By a unanimous vote, members of the House Judiciary Committee adopted legislation on Wednesday that would extend for five years the statutory license granted to direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to retransmit local broadcast television signals to subscribers. Known as the Satellite Home Viewer Update and Reauthorization Act (SHVURA), the bill would extend compulsory DBS retransmission rights, granted under the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004, that are due to expire at the end of this year. The measure also resembles a parallel bill, introduced this week by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), that would “modernize and simplify” the compulsory license to reflect the digital age while taking into account recent recommendations by the U.S. Copyright Office to limit “further reliance on the Section 119 distant signal license used by satellite providers.” In addition to extending retransmission rights, the SHVURA would allow DBS providers to offer broadcast network signals in “short markets” that lack a local network affiliate, including areas in which broadcast network signals leak in from adjacent markets. DISH Network, which is barred by court order from offering distant broadcast signal service, would be allowed under the bill to resume that service as long as DISH delivers local broadcast signals to all 210 television markets. A DISH spokesman applauded that provision as “a key step toward providing an incentive for DISH Network to offer local channels to every television market in the country.” Although ranking committee member Lamar Smith (R-TX) admitted he had “serious reservations about . . . legislatively overturning a court order,” he maintained that “the rest of the bill is important enough to Americans to justify our support.” Despite the unanimous vote, committee members Howard Berman (D-CA) and Daniel Issa (R-CA) argued that there was no need to continue extending the compulsory DBS license because competition in the multichannel video market had evolved to the point where DISH and DirecTV could successfully negotiate for retransmission rights on their own. Noting that his companion bill would phase out distant signal licenses as DBS companies extend local signals into more markets, Leahy recommended that Congress “follow the Copyright Office’s suggestions and move ultimately toward a more market-based system.”