The unending stream of technological innovations that best exemplifies the electronic media has left the law in its wake. Because of rapid advancements in the forms communications may take, the law has sometimes been slow in effectively and rationally affording protection against the piracy of these new types of electronic media. One such type of electronic media is the transmission of over-the-air scrambled broadcasts, more properly "subscription" television, wherein a party pays a subscription fee to receive nonstandard television programming. National Subscription Television v. S & H, TV, in view of prior divided case law, settled the question of whether a subscription television operator is entitled to legal protection against the unauthorized interception and/or use of his transmissions. The author traces the historical development of cable TV and the particularized technologies thereof, the rules and policies of the Federal Communications Commission as they relate to subscription television, and lastly, makes some forecasts as to the implications of the National decision.
Thomas R. Catanese
National Subscription Television v. S & H, TV: The Problem of Unauthorized Interception of Subscription Television—Are the Legal Airwaves Unscrambled?,
9 Pepp. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/plr/vol9/iss3/5