Earlier this week, the Future of Music Coalition filed a formal complaint with the FCC, accusing Clear Channel Radio of forcing musicians to give up their digital copyrights in order to get the airplay that is required under the payola consent decree. Now Clear Channel has altered the wording in its legal agreements, making sure that artists will not have to give up those rights.
The re-worded agreement (which can be found on CC stations' Web sites) now says, "In the instance when Clear Channel makes the decision to use the content for terrestrial broadcasting and, as a result, for simultaneous transmission through online streaming ... Clear Channel shall be subject to and pay for all applicable current and future statutory royalties as well as public performance royalties."
Last week, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) sent an open letter to the heads of CBS Radio, Citadel, Clear Channel and Entercom, questioning their commitment to ending payola in radio. The letter was prompted by the FMC's accusations against CC.