Can the RIAA have its name attached to something good? The Future of Music Coalition has joined together with several groups, including the RIAA, in a letter to the FCC and Congress. The letter proposes (among other things) that the FCC allow independent low-power FM stations. It also laments the effect that corporate consolidation has had on the airwaves: "Radio station groups have centralized their decision-making about playlists and which new songs to add to the playlist. These centralized playlists have reduced the local flavor and limited the diversity of music played on radio." With all of the work RIAA has done to stop independent musicians and Internet radio stations, this letter doesn't seem to be in line with their strategy. I guess it's another case of saying one thing publicly and acting completely different in the courts.

Update: Senator Feingold (campaign finance reformer) has seized on this issue and says he's going to introduce legistlation to change the current radio landscape. From his statement to congress: "Radio airwaves are public property. Unlike other business ventures, radio stations have acquired their distribution mechanisms – the airways – without any expenditure of capital. They were given access to the broadcast spectrum by the government for free. Since 1943, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission have tried to ensure that this medium serves public good, but limiting access to information and diversity on the radio does not achieve this." (6/15)