Today, Public Knowledge joined 20 public interest, consumer advocacy, and civil society groups as well as media companies and both antitrust and copyright law experts in a letter urging Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and other members of Congress to reconsider the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act” (JCPA). The groups argue that the bill remains “enormously problematic,” worsening some of the biggest problems in journalism while simultaneously failing to support local news.
The following is an excerpt from the letter:
“[We] represent a broad cross-section of organizations focused on protecting and advancing our democracy. We include civil society organizations; librarians and archivists; creators; technology companies; experts in antitrust, copyright, constitutional and digital rights law; and media and news groups. While we represent a broad range of policy positions, we join in the view that this legislation should not be passed.
“We are well aware that local news is in crisis. Many of [us] have passionately advocated for public policy solutions to ensure citizens have the quality information they need to engage in civic life and the political process. However, the JCPA will compound some of the biggest issues in our information landscape and do little to enable the most promising new models to improve it.
“[Additionally], antitrust exemptions [like the one created in this bill] have not accomplished beneficial goals, and instead have harmed competition and consumers, entrenched existing power structures, and increased codependence between industry incumbents. The JCPA will cement and stimulate consolidation in the industry and create new barriers to entry for new and innovative models of truly independent, local journalism. There are other policy solutions to the crisis in local journalism, and we strongly urge you to reconsider the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act.”
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