The radio industry's frenzy of mergers and acquisitions has slowed down but hasn't stopped. San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications Inc., one of the largest radio broadcasters in the US, has agreed to acquire AMFM Inc., another major player. The merger will give Clear Channel more than 850 stations nationwide. The deal hinges on Clear Channel unloading 72 of its stations in 27 markets to comply with Federal Communications Commission rules limiting the number of stations that can be owned by a single operator.
Artists' groups are celebrating what they hope will be more than a symbolic victory over the recording industry in the wake of legislation signed by President Clinton the last week of October. Known as "The Works Made for Hire and Copyright Corrections Act," the repeal negates a provision that was inserted into last year's "Satellite Home Viewer Act" at the insistence of the Recording Industry Association of America, designating musical recordings as "works for hire." Such a designation catergorizes a musical recording as a commodity that can be purchased at a fixed price, such as a table built by a furniture craftsman, rather than as a performance subject to syndication and royalty fees.
The copy cat will soon be out of the bag down under. Australia's musical copyright society has reluctantly agreed to the deployment of CD-copying kiosks throughout the nation in exchange for what an Australian news site calls "a modest royalty payment" of about 6% of the $5AUS copying fee—or 30¢ per disc.
Consumer electronics stores have long carried computer gear, everything from laptops and desktop systems to software and accessories. Computer stores, led by Gateway Country stores, have slowly been moving in the other direction. Now it looks as if convergence in the retail realm is about to take another great leap forward.
There is a war of words—and numbers—being waged in the struggle over copyright infringement and the illegal copying of music. Downloading music is a boon to the music industry, claim some, because it leads to increased sales of CDs. Others present statistics that undeniably prove that downloading will be the death of the music business.
Federal judges have issued somewhat conflicting rulings in the ongoing legal battle over illegitimate file sharing. As the situation stands at the end of April, individuals may be held responsible for copyright violation, but the services they use in the process may not.