A coalition of music industry groups ranging from the RIAA to the Gospel Music Assn. is urging Congress to approve legislation that would ensure that copyrighted works are protected during digital rad


WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Hollywood Reporter) -- A coalition of music industry groups ranging from the RIAA to the Gospel Music Assn. is urging Congress to approve legislation that would ensure that copyrighted works are protected during digital radio broadcasts.

In a resolution approved by the umbrella organization Music United that is to be delivered to Congress, the group asks lawmakers to give the FCC the authority to approve copyright-protection technology similar to the so-called broadcast-flag protection regime. While the FCC approved the broadcast flag, the federal courts struck it down this year, saying the commission doesn't have the authority to require use of the content-protection technology unless Congress gives it to them.

Musicians and copyright holders worry that without the content control, digital music broadcasts will be stolen and then distributed on the Internet.

The push for content-protection controls on digital radio has gotten some consumer groups concerned that the copyright holders will prevent people from making records of digital radio programs like they have of analog radio programs.

By seeking content controls for digital radio, "the recording industry is trying to take away rights that consumers have had for decades," Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn said.

Public Knowledge, a fair-use advocacy group, won the federal case striking down the FCC's ability to force consumer electronics makers to install the so-called "broadcast flag" copyright control technology in digital TVs.

Sohn said the move by the content industry on the radio broadcasts comes at the same time the content industries are urging lawmakers to undo the federal court's decision on the broadcast flag.

"I am afraid that it is no coincidence that the industry's efforts are taking place at the same time that Hollywood is trying to get Congress to codify the TV broadcast flag," she said.

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