Washington – Radio broadcasters and the major record labels
are looking to Congress to mandate the inclusion of FM radio receiver chips in
portable devices, including cell phones, Ars Technica reported. "Including
radio-enabled chips in mobile devices in possible legislation seems to us to be
a reasonable idea," Dennis Wharton, of radio industry trade group the
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), told Ars. "musicFIRST, too,
likes FM chips in cell phones, PDAs, etc. It gives consumers access to more
music choices," the lobbying group, whose members include the major record
labels, told Ars.
The labels and broadcasters are reportedly considering a deal
that would see radio stations pay $100 million per year
in new licensing fees to labels, and in return generate a larger audience via
the mandated FM chips in portable devices.
However, makers of mobile phones and
other consumer electronics are strongly opposed to any mandate, which Gary
Shapiro, head of the Consumer Electronics Association, called the "height
"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," Shapiro told Ars.