So here's the deal: the National Association of Broadcasters (radio) and the Recording Industry Association of America (music labels) have been arguing and nit-picking at each other for years over who gets what money. As of right now, only songwriters are paid for what is played on the radio. This means both the RIAA and the NAB are missing out on boatloads of money. So, if you were a big multi-million dollar company - what would you do? You would push it onto a third party of course. Well, that's what they're doing at least; and that party just so happens to be the Consumer Electronics Association.
The Consumer Electronics Association is the trade organization that oversees most of the technogly industry - including the maker of that cell phone you're holding. As you can imagine, having someone else dump their money problems on you can have you feeling pretty frustrated.
So what are RIAA and the NAB proposing? They want Congress to enact a law that will mandate that all cell phones, PDAs, portable devices, etc; to include an FM receiver on each device. If passed by Congress, the Consumer Electronics Association would be responsible for the oversight of this transition. Radio would then agree on paying around $100 million a year to record labels and in turn, the stations would gain a much larger network to reach out to. Everybody wins, right?
CEA president, Gary Shapiro, had this to say on the matter, "The backroom scheme of the [National Association of Broadcasters] and RIAA to have Congress mandate broadcast radios in portable devices, including mobile phones, is 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."
So where are the consumers in this mess of politics and conglomerates? The music labels and and broadcasting industry believe that this will all be in the best intrest of consumers; as it would provide "more music choices."
How do you feel about having an FM receiver in all of your electronics devices? Some Android smartphones are already have FM built-in. Wait, you just really that Pip-Boy 300 -- don't ya? [Ars Technica]
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