Blog Profile / CommLawBlog


URL :http://www.commlawblog.com/
Filed Under:Utilities / Communication
Posts on Regator:1425
Posts / Week:4.9
Archived Since:May 27, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Streamlined Foreign Media Ownership Procedures (Mostly) Effective in January

A September Commission Order modifying a number of Commission Rules regarding filing and review of foreign ownership in broadcast licensees has now been published in the Federal Register, setting the effective date of at least some of these changes.  Many of those rule changes will now go into effect January 30, although some changes regarding … Continue Reading

Making Your Airport Great Again: FCC Waiver Allows Updated Body Scanners

We reported earlier this year that the FCC was seeking comment on a waiver request to allow certification of an updated, wider-band version of airport body scanners, ones that will meet new TSA standards. That waiver, which was not opposed,...Show More Summary

Are Alternative Inspection FCC Notifications Still Needed?

Is there an easier way to notify the Commission when a station has taken part in the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP)? Or does the FCC need to be notified at all? The agency seeks public input on the issue. The alternative program is a series of agreements between the Enforcement Bureau and a private … Continue Reading

A Thanksgiving Tradition Continues

Last year we posted a link to a You Tube video condensing the famous “turkey drop” episode from the 1970s television show “WKRP in Cincinnati.”  We dubbed this a “Thanksgiving Tradition” even though it was a first time posting. In the words of our own Founding Blogmeister Harry Cole, “what are traditions about, anyway, if … Continue Reading

Employers (and some Employees) Thankful as Federal Court Stays New Overtime Laws

For the past few months, business owners have been frantically preparing for a major change in the Department of Labor (DOL) regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which would greatly increase the number of employees eligible to receive overtime pay for work in excess of 40 hour per week.   These changes, were due … Continue Reading

RMLC Seeks to Subject GMR to the Same Competitive Restraints Governing ASCAP’s, BMI’s, and SESAC’s Licensing Practices

We have previously written here, here, here, and here about the Radio Music License Committee’s (“RMLC’s”) successful attempt to impose on SESAC some of the same competitive restrictions that limit ASCAP’s and BMI’s ability to demand inflated license prices for publicly performing the musical compositions of their members. It was only a matter of time … Continue Reading

DC Circuit Vacates FCC OTT VoIP Order on End Office Access Charges

A recent D.C. Circuit Court decision concerns access charges billed by over-the-top VoIP carriers. In 2015 the Commission issued a declaratory ruling (In re Connect America Fund, 30 FCC Rcd. 1587 (2015) regarding the classification of...Show More Summary

D.C. Circuit Finds FCC’s Unlawful Give-Away of Licenses Unreviewable

In a unanimous decision, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals this week rejected a claim by small wireless carrier NTCH, Inc. the FCC had unlawfully awarded thousands of licenses to Verizon Wireless in violation of the Communications Act. The case arose out of Verizon’s application in 2012 to acquire numerous licenses from SpectrumCo, a consortium … Continue Reading

Some 5G Rules Take Effect Soon

(More rules recently went through public comment and are still pending)   Last July we reported on the FCC’s progress toward future wireless “5G” technologies, which promise blindingly fast data speeds. The rules adopted then are now slated to take effect on December 14, except for those on satellite earth stations in the 27.5-28.35 and … Continue Reading

What Will a Trump FCC Look Like?

(Speculation Abounds, But Much Will Stay the Same) A new administration always bring many questions from clients about how their FCC issues may be impacted. A Trump presidency brings even more questions than usual, because his campaign did not set out detailed proposals on telecommunications and spectrum policy. Show More Summary

Copyright Office DMCA Proceeding Asks: It’s 2016, so why are we Copyrighting Like It’s 1999?

(Notice of Inquiry latest opportunity to weigh in on the future of the DMCA Safe Harbor) “I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too fast…” Those are lyrics from the dearly beloved and extremely talented musician Prince’s epic 1982 hit “1999” from the album of the same name.  He … Continue Reading

Update: New EAS Foreign-Language Reporting Requirement Now In Effect

But EAS Participants have a year to advise their SECCs of what, if anything, they’re doing to provide EAS alerts to non-English speaking audiences. As we reported last spring, the FCC declined to require that non-English language announcements be provided by Emergency Alert System participants. But the Commission did decide that all State EAS Plans … Continue Reading

Day of the Deadlines: Your Guide to Upcoming FCC Broadcast Filing Deadlines

There are a number of upcoming FCC filing deadlines over the next three months that are relevant to broadcasters.  You should review these carefully, as some are only applicable to certain licensees while others (the EEO-related and noncommercial ownership reports) are state-specific. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. November … Continue Reading

Trick or Treat? Beware of Closing Time of Second AM-only FM Translator Modification Window

As we notified our readers in December 2015, the FCC created two filing windows for AM licensees to file for an FM translator.  The first window (available only to licensees or permittees of Class C or D AM stations) ran from January 29, 2016 to July 28, 2016. The second window (available to any class … Continue Reading

FCC Enacts Rigorous New Internet and Telecommunications Privacy Rules

A Hotly Contested Proceeding Expands the Commission’s Regulatory Authority, But Will Likely End Up in Court After a massive Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, extensive and contentious advocacy from all sides, and public revision of its own proposals, the FCC has just approved an Order enacting rules that impose a wide range of new regulations on Internet … Continue Reading

NAB Announces Waiver Agreements with Sony and Warner Affecting Non-Royalty Aspects of Webcasting

On October 26, 2016, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced agreements it had reached with two major record labels that relieve radio broadcasters from certain compliance conditions associated with the sound recording...Show More Summary

USPTO to Increase Fees for 42 Different Trademark Filings

Completing a process which began one year and one week earlier, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a final rule in the Federal Register on October 21, 2016 which will change the fees for forty-two different trademark filings.  The upshot is that anyone in the very small universe of people who still … Continue Reading

FCC to TV Licensees: Where Are You?

In a somewhat unusual move, the FCC’s Media Bureau and Incentive Auction Task Force have issued a joint public notice encouraging “all television licensees” to “ensure that their contact information on file with the Commission is accurate and current”. As the notice reminds everybody, licensees are generally required to do so anyway, but it’s especially … Continue Reading

Repack Update: FCC Invites Comments on Widelity II

Input sought on revised catalog of likely repack expenses As we all know, TV stations forced by the Incentive Auction/spectrum repack process to modify their facilities will be entitled to reimbursement of their reasonable repacking-related costs. And as we reported a couple of years ago, to give everybody – FCC and affected broadcasters (and MVPDs) … Continue Reading

DIRS Activated as Hurricane Matthew Approaches Southeast States

As we had anticipated, the Commission has officially activated its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) in connection with the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Because of the urgency of the situation, the FCC has asked the NAB to get the word out to broadcast stations, and we here in the CommLawBlog bunker are more than happy … Continue Reading

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