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September 9, 2005
RIAA to Congress: Give Us Control of Digital Radio
Mike Godwin has the scoop on the recording industry's new bid to assert control over radio broadcasts, in an effort to stop you from doing things like "[automatically copying] particular recordings of the user's choice, thereby transforming a passive listening experience into a personal music library often without even listening to the original broadcast."
In other words, it's worried that you'll have a TiVo for radio. And it believes that by citing fears of digital "theft" of free radio broadcasts -- which have never copy-protected -- it can persuade Congress to stop TiVo for radio from happening. Or, to be more precise, to stop it from happening without being able to control it. It's already decided, for example, that people shouldn't be able to automatically search for and record songs by a particular artist. But after the Broadcast Flag smackdown, it needs Congress to give the FCC explicit authority to make it so.
Writes Fred von Lohmann @ Deep Links:
[The] music industry is basically saying that, where recording from next-generation radio is concerned, government must step in and freeze innovation to ensure that you can never do anything that you couldn't do with an analog cassette deck in 1984. This, despite the fact that Congress specifically approved of digital recording off the radio in the Audio Home Recording Act in 1992. So this is about stopping music fans from doing things that are perfectly legal under copyright law.
For more on why a Broadcast Flag-style regime for digital radio is a bad idea, check out Public Knowledge
President Gigi Sohn's opinion piece from last spring, Say No to a Radio Broadcast Flag
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