updated 01:10 pm EDT, Mon July 16, 2007
Web radio chained by DRM?
Although the imposition of harsh royalties has been avoided by a last-minute agreement, Internet radio may yet have to pay another price to stay on the air. The collection group SoundExchange has issued a statement of what it would like from broadcasters: in exchange for capping the $500 per-channel minimum fee at $50,000 per year, stations would have to provide detailed song reporting, and work to block "streamripping" -- recording a stream to extract individual tracks. This by definition requires DRM.
This is not the first time that SoundExchange has asked for DRM in Internet radio, but it is now attempting to make it a condition of continued operation for some organizations. This could also have a negative effect for many listeners, since it would prevent "fair use" recordings as well as illegal ones. Likewise, DRM could require proprietary streaming software, forcing users to switch programs in order to hear their favorite content. [via Ars Technica]