Showdown Over Free Speech

Legal battle would force courts to weigh the government’s national security objectives against the First Amendment rights of TikTok and its users.

Florida Rivals Ask Courts To Stop Online Sports Gambling Off Tribal Lands

The state of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida will be raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from online sports betting this decade, thanks to a compact between the tribe and Gov. Ron DeSantis that gave the tribe exclusive rights to run sports wagers as well as casino gambling on its reservations. But are these online wagers on the outcome of sporting events legally on tribal land, when really only the computer servers are located there, accepting bets made using mobile phones and computers from anywhere in Florida? Pictured: The guitar shaped hotel at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. (Brynn Anderson/AP)

Q&A

Meet The Doctor Urging The FCC To Revoke Fox’s Philly TV License

Allergist/immunologist, baseball lover Milo Vassallo leads the Media and Democracy Project in a struggle with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.

Fox News Sued By Family Of Ukrainian Journalist Killed While Covering War

On the two-year anniversary of the attack in Ukraine that claimed the lives of Fox News photojournalist Pierre Zakrzewski and contractor Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, the network was accused Thursday of being culpable for the fatal incident by engaging in “reckless and negligent conduct” that put the crew in harm’s way. The network was also accused of launching “a campaign of material misrepresentations and omissions to hide its own accountability for the disaster and shift blame” to then-security contractor Shane Thomson, who allegedly warned against the crew entering the dangerous zone near Kyiv where they were killed.

FCC Redefines Broadband As 100 Mbps

A majority of the FCC on Thursday voted to redefine broadband as speeds of at least 100 megabits per second for downloads — a fourfold increase from the current standard of 25 Mbps, which was set nine years ago. The new benchmark for upload speeds is 20 Mbps — nearly seven times faster than the current 3 Mbps standard. The FCC also set a long-term goal of 1 Gbps for downloads and 500 Mbps for uploads.

TikTok Turns To Creators To Fight Possible Ban

Dozens of popular figures on the app have traveled to Washington to urge lawmakers to oppose a bill that could result in the platform being blocked in the United States.

FCC Forces Cable Firms To Show Single Price, No Hidden Fees

Cable and satellite-TV providers will need to make sure bills and ads clearly display a total price for video subscribers, including extra fees that can amount to hundreds of dollars a year, under a rule adopted Thursday by the FCC. “No one likes surprises on their bill,” Democratic FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said. “The advertised price for a service should be the price you pay when your bill arrives. It shouldn’t include a bunch of unexpected junk fees.”

What Happens Next With TikTok?

Even though legislation is moving forward, the video social media app isn’t disappearing from smartphones any time soon.

 

FCC Requests 14.8% Increase In Regulatory Fee Authority

The fiscal 2024 budget request asks for $448,075,000 in budget authority from regulatory fee offsetting collections.

UK Moves To Bar Foreign State Ownership Of Newspapers, A Blow To Telegraph Bid

A roughly $1 billion bid from the former CNN chief Jeff Zucker and his Emirati backers raised concerns among lawmakers over a storied conservative newspaper.

Sinclair: FCC Deregulation Needed To Support Local Journalism

Federal regulators need to do more in support of local TV stations that are facing increased pressure for viewers and advertising from unregulated video streaming providers and big technology companies, Sinclair argued in a filing with the FCC in support of Chair Jessica Rosenworcel’s proposal to expedite license renewals for TV and radio stations that provide locally originated programming.

House Passes Bill That Would Lead To A TikTok Ban If Chinese Owner Doesn’t Sell

House passage of the bill is only the first step. The Senate would also need to pass the measure for it to become law, and lawmakers in that chamber indicated it would undergo a thorough review. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’ll have to consult with relevant committee chairs to determine the bill’s path.

What To Know About The Proposed TikTok Legislation

The House plans to vote on Wednesday on a bill that would force TikTok’s Chinese parent to sell the popular social media app.

Amazon Hit With Privacy Suit Over Prime Video

Two Amazon Prime Video users claim the company violated a federal video privacy law by allegedly sharing information about their online video viewing with other Amazon-affiliated companies, and with outside businesses. In a class-action complaint, Virginia resident Meredith Beagle and Louisiana resident Jordan Guerrero allege that Amazon Services regularly discloses personally identifiable information to its parent company, Amazon Inc., “for audience measurement purposes, marketing purposes, market research purposes, advertising purposes, and other data collection and analysis purposes.”

Pay-TV Operators, Broadcasters Clash Over FCC Retrans Rebates

Federal regulators want pay-TV consumers to receive rebates when channels go dark as a result of contract disputes between pay-TV operators and their content vendors, including TV stations and cable networks. But the proposal advanced last October by FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel is receiving firm resistance from cable and satellite TV operators. For one thing, while Rosenworcel’s plan would impose rebate obligations on cable and satellite, it would exempt TV stations. And that’s fine with the National Association of Broadcasters, which argued in a March 8 FCC filing that pay-TV operators are causing signal blackouts to happen in an effort to demonstrate to Washington regulators that carriage rules – called retransmission consent – are broken.

‘911’ Actor’s Lawsuit Over COVID Vaccine Firing Heads To Trial In Major Test For Studios

The court found that 20th Television may have engaged in religious discrimination against the actor, who was denied an exemption from the vaccine.

Third Circuit Not Getting FCC Ownership Case

TV stations owners caught a break, judicially speaking. That’s because the industry’s effort to overturn the FCC’s new media ownership rules will not be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. Instead, the case is going to the 8th Circuit in St. Louis. For decades, the Third Circuit has been a graveyard for broadcasters’ efforts to relax ownership rules within the context of a process at the FCC called the Quadrennial Review.

The FCC Will Vote On Ending Cable TV’s Hidden Fees This Week

The FCC will decide on a set of proposed rules that, if passed, will require satellite and cable TV providers to clarify “all-in” prices clearly so consumers can make informed decisions when signing up for services. This Thursday, March 14, the FCC will vote on “all-in” pricing for cable TV companies.

Nexstar Wants FCC’s ‘Astounding’ $720,000 Retrans Fine Canceled Or Reduced

Nexstar Media Group is pushing back against federal regulators’ decision to fine the broadcaster $720,000 for violating good-faith bargaining rules while negotiating a new carriage deal last year with a cable TV company in Hawaii. In a filing Friday, Nexstar said the FCC’sMedia Bureau zeroed in on a single, ordinary contract proposal and inflated its significance to an unnecessary degree in order to arrive at a fine amount that the broadcaster described as “astounding” and beyond the bureau’s authority to impose.

Hawaiian Telcom Wants FCC’s Nexstar Retrans Fine Given A Second Look

Last month, the FCC fined Nexstar $720,000 for violating retransmission consent rules in some respects, but the agency’s Media Bureau did not agree with Hawaiian Telecom that Nexstar through its bargaining approach crossed the line leading up to the multi-signal blackout that lasted nearly three weeks in July, 2023. Hawaiian Telcom disagrees. “Simply put, Nexstar used the looming blackout deadline as a cudgel in an attempt to force Hawaiian Telcom’s capitulation to whatever Nexstar’s last proposal was before time ran out,” it said in an FCC filing Friday.

Pennsylvania Democrats Rally Behind Fox In TV Station License Battle

Pennsylvania Democrats are rallying in support of Fox Corp. in its battle to retain ownership of its WTXF Philadelphia. On March 5, 16 members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives – all Democrats – sent a letter imploring the FCC to renew Fox 29’s license. The letter did not mention the license revocation controversy over Fox News Channel’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden.