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Breaking News – You Can Tape Stuff Off the Radio…

By Brian | May 31, 2005 | Share on Facebook

Remember the good old days when everybody was stealing digital music? Then iTunes came along and made it so easy (and cheap) to buy music, that stealing it actually became more of a hassle than it was worth? Well, in what should have been an obvious next step, that state of affairs appears to be short-lived:

Lawyers, others questions radio TIVO-like devices – Yahoo! News

Various devices that enable listeners to record Internet radio streams and then convert them into MP3 files are catching on and making Web radio and streaming services more appealing to the general public.

But some legal experts say the recording software may violate digital copyright laws and does little more than promote piracy.

I must admit, I never understood how Digital Rights Management (DRM) was going to last. When I was a teenager, I knew the 50 ways to hack through Apple II+ copy-protection so I could copy my friend’s new video game. Nowadays, I’m just an old fogey at 35, relegated to reading about today’s teenagers, who hack into massive government or corporate networks and cause millions in damages. Still, even *I* can figure out how to break DRM protection. Simply play the DRM-laden song on the PC, have the PC record straight from the sound card into an (unprotected) MP3 file, and then “Save As…” Voila! Instant cyber-thief. So if I can figure this out, why is the rest of the world pretending the teenagers are even breaking a sweat?

Tools like Replay Radio put the issue in the forefront, though. Music is different than TV. It’s portable and personal. A copy of a TV show still requires a TV, and usually, if you’re lucky, someone to watch it with. A copy of a song, though, is the whole package. It’s a 100% replacement for the purchased product. Not to mention the fact that you could conceivably go to work/school and leave Replay Radio running all day, then come home and cherry-pick the songs you want to add to your collection. A few weeks and some creative choices of radio stations, and you could fill an iPod for free.

Jay Cooper, a veteran entertainment lawyer, is quoted in the article singing that old refrain: “[This] Technology’s way ahead of the law.”


Topics: Tech Talk | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Breaking News – You Can Tape Stuff Off the Radio…”

  1. Michael Weinmayr says at June 1st, 2005 at 11:46 am :
    I’ve been using Audio Hijack Pro by Rogue Amoeba Software (Mac only). It only works for Internet Audio streams, but it works wonderfully. I pull down NPR and BBC shows from their RealAudio streams, and change them to bookmarkable AAC files so I can start and stop anytime.

  2. Jeff Porten says at June 1st, 2005 at 8:12 pm :
    Dude. I’ve been meaning to do that myself. I should pirate your license someday.

    Note to the BSA: I’m joking. If I really wanted to pirate something, I’d just get the license off the Internet. It’s much faster than asking my friends.


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