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Mandatory DRM for Podcasts Proposed

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the good-idea-bad-idea dept.

Music 432

Knytefall writes "Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and two GOP senators are sponsoring a bill called the PERFORM Act that would require podcasts with music and satellite radio to be locked-up with music industry-approved DRM software. From the article: 'All audio services — Webcasters included — would be obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable" copy-protection technology aimed at preventing "music theft" and restricting automatic recording.'"

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Completely ludicrous (5, Insightful)

jasonwea (598696) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619440)

I have not read the act itself but the TFA (and summary) is worded in such a way that implies that it applies across the board regardless; whether the content is free or not. What about all those podcasts with 100% legal content? Music from the podsafe music network [podshow.com] or other Creative Commons [creativecommons.org] licensed work for instance?

Implement a DRM system but do not force us to use it. I would much prefer the RIAA simply not license content to DRM free broadcasts and sue those who don't have a license.

Requiring DRM by law for all statutory licensed work is massive overkill.

Re:Completely ludicrous (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619548)

As ever; it's a trick. Start with a demand for this then back of to death sentences for playing your music to your sister. That'll seem reaonable. The only reasonable reaction is to demand a reduction of copyright to maximum three months and then back off up to five years, with automatic imprisonment (min sentence five years, lifetime loss of all rights to be involved in politics) for anything which infringes on fair use in any way.

Re:Completely ludicrous (5, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619836)

They are talking about XM radios that allow you to record the content. Are they going to demand that all audio recording devices use DRM to disable people from recording and redistributing this content? This is nothing more than a direct protection of the RIAA cronies by the government to try and hassle Sat radio.

Fuck, we should really mandate all line-in, cassette recorders, and DAT recorders have this technology retroactively installed. We wouldn't want this precious content being recorded by those means!

Report for retroactive DRM installation immediately!

Re:Completely ludicrous (5, Interesting)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619862)

At minimum proposals like this should be struck down for their extreme short-sightedness. Patent and copyright law exist to foster innovation and reward people for producing new works. Instead, laws like this merely protect the entrenched powers from having to do just that. This bill serves as an example of just how corrupt (or ignorant, pick one) its backers are. This law does nothing to protect the will of the people, nor does it advance any sort of greater good for society. Rather it promotes the interests of a specific group of businesses at the expense of everyone else. This is not democracy.

Re:Completely ludicrous (2, Interesting)

Teresita (982888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619894)

If podcasts are from iPods, and Apple controls the DRM for iPods, wouldn't the government have to, err, get permission from Apple before making every broadcaster install the encyption software that Apple uses to distribute iTunes? Or are we living in Russia?

MS Doesn't mind (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619966)

MS would love to have a format (FairPlay) that Apple doesn't want to release. Then the only "Approved" DRM is theirs. Life is good move along. Yes it's another bit of assinine kowtowing to the media by the government - it precludes fair use by definition, but that's not an issue that Congress sees because there's no money in it.

Re:Completely ludicrous (5, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620218)

Will it also become illegal for a band to freely distribute music on their own website? Or even to have a free concert? Its about the same damn thing. Why should anyone be required to lock up their own broadcast if they don't want to?

underground (4, Insightful)

celardore (844933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619446)

Let's just stick to streaming audio, or even downloadable mp3s. You don't have to "podcast" to be heard. There are other alternatives.

Re:underground (5, Informative)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619586)

The PERFORM Act will require streaming radio to be DRM'd, too. In fact that's really what it applies to - the fact that it might affect podcasting is just a side effect.

Re:underground (5, Informative)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619644)

Now that I RTFA, it doesn't even mention podcasts - not even a passing reference. Why did the submitter even mention them? "Mandatory DRM for streaming radio proposed" would be a more accurate headline.

Re:underground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619668)

Isn't podcast just fancy name for a downloadable mp3? Or am I missing something? Seriously, have I had wrong this whole time?

Re:underground (1)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619928)

That's all a Podcast is; a URL to an audio file, streamable or otherwise, that happens to be linked from an RSS/Atom/etc feed. Said feed doesn't seem to have any impact on this proposal.

I wonder how much these people are getting bribed^Wpaid for pushing this utter crack.

Danger danger, buzzword overload (1)

Psionicist (561330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619464)

Are they trying to restrict internet radio in general, or are they really talking about podcasts only as per Slashdots title?

copyleft? (4, Interesting)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619468)

From the article: 'All audio services -- Webcasters included -- would be obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable" copy-protection technology aimed at preventing "music theft" and restricting automatic recording.'"

What about copyleft-licensed broadcasts? You can't "steal" something that's free.

Re:copyleft? (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619786)

"Welcome to my podcast.
"Before getting to the music, you have to listen to this GPL license.

*mad llama rant*

"If you do not agree to the license, please stop the tape and listen to something else instead.

Cryptomnesia (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619910)

What about copyleft-licensed broadcasts? You can't "steal" something that's free.

How could the composer of the music used in the broadcast prove that he or she had the authority to publish the music under a copyleft or otherwise Free license? It might have been a case of cryptomnesia [wikipedia.org] like what happened to George Harrison.

Meet the new boss - same as the old boss... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619476)

Oh, this is going to be good.

I have my marshmallows all ready, let's get some fires going.

Don't they (5, Insightful)

ericdano (113424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619510)

Don't they have something better to do? How about funding our troops? Working out a resolution with Iran? etc etc.

Damn. Feinstein needs to be doing stuff for me, a Californian. I want her to get us off of using Oil, not worrying about Podcasts.

Re:Don't they (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619882)

I must second you on that one. What kind of people are we electing ... ? :(

Re:Don't they (0, Troll)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620030)

It hurt, but I actually voted republican for senator last time. No real effect of course, but I feel cleaner now. Between gun control and pandering to hollywood, I just couldn't do it anymore.

Re:Don't they (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17620064)

Write her a letter and wrap it around a stack of $100s and she might actually have one of her staffers read your letter before throwing it out.

One thing I'd like to ask -- if a politician swears an oath to uphold the Constitution and then violates that oath, is it a crime, if so what type of crime is it, and how do we kick-start the process of charging some of today's politicians with that crime?

Re:Don't they (3, Funny)

rossz (67331) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620096)

I've made it a standard practice to vote for whomever is running against Feinstein. I can't stand that bitch. In fact, I'd vote for a hard core communist if he ran against her. At least the commie would be honest about what he is, unlike Feinstein who pretends to have our best interest at heart, but is obviously bought and paid for by several special interest groups (the RIAA being one of them).

The basic problem with California is it's about equally divided between ultra-left and moderate/right. The left being concentrated in the big cities (San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc), and the right spread out across the rest of the state. The ultra-left usually has a slight edge when it comes to votes. I'd love for us to elect a couple of moderate demos OR republicans. Either is good, so long as they are moderate.

Oh, and someone please do us a favor and nuke Berkeley into a glass parking lot. I used to go there all the time to visit a certain book store (Another Change of Hobbit), but I avoid the place now as I end up wanting to beat the crap out of far too many assholes hanging out in the streets there.

Re:Don't they (5, Insightful)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620226)

Damn. Feinstein needs to be doing stuff for me, a Californian.
A lot of music and entertainment industry execs are Californians, too. And they have more money than you do...

The REAL Reason behind DRM'd Podcasts... (5, Funny)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619512)

I get it... By making everyone use DRM on their podcasts, each terrorist will have to legitimately purchase Osama Bin Laden's podcasts off of iTunes, thus driving up the price of terrorism!


Re:The REAL Reason behind DRM'd Podcasts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17620216)

Next thing you know, they'll be mandating a terrorism [google.co.uk] futures [wired.com] exchange [mit.edu]

Oh, wait...

Availability of entertainment (2, Insightful)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619518)

The availability of entertainment and the distraction it is to persons who might otherwise be motivated to do something more productive than consuming entertainment is what keeps the majority of Americans disinterested in the political process.

It makes me wonder if these senators know they are poking a sleeping beast with a stick. If I were a senator who preferred constituents who didn't care, I would be wont to introduce such legislation that may them from their distractions.

Why call out only the Democrats? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619522)

"Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and two GOP senators

The "two GOP senators" are Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

Re:Why call out only the Democrats? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619584)

Why call out only the Democrats?

That's easy stupid, the Dems are names and the GOP's are nobodies.

And please save all your "NUH-UH! I've heard of 'em" bullshit, you know I'm right.

Re:Why call out only the Democrats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619652)

That's easy stupid, the Dems are names and the GOP's are nobodies.

Nobodies? Lindsey Graham and Lamar Alexander??? Really?

Have you ever read a newspaper in your life?

And please save all your "NUH-UH! I've heard of 'em" bullshit, you know I'm right.

Sure, whatever.

Re:Why call out only the Democrats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17620262)

Nobodies? Lindsey Graham and Lamar Alexander??? Really? Yes RUHUHUHEEEEEEAAAAAALLLLLLLYYYYY. I know the truth is for Dems like the sun is for vampires, but all the "don't you read a newspaper" bullshit doesn't change reality. What's happening here is YOUR people are getting shit on, and you hate it, so you try to shit on the OTHER people. But that still doesn't make the other people names. It just makes you anpther petty, partisan toady who is to wrapped up in winning to pay a bit of attention to the fact that your people are liars and thieves too. And yes, I read the newspaper daily, that's why I'm informed about the names vs the nobodies, and you're a trash spouting moron.

Re:Why call out only the Democrats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619800)

the Dems are names and the GOP's are nobodies.

Only to you, because those two Democrats are frequent targets of your two-minutes-hate. To anyone at all familiar with US politics, they are all big names, and I'd be willing to bet that the average person on the street couldn't identify any of them.

Re:Why call out only the Democrats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619600)

Because hypocrisy is a sin for Democrats and par for the course for Republicans.

Because they're in power (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619632)

The Democrats are in power, so they are the only voices that really matter.

Hey Armericans: You have a supposedly democratic society. Write your senator etc.

Copying music is not theft (3, Interesting)

njchick (611256) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619536)

Here goes my support for Joe Biden in the Democratic primaries.

Re:Copying music is not theft (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619646)

you idiot. there are two wars in the middle east, and your voting decision is based on your right to copy songs off the radio.
grow up.

Re:Copying music is not theft (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619816)

The wars in the Middle East are supposed to be about reshaping the civlization. The statement about what constitutes ownership of an idea is an essential part of what is a civilization. So, yes, this is actually one of the most telling votes of Joe Biden's career.

Re:Copying music is not theft (5, Insightful)

wordsnyc (956034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620104)

Joe Biden? The senator from MBNA? The lowlife scumbag who pushed through the "bankruptcy reform act" and fought to prevent caps on the interest card companies could charge? The guy who's never met a bank or payday lender he didn't want to help to screw the consumer? You were going to vote for that turd?

Thank God The Democrats Are Here to Protect US (4, Insightful)

MarkPNeyer (729607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619552)

People who voted for democrats thinking liberty would be restored should take notice. Only Libertarians truly stand for constitutionally protected freedoms!

Re:Thank God The Democrats Are Here to Protect US (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619978)

Usually it's only one constitutionally protected freedom judging by the Libertarians around here.

Nobody did (3, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620136)

At least, nobody I know. I voted Democratic to have Congress run in opposition to the President.

The machine works best at a standstill, IMHO.

Re:Thank God The Democrats Are Here to Protect US (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620220)

Once officials are elected, they do not protect freedoms; they protect their jobs.

Party ideologies quickly go out the window, as we witnessed with the Republicans supersizing gov't with runaway deficit spending. The main differences between political parties are the differences in who funds them. And the bulk of the money comes from wealthy commercial interests who fund incumbents, regardless of party.

If you manage to get a majority of any non-Republicrats in power, you'll learn that within a term or two the system corrupts even them.

This shouldn't be a legislative problem. (2, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619554)

If someone is putting out "podcasts with music" or "satellite radio", and letting people "steal" your music, they either are a) breaking the law and providing this content illegally - in which case, go sue 'em or something, b) have the copyright or a license to use it - in which case, you should have used a more restrictive agreement.

If it's not your music, why do you care?

Re:This shouldn't be a legislative problem. (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619936)

If it's not your music, why do you care?

because if people actually discover you can get good music through means other than the RIAA labels (as if they have much in the way of good music anyway), the entire industry will collapse and bring out the end of all civilization!

Idiots (3, Insightful)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619564)

The bill is meant to secure music libraries and broadcasts, but there's nothing there about exclusions for educational (non-music) streams and podcasts like JapanesePod101.com. They also go on to say this:

The bill also contains language to make sure that consumers' current recording habits are not inhibited.

Ok then, what the hell is DRM if it's not inhibiting the consumers' recording habits??

My rights : Your rights (5, Interesting)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619578)

This act must be stopped NOW.

I'm an independent filmmaker who releases all my movies under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License [creativecommons.org] that allows anyone to freely copy, distribute, display, and perform my work.

This pro **AA act could be the nail in the coffin for not only the Creative Commons, but MY freedom as an artist.

I admit I am Anti-DRM, but there's two sides to every viewpoint. When big business wants to trample on MY rights, they'll trample on yours next. Call your House and Congressional representatives immediately to stop allowing big business interests to stomp on the rights of the actual artist.

Although my rant here is over, I won't quit until this legislation is dropped in a hole, set aflame and then buried.

DRM doesn't work (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619602)

DRM doesn't work. I would ask, "when will they get it?", but it's pretty clear that they do "get it". Look at the recent crack of HD-DVD protection. That's the best they have, and it's already cracked. They know full well any DRM they put out there is not a deterrent against piracy, which means their goal with DRM is clearly to control legal activity.

When it comes down to it, DRM is not intended to control piracy. It's intended to maintain **AA stranglehold over the market, to be used as a cudgel against hardware manufacturers, and to be used as a way to extract money, justified or otherwise, from the content-buying public.

Re:DRM doesn't work (3, Insightful)

^_^x (178540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619908)

Luckily for consumers though, almost every time, they opt for a small decryption key or a weak encryption algorithm since stronger encryption tends to mean increased processor and memory usage or the need for specialized hardware - and as cheap as that is, it adds up on millions+ of systems. ...so we get flimsy DRM that can be popped off trivially, and the R&D on this insufficient scrambling is wasted. There's no danger in explaining it like this either since they KNOW this, but don't want to bump the cost up (even if it were more expensive, it's not that simple - on portables like MP3 players it could even mean shorter battery life! haha...) So for the time being, I'll try to fight the DRM they do choose to use, but overall I just laugh at it since a "fix" is always available in very short order. Usually +/- a couple weeks of its commercial debut. :)

Re:DRM doesn't work (1)

Teresita (982888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620016)

The market will solve this one. MP3s cannot be DRM'd, so DRM'd podcasts will have to be in WMAs or AAC format, and they will be offered with all kinds of legal mumbo-jumbo which will turn most people off. The prospective customers shrug, go look for the MP3 ones, and that site won't get the hits it wants, and their advertisers will tell them to flake off. If Err America does this, so much the better.

better to include: for USA citizens only (0)

rjdegraaf (712353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619610)

'For USA citizens: Mandatory DRM for Podcasts Proposed'

Re:better to include: for USA citizens only (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619838)

Some of us just assume that when reading some of the headlines. Of course, this does present an interesting opportunity for those of us outside the reach of such a bill. Host your non-DRM'd content at .

Again, please write these representatives! (2, Interesting)

guisar (69737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619620)

Write them and your own rep and let them know how you feel- I mean are you shocked? Biden is from Delaware where most large corporations are headquartered, Feinstein is from California, Lindsey Grahama and Lamar are well known freakamazoid. Check out who donates to these clowns and see if this isn't exactly what you'd expect!

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/sector.asp? cid=N00009975&cycle=2002 [opensecrets.org]

Of course they represent those who donate to them and unless you write their offices and your own they'll get away with this sort of crap!

lol absolutely useless (2, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619624)

wow, what a bold, scary strategy considering that about 99% of streaming internet radio for example is captured in almost full quality internally on the sound card by changing the recording device to stereo mixer (or WAV on older ones I think) and pressing record. DRM won't change that because it would still be getting it from the sound card's final output. Who the heck tries to steal the audio data out of the place its cached or something like that that DRM could actually protect. That's why intel motherboard manufactureres agreed to disable the stereo mixer to work as a recording device on most recent motherboard after they found out a ton of people were stealing music that way. Of course, they have to then cross their fingers and hope people don't hook the digital out to the digital in port, which loses almost no quality and record it that way
And all this useless protection is on top of the fact that most podcasts and other streaming audio is really low quality, and thus undesireable for most ppl that download it to steal it. Well at least they're wasting their time and money doing stupid stuff like this and not something really restrictive and effective.

First things first (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619628)

IANAL, but sometimes I'm told I'm anal. Aren't podcasts only for iPods? I hate that.

Second; this is another example, a fine one at that, of government types trying to show they know something about the intarwebs and failing miserably. This shows little understanding of the actual content on the intarwebs, or the licensing models currently in use. They might as well have said that all wheels need to have an extra tax on them, or that all chairs should be taxed unless rated for less than 45 lbs. None of it makes sense. The blind leading the sleeping.

Yummy FUD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619638)

Listing the names of the Democratic senators supporting the measure without saying that they're Democrats, but listing the other supporters specifically as members of the Republican party. Nice.

No podcasts here (-1, Troll)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619648)

Sorry, but I don't use "podcasts". I use MP3 files and streaming MP3's. I don't own an "iPod", and as such, I don't use "podcasts". The only "pods" that I deal with are the ones that hold peas.

Ill tell you why they are proposing this ; (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619690)

they dont want webcasters, citizen journalists to broadcast the shit politicans and their big-money backers pull around. so that it can be good old 1950s again

Re:Ill tell you why they are proposing this ; (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619756)

Shouldn't they target blogs if they wanted to do that? Podcasts make up a very small minority of the type of independent political media you're referring to.

Feinstein PERFORM/DRM/DMCA form letters (3, Informative)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619718)

Feinstein clearly does not understand that the point of the copyright allowed in the constitution was to promote progress, not to protect rich corporations. She is clearly more of a Republican in this area. Here are some form letter responses that her office sends to complaints.

Feinstein responds with a form letter about the PERFORM DRM act:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=193819&cid=158 92380 [slashdot.org]

And the same response to someone else:
http://www.orbitcast.com/archives/congressman-resp onds-to-perform-act-dispute.html [orbitcast.com] (scroll down)

Feinstein response with a form letter about the DMCA:
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=21099&cid= 2234915 [slashdot.org]

If you have other questions or comments, please do not
hesitate to write to me again, or contact my Washington, D.C. staff
at (202) 224-3841."

Police raids (3, Interesting)

AnnuitCoeptis (1049058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619726)

Recent raids here in Europe proved that your "recordings" of any kind could harm you. Some guys here were tracked by police due to their over-usage of torrent networks, then their appartment raided. Everything you've ever recorded, that you do not have a hardcover or original CD/DVD from can backfire at you. Learned this I would be cautious even about iPod stored MP3s purchased over MP3.com or elsewhere, because there is virtually no proof to that MP3 was purchased and that is really yours. I actually welcome Microsoft's DRM management in hope it would give me a protection in such an event.

this is what the mandate was about, drm?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619728)

I don't think that mandatory drm is what americans were thinking of this past election.

What's that Spell? (4, Funny)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619748)

The PERFORM Act, or the "Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act,"
Um... I believe that's the PERRHM Act. Not as catchy, although cat lovers might take to it. The proposed legislation makes zero sense so therefore the acronym makes zero sense. Why have an acronym? Call it the Eliminate Free Internet Radio Act. Or just Yet Another Gift to Our Large and All-Powerful Contributors Act.



Re:What's that Spell? (2, Funny)

Gryle (933382) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620108)

Because EFIRA and YAGOLAPCA aren't catchy acronyms. Although they sound like catchy names for D&D characters.

All i have to say is JUST DO IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619758)

DRM the hell oout of it all till none of us want to use it, and the hackers/crackers et all laugh in there UNDRMed viewings.
go go go. No music cds are drmed anymore , to put it they see it as too much money to do for what getting it cracked. I am all for drming everything , hten hackers and pirates become more of the
peoples people. Screw da man vote for drm. GOP dont have the votes in congress so if you dont want it get on the horns people and let democrats know that drm will get them outted form office.
we did it here in canada, are you pussies down there or what, get out and tell em. we don't want big mother ( er brother)

Re:All i have to say is JUST DO IT (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620264)

GOP dont have the votes in congress so if you dont want it get on the horns people and let democrats know that drm will get them outted form office.

Uh, AC, do you realize that Biden and Feinstein are fairly prominent DEMOCRATS?

we did it here in canada

That explains the ignorance but doesn't excuse it.

Please, stop acting like one party has the public's interest in mind more than the other. Too many people in the states already "think" like this, why do you think we're so screwed no matter what we do anymore?

Just goes to show.. (1)

mad_psych0 (991712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619798)

Yet another prime example of why lawmakers need to educate themselves a bit on the technology they are going to write laws regarding. DRMing all podcasts, including independant ones that are public domain, is not only a pain for consumers, but will also cut back on the number of independant podcasts since a large number of private internet broadcasters are not going to mess around with DRMing their material.

idiotism prevails (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619806)

would be obligated to implement

Could they take away by force the people's right to give something away for free and/or without any restrictions ? Ok, I know they could do it, in a theory [i.e. they can do anything these days with none to any repercussions], but could they do it in practice ? Would the Act get signed ? Would the people let it happen ? This whole thing sounds so ridiculously ignorant. But, I have to add, not really surprising.

Biden, Feinstein, and two MORE GOP senators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619810)

Biden, Feinstein, and two MORE GOP senators...

There, fixed that for you.

Then they'd truly be PODcasts (1)

^_^x (178540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619818)

First, all but two of the podcasts I listen to (5 or 6) are voice only, and owned wholly by their producers. Second, I don't own any iPods and never will, but I always listen to my podcasts on an MP3 player, so the only effect DRM would have is that I wouldn't have any hardware that could decode the podcast, and I'd have to stop listening to them.

This idea wins big points for stupidity though. Almost as good as radio transmitters hidden in Canadian coins!

So what happens to... (2, Interesting)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619828)

...stuff like Nullsoft's Disk Writer plugin for Winamp, through which I can dump streaming radio to disk (I think, I've never really tried it). Of course some radio stations discourage this by commenting over the end/beginning of songs or mixing songs into each other for a track transition, thus making ripping undesirable. But still... DRM is rather useless if I can send the output to disk instead of my speakers.

Hollywood's Influence (4, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619892)

Funny how this is being introduced now.

An incredible coincidence that the Democrats control the Senate and House now. ("control" being very loosley defined in the sentence)

Sad, especially since the legions of /. won't lift a finger to slow this one down. This is one of those times I wish you all would.

Re:Hollywood's Influence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17620170)

That's the problem with having one party be completely batshit insane. No matter how bad the other party is on relatively small issues, they're going to get the support of every reasonable person. However, bad this is, there's no way it's going to get me to support the Republican Party. I don't like our current copyright system, but I hate torture, agressive wars, unchecked Presidential power, corruption, pedophilia, theocracy, and the host of other evils Republicans have associated themselves with.

"Reasonably Available Technology" Full Quote (2, Informative)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619898)

The full paragraph containing summary's quoted section is:

The bill would require cable, Internet and satellite providers to use reasonably available technology to protect the music, IF they want to enjoy the benefit of a government license. If, however, a company wants to use new technologies beyond the scope of a government license then they must go to the record companies directly to negotiate a licensing agreement through the market.

So, on the face of it, this particular "feature" of the Act shouldn't affect the use of music that is licensed freely (e.g., many Creative Commons licenses). In that case, the step of "negotiate a licensing agreement through the market" is done up front in the form of the music license.

What would probably cause problems for free music is the terms that restrict what players can do (e.g., "What a listener cannot do is set a recording device to find all the Frank Sinatra songs being played on the radio-service and only record those songs."). Hopefully, we can figure out a way to create players that support restricted features but only use them against music with appropriate licensing metadata, versus those features simply not being implemented.

Re:"Reasonably Available Technology" Full Quote (1)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620150)

Right quote, wrong conclusion...

(FTA): obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable" copy-protection technology

So far, no one has mentioned the glaringly obvious flaw here... No such thing exists!

We currently have states arguing over the legality of "means" tests for voting over showing a $30 drivers' license or state ID. How much does it cost to license any of the existing DRM implementations, if even an option?

Fine. Y'know what? If this passes, I'll write a GPL'd "copy-protection technology". Certainly, no one would ever think to read the source code to find the secret key I'll use, "password".

my letter to Senator Feinstein (5, Insightful)

robtow (637092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619918)

I used the form interface on Senator Feinstein's website to post the following letter to her concerning PERFORM:

Senator Feinstein,

I continue to oppose your misguided attempts to impose draconian digital rights management on consumer electronics.

The so-called PERFORM act will put the government in the business of mandating technology, and instituting what amounts to price controls on media distribution, and will prevent important technological and social innovation that increases the agency of the mass public, and will instead further entrench dangerous media consolidation in our republic.

The so-called rights of big media are a creation of 20th century technology, and did not exist before centralized mass production instrumentalities utilizing expensive technologies out of the reach of the people were invented by technologists such as Thomas Edison and Philo Farnsworth. Newer technologies now are changing the means of production and distribution, and make these "rights" as appropriate as the "rights" of 18th century Russian noblemen to own their landed serfs. Importantly, the new technologies of the PC and the Web are cheap, fast, and decentralized, and allow the people to re-assert democracy rather than passively consume the "Spectacle" offered by Fox and other media conglomerates.

The copyright and patent clause in the Constitution has been warped out of recognition by Congress passing such laws as the Sonny Bono act of 1998 in response to the corrupting influence of campaign financing on the part of members of the RIAA and MPAA. Current law bears no resemblance to the intent and practice of the founders. Your quotes of the Constitution in response to my previous two letters to you on this subject are dissembling, at best.

Although I am a "liberal", I will vote for an opponent of yours who opposes DRM in the next election.

Please change your position, so that I may support you in the future.

Robert Tow

Sounds like a good bill to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619924)

It has the most important thing: the cutsey acronym. How can this possibly be bad?

Unconstitutional (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619938)

It looks like they are forcing copyright holders to have their works DRMed, whether the copyright holder wants that or not.

It should at a brutally fascist minimum allow opting out, and more seriously, it should be opt-in. Forcing this on everyone is totally unfair to those who want their content to be as widely distributed as possible. Imagine advertisers. No wait -- imagine works that contain a political message; now in order to broadcast, you have to comply with a government-mandated standard that interferes with distribution and use? That seems to conflict with the First Amendment issues.

It fucking better be opt-in. And that means it shouldn't force toolmakers to always add the DRM. There must be a way around it, and it should be disabled by default. Either do that, or pass an amendment to repeat the 1st.

Allow me to be the first to say (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17619942)

FUCK YOU, Dianne Feinstein and company.

Seriously, fuck you and your corporate bought ass.

the ironic part is... (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17619952)

"Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and two GOP senators are sponsoring a bill..."

The sickly ironic part is "GOP" is supposed to stand for "Government of the People".

Re:the ironic part is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17620174)

I was always under the impression it stood for "grand old party".

And no comment on the two very high members of the Democratic party? For shame! Put on that political spin early and often. Thanks for showing us your bias.

Re:the ironic part is... (2, Informative)

andytrevino (943397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620184)

GOP actually stands for "Grand Old Party", though I agree with your sentiment. Copyright seems to be one of those odd issues that rarely follows party lines.

Windows Based? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17620008)

Any Mac user (or Linux, I guess) who has tried to access wmv files, with or without DRM, knows that cross-platform support for media coding can be a SOB. Even when it works, it doesn't work well. Especially with streaming media. I worry that requiring DRM could create de-facto dependence on a particular platform in order to access online media. I know that Apple is a leader in DRM music files, but it seems that wmv dominates the mainstream media outlets (example cnn.com) and I can't think of any reason that they would switch to something else if required to use DRM by law for all broadcasts. Can anyone think of any reason that I don't have to worry about being locked out?

Easy way out (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620034)

"All audio services -- Webcasters included -- would be obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable"

All you have to do is tell them you can't afford to apply DRM to your audio.

As effective as spam legislation (1)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620134)

Host the podcasts in another country.

This has as much effect on podcasts and the like as legislation against DVD-ripping software developed and hosted in Europe.

Just how the hell do they intend to enforce US laws against foreign produced and/or hosted content?

Don't use the temporary shutdown of ThePirateBay as an example; the majority of podcasts are perfectly legit, otherwise Apple wouldn't dare point to them in iTunes.

So how long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17620234)

If this gets done, how long before we get non-US-based net radio and podcast hosting for US citizens?

Let's call it Radio Free Eu... I mean, America...

compulsory DRM license fee?? (1)

amigabill (146897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620240)

So, since I've only read abot half the article summary, not the article, and none of the comments of which a few I'm likely redundant to, would it then be illegal for me to make a podcast, add some music which I myself composed, directed and performed, without applying industry-grade DRM to it?

Does that mean that anyone who releases a podcast or webstream or whatever covered by such a law is thus legally required to pay some fee to some DRM IP owner? Thus there will be no such thing as free because if nothing else, at least the creator of the content has to send off a check to some IP troll eery time someone listens to his production? And thus it gets far less likely that any such production will be free to the listener?

"reasonable" loophole (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17620260)

it's too bad Feinstein is doing this ....again....she keeps forgetting who her constituents are....the tech companies in the Silicon Valley and free-minded ppl in the area.

even if this "law" passes (remote), the "reasonable" loophole exists.
Maybe it can be as simple (and economical) as a javascript alert box.
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