There’s a new top-level domain name ("TLD") on the block, and broadcasters and other media companies will want to protect URLs that include their call signs, unique slogans and positioning statements or other registered marks or names.  The new TLD will be ".tel."  Unlike .com, .net, .org, and other current TLDs that link to websites, the new .tel TLD is designed specifically for access by mobile devices such as the Blackberry and iPhone and will access to the contact information of the holder of the .tel URL without the need for a standard website.  The theory behind the .tel TLD is to allow instant access to contact information without having to access a registrant’s website.  When contact information is accessed via mobile devices, the telephone numbers will appear as "hot links" that will dial those numbers upon touch or selection.  Of course, links to websites may also be provided, but the primary purpose of the TLD is to provide a global contact directory without the need for the user to have Outlook or other address books or for the registrant to have a website.

Beginning December 3, 2008, anyone with a registered trademark or service mark can register a .tel domain name using that mark for a cost estimated to be in the $500 range.  This so-called "sunrise" period will last for two months.  Beginning February 3, 2009, there will be a so-called "landrush" period allowing anyone to register any unregistered .tel domain names, including generic or descriptive marks or names, such as radio.tel or cable.tel, on a first-come, first-served basis.  (Bad faith use of a third party’s trademark will be subject to cancellation under existing domain name dispute procedures.)  The "landrush" period will last until March 23, 2009, after which the .tel TLD will be generally available to anyone at a much reduced fee, currently estimated to be as low as $1.25 per month.Continue Reading “.tel” Domain Name To Become Available Soon

The new iPhone, connecting as it does to ATT’s high speed wireless network, has allowed Internet radio to go wireless.  While this has been possible on many platforms in the past, it has never been as easy, seamless, ubiquitous and as promoted as with the new iPhone.  The CBS radio  stations on AOL Radio, Pandora and Soma FM are all available, as are add-on applications that open the door to streaming many other Internet radio stations.  Tim Westergrin of Pandora  was quoted as stating that the iPhone would change people’s expectations of Internet radio, making it "a 360-degree solution – in the car, in the home, on the go."  But, as with any application that increases the audience of Internet radio, it comes with a cost, as the delivery of Internet radio by a mobile device, like a wireless phone, is subject to the same royalties established by the Copyright Royalty Board last year and currently in effect while on appeal – rates that are computed by the "performance," i.e. one song streamed to one listener (see our reminder on the per performance payment, here).

In the requests for reconsideration of last year’s CRB decision, SoundExchange had asked that the Board make clear that its decision applied to noninteractive streams (i.e. Internet radio) delivered to wireless devices like mobile phones.  In one of the few actions taken on reconsideration, the Board granted that request (see our summary of the reconsideration, here, and the CRB decision here).  Thus, services making their streams available to the iPhone (except for those covered under the special percentage of revenue offer that SoundExchange made to a limited class of small webcasters, and noncommercial webcasters under 159,140 aggregate tuning hours a month), must count performances and pay the per-performance royalties due to SoundExchange.Continue Reading Internet Radio on the iPhone – Remember the CRB Royalties Apply