WGAW: FCC Must Write Ad Protection Into Set-Top Plan

Offers up options for protecting placements

Read more about the FCC's set-top proposal.

The Writers Guild of America West is generally supportive of the FCC proposal to make MVPD set-top content and data available to third-party devices and apps -- to spur more navigation device competition -- but only if the original ad placements are protected.

In meetings last week with top FCC officials, WGAW attorneys offered up some options to the FCC for preventing "interference" with embedded ad content.

Those included: (1) Conclude, as it has already suggested it would do, that ISPs' data streams not have to include information about the embedded ads so third parties can't use the data to change or replace the advertising; (2) require that licenses for competitive devices specify that they may not "alter, replace, overlay or remove protected content"; (3) make third-party use of information flows subject to the same contractual conditions between content providers and MVPDs; or (4) require that device certification be contingent on no altering, replacing, removing or overlaying.

WGAW said third parties may have an incentive to substitute or overlay embedded ads, that such business models already exist, and that the FCC must take affirmative steps to prevent it.