Recording artists' groups are calling on the Federal Communications Commission for protection as digital audio broadcasting (DAB) emerges in the radio marketplace.


SAN FRANCISCO -- Recording artists' groups are calling on the Federal Communications Commission for protection as digital audio broadcasting (DAB) emerges in the radio marketplace.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the American Federation of Musicians, the Future of Music Coalition, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Recording Artists' Coalition (RAC) collectively filed reply comments Aug. 2 with the FCC regarding radio's transition from analog to digital.

While the groups acknowledged the potential for "increased access to the airwaves, greater musical diversity and more localism," they voiced concern over digital radio's ability to allow listeners to "rewind, buffer and record radio broadcasts and songs."

These digital options, they say, will undermine existing revenue from CD sales as well as emerging Internet-based digital-music services.

As a result, the groups asked the FCC to create a "technological and regulatory framework that will ensure that recording artists, songwriters and copyright owners are fairly compensated in the future."

"The Recording Artists' Coalition looks forward to a digital future that will allow for greater access to the radio for musicians and more choices for music fans," the group's national director, Rebecca Greenberg, says in a statement. "But policymakers and the FCC must recognize that we're at a crucial crossroads and that recording artists' livelihoods are at stake. The transition to DAB has to include measures that will ensure that recording artists are compensated for their work."

The organizations asked the FCC to conduct a full "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" before allowing full rollout of DAB.

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