The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is hosting a two-day “Workshop on Journalism and the Internet” on December 1-2 in Washington, D.C. The workshop is open to the public. For those unable to attend, the workshop is available as a live webcast.
The workshop serves as a forum for industry leaders, consumer advocates, academics, and lawyers to advise the FTC on possible changes to copyright law, antitrust law, and tax policy that could favor or disfavor “optimal amounts and types” of future news media. The FTC convened the workshop in response to concerns that investigative journalism and coverage of public affairs news is on the decline due to financial difficulties by news agencies and new online competition from citizen journalists, bloggers, and aggregate content providers. In the notice published in the Federal Register, the FTC asked workshop participants to address the following four topics related to a possible future governmental action:
- Proposals for new tax treatment for news organizations;
- Proposals for changes in copyright law and doctrine, including the â€œfair useâ€ of
- Proposals for an antitrust exemption applied to certain conduct of news
- Proposals for greater public funding of public affairs news.
The FTC also suggested several questions to help frame these issues: Do current U.S. copyright protections provide sufficient incentive to create news content? Should the “fair use” doctrine be modified? Should news organizations be granted new tax treatment, allowing them to be granted tax-exempt status without giving up their ability to support political candidates?
Related Articles on Inside Justice
- FTC Workshop: Panel on Emerging Business Models for Online Journalism and Intellectual Property Rights
FTC Workshop Resources