Athena Audio Book
If you don't already know this, WHUS was one of the charter stations of the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (known by us by its unfortunate acronym, "IBS"). Ever since the 1940s, WHUS has been involved in one way or another. In the 70s, WHUS alum Jeff Tellis testified in the original copyright hearings to determine that indeed, radio stations playing music did not constitute stealing it from the artists. Oh, how far we've come. In addition to Jeff's great service, current WHUS GM John Murphy served on the Board of Directors of IBS for 25 years. Back in August, IBS asked John and I to submit written testimony in support of their case against the Sound Exchange (the group that represents the Big 3 record labels, the RIAA). You can read our testimony at the bottom of this post.
Today, (Wednesday, April 21, 2010) John and I travelled to Washington, D.C. to testify in front of the three-judge panel at the U.S. Copyright Tribunal at the LIbrary of Congress. Apologies in advance for the blurry iPhone pictures, didn't have time for much else. It was a hectic trip, not knowing what day we were going to testify until Monday night, but we woke up early in the morning, threw on our gorilla suits and headed to the airport. Besides sitting next to Squirmy McWigglesworth on the plane, we arrived safely to the James Madison Building, which is a massive building with color coded corridors because its really easy to get lost in it, near the Capitol. We weren't allowed in the hearing room, so we were sequestered in the "lobby," if you want to call it that:
After a quick lunch with IBS's fearless Attorney, Bill Malone, we got ready to go. A quick note about Bill: He is part of the original generation of IBSers, when the group was called the Gas Pipe Network, after the ways carrier currents used to get sent around campuses through elevator shafts in the 1940s and 1950s. He's an alum of WHRB, the radio station at Harvard. In addition to his obvious smarts, Bill recently had back surgery. He's truckin' along, defending IBS and all that is good in the world through obvious physical discomfort. Kudos to him, our fearless leader:
After lunch, John and I both testified. The case, in shorthand called Web III, deals with what royalties radio stations and services (like Live365) should be paying to Sound Exchange, like we do for our terrestrial broadcast service to ASCAP, BMI, etc. IBS is in there because, under the proposed new rules, most of all the college radio stations in the country, whom they represent, operate on a minuscule budget. John and I were sent to testify to try to show that both the proposed fee and reporting requirements make absolutely no sense for college radio stations. It went very well, and once again, the WHUS story is on official Federal record.
That's all I've got about this trip, its been a whirlwind day. After the testimony, we had a lovely dinner with Bill and shared old stories. IBS will conclude presenting its case tomorrow, but we'll already be on our way back to CT. Two wonderful things about DC before I go:
1. Every organization on the face of the earth has its own building. Here is the National Association of Broadcasters, right across from Bill's office:
2. Even the cafeteria trays have a seal on them:
Find our testimony, in full, below.
Operations Manager, WHUS Radio