Update about media policy in the U.S.

The fight for the future of media policy in the United States rages on. One controversial bill, the dreaded COPE Act, was unfortunately approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on June 8. Companion legislation is currently being considered in the Senate, and is facing a possible vote tomorrow, June 27. Below is an appeal from the Save Access coalition, of which I’m a part, and which is working to highlight issues and mobilize support for certain good aspects of forthcoming legislation. They’re currently calling for folks to promote positive amendments and legislation which would support and improve community radio initiatives, public access television, and fair use rights for copyrighted material. They’re also calling for non-discrimination of all current and future internet content. If you’re in the United States, you may want to take a moment to read the following, act as suggested below, and spread the word. After all, the media you help save might be your own. *** *** *** Dear saveaccess.org supporter, First we want to thank you! Thousands of letters were sent to Senators last week as a result of your efforts. We applaud you for taking the time to make your voice heard and sending a strong message in support of PEG community media, net neutrality and the need for stronger red-lining provisions. The mark-up hearing on Senate Bill S.2686 resumes tomorrow, Tues. June 27th at 10:00. Very little progress was made in the first day of the mark-up last week (a rundown is at: http://saveaccess.org/node/322). Please continue to email your Senators if you haven’t already at: http://saveaccess.org/takeaction We want to take a moment to inform you of other issues that have arisen in the mark-up proceedings, some good, some bad. If you have Senators on the Commerce Committee (list below), this would be a good day to call them! S.2686 Amendments and What You Can Do: Over 200 amendments are to be discussed for possible inclusion in S.2686, including one on broadcast flag with onerous copy protection that impacts on ‘fair use’ issues. Another amendment would expand local radio licenses – a good addition. 1) Broadcast Flag – This is a copy protection scheme that would make it virtually impossible for broadcast media to be reused under current `fair use’ practices. To counter the broadcast flag amendment there is an another amendment to strike it. Public Knowledge calls on people with Senators on the Commerce Committee (see list below) to: Call your Senator today with this simple message: "Support the Sununu Amendment to strike the broadcast and radio flags." Learn more Public Knowledge: http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/479 2) Expand Local Radio – Sen. McCain has offered an amendment that would expand Low Power Radio licenses. This could result in hundreds of new local radio stations serving local communities. Our friends at Prometheus Radio are asking people to call on their Senators to support TITLE XI: LOCAL COMMUNITY RADIO ACT by calling and saying: "I support, and my community supports, the language in Senate Bill 2686 that would expand low power FM across our state and across this country. In an era of natural disasters, and few opportunities for churches, schools, and community groups to make their voices heard, we need more local radio stations in our cities and towns. Please support low power FM in Senate Bill 2686." Learn more at: http://www.prometheusradio.org/take_action/emergency_alert:__take_action_to_expand_low_power/ 3) Protect PEG Provisions – The Alliance for Community Media is asking supporters to support the gains made including PEG provisions in S.2686 by: – Calling or faxing your Senators again. – Send a copy Senators Inouye and Stevens. – The message is simple: "We ask that you prevent any amendments to S2686 that attack PEG funding, franchise fees or municipal authority. Thank you." These phone calls/faxes are especially important if your Senator is on the Commerce Committee. And please continue to send your emails via our site which also seeks to protect PEG provisions.

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