Wants 'workable solution to content protection issues.'

NAB president/CEO David Rehr wants to find a “workable solution to content protection issues” that are high on the RIAA’s list of concerns and he spelled out some key points to that end in a letter yesterday to Mitch Bainwol, the RIAA’s chairman and CEO.

Rehr said in his letter that “a number of proposals” the RIAA has advocated on content protection would actually hinder the rollout of HD Radio, a move he wrote was “unacceptable to broadcasters.” The letter went on to catalog some of these proposals and to explain the NAB’s objections to those plans.

Rehr’s letter also extended an olive branch to Bainwol when the NAB chief wrote “we do believe that there are possibilities for technical solutions that would offer effective content protection without slowing digital radio’s advancement.” No specifics were spelled out on this front, other than Rehr’s expressed “hope to continue dialogue with you” and a proposal that members of NAB’s Audio Broadcast Flag Taskforce meet with their counterparts at the RIAA.

Rehr continued this conciliatory tone in his letter’s conclusion, but also suggested that, if need be, he wouldn’t hesitate to seek help from Congress: “Such formal discussions could move the industries forward aggressively,” Rehr wrote, “rather than relying on a congressional mandate.”