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Bill being issued to US Congress on DRM

Written by Dave Horvath @ 12 Jan 2007 11:29 User comments (16)

Bill being issued to US Congress on DRM United States Senator Dianne Feinstein is at it again. Just a little bit ago, Senator Feinstein had entered a bill into Congress called the Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act (PERFORM Act). What this act's main goal was; was to target the current practices of satellite radio broadcasters and their lack of protecting from users streaming and recording music of which they have not paid for. Both Sirius Radio and XM Radio sell devices that allow you to record music from their satellite streams, but they do not allow you to transfer music off of the device. Feinstein and the RIAA feel this is not enough.
Sirius Radio pays a premium license fee for the recorded music and XM Radio does not. PERFORM suggests that the licensing fee should be a universal thing no matter where or when copyrighted material is broadcast.

The Act is also targetting webcasters who provide a music stream of licensed music. The bill states that there is a need for copy protection against the groups listening to the streams and making a digital copy on the fly. The bill suggests that webcasters do not broadcast in DRM-less MP3 format, instead be forced to broadcast proprietary formats that contain DRM for the licensed materials they use.

"New radio services are allowing users to do more than simply listen to music. What was once a passive listening experience has turned into a forum where users can record, manipulate, collect and create personalized music libraries," Feinstein said in a statement. "As the modes of distribution change and the technologies change, so must our laws change."

This statement met with praise by the RIAA who retorted with, "Under the current system, satellite radio has been allowed to morph into a digital distribution service -- shorting the creators of music, displacing licensed sales and threatening the integrity of the digital music marketplace in the process," RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol said.

PERFORM did not make it through Congress the last time it was brought up due to the fact that the Judiciary Chairman of the Senate at the time did not find time to review the case. Unfortunately for those interested in keeping broadcasts the way they are, the new Senate Judiciary Chairman is Patrick Leahy; a notoriously outspoken individual against a great deal of technological advances.

In Feinstein's statement, she noted "Unfortunately, the PERFORM Act stalled in the last Congress. However, I am hopeful that the Judiciary Committee under Senator Leahy's leadership will make time to examine this and other important intellectual property issues. This legislation is too important for it to languish for another Congress."


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16 user comments

112.1.2007 12:33

It sounds like they are scared of tech. to me.

212.1.2007 21:49

Told everybody this back in November! Now that America's voted the nutjobs back into power, you can wave private ownership of music and everything else media-related, bye-bye. Exhibit A is above. Graft and corruption. The Repubs are amateurs at it, but the liberals are the pros.

313.1.2007 1:36

@mspurloc: why does it always have to be "US vs. them" with your Republicans? Give me a freaking break!! As for Feinstein, she's obviously being fed by the RIAA to carry out their evil deeds in Congress. Perhaps she's best as minority whip; she should be taking care of Iraq/economic matters rather than butt-licking the RIAA no less than 2 weeks since taking office.

413.1.2007 10:21

you know whos paying some dough to her campaign its obvious all the politicians are full of shiet. If ur payin their books u got some good good say in what bills u wanan get passed. its funny how politicisans get rich in congress when really those jobs dont pay much but when they are in office and leave they leave with millions. i just cant stand ppl that think with they pocket but give it up to the pimps in congress for sellin u some bullshiet.

513.1.2007 17:49

DMCA Legislation Enables Streamrippers I've been involved heavily in internet radio for over 3 years and running my own station ThereIsNoRadio [] 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.

613.1.2007 18:21

Interesting. My response to xhardc0re was deleted.

714.1.2007 3:04

There is a website called where those with less than liberal views can discuss how they feel. is NOT a political site. No matter how you may label me, or how you may label others, WE DON'T play that $h*t here on Afterdawn. If you want, go there. I don't believe i speak in the majority when i say this, but definitely not in the minority either.

814.1.2007 19:36

Bill being issued to US Congress on DRM
Quote: is NOT a political site.
Oh rly? Maybe you're news filter is broken because these politically charged articles keep finding their way in here...anyway, I would have liked to see his response, even more so now that it was deleted. :)

915.1.2007 19:49

It's the same scenario and situation as with the other article about the main-streaming of DRM in media. To me, DRM only benefits the people that supply it, and people like TiNRadio take the brunt of the costs to keep it up, and get the short-end of the stick for following the rules. As for what mspurloc was saying, it seems that the stranglehold that Republicans had on us through the war and taxes has been shifted towards the stranglehold the Democrats have on our entertainment choices and our alternative freedoms of speech. I would assume that this shift of agenda would have more of an impact on this group than the prior. As for what xhardc0re said, I don't know what mspurloc said exactly, but I would imagine that some of the views on aD could have been called liberal, but I don't even know if the term liberal means the same thing anymore. Obviously there would be no point to putting up these types of articles or to post comments if there wasn't indication to debate it. He could be mistaken in his approach, but it's still his opinion, and as long as it's within the guidelines of the site, it should be OK. I'm pretty sure the reason his comment was removed is because someone reported it offensive or it was removed by a mod or admin or some other reason.

1016.1.2007 8:45

Well, if Rikoshay is sure of that, I guess that has to be good enough for us, and my speech doesn't need to be heard. For the record, I don't use profanity, nor do I get overtly emotional at the drop of a hat. Bye.

1116.1.2007 8:54

NO poltics guys!!

We shall go to the end,we shall fight in France,we shall fight on the seas and oceans,we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air,we shall defend our Island,whatever the cost may be,we shall fight on the beaches,we shall fight on the landing grounds,we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,we shall fight in the hills;we shall never surrender

1216.1.2007 15:15

Well I guess that settles it. Thanks for the link MichaelP1. So it's only OK to talk about political issues if it has something to do with digital media or things in legislation about the IT world, otherwise it should not be discussed here.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Jan 2007 @ 15:50

1318.1.2007 10:27

@solarf Maybe they are scared of tech. Maybe this is the one way they can bridge the technological divide. :P After reading this article i feel dumber just by reading it and its got nothing to do with Davedough. I just feel the point of this case is pointless and has no merits.

1428.1.2007 15:02

The current level of Internet piracy of copyrighted material must be stopped. The Perform Act will do this. There is a company that can provide the technology called for in the Perform Act. They are called Media Rights Technologies (MRT) and they are located in Santa Cruz, California. MRT's X1 technology can stop the downloading of streaming audio files with programs like the ones being sold at has sold 25 million copies of these programs in the past 18 months. Currently there are 3.6 billion songs illegally downloaded every month. broadcast 100 billion songs last year. All of these could have been illegally downloaded. The loss to the creative artists is huge. I hope the Perform Act is soon passed.

1528.1.2007 17:34

Um no...loss implies that something which is irreplaceable was taken. Digital copies of media are not irreplaceable by any means, and the arbitrary figures presented as "dollars lost" has no basis in fact whatsoever. Rather than waste time and money with unconstitutional laws and flawed DRM strategies, the ideal solution would be to use the additional market share gained by the alleged mass downloading of said media to improve the bottom line. There really needs to be a copyright law reform in the US, and any other countries with laws that are similar. The copyrights should not be considered "infringed" upon unless there is some factually verifiable proof that a loss has taken place. Those claiming copyright infringement should have to prove that people sharing media on P2P networks would have been willing to purchase said media...if the people sharing the media were not willing to pay for it at current market price (or any price), then in fact no loss occured, imagined or otherwise, because those people never would have been customers in any scenario.

1628.1.2007 22:40

@es350jc: i'd like for the artists to get 100% of the $$ they're supposed to be getting from the media companies. Even better, i'd like to buy a CD/download from my favorite artist, for less money, and cut out the record companies/media conglomerates altogether!!

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