Cellular FM receivers, Congress, and you

How would you feel if every smart-phone you owned had an FM radio on board? You could listen to music stations everywhere, you’d have more access to local broadcasts, emergency alerts would be far easier to tun in to, and most importantly? It would mean more choices for you. That exactly how the National Association of Broadcasters and the Recording Industry Association of America is presenting their plan to have Congress mandate that FM receivers but put into all portable devices (not just phones).

Here’s the real reason: When a song is played on the radio, only one person makes money, the artist. The NAB and RIAA are missing out on money, and they need someone to help pick up the slack. Enter: The Consumer Electronics Association, or CEA. If this new proposal actually passed… the CEA would be responsible for the oversight of the transition, the NAB would pay more money (to the tune of 100 mil a year) to the RIAA, and in turn, the NAB would have a far far larger audience.

Is it surprising that this proposition comes at a time like this? A time when terrestrial radio is all but dead? Not at all. Does the NAB and RIAA really have our best interest in minds, or is their proposal more of an emergency bail out to keep themselves afloat? President of the CEA, Gary Shapiro, sees it like this:

“The backroom scheme of the [National Association of Broadcasters] and RIAA to have Congress mandate broadcast radios in portable devices, including mobile phones, is the height of absurdity. Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do.”

Personally, I have to agree to a certain degree. What do you guys think? Should the law be passed? While I would enjoy having an FM transmitter on my Android device of choice, I don’t want it to be illegal if it’s not there.

Via Android Central