Matt McCormick is the Co-Managing Member with the law firm of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth in Arlington, VA, and is the Legal Counsel to the OAB. Here is a sample of questions from members that first appeared in the OAB’s newsletter. Member stations may direct questions to Matt through the OAB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 7, 2017
Question: Matt, I have heard that the FCC has done away with the requirement that we keep letters and emails from the public in the physical Public Inspection File at our main studio. Does that mean we can chuck those files now?
January 17, 2017
Question: We have been requested to run an ad for a tobaccoless nicotine pouch. Is this permissible?
PHOTOGRAPH USE ON WEBSITES
December 27, 2016
Question: Hi, Matt. I recently heard a story about a fellow broadcaster getting sued for placing pictures on its website without obtaining the copyright owner’s permission. Where can we find photos to use on our websites without risking a lawsuit?
December 13, 2016
Question: Are any restrictions/regulations on commercial operation of drones for news gathering or commercial production that are specific to the Oregon. Has the state made any rules that piggyback with what is in place by the Feds?
SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS USAGE
November 16, 2016
Question: We received a television commercial from a local client that includes video images of fans watching a football game. A short highlight from a network college football broadcast is included in the commercial, and the actors are wearing clothing that clearly shows trademarks held by the National Football League. The producer says his attorney cleared the spot under "fair use provisions." Can we air the spot as presented?
WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE IN UNDERWRITING MESSAGES?
June 6, 2016
Question: We are a public radio station and our question is about what copy is allowable in an underwriting message. The underwriting partner is a local casino, and they have a standard tag line that they use for all marketing. They would like to use their tag at the conclusion of the underwriting message to that promotes an upcoming music event. Is it permissible to use the tag, or is it considered too promotional?
May 31, 2016
Question: I heard that the FCC is updating their rules on how stations inform listeners/viewers of contest rules. What are the changes, and what exactly do I have to broadcast over the air?