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Seth A. Davidson

Member

[email protected]

+1.202.434.7447

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Seth leverages more than 30 years of experience and deep knowledge of copyright and communications law to advocate for cable industry clients. He has played an instrumental role on behalf of the cable industry with respect to numerous legislative and regulatory matters before Congress, the FCC, the Copyright Office, and state and local governments. Seth also represents his clients in transactional and litigation matters, including US Court of Appeals and Supreme Court cases. He regularly speaks and comments on developments affecting the cable industry and has twice been recognized with a "Top Lawyers" award by Cablefax.

Experienced in both copyright and communications law and in the intersection of the two, Seth has played an active role for more than 30 years in the legislative and regulatory matters affecting the communications industry. In addition to being a written and oral advocate for clients before various federal, state, and local government agencies in rulemaking and adjudicatory proceedings affecting cable television and satellite companies, he has played an instrumental role in the drafting of a wide range of legislative proposals of interest to the cable and satellite industries, including the 1992 Cable Act, the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the DMCA, and the reauthorizations of Satellite Home Viewer Act.

Seth also has written briefs in appellate litigation before both the US Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Seth is a frequent speaker at cable industry and bar association events.

Before joining Mintz, Seth was a partner in the communications practice of another international law firm. Prior to this, he served his communications clients’ interests first as a lawyer in private practice and later as Associate General Counsel and then Legislative Counsel to the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. During law school, Seth was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an editor of the Columbia Law Review. 

Education

  • Columbia University (JD)
  • University of Virginia (BA, magna cum laude)

Experience

FCC Regulation

  • Successfully represented the American Cable Association (ACA) in an FCC rulemaking that resulted in the adoption of a modification of the standard for determining when a cable system is subject to “effective competition” and thus not subject to local rate regulation. The outcome of the proceeding resulted in the adoption of a standard that presumptively deregulates all cable operators.
  • Serve as FCC regulatory counsel on cable-related matters to Mediacom Communications Corporation, one of the ten largest cable operators in the country. In this role, we have obtained waivers for Mediacom of various FCC rules and have played in an instrumental role in Mediacom’s industry-leading efforts to seek modification of the rules governing “retransmission consent” negotiations between cable operators and broadcast television stations.
  • Successfully represented a major cable operator in a dispute over post-digital transition interpretation of a Communications Act provision requiring “on-channel” carriage of a “must carry” broadcast television station. The interpretation favored by the cable operator was adopted by the FCC and upheld on appeal by the DC Circuit.
  • Successfully represented a major consumer products company in connection with an Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau inquiry regarding an advertisement that allegedly violated the Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules.

Cable Copyright

  • Represented several of the cable operators chosen for “audits” of their compulsory license “Statements of Account.” We assisted them with the preparation of responses to information demands from the auditors, and reviewed and prepared comments on and rebuttals to the draft and final audit reports. Subsequent to the completion of the audits, we have continued to provide advice and counsel regarding post-audit obligations.
  • Representing NCTA in a rulemaking commenced by the Copyright Office in December 2017 to amend various portions of the Office’s rules implementing the compulsory license.
  • Represented American Cable Association (ACA) in a Copyright Office inquiry into the need for regulatory or statutory action to improve the Digital Millennium Copyright Act “safe harbor” provisions in order to prevent copyright owners abuses.

Cable & Telecom Transactions

  • Represented TPG in 2017 and 2018 as lead regulatory counsel in multiple transactions that created the sixth largest cable operator in the country. As lead regulatory counsel, we ensured that TPG’s acquisition of RCN Telecom Services, LLC and Grande Communications Networks, LLC (in 2017) and of Wave Broadband (in 2018) complied with all FCC rules, advised on regulatory restrictions on transaction financing, and secured the timely and unconditioned approval of the transactions from the FCC and from state and/or local regulators in more than 10 states and dozens of individual local municipalities.

Recognition & Awards

  • Recommended by The Legal 500 United States for Telecom & Broadcast: Regulatory (2018)

Involvement

  • Member, Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Past Co-chair, Cable Practice Committee, Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Past Co-chair, Intellectual Property Committee, Federal Communications Bar Association

Recent Insights

News & Press

News & Press

Mintz is pleased to announce Seth A. Davidson, a Mintz Member, has been named a “Top Lawyer” by Cablefax, for a second consecutive year. Cablefax is a news organization that delivers comprehensive coverage of business developments affecting the cable, broadband and digital markets.
Seth A. Davidson, a Member of Mintz's Communications Practice, has been named a “Top Lawyer” by Cablefax, a news organization that delivers comprehensive coverage of business developments affecting the cable, broadband, and digital markets.
Seth Davidson, a Mintz Communications Member, is quoted in this Law360 article on the FCC's failure to conduct a complete review of broadcast ownership rules in a timely manner. The piece notes this will not prevent the FCC from saving their rules on local TV station deals.