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Mandatory DRM for Podcasts Proposed 432

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the good-idea-bad-idea dept.
Knytefall writes "Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and two GOP senators are sponsoring a bill called the PERFORM Act that would require podcasts with music and satellite radio to be locked-up with music industry-approved DRM software. From the article: 'All audio services — Webcasters included — would be obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable" copy-protection technology aimed at preventing "music theft" and restricting automatic recording.'"
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Mandatory DRM for Podcasts Proposed

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  • by jasonwea (598696) * on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:52PM (#17619440) Homepage

    I have not read the act itself but the TFA (and summary) is worded in such a way that implies that it applies across the board regardless; whether the content is free or not. What about all those podcasts with 100% legal content? Music from the podsafe music network [podshow.com] or other Creative Commons [creativecommons.org] licensed work for instance?

    Implement a DRM system but do not force us to use it. I would much prefer the RIAA simply not license content to DRM free broadcasts and sue those who don't have a license.

    Requiring DRM by law for all statutory licensed work is massive overkill.

    • by garcia (6573) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:14PM (#17619836) Homepage
      They are talking about XM radios that allow you to record the content. Are they going to demand that all audio recording devices use DRM to disable people from recording and redistributing this content? This is nothing more than a direct protection of the RIAA cronies by the government to try and hassle Sat radio.

      Fuck, we should really mandate all line-in, cassette recorders, and DAT recorders have this technology retroactively installed. We wouldn't want this precious content being recorded by those means!

      Report for retroactive DRM installation immediately!
      • by Evil Pete (73279) on Monday January 15, 2007 @10:30PM (#17623180) Homepage

        Suddenly reminded of the story of Mozart and the Miserere [wikipedia.org]. The Miserere, a choral piece of exceptional beauty, was written around 1630 by Allegri. The Church in due course decided this was too good for the plebs so one of the Popes decreed that only it could only be performed in the Sistine Chapel in Rome and furthermore, this is the part I love, any of the performers who divulged, copied or gave any part of it to anyone else would be excommunicated. Ahhh original brand DRM.

        When Mozart was 12 years old [classical.net] he went to Rome and witnessed the performance. Then later wrote it down from memory.

        DRM didn't work then, and wont work now.

        My 2 cents worth.

    • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:16PM (#17619862) Homepage
      At minimum proposals like this should be struck down for their extreme short-sightedness. Patent and copyright law exist to foster innovation and reward people for producing new works. Instead, laws like this merely protect the entrenched powers from having to do just that. This bill serves as an example of just how corrupt (or ignorant, pick one) its backers are. This law does nothing to protect the will of the people, nor does it advance any sort of greater good for society. Rather it promotes the interests of a specific group of businesses at the expense of everyone else. This is not democracy.
      • by omeomi (675045)
        At minimum proposals like this should be struck down for their extreme short-sightedness.

        Hopefully this bill stands little chance of making its way through the house...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Teresita (982888)
      If podcasts are from iPods, and Apple controls the DRM for iPods, wouldn't the government have to, err, get permission from Apple before making every broadcaster install the encyption software that Apple uses to distribute iTunes? Or are we living in Russia?
      • MS would love to have a format (FairPlay) that Apple doesn't want to release. Then the only "Approved" DRM is theirs. Life is good move along. Yes it's another bit of assinine kowtowing to the media by the government - it precludes fair use by definition, but that's not an issue that Congress sees because there's no money in it.
    • by pete6677 (681676) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:37PM (#17620218)
      Will it also become illegal for a band to freely distribute music on their own website? Or even to have a free concert? Its about the same damn thing. Why should anyone be required to lock up their own broadcast if they don't want to?
    • Bass Ackwards? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by scottsk (781208) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:44PM (#17620328) Homepage
      Why must the entire nation implement DRM, anyway? If the RIAA members don't want their stuff broadcast for fear of piracy, why don't they simply withdraw it and not allow it to be broadcast? Anything you publish is out there for pirates. This makes absolutely no sense. If piracy is a problem, the members of the RIAA should simply not put it on the airwaves. It's their content. Why should every free broadcaster have to deal with a layer of useless DRM? How could it be enforced, anyway? If some university doesn't DRM their creative commons lectures, the government is going to do what to them?
    • by melikamp (631205) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:54PM (#17620520) Homepage Journal

      My head starts spinning when I'm trying to understand how this applies to copyleft. The only fitting scheme I can think of is ROT13 applied twice:

      "You have unlimited rights to record, copy and/or shift the format of the streaming media. Our DRM system will ensure that no single user will be able to perform these functions more than infinity times. If, for example, you make an infinite number of copies, the playback feature for the media may become disabled."

      Uh... DRM never looked so good.

    • by Otter (3800)
      I have not read the act itself but the TFA (and summary) is worded in such a way that implies that it applies across the board regardless...

      Here is the text. [loc.gov] (Shorter than the link, BTW.) My guess is that as it's part of the copyright section, not a communications section, the idea that it applies to freely distributable content is just FUD, but IA(obviously)NAL.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What about all those podcasts with 100% legal content?

      They are not affected. If you own the copyright, or get explicit permission from the copyright holder, you can do whatever you want, or they allow. However, working out licencing deals with potentially thousands of copyright holders is impractical, and therefore in order to to make radio feasible congress created an exception to normal copyright law called a statutory license, which basically says that can broadcast any song you want without negotiating

  • underground (Score:4, Insightful)

    by celardore (844933) * on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:53PM (#17619446)
    Let's just stick to streaming audio, or even downloadable mp3s. You don't have to "podcast" to be heard. There are other alternatives.
  • Are they trying to restrict internet radio in general, or are they really talking about podcasts only as per Slashdots title?
  • copyleft? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by User 956 (568564) on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:54PM (#17619468) Homepage
    From the article: 'All audio services -- Webcasters included -- would be obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable" copy-protection technology aimed at preventing "music theft" and restricting automatic recording.'"

    What about copyleft-licensed broadcasts? You can't "steal" something that's free.
    • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:12PM (#17619786) Homepage Journal
      "Welcome to my podcast.
      "Before getting to the music, you have to listen to this GPL license.

      *mad llama rant*

      "If you do not agree to the license, please stop the tape and listen to something else instead.
    • What about copyleft-licensed broadcasts? You can't "steal" something that's free.

      How could the composer of the music used in the broadcast prove that he or she had the authority to publish the music under a copyleft or otherwise Free license? It might have been a case of cryptomnesia [wikipedia.org] like what happened to George Harrison.

  • Don't they (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ericdano (113424) on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:57PM (#17619510) Homepage
    Don't they have something better to do? How about funding our troops? Working out a resolution with Iran? etc etc.

    Damn. Feinstein needs to be doing stuff for me, a Californian. I want her to get us off of using Oil, not worrying about Podcasts.
    • by rossz (67331) <ogre@@@geekbiker...net> on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:31PM (#17620096) Homepage Journal
      I've made it a standard practice to vote for whomever is running against Feinstein. I can't stand that bitch. In fact, I'd vote for a hard core communist if he ran against her. At least the commie would be honest about what he is, unlike Feinstein who pretends to have our best interest at heart, but is obviously bought and paid for by several special interest groups (the RIAA being one of them).

      The basic problem with California is it's about equally divided between ultra-left and moderate/right. The left being concentrated in the big cities (San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc), and the right spread out across the rest of the state. The ultra-left usually has a slight edge when it comes to votes. I'd love for us to elect a couple of moderate demos OR republicans. Either is good, so long as they are moderate.

      Oh, and someone please do us a favor and nuke Berkeley into a glass parking lot. I used to go there all the time to visit a certain book store (Another Change of Hobbit), but I avoid the place now as I end up wanting to beat the crap out of far too many assholes hanging out in the streets there.
    • Re:Don't they (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShaunC (203807) * on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:38PM (#17620226)
      Damn. Feinstein needs to be doing stuff for me, a Californian.
      A lot of music and entertainment industry execs are Californians, too. And they have more money than you do...
    • Re:Don't they (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WebCowboy (196209) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:43PM (#17620324)
      Feinstein needs to be doing stuff for me, a Californian. I want her to get us off of using Oil, not worrying about Podcasts.

      Unfortunately for you, a good number of big-time entertainment execs and mega-superstar performers are also Californians. Such people don't truly give a rat's arse about oil dependency--they are very much a self-interested lot and care very dearly about being able to make their Ferarri payments using income from Podcasts. Also, unfortunately for you, they can donate (or withhold for that matter) much larger campaign contributions.

      Until there is some meaningful campaign and lobby reform in the US, voters shouldn't worry about a pregnant-chad-laden paper cards or the touch screens on a glitchy computer terminals...because the REAL US election ballot is the dollar bill.
    • I want her to get us off of using Oil, not worrying about Podcasts.

      How about getting YOURSELF off of oil? Waiting around for the government to do this work for you is insane and a mark of laziness.

      If you really think the US of A is controlled by corporate interests and you want to see the us move away from oil than cast your votes with your dollars.
      • by ericdano (113424)
        Um, I am when I can. This last summer I drove to work only once a week, the other days I rode my bike.

        The government needs to be involved. They need to push car makers to increase the MPG of cars, and promote Hybrid technology on all cars. In fact, they should mandate 90% of cars being made to be hybrid by that time.
  • by andrewd18 (989408) on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:57PM (#17619512)
    I get it... By making everyone use DRM on their podcasts, each terrorist will have to legitimately purchase Osama Bin Laden's podcasts off of iTunes, thus driving up the price of terrorism!

    Brilliant!
  • by JeffSh (71237) <jeffslashdot&m0m0,org> on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:57PM (#17619518)
    The availability of entertainment and the distraction it is to persons who might otherwise be motivated to do something more productive than consuming entertainment is what keeps the majority of Americans disinterested in the political process.

    It makes me wonder if these senators know they are poking a sleeping beast with a stick. If I were a senator who preferred constituents who didn't care, I would be wont to introduce such legislation that may them from their distractions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:57PM (#17619522)
    "Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and two GOP senators

    The "two GOP senators" are Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).
    • The Democrats are in power, so they are the only voices that really matter.

      Hey Armericans: You have a supposedly democratic society. Write your senator etc.

    • Because Democrats have declared this congress the most ethical congress evar [crosstabs.org].
    • by exploder (196936) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:29PM (#17620072) Homepage
      Because you expect it from the Republicans.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SonicSpike (242293)
        "Because you expect it from the Republicans." ... Only if you are an uneducated, ignorant, biased, close-minded, partisan idiot.

        A bill to raise minimum wage has been introduced by Democrats. But an exception to this bill is the US territory of American Samoa.

        Why one might ask?

        Because StarKist the tuna company has a factory on that island. But why does that make them special? Because their HQ is in the district of Nanci Pelosi who introduced that part of the bill.

        Anyone who says that Democrats are "for the p
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shivetya (243324)
        Actually its because they are in power now.

        Expect more of it. Slowy the press will shift their attention and when that happens there will be claims of a bias towards the right in the press.

        Still I truly expected McCain to have been one of the Republicans, he isn't any friend to our rights, especially after trying to hamstring the public's ability to get into politics.
  • by njchick (611256) on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:58PM (#17619536) Journal
    Here goes my support for Joe Biden in the Democratic primaries.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      you idiot. there are two wars in the middle east, and your voting decision is based on your right to copy songs off the radio.
      grow up.
      • by superwiz (655733)
        The wars in the Middle East are supposed to be about reshaping the civlization. The statement about what constitutes ownership of an idea is an essential part of what is a civilization. So, yes, this is actually one of the most telling votes of Joe Biden's career.
      • by njchick (611256)
        What the President is supposed to do is to serve the people (not corporations) honestly. Experience is important for the President so that he or she can avoid being misled by lies and special interests. If the president serves special interests, we have unjust wars under false premises and laws that restrict what we can do in the privacy of our homes. No experience can make up for the lack of integrity and ethics.

        I'm not against copyright, but I'm against being presumed thief unless proven innocent.

    • by wordsnyc (956034) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:31PM (#17620104) Homepage
      Joe Biden? The senator from MBNA? The lowlife scumbag who pushed through the "bankruptcy reform act" and fought to prevent caps on the interest card companies could charge? The guy who's never met a bank or payday lender he didn't want to help to screw the consumer? You were going to vote for that turd?
  • by BoberFett (127537) on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:58PM (#17619540)
    This is old news. At least two days old: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/13/07 55256 [slashdot.org]
  • by MarkPNeyer (729607) on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:59PM (#17619552)
    People who voted for democrats thinking liberty would be restored should take notice. Only Libertarians truly stand for constitutionally protected freedoms!
    • by zappepcs (820751)
      I second that
    • Usually it's only one constitutionally protected freedom judging by the Libertarians around here.
    • All Animals are created equal, some more equal than others.
    • Nobody did (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Weaselmancer (533834) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:33PM (#17620136)

      At least, nobody I know. I voted Democratic to have Congress run in opposition to the President.

      The machine works best at a standstill, IMHO.

    • by flaming error (1041742) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:37PM (#17620220) Journal
      Once officials are elected, they do not protect freedoms; they protect their jobs.

      Party ideologies quickly go out the window, as we witnessed with the Republicans supersizing gov't with runaway deficit spending. The main differences between political parties are the differences in who funds them. And the bulk of the money comes from wealthy commercial interests who fund incumbents, regardless of party.

      If you manage to get a majority of any non-Republicrats in power, you'll learn that within a term or two the system corrupts even them.
    • Only Libertarians truly stand for constitutionally protected freedoms!
      Of course you forget to mention that if Libertarians had their way then government would be entirely replaced by corporations at which point the Constitution, which serves to limit the powers of government, would become completely irrelevant and we'd no longer have any "constitutionally protected freedoms", just a lot of useless product warranties.
    • People who voted for democrats thinking liberty would be restored should take notice. Only Libertarians truly stand for constitutionally protected freedoms!

      Libertarians only stand for what Libertarians think of as "freedom", which is generally on the opposite side of common sense (like selling off the national parks, as one small example). It'd also be nice if the Libertarian party read the Ninth Amendment some time.

      The simple fact is that there is no party in the United States with moderate balances of individual liberty, reasonable and restrained government services, low taxes, business growth, and strong defense. It simply doesn't exist.

    • by weston (16146) <westonsd&canncentral,org> on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:54PM (#17620516) Homepage
      Only Libertarians truly stand for constitutionally protected freedom

      Libertarians (at least, your traditional anarchocapitalist) also have their problems, often including a rather large blind spot towards the abuse of private power and some seriously inconsistent views regarding the trustworthiness thereof and the strength of the profit incentive.

      Not that I don't think it might do us some good to turn the entire Democratic and Republican parties out of office for a term or two, and I agree with the libertarians that civic power presents the problem of misuse. But a vacuum leaves only private power to protect from other private power, and once collusion sets in, the problem becomes nearly intractable, and freedom is again lost. The alternative -- having a democratic republic where civic power is accountable to the citizenry -- also has flaws, mainly that it's only as good as the citizenry attempts to keep it, but it's more easily subject to change when the citizenry chooses.

    • by wytcld (179112)
      Libertarians, to do anything effective on the national level, need to acquire power within one or both of the established parties. So far they've tried mostly within the Republican Party - and look where that's gotten us. Although there are inconsistencies among Democrats on IP rights, there would seem at present to be a much stronger basic defense of the Constitution and citizen's freedoms. Arch-blogger Kos has even declared himself a "libertarian Democrat." So might it be more possible to reform the Democ
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by falconwolf (725481)

        Libertarians, to do anything effective on the national level, need to acquire power within one or both of the established parties. So far they've tried mostly within the Republican Party

        It makes sense Libertarians work more with Republican than they do Democrats. The Libertarian Party was started by Republicans who were fedup with Republicans under Nixon. Some opposed cointel and the efforts of Hoover, others were fedup with Nixon policies ans statements. One such statement was that no matter what Nix

  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Monday January 15, 2007 @05:59PM (#17619554) Homepage
    If someone is putting out "podcasts with music" or "satellite radio", and letting people "steal" your music, they either are a) breaking the law and providing this content illegally - in which case, go sue 'em or something, b) have the copyright or a license to use it - in which case, you should have used a more restrictive agreement.

    If it's not your music, why do you care?

    • by compro01 (777531)
      If it's not your music, why do you care?

      because if people actually discover you can get good music through means other than the RIAA labels (as if they have much in the way of good music anyway), the entire industry will collapse and bring out the end of all civilization!
  • Idiots (Score:4, Insightful)

    by scdeimos (632778) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:00PM (#17619564)

    The bill is meant to secure music libraries and broadcasts, but there's nothing there about exclusions for educational (non-music) streams and podcasts like JapanesePod101.com. They also go on to say this:

    The bill also contains language to make sure that consumers' current recording habits are not inhibited.

    Ok then, what the hell is DRM if it's not inhibiting the consumers' recording habits??

  • by robyannetta (820243) * on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:00PM (#17619578) Homepage
    This act must be stopped NOW.

    I'm an independent filmmaker who releases all my movies under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License [creativecommons.org] that allows anyone to freely copy, distribute, display, and perform my work.

    This pro **AA act could be the nail in the coffin for not only the Creative Commons, but MY freedom as an artist.

    I admit I am Anti-DRM, but there's two sides to every viewpoint. When big business wants to trample on MY rights, they'll trample on yours next. Call your House and Congressional representatives immediately to stop allowing big business interests to stomp on the rights of the actual artist.

    Although my rant here is over, I won't quit until this legislation is dropped in a hole, set aflame and then buried.

    • by nmx (63250)

      Call your House and Congressional representatives immediately to stop allowing big business interests to stomp on the rights of the actual artist.

      Actually, the House is part of Congress. I assume you were referring to the two chambers, the House and Senate. However, since this is a House bill, calling your Senators probably won't do very much good at this stage.

  • DRM doesn't work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by User 956 (568564) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:01PM (#17619602) Homepage
    DRM doesn't work. I would ask, "when will they get it?", but it's pretty clear that they do "get it". Look at the recent crack of HD-DVD protection. That's the best they have, and it's already cracked. They know full well any DRM they put out there is not a deterrent against piracy, which means their goal with DRM is clearly to control legal activity.

    When it comes down to it, DRM is not intended to control piracy. It's intended to maintain **AA stranglehold over the market, to be used as a cudgel against hardware manufacturers, and to be used as a way to extract money, justified or otherwise, from the content-buying public.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ^_^x (178540)
      Luckily for consumers though, almost every time, they opt for a small decryption key or a weak encryption algorithm since stronger encryption tends to mean increased processor and memory usage or the need for specialized hardware - and as cheap as that is, it adds up on millions+ of systems. ...so we get flimsy DRM that can be popped off trivially, and the R&D on this insufficient scrambling is wasted. There's no danger in explaining it like this either since they KNOW this, but don't want to bump the c
  • by guisar (69737) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:02PM (#17619620) Homepage
    Write them and your own rep and let them know how you feel- I mean are you shocked? Biden is from Delaware where most large corporations are headquartered, Feinstein is from California, Lindsey Grahama and Lamar are well known freakamazoid. Check out who donates to these clowns and see if this isn't exactly what you'd expect!

    http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/sector.asp? cid=N00009975&cycle=2002 [opensecrets.org]

    Of course they represent those who donate to them and unless you write their offices and your own they'll get away with this sort of crap!
    • by FallLine (12211) *

      Biden is from Delaware where most large corporations are headquartered. Feinstein is from California, Lindsey Grahama and Lamar are well known freakamazoid. Check out who donates to these clowns and see if this isn't exactly what you'd expect!

      WTF

      1) Most US corporations are merely incorporated in Delaware -- not headquartered there. Big difference.

      2) Why are you singling out the Republicans? Half of these people (Biden and Feinstein) are Democrats. Feinsteinis is the only one on this list that I see wi

  • wow, what a bold, scary strategy considering that about 99% of streaming internet radio for example is captured in almost full quality internally on the sound card by changing the recording device to stereo mixer (or WAV on older ones I think) and pressing record. DRM won't change that because it would still be getting it from the sound card's final output. Who the heck tries to steal the audio data out of the place its cached or something like that that DRM could actually protect. That's why intel mothe
  • IANAL, but sometimes I'm told I'm anal. Aren't podcasts only for iPods? I hate that.

    Second; this is another example, a fine one at that, of government types trying to show they know something about the intarwebs and failing miserably. This shows little understanding of the actual content on the intarwebs, or the licensing models currently in use. They might as well have said that all wheels need to have an extra tax on them, or that all chairs should be taxed unless rated for less than 45 lbs. None of it ma
  • by unity100 (970058) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:07PM (#17619690) Homepage Journal
    they dont want webcasters, citizen journalists to broadcast the shit politicans and their big-money backers pull around. so that it can be good old 1950s again
  • by GodWasAnAlien (206300) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:09PM (#17619718)
    Feinstein clearly does not understand that the point of the copyright allowed in the constitution was to promote progress, not to protect rich corporations. She is clearly more of a Republican in this area. Here are some form letter responses that her office sends to complaints.

    Feinstein responds with a form letter about the PERFORM DRM act:

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=193819&cid=158 92380 [slashdot.org]

    And the same response to someone else:
    http://www.orbitcast.com/archives/congressman-resp onds-to-perform-act-dispute.html [orbitcast.com] (scroll down)

    Feinstein response with a form letter about the DMCA:
    http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=21099&cid= 2234915 [slashdot.org]

    "....
    If you have other questions or comments, please do not
    hesitate to write to me again, or contact my Washington, D.C. staff
    at (202) 224-3841."
  • Police raids (Score:2, Interesting)

    Recent raids here in Europe proved that your "recordings" of any kind could harm you. Some guys here were tracked by police due to their over-usage of torrent networks, then their appartment raided. Everything you've ever recorded, that you do not have a hardcover or original CD/DVD from can backfire at you. Learned this I would be cautious even about iPod stored MP3s purchased over MP3.com or elsewhere, because there is virtually no proof to that MP3 was purchased and that is really yours. I actually welco
  • The PERFORM Act, or the "Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act,"
    Um... I believe that's the PERRHM Act. Not as catchy, although cat lovers might take to it. The proposed legislation makes zero sense so therefore the acronym makes zero sense. Why have an acronym? Call it the Eliminate Free Internet Radio Act. Or just Yet Another Gift to Our Large and All-Powerful Contributors Act.

    Sigh.

    -tom
  • would be obligated to implement

    Could they take away by force the people's right to give something away for free and/or without any restrictions ? Ok, I know they could do it, in a theory [i.e. they can do anything these days with none to any repercussions], but could they do it in practice ? Would the Act get signed ? Would the people let it happen ? This whole thing sounds so ridiculously ignorant. But, I have to add, not really surprising.
     
  • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt.gmail@com> on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:14PM (#17619828) Homepage
    ...stuff like Nullsoft's Disk Writer plugin for Winamp, through which I can dump streaming radio to disk (I think, I've never really tried it). Of course some radio stations discourage this by commenting over the end/beginning of songs or mixing songs into each other for a track transition, thus making ripping undesirable. But still... DRM is rather useless if I can send the output to disk instead of my speakers.
  • by mpapet (761907) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:18PM (#17619892) Homepage
    Funny how this is being introduced now.

    An incredible coincidence that the Democrats control the Senate and House now. ("control" being very loosley defined in the sentence)

    Sad, especially since the legions of /. won't lift a finger to slow this one down. This is one of those times I wish you all would.
  • by mmurphy000 (556983) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:18PM (#17619898)

    The full paragraph containing summary's quoted section is:

    The bill would require cable, Internet and satellite providers to use reasonably available technology to protect the music, IF they want to enjoy the benefit of a government license. If, however, a company wants to use new technologies beyond the scope of a government license then they must go to the record companies directly to negotiate a licensing agreement through the market.

    So, on the face of it, this particular "feature" of the Act shouldn't affect the use of music that is licensed freely (e.g., many Creative Commons licenses). In that case, the step of "negotiate a licensing agreement through the market" is done up front in the form of the music license.

    What would probably cause problems for free music is the terms that restrict what players can do (e.g., "What a listener cannot do is set a recording device to find all the Frank Sinatra songs being played on the radio-service and only record those songs."). Hopefully, we can figure out a way to create players that support restricted features but only use them against music with appropriate licensing metadata, versus those features simply not being implemented.

    • by pla (258480)
      Right quote, wrong conclusion...



      (FTA): obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable" copy-protection technology

      So far, no one has mentioned the glaringly obvious flaw here... No such thing exists!

      We currently have states arguing over the legality of "means" tests for voting over showing a $30 drivers' license or state ID. How much does it cost to license any of the existing DRM implementations, if even an option?

      Fine. Y'know what? If this passes, I'll write a GPL'd
  • by robtow (637092) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:19PM (#17619918) Homepage
    I used the form interface on Senator Feinstein's website to post the following letter to her concerning PERFORM:

    Senator Feinstein,

    I continue to oppose your misguided attempts to impose draconian digital rights management on consumer electronics.

    The so-called PERFORM act will put the government in the business of mandating technology, and instituting what amounts to price controls on media distribution, and will prevent important technological and social innovation that increases the agency of the mass public, and will instead further entrench dangerous media consolidation in our republic.

    The so-called rights of big media are a creation of 20th century technology, and did not exist before centralized mass production instrumentalities utilizing expensive technologies out of the reach of the people were invented by technologists such as Thomas Edison and Philo Farnsworth. Newer technologies now are changing the means of production and distribution, and make these "rights" as appropriate as the "rights" of 18th century Russian noblemen to own their landed serfs. Importantly, the new technologies of the PC and the Web are cheap, fast, and decentralized, and allow the people to re-assert democracy rather than passively consume the "Spectacle" offered by Fox and other media conglomerates.

    The copyright and patent clause in the Constitution has been warped out of recognition by Congress passing such laws as the Sonny Bono act of 1998 in response to the corrupting influence of campaign financing on the part of members of the RIAA and MPAA. Current law bears no resemblance to the intent and practice of the founders. Your quotes of the Constitution in response to my previous two letters to you on this subject are dissembling, at best.

    Although I am a "liberal", I will vote for an opponent of yours who opposes DRM in the next election.

    Please change your position, so that I may support you in the future.

    Robert Tow
  • It looks like they are forcing copyright holders to have their works DRMed, whether the copyright holder wants that or not.

    It should at a brutally fascist minimum allow opting out, and more seriously, it should be opt-in. Forcing this on everyone is totally unfair to those who want their content to be as widely distributed as possible. Imagine advertisers. No wait -- imagine works that contain a political message; now in order to broadcast, you have to comply with a government-mandated standard that int

  • "Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and two GOP senators are sponsoring a bill..."

    The sickly ironic part is "GOP" is supposed to stand for "Government of the People".
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by andytrevino (943397)

      GOP actually stands for "Grand Old Party", though I agree with your sentiment. Copyright seems to be one of those odd issues that rarely follows party lines.

  • Let them know how much you DISLIKE this bill.
  • Host the podcasts in another country.

    This has as much effect on podcasts and the like as legislation against DVD-ripping software developed and hosted in Europe.

    Just how the hell do they intend to enforce US laws against foreign produced and/or hosted content?

    Don't use the temporary shutdown of ThePirateBay as an example; the majority of podcasts are perfectly legit, otherwise Apple wouldn't dare point to them in iTunes.
  • it's too bad Feinstein is doing this ....again....she keeps forgetting who her constituents are....the tech companies in the Silicon Valley and free-minded ppl in the area.

    even if this "law" passes (remote), the "reasonable" loophole exists.
    Maybe it can be as simple (and economical) as a javascript alert box.
  • I keep on thanking god (whoever that is...) a lot on slashdot. Mainly for not living in the Unites States of A.
    This braindead piece of legislation won't have the slightest effect on any podcasts I care about.
    How, pray tell, is this going to be enforced? The internet is still international. Requiring DRM for podcasts in the USA does what exactly? Force americans to put their podcasts on servers outside the USA? Damn, that's freaking scary.
  • by Myria (562655) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:50PM (#17620436)
    I live (and vote) in California. What were we supposed to do in November? These were our choices:

    - Richard Mountjoy, a far right Christian with all the usual values.
    - Diane Feinstein, a bleeding-heart liberal who is a bought and paid member of the mafiaa *.

    A lose-lose situation. I voted for technofascism over theocracy.

    * To avoid a slander lawsuit, I note that the misspelling of "mafia" with an additional "a" is intentional and is a known term on this discussion forum. It does not mean the Cosa Nostra.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by meringuoid (568297)
      * To avoid a slander lawsuit, I note that the misspelling of "mafia" with an additional "a" is intentional and is a known term on this discussion forum. It does not mean the Cosa Nostra.

      Unnecessary. The Mafia don't sue for slander. If you've upset them they'll deal with you through different channels.

  • If I want to talk to "the industry", whom should I phone?
  • As a podcaster myself, I find these politicians to be stepping outside their boundaries and trying to arbitrarily violate my rights to my own content. I produce my own content, therefore, I am allowed to decide what standards my personal contents conforms to. I find the actions of Congress and their music cartel lobbyists to be breaching my own personal civil rights, the rights I have to use my property how I see fit, and my rights as a content producer to decide what my content should be. I advise everyone
  • Think Backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beer_Smurf (700116) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:55PM (#17620542) Homepage
    This is about killing the advantage of unsigned bands selling their own MP3s.
  • by teh kurisu (701097) on Monday January 15, 2007 @07:00PM (#17620578) Homepage

    I don't see the benefit of this act, to anybody. Surely, if you're webcasting/podcasting music at the moment, you're either:

    1. playing freely available music, eg Podsafe Network,
    2. playing restricted music with the permission of the owner, already using DRM, or
    3. playing restricted music illegally.

    Number 1 is the one affected by this, but then the purpose of all of this, stated in TFA, is to prevent music theft. If the music cannot legally be stolen (because it is being given away), can the act still apply?

    Number 2 is not affected, because they're already using DRM. (I'm not sure if this one actually exists yet, but I stuck it in for completeness.)

    Number 3 is the bad guy that the RIAA could go after with some amount of moral justification, but if he's already breaking copyright laws then he's not going to be particularly bothered about breaking the PEARFRHIM (sorry, PERFORM) act either. And if there's already a law to prosecute him with, why introduce another one?

    Of course, the bad guy in the RIAA's eyes might be Number 1, if the RIAA have acknowledged that independent artists are competition that must be crushed...

  • by JustNiz (692889) on Monday January 15, 2007 @07:15PM (#17620816)
    >> would be obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable" copy-protection technology aimed at preventing "music theft.

    I propose ROT-13. Its free and easily available.
  • by gsfprez (27403) on Monday January 15, 2007 @08:15PM (#17621634)
    The RIAA screwed up and didn't make DRM mandatory on their media - the CD - and so, it turned out that just about anyone in 2000 could produce and reproduce and sell a fairly decent product without needing the "music industry".

    The MPAA learned from this, and since video gear is about two decimal places more expensive, they've had a head start in making sure that independent film makers are fucked when it comes to producing next-gen video. I can shoot, edit, and create totally fine high-def product - but the MPAA is preventing me from distributing it. I have to go thru them, or pay an insane price to ensure that high def disks (BR/HDDVD) will play on consumer gear by going thru a high priced disc publisher so-as to get the new DRM put on the thing.

    The point of DRM is to prevent the next George Lucas (his beginnings, not his shitty blockbusters of the 2000s) from going out, making a damn fine movie on prosumer gear, editing it in Final Cut, and burning copies of the disks that will look stunning on all those plasma/LCD/DLP screens that people will want to buy and see more of. Right now, it could be done on DVD since you can make DVDs without CCS. You can't make movies without AACS and BR+ that will playback on consumer gear.

    They have, by all logic, prevented independent production of next gen video disks ahead of the formats even being available. You want to make a disk - you gotta pay the toll, or you don't play. No more small, independent firms making a living heling folks get their content onto next gen disks... no more making home movies that you can send to other people.

    That's what it has been about all along, it has been very little to do with piracy. Its all about making sure that when the equipment is up there with what Peter Jackson and Spielberg can get that you can't compete with them.

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