This Week in Regulation for Broadcasters: October 1, 2022 to October 7, 2022

Here are some of the regulatory developments of importance to broadcasters from the earlier 7 days, with one-way links to exactly where you can go to find additional data as to how these steps may have an effect on your functions.

  • On Oct 6, the FCC unveiled a Second Detect of Proposed Rulemaking (Second Discover) proposing to fortify the process for determining foreign governmental entities that sponsor or “lease” broadcast programming.  The Next Detect was unveiled in the wake of the D.C. Circuit’s July 2022 ruling in Nationwide Affiliation of Broadcasters v. FCC, which rejected the prerequisite that broadcast licensees independently check two federal databases to verify regardless of whether an airtime lessee is a “foreign governmental entity” (see our Broadcast Law Blog site write-up on the Court’s selection in this article).  Although the Courtroom selection did not improve broadcasters’ obligation to get certifications from all potential buyers of plan time that they are not international govt associates and have not been paid by overseas governments to create the program (see our write-up listed here), the Second Observe proposes standardized language for this kind of certifications.  It also provides fascinated get-togethers an additional prospect to remark on a extensive-pending petition for clarification on what constitutes leased method time, asking whether or not the FCC should create a presumption that any broadcast make any difference that is two minutes or considerably less in size, absent any other indicia, should really be deemed “advertising” that is exempt from the software of the foreign sponsorship identification regulations. Reviews and reply opinions on the Second Recognize will be owing 30 and 45 times, respectively, adhering to its publication in the Federal Sign-up.
  • World Music Rights (GMR) has sued 3 radio groups for not having to pay royalties for the public efficiency of music prepared by songwriters who are now represented by GMR (see our report on the GMR lawsuit listed here).  GMR is a doing rights corporation (a “PRO”) representing songwriters like Bruce Springsteen, Bruno Mars, Drake, Pharrell Williams, John Lennon, and The Eagles (with a entire list of their songwriters available on their internet site below).  As these songwriters are no for a longer period represented by ASCAP, BMI or SESAC, for a broadcaster to publicly complete any of these songwriters’ new music, they normally both need to have a license from GMR or they want to immediately license the tunes from the songwriters or their brokers. The lawsuits look for $150,000 for each individual copyrighted perform that was allegedly infringed – the most set out by the Copyright Act for “statutory damages,” i.e., damages that can be collected even without delivering proof of actual damage induced by the alleged copyright infringement. Professional radio stations that perform GMR tunes and have not entered into an arrangement with GMR next the settlement earlier this calendar year of its litigation with the Radio Tunes License Committee should enter into a license or talk to with their lawyers to see if there is any way to otherwise receive permission to use GMR audio.
  • On Oct 6, the FCC introduced a draft Observe of Proposed Rulemaking that, if adopted, would propose a range of techniques developed to reinforce the protection of the Unexpected emergency Notify Process (“EAS”) and Wi-fi Unexpected emergency Alerts (“WEA”).  The draft NPRM is slated for thought at the FCC’s Oct 27, 2022 regular regular monthly open up conference.  In basic, the draft NPRM seeks comment on methods to bolster the operational readiness of EAS and WEA, together with, amongst other factors, requiring EAS Individuals (including broadcasters) to report to the Fee incidents of unauthorized obtain of its EAS tools in just 72 hrs of when it realized or really should have known that the incident transpired, and necessitating EAS Individuals to post an yearly cybersecurity certification that demonstrates how the participant identifies the cyber challenges that it faces, the controls it utilizes to mitigate all those threats, and how it ensures that these controls are used properly.  If the NPRM is adopted, remarks and reply opinions would be because of 30 days and 60 days, respectively, immediately after the NPRM is posted in the Federal Sign up.
  • Also on Oct 6, the FCC unveiled a draft Recognize of Inquiry and Get that seeks info on the latest use of the 12.7-13.25 GHz band (“12.7 GHz band”). Accredited solutions in the 12.7 GHz band involve satellite communications and mobile Tv pickup operations.  The draft Observe of Inquiry seeks facts on how the FCC could inspire extra successful and intensive use of the band, and regardless of whether the band is acceptable for mobile broadband or other expanded use.  The draft Get would prolong the short term freeze on programs in the 12.7 GHz band (see our reference to that freeze in this article).  If adopted at the FCC’s October 27 Open Conference, reviews and reply reviews will be due 30 times and 60 days, respectively, just after publication in the Federal Sign-up.
  • The FCC’s Media Bureau (“Bureau”) issued a Recognize of Apparent Legal responsibility for Forfeiture (“NAL”) proposing a fine of $13,000 versus the licensee of two reduced electricity television stations, finding that the licensee apparently violated section 74.788 of the FCC’s Principles by filing its “license to cover” apps informing the FCC that it experienced accomplished design of new services for the stations when that construction was done, and for violating part 301 of the Communications Act by partaking in unauthorized operation.  Building was apparently completed in 2018 but no license software was filed right until 2022, a yr following the development allow for the new amenities expired. The Bureau was not persuaded to cut down or eradicate the fantastic by the licensee’s rivalry that it was not represented by counsel when it failed to well timed file its license purposes. It also uncovered that imposition of a proposed high-quality is constant with other the latest FCC circumstances that have similar fundamental information (see, for instance, the situations we have noted in weekly updates below and listed here).
  • Thanks to problems associated with Hurricane Ian that was brought about to broadcasters in South Carolina and Florida, the Media Bureau extended from Oct 11 to December 12, 2022 the deadline by which the impacted stations in people states must spot their Quarterly Concerns Courses Lists with content masking the earlier calendar quarter in their general public inspection file.  All other comprehensive-ability stations ought to bear in mind to upload Quarterly Concerns Programs Lists to their general public information by October 11.  Likewise, for Florida stations, the deadline to area their EEO general public file report in their general public inspection file is extended to December 12, 2022.