and today he points to a San Antonio Current article about Clear Channel that demonstrates a point I’ve been making for years. The CDA was NOT the worst part of the Telecom Reform Act. It was a smoke screen to divert attention from the negative effects of the concentration of media ownership, which is much more efficient by any measure than overt censorship at ensuring that diverse views go unheard, unpublished.
wrote today, “I gotta dig how fast and far the People Vs. Hollywood political conversation is spreading.” For the record, I’d like to throw one small point out, maybe to fill in the historical side of this a little. People are fixated upon the DMCA and its role in overturning old US copyright law traditions. It is right to be fixated on that insidious law – but it didn’t begin there.
In its own way, the Telecom Reform Act of 1996 was as important as the DCMA. Everyone focused on the Communications Decency Act back then, but that was clearly just a smoke screen from the beginning. The types of business combination that were finally allowed under the Telecom Reform Act are what has given rise to the large, monopolistic firms who are driving things currently in Hollywood.
Of course those combinations started to occur well before 1996 – but the “reforms” in 96 stripped away the barriers to companies who could own the whole pipeline and control it from head office. Before 1996 there were enough different kinds of player in the food chain that it was harder to get traction, either operationally or as a lobbying force.