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Monday, April 18, 2011
Music Wireless and CE Industry Oppose Mandate For FM Chips in Mobile Devices


The Recording Academy, CTIA, The Wireless Association, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) claim that artists should be compensated for their freely distributed work and declared their opposition to any government mandates for FM chips, in mobile devices including phones, smartphones and tablets.

The industry bodies today officially announced their support for H. Con. Res. 42 - the "Creativity and Innovation Resolution" - sponsored by Rep. Daryl Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA). The resolution recognizes that the U.S. is a world leader in the creation of technology and musical, film and literary works and argues that compensating artists and innovators is essential to maintain this global leadership and to incent the creative genius that is behind it. The resolution also makes clear its strong opposition to any government mandates for FM chips, or any terrestrial broadcast chip, in mobile devices including phones, smartphones and tablets.

"The music community wants to see the growth of distribution platforms that compensate musicians and performers. The most exciting new mobile devices are also the distribution platforms that fully compensate musicians and performers. FM Radio, by contrast, does not," said Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, The Recording Academy, after completing last week's "Grammys on the Hill" advocacy day.

"With more than 650 unique wireless devices in the U.S., consumers have a variety of options, including handsets with FM chips. The hallmark of our industry is one that offers consumers numerous choices so they can customize their wireless experiences, through innovative streaming music services such as Pandora or downloading an indie artist?s app," said Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association.

"An FM chip mandate is unnecessary and unjustified. These new mobile devices are platforms for innovation and creativity, and Americans can decide for themselves what functions and features they want. Requiring today?s digital phones to include an analog FM Chip makes as much sense as requiring them to include a telegraph," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumers Electronics Association.

"Every platform in the industrialized world respects property rights but one - terrestrial radio in the U.S. So the idea of the government rigging the playing field to expand the scope of the existing taking makes zero sense. That's why we welcome this resolution and the broader concept of policies that reward technical and creative innovation," added Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America.

More than 150 musicians asked members of Congress to support the resolution last week as part of the annual "Grammys on the Hill" advocacy day.


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