CommLawBlog (Courtesy of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth)

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Same as the old e-filing system? Maybe not. All broadcast forms will be reduced to a single form – plus schedules, of course. The Media Bureau has announced the partial debut of the “Licensing and Management System” (LMS), an online filing system which, eventually, will replace the current system (i.e., the Consolidated Database System –what we know and love as CDBS) that’s been in operation since the turn of the century. So CDBS may not be long for this world. Just how long will depend on how long the FCC takes to set up the necessary filing capabilities in LMS. But enough have...
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Petition against a broadcast license renewal cites offensive nature of “Redskins” name as basis for denial. Should the FCC really be involved with this? For years there’s been a steady drumbeat for the owners of the Washington, D.C. National Football League team to change the team’s name to something other than “the Redskins”. The contention is that the word “Redskins” is – in the eyes of both American Indians and non-Indians – an offensive ethnic slur. (In response, the team -- which has used that name for more than 80 years – says that it’s a tribute to American Indians' strength...
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Comments sought on new Reimbursement Form and related instructions to be used by TV/MVPD’s for post-Incentive Auction claims The Media Bureau has given the television industry a sobering glimpse of what life will be like immediately after the close of the Incentive Auction. All full-power and Class A licensees would be smart to take a look now so that they’ll be ready when the time comes. And make no mistake: the FCC is confident that the time will come. This opportunity to gaze into the future is afforded by the Bureau’s draft TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund Reimbursement Form (Reimbursement Form), about which...
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Turtle vets Flo and Eddie walk all over SiriusXM, relying on state law in copyright infringement case. A boost for possible Federal performance right royalties? The concept of performance rights royalties has been given a limited, but potentially significant, shot in the arm by a Federal judge in California. As a result, the date of February 15, 1972 could become less of a barrier preventing artists who recorded songs prior to that date from demanding royalties for the public performance of their recordings. This is thanks to two of the Turtles, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman a/k/a Phlorescent Leech and Eddie a/k/a...
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Division dismisses AMer’s request for waiver that would have allowed move-in of distant FM translator. A Hail Mary tossed up by an AM licensee looking for quick access to an FM translator has fallen short of its mark with the Audio Division’s rejection of the licensee’s request to extend the Division’s “Mattoon waiver” policy. As a result, we can kiss good-bye (at least for the time being) to the notion of a “Tell City waiver”. This is not particularly good news for the AM industry. The story starts with Station WTCJ in Tell City, Indiana,...
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Back in April we reported on the adoption of new rules intended to beef up Wi-Fi operations across the country. All but one of those rules took effect in early June. The lone exception? Section 15.407(j), which had to be vetted by the Office of Management and Budget because it involves “information collections” that bring the hilariously-named Paperwork Reduction Act into play. According to a notice in the Federal Register, OMB signed off on that section late last month and now, thanks to that notice, Section 15.407(j) has taken effect as of September 24, 2014. The newly effective rule requires people...
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Last month we reported on the FCC’s overhaul of its antenna structure regulations. The Commission’s Report and Order has now made it into the Federal Register. That, of course, establishes the effective date of most of the revised rules – and that date is October 24, 2014. We say “most” of the revised rules because, wouldn’t you know it, a couple of the revisions involve “information collections” that have to be run past the Office of Management and Budget thanks to the Paperwork Reduction Act. Those revisions – which involve Sections 17.4, 17.48 and 17.49 – will kick in once...
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We down here in the CommLawBlog bunker want to shine a spotlight – make that a high intensity white strobe – on the Tower Family Foundation. Just now getting off the ground (full official name: the Tower Industry Family Support Charitable Foundation), it provides financial assistance to family members of tower workers who are severely injured, permanently disabled, or killed while doing their job. The Foundation is providing important support for workers who are essential to any communications operation whose business depends on equipment hanging off the side (or stuck on top) of a tower. No, you probably don’t have any...
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Two former interns take important step toward “class action” status. Class. Some litigants have it. Some don’t. A couple of folks who worked as interns at Gawker Media have managed to convince a Federal District Court Judge in New York that they might have it. And that’s bad news for Gawker. If you’ve read my August, 2013 post about lawsuits brought against media companies by unpaid interns, you should have an idea of what I’m talking about. Two former interns (originally there were four, but two of them bailed) sued Gawker, claiming, among other things, that Gawker hadn’t paid them as required by...
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FCC provides “bulk upload” option for adding even more comments to the million-plus already on file – now who’s going to read them all? When last we took a sounding of the rising floodwaters of net neutrality comments, they were 1.1 million deep and more were pouring in. That was a month ago and, we’re pleased to report, the levees have apparently held. At least we assume that to be the case because the FCC has just announced, in effect, that it’s opening the dam upstream in an apparent effort to increase the flow of incoming comments. In a blog post on...
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If you missed the webinar Kevin Goldberg and Harry Cole presented on the latest twists and turns in the Aereo case (and the prospects for more twists and turns to come), worry not: it, like pretty much everything else, is on the Internet. The folks at Team Lightbulb, who arranged and promoted the webinar, have posted a recording of the show here – all audio and video included. It’s free.
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Google joins Key Bridge Global LLC, Spectrum Bridge, Telcordia and, um, Google, in the ranks of “approved” database coordinators. Add one more (sort of) database coordinator to the “approved” list of white space database coordinators. The Commission has announced that Google has made it to the finish line – it's been approved to coordinate unlicensed “TV white space” devices. This is the second time Google has completed the process. As we have previously reported, Google was first approved in May, 2013. But then last June the Commission announced that Google had come back with a “major modification” to its already...
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