Digital Audio World

Musings and information on podcasting, digital audio, online streaming audio and home studio recording from Tim 'Gonzo' Gordon of

Friday, April 28, 2006

No More Online Streaming MP3 Recording?

Time-shifting technologies that allow you to record streaming MP3 audio and listen to it later may be banned or heavily regulated under a bill introduced by Senators Feinstein (D-Cal.) and Graham (R-S.C.)and majority leader Bill Frist (R- Tenn.). This according to the Washington Post, which says that the bill is aiming to copyright holders as satellite stations move into digital music distribution: EFF: DeepLinks.

Damn. Could be that a lot of us who like to record streaming MP3 audio to listen to at a more convenient time will be shut out. The wild wild west of the internet is becoming fenced in, much like the wild west of the 1800s. It won't be long before we're being taxed for every little thing that we purchase online.

You'll never guess who's behind this push. Doh!

"Record industry executives want so-called "parity" among the different download platforms. They argue that the new devices XM Radio is bringing to the market that allow customers to save songs on the receivers without paying for the download rip off the copyright holder," the article states.

So if you're 'recording' a live streaming MP3, you're actually 'downloading' the song, which makes it theft. Listening to it doesn't. Recording it off the radio doesn't. Recording it from a friend's CD might. Or might not. Not too clear on all of this.

Lawyers and corporate mouthpieces are parsing language here, all in search of another snippet of the $$ that changes hands when popular music finds fandom. Is it 'downloading' or is it 'listening,' or is it 'enjoying a performance?'

No matter what you call it, the fans are ultimately in control. We choose what to listen to and pay for. We decide if we like something or not. We are the ones who fork out the dough for tunes. And the record companies are finding out that the more control we have (ie., being able to download favorite singles instead having to buy a whole CD), the less money they'll make. They're even trying to push the average cost of singles up past 99 cents.

Corporate record goons are losing control and are hounding around for any scrap they can pick up before it vanishes. They can dress it up in any language they want, but it's all about the money.

Go listen to Tom Petty's "Joe:"

my name's Joe I 'm the ceo
yeah, I 'm the man
makes the big wheels roll
I 'm the hand on
the green light switch
you get to be famous
I get to be rich

Well, listen to the whole damn "The Last DJ" album. It pretty much tells it like it is. I think it's actually a documentary.


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