Russell's Blog

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Copyright Pirates

Posted by Russell on April 17, 2007 at 3:31 a.m.
So, the Copyright Royalty Board ruled in favor of the recording industry's extortion of internet radio. As an big fan of KCRW, this makes me especially angry. This ruling will pretty much put KCRW out of business; most of their listeners are online.

Naturally, they are scrambling to get more people to subscribe to support the service. If the Court of Appeals doesn't overturn the ruling, I will not subscribe. Nor will I listen. I would rather see KCRW disappear than see my contribution to public radio pissed away on SoundExchange royalty extortion.

Intellectual property law in the United States keeps drifting farther afield from its basis in constitutional law. All intellectual property law in the United States is predicated on this special power of Congress:

The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

...

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

This decision accomplishes exactly the opposite of "Progress of Science and the useful Arts." Radio broadcasters are not required to pay these extra fees, and internet broadcasting is the logical technological advancement over radio. But then again, a great deal of America's intellectual property law already does more to stifle Science and the useful Arts than encourage it. This is just the latest example.

KCRW and other internet broadcasters can take another direction, though. They could put a blackout on artists represented by SoundExchange. If they do this, I will gladly support KCRW.

Go sign the petition.

fds on April 18, 2014 at 6:47 p.m.

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