Perform Act Back
The feds have reintroduced an ugly piece of legislation that could put an end to MP3 streaming, under the guise of "preventing piracy." Read about Diane Feinstein's Perform Act (S.256), and be sure to shoot off a letter to your senators, letting them know that this technology mandate could severely hamper your right to enjoy open-source online radio, and for no good reason. Even though the RIAA and other music publishing companies that stand behind this bill still think that digital music is evil and that pirates are cutting into profits by recording webcasts (!?), music sales were up in 2006, largely due to digital sales. Major labels like Sony are now joining the army of progress by licensing podsafe music tracks for Ford and Chrysler, while others may adopt the DRM-free MP3 format for their digital music offerings.
Media Ownership Update
When we last left off, the FCC had just released a glut of previously-suppressed media ownership studies to the public, and pledged to investigate who was responsible for hiding the 2003 reports, which provided damning evidence against consolidation. Five months later, investigators appear to have done little work on the case. This AP article contains an interview with one of the reports' co-authors, and takes a critical look at how big media lobbyists may have influenced the FCC's dismissal of the ownership studies.
The big-wig who likely shelved these studies is former Media Bureau Chief, republican W. Kenneth Ferree, who resigned from his post shortly after FCC Chairman Michael Powell stepped down in 2005. Just two months after leaving the FCC, Ferree became second-banana on the CPB board (Executive Vice President and COO), and moved up to Interim President a month later when the CPB's Chief Executive at the time mysteriously resigned during a late-night meeting.
But republicans aren't the only ones up to no good in this media ownership storm. During a recent FCC appearance in front of the Senate Commerce Committee, leading democrats lashed out at commissioners, calling for an end to the "junk, sex, and scandals" rampant on television. Blaming media consolidation for bad programming, dems want the FCC to better police the airwaves and require certain "content requirements" for programming. Smells like censorship to me...
Other Radio News Headlines:
- Clear Channel is downsizing
- Listener dies while participating in KDND's "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest
- Air America sold to Stephen L. Green, Al Franken leaves
- Hip-Hop Mix CD DJs arrested
- European Space Agency develops a satellite radio receiver for cars, and it has time-shifting functions!
- FCC approaches a payola settlement with the big 4 radio conglomerates