Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A New Chair at the FCC?

There's a lot of talk in Washington (and elsewhere) about President-Elect Barack Obama's apparent choice of tech-policy veteran Julius Genachowski as the next Chair of the Federal Communications Commission.

Genachowski previously served as chief counsel for Clinton-era FCC chairman Reed Hundt, and is a former Harvard classmate of Obama's. He was instrumental in the campaign's digital strategy, which included the use of social networking and other online outreach tools to build and sustain momentum. Genachowski has also worked as a venture capitalist and internet executive, so he's clearly familiar with that "series of tubes" known as the worldwide web.

The Washington Post ran a brief item about the Genachowski pick today (January 13). Soon, the story was picked up by the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, and Ars Technica, to name a few.

During the Obama campaign, Genachowski helped formulate the candidate's positions on media ownership and net neutrality, so it's safe to say these perspectives would inform his role as Chair. Still, it's far too early to speculate on what a Genachowski-led FCC will ultimately look like — especially with other Commissioner seats still being sorted out.

We'll definitely be watching to see how this comes together, and as always, we'll do our best to keep you informed about what it might mean to the music community. If you're looking for some up-close insights about how changes in the policy landscape could impact creators and fans, you'll definitely want to attend our third D.C. Policy Day on February 11. Musician scholarships are available — click here for more info!

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