A new guide to Federal cable television regulations

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Mit Press, 1978 - Performing Arts - 314 pages
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Steven Rivkin's widely read Cable Television: A Guide to Federal Regulationswas written in 1972 and was originally published by the Rand Corporation. It appeared soon after the Federal Communications Commission (following five years' deliberation) had issued its comprehensive regulations regarding cable television, and the book undertook to explain the "intended, likely" meaning of the complex of rules and regulations with which cable television systems were required to be in compliance.

A New Guide to Federal Cable Television Regulationsrevisits and updates the subject, now that some five years of elaboration and "fine-tuning" in government controls have elapsed. Rivkin examines how these rules and regulations have fared in actual practice and he details the subsequent changes that have been made in them as a result of citizen and industry feedback over the period. He has made full use of the thousands of certifications granted by the FCC and a like number of interpretive proceedings it has held to resolve and refine disputed and ambiguous points.

A significant feature of the new book is the material it contains on the expected impact of the new copyright law pertinent to cable television that becomes effective January 1, 1978.

In outlining the purpose and structure of his book, the author writes: "Whatever the merit of the FCC's accomplishments, the record of Federal regulation of cable television during the past five years has become a subject worthy of objective study and analysis, whether as a basis for prescribing some future change, as a case study of regulatory triumph, tragedy, or mediocrity (take your pick), or merely to enable the many interests affected by regulation to cope with the volume of particular details spawned by regulation. Whatever the reader's purpose, making such up-to-date wisdom available to whoever wishes to use it is the aim of this book.

"As in the earlier volume, that ecumenical aim dictates the format of this book. The presentation will seek to attain objectivity, by both articulating the FCC's regulatory posture and identifying unresolved issues known or suspected to exist. Moreover, this book will again attempt to be practically helpful to users however far they may be from the umbilical center of regulation in Washington, D.C. by including in a single sourcebook all key reference materials and forms. (The rules themselves, as in effect in mid-1977, are reproduced as they relate to this commentary, throughout the book, and other useful and exemplary material is contained in the Appendix, complementing the expository sections of the book.) The plan of the book—presenting a summary overview for the general reader in the first chapter, with detailed exploration of particular rules in the ensuing topical chapters—aims to make sense to readers of various orientations, interests, and professional backgrounds who must develop and maintain a working grasp of Federal cable television regulation."

This study was undertaken with the support of the National Science Foundation.

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