Washington, DC (November 9, 2005)–With the digital radio marketplace experiencing a convergence across all platforms–a convergence creating arbitrary advantages for certain services over others at the expense of creators–the music community is making the case to Congress for balance and fair competition in this space.
In testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol addressed the need for equal treatment of equal services and the damage that will result if users of these services are allowed to become owners and worldwide distributors of personalized collections of recordings.
“The convergence of radio and downloading capability, while providing great opportunities, requires changes in the law that protect against a company transforming its radio service into a distribution service without the appropriate license,” Bainwol stated in prepared testimony for the hearing titled “Content Protection in the Digital Age: the Broadcast Flag, HD Radio, and the Analog Hole.” “Simply, services that operate as broadcast stations should not offer features that enable song-by-song disaggregation and permanent storage in digital libraries without paying the same market prices that licensed download services pay.”
Specifically, Bainwol urged the Committee to update the Section 114 Copyright license to ensure parity for digital radio across all the platforms it covers–satellite, cable and Internet–both in licensing regimes and the associated conditions of the license, including content protection. In addition, because over-the-air radio is not covered by the copyright license, the RIAA and others in the music community are asking Congress to grant authority to the FCC to similarly protect over-the-air digital radio.
Recording Industry Association of America