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Category Archives: Website Issues

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FCC Proposes To Amend Rules Governing Broadcast Contests – Suggests Allowing Disclosure of Material Terms of the Contest on the Internet

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Programming Regulations, Website Issues
The FCC on Friday proposed to amend its rules governing contests conducted by broadcast stations by allowing the required disclosure of the material terms of the contest on the Internet, as an option for broadcasters in lieu of the current requirement that these disclosures be made by broadcasting them on-the-air a reasonable number of times.  … Continue Reading

Formal Proceedings to Begin to Revise Rules for Broadcasters’ On-Air Contests and Expand the Online Public File Obligations to Radio, Cable and Satellite

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Website Issues
Since our note Friday about November regulatory dates for broadcasters, it’s become clear that the FCC will be acting on two more matters of interest to broadcasters – particularly radio broadcasters though each have some implications for TV as well.  First, as we hinted at the end of our article on Friday (the rumors that … Continue Reading

Why is a US Radio Station Getting a Notice about Webcasting Royalties in Canada? – Why Webcasters Geo-Block Their Streams to Avoid International Music Royalties

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Internet Video, Music Rights, On Line Media, Website Issues
An Alabama radio station recently received a notice about the new royalty rates that are payable to ReSound, the Canadian equivalent of SoundExchange, a collective set up to receive from webcasters royalties for the public performance of sound recordings and to distribute those royalties to the copyright holders (usually the labels) and the artists who … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comments on Expanding Online Public File Obligations to Radio and to Cable and Satellite Television Operators

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, FM Radio, General FCC, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
The FCC has asked for public comment on whether it should extend the online public inspection file obligation to radio, and also whether it should adopt an online public file obligation for cable television and satellite television operators.  The latter proposal originates in a recent petition by the Sunlight Foundation and two other public interest … Continue Reading

Comment Dates Set for Rulemaking on the Required Captioning of Online Video Clips – What is Being Considered?

Posted in Digital Television, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television, Website Issues
The Commission has set the date for comments on it Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on certain aspects of the captioning of Online Video clips.  We recently summarized the FCC action setting up compliance deadlines for the captioning of video clips taken from programs that are shown on TV with captions, and then repurposed for … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts New Obligations to Caption Online Video Clips of TV Programs

Posted in Digital Television, Internet Video, On Line Media, Television, Uncategorized, Website Issues
The FCC on Friday voted to extend its rule about captioning TV video repurposed to the Internet so as to cover not only full television programs, but also clips of those programs.  While the rules already require that TV programming that is captioned when broadcast to be captioned when retransmitted in full over the Internet, the … Continue Reading

Complaints Filed against 11 TV Stations Alleging Deficiencies in their Online Political File – Warning to Stations, Your File is Being Watched!

Posted in On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Television, Website Issues
The Campaign Legal Center and Sunlight Foundation filed FCC complaints against 11 major market TV stations across the country alleging that these stations had inadequate online political files.  The Center issued a press release about its filings, stating that these complaints “exposed widespread noncompliance with the disclosure requirements” of the law.  The press release went … Continue Reading

Digital and Social Media Legal Issues for Broadcasters – Exercise Care in Using Internet Content on Your Digital Properties, And Why Fair Use is Not Always a Defense

Posted in Appearances, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, Music Rights, On Line Media, Website Issues
Social media and other digital platforms are playing a more and more important part of the business of traditional media companies.  In the last few weeks, I’ve participated in two seminars, looking at the legal issues that arise in these areas.  At the Winter Convention of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, I conducted a seminar outlining … Continue Reading

Mandatory Captioning of IP Delivered Clips of TV Programs? The FCC Seeks Information About Extending Internet Video Captioning Obligations

Posted in Digital Television, Internet Video, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Television, Website Issues
Closed captioning of video programming repurposed to the Internet has been an obligation of television stations for over a year.  Thus far, most stations have been able to comply with the requirements – as those requirements have only applied to full programs that were captioned when broadcast over the air, and then carried over to … Continue Reading

Flo and Eddie Use State Laws on Pre-1972 Sound Recordings to Target Certain Sirius XM Services

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, Music Rights, Website Issues
In a lawsuit filed last week (see the complaint here), Flo and Eddie, the artists who were behind the 1960′s band The Turtles, claim that Sirius XM has infringed on the copyrights in their songs by allowing copies of these recordings to be made by the satellite radio service and in certain Internet offerings that … Continue Reading

August FCC Regulatory Deadlines for Broadcasters – Including Renewals; EEO; Comments on Indecency, the Online Public File and Cross-Ownership

Posted in EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fees, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
Another month is upon us, along with all of the FCC regulatory obligations that accompany it. August brings a host of license renewal obligations, along with EEO public file obligations in a number of states, as well as noncommercial Biennial Ownership Report filings in several states. We also expect that the FCC will notify stations of the … Continue Reading

Using Music in Radio or TV Productions – Why ASCAP, BMI and SESAC Licenses Usually Are Not Enough

Posted in Advertising Issues, Intellectual Property, Music Rights, On Line Media, Website Issues
Using music in commercials and other broadcast station productions can be treacherous. As we’ve written before, contrary to what some stations might think (based on the questions we often get from broadcasters around the country), a station’s ASCAP, BMI and SESAC royalties do not give them the right to use popular music in their station … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comments on Online Political File for TV Stations – Should Obligations Be Changed or Expanded?

Posted in General FCC, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Website Issues
It has been almost a year since the FCC adopted rules for an online public inspection file for television stations. This week, the Commission released a Public Notice requesting comments on how the rules are performing – specifically focusing on the online political file. While the Commission’s rules currently require only that the affiliates of the top four … Continue Reading

Register of Copyrights Maria Pallente Calls for Comprehensive Copyright Reform to Adapt to the Digital World – What Is Being Proposed?

Posted in Intellectual Property, Internet Radio, On Line Media, Website Issues
The Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallante, has made a series of speeches about the need to modernize Copyright, including offering testimony before Congress on the matter.  Her comments are but one sign that modernizing the Copyright Act has become the new catch-phrase in Washington. As the Courts have over the last few months wrestled with a host … Continue Reading

How a NY State Court Decision on Pre-1972 Sound Recordings Clouds the Safe Harbor Protections of Websites Featuring User Generated Content

Posted in Intellectual Property, Music Rights, On Line Media, Website Issues
This week, the Chairman of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee issued a press release stating that he intends that the Committee do a thorough reexamination of the Copyright Act, noting that new technologies stemming from digital media have upset many settled expectations in Copyright Law, and confused many issues. That this release was issued … Continue Reading

Aereo Court Decision Permits Internet Streaming of TV Programs Without Royalties – Undermining the Public Performance Right?

Posted in Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Intellectual Property, Internet Video, Music Rights, On Line Media, Television, Website Issues
We’ve written extensively about copyright issues for audio services, but the big copyright decision that recently made headlines is a TV issue, though one that could have an impact on audio as well. That was the Second Circuit decision in the Aereo case – upholding a lower court decision allowing a company to retransmit over-the-air TV signals … Continue Reading

April FCC Obligations for Broadcasters – Renewals, EEO, Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, Captioning of Live or Near-Live Online Programming, FM Translator Filings, an FM Auction and Comments on Alien Ownership

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Internet Video, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Website Issues
April is one of those months in which many FCC obligations are triggered for broadcasters. There are the normal obligations, like the Quarterly Issues Programs lists, that need to be in the public file of all broadcast stations, radio and TV, commercial and noncommercial, by April 10. Quarterly Children’s television reports are due to be submitted … Continue Reading

More Patent Issues for Media Companies – Mission Abstract Data Patent Asserted in Law Suits Against 4 Radio Broadcasters, and a New Patent Claim Raised Against Podcasters, Including Public Broadcasters

Posted in Intellectual Property, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Website Issues
In the digital world, it seems that everything is reinvented, and someone claims that they have a patent on that reinvention. In the last few weeks, we have seen news about patent claims asserted against radio broadcasters for their digital music storage systems, against public broadcasters for podcasts, and even against companies trying to comply with … Continue Reading

$10,000 FCC Fine for Failure to Follow Contest Rules – On-Air Rules Were Right, But Online Rules Were Wrong

Posted in FCC Fines, Website Issues
Having broadcast all of the material rules of a station’s contest was not enough to avoid a $10,000 fine for having misleading rules – when there were errors in the contest deadlines posted on a station’s website and in emails sent to contest participants. In an FCC Notice of Apparent Liability proposing a fine for a North Carolina … Continue Reading

Legal Issues for Broadcasters in the Digital World – A Presentation at the NAB Convention

Posted in Internet Radio, On Line Media, Website Issues
At this year’s NAB Convention, digital issues were much talked about.  In fact, the NAB held, for the first time, a day and a half session focusing on radio stations and their digital efforts, called the Digital Strategies Exchange.  I was on a panel called the Consultant’s Corner, and discussed legal issues that broadcasters may … Continue Reading

$22,000 FCC Fine for Failure to Broadcast All Material Rules for a Station Online Contest

Posted in FCC Fines, Website Issues
The FCC released a Notice of Apparent Liability proposing a $22,000 fine for a contest to win a car conducted by a cluster of five stations.  The contest (the award of a car to the entrant who produced the best commercial for the car, as voted on by website users) was conducted principally through the stations’ websites.  … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Final Rules on Closed Captioning for IP-Delivered Video Programming

Posted in Digital Television, General FCC, Internet Video, On Line Media, Programming Regulations, Television, Website Issues
This afternoon, the FCC released its long-anticipated Report and Order (R&O) setting forth the Commission’s new closed captioning rules for IP-delivered video programming, pursuant to the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).  As we explained when the rules were first proposed in September, the CVAA directed the FCC to establish how and when certain … Continue Reading

December 22 Comment Deadline Set for FCC Proposal for Online Public Inspection File for TV – What is the Regulatory Burden?

Posted in Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Website Issues
The FCC has set the date for comments on the proposal for television stations to maintain an online public inspection file, including an online political file (see Federal Register notice here).  Comments are due on December 22.  Replies are due on January 6.  Happy Holidays from the FCC!  We summarized the FCC’s proposals here and here.  While … Continue Reading

Claiming Safe Harbor Protection for User Generated Content – Copyright Office Proposes Changes to Registration of Agent for Service of Take Down Notices

Posted in Intellectual Property, On Line Media, Website Issues
Do you allow the posting of content created by third parties on your website (e.g. videos, audio files, or even written comments)?  Do you run any on-line service where you collect information provided by third parties (whether that be a dating service, auction site or other classified service)?  If you do, you probably know that you … Continue Reading