Sunday, March 18, 2007

Banning Internet Radio

The puppets of the RIAA are at it again! Senators Feinstein (D-CA) and Graham (R-SC) introduced S.2644, called the PERFORM Act, aimed at preventing satellite radio providers from offering subscribers devices capable of recording content off the air. Not only will this bill eliminate a great feature of satellite radio, but buried in the bill is a provision that would require any provider of streaming content to implement DRM.

Pandora, Shoutcast, Live365, and many radio stations rely on MP3 streaming to legally transmit their broadcasts under the Copyright Act. They obtain a statutory license, administered by SoundExchange, to broadcast their programming with whatever format they like. The current law provides adequate protection against recording by requiring broadcasters to use DRM only if the format includes DRM.

The PERFORM Act would require webcasters to use DRM to restrict the recording of webcasts even if you use the statutory license effectively killing MP3 streaming. Webcasters would have to use more expensive streaming technologies effectively killing Internet radio and the other innovations that have come along with it.

Let your senators know that you are one of 50 million listeners that enjoy Internet radio, and that the current laws are effective in protecting copyright holders. The EFF has a great article on the topic and form letter that you can send to your senators (Link to EFF) . Take a few moments to send them a letter protesting this bill.

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