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TiVo-like Application for XM Radio Under Fire 415

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the bloop-bloop-ding dept.
Strudelkugel writes "USA Today reports: 'Catching Blondie's reunion tour broadcast at 4 in the morning wasn't an option for XM satellite radio subscriber and single father Scott MacLean. "I was missing concerts that were being broadcasted when I was asleep or out," he said. So the 35-year-old computer programmer from Ottawa, Ontario, wrote a piece of software that let him record the show directly onto his PC hard drive while he snoozed.' As expected, the lawyers are coming out. Seems like a good idea, though. This capability might actually entice me to get an XM radio."
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TiVo-like Application for XM Radio Under Fire

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  • Bleh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:48PM (#10084803)
    They're just upset because they're planning on introducing a similar feature in a couple months. I don't see how this is much different than something like Total Recorder [highcriteria.com]. Just recording for yourself (time shifting) is perfectly legal fair use.
    • A quick google search for the xmradio with the quoted two words "chance patterson" yielded as the first hit:

      About Us - Press Room - Login ... Please call Jennifer Markham (202) 380-4315. Contact Information. Press Contact: Chance Patterson, VP Corporate Affairs chance.patterson@xmradio.com [mailto]. ... www.xmradio.com/newsroom/ - 15k - Cached - Similar pages

      Hell, even Tivo is more enlightened than this.

      Let them know what you think....

    • Re:Bleh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by waynelorentz (662271) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:21PM (#10085296) Homepage
      I don't see why anyone is so upset about this. I already do this with Sirius Satellite Radio.

      All Sirius subscribers have a login and password so they can stream Sirius channels over the internet when they're away from their satellite tuners (at work, in a different room of the house, etc...) I just start the stream and set a timer on one of the many OS X programs that does timed recordings of whatever's playing through the audio channel. I wake up and in a few minutes convert it (depending on the program I use) and move it to my iPod for listening on the train on the way to work.

      I don't have XM, so I don't know if this method is also possible with it. If so, then the lawyers simply can't stop this.
      • Re:Bleh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Spy Hunter (317220) on Friday August 27, 2004 @03:01AM (#10086118) Journal
        They're upset because it automatically cuts up the recording by song, tags it with all the correct artist info from XM's broadcast, and encodes it into an MP3 ready for sharing. If it didn't produce nicely packaged song MP3s, they probably wouldn't care nearly as much (though they might still be assholes and shut this guy down for competing with their upcoming vaporware).

        You may be right that they lawyers can't stop this, but they sure can sue over it. You signed some sort of subscriber agreement for your service and it probably gives them power to prohibit you from doing anything they don't want you doing. Rest assured, if the agreement didn't prohibit unauthorized recording before, it will now. Whether it gives them jurisdiction over this guy's business is questionable, but if he used any SDK of theirs in producing his software then he's probably bound by some agreement. The lawyers can use that to beat him into submission with some lawsuits (valid or not, probably doesn't matter).

        • Re:Bleh (Score:3, Informative)

          You signed some sort of subscriber agreement for your service and it probably gives them power to prohibit you from doing anything they don't want you doing

          I have XM and I didn't sign anything.
    • Re:Bleh (Score:4, Informative)

      by scottj (7200) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:46PM (#10085435) Homepage Journal
      What really doesn't make sense about this is that I have hardware that does this already. DISH Network broadcasts Sirius satellite radio along with all of the other music channels. And there's no problem with recording it on my DISH PVR. So I suppose XM is probably just upset because they didn't think of it first.
  • A few bits.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thewldisntenuff (778302) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:49PM (#10084814) Homepage
    From TFA-

    Music labels fear that the convenience of MacLean's software will lead millions more to copy and distribute songs over file-sharing networks such as KaZaA, a music industry source said.

    "Millions more"? Aren't there a hell of a lot of people sharing music as it is? Something like 60 million people?

    Even if all 2.1 million subscribers jump on the bandwagon, 2 million subcribers (Q2 - 2004, XM website) seems like a drop in the bucket.....TFA states that only something like 2400 subscribers have gotten a copy. 400 have paid.....The RIAA's got plenty more people to sue, and an archaic business model to sustain......

    A thought though - if they aren't sharing, but only recording copies to listen to, doesn't that fall under fair use somewhere? Time shifting != illegal, right?

    "
    the Recording Industry Association of America said his organization had not reviewed the software, but said that in principle it was disturbed by the idea."

    Tell us something we don't already know......

    -thewldisntenuff
    • "Music labels fear that the convenience of MacLean's software will lead millions more to copy and distribute songs over file-sharing networks such as KaZaA, a music industry source said."

      I guess they missed Streamripper and others like it then... I'm surprised none of them has had a stroke yet from all the stress they give themselves.
    • Re:A few bits.... (Score:4, Informative)

      by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:34PM (#10085075) Homepage Journal

      the Recording Industry Association of America said his organization had not reviewed the software

      Interestingly, the programmer is from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Out of the RIAA's jurisdiction.
      • Re:A few bits.... (Score:5, Informative)

        by kidlinux (2550) <duke@sp[ ]box.net ['ace' in gap]> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:57PM (#10085494) Homepage
        You're right. We don't have the RIAA in Canada. Instead, we've got the CRIA! (Canadian Recording Industry Association [www.cria.ca])

        I'm sure they'd love to sue the pants off Scott MacLean too, fortunately our judicial system is a little more sane.

        The stuff the RIAA gets away with in the US just wouldn't fly in Canada.
        • by pla (258480)
          The stuff the RIAA gets away with in the US just wouldn't fly in Canada.

          ...You mean like a tax on all blank recording media, regardless of intended use, that goes straight into the RIAA/CRIA's pockets?

          Oh, wait, we don't have that in the US. Sorry, nevermind.
      • Re:A few bits.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by quantaman (517394) on Friday August 27, 2004 @12:20AM (#10085603)
        the Recording Industry Association of America said his organization had not reviewed the software

        Interestingly, the programmer is from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Out of the RIAA's jurisdiction.


        When I looked at this point I felt there was something slightly disturbing about it but wasn't sure what it was, after a moment it clicked. The RIAA isn't a law enforcement agency, they don't have a jurisdiction [reference.com]!!!

        How have we allowed a private organization to gain powers so great that we would confuse them with the police?
        • by ahfoo (223186) on Friday August 27, 2004 @01:00AM (#10085741) Journal
          tradition in the US.
          In the early part of the twentieth century, a fellow by the name of Anthony Comstock gained extrordinary powers using a similar tactic to that used by the RIAA today, ie a moral crusade against vice. Instead of thieving child porn traders Comstock was convinced obscenity and birth control would destoroy the nation.
          Comstock's enormous power came from the creation of a private organization called the New York Society for the Supression of Vice. Eventually, this private organization was allowed to place officers in US Post Offices to read through the mail looking for obscenity. This had nothing to do with the law per-se, he was simply well connected and feared.
          So, in the US it is quite possible, and even normal for a non-governmental agency to take on police powers despite the fact that this does not seem to make sense under law.
    • Re:A few bits.... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tehdaemon (753808)
      Actually I would guess that this would result in fewer p2p traders, (but more variety on p2p!). Think about it for a moment. A chance to build up your music library without the risk of an RIAA lawsuit. (unless XM radio has the ability to detect and report this kind of recording - doesn't look like it.)
  • by rune2 (547599) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:51PM (#10084818) Homepage
    in 3, 2, 1...
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:52PM (#10084824)
    There really isn't much hacking involved in making this application.

    The XM-PCR device is an XM tuner that is controled by USB, but returns its audio to the PC by the line in port on a soundcard. The audio is digital comming off the XM signal, but it's analog by the time it leaves the black box. So, all the computer needs to do is activate a recorder on the line in port and away it goes...

    There's drivers on the XM site for Windows, Mac and Linux. They're actively encuraging development, so it's not surprising somebody would come up with this idea.
    • by ALpaca2500 (125123) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:06PM (#10084922) Homepage
      The audio is digital comming off the XM signal, but it's analog by the time it leaves the black box

      there's a mod too add a TOSlink connector to the xm pcr, which provides digital out. i dont have it on mine, but according to some tests people did, it's slightly better than the line out, with less white noise.
      • by tkrotchko (124118) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:31PM (#10085062) Homepage
        It hardly seems worth it; I have Sirius, and despite fanatics from both XM and Sirius, the sound is not even close to CD quality. Its better than FM in dynamic range, but inferior to FM because it suffers from a signficant amount of digital artifacts.

        These are not important in a car, but don't stand up to any kind of critical listening.

        Its a tempest in a teapot.
        • Off-topic, but you pushed a button...

          This is what kills me about all digital music... People frown on cassettes and analog records, but will happily listen to crappy MP3s... You can defeat *any* DRM by using a cable that goes from your line-out jack to your line-in jack. The horror of sound degradation from that method is not going to compare to how crappy you make the MP3 sound anyhow, so what's the big deal?

          Of course, most of the music I listen to (bad punk) was probably recorded in a garge with a conden

    • Is that what all this fuss is about? A lousy analog resampling? That's the next worst thing to putting a microphone by a speaker. Good luck stopping it.
  • laws (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rwven (663186) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:52PM (#10084829)
    What laws exactly is this breaking?
    • Re:laws (Score:5, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:56PM (#10084854) Homepage
      Just wait long enough... I'm sure they'll be able to buy some laws with which to prosecute.
    • Re:laws (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gid (5195) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:00PM (#10084888) Homepage
      You see, it's just like a tape recorder, but because it's on a computer, it's illegal, get it?
    • Re:laws (Score:5, Funny)

      by sentientbeing (688713) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:07PM (#10084927)
      As expected, the lawyers are coming out.

      I'm no follower of Debbie Harry either, but dragging the poor guy into court for being a fan is going too far.

      They should be cracking down on real criminals.

      J Lo fans.
    • Re:laws (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PetoskeyGuy (648788) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:14PM (#10084973)
      The Cue: Cat "this isn't how we told you to use it" Law
      • No such law (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:47PM (#10085152)
        Except we told Digital Convergence to FOAD in the CueCat: case and they did. Specifically I told them to "Come get some" and they never took me up on the offer.

        http://beau.org/~jmorris/linux/cuecat/
    • Re:laws (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Wavicle (181176) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:16PM (#10084984)
      Exactly none. But that doesn't really matter much. Here are a few choice quotes from the article:
      "The RIAA and XM are both busy figuring out
      if any copyright laws and user agreements have been broken.
      "That program is something we don't condone ...
      It's our expectation they will be shut down," he added. "We're also researching any potential legal violations."
      So they're predicting a shutdown even though they've no idea if it is breaking any laws. You can translate this as "Our revenues are $20million a month, we can afford lawyers who will bury this person under frivolous litigation until he's bankrupt. And hey, if we can find a law that will support us, then we could win in court assuming it manages to go all the way to a judgement"

      It's pretty much all posturing. The company is working on the same exact thing which they are going to sell for an additional monthly fee. Of course there will shortly be an open source competitor up on sourceforge (assuming there isn't already).
    • Re:laws (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MadBiologist (657155)
      Not breaking a law... instead, the XM Terms of Service...

      b) Use Limitations.
      You may not reproduce, rebroadcast, or otherwise transmit the programming, record the programming, charge admission specifically for the purpose of listening to the programming, or distribute play lists of the programming. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 9, we or any of our programming partners may prosecute violations of the foregoing against you and other responsible parties in any court of competent jurisdiction, under
      • Re:laws (Score:3, Interesting)

        by liquidsin (398151)
        I wonder, though, that since courts have already determined that recording for personal use is still protected, can the XM ToS legally revoke that right from you? I mean, they could claim that by listening to their service I'm consenting to anal sex with their CEO, but that doesn't make it legally binding.
  • haha (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rotkiv (807314) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:54PM (#10084837) Homepage Journal
    Catching Blondie's reunion tour broadcast at 4 in the morning wasn't an option for XM satellite radio subscriber

    So he stayed up till 4AM programming.
    • Re:haha (Score:4, Insightful)

      by revery (456516) * <charles@NosPam.cac2.net> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:50PM (#10085171) Homepage
      Catching Blondie's reunion tour broadcast at 4 in the morning wasn't an option for XM satellite radio subscriber

      So he stayed up till 4AM programming.


      Yes, but only once, and in doing so, he taught the world how to fish.

      --

      Was it the sheep climbing onto the altar, or the cattle lowing to be slain,
      or the Son of God hanging dead and bloodied on a cross that told me this was a world condemned, but loved and bought with blood.
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:54PM (#10084839)
    From the XM site itself... [xmradio.com]

    The XM PCR revolution is in full effect. Across the XM Nation, we're excited to see independent developers creating fantastic new versions of the XM PCR software for a wide range of platforms including Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows.

    So they want people to come up with creative software to use the XM PCR unit, but just not this way?...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:56PM (#10084855)
    "Music labels fear that the convenience of MacLean's software will lead millions more to copy and distribute songs over file-sharing networks such as KaZaA, a music industry source said."

    So they're suing him for creating easy to use software... great... time to sue Microsoft because everyone claims Windows is the easiest!
  • WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano (13027) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:57PM (#10084858) Homepage Journal
    From the article, for those who didn't RTFA
    "We remain concerned about any devices or software that permit listeners to transform a broadcast into a music library," RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said.

    Analog tape recorders have allowed people to add broadcasts to their music libraries since before I was born.

    All this software does is make it a little more convienent than plugging an analog tape recorder into your XM receiver. It's stupid that they'd even consult their lawyers about this.

    LK
    • Re:WTF? (Score:3, Insightful)

      Analog tape recorders have allowed people to add broadcasts to their music libraries since before I was born

      I don't recall analog tape recorders that could take a broadcast, turn it into an MP3 file per song, and tag it and sort it out by artist and album, all automatically.

      • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Lord Kano (13027) on Friday August 27, 2004 @01:26AM (#10085826) Homepage Journal
        I don't recall analog tape recorders that could take a broadcast, turn it into an MP3 file per song, and tag it and sort it out by artist and album, all automatically.

        You must be a youngster. In the olden days we had these things called pens and pencils that allowed us to write the names of the artists and songs on the liner of the cassette tape.

        LK
  • by mrinella (548257) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:57PM (#10084868)
    They release a radio with USB connectivity and are surprised when someone figures out a neat and easy way to "Tivo" their content? Funniest reference in the article was to the fact that the RIAA and XM are busy figuring out if any copyright laws or user agreements were broken. Management really should have gotten a handle on this before the product was released.
    • I don't think they expected it so early. XM adoption is about the same place cable TV was in the early 1980s, the early su^H^H adopter phase. At this time, there will be no commercials as well as excellent and diversified content to boost the reputation and build hype. Media types are less disturbed by looser control at this phase because early adopters are their real bread and butter. Time shifting directly onto computers was probably part of their plan, but for much later when commercials and a lack
  • Digital FM (Score:3, Insightful)

    by squidinkcalligraphy (558677) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:58PM (#10084876)
    When digital radio (music + sub-band containing song information) becomes mainstream, won't this type of software bring 'piracy' to the masses? Save every song onto your computer with appropriate ID3 tag, scan through every day and find the ones you like, delete the ones you don't. Even easier than recording internet radio.
    • Re:Digital FM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:02PM (#10084902)
      I wouldn't be surprised if the music licensing powers will start to contractually require XM to somehow "muck" the start/end of all songs by having some sort of DJ chatter or station identifier sounder play to make sure that at least the seconds at the edge of the song are disturbed from being a "perfect" copy of the song.
  • Frightening Snippet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmt9581 (554192) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:01PM (#10084896) Homepage

    A spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America said his organization had not reviewed the software, but said that in principle it was disturbed by the idea. "We remain concerned about any devices or software that permit listeners to transform a broadcast into a music library," RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said.

    The RIAA and XM are both busy figuring out if any copyright laws and user agreements have been broken.

    Nowhere in the article is there any mention of fair use rights or the legality of this sort of software. The RIAA is obviously very concerned about this, as it would definitely affect their willingness to release entire albums over the air. Blah.

  • by Graemee (524726) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:05PM (#10084919)
    Since our air waves are ruled by the CRTC overlords, when did they allow XM to sell it's services.

    From the XM FAQ

    Is XM Service available in Canada and Mexico?
    XM is only licensed to provide service to the US (All states except Alaska and Hawaii), its territories and adjacent waters. XM's satellite signal reaches into portions of Canada and Mexico near the U.S. borders however, XM's service is not currently sold in Canada, Mexico or any other region outside of the continental United States.


    Sounds like a grey market resale. Similar to the DBS grey market. You get an US address and subscribe. Since the border is not microwave proof we can pick up the signals.

    I think he should be more worried about the CRTC coming for him.
  • by another misanthrope (688068) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:07PM (#10084929)
    If you get a PVR from Dish Network (they now carry Sirrus) you can already grab digital music... does that mean I should be wary of a subpoena now?

    I usually just pause the station for 50 or 60 mins before I listen and then just FF through the songs I don't like. I don't feel like a criminal
    • It sounds like Dish Network is willing to travel into a legal uncharted area that DirecTV and TiVo aren't willing to test. You can't pause any of DirecTV's Music Choice offerings with a DirecTiVo unit. There's a well documented work-around to record the music channels by typing a channel name into a auto-recording wish-list, but directly hitting the record button leads to an error message saying that the recording feature is not available "at this time"... hinting that it's a block TiVo could very easily li
  • by Fiz Ocelot (642698) <baelzharon@NoSPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:11PM (#10084959)
    They knew the sticky legal situation that would occur if they developed this, so they just left that to someone else. Now they have what I would consider a "killer app" for satellite radio without legal reprecussions. I'm even considering getting a home xm unit because of this, I already have it in my car.
  • by raytracer (51035) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:16PM (#10084985)
    Given the courts decisions which have established
    time shifting as a legitimate use of consumer recording technology, it's damned hard to imagine what law they think consumers might be breaking. It is not illegal for me to tape every broadcast of a television show and to build my own personal library. It would seem very difficult to argue that doing the same thing using XM radio would be any different.
  • Dear XM (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jeffkjo1 (663413) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:17PM (#10084989) Homepage
    Dear XM,

    Over the past few months, I have been evaluating purchasing and subscribing to a satellite radio service. I have been weighing pros and cons of both yours and the Sirrius service. I mostly came up with even hands. However, your recent disappointing legal actions against Scott MacLean have helped me make my final decision. I will not be purchasing or subscribing to any XM satellite radio service, and I will encourage my friends and neighbors to avoid your service as well.

    Thanks for your help,
    Jeff
    • Re:Dear XM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:38PM (#10085103)
      Before you jump for Sirius, just notice that XM put out a piece of hardware that is surprisingly easy to control by homebrew code, and also outputs audio in the form of an easily recordable analog line out wire. I don't know of any Sirius unit that is similar to the XM PCR unit.

      They haven't sued the guy, they've just had their lawyer send a nasty-worded letter that the software writer correctly knew he could ignore. So far they've just gone through the motions of being upset without actually doing anything to harm the guy.
      • Re:Dear XM (Score:4, Insightful)

        by localman (111171) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:17PM (#10085282) Homepage
        They haven't sued the guy, they've just had their lawyer send a nasty-worded letter

        And I didn't punch him in the face, I just said I would and then took a fake swing. Guess what: that's illegal, as it should be. How is this any different?

        Cheers.
        • Re:Dear XM (Score:3, Insightful)

          by LostCluster (625375) *
          It's different because you have no right to physically harm him, and to threaten to do so causes him undue emotional pain so that's illegal too.

          They, however, have a right to sue him at any time. I in fact could sue you right now if I felt like it... oh, I have no chance of winning such a lawsuit because I have no idea what it would be about, but our system doesn't have much if any penality for filing a worthless lawsuit, so threatening to file a worthless lawsuit certainly doesn't merit any penality.
  • by DrRobert (179090) * <rgbuiceNO@SPAMmac.com> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:19PM (#10085002) Homepage
    with a line in to the mac and AudioHijack Pro. You set a time and it records. I'm sure you don't need to write your own special software.
  • by havaloc (50551) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:20PM (#10085008) Homepage
    Rumor was that the new SkyFi 2 [xm411.com] was going to have USB connectivity built into the home cradles to provide XMPCR [xmradio.com] functionality. Now though, it seems like this will go away, which is a real shame. Also, the USAtoday article says that the most of the current radios cannot be hooked up to the computer, which is just wrong. Anything you can hear, can be recorded.
    My question is, it seems pretty obvious to me that someone was going to do this, so why release the PCR at all? My guess is that they didn't want to offer online streaming like Sirius [sirius.com] and wanted to pick up extra subscriptions for PCRs. Look what that got them. In any case, XM has a neat product and is doing well.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:20PM (#10085009)
    the riaa and mpaa are really stretching the term 'copyright infringement' if they weren't already from the get-go.

    how can recording a service you legally subscribe to for your own personal use be even thought of as being illegal?

    unless he's using the recordings to sell as a product, or to re-broadcast himself, there is nothing remotely illegal about anything of this nature. and if there is, the laws need to be changed.
  • Missing adjective (Score:3, Informative)

    by n3bulous (72591) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:22PM (#10085017)
    "The user can leave the software running unattended for hours and amass a vast library of songs."

    Please insert "crappy" before "songs". I've had XM for a year and it's rare to hear two worthwhile songs back to back on any station. They seem to focus on "deep tracks", defined to be the stuff fans of the band don't even like.

    After a few hours of listening to my friend's Sirius, I regretted choosing XM, and only chose XM because they seemed to have the subscriber numbers to last long term.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:23PM (#10085023)
    Man I cannot BELIEVE that people are saying stuff like this with a straight face:

    ((("That's a product that's not authorized by XM," Chance Patterson, vice president of corporate affairs, told Reuters last week.)))

    Excuse me, but why does the world need YOUR permission to record broadcasts? Can I set my coffee cup next to the radio and illegally alter it's temperature?

    I know the law is fucked up right now but this kind of stuff still continues to amaze me.

    Yes, it's not authorized by XM, so what?

    ((("That program is something we don't condone ... It's our expectation they will be shut down," he added. "We're also researching any potential legal violations.")))

    I was actually thinking of buying an XM radio and recording shows was a *specific feature I wanted*. I was planning on writing my own program to do what this guy is selling. How hard can it be? When I was a kid I used to record the radio all the time, that's probably why I'm a big music buyer now.

    I'm not going to bother. XM is spawned from the same primordial ooze that the RIAA crawled from. These guys are all the same. You can't even jerk off within 10 feet of their "licensed product" without paying a fee.

    (((Michael McGuire, an analyst at technology research firm Gartner. "It's very hard for policy and copyright law to keep up with the pace of technological change.")))

    What does copyright law need to do, make sure it gets in the way of any product that comes out? It's funny how we have this constitution that's supposed to be a firewall from government, but it has a big open port: the copyright clause. Pretty soon, are whole legal system will revolve around some form of copyright, since everything is based on information. Just amazing and frightening.

    ((("We remain concerned about any devices or software that permit listeners to transform a broadcast into a music library,")))

    Un-fucking-believable. One thing is for certain, you're not transforming any of my money into vacations in Europe anytime soon, Mr. RIAA exec.

    (((In a letter seen by Reuters, XM's lawyers told MacLean to .. provide the company with a list of purchasers.)))

    And what will they do with that list I wonder? Report it to Tom Ridge? What on earth?????

    20 years ago this kind of stuff would be great satire. I can't imagine what 20 years from now will be like. And honestly, I I don't want to.
    • by calidoscope (312571) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:56PM (#10085195)
      (((In a letter seen by Reuters, XM's lawyers told MacLean to .. provide the company with a list of purchasers.)))

      Wonder if the typical slashdotter is starting to get the picture of why the NRA gets wigged out when gun registration is mentioned??? Besides, would XM turn over their customer list if some scumbag lawyer asked for it?

  • by upsidedown_duck (788782) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:30PM (#10085058)

    Why is it that entertainment producers work so hard to make their products not entertaining? To me, it seems pretty retarded, but, perhaps, I'm just not as wise and all-seeing as they are.

  • by Phat_Tony (661117) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:34PM (#10085077)
    It's not for XM (yet), but I wonder how the RIAA feels about the Griffin Radio Shark? [griffintechnology.com]

    They'll probably ignore it until there's a PC version.
  • No wonder (Score:3, Funny)

    by ryanvm (247662) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:35PM (#10085082)
    Ugh - Blondie's reunion tour? No wonder he's single.
  • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:37PM (#10085094)
    Listen, you can go get yourself the source code for JavaXM [sourceforge.net] or OpenXM [beerboys.com] and with a couple of other library files, you could probably hack this same functionality (take the song data off the digital stream, and record the audio to a file, which you name and categorize appropriately) in a couple of hours. And if you really want to do it with a nice GUI and stuff, you could do it with a few days work. As long as you make the thing and have it interface with a computer, AND you even encourage developers to write third party apps, there's not much you can do to prevent people from doing stuff like this.


    I'm all for supporting the artists, but I am already paying 10 bucks a month for XM radio (actually it'll be about 21 a month, with my second radio, and the Opie and Anthony premium subscriptions). If I want to record a few songs for my own personal use, as long as I don't put them up on Kazaa, who the hell's business is that - this is supposed to be my damned right, and the artists ARE getting paid. XM needs to pull the stick out of its ass re: their EULA, and the RIAA needs to die.


    You can't sell people on a product (the XM PCR) and the freedoms and flexibility it gives you (seriously, read their marketing copy selling these things), then get pissed when people start paying you money in order to take advantage of its freedoms and flexibility using third party software.

  • by Edward Teach (11577) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:38PM (#10085104)
    in anticipation of the extreme bandwidth costs associated with being slashdotted.
  • by gnugie (757363) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:39PM (#10085111)
    XM already has a product that allows time-shifting, although only for 30 minutes. It seems they're fully in support of your rights, as long as they get to control them. http://www.delphi.com/news/pressReleases/pr29451-0 8182004 [delphi.com]
  • by Didion Sprague (615213) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:39PM (#10085112)
    What's scary isn't the application itself -- it's the idea that a company can demand the list of purchasers.

    WTF? They're going to go after people recording songs off the radio now?
    • A company can demand anything it wants to demand. Doesn't mean they'll get it...
    • At this point, who knows. I don't understand why they'd bother. How much of a threat to their failing business model is recording songs off the radio. If I want an entire album, I'll find the torrent. If I want that one song I'm looking, I'll look on the fasttrack or giFT network.

      Even though it's digital and the quality is better than from a tape, it doesn't make it easier than directly searching for and downloading the song from older piracy means.

      At this point, I'm sure 3/4 of the people here slap t
  • by durtbag (694991) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:39PM (#10085113)
    We need to come up with a new, OSS, audio standard. Then name said standard ".jizz". This way, every time the press reports on the savage beat-downs the RIAA lawyers are handing out to people exercising fair use we'll at least get a laugh.

    Imagine Sen. Hatch on the 5pm news:

    "Jizz will destroy the hard work thousands of people. If we allow jizz to spread, thousands of jobs will be lost. Not to mention the kids, what will all this jizz everywhere do to the kids?"

  • by mikeage (119105) <slashdot@@@mikeage...net> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:39PM (#10085114) Homepage
    in other news from USA Today:

    "Number 2 is Number 1"
    "America's Favorite Pencil"

    USA Today... the newspaper that's not afraid to tell it like it is: Everything's going to be just fine

    With apologies to the Simpsons...
  • by ALpaca2500 (125123) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:46PM (#10085147) Homepage
    i just bought one of these XM PCRs. i have been thinking about XM for quite a while, mostly for my car, but when i heard about this TimeTrax software, and found out the receiver is only ~$40, i bought one right away. after listening to it for a week (and being able to take it on vacation, along with my laptop) i hink xm is much better than am/fm. there is a much wider variety of stations (25 rock/hits stations, compared to 6 or 7) and they play a lot of good new music, and old music. (and, also a lot of the same crap on regular radio, but i think the good stuff more than makes up for it).

    so anyway, i love the idea of timetrax. it's not like i'm going to record everything off of xm, and then cancel my subscription, and then never buy a cd. rather, there are some songs i would like to listen to a few more times than they get played, and i want to be able to record shows that i'd miss otherwise, or might want to listen to again sometime. i understand that officially, XM can't support actions like this, but threatening legal action against it only gonna piss people off, and i bet this functionality will end up selling a lot of these XM PCRs. i'm one new subscriber already.
  • Uhh...What wins? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by teamhasnoi (554944) <(teamhasnoi) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:52PM (#10085174) Homepage Journal
    XM TOS [xmradio.com]

    b) Use Limitations.
    You may not reproduce, rebroadcast, or otherwise transmit the programming, record the programming, charge admission specifically for the purpose of listening to the programming, or distribute play lists of the programming. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 9*, we or any of our programming partners may prosecute violations of the foregoing against you and other responsible parties in any court of competent jurisdiction, under the rules and regulations of the FCC, and other applicable laws. Subscription to the Service does not grant you the right to use any of our or our partners' trademarks.

    So - does this trump Fair Use or what? Obviously complicated by the whole Canada thing - but what about here?

    9. RESOLVING DISPUTES.

    In order to expedite and control the cost of disputes, you agree that any legal or equitable claim relating to this Agreement, or the Service (referred to as a "Claim") will be resolved as follows:

    c) Exceptions.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing:

    any dispute over the validity of either party's intellectual property rights or our licenses to operate our business;

    any Claim based on Section 9(b) above; and

    any dispute involving a violation of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 605, or the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, may be decided only by a court of competent jurisdiction.

    • Re:Uhh...What wins? (Score:4, Informative)

      by kavau (554682) on Friday August 27, 2004 @01:47AM (#10085881) Homepage
      Canada's copyright laws are quite friendly towards the consumer. For example, it's perfectly legal to borrow CDs from the public library and make personal copies. In this case I would make an educated guess that the company can't just overturn the Fair Use laws by some blurb in the licence agreement.

      Common law always wins over individual licenses.

      Disclaimer: IANAL

  • by Sebby (238625) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:22PM (#10085302)
    "We remain concerned about any devices or software that permit listeners to transform a broadcast into a music library," RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said.


    Well, I guess they better ban CDs, DVDs, and all MP3/audio players then!
  • Free hackers tool (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fm6 (162816) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:27PM (#10085319) Homepage Journal
    Sort of an interesting story, but not anything we haven't seen before. Fair use, big litigation-happy companies, yada, yada, yada.

    What much more interesting is that this same guy has written an ActiveX component [nerosoft.com] which you can use to write more applications like his -- and which is free for non-commercial use. Hackers, start your editors!

  • by PeeAitchPee (712652) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:57PM (#10085493)
    For those of you that don't know, you can also get a PCR modded to include TOSLINK Digital Out [myradiostore.us]. I have one and it sounds very good, although the XM music feeds are not nearly CD quality (as other Slashdotters have already pointed out), and the talk radio sound quality is sometimes pretty bad due to the amount of compression they use.
  • by the_rajah (749499) * on Friday August 27, 2004 @12:06AM (#10085547) Homepage
    As I've said so many times before, when are the media companies going to realize that the shift has happened. I'm sure the buggy whip manufacturera bemoaned the advent of the high-tech automobile and might have even wanted to outlaw them or require that all automobiles, by law, have to sport a fully functional buggy whip, but it didn't happen that way.

    Big media, instead of plugging the dike with thumb-like legal shenannigans, should be expending their efforts in finding a new business model that will actually work instead of pissing off their paying customers. The march of technology is relentless and people are resourceful. It's nothing but a losing game for RIAA and MPAA to try and stop it. Wake up, folks.

    "Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Mark Twain

    • From this link: [ezboard.com]:

      Robert Heinlein said it well: There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or a corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years , the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to

  • XM in Canada? (Score:3, Informative)

    by POTSandPANS (781918) on Friday August 27, 2004 @01:08AM (#10085773)
    HEY! you can't have XM radio here in Canada! Seems people are more concerned about the recording software then they are about this guy using American sat. service in Canada. Apparantly, even paid subscription to American satellite service in Canada is illegal.

    (And no, that's not an XM antenna on the roof of my car... :P )

    I think there is actually a mod out there to add either a coaxial or optical connector to your XM, though i think someone might have already posted about that...

  • by xmaddict82 (808736) on Friday August 27, 2004 @01:46AM (#10085878)
    Why Wouldn't XM radio love this feature... think about how many people will sign up with hopes to record. XM IS NOT TRYING TO SHUT THIS GUY DOWN... they sent the letter under direction of the RIAA. QUOTE FROM XMFAN.COM: "$20 says XM doesn't give a sh*t. They have to put on the corporate defensive smiley, however. It's the RIAA that would be muscling this. XM isn't gonna fight the RIAA... 70 channels of XM's content depend on them. " Deep down they love the idea, and want people to spend the subscription fee to have XM Radio. But due to fears of the RIAA (on which they rely on A LOT of their programming) and the hell they've already been through from the NAB, they have to remain on their side. If they fought the RIAA, the RIAA would pull their licensing of the music that XM Plays (and they control a LOT of music!), so XM really doesn't have a choice but to "pretend" to be against this device. From a business standpoint, it's great for getting in new subscribers.
  • XM PCR discontinued? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dschuetz (10924) <slash AT david DOT dasnet DOT org> on Friday August 27, 2004 @08:03AM (#10087253) Homepage
    I'm reading on the forums at XMFan.com that XM will stop selling the USB-based PCR radio altogether, largely because of this software.

    1) that sucks, 'cause I wanted to figure out how to integrate the PCR into my in-house MP3 network, and

    2) it's crazy that they stop selling a product just because a small number of purchasers are doing something they don't like with it.

    I wonder how long it'll be before someone figures out how to modify the car tuner (XM Direct, if it ever ships) to be computer controlled...

    Anyway, I just thought I'd mention it. I haven't seen official confirmation (it's still on the XM website, for example), but the mods on XMFan seem to be in the know, and they're saying it's true.

    *sigh*

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