Digital Freedom Campaign Responds to Latest RIAA Attempts to Hold Internet Radio Hostage

RIAA Admits 'Stream-ripping' Is Not a Problem

Jul 19, 2007, 01:00 ET from Digital Freedom

    WASHINGTON, July 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Digital Freedom
 Campaign today responded to a statement made by Recording Industry
 Association of America Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Mitch
 Glazier in a recent edition of Technology Daily, noting that
 "stream-ripping," an unrelated issue to the current Internet radio royalty
 rate debates, was not necessarily a problem.
     Mr. Glazier, addressing the logic behind a sudden effort by the
 recording industry to require webcasters to adopt anti-'stream-ripping'
 technology was asked whether stream-ripping was even a problem, stated,
 "why wait until it is a big problem to start addressing it? There are
 available technologies in the marketplace to address this issue." The
 'stream-ripping' issue is not relevant to the Internet royalty rate
 decision by the Copyright Royalty Board in March, and was not mentioned in
 the CRB ruling.
     "The music industry's top lobbyist is calling for the implementation of
 a burdensome, costly, and completely unnecessary technology by webcasters
 who play and promote the artists the RIAA claims to represent. He then
 admits that the issue is "not a big problem," said Jennifer Stoltz, a
 spokesperson for the Digital Freedom Campaign. "For the RIAA to try to
 impose unrealistic and wholly unnecessary technical mandates on an
 innovative and vibrant industry as part of larger, unrelated negotiations
 process is baffling.
     "The specific issue at hand is not commercial piracy, but rather fair
 use of legally recorded music for personal use, which is perfectly legal,"
 Stoltz continued. "Requiring webcasters to implement mandatory digital
 rights management technologies to prevent any personal recording of
 Internet radio streams is an imposition on both webcasters and consumers.
 It is a costly solution without even a hint of a problem. There is no
 evidence whatsoever that stream-ripping or commercial piracy from Internet
 radio is an issue, and the RIAA and SoundExchange should proceed with the
 ongoing negotiations with webcasters without demanding provisions that
 would further harm and inconvenience Internet radio listeners."
     The Digital Freedom Campaign supports the fair compensation of artists
 for their work, but also believes the imposition of unsustainable fees on
 internet broadcasters will hurt innovators, music fans, and independent and
 non- mainstream musicians. The moratorium on the imposition of new fees on
 Internet broadcasters while negotiations toward a resolution are underway
 is positive for the industry as a whole. That said, the DFC is extremely
 concerned by reports that, as part of the "compromise," SoundExchange has
 demanded that all internet radio stations implement mandatory digital
 rights management technologies. No evidence has been produced to justify
 this extraordinary imposition on consumers, and is unfortunate that as the
 record industry is moving away from DRM that frustrates digital music
 buyers, SoundExchange is attempting to foist new DRM mandates on digital
 radio listeners.
     The Digital Freedom Campaign fights for consumer rights in a digital
 age that enables literally anyone and everyone to be a creator, an
 innovator or an artist -- to produce music, to create cutting-edge videos
 and photos, and to share their creative work. Digital technology empowers
 individuals to enjoy these new works when, where, and how they want, and to
 participate in the artistic process. These are basic freedoms that must be
 protected and nurtured. The Digital Freedom campaign is dedicated to
 defending the rights of students, artists, innovators, and consumers to
 create and make lawful use of new technologies and lawfully acquired
 content free of unreasonable government restrictions and without fear of
 costly and abusive lawsuits.
     For more information about the Digital Freedom campaign, please visit
 us at

SOURCE Digital Freedom