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Posts Tagged ‘Free Press’

Broadband, consolidation and neutrality are my subjects this evening on Olympia’s community radio station KAOS. In order of their attribution on the show, here are the links to my sources from tonight’s 30 minutes. Stream or download the archived show by CLICKING HERE.

Broadband money begins to flow from Broadband Breakfast

The Killer App of 1900 by Glenn Fleishman on Publicola, Seattle’s News Elixir

Research shows doubts about effect of stimulus by Matt Lasar from Ars Technica

McDonalds launching free WiFi by David Coursey from PC World

Google is providing free WiFi at 47 US airports

MuniWireless coverage of first grant winners announcement

Broadband report on stimulus grant winners from Scribd

Rural broadband grants will help America compete by Ben Scott, Free Press

Measure results of $7.2b broadband funds by Charles Benton & Kate Williams

Obama: Cash vs. Principles by Kim Hart from The Hill

Why FCC should stop Comcast from buying NBC by David Coursey from PC World

Don’t let Telecom segregate the Internet by Malkia Cyril, Chris Rabb & Joe Torres

FCC questions Comcast-GE venture by David Goetzl from Media Post

Comcast’s voluntary public interest commitments from Bloomberg

Exposing Comcast’s hollow ‘Public Interest’ commitments from Free Press

Where does Comcast/NBCU rate on ‘Trade Association Scale”? by Harold Feld

PEG Channels’ New Best Friend by Bunnie Riedel, for Multichannel News

Broadband in yo face (AUDIO) from MAG-NET

Majority of minorities not using Internet from Internet Innovation

LPFM: Out of the House, into the Senate by Candace Clement

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Big news from Prometheus Radio… Time to call your Senators! UPDATE: Free Press has an easy way to email your Senators to tell them to vote in support of community radio.

The Local Community Radio Act passed the House of Representatives Wednesday evening with a resounding voice vote and now moves to the Senate. The bill will open the airwaves for hundreds of new non-commercial stations across the country, bringing low power radio to urban areas for the first time.

Following the recommendations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the House of Representatives voted to remove technical restrictions Congress placed on low power radio in 2000 at the request of commercial broadcasters. These restrictions have kept low power radio out of the top 50 radio markets, which reach over 160 million Americans. (more…)

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Consolidation: Comcast buying NBC Universal

TOP 4

America’s regression by Glenn Greenwald

Liberal Dems take aim at war funding

The war is in Pakistan right now‘ says Jeremy Scahill

Editors reporting to sales managers at Dallas newspaper

AMERICA’S BIGGEST CABLE CO. WANTS MORE POWER

Why the FCC should stop Comcast NBC from PC World

Commissioner Copps on merger: ‘They face a steep climb with me

Congress to scrutinize Comcast NBC deal from The Hill

Comcast’s hollow ‘public interest’ claims from Free Press

MORE NEWS HEADLINES

Grist explains Copenhagen climate summit to comedian Eugene Mirman

Rachel Maddow rips Sen. McConnell war stimulus ‘nonsense’

Sen. Bernie Sanders offers Medicare-for-all amendment

Fourth senator joins move to block Fed Chairman Bernanke

David Ogden, No. 2 Justice Dept official, resigning

Mobile broadband consumption creating problems by Tricia Duryee

Ted Haggard 2.0 by Wendy Norris

VIEWPOINTS

7 ways Battle of Seattle changed the world by Fran Korten

Matt Taibbi: Obama sold out to Wall St

10 progressive reactions to Obama’s Afghan plan from Alternet

We need a clean vote on Afghanistan policy from Common Dreams

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Free Press: Just Say No. Click the graphic for more information

Click here to go to the Free Press action page. Click here to read more first.

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Project Censored: Venezuela/Colombia war threat

Clear Channel’s frightening plans for 2010

Promoting broadband diversity within the law by Mark Lloyd

Libraries dying for bandwidth from Ars Technica

Cable companies’ big Internet swindle from Free Press

EU overcomes final hurdle for overhaul of telecom rules

Defining open mobile from Telephony Online

Why AT&T can’t win its ‘map for that’ battle with Verizon

Jackson Sun editor goofs on citizen journalism

Artists incomes dip in recession from Future of Music Coalition

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Global e-waste dumping pollution

Google bringing free WiFi to 47 U.S. airports, $ for charity

Dirty truth about rural broadband from Free Press

Jeremy Scahill: Blackwater approved payoffs of Iraqi officials

New evidence of Pharma’s sweetheart deal from New Republic

Google says Rupert Murdoch can go ahead and take off stories

Dalai Lama sticks his thumb in the Dragon’s eye

Blaming the workers by Dave Lindorff

NY Times publishes crowd-funded science article

Denying responsibility for the wars one cheers on by Glenn Greenwald

Former Sierra Club enviro Mike McGinn wins Seattle mayor race

How the US funds the Taliban from The Nation

Video shows Taliban with US weapons

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Secret plan to undermine US dollar by Robert Fisk

Roundup: Kerry-Boxer climate bill reactions from Grist

Roundup: Patriot Act vote reactions from EFF

Obama stalls telecom immunity lobbying records FOIA, “inter-agency” says DOJ (more…)

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Free Press supports FCC in case against Comcast

Cloud computing: IBM corporate email undercuts Google

Local radio is a grassroots effort for California LPFM

America’s PR revolution: Outraged denial by David Sirota

(more…)

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Millions spent by lobby firms to oppose health care reform

Pawlenty hands stimulus funds to telecom industry from Minn. Independent

GE apparently ready to sell NBC Universal to Comcast

Media Minutes: Product placement on TV shows from Free Press

(more…)

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Reclaim the Media published my report on the IWantMyRocky.com and Free Press event in Denver last week. It was cool.

Read all about it by clicking HERE.

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RTMlittlesticker11454208.6148822


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Lawrence Lessig, author of Remix, told viewers of the Colbert Report on Thursday to remix their interview, after Colbert suggested viewers should not take pieces of their conversation and drop cool beats behind them. I haven’t figured out how to get Comedy Central videos to embed, so here’s the link to the interview.

This is a Lessig remix video.

At the 2008 National Media Reform Conference I had the opportunity to run sound for Free Speech TV in their fancy live satellite trailer. Awesome photo here. My first ever live national broadcast experience consisted of me riding the audio levels for Lessig’s talk at the opening of the conference. Here’s the link to the video of that short talk.

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Check out my feature on the transition to digital television signals from today’s Boise Weekly HERE.

I took this flashy photo of a DTV poster at Boise’s downtown post office.

dtv

Thanks to Peter Morrill at Idaho Public Television, Loris Taylor at Native Public Media, Megan Tady at Free Press and Nathaniel Hoffman at Boise Weekly for helping me get this article together!

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Download or listen to today’s 30-minute Digital Crossroads HERE. If you are short on time, but want to know what’s happening , you can also listen to a shorter segment (7:30) highlighting the Local Community Radio Act and ongoing webcasting royalty disputes HERE.

Today’s Digital Crossroads includes headlines covering: minority representation lawsuits against Arbitron, a study showing the payola agreement hasn’t helped independent music, Radiohead’s new pressure group Featured Artists Coalition, the FCC and indecency headed to the Supreme Court on Election Day, and torture music royalties might be owed by the US military for reportedly playing a David Gray song “Babylon” repeatedly at Guantanamo Bay during torture and interrogation.

The features include a look at the Radio for People Coalition, the Local Community Radio Act, and the ongoing webcaster royalty disputes.

Arbitron sued for underrepresentation of minorities-
New York Times writer Brian Stelter reported October 6th– The office of New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo announced they are suing Arbitron, the company that compiles audience ratings, because of concerns that minority listeners are not being fairly represented. The new ratings system relies on hand-held devices called portable people meters or PPM, which Attorney General Cuomo’s office says do not adequately account for young African-Americans and Hispanics, as well as all people who do not speak English, and cellphone-only households. Ratings for some minority broadcasters dropped considerably during the past year of testing the people meters, which a coalition of minority broadcasters claims would “disenfranchise minority communities and have a devastating impact on small businesses.”

According to the Associated Press– after the state of New Jersey filed a similar suit against Arbitron, the radio ratings service company filed a countersuit in U.S. District Court, claiming the attorneys general are interfering with the rollout of the PPM. Digital Crossroads will continue to follow this story, which has big implications for minority representation on the air.

Future of Music Coalition says payola settlement has not helped independent music-
Radio trade publication FMQB wrote October 21st– The American Association of Independent Music and the Future of Music Coalition have released results of a study demonstrating that 92 percent of independent labels report no change in their relationships with commercial radio since the FCC a year ago signed agreements with four major commercial radio broadcasters (CBS Radio, Clear Channel, Entercom and Citadel) that was supposed to increase independent music on the radio. Then Attorney General Elliot Spitzer’s high-profile payola investigation led to an agreement by the big radio conglomerates which has reportedly not increased access or cooperation beyond a few isolated instances. Future of Music Coaltion Executive Director Ann Chaitovitz said “This report represents important groundwork to ensure that radio is accessible to local and independent artists and serves its local communities. By documenting the historic and ongoing barriers between commercial radio and independent music, we help ensure accountability and hopefully create more favorable conditions for independent artists and labels.” You can download the full study, available HERE.

Radiohead has joined the Featured Artists’ Coalition-
Ian Youngs reported October 3rd on BBC News that UK pop stars are taking action to gain ownership and control of their work from record labels. Radiohead, The Verve, Robbie Williams, Klaxons and dozens of other acts have joined a new pressure group called Featured Artists’ Coalition. Their aims include keeping the rights to music they create and fair compensation when their songs are sold in new ways. As power shifts in the increasingly digital music industry, many acts feel ignored when their record labels and music publishers strike new licensing and publishing deals.

Does US Military Owe Torture Music Royalties?
According to The Guardian– David Gray’s song “Babylon” is allegedly one of the most popular torture songs at America’s prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. According to reports, loud music is being used by Americans during interrogation of suspected terrorists. David Gray is not happy about it, telling BBC– “No one wants to even think about it or discuss the fact that we’ve gone above and beyond all legal process and we’re torturing people… It doesn’t matter what the music is, it could be Tchaikovsky’s finest or it could be Barney the Dinosaur… We’re talking about people in a darkened room, physically inhibited by handcuffs, bags over their heads and music blaring at them… That is nothing but torture.”

The question Eliot Van Buskirk at Wired Magazine has been asking– is whether the Bush administration owes royalties on the song reportedly played on heavy rotation, not that the song itself constitutes torture, he points out. “Arguably,” Van Buskirk writes, blaring “Babylon” over and over “constitutes a public performance and conceivably makes it subject to royalties owed ASCAP and BMI, companies that collect royalty payments on behalf of musicians.” The issue may get resolved soon after the Presidential election as Barack Obama, John McCain and several third-party candidates all want to shut Guantanamo down. Still, as outlandish as this may sound, remember the royalty collection agencies squeeze money out of nursing homes, hospitals and prisons in the continental US already.

Radio For People Coalition

One year ago, after many years of anticipation, The FCC lifted a freeze on applications for full-powered, noncommercial (NCE) radio licenses between October 12 and October 22, 2007. During those ten days, more than 350 local community groups across the country applied for frequencies on behalf of community radio. NCE frequencies, which reside on the FM dial between 88.1 MHz and 91.9 MHz, are granted to American citizens by the federal government as a public trust at no cost.

“This is the last free spectrum,” said FCC attorney John Crigler, who helped community radio applicants. “and this filing window will have social consequences. It is a last opportunity to have a fight about values and how public spectrum ought to be used.”

Radio for People is a national coalition for promoting and supporting grassroots independent media. They are independent groups, lawyers, radio engineers, radio stations, free media advocates, professional associations, social justice activists, and many other concerned folks who have joined together in anticipation of the upcoming FCC noncommercial license application window, to encourage the creation of more independent community radio stations. They made the case that the application window was an important one-time opportunity, believing that a significant number of the radio licenses made available should be used for local community radio.
Key members of the Radio for People coalition:

Common Frequency
Common Frequency is a group of dedicated individuals with backgrounds in college and community broadcast media, determined to facilitate more public access to the airwaves. They alert non-profit and educational institutions regarding broadcast application opportunities, encourage public participation in radio broadcasting, promote a diversity of viewpoints on the public airwaves through the airing of grassroots-produced public affairs programming, promote music education and independent artists on non-commercial radio, and provide resources and consultation to new stations in areas of station constructing and governance.

Free Press
Free Press is a national nonpartisan organization working to increase informed public participation in crucial media policy debates, and to generate policies that will produce a more competitive and public interest-oriented media system with a strong nonprofit and noncommercial sector.

Future of Music Coalition
The Future of Music Coalition is a not-for-profit collaboration between members of the music, technology, public policy and intellectual property law communities. The FMC seeks to educate the media, policymakers, and the public about music / technology issues, while also bringing together diverse voices in an effort to come up with creative solutions to some of the challenges in this space. The FMC also aims to identify and promote innovative business models that will help musicians and citizens to benefit from new technologies.

National Federation of Community Broadcasters
The National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) is a national alliance of stations, producers, and others committed to community radio. NFCB advocates for national public policy, funding, recognition, and resources on behalf of its membership, while providing services to empower and strengthen community broadcasters through the core values of localism, diversity, and public service.

Pacifica Radio Network
Pacifica Radio Network is the oldest noncommercial radio community radio network in the United States. Pacifica Radio founded the concept of listener-sponsored community radio and has championed free-speech broadcasting since 1949 and remains commercial-free, free-speech radio. Today the network includes 120 community, college, low-powered, public, and Internet radio stations.

Pacifica’s mission is to promote peace and justice through communication between all races, nationalities and cultures. They strive to contribute to the democratic process through public discourse and promotion of culture. Unbeholden to commercial or governmental interests, we recognize that use of the airwaves is a public trust.

Prometheus Radio Project
The Prometheus Radio Project is a non-profit organization founded by a small group of radio activists in 1998. They believe that a free, diverse, and democratic media is critical to the political and cultural health of our nation, yet they see unprecedented levels of consolidation, homogenization, and restriction in the media landscape. They work toward a future characterized by easy access to media outlets and a broad, exciting selection of cultural and informative media resources.

Public Radio Capitol
Public Radio Capital’s (PRC) mission is to strengthen and expand public radio services in communities nationwide, so that people have greater program choices for in-depth information, unbiased news, diverse music and cultural programming. PRC is supported in this mission by grants from the Ford Foundation, Surdna Foundation and other generous contributors.

Since its founding in 2001, Public Radio Capital, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has secured public radio services for over 22 million people nationwide. In its role to broaden the reach of public radio, PRC is the industry’s leading advisor in planning, acquiring and financing new public radio channels. PRC provides public radio organizations with business planning, consulting, station appraisals, brokerage, acquisition and financial advisory services.

Also in this 30-minute radio show I talked about the Local Community Radio Act, which could lead to 1000 new community radio station frequencies opening up if it passes Congress. See Prometheus and Free Press for more info.

Who Gets Cash, Who Gets Airplay: (Hint- not the little guy)

And finally, with big help from Kurt Hanson the man behind the Radio and Internet Newsletter, I try to demystify the ongoing webcaster royalty negotiations. OK, So who’s who in the long-running dispute over Internet Radio royalties? Kurt Hanson, the author of RAIN has some answers

He writes, “One reason for the Internet radio royalty mess is that, in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998, Congress set up a spiderweb of groups with multiple conflicting priorties that are supposed to somehow come up with reasonable rates.” Hanson is talking about Copyright Owners like Major Labels and Indie Labels, Rich Musicians and Working Musicians, and their negotiating body, Sound Exchange. Then there are the Copyright Users, such as the National Association of Broadcasters, the Digital Media Association, National Public Radio member stations, college broadcasters, religious stations, and small commercial webcasters. The Copyright Users must pay the Copyright Owners for streaming music over the Internet to the public. The ongoing negotiations over how much money is a fair amount take place before the Copyright Royalty Board, who work for the US Copyright Office.

Kurt Hanson writes, “The Webcaster Settlement Act is written to allow private negotiations between Sound Exchange and various subsets of webcasters to have the force of law.”

However, there are internal conflicts on each side of the negotiations. On the webcaster side, the National Association of Broadcasters sees itself as competing with Digital Media Association members like Pandora and with NPR member stations. Meanwhile, small commercial webcasters are working with bigger groups like AOL Radio to bring down the rates, but the bigger webcasters do not necessarily like competition from the little guys, so they do not support a small webcaster rate as actively.

Then you have the Copyright holders. SoundExchange is comprised, according to Kurt Hanson, of 50% record label representatives and 50% musician reps. Indie labels are competing with the big 5 multi-nationals for radio airplay and consumer dollars. They may be more inclined to support Internet radio than large labels, who want to protect their dominance on old fashioned AM and FM radio. Musicians, too, have conflicting priorities. Multimillionare recording artists like Mariah Carey want cash now, whereas hundreds of thousands of working musicians want airplay to build their fan bases. Hanson points out that multimillionaire musicians who are still active like Paul McCartney want airplay, whereas retired musicians like Mary Wilson of The Supremes would prefer cash.

Copyright law is primarily supposed to support active musicians, but the way SoundExchange is set up, the little guys on both sides of the negotiations are at a disadvantage.

The music on the show is courtesy of Ooah, Ernest Gonzales, Gabriel Teodros and The Tasteful Nudes.

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Digital Crossroads is back. Hosted by Radioactive Gavin with headlines, clips and original interviews focusing on community media, grassroots activists and government officials.

LISTEN to or DOWNLOAD the pilot.

Pilot features interviews from the 2008 Free Press Conference on media reform. Dennis Moynihan of Democracy Now! and Free Speech TV. Joe Torres of Free Press. Sam Husseini of Institute for Public Accuracy and Washington Stakeout. Malkia Cyril of Center for Media Justice.

Series topics: Media literacy & media justice… How technology politics affect journalism, free speech and your everyday life… Nationwide blackout of analog TV and transition to digital… The Supreme Court takes on the FCC and broadcast indecency… Privacy and surveillance under Republicrats… The record industry, local radio and the future of music… Plus, network neutrality and the latest news about the news…

Remember, change starts with you! Let me know if you’re listening…

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The second day, Friday, I was up pretty early helping out with Free Speech TV. I ran sound in their amazing and fancy satellite truck. The opening speakers represented a solid mix of viewpoints, with Yolanda Hippensteele, Josh Silver and Robert McChesney (all of Free Press) introducing Adriene Maree Brown from Ruckus Society (who was on Democracy Now! on Friday LISTEN HERE), Lawrence Lessig of Change Congress and Rep. Keith Ellison from here in Minnesota.

In the Free Speech TV lunch room, I had the opportunity to speak with Denis Moynihan and his mom. Last month, he was featured on DN! announcing he was leaving the organization to run FSTV. I spoke with him on mic, and will feature the interview on Digital Crossroads June 13th. I didn’t ask Amy Goodman to do an interview, but she is really excited about Boise Community Radio.

After lunch I kicked it with Erin Gentry at the panel on hip hop community organizing. I hope to play audio from this event on the show, featuring Julie C from 206Zulu and Reclaim the Media, Rosa Clemente from R.E.A.C.HipHop, Shamako Noble (past guest on Crossroads) of Hip Hop Congress, JR Fleming of Coalition to Protect Housing, and Toki Wright of Yo! the Movement from here in Minneapolis.

The next panel I saw was organized by the Future of Music Coalition, looking at new music services and the music industry bottom line. It was hosted by Ann Chaitovitz, the chief at Future of Music, and featured Peter Gordon of Thirsty Ear Records. They both said they would do interviews on an upcoming show. I’m curious to follow up with Peter because he said Sound Exchange, the royalty collection agency, is not as bad as I think.

Bryan Calhoun, who does A&R and new media development for Kanye West and Ludacris talked about widgets and other tools for artist promotion. Plus, Stic.Man of DeadPrez was a surprise guest on the panel and said he was there to learn too, describing his goal as “seeing how to pimp the system even more harder.” He talked about “putting the power in your hands, and no middle man.”

The consensus on the panel is that America needs to preserve network neutrality, because e-commerce shouldn’t be controlled like the physical market. Speaking from the audience, Future of Music’s Michael Bracy said Time Warner’s proposed pay-as-you-use plan could be okay, but the key is protecting the “nondiscriminatory nature” of the web in terms of content.

At this point I went to the packed 24th floor of the Hyatt for a Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting and Institute for Public Accuracy party with free beer. Nobody seemed to have a problem drinking Coors-produced brew as long as somebody else was paying. I talked to Alexandra Peterson from Media Education Foundation and Sam Husseini from Institute for Public Accuracy.

There was an awesome party at a place called The News Room, thrown by Media & Democracy Coalition and others. The free drinks flowed and I met a lot of cool people including Nan Rubin, who is kind of a queen of grassroots radio organizing and Stan Lyles from SEIU United Health Workers West.

After catching some grub at Pancho Villa on Eat Street, I caught up with blogger and video activist Josh Wolf. He talked to me off the record about his thoughts on shield laws and his run for mayor in San Francisco. I’m hoping to interview him this weekend or very soon.

So many business cards to follow up on. Thanks Free Press! This is great!

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The first day, Thursday, I spent quality travel time with Karen Toering of Reclaim the Media and Angela Ballantyne of UW Communication Studies. We arrived at the airport early in the morning, before the storms started kicking up.

Then I caught up with Nathan James of Media and Democracy Coalition, who is live-blogging the conference. I’m having JavaScript problems for some reason, so here is the link: http://phasetransitions.blogspot.com/

I was able to speak on mic with Robert McChesney of Free Press and Marc Cooper of Consumer Federation of America. Listen for this and more fresh audio on Digital Crossroads Friday June 13th and 20th.

The academic symposium was pretty cool. I attended some research presentations. I think my favorite was “Sustaining Independent Media” featuring Cynthia Cotti on LPFM licenses as agents of localism, Jessica Clark & Tracy Van Slyke on measuring media impact, Adam Davis looking at the political economy of Current TV, Caroline Nappo on the significance of librarianship for media reform. I’m hoping to have all these awesome graduate student folks on Digital Crossroads soon.

Then I caught a swim at the Hyatt and a nap.

Go to freepress.net/conference and Free Speech TV to watch events of the conference as they happen.

-Gavin

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Craig Aaron, Communications Director of Free Press, was a guest on my radio show Friday May 30th.

LISTEN HERE to the interview on its own. Or LISTEN HERE to the interview within the context of the entire show, which focused more broadly on international press freedom.

Time flies when two verbose media activists get chattin’… Craig and I cover:

Resolution of Disapproval (regarding FCC ownership regulations)

Local Community Radio Act (regarding expansion of Low-Power FM licenses)

Internet Freedom Preservation Act (regarding network neutrality)

Pentagon propaganda pundits

and the Media Reform Conference… June 6-8 in Minneapolis… which you can tune into live as it happens on the Free Press website and on Free Speech TV.

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