Dianne Feinstein and several of her… unindicted cohorts… are sponsoring a bill designed to “protect” big recording industry players at the expense of independent bands, people podcasting or webcasting, and pretty much everybody else.
First, they want to require everyone who sends out audio over the Internet or any other medium to use “digital rights management”. Never you mind how. Never you mind the burden on us. All that will be cleared up… later. By fair people. From the music industry.
Second, they want to “level the playing field” by making tiny little podcasts that use public domain or podsafe music, or which have banded together to pay licenses at the current hobbyists’ charge level, pay licenses they don’t need at the same high rate as a regular commercial broadcast station with an audience of millions. Satellite radio is also supposed to get hit up for this, even though most people can’t even get their signal. No doubt, they will try to get broadcast stations to pay more license money just to let you listen live to their signal over the Internet. Again, how this is to be done is left very vague in the senators’ press release. (In the past, the music industry has tried to get everyone to pay for expensive music licenses, just in case they might use music. Sometime.)
Needless to say, all that cruft would make it nigh impossible to continue podcasting this public domain podcast of public domain audiobooks. Even if all these regs were restricted solely to music, imagine the wonderful fun it would be to implement DRM on this week’s chapter of O. Henry’s novel Cabbages and Kings, just because one character sings public domain words to the tune of “The Wearing of the Green”, a public domain song. Churches could not podcast to shut-ins. Teachers could not podcast to students. Independent bands could not promote their stuff so they’ll get on the top 40 in the UK, like several did this year. (Hmmmm. Wonder why this bill is coming out now.)
Please, if you are in the US, write or email your state’s US senators and the bill’s sponsors and complain about this pernicious PERFORM bill. If you aren’t, since this affects your listening, please email the following sponsors of the bill through the Senate’s contact page here, (which also includes phone numbers for their offices and mailing addresses):
Joe Biden, Democrat, Delaware (thinking of running for president)
Dianne Feinstein, Democrat, California
Lamar Alexander, Republican, Tennessee
Lindsey Graham, Republican, South Carolina
Also, please read this article about the real reason digital rights management is important to the recording and movie industries — not to stop pirates, but to make you buy more copies of what you already own.
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