Boing Boing: House introduces mandatory radio-crippling law
This is a bill to steal from tomorrow's entrepreneurs, who'll never get to invent the next generation of awesome music tech, in order to line the pockets of yesterday's recording industry fatcats.
True. Even worse, the bill actually would steal from today's entrepreneurs, too, rolling back things we already take for granted in other media.
From the EFF's list of RIAA comments on this very topic in 2004:
Receivers may only record or permit recording of covered content: (a) in direct and immediate response to a consumer pressing a record button; (b) based on a date and time preprogrammed by the consumer.
One of two ways Big Content is saying that it doesn't want you to be able to record what you want. Think of the way you can use TiVo to record all showings of, say, "The Simpsons;" you won't be able to do the equivalent on digital radio if they get their fancy new Broadcast Flag.
Preprogrammed recordings shall be for a minimum period of 30 minutes in duration.
Big Content loves to sell you music by the minute. If you want a four-minute pop gem, you have to take 26 minutes of turds along in the deal. Sort of like buying an album on CD.
A replay buffer may be used to initiate a recording of a previously broadcast transmission provided that the buffer does not exceed 30 minutes in duration.
In Big Content's world, a time machine only goes back a half hour. Why not let the buffer size be determined by the manufacturer?
Each recording of covered content shall be stored and retrieved as a singe continuous session and may not be divided into recordings of individual songs on an automated or non-automated basis using ID information or audio characteristics.
Are you getting the sense that Big Content is scared to death of fans playing the songs they like?
The application of these usage rules to covered content shall be stored and associated in a robust manner with any recordings of such covered content.
The Flag is supposed to bind the recordings to the recording devices, so I don't even know what this thing is doing here.
ID information shall be recorded only in a manner that effectively limits its use to display during simultaneous audio playback.
Now we get to a few points where Big Content doesn't want you to be able to skip through stretches of your 30 minute recordings conveniently. Can't do it by watching the song titles go by.
No recording device shall record covered content based on ID information.
And did we mention, no recording what you want -- Big Content sells music like Verizon sells airtime now.
All recordings of covered content must employ robust encryption methods to bind and limit playback to the recording device.
Used to being able to move your media around with you? I wouldn't get to attached to that, if Big Content got their way.
Playback of covered content shall be solely on a session basis and shall not be linked in any way to ID information.
Omigod, omigod, omigod. Stop! We get it! No playing the individual songs and...
Playback of covered content shall be at normal speed (defined as within 10% of the speed at which the content was originally recorded). Playback may skip forward and backward at higher speeds within the recorded session without playing any sound provided that no skipping, either forward or backward, shall be permitted to the beginning or end of a song using ID information.
...no skipping or fast forwarding.
So Big Content's future has devices less capable than the average cassette deck of several decades ago, and they intend to ensure things stay that way. All new devices that have anything to do with digital TV or radio (and that would be all TV and radio within the next few years) will have to be approved by their bought-and-paid-for bureaucrats on the FCC.
It's like they looked at the iPod, saw what a success that was, and asked "OK, so can we build the opposite of that?"