Just in time to slip into the tote along with your sunscreen, towel and iPod, so you’ll have something to read at the beach over the weekend – here’s the FCC’s opposition to the NAB’s motion for stay of the online TV public file rule. We doubt you’ll find any unexpected plot twists here (particularly since the Media Bureau already told the NAB how the Bureau feels about the NAB’s arguments), but you never know. The NAB has until July 24 to reply to the Commission’s opposition, and then we all sit around waiting for the court to act.
And if you’re keeping a scorecard in the NAB’s appeal of the online TV public file rule, be sure to add the following names to the line-up on the FCC’s side: Benton Foundation, Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Free Press, New America Foundation and Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, Inc. All six have been granted “intervenor” status by the D.C. Circuit. This means that they are now official parties to the case, and will be permitted to brief the issues, but only in a single, joint brief (unless they can convince the court that multiple intervenor briefs are warranted). Apparently eager to wield their brief-filing powers, the Intervenors have already warmed up by filing their own opposition to the NAB’s stay motion. Intervenors are also theoretically able to offer oral argument, although the likelihood that any intervenor will in fact get to present oral argument when the appeal finally gets to that point — probably sometime early next year — is probably very, very small.
The court’s order granting the intervention motions reminds anyone who might want to intervene on the NAB’s side that they have until August 2, 2012 to get their motions in. Failure to seek intervenor status by that deadline could leave you on the outside looking in when it comes time to file briefs.