So what's in your CD player right now?

Stephen D. Williams
Tue, 12 Mar 2002 22:48:35 -0500

A little misunderstanding has crept in...

carey wrote:

>>I think you miss the depth of the angle available here:
>You're talking about streaming.  Period.  Nothing i've read (and i'll admit
>i'm far more legally bound than technically bound) says otherwise.
No, I'm not, not in the Internet Streaming Media sense.  I'm talking 
about real live radio broadcast stations as they now exist sending real 
live radio waves to a receiver connected to my home PC.  That receiver 
sends it's audio to the computer's (or peripheral) digitizer which goes 
to a program which compresses to MP3 and sooner or later chops the 
stream into songs.

 From where I sit in the DC area, I have 20+ stations playing the 
hottest music (and oldies, and jazz, etc.) 24 hours a day.  My thought 
was simply to automate the collection of that music in a legal way and 
output MP3 files for my time-shifting listening pleasure.

All subject to the fact that I am willing to put up with imperfections 
due to the fact that it wasn't a direct CD->MP3 conversion.  (Does AM 
Digital still exist?  What's the user agreement on XM radio?)

I have been thinking for a while that it's strange to have such 
draconian fights about streaming MP3's made from CDs when so much music 
was available for free (i.e. advertiser paid) in a perfectly legal 
avenue in good enough quality for my kids and I.

I'll add that I have been angry at least once when I bought a CD to get 
a song heard on the radio; the song on the CD sounded like a rough demo 
compared to the polished gem played on the air.  ("The Freshman" I 
believe it's called.)


>Streaming media tends to have a list of prerecorded (CDs most likely) data,
>with the annotations and such, and they stream it to my box -- look at
> if you dont' believe me.
>>If I can record broadcast audio direct to digital for my own use and the
>>quality is good enough for my use, and
>Quality doesn't tend to matter legally, but ok.
>>If I can get software and a feed of meta-data for that broadcast that
>>in ready to use/deploy MP3s, then
>THen so long as you're keeping them to yourself, or within the limits of the
>way time-shifting was being used in re: betamax, you're golden.
>>Anyone with a PC and minimal peripheral hardware can obtain a complete set
>>of aired music (or other programs) completely legally.  This requires zero
>HOW?  How is this any freaking different than gnutella clients?  See, you
>went from a=b, then you went b=c, and hit a=z.  Sure, you can record digital
>copies of your music, and play them.  Fair use is all good about that.  You
>can even, say, record a copy of your cd and play it in a class you were
>teaching (much more along the 'broadcast' lines).  But unless you found the
>secret spot in copyright lore that definitively says 'YES you can broadcast
>this too, and its all timeshifting nstuff', you'll need to stand in line
>with the rest of the streaming music kids while they battle it out in the
>>Additionally, you have interesting possibilities like a
>>PC rental service where you can rent a PC in, say, San Francisco for a day
>>to get the current playlist on your favorite station.  You then retrieve
>>your timeshifted music from your rented PC.
>I don't even want to consider what a pain in the ass (not even legally) this
>would be.  Its much much easier to just use the same argument in re: going o
>ver to a friends house, and picking up his mp3'd copy of a song/album.  It
>STILL isn't timeshifted.  In fact, once you start RENTING out computers,
>you've shifted it altogether to a commercial venture, and that under fair
>use and the SOny case is a no-no.
>  The ISP is too much of a
>>service?  Then you timeshare an apartment/house/condo for 1 day.
>They have timeshares already. They're overpriced, you get one week in em,
>and annoying telemarketers call up trying to hassle you into multiple
>timeshares.  No music sharing though.
>And again, why?  If you're going to go to all the trouble to 'share' an
>apartment, why not just buy the fucking CD already?  This ceases function.
>Sure, in the most far-reaching levels of 'time-shifting', you might be
>trading mp3's legally, but shite.  Why bother?
>>My point really is that with little additional work, existing fair use
>>avenues allow creation of a fairly usable equivalent to ripping a cd
>But not really.  That was my point.  Any of your prior mentions, the moment
>they hit commercial sphere (which you would almost have to do) cease to be
>applicable under fair use terms.  Whether you want to acknoweldge this
>rather large fact, is your business.  I can garuntee however, that the
>courts would.
>>Technically, you could get an ASCAP license, broadcast to N of your best
>>buddies (via infra-red at a conference, etc.), and legally distribute your
>>CD collection.
>Just for the fun:
>The Blanket License is intended for stations which broadcast music
>frequently. The annual fee is a percentage of the station's annual revenues
>and is billed monthly. The rate for 1996 through 2000 is 1.615% for stations
>that have annual gross revenue over $150,000 or a minimum of 1% of adjusted
>gross income. For stations that bill less than $150,000 there is a flat fee
>Songs (?)                Ammount
>< 50,000                 $ 450
>50,001 - 75,000      $ 800
>75,001 - 100,000    $ 1,150
>100,001 - 125,000  $ 1,450
>125,001 - 150,000  $ 1,800
>I'm not a math major or anything, but that's just to play by the rules.
>$450 /yr is still a fair amount of change (and that's assuming you do the
><50k songs kind of scenario.
>The second section under What doesn't ASCAP cover might be instructive:
>What doesn't the ASCAP Radio License do?
>The ASCAP radio license does not provide the right to authorize
>retransmissions of broadcasts of ASCAP music over loudspeakers in stores,
>restaurants or other locations open to the public, or by means of
>music-on-hold systems.
>Depending on how far I read your idea, your conceptof time shifting, might
>qualify as a music-on-hold system.  Now, I most likely am wrong (as the
>ASCAP site is rather confusing) and your ideas are a little fuzzy in me
>>In fact, I'm curious as to what language in broadcast licensing agreements
>>prevents them from being used to transmit digital copies of said music.
>>Rather than relying on advertising and payolla, why wouldn't I, as a
>>broadcast licensee, just charge my listeners for my broadcasts of my CD
>>collection with annotation?
><rant>  I think humans are so hardwired to the cocnept of free=radio that
>they have a hard time adjusting themselves to the 'pay for music if its not
>in a CD' kind of mentality.  As an example:  The local NPR out here has
>these fund drives, that they spend two weeks on each and every quarter.
>Most folks dread them.  That's why it takes two freaking weeks to get even
>the bit of money that they need to survive.   Lots of folks cringe at the
>concept of paying for something that seems otherwise free.  </rant>
>>We are stuck with a very strange mix of underpriced broadcast and
>>fidelity with the actual creators being routinely screwed.
>This I agree with you on, 100%.  But in order to fix this, that requires
>shooting Hillary Rosen.  Now I personally think that shouldn't be a crime

Stephen D. Williams 43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622
703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax Dec2001