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Lobbyists Looking to Mandate FM Radios in Cell Phones

Article Comments  20  

Aug 19, 2010, 9:35 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

A number of lobbying organizations and cell phone handset makers appear to be set on a collision course with U.S. lawmakers. The National Association of Broadcasters (radio lobbyists) and musicFIRST (artist and label lobbyists) are attempting to negotiate a compromise on the Performance Rights Act, which is currently stalled in Congress. One reason the act has stalled is because the music industry wants the radio industry to pay hundreds of millions of dollars per year for the right to play music on the air. Radio stations are currently exempt from forced payment to labels and artists. The compromise currently being considered would have the radio stations pay only $100 million to the recording industry — but would also require that all cellular phones include built-in FM radio receivers. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) strongly opposes this idea. Gary Shapiro, head of the CEA, called the idea, "The height of absurdity. Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do." Speaking to Ars Technica, another CEA spokesperson said of the idea, "Mandates that force backward-looking features and functions into cutting-edge hand-held devices" will be fought so they don't become law. Shapiro said the CEA would look after the interests if its 2,000+ members, which includes cell phone manufacturers. The NAB and RIAA have not announced a formal compromise, nor has the Performance Rights Act been modified at this time.

more info at Ars Technica »



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This forum is closed.


Aug 19, 2010, 1:25 PM

I don't use and won't play FM radio anyway

Why should we play such low quality, distorted, and badly compressed sound?
Moreover, a handset cable is required as antenna to make FFM radio to work properly.
There are thousands of internet radios available online including NPR, why should we listen to FM anyway???
This is United States, not China. We are free to choose the way to listen.
I don't listen to FM radio, but I can understand others wanting access to the content. Thing is, why bother incorporating an FM tuner into the phone when these broadcasts could (and should) simply be set up as digital streams available through data co...

Aug 19, 2010, 9:52 AM


I figured this was dead, why would the music industry bite the hand that feeds them?

I will never understand the greed of the industry.
While it is cool to have an FM Radio on a mobile phone, it is not a feature anyone actually uses, since Slacker/Pandora/MP3 Or AAC Collection tend to be preferred as mobile phone music. Forcing all phones to have AM/FM would make sense in the context ...

Aug 19, 2010, 12:19 PM

Its not really happening.

This is just another greedy move from the music industry.

Theres no way they can 'mandate' cellphone manufacturers to include an FM radio in their devices, this is just a 'Hey guys, I'm still here and I have lawyers' sort of thing the music industry always does.

The insane thing, is why move backwards? In 2010 we have cellphones with web connections up to and over 3mbs. Why can't we be streaming internet radio? Why don't we push towards emerging technology, rather that retrograding our phones to something that was a novelty back in '99?

Aug 19, 2010, 10:47 AM

I love my FM radio

When I was looking to purchase my new cell (HTC-HD2), I searched and searched for a decent phone with an FM radio. I love it and use it every day. These are the reasons why this was an important feature for me:
1) I want to listen to local radio stations like NPR
2) I'm from hurricane land (Miami) where local stations rather than streaming stations can provide emergency updates
3)Streaming music/news varies according to service providers-FM radio signal does not.
There are many other reasons but those are the major ones.
On the rare occassion I don't listen to Pandora, I listen to AM talk radio or sports broadcasts. I have no need for an FM tuner, and forcing one in is unnecessary.
Huzzah for NPR! Smile And yay for public radio in general, for having NO COMMERCIALS!

I'm a little annoyed that there's going to be so much wrangling over this issue, when it really comes down to profit & revenue streams, but I can hardly be sad ab...

Aug 19, 2010, 10:41 AM

F!@# the RIAA

I've said this about newspapers and I will say it again for the recording industry...if you don't embrace new technology, it will swallow you whole and there will be nothing left. The biggest mistake newspapers made was asking, "How do we get more people to read the paper" instead of "how do we make money off of people reading online?" Same thing with the recording industry. Instead of embracing the idea of not having to pay for CD replication and packaging, they could have embraced technology and forced a shift to digital downloads themselves instead of it being dictated by Apple, Napster, Amazon, and pirates.

This is just the recording industry trying to save itself as usual. But the problem is, they are making it more difficult to get...
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