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IN BRIEF Technology

July 20, 2002

Radio Station Pulls

Plug on Webcasts

The first commercial radio station to make its broadcasts available over the Internet has suspended its Webcasts, saying it can't afford new royalties.

KPIG, a 2,850-watt radio station based in Freedom, Calif., ended seven years of continuous Webcasting by signing off with the song "Happy Trails."

Station management attributed the shutdown to recently imposed fees stations must pay recording studios for copyrighted music streamed over the Internet.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, who oversees the U.S. Copyright Office, set the royalty standards last month, provoking protests from small Internet radio stations that said the fees would force them to stop Webcasts.

This week, a group of radio stations appealed the Webcasting royalties in a Philadelphia federal court.

Associated Press


Wrong Number to Cost

Gateway $3.6 Million

Computer giant Gateway Inc. has been hit with a $3.6-million jury verdict for a wrong number that flooded another company's toll-free telephone line with calls from thousands of angry Gateway customers.

The number belongs to Mo' Money, a Pensacola, Fla., business that manufactures and distributes promotional items with company logos, including T-shirts, caps, gym bags and jackets. A federal jury awarded the damages to Mo' Money on Wednesday.

"It was a nightmare," Mo' Money President Cliff Mowe said. "We had as many as 8,000 extra calls a month, and these were all angry people."

In January 1999, someone at Gateway erred by using the 800 prefix instead of 888 for the computer company's toll-free customer complaint line.

As a result, Gateway sent Mo' Money's number to more than 275 Gateway retail stores. The phone number also was posted on Gateway's Web site and listed on Internet billings.

Associated Press

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