Digital Radio

RIAA's Attempt to Control Recording From the Radio

Satellite radio, like XM and Sirius, is already at your fingertips—and HD Radio may soon be ubiquitous. If innovators are allowed to build them, so too will devices that time-shift and space-shift radio for you—imagine something like a TiVo for radio. New digital radio technologies should set off a revolution in other technologies that help you get more from your radio—recording music off the radio moving it to a portable player streaming it to your other devices online and much more.

But the recording industry wants to put the brakes on home recording something American radio fans have been doing for more than 25 years, and is clearly permitted under existing copyright laws. Taking a page from the movie business the RIAA has been asking the FCC and Congress to force all digital radio devices with a record button to incorporate DRM and a host of restrictions.

The music industry does not want your fair use rights to develop in the digital age. Instead they are asking federal bureaucrats to force innovators to hobble their products leaving you with something no better than the cassette decks of the 1970s. According to the RIAA new technologies should only give you "customary" capabilities. The RIAA says for instance that you shouldn't be able to record individual songs or move content to another player. And many novel uses will simply never be invented; after all before you could hit record on your boombox or VCR time-shifting broadcasted content wasn't "customary."

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