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Federal Communications Commission

A red pill, blue pill moment for TV

A red pill, blue pill moment for TV

Video killed the radio star, the Internet is killing traditional newspapers, and now the FCC is planning to kill video content in the guise of regulating cable TV set-top boxes.

It's an odd time to propose new rules for TV boxes. Cable is already moving to apps that stream video directly to consumer TVs and mobile screens, no set-top-box required. Just as it's impossible to bend a spoon in "The Matrix" — because "there is no spoon" — the FCC can't regulate "set-top boxes" that don't exist.

Why propose new rules when technology is poised to make set-top boxes obsolete? Because the FCC's proposal isn't truly about boxes. It's about forcing...