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Stop the PERFORM Act, Save the Ability to Record Radio

Congress has reintroduced the PERFORM Act, a broadcast flag for radio. If it passes, you can wave goodbye to the idea of recording digital radio or Internet radio. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a Web page to help you write to your Congresscritter to protest this.

This bill aims to hobble TiVo-like devices for satellite and digital radio. Such devices would be able to include “reasonable recording” features, but that excludes choosing and playing back selections based on song title, artist, or genre. Want to freely move recordings around your home network or copy them to the portable player of your choice? You’ll be out of luck if PERFORM passes.

This bill would also mess with Internet radio. Today, Live365, Shoutcast, streaming radio stations included in iTunes, and myriad other smaller webcasters rely on MP3 streaming. PERFORM would in effect force them to use DRM-laden, proprietary formats, so you can say goodbye to software tools like Streamripper that let you record programming to listen to it later.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Note to readers who are now shouting at their screens, “Hey, this post’s not about science fiction!”: 1) Stop shouting at your screen. It’s unseemly, and scares the cat. 2) This kind of legislation not only affects what you’re allowed to do with your computer, it will have a major chilling effect on new technology innovation. The corporations in favor of this kind of bill are trying to prop up their obsolete business models instead of looking for ways to harness these new revenue streams. That kind of corporations-squashing-individuals is ripped right from the pages of cyberpunk, and if you don’t want your next pizza delivered by Hiro Protagonist you should take an active interest in the Digital Rights Management issue. See? It’s science fiction after all.

Posted in Computers & Internet, News January 16th, 2007 by Chip
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