LPFM, Media Consolidation, and Satellite Merger
A bill allowing for more LPFM licensees in the U.S. is headed for a full Senate vote soon. Current laws limit the numbers of low power FM stations allowed in an area to prevent interference with full-powered FM stations. While more LPFM stations will undoubtedly offer greater programming options to listeners, I can't help but wonder why community radio is being forced to inhabit the outer fringes of the public's spectrum. I suppose something is better than nothing.
After all the public hearings, outcry, and lobby dollars hard at work, the FCC finally decided vote on whether or not to relax media ownership rules. And then Congress got angry, telling the FCC that it was far too soon to make up their minds about the issue. Stay tuned...
As the satellite radio companies attempt to merge, costs and legal fees soar through the roof. Mel Karmazin admits to spending $1 million in photo-copying alone.
Digital Music News
This past month, Radiohead released the digital version of their latest album on a pay-what-you-will basis, prompting many philosophical discussions on the music industry's demise. Some Radiohead fans are now angry about the downloads being encoded at a "low" bit rate (160 kbps), even though most of these folks probably couldn't tell the difference between 160 and 320 kbps on their crappy computer speakers anyway.
Jammie Thomas, the woman who recently lost a court battle with the RIAA over file-sharing, is trying to raise funds to help pay the $220,000 she now owes the recording industry (or perhaps to pay her lawyer for an impending appeal). What better way to accomplish this than by hawking thong underwear emblazoned with a "Free Jammie" logo? (hey, it worked for Bronwyn!)