January 14, 2006

Well, Of Course! [4:59 pm]

Tension grows between labels and digital radio

At issue are new devices that can record and save high-quality digital copies of tunes as they’re being broadcast by these new networks. Recording executives are worried that consumers might increasingly opt to make such copies instead of purchasing the music on a commercial CD or from a download store like Apple Computer’s iTunes.

For now, the Recording Industry Association of America is in negotiations with satellite radio companies and is opening discussions with radio broadcasters over specific products. But over the long term, the music industry says, Congress should find a way to regulate these new digital radio networks so labels can get paid when consumers keep copies of songs, as is the case with iTunes.

“We’ve got to find a way to harmonize this so it’s rational,” said Mitch Bainwol, the RIAA’s chief executive officer. [...]

“Rational,” eh? So that’s what you call locking up distribution. Good to know.

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