Posts Tagged ‘government’

FCC Appoints Regional Coordinators for TV Post-Auction Repacking Process

With the FCC last week announcing the results of the reverse auction portion of the incentive auction and purchase viagra professional setting the timetable for the repacking of the TV spectrum , the next question on everyone’s mind will be how successful the television industry will be in adhering to the schedule established by the FCC for clearing the TV spectrum above Channel 37. The FCC yesterday released a Public Notice showing how it will be doing its part to monitor and assist in that repacking. The FCC announced that it is appointing 10 Commission employees to serve as “Regional Coordinators” to help ensure a “smooth and efficient post-auction transition.” These coordinators will each have a geographic region to which they are assigned

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Residente’s Debut Solo Album Bows at No. 1 on World Albums & Latin Album Sales Charts

Residente’s self-titled debut solo project arrives at No. 1 on Billboard’s World Albums and Latin Album Sales charts (dated April 22), with 3…

New Congressional Attempts to Impose a Performance Royalty for Sound Recordings on Broadcast Radio, Including the PROMOTE Act – What Do They…

In the last month, there have been two bills introduced in the US House of Representatives seeking to impose a performance royalty for sound recordings on broadcast radio stations in the US. The bill introduced yesterday, The PROMOTE Act (standing for the Performance Royalty Owners of Music Opportunity to Earn Act – whatever that may mean, can be found here ), seems to have garnered more attention, perhaps as it was promoted by its principal sponsor, California Congressman Darrell Issa, as giving performing artists the right to decide whether or not their music is played by radio stations. In fact, it does not do that, instead merely setting up a royalty system similar to that in place for Internet radio operators, allowing broadcasters to play music only if they pay royalties on “identical” rates and terms as do webcasters. The PROMOTE Act proposes to add to the Copyright Act’s Section 106 enumeration of the “exclusive rights” given to copyright holders a provision stating that sound recording copyright holders (for most popular releases, that is usually the record company) have the exclusive right to authorize the performance of recorded songs by broadcast radio stations. That is in addition to the existing right to authorize the playing of these songs by digital audio transmissions (e.g.

Request Filed with the FCC to Stay Effective Date of New Liberalized Rules on the Location of FM Translators for AM Stations

Prometheus Radio Project, an advocacy group which has been active in lobbying for the interests of LPFM applicants and licensees, has asked that the FCC stay the April 10 effective date of the new rules liberalizing the location in which FM translators serving AM stations can locate (see its petition here ). We wrote about those new rules here and here . Prometheus alleges that the liberalization in the rules will restrict the areas in which LPFM stations can locate their transmitter sites if the sites from which they currently operate become unusable. Their allegation is that the moves by these translators will “box in” LPFM stations at their current site.

Plan Your April Fools’ Day On-Air Pranks with the FCC in Mind

With April Fools’ Day only a few days away, we need to play our role as attorneys and cheapest viagra prices ruin the fun by repeating our annual reminder that broadcasters need to be careful with any on-air pranks, jokes or other bits prepared especially for the day.  While a little fun is OK, remember that the FCC does have a rule against on-air hoaxes. While issues under this rule can arise at any time, broadcaster’s temptation to go over the line is probably highest on April 1.  The FCC’s rule against broadcast hoaxes, Section 73.1217 , prevents stations from running any information about a “crime or catastrophe” on the air, if the broadcaster (1) knows the information to be false, (2) it is reasonably foreseeable that the broadcast of the material will cause substantial public harm and (3) public harm is in fact caused.  Public harm is defined as “direct and actual damage to property or to the health or safety of the general public, or diversion of law enforcement or other public health and safety authorities from their duties.”  Air a program that fits within this definition and causes a public harm, and expect to be fined by the FCC. This rule was adopted in the early 1990s after several incidents that were well-publicized in the broadcast industry, including one case where the on-air personalities at a station falsely claimed that they had been taken hostage, and another case where a station broadcast bulletins reporting that a local trash dump had exploded like a volcano and was spewing burning trash.  In both cases, first responders were notified about the non-existent emergencies, actually responded to the notices that listeners called in, and were prevented from responding to real emergencies.  In light of this sort of incident, the FCC adopted its prohibition against broadcast hoaxes.  But, as we’ve reminded broadcasters before, the FCC hoax rule is not the only reason to be wary on April 1.  Beyond potential FCC liability, any station activity that could present the risk of bodily harm to a participant also raises the potential for civil liability.  In cases where people are injured because first responders had been responding to the hoaxes instead of to real emergencies, stations could have faced potential liability.   If some April Fools’ stunt by a station goes wrong, and someone is injured either because police, fire or paramedics are tied up responding to a false alarm, or if someone is hurt rushing to or from the scene of the non-existent calamity that was reported on a radio station, the victim will be looking for a deep pocket to sue – and broadcasters may become the target.  Even a case that doesn’t result in liability can be expensive to defend and subject the station to unwanted negative publicity.  So, have fun, but be careful how you do it

Bill Proposes to Make the Register of Copyrights a Presidential Appointee

The Copyright Office is now a part of the Library of Congress, with the Register of Copyrights (the head of the Copyright Office) appointed by the Librarian of Congress. As part of its plans to review the Copyright Act, the House Judiciary Committee asked for comments earlier this year about structural reform of the Copyright Office, including whether the Register of Copyrights should be appointed by the President rather than by the Librarian of Congress (see our article here ). In a very straightforward and direct bill , the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the Ranking Democratic Member of the Committee have started the process of reform of the Copyright Office by proposing to make the Register a Presidential appointment.

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