RIAA Ramps Up To Kill Digital Radio

One of several stories indicating the push is coming (see this June 8 entry): RIAA Moves In on Digital Radio

Digital radio broadcasts that bring CD-quality sound to the airwaves could lead to unfettered song copying if protections are not put in place, a recording-industry trade group warned on Friday.

Without copy protections, music fans could cherry-pick songs off the air and redistribute them over the Internet, further deepening the copyright woes of record labels, the Recording Industry Association of America said.

Of course, under the Audio Home Recording Act, we already have "unfettered song copying," (digital or otherwise), at least for non-commercial use. Funny that they aren’t instead going to our lawmakers to ask that the compulsory license be changed in the case of digital radio — maybe they’re getting something out of radio broadcasting that they don’t want to lose?

How many times will we let a copyright claimant’s insistence on blunderbuss approaches to complex problems lead to the crippling of a new technology? We got fair use copying of radio broadcasts in exchange for crippling DAT under the AHRA — now we’re going to give that up too?

And, does the FCC really have jurisdiction to override the provisions of Title 17, Chap. 10, SubChap.D, Section 1008? Or is this going to be, once again, another set of sophistries around the argument that "fair use" does not mean that one must also preserve "access?"