Monday, April 30, 2007

Petition for Declaratory Ruling on Interoperable Radios

A Petition for Declaratory Ruling concerning Interoperable Radios has been made to the FCC in the merger proceeding. We think this petitioner hits the nail on the head. XM and Sirius have been disingenuous in their attempt to provide interoperable radios. They say the technology has been developed but there is no incentive for anyone to market it. We don't think this is what the FCC meant. We believe that the FCC meant that all radios would be interoperable. It is silly to think that a consumer is going to replace an OEM radio with an interoperable radio. The intent of interoperability was so the consumer could switch services with no additional hardware purchases. The ONLY way this can happen is if all radios are interoperable.

He makes an excellent point that for those that purchased XM so that they could listen to NASCAR now have to purchase Sirius radios in order to listen to NASCAR. If they had lived up to the interoperable requirement, the consumer would not have to purchase a new radio; they could simply switch services. It is only a matter of time before there are lawsuits over this. It is another vulnerability to which they have exposed their shareholders.

We agree 100% with the petitioner; a Declaratory Ruling is in order.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Garmin Issues Notice on Merger

Garmin, an XM partner for XM equipped GPS and aviation weather systems, filed a notice with the FCC concerning the merger. Garmin asks the FCC require the XM service be maintained at its present frequency and in the same format for 20 years.

First, the facts:

* 28,000 XM equipped aviation products sold in the last 3 years
* 75% of the above units are for portable systems
* 25% are installed in cockpits
* Spent $1 million to develop receiver and software for portable products
* Spent some $3 million over 2 years to develop and obtain initial FAA aircraft certification
* Has obtained FAA certification on approximately 20 new production aircraft at a cost of about $4 million for the XM related products
* Certification costs $0.5 to $1 million each

Garmin points out that Sirius' joint venture with WSI has not produced any marketed or installed radios and is still in development and that the equipment "is in no way interoperable with Garmin/XM's systems". WSI has not obtained FAA certification for the Sirius/WSI products. The WSI products scheduled to start shipping this month will eventually have to be replaced with jointly developed Sirius/WSI products, also requiring certification. There are no portable devices with which Garmin is aware.

Obviously, Garmin has a stake in the merger. While Garmin never opposes the merger, it asks the FCC to put severe restrictions on it on the grounds that it could endanger general aviation safety. Garmin blasts Sirius and XM for not developing interoperable radios. But then turns around and says that interoperability should be "similarly disregarded by regulators", saying that 'future promises of an interoperable "fix" are unacceptable in the area of public safety' . Garmin's concern is also over the investment that it and its consumers have in the XM related products. Re-developing its products and acquiring FAA certification would take years and cost millions of dollars.

Garmin is asking the FCC to mandate the the merged company maintain the current frequency and format for 20 years. "Any decision by the FCC that does not require the merged XM-Sirius entity to provide such service will have an extremely serious effect on the commercial and general aviation safety in this country."


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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Honda Patent Application: System and Method for Remote Convenience Vehicle Telematics

Honda had an interesting patent application published today using a one way satellite communication system as part of a system to issue remote convenience commands.

The application is described in the abstract:

System and method for remote convenience vehicle telematics

Abstract

A system comprises a satellite broadcasting a signal including a remote convenience telematics command, a user interface system providing the remote convenience telematics command to the satellite in response to user input, and a vehicle system for performing a remote convenience task in response to a received broadcast signal. The vehicle system is in a sleep mode in response to a vehicle turn off signal and is in a monitoring mode during predetermined time intervals after the vehicle turn off signal or in response to a user input. The vehicle system monitors for receipt of the broadcast signal during the monitoring mode. The predetermined time intervals have a duration so that the vehicle system has a predetermined probability of detecting the broadcast signal.


The application gives examples which clarify exactly what this is:

[0021] The "remote convenience" (RC) services are flexible, and accommodate a number of operational scenarios. For example, the user may have i) locked his keys in his car, ii) forgot to lock his car, iii) forgot where he parked his car (such as in a vast parking lot), or iv) want to disable the vehicle. The user can request remote convenience services while near the vehicle by way of cell phone or pager-type device or remote from the vehicle, e.g., at a kiosk or computer. Such services can include unlock, lock, turn on/off lights, honk horn, set a panic alert or car-finder service, or disable/immobilize the vehicle. Furthermore, a service can be sub-specified to do more specific tasks. For example, unlock may unlock one door, all doors, or open the trunk. Furthermore, the available remote convenience services, by design of the protocol, are only limited to those vehicle functions accessible by the HPM via the vehicle bus or wired interface. The protocol can pass through any commands available at such interface, thereby not limiting the service to those previously listed.

Although any satellite network could be used, XM is cited as the example:

[0032] The satellite uplink system 116 sends messages intended for broadcast by the satellite 103. Although one broadcast satellite 103 is shown, other numbers of broadcast satellites 103 may be used. Any satellite system may be used that is capable of broadcasting to the vehicle. According to one embodiment, the uplink system of a Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (SDARS), such as the XM Satellite Radio service, is used. In one embodiment, the remote convenience telematics commands are time division multiplexed into satellite uplink data. The satellite uplink system 116 sends satellite uplink data to the broadcast satellite 103.

See the entire application here.


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Sirius Answers Questions on Backseat Video

Today, Sirius fired back at the WCS Coalition who earlier questioned whether Sirius had the right to provide backseat video. The very last footnote says it all:

From the start, Sirius kept the FCC fully informed, including a widely attended January 22, 2004 meeting with FCC staff (at the staff’s request) to discuss its plans and the authority for 3-4 channels of backseat video ancillary to satellite radio.

In another tidbit of information, Sirius states that video will take less than 1/5 of its bandwidth. So, we can calculate that video will consume 2.5 MHz of the 12.5 MHz band, or 0.625 to 0.833 MHz per channel. Since it is broadcast on 3 carriers (two satellites and one repeater), the numbers have to be divided by 3, meaning that each channel per carrier will consume 208 to 278 KHz. If we understand the technology correctly, that should translate into video streaming somewhere on the order of 625 to 833 kbps per channel. That gives us an idea of the quality that we should expect.

Sirius points out to the Coalition that electronic graphic/visual information was specifically mentioned as a use for satellite radio ancillary services. Sirius' argument is in a footnote:

Plainly, the reference to “electronic graphic/visual information” classed the transmission of pictures as properly ancillary to satellite radio. Video is no more than the transmission of 30 pictures a second. See 47 C.F.R. § 2.1 (defining television” as a “form of telecommunication for the transmission of transient images of fixed or moving objects”).

It's an interesting argument that would make a former president proud.

Sirius agreed with its arch nemesis over the need for the FCC to quickly resolve the repeater issue with the WCS licenses holders. This has been in process for nearly 10 years. It has been a sword over the head of satellite radio. Sirius proposed some rules last year to resolve the conflict. These rules were supported by XM and initially received a favorable response from the Coalition as a start, but the Coalition never engaged satellite radio nor the FCC on the issue. It later used the proposed rules against Sirius. Sirius proposed grandfathering the existing repeaters. This has become the source of the rallying cry from the Coalition, since they would like to see all repeaters operating above 2KW disappear.

The Coalition also used its opportunity to request that the FCC rescind the grant to Sirius to launch and operate its geostationary satellite on the technically that Sirius failed to state the compression rate of the video service that it intends to offer. Sirius points out that the Coalition had every opportunity to oppose the satellite but never filed any comment opposing it. As far as not providing a definite compressing rate, Sirius responded as follows:

The FM-5 spacecraft is still under construction. Compression technologies and higher-order modulation techniques are likely to advance substantially by the time Sirius’ FM-5 is ready to be launched. Thus, pointless precision today would rapidly turn inaccurate and antiquated tomorrow. Sirius cannot be faulted for its inability to prognosticate the future.

Who knows why the FCC needs this information. It is indeed a minor point. The audio and video technology is continually progressing. Perhaps it is to help the FCC keep up with current technology.

Sirius concludes:

For these reasons, the Commission should (1) seek comment on Sirius’ Petition for Rulemaking and the WCS Coalition’s response; (2) reject the WCS Coalition’s suggestions about the appropriateness of ancillary video; and (3) dismiss the WCS Coalition’s rescission of the FM-5 satellite license request as procedurally defective. Please contact the undersigned with any questions.



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XM Receives Certification for New Radio

Today, XM received a grant for a new radio (FCC ID: RS2XMCK20). See Orbitcast for the article on the AudioVox XpressR published yesterday. This grant is under XM's name. The grant for the AudioVox Xpress EZ was issued on April 02. It was under the AudioVox name. One has to wonder if the XMCK20 will be an AudioVox product, since AudioVox has traditionally sought approval under its own name. One way or the other, both are great looking radios.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sirius Subscriber Serious About Repeaters

A Sirius subscriber filed a letter directly with the FCC concerning the lack of repeater coverage since one in the area was shut down. This was an excellent letter, and we believe that if the FCC received more like it, the FCC would be prompted to act in the best interest of the public.

Act now. One does not need a lawyer to file a comment.

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Sirius Files Opposition to the Petition to Deny Authority to Operate Repeaters in Hawaii and Alaska

Sirius has filed its Opposition to the Petition to Deny Sirius the authority to operate repeaters in Hawaii and Alaska filed by NAB and the Alaska/Hawaii Broadcasters Association. In its response, Sirius was emphatic that its "service area covers the entire United States, including Alaska and Hawaii." And, 'Specifically, the proposed repeaters will be used only for "simultaneous retransmission of [the complete] programming, [and only that programming,] transmitted directly to SDARS subscriber[s]' receivers."' Here, in our opinion, Sirius is mincing words, in the case of Hawaii. To our knowledge, Hawaiians are not driving around in their automobiles listening to satellite radio. If anyone has news to the contrary, please let us know. Granted, Sirius never says that. Their service area can indeed include Hawaii and Alaska, and, yes, the satellites are transmitting their signals from space and some signals, however infinitesimal, might reach Hawaii, but the likelihood of a Sirius receiver ever actually receiving a signal in Hawaii that can be processed to produce coherent audio for any practical duration is between slim and none. Europe likely has at least as much a chance as that.

Sirius does make some excellent points, including that this is just another example of the terrestrial broadcasters opposing competition in any form. Naturally, Sirius believes the petition is factually and legally baseless. The best point Sirius makes is that "the terrestrial broadcasters' complaint is with the existence of satellite radio rather than the use of complementary repeaters. But the Commission is long past that policy decision, and terrestrial broadcasters should move on."

Another favorite is 'Having fought against any local programming, terrestrial broadcasters' current claim that satellite radio providers now have a competitive advantage because they have no local programming "obligation" is patently absurd.'

In their conclusion, one can sense the frustration:

Terrestrial broadcasters have fought satellite radio--as they have other audio and video platforms--from its inception. Clearly, terrestrial broadcasters do not like competition and believe that the FCC exists to protect them from competition.

Well said.

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Sirius Requests Authority to Operate Signal Boosters at Annual Meeting For Demonstration

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (“Sirius”), pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 25.120, hereby requests Special Temporary Authority (“STA”) to operate in its licensed frequency band (2320-2332.5 MHz) a signal booster with an EIRP of 0.0001 watts identical to boosters that have previously been approved for use in retail stores. This signal booster will be utilized at Sirius’ 2007 Stockholders Meeting on May 24, 2007 and Sirius requests authorization to operate the booster for four days, from May 21 through May 24, 2007, to allow for set-up and testing.

The booster will be used by Sirius for demonstrations at its stockholder meeting and ensure consistent service during the meeting at the Equitable Center in New York, NY. Due to blockage from walls and ceilings, quality reception of SDARS satellite signals inside the Equitable Center may be impeded because receivers may not have line-of-sight views to receive Sirius’ signal. The signal booster will ensure that demonstrations can be carried out without technical difficulties. Accordingly, grant of the requested STA to use this booster for a limited period will serve the public interest.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

National Black Chamber of Commerce Endorses Merger

The National Black Chamber of Commerce, representing 95,000 black owned businesses, came out in support of the merger between XM and Sirius, stating that satellite radio has been critical to the programming needs of African Americans. We didn't realize this, but they state that the "medium offers dozens of channels that are targeted to the programming needs of African American entrepreneurs, entertainers, and consumers." That's the great promise of satellite radio to offer a wide range of programming to meet the needs of a varied audience.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Horizon Files for License to Test WCS Interference With SDARS

Today, Horizon Wi-Com, LLC, applied for an experimental license to test the effect of out-of-band emissions on satellite radio. They plan to test the effects in the following markets:














They intend to use a Navini modem that is not presently type-accepted. The Navini modem is described as:

"The Navini modem to be used during testing is type accepted under ID PL6-2500-PCM19-R3 for use int eh MMDS bands. In its current configuration it operates with out of band emissions levels at channel edge of 43+10Lop (P). The emission designators for the device are 1M00F9W, 800KW7D and 1M6W7D. The Modulation is F9W and W7D. The power output is 23 to 25 dBm, depending on operating modulation.

Testing will occur in one hour segments in the above markets. The purpose of these test are to determine if there is any interference with satellite radio. This could be significant and is definitely worth watching. Keep your ears open--if this is approved--for any interference in these cities. The locations are given below:

Should there be any interference, we suggests using the contact information filed with this application:

First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Gutierrez
Title: Regulatory Counsel
Phone Number: (703)584-8678
E-Mail Address: tgutierrez@fcclaw.com

Horizon gained most of its WCS spectrum from a deal with Verizon.

In similar news, Samsung will be testing its WiBro products in the WCS band. Its experiment is described as:

"To demonstrate WiBRO, which is the South Korean version of WiMAX, also known as 802.16e technologies. WiBRO was architected to allow users to move between base stations while placement of these base stations remains at strategic locations(i.e. best coverage possible). Engineers will evaluate the performance of the WiBRO products in an environment consisting of both mobile users and mobile base stations. Technologies, such as WiBRO are attractive to the Army in order to provide an affordable wireless technology to the warfighter in a realtively short period of time. The base stations will in the back of a vehicle moving around a simulated battle field."

They will testing in the 2300 to 2310 MHz band, a little south of the Sirius Satellite band.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

C3SR Files Notice

Yesterday, the group busted by the Corporate Crime Reporter, the Consumer Coalition for Competition in Satellite Radio (C3SR), filed a notice under the merger document opposing (to no surprise) the merger of XM and Sirius. They met with the FCC to express their concerns. They opposed the merger on the following grounds:

1. Loss of competition
2. Lack of substitute
3. Stranded investment in satellite radio equipment
4. Price increases
5. Commercial clutter
6. Reduction in choices

It's our guess that the NAB wasn't far away.

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Sirius' Back Seat Video Challenged

Today, satellite radio's arch nemesis, the WCS Coalition, launched a challenge to Sirius' bid to provide backseat video. The Coalition filed its complaint with the FCC under both the rules for satellite radio docket and the merger docket. It was a two-fold attack. The Coalition attacked right of Sirius to provide backseat video under the current FCC rules and challenged the out of band emissions imposed on the WCS licensees.

The Coalition urged the FCC to prohibit Sirius from launching backseat video until the FCC has implemented rules for the coexistence of WCS and DARS in the 2305-2360 MHz band. The Coalition asked the question, "... is Sirius even authorized to provide video programming of the sort it proposes on DARS spectrum?" They seemed to answer their own question, citing the follwing, 'the Commission has indicated that it would permit DARS licensees to provide so-called “ancillary services,” so long as such use was not “inconsistent with the international allocation.”' Video is consistent with international allocation; however, the Coalition makes the point that the FCC never specifically mentioned video. In our opinion, the FCC seemed to say that any service internationally authorized in the WCS band is suitable as an ancillary service for SDARS and video is specifically mentioned. Satellite radio is not permitted to have local broadcast and WCS is not permitted to have satellite service, other than SDARS.

The Coalition claims that the FCC has sought information from Sirius to determine whether backseat video qualifies as an ancillary service. To the Coalition's knowledge, Sirius has never complied and the FCC never issued a ruling permitting it.

Their supposed concern is that backseat video could cause more interferes than the audio service.

The Coalition also used the opportunity to criticize the out of band emission (OOBE) limits imposed on the WCS, claiming that they were overly protective. XM warned against this long ago, claiming that the WCS licensees were trying to change these limits and the there were entities buying up the spectrum on the speculation that the FCC would loosen the limits. Loosening the limits could potentially cause interference to satellite radio by the WCS licensees. The seemed to be setting up for a comprise. However, we believe that satellite radio should fight this tooth and nail. They claim that Sirius has says that the limits are "overly strict". They advise the FCC to ensure that any receiver is throughly evaluated to ensure it does cause more interference. The appear to be using their typically delay tactics. Expect NAB to chime in on this as well.

The WCS Coalition has been extremely successful in frustrating the satellite radio providers attempts to provide quality service to its subscribers. The Coalition should not be underestimated. Their chief member is the AT&T behemoth. If there has ever been a merger bad for consumers, this is it. They have crippled the satellite radio providers.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Commissioner Copps' Statement on the Payola Settlement

Commissioner Copps statement on the payola settlement deserves a post on its own. Very damning. One might even infer that he is saying that these broadcasters are in effect national in scope. Here it is:

Federal Communications Commission FCC 07-27

STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER MICHAEL J. COPPS

Re: CBS Radio, Inc., File No. EB-06-IH-1109, Order
Re: Citadel Broadcasting Corp., File No. EB-06-IH-1108, Order
Re: Clear Channel Communications, Inc., File Nos. EB-05-IH-0059, EB-05-IH-0144, Order
Re: Entercom Communications Corp., File No. EB-05-IH-0033, Order

Pay-for-play broadcasting cheats consumers, musicians and the law. It denies consumers choice
in what they hear, it deprives musicians of the exposure they need to survive and it is illegal. It is
also insidious, because just as soon as one payola hole is plugged, another is opened and the
payola band plays on. Today the Commission takes action against payola. While not a lethal
blow, this action makes real, tangible progress against unacceptable pay-for-play practices. It
opens some long-denied access for independent musicians who have faced tough times getting
their songs on the airwaves in markets long dominated by pay-for-play. And it is good news for
listeners who have been drugged by years of standardized, homogenized music playlists. Who
knows, if this works well a listener driving coast-to-coast might actually hear some good local
and regional music along the way instead of the same 20 songs. Just as importantly, today’s
action—rightly implemented and monitored—can be good news for the radio business, putting it
back in touch with the roots from which its earlier successes sprang. These agreements remind us
of the special community medium and artistic treasure that free, over-the-air radio can be.
While we celebrate these efforts, we cannot forget what led us down this road. How we got
here—how we allowed music on free, over-the-air radio to be hijacked by a band of pay-for-play
promoters—is a tale worth telling. If I were to give this tale a title, I would call it “The Way the
Music Died.” It didn’t happen in a day or a month or a year. But two culprits combined to all but
slay local and independent music on the radio dial.

First was payola itself. Payola is by no means a recent arrival on the music scene. From the days
of Alan Freed the quid pro quo of cash for airplay has lurked behind commercial radio. The
times may have changed, but the basic mechanics of payola have not. If an envelope stuffed with
cash motivates what gets played, musical merit falls by the wayside. When only artists
represented by big labels can afford to play the game, independent and home-grown voices lose
out. Payola by itself is bad enough.

But we put the pernicious effects of payola on steroids when we allow excessive consolidation
among the licensees of our airwaves. Here, then, is the second culprit: media concentration. The
Telecommunications Act of 1996 eliminated the national radio cap, leading to a tremendous wave
of consolidation in terrestrial radio. The top ten radio conglomerates now control 2/3 of the total
U.S. radio audience. As a result, the payola kingmakers must grease only a relative handful of
palms in order to get their anointed commercial artists on the air. This makes an ugly situation
uglier. It makes for radio that sounds the same everywhere. It is why in so many places the same
handful of songs by the same small crop of artists is in heavy rotation, while local and
independent voices never get a spin. What a price we pay. Musical genius in this country runs
deep and wide. But, by and large, our airwaves do not reflect it. Concentration of radio
ownership has ushered in a new and especially challenging age of payola. But don’t just take my
word for it. As the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists puts it bluntly:
Federal Communications Commission FCC 07-27
“[b]ecause the radio industry is so consolidated, it is more difficult than ever for artists to get
airplay on commercial radio.”

This is why I believe these agreements are a starting point, not an end. They address payola in
some of its guises, but ignore the harms inflicted by consolidation. And, sadly, they also fall
short of acknowledging culpability. Nonetheless, I remain optimistic that the progress made here
is real. So we will give this effort a play. If, one year from now, we are hearing more
independent voices on the radio, we’ll know that the progress is real. If, in one year, we are
hearing more local musicians instead of the same slim crew of nationalized fare over and over
again, we’ll know we advanced the ball. And if, in one year, we can say that free, over-the-air
radio is the place to go for fresh new sounds and dynamic voices, we can all be proud of what we
claim to have accomplished today.

I intend to closely monitor what happens next. I hope my colleagues will, too. But what I really
want to know is how consumers take the measure of these commitments. So I urge listeners to
contact the FCC. Tell us how you think these commitments are being implemented. Let us know
if you’re hearing more and better music. We don’t need a formal document from you, just e-mail
us at fccinfo@fcc.gov (with “Payola” in the subject line) and tell us how you think it’s going.
In closing, let me note that this agency’s payola work is built on the historic efforts of former
New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his path-
breaking efforts to stomp out pay-for-play. He awoke a new generation of music lovers to the
persistent harms of payola and raised in listeners a belief that we can do better by our airwaves.
Let me also thank my colleagues, in particular Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein who pushed this
matter front-and-center here and did yeoman’s work to see these consent decrees through.
Finally, let me also thank musicians, other creative artists, independent companies and consumers
across the land who helped us see the light and who suggested remedies to confront the problem.
I appeal for their continued vigilance to make sure that the commitments which have been made
are carried out comprehensively and faithfully—and also to keep their watchful eyes open for any
evidence of new pay-for-play practices designed to perpetuate a crime that never seems to go
away.


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Broadcasters to Pay $12.5 Million for "Possible" Payola Violations

BROADCASTERS PAY $12.5 MILLION TO RESOLVE POSSIBLE “PAYOLA” VIOLATIONS

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today released Ordersadopting Consent Decrees with CBS Radio, Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, Clear Channel Communications, Inc. and Entercom Communications Corp. (collectively, “the broadcasters”).

Under the Consent Decrees, the broadcasters agree to pay a combined $12.5 million to close investigations into each broadcaster’s possible violations of the Commission’s sponsorship identification rules for the practice commonly referred to as “payola.” Specifically, the Consent Decrees resolve allegations that the broadcasters may have accepted cash or other valuable consideration from record labels in exchange for airplay of artists from those labels, without disclosing those arrangements.

In addition to the $12.5 million in voluntary contributions, the broadcasters agree to implement certain business reforms and compliance measures. Key provisions of the Consent Decrees include:

* Prohibition on company stations and employees exchanging airplay for cash or other items of value except under specified conditions

* Limits on gifts, concert tickets, and other valuable items from record labels to company stations or employees

* Appointment of Compliance Officers and market-level Compliance Contacts responsible for monitoring and reporting company performance under the Consent Decrees

* Regular training of programming personnel on payola restrictions These and other measures by the broadcasters should ensure their future compliance with the sponsorship identification rules.

Action by the Commission on March 21, 2007, by Order (FCC 07-29), Order (FCC 07-28), Order (FCC 07-27), and on March 23, 2007, by Order (FCC 07-42). Chairman Martin and Commissioners Copps, Adelstein, Tate, and McDowell, with Chairman Martin, Commissioners Copps, Adelstein, Tate, and McDowell issuing separate statements.

Enforcement Bureau media contact: Janice Wise at (202) 418-7450

The consent decree by the four companies can be read below. The statements by the FCC Commissioners are very damning and worth a read. For example, Commissioner Copps had this to say:

While we celebrate these efforts, we cannot forget what led us down this road. How we got here—how we allowed music on free, over-the-air radio to be hijacked by a band of pay-for-play promoters—is a tale worth telling. If I were to give this tale a title, I would call it “The Way the Music Died.” It didn’t happen in a day or a month or a year. But two culprits combined to all but slay local and independent music on the radio dial.

CBS RADIO, INC. Adopted a Consent Decree in this proceeding. Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 03/21/2007 by ORDER. (FCC No. 07-27). EB FCC-07-27A1.doc FCC-07-27A2.doc FCC-07-27A3.doc FCC-07-27A4.doc FCC-07-27A5.doc FCC-07-27A6.doc FCC-07-27A1.pdf FCC-07-27A2.pdf FCC-07-27A3.pdf FCC-07-27A4.pdf FCC-07-27A5.pdf FCC-07-27A6.pdf FCC-07-27A1.txt FCC-07-27A2.txt FCC-07-27A3.txt FCC-07-27A4.txt FCC-07-27A5.txt FCC-07-27A6.txt

CITADEL BROADCASTING CORP. Adopted a Consent Decree in this proceeding. Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 03/21/2007 by ORDER. (FCC No. 07-28). EB FCC-07-28A1.doc FCC-07-28A2.doc FCC-07-28A3.doc FCC-07-28A4.doc FCC-07-28A5.doc FCC-07-28A6.doc FCC-07-28A1.pdf FCC-07-28A2.pdf FCC-07-28A3.pdf FCC-07-28A4.pdf FCC-07-28A5.pdf FCC-07-28A6.pdf FCC-07-28A1.txt FCC-07-28A2.txt FCC-07-28A3.txt FCC-07-28A4.txt FCC-07-28A5.txt FCC-07-28A6.txt

ENTERCOM COMMUNICATIONS, CORP. Adopted a Consent Decree in this proceeding. Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 03/23/2007 by ORDER. (FCC No. 07-42). EB FCC-07-42A1.doc FCC-07-42A2.doc FCC-07-42A3.doc FCC-07-42A4.doc FCC-07-42A5.doc FCC-07-42A6.doc FCC-07-42A1.pdf FCC-07-42A2.pdf FCC-07-42A3.pdf FCC-07-42A4.pdf FCC-07-42A5.pdf FCC-07-42A6.pdf FCC-07-42A1.txt FCC-07-42A2.txt FCC-07-42A3.txt FCC-07-42A4.txt FCC-07-42A5.txt FCC-07-42A6.txt

CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS, INC. Adopted a Consent Decree in this proceeding. Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 03/21/2007 by ORDER. (FCC No. 07-29). EB FCC-07-29A1.doc FCC-07-29A2.doc FCC-07-29A3.doc FCC-07-29A4.doc FCC-07-29A5.doc FCC-07-29A6.doc FCC-07-29A1.pdf FCC-07-29A2.pdf FCC-07-29A3.pdf FCC-07-29A4.pdf FCC-07-29A5.pdf FCC-07-29A6.pdf FCC-07-29A1.txt FCC-07-29A2.txt FCC-07-29A3.txt FCC-07-29A4.txt FCC-07-29A5.txt FCC-07-29A6.txt



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Breaking News: Sirius Receives Grant to Launch and Operate Satellite

Today, April 16, 2007, Sirius received grant of authority to launch and operate a geostationary satellite (FM-5). The license term will be for 8 years starting when Sirius notifies the FCC that it has been launched and put into operation.

The FCC made it clear that the grant was issued without prejudice to any action the FCC might take regarding the requirement to produce an interoperable satellite radio. The statement had an ominous tone. It may be nothing or it may be a sign of an impending action.

The grant came rather quickly without much fanfare or analysis, such as seen with XM's application to replace its two satellites.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Napster Opposes Snapster

As reported here last October, Rasprodz applied for the trademark, "Snapster". In December, we reported that Napster filed for an extension to oppose the Snapster trademark. It is now official. Napster has filed the paperwork to opposed the Snapster trademark. Dates for the proceedings have been set. Rasprodz has yet to respond to the Notice of Opposition. The response should be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks. Napster opposed the Snapster registration for obvious reasons.

Discovery and testimony periods are set as follows:

Discovery period to open: 4/19/07

Discovery period to close: 10/16/07

30-day testimony period for party in position of plaintiff to close: 1/14/08

30-day testimony period for party in position of defendant to close: 3/14/08

15-day rebuttal testimony period for plaintiff to close: 4/28/08


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Inno Meets Oppostion

The Pioneer Inno trademark registration has been opposed by iKno, Inc. iKno, Inno... I dunno. iKno says it is pronounced the same way as Inno. We weren't sure anyone knew the correct way to pronounce Inno. We pronounce Inno like the beginning of "Innovation". iKno seems to suggest that they pronounce it like "I know". One would think Apple would have issues with iKno.

iKno is opposing the trademark on the following grounds:

1. The company's name is iKno and its products are braned iKno.

2. iKno pronounces it the same as Inno.

3. iKno distributes radios and radio based products.

4. iKno has a patent for a product branded iKno

5. The goods and marks are so similar and the consumer will be confused.

In Pioneer's answer to the Notice of Opposition, Pioneer denies:

1. Knowledge or sufficient information as of the truth of point 1.

2. Knowledge of how iKno pronounces its mark.

3. Knowledge of products produced by iKno.

4. Knowledge of the patent and says it is irrelevant.

5. Allegations of point 5.

It would seem that ignorance would not be considered a valid response.

Discovery and testimony periods are set as follows:

Discovery period to open: 3/27/07

Discovery period to close: 9/23/07

30-day testimony period for party in position of plaintiff to close: 12/22/07

30-day testimony period for party in position of defendant to close: 2/20/08

15-day rebuttal testimony period for plaintiff to close: 4/5/08

The only registrations that we have uncovered are registered to Motorola:

Mark Image
Word Mark IKNO! CHOOSE TO KNOW
Goods and Services IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: providing news, sports, entertainment and general knowledge featuring a wide variety of topics of general interest to the consuming public. FIRST USE: 19990331. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990331
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Design Search Code 02.01.01 - Busts of men facing forward; Heads of men facing forward; Men - heads, portraiture, or busts facing forward; Portraiture of men facing forward
02.01.33 - Grotesque men formed by letters, numbers, punctuation or geometric shapes; Stick figures
26.05.14 - Three triangles; Triangles, exactly three triangles
26.05.21 - Triangles that are completely or partially shaded
Serial Number 75429012
Filing Date February 5, 1998
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition December 8, 1998
Registration Number 2406693
Registration Date November 21, 2000
Owner (REGISTRANT) Motorola, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 1303 East Algonquin Road Schaumburg ILLINOIS 60196
Attorney of Record MELODY L SCHOTTLE
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Word Mark IKNO!
Goods and Services IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: providing news, sports, entertainment and general knowledge featuring a wide variety of topics of general interest to the consuming public. FIRST USE: 19990331. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990331
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 75420450
Filing Date January 20, 1998
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition December 8, 1998
Registration Number 2406679
Registration Date November 21, 2000
Owner (REGISTRANT) Motorola, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 1303 East Algonquin Road Schaumburg ILLINOIS 60196
Attorney of Record MELODY L SCHOTTLE
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

If we go to the Motorola site, we are directed to this site for iKno. Notice the resemblance to the Inno?













The contact information matches that of the opposition, so this must be the correct website.

On second thought, perhaps ignorance is a good excuse on this one.

Here's the bio on the guy opposing the registration:

1. www.ikno.com
www.ikno.com/aboutus.asp - [Cached]
Published on: 5/7/2004 Last Visited: 5/7/2004

Allen Hertz CEO/CTO Mr. Hertz co-founded iKno in May, 2003. Mr. Hertz is a Principle, Board Member, and Executive Vice President of Galahad, Co., an Innovations Incubating company founded in 1997. Galahad, Co. is supported by 4 licensing agreements and an OEM product. Mr. Hertz holds 19 issued US patents and has over 30 additional patents applied for. Mr. Hertz has a total of 14 years of extensive experience in telecom product design and deployment; holding Staff positions in New Product Development and Manufacturing at Motorola and Racal-Datacom; Technical Support positions at ECI Telecom; and Management positions in Operations at CopperCom. Mr. Hertz is a Registered United States Patent Agent and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Engineering from Florida Atlantic University.

A patent search turns up the following patents:

1 7,184,857 Full-Text Automated news rack inventory and alert management system
2 7,073,252 Full-Text Method for maintaining operability of a flexible, self conforming, workpiece support system
3 7,072,892 Full-Text Business model for recovery of missing goods, persons, of fugitives or disbursements of unclaimed goods using the internet
4 D508,532 Full-Text Business card holder
5 6,807,691 Full-Text Plumbing valve cover for avoiding interference with faucet hose
6 6,726,195 Full-Text Method for ensuring planarity when using a flexible, self conforming, workpiece support system
7 6,695,298 Full-Text Flexible, self conforming, workpiece support system and accessories
8 6,662,812 Full-Text Method for acoustic and vibrational energy for assisted drying of solder stencils and electronic modules
9 6,641,865 Full-Text Method for selectively applying solder mask
10 6,569,248 Full-Text Apparatus for selectively applying solder mask
11 6,471,111 Full-Text Method and apparatus for acoustic pressure assisted wave soldering
12 6,449,611 Full-Text Business model for recovery of missing goods, persons, or fugitive or disbursements of unclaimed goods using the internet
13 6,412,685 Full-Text Method and apparatus for release and optional inspection for conductive preforms placement apparatus
14 6,293,856 Full-Text Disposable, multi-conduit particulate matter propelling apparatus
15 6,264,187 Full-Text Method and apparatus for self-conforming support system
16 6,138,562 Full-Text Vibrational energy waves for assist in the print release process for screen printing
17 6,029,966 Full-Text Flexible, self conforming, workpiece support system
18 5,552,562 Full-Text Inertial acoustic pickup
19 5,418,688 Full-Text Cardlike electronic device
20 5,381,307 Full-Text Self-aligning electrical contact array
21 5,369,399 Full-Text Tolerance accumulating circuit supporting mechanical shock isolator
22 5,356,658 Full-Text Flexible high speed liquid dispenser
23 5,320,561 Full-Text Connector for providing programming, testing, and power signals
24 5,317,308 Full-Text Circuit supporting mechanical shock isolator for radio receiver
25 5,311,405 Full-Text Method and apparatus for aligning and attaching a surface mount component
26 5,177,324 Full-Text In situ RF shield for printed circuit board
27 5,159,171 Full-Text Method and apparatus for solder laser printing

In addition, he has several patent applications:

1 20050154602 Parcel pick up notification apparatus and method
2 20040124230 Application of acoustic and vibrational energy for fabricating bumped IC die and assembly of PCA's
3 20030099768 Method for selectively applying solder mask
4 20030014888 Object, vehicle, structure, or logo styled business card holder
5 20020156780 Business model for recovery of missing goods, persons, of fugitives or disbursements of unclaimed goods using the internet
6 20010008249 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR RELEASE AND OPTIONAL INSPECTION FOR CONDUCTIVE PREFORMS PLACEMENT APPARATUS



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Thursday, April 12, 2007

XM Receives 30 Day Grant of Authority to Operate Repeaters at Various Venues

Today, XM received a 30 day authority to repeaters at various venues such as "automobile dealer promotional events, press events, and trade shows". XM applied for a 30 and 180 authority to operate low powered repeaters on Februrary 22, 2007.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

NAB Files Another Comment Opposing the Merger

Today, April 10, 2007, the NAB filed another comment in opposition to the merger of Sirius and XM. It is more or less the same as the one before, but the order is different, plus a couple more articles were added.

This one contains a document submitted on behalf of Common Cause, Consumers Union, The Consumer Federation of America, Free Press, Media Access Project, and the Prometheus Radio Project regarding “The XM-Sirius Merger: Monopoly or Competition from New Technologies” before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, March 20, 2007.

It also contains the article by Barry Saunders, Staff Writer, for the News and Observer, entitled, "Sirius-XM deal? Get serious".

You can read the entire filing here.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

NAB Files Comments Against Merger

Last Friday, April 06, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) filed comments opposing the merger of XM and Sirius. NAB stated its intention of filing a Petition to Deny the merger. This comes as no surprise. NAB filed a series of documents under a single notice with the FCC under Docket 07-57.

The first document makes the points that the proposed merger is:

Anti-Consumer

Anti-Competitive

Violates FCC and Congressional Policy and Antitrust Law

Conditions are Red Herrings (SRTW Note: A distraction from the real issues)

In the second document, David Rehr questions the validity of the merger: "Indeed, one must question whether there is any credible justification for this merger." We are wondering this as well. Also, this is where Rehr states that NAB will file a Petition to Deny the Merger.

The third document is by David H. Solomon, former Chief, FCC Enforcement Bureau and former FCC Deputy General Counsel and Partner in the legal firm representing the NAB. He outlined the FCC related concerns raised by the merger. He harps on XM's and Sirius' alleged FCC violations and blows it all out of proportions. In our opinion, it is a non-merger related concern.

Read more here.









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Friday, April 06, 2007

XM Provides Statistics to FCC on Variant Repeaters

At the request of the International Bureau of the FCC, XM provided some interesting statistics concerning the variant repeaters. XM gave percentages of the residential market population receiving repeater coverage from variant repeaters in a few major markets:

18% New York
9% Knoxville
7% San Antonio
3% Norfolk, Houston
2% LasVegas, Hartford
1% New Orleans

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

XM Patent Application for Digital Media Player with Satellite Radio

XM had this patent application published today.:


United States Patent Application 20070077882
Kind Code A1
Patsiokas; Stelios M. ; et al. April 5, 2007

Method and apparatus for providing digital media player with portable digital radio broadcast system receiver or integrated antenna and docking system

Abstract

A portable media player for receiving and storing a satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) content stream is provided. Also provided are associated devices such as an integrated antenna and docking station, an SDARS receiver module for detachable connection to a player, digital transceiver circuits for connecting an SDARS receiver to various SDARS-ready devices, an SDARS digital antenna, and an SDARS subscription cartridge, as well as methods for operating same.


Inventors: Patsiokas; Stelios M.; (Coral Springs, FL) ; Marko; Paul D.; (Pembroke Pines, FL) ; Cox; Stuart; (Boca Raton, FL)
Correspondence Name and Address:
    ROYLANCE, ABRAMS, BERDO & GOODMAN, L.L.P.
1300 19TH STREET, N.W.
SUITE 600
WASHINGTON,
DC
20036
US
Serial No.: 239642
Series Code: 11
Filed: September 30, 2005

U.S. Current Class: 455/3.04
U.S. Class at Publication: 455/003.04
Intern'l Class: H04H 1/00 20060101 H04H001/00




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Monday, April 02, 2007

C3SR Files Comments on the Merger

Today, C3SR, the group busted by Corporate Crime Stoppers last week, filed comments with the FCC today concerning the proposed merger between Sirius and XM. The comments cited the report by Gregory Sidak. This report has been critiqued by the Satellite Standard Group.

If the Copyright Royality Board expert witnesses can be used as an example, analyses such as this one might run in the order of $400/hour. There is some serious money behind C3SR, and we suspect it is not poor college students sacrificing their pizzas to finance this.

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