FKK The FCC

Friends of freedom of sound — The FCC — have levied a $1 million fine against Behringer for supposedly marketing almost 50 models of “unauthorized radio frequency devices” — namely Class B digital audio music devices, i.e. mic pres, mixing consoles, and dynamic processors.
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The agency had acted upon a complaint received in 2004 that alleged Behringer was marketing digital audio equipment that didn’t have a certification label; which resulted in some serious finger wagging on the side of the FCC.

According to the FCC, “in order to promote efficient use of the radio spectrum the FCC has developed technical standards for devices that are capable of emiting radiofrequency energy when in use.” This requires that radio frequency equipment is tested for compliance with applicable technical requirements in accordance with one of three authorization procedures: Declaration of Conformity, Verification, and Certification. This is enacted to ensure that radio transmitters and assorted electronic devices meet certain guidelines that limit interference before they hit the streets.

Long story short — they’ve been bugging the hell out of Behringer for years about 66 models of digital devices and their lack of verified compliance with FCC technical standards. Though Behringer claims that “a range” of its products have been tested and passed “CE” directives, offering lab results to substantiate these claims.

“S’Not Okay, Mang,” the FCC’s exclaimed, claiming that Behringer has “imported 93,620 units and sold 100,304 units of digital devices that had not yet been tested for compliance with the FCC’s rules” — proposing base forfeitures of $7,000 for each and every one of the 50 models of “unauthorized” digital devices Behringer has marketed in the United States within the past year.

The FCC has admitted that they are screwing Behringer by fining them in a manner substantially harsh in contrast to how the commission has dealt with similar past manners, but justified it by calling them “egregious” and “able to pay the fine,” as well as being “terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad people.” Yes. That’s what we call a joke, son.