Another really bad law for the music industry

I don’t normally post any political news on the LOUIE Report, but this is something directly related to the music industry- a bipartisan piece of garbage that deserves to exposed. According to articles in Washington Post and at the Electronic Freedom Foundation, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and majority leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. have introduced bill S. 2644, dubbed the PERFORM Act, which is aimed at punishing satellite radio for offering its subscribers devices capable of recording off the air.

Buried in the bill, however, is a provision that would effectively require music webcasters to use DRM-laden streaming formats, rather than the MP3 streaming format used by Live365, Shoutcast, and many smaller webcasters (such as KFJC, KCRW, KEXP, among others… ). The streaming radio stations included in iTunes also rely on MP3 streams (since Apple isn’t about to license the Real or Microsoft streaming codecs).

Today, webcasters that want to transmit major label music are entitled to do so under a statutory license (administered by SoundExchange) set out in section 114(d) of the Copyright Act. So long as they follow the rules and pay a royalty, webcasters can play whatever music they like, using whatever streaming format they like. This is a law that works, and doesn’t need to be changed.

You can read more about this particular bill and the ramifications of such a law at the EFF (Electronic Freedom Foundation) website.

I think this is a terrible piece of legislation, and I’m ashamed that Senator Dianne Feinstein is representing me in the U.S. Senate. I happen to think that the American consumer is entitled to record whatever radio or television program they would like for personal, non-commerical or archival purposes.

I have signed an online pledge to refuse to to vote for Dianne Feinstein if she continues to support this terrible piece of legislation. If you are a California resident that is as disgusted as I am about this bill, I’d like to encourage you to do the same. I hope that Senators Feinstein, Graham and Frist are overwhelmed with calls from angry constiuents.

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