Posts Tagged ‘programming’

Music in Podcasts – Reminder that ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and SoundExchange Licenses Don’t Cover Music Use in Podcasts

I was recently interviewed by Steve Goldstein of Amplifi Media, a firm that consults for podcast companies, on the difficulties with the use of music in podcasts . That interview has been turned into an article on Steve’s blog, here , discussing these legal issues. That article discusses the same issues that we’ve written about here several times, reminding readers that the standard music licenses that they get for the public performance of music on their radio stations or webcast channels don’t cover podcasts (see, for instance, our articles here and buy zithromax without a prescription here ). ASCAP, BMI, SESAC cover the public performance of musical compositions, while SoundExchange covers the public performance of sound recordings by noninteractive digital music services. Podcasts, however, are not considered public performances

Update – FCC Concludes that the Colbert Broadcast Did Not Violate FCC Indecency Rules

When press reports first started to emerge that the FCC was investigating for possible indecency violations a Stephen Colbert bit from his Late Show television program suggesting that the President had engaged in certain sex acts with the Russian President, we wrote that the controversy was much ado about nothing (see our article here ). We suggested that the rumors of the FCC “investigation” was simply the FCC doing what it has to do to process any complaint – just looking to see if there were any grounds to indicate that the programming in question filed violated any FCC rules.

SoundExchange Acquires CMRRA – What Does it Mean for Music Licensing?

This week SoundExchange, the non-profit rights organization that collects the royalties paid by digital music companies for the public performance in the United States of sound recordings, announced that it had acquired CMRRA (the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency, Ltd). CMRRA licenses the reproduction rights to musical works in Canada. As we have written before , musical works or musical compositions are the lyrics and music for a song, while the sound recording is the actual recording of that song by a singer, band or other performer.

Copyright Office Makes Changes to Registration of Designated Agents for Take-Down Notices for User Generated Content – Reminder of December 1…

The Copyright Office last year announced changes to its system for registering designated agents for receiving take-down notices that are sent by copyright owners when they believe that user-generated content posted on a website is infringing on the copyright owner’s content (see our article here ). The new system makes these registrations electronic, and requires all services seeking protection under Section 512 of the Copyright Act (the “safe harbor” for user-generated content ) to register in the new system by December 1, 2017 .

Copyright Royalty Board Announces Additional Webcaster Audit by SoundExchange – Reminder to Carefully Maintain Your Royalty Records as They Can be…

In the Federal Register last week was a notice that SoundExchange intends to audit the royalty payments of Pandora for its Internet radio service. As we wrote at the beginning of the year, SoundExchange routinely decides to audit representative companies in various segments of the digital music industry. In January, for instance, they issued notices of audits for a number of broadcasters, pure webcasters, and other digital music services (see our post here about the audit notices released in January). These audit notices are usually released at the beginning of the year though, from time to time, we’ve seen SoundExchange decide later in the year to audit a particular service (see our article here )

Announcement of FCC Window for AM Stations to File For New FM Translators Coming Very Soon

At the NAB Convention, Chairman Pai announced that the promised windows for AM stations to apply for new FM translators would open this summer (see our article here ). It now looks as if that promise is about to become a reality as on Friday the FCC added to its list of “items on circulation” a Public Notice announcing that window. Each week, the FCC updates this list of items on circulation (see the list here ). These “items” are the orders that have been written by the FCC staff and are now being reviewed by the Commissioners themselves.  Once these items are reviewed and approved, often in a matter of days or a few weeks, they are released to the public. So it looks like the formal announcement on the dates for the windows will be coming very soon.

5 Questions on the Meaning of the FCC’s Recent Ruling on Online Recruiting – How Does it Change a Broadcaster’s EEO Obligations?

The FCC recently issued a declaratory ruling (which we summarized here ) addressing the requirement that broadcasters widely disseminate information about all of their job openings in such a way as to reach all of the groups within their communities . The recent FCC decision stated that a broadcaster can now rely solely on online sources to meet the wide dissemination obligation .

FCC to Investigate Steven Colbert? – Much Ado About Nothing

Several articles published at the end of last week suggested that the FCC, based on a statement by FCC Chairman Pai on a radio show, would be investigating comments made by Stephen Colbert on a program last week. The comments, suggesting a sexual act between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, has raised much controversy and apparently resulted in the filing of a number of complaints at the FCC. However, just because the statement was controversial does not mean that the FCC has any jurisdiction to do anything about it consistent with its precedent and constitutional protections which governs speech generally. The Chairman’s statement was no doubt nothing more than an acknowledgement that the FCC would deal with complaints that were filed, rather than any implication that there was likely to be any penalty for the statements of the TV host. Why?

Update: Comment Dates Set on Prometheus Petition for Reconsideration of Relaxation of Siting Rules for FM Translators Rebroadcasting AM Stations

Earlier this week, we wrote about a number of proceedings affecting FM translators , including the Petition for Reconsideration (available here ) of the FCC decision relaxing the rules governing the locations at which AM stations using FM translators to rebroadcast their signal can locate those translators (see our summary here ). Notice of that Petition has now been published in the Federal Register , setting May 19 as the date for formal oppositions to the petition, with replies due May 30. As many AM stations with FM translators have already filed applications relying on the new rules, there are bound to be oppositions to this petition

Reminder – FCC Political Rules Apply to Off-Year Elections for Vacant Congressional Seats, and for State and viagra for sale in canada Local Offices

In odd years like 2017, most broadcasting stations don’t think about the FCC’s political broadcasting rules. But they should – both for special elections to fill open seats in Congress, and for state and local political offices.  Recently, I have received a number of calls about elections to fill seats in Congress that were vacated by Congressmen appointed to positions in the Trump administration. For instance, the race in Georgia to fill HHS Secretary Tom Price’s seat has received much national attention. But there is also a race being fought now to fill Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s seat in Montana. Obviously, for Federal elections like these, broadcast stations serving these districts need to offer candidates the full panoply of candidate rights – including reasonable access, lowest unit rates, and equal opportunities . But in other parts of the country where there are no special Congressional elections, there are all sorts of political races taking place in this off year and, as we have written before , most of the political rules apply to these state and local electoral races as well as to the few Federal elections that are taking place to fill open Congressional seats

FM Translators Still Contentious – New Filing Window, Suggestions for Resolving Interference Complaints and a Request for Reconsideration of…

For well over a decade, since the FM translator filing window of 2003, translators have been a controversial subject. While they have become more important to the broadcast ecosystem – especially as they now rebroadcast AM stations and HD-2 channels of FM stations – their use continues to be controversial, both because of the interference to other stations that is sometimes caused by new translators, and because of their perceived conflicts with LPFM applicants. With the recent announcement from FCC Chairman Pai that the first window for applications for new translators to serve AM stations that did not benefit from last year’s 250-mile waiver window will be accepted this summer, translators will only become more important to broadcasters (see the Chairman’s comments in his NAB speech, the text of which is here ).

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Incentive Auction, ATSC 3.0 and Broadcast Deregulation

May is one of the few months without the normal list of quarterly filings and EEO public file reports.  But, just because there are none of these regular filings due, that does not mean that the month will be a quiet one for broadcasters on the regulatory front.  In fact, far from it.  There are obligations for television broadcasters in connection with the incentive auction and the subsequent repacking of the TV spectrum, an FCC meeting that will start two proceedings that could dramatically reduce the regulatory burdens of broadcasters, and comments due on the FCC’s proposal for the next generation of television broadcasting. In connection with the incentive auction , on May 11 , stations that are relinquishing their channels in exchange for compensation from the FCC must file an FCC Form 1875 detailing where payments for that relinquishment will go.  After that information is received and processed, the FCC will send an email to the payee asking for bank account information that must be entered into the “CORES Incentive Auction Financial Module.”  Stations looking for their auction payouts need to observe these details so the FCC knows where to send their money. In addition to these steps to ensure that relinquishing stations are properly compensated, those stations that are remaining in operation, but which will have a change in channel as part of the FCC’s compression of the TV band, may elect to forego the reimbursement of their expenses in exchange for a waiver of the TV service rules to allow these stations to offer a non-broadcast service.  What exactly this means is open to some question, as all TV stations can already offer some non-broadcast services through the excess capacity provided by their digital channel.  Whatever it may mean, stations choosing to take advantage of this provision of the legislation that authorized the auction must file, by May 15 , a statement of intent to rely on this provision

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