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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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May 25, 2005

Where the Rubber Meets the Roadcasting

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Posted by Jason Schultz

Some enterprising students at Carnegie Mellon's Human Computer Interaction Institute have put together an interesting project called Roadcasting, which appears to allow people to broadcast XML-defined playlists over Wifi from their car-based MP3 players.

While supposedly backed by "[t]he research and development arm of a major automaker," it will be interesting to see how such innovations are received. Our current copyright system has nothing to accommodate such personal retransmission capabilities. Are these reproductions, distributions, or public performances? Are they fair use? Is this essentially the same as turning up your car stereo super-loud with the windows down, or is it like running your own radio station?

Interestingly, the system is currently limited to streaming, which makes it almost identical to Apple iTunes' "sharing" feature. It will be interesting to see the RIAA's reaction. Monitoring P2P networks is one thing; spying on us in our cars and on our daily commutes would be something quite different.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Tech


COMMENTS

1. A new type of victimless crime? on May 25, 2005 9:24 PM writes...

The other day I called a friend who lives about 50 miles from here to tell him of a a radio program interview I knew would interest him. He told me that his radio did not get the signal from the radio station of the interview. So I broke the law and became an infringer by putting the telephone in front of the radio so my friend could listen the interview.

Since there is no chance no one will acuse me of infringement and radio stations do not object to increasing the listening crowd, all of which makes me a criminal of a crime without victims.

Roadcasting should also be a victimless crime. After all record companies pay (remember payola?) to have their records played and heard on cars and homes. They should not (but will due to fear)object to roadcasting. Artist will love that their recordings are rebroadcast on the road too (but will object if blackmailed to do so by their record companies).

Rafael Venegas
http://www.gvenegas.com

Permalink to Comment

2. joe on May 31, 2005 2:30 PM writes...

If they are just retransmitting playlist information, not actual songs, where is the copyright implication? I've wanted something like this for the bus for ever... I'd love to see what other people are listening to... and, although this does start to implicate (c), tune in to sample what the hot chick across the aisle is listening to.

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