PERFORM Act reintroduced in US to implement widespread DRM broadcast obligations

February 2007

All areas

In a move welcomed by the Recording Industry Association of America, U.S. senators have reintroduced legislation that would require some digital and streaming Internet radio stations to use digital-rights management (DRM) technology if they acquire licenses through U.S. government-mandated copyright plans. According to opponents, the legislation would jeopardize TiVo-like audio recording devices, such as the Inno from XM Radio, as well as businesses like Live365 and ShoutCast, which stream radio over the Internet using the open MP3 format. The Perform Act, which died in Congress last year, was reintroduced Jan. 11 by Senators. Dianne Feinstein, Lindsey Graham, Joseph Biden, and Lamar Alexander. It requires satellite, cable TV, and Internet broadcasters to pay “fair market value” for digital music performances. It also requires “the use of readily available and cost-effective technology to prevent music theft,” according to a press release from Senator Feinstien. The law would apply to stations that license music from the government program created by Section 114 of the U.S Copyright Act.

Copyright law and the assault on innovation ( on the Liberty Papers blog) 

Also in the US District Judge Deborah A Batts has ruled that the music industry is free to go ahead with a lawsuit against XM Satellite Radio, the company accused of allowing customers to store songs without paying for them. The record industry filed a civil suit in May 2006 alleging that XM allows subscribers to listen to, store and replay songs as MP3 files violating their licensing agreement to broadcast copyrighted songs which extends only to live broadcasts. Devices marketed as “XM + MP3” players help people trap the music from XM’s broadcasts and then turn them into MP3s and labels argue that this infringes on their copyrights. XM’s stance is that listeners are legally allowed to record music off the radio for personal use under the Home Recording Act of 1992. 

No Comments

Comments are closed.