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FM chips in iPhones?

HOT CHIP: The majors and radio chains may have reached a compromise in their lobbying for and against (respectively) passage of the Performance Rights Act. The two warring parties are expected to jointly ask Congress to mandate the inclusion of FM radio chips in portable devices, including cellphones, according to an Ars Technica report. "Including radio-enabled chips in mobile devices in possible legislation seems to us to be a reasonable idea," NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton told Ars. "musicFIRST, too, likes FM chips in cellphones, PDAs, etc. It gives consumers access to more music choices.” In return for supporting the FM-chip mandate, the majors would get an estimated $100 million per year in new licensing fees. But not everybody is applauding this solution. In the same piece, Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Electronics Association, called it "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." (8/18a)

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