Walden Warning: Content-Controlling Viewers Should 'Scare Heck' Out Of Cable

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Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said Wednesday that consumers would ultimately settle the debate over the rights to move TV programming to smaller screens (like, say, cable programming to iPads), and he thinks it will be by becoming their own programmers.

He said he thinks the people now creating their own audio playlists will start doing that for video as well.

"Eventually [consumers] will create their own lineup of shows the way they want them. That ought to scare the heck out of you," Walden told his American Cable Association Summit audience in Washington, D.C.. He said that ultimately the delivery platforms for programming will change so that it will be available on iPads and other tablets" because consumers and market forces will dictate it.

Currently, there is a fight in that marketplace over whether cable operators -- notably Time Warner Cable -- can stream channels other devices in the home like iPads. TWC says yes, some programmers say no, but Walden deferred that decision to Judiciary, which oversees copyright.

Walden said that interplay of consumers and market forces could be "brutal to industries along the way," adding ominously: "There aren't many blacksmith shops around anymore. I think ultimately that is where it ends up."

He said his subcommittee will try to do the right thing, make sure the market works effectively.