So what's in your CD player right now?

Stephen D. Williams sdw@lig.net
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.)

sdw

>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
>www.spinner.com 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
>>
>result
>
>>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
>courts.
>
>
>>Additionally, you have interesting possibilities like a
>>
>colocation-ISP-like
>
>>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
>>collection.
>>
>
>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
>schedule:
>
>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
>brain.
>
>
>
>>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
>>
>overpriced
>
>>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
>;-)
>
>

-- 
sdw@lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622
703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax Dec2001