Friday, June 29, 2007

This Week in News: Friday, June 29, 2007


Congress urges peace talks in Net radio conflict
In a hearing on webcasting on Thursday, members of Congress admitted that they were unsure how to balance the interests of webcasters with the need to compensate artists through royalties. Since the new royalties are effective on July 15, Congress is urging webcasters and SoundExchange to work things out independently in order to beat the deadline and avoid the collapse of small business webcasters.
by Anne Broache, CNET, June 28, 2007

Small Business Committee Hears Testimony For, Against, CRB Rates
Thorough coverage of the House committee hearing on the webcasting rates, as well as links to testimony filed by FMC and the Small Webcaster Group
by Kurt Hanson, June 28, 2007;See video from the hearing here.

eMusic Lends Support to Web Radio Campaign
Following June 26th's "Day of Silence," retailer eMusic has announced that it will donate a "modest contribution" to in protest of increased royalty rates for webcasters set to go into effect on July 15.
by Todd Martens, Billboard Biz, June 27, 2007

Web Radio Stations Hope Silence Speaks Volumes About Fee Hike
Pandora, Live365 and Real Networks' Rhapsody, as well as terrestrial radio stations such as Washington's WAMU and Santa Monica, California's KCRW participated in internet radio's "Day of Silence," which protests the hike in royalties set to take effect on July 15.
by Mike Musgrove, Washington Post, June 26, 2007

Internet Radio Holds Out Silent Hope
Mike McGuire, an analyst at Gartner, said he is sure the Internet radio Day of Silence raised awareness among consumers, many of whom might not have heard about the royalty issue, but he also pointed out that it is questionable whether the Day of Silence protest will rally enough support to reverse the royalty hike.
by Jennifer LeClaire, Newsfactor, June 27, 2007

Music Industry

Music Biz Agrees: Stop Shooting Self in Foot
Industry executives gather at a retreat in Norway to face the harsh realities of a music industry that is undergoing seismic changes.
by Andrew Orlowski, The Register, June 27, 2007

Hanging Up On Ringtones
Rumors are flying around the blogs about whether the new iPhone will allow consumers to convert previously purchase songs into ringtones, and what the price would be, if any. But there are larger questions about the ringtone market, where sales have leveled off. Are consumers now more interested in "sideloading" their own content onto their phone?
Guardian Unlimited (UK), June 28, 2007

To Free or Not to Free
The Layaways blogger/musician debates whether his band should give away their next album via free MP3s. The list of pros and cons is definitely worth reading.
Digital Audio Insider, June 27, 2007

Net Neutrality

Gov. Regulators Issue Wait-And-See Net Neutrality Report
The Federal Trade Commission' took a neutral stance in a report on Net Neutrality released by their Internet Access Task Force. Despite warnings by Net Neutrality proponents, the FTC is unsure that the prioritizing on Internet content through charging fees for fast lanes will be harmful.
"It's clear from the 170 page report that the FTC has no immediate plans to step in on its own."
by Ryan Singel, Wired, June 28, 2007

FTC on Net neutrality: No new laws needed
The FTC report on Net Neutrality indicates the FTC believes Net Neutrality regulations are not needed. Public interest groups, such as Public Knowledge, have responded with disapproval and criticism.
by Declan McCullagh, CNET, June 28, 2007

Net neutrality on Congress's fall agenda?
Never mind that federal regulators discouraged so-called Net neutrality regulations in a report unveiled Wednesday. Democrats in Congress say they still believe it's necessary to enact a new law to clamp down on the perceived threat posed by broadband operators that want to charge content
owners extra fees for priority placement.
by Anne Broache, CNET, June 28, 2007


Congressional Pair Introduce Low Power FM Legislation
Congressmen Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Lee Terry (R-NE) have introduced legislation that will repeal the Radio Broadcast Preservation Act and allow thousands of low power FM stations to begin broadcasting. The Act currently prohibits low-power FM by requiring that radio stations in a given market be four intervals apart. More low power stations will increase localism and diversity in terrestrial radio. In response to the bi-partisan legislation, the National Association of Broadcasters has announced its opposition to an "overcrowded radio dial."
Radio Ink, June 22, 2007

An XM-Sirius Union: Yea or Nay?
The FCC has asked for public comment on the proposed XM-Sirius merger, which would violate an order specifically prohibiting a satellite radio monopoly, to determine whether the union is in the public interest.
by Anne Broache, CNET News, June 27, 2007

Karmazin Finds the Right Wavelength
Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin, likely to lead XM-Sirius if the merger is approved, has more to worry about than pressuring the FCC for approval. While it is agreed that Karmazin is a talented Chief Executive, neither Sirius nor XM have turned a profit since their entry into satellite radio.
by Matthew Kirdahy, Forbes, June 25, 2007

Bill Would Undercut Democrats' Push to Regulate Talk Radio
Republican Congress Mike Pence (R-IN) has warned that Democrat-backed reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine would be a dangerous rationing of free speech on radio. This follows a Democratic push to gain ground in conservative-dominated talk radio. The Fairness Doctrine was enforced by
the FCC from 1949 to 1987 and required broadcasters to present both sides of controversial issues.
by Stewart Whitney and Fed Lucas, CNS News, June 28, 2007

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