RIAA: FM Radio in Everything

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Radio broadcasters and music labels have agreed that they’d very much enjoy having Congress make it mandatory for an FM radio receiver to be included in every electronic portable device. Let that one sink in.

The agreement came about during a dispute between the two groups in which the music labels put forth a bill to Congress, the Performance Rights Act, that demanded radio broadcasters pay for the right to play their music on the air. Obviously, radio as a whole disagreed, stating that airtime provides artists desirable promotion. The bill already passed out of the House and Senate, but the radio broadcasters still vehemently opposed it.
The proposed compromise between the two warring groups involves radio broadcasters paying about $100 million a year, but in exchange, Congress would force all portable devices to contain an FM radio receiver, thus providing broadcasters with a larger audience. This, of course, caused a third group to enter the fray, the Consumer Electronics Association.

The CEA, not making anything easier, opposed the mandate, citing worries about the tax on battery life and radio being an aging medium. Once the terms are settled and the deal is finalized, the parties involved still have to convince Congress to pass the official bill.

There is one facet to the dispute, however, that the music labels, radio broadcasters and the CEA are forgetting: Who feels bad for AM?

(via Ars Technica)


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