January 12, 2007 10:35 AM PST

Senators aim to restrict Net, satellite radio recording

Satellite and Internet radio services would be required to restrict listeners' ability to record and play back individual songs, under new legislation introduced this week in the U.S. Senate.

The rules are embedded in a copyright bill called the Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act, or Perform Act, which was reintroduced Thursday by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). They have pitched the proposal, which first emerged in an earlier version last spring, as a means to level the playing field among "radio-like services" available via cable, satellite and the Internet.

By their description, that means requiring all such services to pay "fair market value" for the use of copyright music libraries. The bill's sponsors argue the existing regime must change because it applies different royalty rates, depending on what medium transmits the music.

But the measure goes further, taking aim at portable satellite radio devices, such as XM Satellite Radio's Inno player, that allow consumers to store copies of songs originally played on-air. The proposal says that all audio services--Webcasters included--would be obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable" copy-protection technology aimed at preventing "music theft" and restricting automatic recording.

"New radio services are allowing users to do more than simply listen to music," Feinstein said in a statement. "What was once a passive listening experience has turned into a forum where users can record, manipulate, collect and create personalized music libraries."

The Recording Industry Association of America applauded the effort and urged Congress to make passing the legislation a top priority this year. The lobbying group sued XM last year over a music-storing device offered by the service, arguing that it should have to pay licensing fees akin to what Apple pays to run its iTunes download service.

"We love satellite radio," RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol said in a statement. "But this is simply no way to do business. It's in everyone's best interest to ensure a marketplace where fair competition can thrive."

XM Satellite Radio spokesman Chance Patterson called the proposed legislation "ill-advised" because, among other things, it would "harm consumers' long-protected recording rights." The company is making "good progress" in resolving what he referred to as "a business dispute with our partners in the music industry" and, besides, satellite radio outfits already pay royalties, he said.

In what the bill's sponsors describe as an attempt to avoid "harming" songwriters and performers, the Perform Act makes distinctions about what sort of recordings listeners would be allowed to make, according to a copy of the bill obtained by CNET News.com.

Radio listeners would be permitted to set their devices to automatically record full radio programs on certain channels at certain times. But allowing users to program their devices to automatically find and record specific sound recordings, artists or albums--say, only all Michael Jackson tracks played on the service--would be prohibited. So-called "manual" recording would be allowed, as long as it's done "in a manner that is not an infringement of copyright."

In addition, the services would have to employ technological protection measures that prevent people from "separating component segments of the copyrighted material" contained in broadcasts. And they would be required to restrict users' "redistribution, retransmission or other exporting" of all or part of copyright music to other devices--unless the destination device is part of a secure in-home network that also limits the scope of automated recordings.

It is unclear how the proposed requirements would affect software recorders. A Mac OS X utility called StreamRipperX, for instance, permits songs from Internet radio stations to be saved as unprotected MP3 files. If future versions of such software tried to circumvent the digital rights management (DRM) technology used in encrypted broadcasts, they would almost certainly violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Digital rights advocacy groups vowed to fight the proposal. A similar bill of the same name introduced last spring encountered considerable resistance from such groups and individual Webcasters, even spawning an opposition Web site.

CONTINUED: Limiting consumer rights?…
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29 comments

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Absolutely absurd..
This isn't going to fly. Even if they block the satellite radio services from offering their own recording devices, there will still be devices out there that will record from any source, and that is something that the RIAA can't touch.

So even if they win, they lose. The RIAA is completely out of touch with reality.
Posted by darkane (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: Absolutely absurd..
I'd have to agree with you that it's absurd. Although I'm lucky enough to have my own legally purchased, large collection of music CD, I simply can't agree with what the RIAA has done, and is doing to individuals.

I haven't purchased a music CD for years. Not only do I not purchase them in protest, it's made all the easier because virtually all the new music I'm hearing nowadays is IN MY OPINION not worth it.

Perhaps if the RIAA is worried about sales, they should concentrate more on adding REAL artists that actually write decent music, as opposed to whoever is the "hottest looking" at present.

Charles R. Whealton
Charles Whealton @ pleasedontspam.com
Posted by chuck_whealton (521 comments )
Link Flag
I agree -- this is completely self-defeating
Personally, I'm not going to use a service that imposes these restrictions. And those who do will simply find a way around the copy protection. In the long run, this will hurt the industry more than consumers.
Posted by mh20932 (41 comments )
Link Flag
Our Congress men and women...
are idiots.

The reality is that they recording industry needs to change. We don't need laws protecting dinosaurs from extinction. We need the dinosaurs to evolve into modern society.

I still give the US a good couple hundred years or less before our way of life implodes.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And we thought the Dems would be better?
Senators please show some backbone just because we the consumers don't have fancy lobby groups, doesn't mean you should take us for granted.

Amazing the Senator for CA, puts this bill in.

Wow....Tell me please how this is different than people recording off air radio right now. Why don't you force terrestrial radio to put in that copy protection?

This looks to me like nothing more than government forced licensing pricing.

Of course the RIAA "loves XM", no one is listening to Ad bloated terrestrial radio anymore. They love them so much, they want a bigger piece of the pie.
Posted by LarryLo (164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who thought the Dems would be better?
About the only difference I've seen between Republicans and Democrats, over the past 15 years or so, is the Republicans tend to let you keep a little more of your paycheck.

Both will sell out the citizens of this country at the drop of a campaign contribution check.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
Senators should focus on the pull out in Iraq :)
WOW, These Senators have nothing better to do?
Posted by jasonm0817 (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It never ends, does it?!
What a load of BS! These Dems ought to be ashamed of themselves for evening considering an act like this. But I guess they'll do anything for the right amount of "campaign contributions". Got to pay back the people that helped to get them in office.

"...users can record, manipulate, collect and create personalized music libraries." Yeah, God forbid I should want to record a broadcast of something I like so that I can listen to it more than once. I don't know how I sleep at night!

"It's in everyone's best interest to ensure a marketplace where fair competition can thrive." Everyone's best interest? Or the RIAA and record company executive's best interest. Gimme a break.

Well, it's 2007, and that means a whole new year and a whole new opportunity for the RIAA to bash on the consumer.
Posted by anomalator (83 comments )
Reply Link Flag
As a musician with his own band this is bad for us
What this is really about is controlling the artist.

They didn't care about it until the Indie artist like my group starting releasing our music as free demos via mp3's.

To bad so many of my fellow artist don't get this. The record company drops them when sales are low and then blame the pirates.

Then the say a bunch of lies to the Congress to think they are protecting the artist.

My band is a blues band of over 50 yr olds.

Indie distribution is our only chance at the big time.

What really gets me angry is when they use the artist to promote their lies.

Well this artist isn't falling for their nonsense.
Posted by slim-1 (229 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I stopped caring about this cr*p
Ladies and gentlemen, let me ask you a question. If this moronic bill is passed, how many of you will change your habits? I know that i for one will continue exactly what I am doing now and shaking my head over the whole thing. The MPAA and RIAA's campaign is like the prohibition, eventually it will fail. Also, who actually makes extensive use of recordings? Probably very few people, so if they think this is worth the money and effort they are putting into it, they won't be doing business for long.
Posted by jmanjohns2 (25 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Feinstein don't believe in personal freedoms
"New radio services are allowing users to do more than simply listen to music," Feinstein said in a statement. "What was once a passive listening experience has turned into a forum where users can record, manipulate, collect and create personalized music libraries."

This is the most dumbest comment I ever heard. What this Liberal senator is telling me is that I can't listen to music that I want, only listen to music that I am told to listen to. I can't just listen to music that I like, I have to listen to music I don't like?

Can we say Feinstein don't believe in personal freedoms? Her true colors are being exposed but people are still falling for it.
Posted by viperpa (41 comments )
Reply Link Flag
wow! talk about partisan
did you even bother to notice that 2 out of the 4 sponsors of this bill are republican? that's one half! you can't place the blame for this horrible bill at the feet of "Liberals".
Posted by burrnini (1 comment )
Link Flag
Freedom, not with Hillary, Debra, and the Dems
Repeat after Hillary, "You are not as smart as me (well, her) and you do not deserve to decide what you like and what is good for you. Furthermore, I don't like guns, mp3 players, men, or doctors making money, so we're banning guns, iPods, Interns, and starting free health care for all. Now, get out your wallets, because all this free stuff and weapons ban enforcement will cost all the 'rich' who make over $50,000 and actually get off their couches to do more than smoke dope pay $25,000 a year in taxes."

Sorry, couldn't help myself there! I hate to say I told you so, but the people who let the issues with the war in Iraq cloud their thinking that the Democrats were somehow better than the republicans is nuts. Politicians suck. They suck no less in the US than they do in 3rd world dictatorships. Obviously, we're stuck with them, so we have to pick the "less evil" ones. From my view, that is the side that stays out of my wallet, out of my house (since I don't call anyone from Al-Qaeda, I'm not worried about a wiretap anyway), and out of my health-care decision. Think "national health care" is a great way to go? Try getting a top-rated doctor at a "national" hospital in Canada lately? I tried that this summer. I had a sick baby with a 102+ fever and it was all I could do to find one who understood my very plain middle of the US accent. Go, elect Hillary or Obama, but when the US has the same problems as the UK in 10 years, don't come back and say I didn't warn you!
Posted by 527nrhpd (44 comments )
Link Flag
RIAA wants so to squeeze the market again. Nazi style.
"New radio services are allowing users to do more than simply listen to music," Feinstein said in a statement. "What was once a passive listening experience has turned into a forum where users can record, manipulate, collect and create personalized music libraries."

She is either lying or just too rich to understand.
She has never recored a radio program? A live concert? I forgot Feinstein is so rich that she has always purchased the albums(.), or talk shows, if available? Not even my friends in the ultra rich neighborhood we grew up in in the 80s purchased albums all the time or could get certain stuff that was on the radio. We would make tapes and record songs etc.

When do I know if a certain album is going to be played? That's very hard. I get lucky with a song here or there. This is all based on money. People have always recored their favorite songs and not went out to buy the album but it was good advertising. I just don't see how people could time a program efficiently enough to replace a paid service. They have said people are using PAID online music services fine but just not purchasing CD's and so that's where there losing money.
So the market is changing. ADAPT don't DESTROY! If this continues RIAA might attempt to drive people back to CD sales but the people aint going there anymore.

So why can't RIAA be satisfied with that? They are never going to make money as they will pinch regular consumers away from music or toward free/open source music. People don't have time to hypermange all their music
It's AD first, then sale but RIAA wants to shove their product down peoples throats. They have annihilated the once freedom, radio first purchase second, orientated American music industry.
Posted by Blito (436 comments )
Reply Link Flag
money talks
what did you expect?? all these pr*cks are bought and paid for by the corporate machine!
Posted by PyRO_sTEVO (46 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Control Freaks!!!
Sorry, I have this problem with rich people who want to control what you do with your life. Can't listen to it when you want, can't listen to it, unless you buy it. That's why the entertainment has been taken out of music. The "artist" used to make music because they wanted to, now they have to fill contracts or buy their next house....which makes a lackluster industry. You wonder why all the music is remakes of yesterday's hits, the artist is dying....and the corporation is taking over.
Posted by Pescatarian (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DMCA Enables Streamrippers
I've been involved heavily in internet radio for over 3 years and running my own station ThereIsNoRadio [http://thereisnoradio.com|http://thereisnoradio.com] for over a year now. We are constantly trying to keep within the guidelines of the DMCA and keep streamrippers off our streams when we see them. Unfortunately streamrippers would not function in the way described in Senator Feinstein's comments if not for the DMCA. The DMCA requires that we digitally include the artist, song title, and album that we are playing in the stream. The main reason for this seems to be to ensure that the RIAA can police us by tuning into any station stream and logging all the music played so they can collect evidence of DMCA violations and get us shut down. What it does instead, is allow streamrippers to search stream lists like shoutcast and find the songs they want, connect to the stream, and record just the songs specified by the user. If we were not forced by law to send this information, the streamrippers would only be able to record a long time chunk of our stream and the end user would have to listen to it and edit the file to extract the songs they wanted without any reference points. The only internet radio stations that I know of that actually make money are backed by major corporations (yahoo, aol, clear channel) or are the internet streams of corporate terrestrial am/fm stations. The rest of us pay for our bandwidth, our royalties, our music, etc. The royalties we pay to the RIAA are not just based on the music we play and how many people hear it. Our royalties are also based on how much money we spend to run the station as well as how much we earn. They get money based on our website hosting costs as well as our website advertising revenue, which is completely separate from the streams. We also pay a percentage of what we spend for advertising and marketing for the station. Our station and lots of other stations are heard on cellphones as well, with DRM forced formats, we will have to use additional bandwidth to send our stream to the cellphone stream provider. We will also have to spend more money on stream hosting to ensure that we don't alienate any of our listeners by streaming both windows media, and quicktime or realmedia drm formats, nevermind having to find a new hosting provider that can support it. If congress would do some research and quit letting the RIAA make the laws, maybe internet radio could grow as an industry, but they are pretty successfully forcing internet radio into the realm of hobby and making the costs prohibitive for even that. We have done and continue to do everything that congress asks of us and we still get accused of enabling theft, when it is the legislation that they write that is actually enabling the theft. They were better off when it was filesharing, but due to ignorance, they have made it a lot worse for everybody involved and this is the next move to destroy the internet radio that the RIAA can neither influence nor control.
Posted by ThereIsNoRadio (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Morons
"New radio services are allowing users to do more than simply listen to music," Feinstein said in a statement. "What was once a passive listening experience has turned into a forum where users can record, manipulate, collect and create personalized music libraries."

I hate to call very intelligent politicians blithering idiots (well, no I don't) but...

Her comments aren't true, have never been true and have no basis in reality. Way back in 1980, utilizing my clock radio and a portable tape recorder I began taping radio. I was 12 at the time and this played a large part in forming my lifelong appreciation of music. It also lead to a very large music collection in (pay attention - this is critical) both content I had taped personally AND CONTENT I PURCHASED BASED ON REPEATED LISTENINGS TO THOSE RECORDINGS. In other words, the very unpassive experience was the direct reason I became interested in and purchased music.
Feinstein clearly put about X thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and bribes into her consideration of this issue and came out strongly on the side of big lobbies.
And I'm sure nobody is surprised. Truth is, as we all know, subjective and for sale to the highest bidder.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Senators to restrict Net
Sounds link senators are jumping in bed with the RIAA. Wonder how much money the RIAA is putting in their pockets?
Posted by rahl46 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why's it always about money?
For some reason these kinds of people with money are constantly looking to make more. I say if you have that much money to throw away on dumb things like that, you should buy yourself a life.
Posted by madgewillnotbesilenced (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Feinstein the fifth wealthiest senator
In 2003, Feinstein was ranked the fifth wealthiest senator, with an estimated net worth of $26 million. By 2005 her net worth had increased to between $43 million and $99 million dollars.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dianne_Feinstein" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dianne_Feinstein</a>
Posted by Dennis_Nilsson (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Restrict recording?
There is NO WAY for this to be enforceable... even if all recordings are broadcast encrypted... it has to be pure audio at some point, and if nothing else, fifteen seconds with a soldering iron, and I'll be able to make any and all copies I want. Might not be DDD, but it'll be recorded. (DAD, most likely, a digital re-encode of the analog audio signal, even if I have to tap the speakers / headphones to get it.) Someone needs to point this out to the marroons in DC - NTM the idjits at RIAA, etc. BTW, if they really are interested in improving sales, I'd suggest they take a look at BAEN, a largish publisher of books - who goes against conventional wisdom by offering electronic copies of some of their books FREE to download. According to folks who are in a position to know, sales actually improved when they stared doing that.
Posted by tspencer2000 (1 comment )
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