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.RADIO Domain Names Available Soon, But Many Unanswered Questions about Availability

After many years of preparation, the roll-out of .RADIO domain names will finally be underway shortly. The news has potential for broadcasters worldwide (for example, you could have Nashvillehits.radio as your URL.) Yet there are many unanswered questions about how .RADIO domain names will be allocated and what happens when multiple parties want the same … Continue Reading

Webcaster Wake Up Call!

SoundExchange reports, payments due soon On February 2nd the groundhog best known as “Punxsutawney Phil” will be plucked from the comfort of his underground lair and ceremoniously asked to “predict” the end of winter.  Of course, this tradition was memorably portrayed in the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” in which Bill Murray’s Phil Connors relives a … Continue Reading

Merry Christmas to the Licensee Community from New York! Appeals Court Holds No New York Performance Right in Sound Recordings

In what comes as an early Christmas gift for those who play “oldies” music – think Sirius XM Radio, radio broadcasters, and webcasters – and coal in the stockings of the owners of those recordings, New York’s highest state court ruled today that New York does not recognize a public performance right in sound recordings. … Continue Reading

New Privacy Rules Going Into Effect Apply to All Telecom Carriers

An Enhanced Version of CPNI — But Will the New Administration “Undo” The New Rules? Attentive readers of this Blog know that in October, the FCC adopted new rules primarily designed to enhance the privacy and data security requirements imposed on providers of Broadband Internet Access Service (“BIAS”). Some of the new rules have been … Continue Reading

Noncommercial Broadcasters Receive Welcome Reporting News

Copyright Royalty Judges Reinstate Reporting Relief for Most Noncommercial Broadcasters You may recall that in August 2016, we reported that the Copyright Royalty Judges had proposed to modify the rules governing how noncommercial broadcasters are supposed to report the sound recordings that they stream to SoundExchange. That proposal was published at the urging of the … Continue Reading

GMR Strikes Back

We previously informed you about the Radio Music License Committee’s (RMLC) antitrust lawsuit filed against the “fourth” performing rights organization (“PRO”), Global Music Rights (“GMR”) for engaging in anticompetitive conduct designed to drive up music licensing prices.  Now, GMR has filed an antitrust lawsuit of its own in a different federal court against the RMLC. … Continue Reading

DC Circuit Vacates FCC OTT VoIP Order on End Office Access Charges

A recent D.C. Circuit Court decision may significantly impact the access charges billed by over-the-top VoIP carriers. In 2015 the Commission issued a declaratory ruling (In re Connect America Fund, 30 FCC Rcd. 1587 (2015) regarding the classification of end office local switching when internet service providers (“ISPs”) collaborate with over-the-top VoIP providers to complete interexchange … Continue Reading

Copyright Office DMCA Proceeding Asks: It’s 2016, so why are we Copyrighting Like It’s 1999?

(Notice of Inquiry latest opportunity to weigh in on the future of the DMCA Safe Harbor) “I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too fast…” Those are lyrics from the dearly beloved and extremely talented musician Prince’s epic 1982 hit “1999” from the album of the same name.  He … Continue Reading

FCC Enacts Rigorous New Internet and Telecommunications Privacy Rules

A Hotly Contested Proceeding Expands the Commission’s Regulatory Authority, But Will Likely End Up in Court After a massive Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, extensive and contentious advocacy from all sides, and public revision of its own proposals, the FCC has just approved an Order enacting rules that impose a wide range of new regulations on Internet … Continue Reading

NAB Announces Waiver Agreements with Sony and Warner Affecting Non-Royalty Aspects of Webcasting

On October 26, 2016, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced agreements it had reached with two major record labels that relieve radio broadcasters from certain compliance conditions associated with the sound recording streaming statutory license that are inconsistent with traditional broadcasting practices.  They do not, however, alter radio broadcasters’ royalty payment obligations under the … Continue Reading

FCC Works its Will on the WISP, Part II: Sentence Suspended, Somewhat

$202k fine reduced to $40k … but there’s a catch. Three years ago – doesn’t the time just fly? – we told you about Towerstream, a wireless Internet service provider (WISP) whose transmitters had caused interference to airport weather radars. The FCC proposed a fine of $202,000, apparently in keeping with its rumored policy of … Continue Reading

One Agency to Another: FTC Shares Its Views on FCC’s Internet Privacy Proposals

With the voice of experience, the FCC’s sister Commission provides support, criticism. As we alerted you a couple of months ago, the FCC is in the process of crafting rules intended to protect the private/propriety information (PI) of those of us accessing the Internet through Internet Service Providers (ISPs). If eventually adopted, the rules would … Continue Reading

Having Re-Thought its 5.8 GHz Wi-Fi Technical Rules, FCC Has to Think Again

In petitions for reconsideration, wireless Internet service providers and car manufacturers go head to head over out-of-band emissions limits. This was supposed to be a simple rule fix. Why are we still talking about it? An unlicensed band at 5.8 GHz is heavily used for Wi-Fi, among other things. It is a particular favorite of … Continue Reading

Major Changes in the Works on the Business Data Services (a/k/a Special Access Services) Front

Investigation of BDS tariff provisions, further data analysis lead to new standards and a proposed new regulatory regime The market for special access service – also known by some (including the FCC) as “business data services” or “BDS” – is under the Commission’s regulatory microscope. In a sprawling, two-pronged decision, the FCC has (a) ordered … Continue Reading

Update: Deadline for Appeals of CRB’s Webcasting IV Decision Set

Back in December I reported on the Final Rule and Order adopted by the Copyright Royalty Board in its Webcasting IV proceeding (official name: “Determination of Royalty Rates and Terms for Ephemeral Recording and Webcasting Digital Performance of Sound Recordings”. And now, a mere four or five months after the CRB first announced its decision (which … Continue Reading

Update: Effective Date, Reconsideration/Appeal Deadlines Set for Revised ILEC Rules

We recently reported on the Commission’s decision to impose numerous additional obligations upon rate-of-return regulated incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), while leaving many rural ILECs with the same or even less compensation to satisfy the significant broadband build-out expenditures mandated by the new regulations. The FCC’s Report and Order, Order and Order on Reconsideration in … Continue Reading

What Can ISPs Do With YOUR Personal Information? The FCC Has Some Ideas …

Massive proposal would impose new limits, obligations on ISP use of private/proprietary customer data. Continuing its advance into the realm of privacy regulation, the FCC has proposed extensive rules that, if adopted, would impose a wide range of new regulations on Internet service providers (ISPs) in their provision of broadband Internet access service (BIAS). According … Continue Reading

Putting the Squeeze on Rural America

Cost support for ILECs goes down while network obligations go up On March 30, 2016, the FCC released a Report and Order, Order and Order on Reconsideration, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, imposing numerous additional obligations upon rate-of-return regulated incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), while leaving many rural ILECs with the same or even … Continue Reading

5G is Coming! Wait – What’s 5G?

New services promise exceptional performance. Just not everywhere. And not soon. After the successes of 3G and 4G mobile services, something called 5G was inevitable. It’s still a ways off, but the outlines are taking shape. The hallmark of 5G mobile service will be blindingly fast data speeds, possibly in the gigabit-per-second range, faster than … Continue Reading

“Utility” Regulation Was Good for the Internet (and here’s why …)

The Internet’s stunning growth, from its beginnings through maturity in 2005, relied on common carrier rules. (Blogmeister’s note: Even more than usual, this post reflects the views of its author and not necessarily those of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, its other lawyers, or its clients.) The FCC’s latest effort at net neutrality rules is a … Continue Reading
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