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Comment The FCC is destructive (Score 5, Informative) 453 453

I'm a DJ for a very large college radio station (broadcasting all over the Boston metropolitan area in the middle of FM dial) and the most disconcerting facet of the post-wardrobe malfunction FCC crackdowns is the fact that even a single incident would result in my station being shut down. We got one complaint a few years ago (in the more tolerant era), so now, if we were to become a repeat offender, the fine--several hundred thousand dollars--would completely bankrupt the station. SInce we're independently funded through ad revenue, there's no way we could pay, and we'd be off the air--just if somebody complained to the FCC because a late-night DJ slipped up and said "Fuck" on air, even when we're actually allowed to play music containing the same word.

To me, at least, it seems incredibly obvious that the punishments are beyond the limits of sanity. The FCC is trying to look out for the standards of our community? Yes, my station plays underground rock and hip-hop at night (I DJ for those programs), but during the day, it's exclusively jazz and classical. If, at 3am, a hip-hop DJ curses, leading to a complaint and the end of the station, who really loses? I suspect that the thousands of classical and jazz listeners would be more on the losing end than the asshole who called in the complaint or any of the other people who happened to hear the word "Fuck" in the middle of the night.

The FCC is just one manifestation of how colossally fucked up governmental regulation is becoming. I'm all for the government trying to help out the people, but not when there's clearly no understanding of how the real world actually operates.

Communications

Submission + - Verizon is still bad at math->

mikesd81 writes: "Eyelesswriter reports has a report about a guy who called Verizon 56 times to test Verizon's rate policy. You can get some background information on this at verizonmath.com. Some may recall the whole .002 cents vs .002 dollars episode. The results of this informal survey shows only 2% of the Verizon operators are aware of the proper policy. From the article: While many operators did mistakenly quote cents instead of dollars, a large portion of the mistakes were simply wrong, regardless of where the decimal fell. This means that even if Verizon has since addressed the cents/dollars issue, that by itself wouldn't be enough.

By the end of the 56 calls, this guy still had to call a PR rep and ask for a printed quote of the rates. There's a video also."

Link to Original Source
Music

Submission + - Oink.cd Shut Down

JoeInnes writes: Oink.cd shut down today, apparently undergoing investigation by the BPI, amongst several other copyright owners. According to the website oink.cd, all the sites users are undergoing criminal investigations.
The Internet

Submission + - OiNK raided and shutdown by Dutch police

Stony Stevenson writes: British and Dutch police have shut down one of the world's largest sources of illegal pre-release music on Tuesday and arrested a 24-year-old man. The raids in Amsterdam and the northeast English city of Middlesbrough followed a two-year investigation into a members-only Web site, www.OiNK.cd, which allowed users to upload and download albums before their release.

An estimated 180,000 members paid 'donations' via debit or credit cards for OiNK's catalogue of music and other media.
Censorship

Submission + - OiNK is taken down by Interpol, admin arrested 2 2

QuietR10t writes: Scott Gilbertson from Wired raises an interesting point: "However, there is one interesting quote in the IFPI's press release. Jeremy Banks, head of the IFPI's Internet Anti-Piracy Unit, says in the press release: "OiNK was central to the illegal distribution of pre-release music online. This was not a case of friends sharing music for pleasure. This was a worldwide network that got hold of music they did not own the rights to and posted it online." (emphasis mine)

The IFPI seems to be making a distinction of scale between professional piracy groups and friends sharing files, even if, so far as I know, copyright laws in Britain (and the U.S.) make no such distinctions."
http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2007/10/oink-is-the-lat.html

There are also rumors of investigation into users, but with 180k users I'm not sure they would know where to start.

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