Archives: Broadcast

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Tabula (Quasi) Rasa: The 2016 EAS Operating Handbook!

Latest edition of FCC Handbook features blank spaces galore to be filled in by EAS participants themselves. Two days after we posted a reminder about the upcoming deadline for EAS participants to (a) register on the Commission’s new EAS Test Reporting System and (b) submit their Form Ones (or should that be “Forms One”?) through … Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Judges Propose To Clarify Streaming Reporting Rules for Noncommercial Broadcasters

Proposed change would include noncommercial broadcasters among “Eligible Minimum Fee Webcasters.” It looks like noncommercial broadcasters who stream may be in for a little more clarity in their reporting responsibilities. The Copyright Royalty Judges (we’ll call them “Judges” here) have proposed to modify the rules governing how those broadcasters are supposed to report the sound … Continue Reading

DOJ Makes it Official: No Change to ASCAP/BMI Consent Decrees

Siding with music users, DOJ concludes that Decrees call for “full-work” – rather than “fractional” – music licensing; ASCAP and BMI head to court and Congress.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has formally closed its two-year-long review of the decades-old ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees. Those Decrees mandate federal court oversight of the rates … Continue Reading

Update: Effective Date of Revised Application Fees Announced

A couple of weeks ago we reported on the FCC’s adoption of a new schedule of application fees. Since the new schedule ups fees across-the-board, anybody who was planning to file a fee-able application in the near term might want to file sooner rather than later, to take advantage of the outgoing fees before they, … Continue Reading

Does the FCC Know How Long It Takes to Complete an Ownership Report?

PRA notice suggests low-ball estimate, but what about, um, the 10 hours of outside attorney time the FCC told OMB about six months ago? Back in January the Commission announced its most recent overhaul of the biennial Ownership Reports that commercial and noncommercial broadcasters are required to file using, respectively, Forms 323 and 323-E. As … Continue Reading

Update: Comment Deadlines Announced in Alien Ownership Inquiry

Last month we reported on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) through which the FCC is seeking comment on the way it processes proposals involving reportable levels of foreign ownership. The NPRM has now wended its way into the Federal Register, which means that the deadlines for comments and replies have been set. Get out … Continue Reading

Wheeler Takes Retrans Re-Tooling Off the Table

Chairman blogs that FCC will not be modifying “totality of the circumstances” test on his watch. In the long-running retransmission consent war pitting broadcasters against MVPDs, a major threat to the status quo has been averted: according to a blog posted on the FCC’s website by Chairman Tom Wheeler, the Commission has opted not to … Continue Reading

EWW, SSA, SSW: New EAS Event Codes Added

While supporting the decision, Commissioner O’Rielly criticizes FCC’s “cost/benefit” analysis In what four out of five FCC Commissioners seem to view as a no-brainer, the Emergency Alert System just got three more event codes and two slightly-revised geographic location codes. The odd man out? Commissioner O’Rielly. He doesn’t question the potential utility of the new/revised … Continue Reading

Pursestrings 2016: New Application Fee Schedule Announced

Normally non-controversial biennial action spiced up this year by partial dissent from Commissioner O’Rielly Thanks to Congress, the FCC has got to charge application fees and, also thanks to Congress, those fees have got to be adjusted every two years in light of changes in the Consumer Price Index. The last time the Commission tweaked … Continue Reading

Convention-al Wisdom: Auxiliary Frequency Coordination Provisions for Political Confabs Announced

FCC takes steps in anticipation of extensive auxiliary operation at upcoming conventions, inauguration It looks like Louis Libin won’t be getting much time off this month, or next January either, for that matter. That’s because he has been designated as the single point of contact for frequency coordination operations under Section 74.24 at (deep breath, … Continue Reading

FCC Forfeiture Limits Increased Across the Board

Keeping up with the cost-of-living … If you happened to feel a vague, somewhat disturbing, shudder recently, don’t worry: it was just the upper limit of potential FCC fines being raised across the board. By Order effective July 1, 2016 (or maybe August 1 – we’ll get to that), the Commission followed up on a … Continue Reading

Update: Comment Deadline Announced for Proposed Revisions to EAS Operating Handbook

Less than a week ago we reported that the FCC has invited comments on a draft revision of its EAS Operating Handbook proposed by the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). We mentioned that the comment period would be short – 15 days from Federal Register publication – which suggested that the FCC wants … Continue Reading

Alien Ownership: FCC Seeks Comment on “Streamlined” Review Process

Proposal would put other agencies on 90-day clock to complete review of possible national security issues. In an effort to facilitate foreign investment in U.S. common carrier and broadcast licensees, the FCC has proposed changes in the way it processes proposals involving reportable levels of foreign ownership. Historically, a major source of delay in the … Continue Reading

Update: Comment Deadlines Set in Online Public File Rulemaking

Last month we reported on an FCC proposal to ditch two vestiges of the old local public inspection file requirements. On the way out the door: first, the rule requiring broadcasters to make available for public inspection correspondence from audience members concerning station operation; and second, the obligation for cable operators to include in their … Continue Reading

Question: When is a Pre-1972 Recording Not a Pre-1972 Recording?

Answer: Unclear, but it could be more often that you might think. In the ongoing litigation over whether recording artists are entitled to performance right royalties for the public performance of pre-February 15, 1972 recordings, we have a new wrinkle. A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has … Continue Reading

Beefing Up Video Description Requirements?

Commission seeks comment on steps to improve, expand accessibility of video-described programming Way back at the dawn of the century (the 21st Century, that is), the FCC adopted rules requiring video providers to include “video descriptions” in their transmission. “Video description” involves the insertion, into natural pauses in the program’s dialogue, of audio-narrated descriptions of … Continue Reading
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