Radio Currents Online - Jun 27 - Jul 3, 2005


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Radio technology news updated as it happens.


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News

Pirate Station Shut Down by Police
Miami - Jul 1, 2005 - North Miami Beach police detectives arrested an operator of an illegal pirate radio station in Miami-Dade County, FL, on June 23, seizing and impounding the station's equipment. The illegal station transmitted on 91.7MHz, causing interference to WMKL. According to the police report, the pirate station operated a KA-1000 FM transmitter feeding a high-gain, four-bay FM antenna attached to a tower on top of a two-story commercial office building. The pirate station operated unattended using Windows Media Player running on a PC with a DSL connection.

After receiving many complaints from listeners, WMKL station staff located the pirate radio station using a pocket radio and contacted the North Miami Beach Police Department. A complaint was filed with the FCC.


File Sharers Lose in Supreme Court
Washington - Jun 27, 2005 - The Supreme Court rules in favor of MGM by stating that Internet file-sharing services will be held responsible if their customers use the software primarily to swap songs and movies illegally. The file sharers warned that such a ruling could hamper the growth of consumer technology, such as the next generation Ipod.

The Supreme Court voted unanimously, which sends the case back to lower court, which had ruled in favor of Grokster and Streamcast Networks on the grounds that the companies couldn't be sued. The justices said there was enough evidence of unlawful intent for the case to go to trial.

Justice David H. Souter wrote for the court, "We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by the clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties."

The file-sharing companies claim that they cannot control how their services and software are used. The music industry claims that as much as 90 percent of songs and movies copied on the file-sharing networks are downloaded illegally. The file-sharing companies will be liable to music and movie artists if they are found to have promoted illegal downloading.

Two lower courts previously sided with Grokster without holding a trial. They each based their decisions on the 1984 Supreme Court ruling that Sony could not be sued over consumers who used its VCRs to make illegal copies of movies. The lower courts reasoned that, like VCRs, the file-sharing software can be used for legitimate purposes. It was ruled that the file-sharing services were not legally responsible because they don't have central servers pointing users to copyright material.

Justice Souter notes that lower courts could find the file-sharing services responsible if the products were marketed to promote copyright infringement or if steps were taken to reduce infringing uses.


Business

Sales Call
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  • Groove Salad, Secret Agent and Indie Pop Rocks from San Francisco netcaster Soma FM and Santa Fe, New Mexico's Blu 102.9 FM now stream audio programming to 3GPP mobile devices via Orban's Opticodec-PC AAC Plus streaming software.
  • People

    Jeff Bixby Passes Away
    Lykens College, PA - Jun 25, 2005 - Jeffrey M. Bixby died June 25, 2005, of cancer. Bixby worked as a consulting engineer in broadcast and telecommunications, first with John Mullaney and Associates. After several years with Collins Broadcast Products, Rockwell International and then his own firm, Bixby joined A.D. Ring and Associates in 1983. From 1985 to 1998 he was an engineering manager with Tracy Corporation and a senior technical consultant with Denny and Associates. Most recently he was president of Bixtech.

    Bixby was recently awarded the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters PAB Broadcast Tube Plaque. The PAB made the presentation to honor Bixby for his many years of service and contributions to the advancement of broadcast engineering in Pennsylvania. During his career, Bixby built and repaired many complex broadcast antenna systems, including those at stations KDKA, Pittsburgh; WBT, Charlotte; WGBS, Miami; WIND, Chicago and WINS, New York.

    Bixby served a tour in the U.S. Navy and was an amateur radio operator. He was active in the USAF MARS. Bixby was a 1970 graduate of Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA.

    Contributions can be made to St. Peter's UCC Church Building Fund; 1289 S. Crossroads Road; Lykens, PA 17048.


    Ibiquity's Struble Recognized by Ernst and Young
    Columbia, MD - Jun 29, 2005 - Professional services firm Ernst and Young has announced the winners of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2005 in Maryland. The winners were selected by a panel of independent judges comprised of area leaders from business, academic and civic organizations.

    The Maryland winners of the award are:

  • Emerging Entrepreneurs: Mark Komisky, CEO and cofounder, and Will Clemens, CFO and cofounder, Bluefire Security Technologies
  • Manufacturing and Distribution Entrepreneur: Kären Olson, president, Adhesives Research
  • Master Entrepreneur: R. Christopher Hoehn-Saric, CEO and chairman, Educate
  • Master Entrepreneur: Mayo A. Shattuck III, president, Constellation Energy
  • Media and Entertainment Entrepreneur: Robert Struble, president, Ibiquity Digital
  • Retail and Consumer Products: J. Kent McNew, CEO, Eastern Petroleum
  • Services Entrepreneur: Peter Emmons, CEO and Scott Greenhaus, president; Structural Group
  • Software Entrepreneur: Jenny Morgan, president, Vips
  • Technology and Related Services Entrepreneur: John Powderly, executive vice president, and Kevin Powderly, president, Cybercore Technologies

    The award recognizes individuals who embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and determination necessary to achieve success. The Maryland winners will be eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2005 national program. The overall national Entrepreneur Of The Year Award recipient is then considered for the world event held in Monte Carlo.


    Marconi Pioneer Award Presented to Jeanne Hammond
    Bedford, NH - Jun 27, 2005 - The Guglielmo Marconi Foundation will present the Marconi Pioneer Award to Jeanne Hammond on Aug. 6, 2005. Hammond was chosen to receive the award for her work and association with Maj. Edwin Howard Armstrong, her uncle, whose inventions transformed broadcasting and wireless telecommunications. The award will be presented during a banquet at the Doubletree Hotel in Portland, ME.

    The awards program will include comments from Donna Halper, a Boston-based media historian, whose presentation will include Armstrong memorabilia from her collection; Arch Doty, who saw Armstrong’s FM transmitter prototype firsthand; and Ray Minichiello, president of the Foundation.


    Internet Watch

    Products

    Radiosophy Adds USB Port to Multistream HD
    North Sioux City, SD - Jun 30, 2005 - Radiosophy has added a USB port to its Multistream HD Radio receiver. This inbound-only service port will eliminate the need to return the unit to the manufacturer for software updates. Instead, the receiver can be updated via the Internet using a computer.

    Some may use the USB port to program the receiver’s preset buttons, including the Home Station Preset button. This is an oversized preset button designed to receive raised-dome decals with a station’s logo.

    Units will begin shipping in August at a price of $259. Radiosophy is currently taking pre-orders from individual and volume purchasers.


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