Gigi Sohn Will Recuse From Retransmission, Broadcast Copyright Issues

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Democratic Federal Communications Commission nominee Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] has promised that, if confirmed to the open seat, she will recuse herself from decisions where retransmission consent or TV broadcast copyright are material issues. Sohn was a board member of TV station streamer Locast, which a court concluded had violated copyright by streaming broadcasts without permission or compensation. Republicans and some broadcasters had issues with that connection, suggesting it could be a conflict of interest. Sohn is looking to put those concerns to rest. Sohn also said she was recusing herself from retransmission rule decisions because back in 2010, when she was president of Public Knowledge, she signed on to a petition for rulemaking seeking changes and additions to the retransmission consent rules, a petition that was the subject of an FCC docket (10-71). Sohn said that while she was not required by her ethics agreement to recuse herself from the docket or anything else regarding retransmission or broadcast copyright, she would do so "to avoid any appearance of impropriety and in the interest of ensuring that the public has full confidence that policymakers will make decisions free of bias."

Gigi Sohn Will Recuse From Retrans, Broadcast Copyright Issues