Listed here are some of the regulatory developments of importance to broadcasters from the previous week, with links to the place you can go to obtain additional information and facts as to how these steps may have an effect on your operations.
- The US Court docket of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held an oral argument on the appeals of three functions searching for assessment of the Copyright Royalty Board’s choice setting the royalties for webcasting to be compensated to SoundExchange for the time period 2021-2025 (see our Broadcast Legislation Blog site write-up for a summary of the Board’s decision currently being appealed). The NAB argued that the rates for broadcasters who simulcast their programming on the Net really should be substantially reduce than the premiums for other webcasters. The NRB’s Noncommercial Tunes Licensing Committee argued that the charges for noncommercial religious webcasters need to be decrease, mirroring the charges compensated by nonprofit webcasters affiliated with NPR and the Corporation for Community Broadcasting. SoundExchange argued that the rates need to in fact be greater than people set by the CRB. The Court’s 3-judge panel vigorously questioned the premises superior by the lawyers for each of the functions (a recording of the argument is accessible below). A final decision from the Court addressing the concerns will probably not be launched for many months.
- The Federal Trade Commission held a public discussion board on its proposal to ban noncompete clauses in employment agreements. The forum provided several speakers supporting the proposed ban, and a couple of suggesting that the proposed across-the-board ban be confined. The FTC observe of the discussion board is here, and a recording of the session is out there below. Prepared comments on the FTC proposal can be submitted by March 20.
- The FCC upheld its Media Bureau’s perseverance that the licenses of an AM station and connected FM translator station in South Lake Tahoe experienced expired routinely when the stations did not function for in excess of a calendar year. Part 312(g) of the Communications Act states that a broadcast license will quickly expire when a station is silent for much more than a 12 months, except if the FCC finds that “equity and fairness” needs that the license be prolonged. In this circumstance, the licensee, with out advising the FCC, stopped functioning each stations from its certified web site sometime in December 2018 when its landlord seized all tools at the transmitter website for unpaid lease. There was no proof that both station operated in 2019. It was not until eventually 2021 that the licensee questioned for unique momentary authority (STA) to work equally stations from a new site. In that STA, it unsuccessful to disclose that the stations had been silent for a consecutive 12-thirty day period period of time. Whilst the Bureau granted the STA, once it figured out of pending complaints about the station’s functions and the information and facts collected by the Enforcement Bureau about the grievances, it encouraged the licensee that the stations’ licenses had expired immediately as a matter of legislation pursuant to portion 312(g). The licensee sought overview elevating numerous arguments which includes that the owner was suffering from Parkinson’s sickness and as a result had troubles addressing the concerns, that the pandemic produced resumption of operation challenging, and that the licensee would transfer the station to its engineer, who was a minority. The FCC rejected these and other arguments, getting that the disease of the owner was not an justification (he must have delegated operational challenges to someone else), there was no displaying that pandemic difficulties exclusively prompted any of the station’s fiscal troubles in 2019, and that the proposed sale did not justification the complications of the present-day licensee. The FCC discovered that there was very little outside the house the management of the licensee that triggered the period of time of extended silence so there was no purpose to grant any reduction by exercising its discretion under Section 312(g)’s “equity and fairness” exception.
- The Media Bureau entered into a consent decree with an FM station to solve its admitted failure to well timed upload data to its online general public inspection file. The Bureau did not impose a good, but the licensee agreed, between other factors, to put into practice a complete compliance program to make certain upcoming compliance with its on the net general public inspection file obligations and, just one year right after getting into into the consent decree, post a compliance report to the Bureau’s Audio Division.
- The FCC issued a General public Recognize announcing the agenda for the February 23 conference of its Communications Equity and Range Council (CEDC). The agenda consists of, among the other factors, a report on the activities of one of its doing the job teams to offer tips for decreasing entry barriers and encouraging assorted ownership and management of media, digital, communications companies and up coming-technology technologies properties, and to inspire get started-ups advancing viewpoint range by a wide variety of voices. The CEDC meeting will be held nearly, starting at 10:00 a.m. ET, and will be out there to the general public for viewing at http://www.fcc.gov/stay.