WASHINGTON, July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. James H. Billington Office of the Librarian The Library of Congress LM-608 101 Independence Avenue, S.E. Washington, DC 20540-1000 Re: Revocation of Certain Statutory Internet Broadcasting Licenses Dear Dr. Billington: We represent Media Rights Technologies, Inc. ("MRT") and make this petition on its behalf. MRT creates and licenses content management and enablement solutions, empowering effective and protected distribution of digital content. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070710/AQTU188) It has come to our attention that several popular webcasters are willfully violating their statutory internet broadcasting licenses by distributing digital content as an interactive download service and by ignoring their statutory obligations under the law. The webcasters in question include AOL, Clear Channel, iTunes, Live 365, MSN Music, Napster, Pandora, RealNetworks, Rhapsody and Yahoo ("Subject Webcasters"). All of the Subject Webcasters are operating under licenses granted pursuant to the statutory licensing provisions of the Digital Performance Rights in Sound Recording Act ("the Act"), found in 17 U.S.C. paragraph 114(d)(2). By statutory definition, the licenses under which the Subject Webcasters are operating exclude "interactive service." See 17 U.S.C. paragraph 114(d)(2)(A). The Act defines "interactive service" as one that enables a member of the public to receive a transmission of a program specially created for the recipient, or on request, a transmission of a particular sound recording-whether part of a program or not-which is selected by the recipient. See paragraph 114 (j)(7). A duly licensed interactive service pays a much higher royalty rate than does a statutory licensee, typically as much as 50% of the gross revenue earned by the interactive service as compared to approximately $800 per one million sound recordings played by a statutory licensee today. All of the Subject Webcasters distribute digital content over systems that avoid existing and effective technical measures designed to protect copyrighted content from unauthorized downloading, copying and re-distribution or use by recipients. Indeed, all of the Subject Webcasters incorporate or accommodate stream ripping capability within their systems. Literally thousands of different stream ripping devices are sanctioned by the Subject Webcasters. Further, all of the ephemeral recordings made by the Subject Webcasters are similarly unprotected from copying, in direct violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of paragraph 112 (a)(1) and (e). By transmitting copyrighted matter through such systems, the Subject Webcasters enable the recipients of their unprotected transmitted sound recordings to select particular sound recordings that can be downloaded and converted into perfect digital phonorecords. These digital phonorecords are then capable of being used, re-distributed or re-transmitted-all without authority from the copyright owners or payment of royalties. The enormity of this digital piracy has been well documented. It was estimated that U.S. consumers with internet access did not pay for 51% of the music they acquired in 2005. The I.F.P.I. estimated that nearly twenty billion tracks were illegally downloaded in 2005. Of course, internet usage has risen dramatically since 2005; so have the stream ripping and unauthorized copying. Research shows there are over 250 million stream ripping programs in use today. The Subject Webcasters essentially operate as interactive download services, much like Grokster prior to the landmark decision in MGM v. Grokster. In Grokster, the U.S.Supreme Court held that the distribution of a device "with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement" imposes liability for the infringement by third parties. Moreover, the Subject Webcasters have ignored their responsibilities as statutory licensees. For example, Section 114 (d)(2)(C)(vi) of the Act requires that a licensee take no affirmative steps to cause or induce recipients of its transmissions to make phonorecords (i.e., copies) of the transmissions, and where its technology limits the ability to make such phonorecords, the licensee is to utilize that technology. Further, the Act requires that a statutory licensee accommodate and not interfere with technical measures which protect copyrighted works. See 17 U.S.C. paragraph 114 (d)(2)(C)(viii). MRT developed and disclosed to the Subject Webcasters a technical measure that protects copyrighted material from being downloaded and copied. That technical measure is known as the X1 SeCure Sound Controller. MRT's X1 was investigated and found by the R.I.A.A. to be 100% effective in preventing stream ripping and protecting the rights of copyright owners without the slightest degradation of sound integrity. The Subject Webcasters have refused to accommodate the X1, and some of them have affirmatively interfered with the X1 by designing their new systems in such a way as to disable it, all of which constitutes a violation of a statutory licensee's duty under the Act. It is for these reasons MRT respectfully requests that the statutory licenses of the Subject Webcasters be revoked immediately. Please let us know if you would like additional information. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Very truly yours, ARCHIE S. ROBINSON ASR:lmr Media Contacts: Quake Cox, Media Rights Technologies 831.426.4412, firstname.lastname@example.org Archie S. Robinson (408) 792-5901 email@example.com (1) Stream ripping software allows consumers to capture individual tracks of digital media streamed over the Internet which are then converted to perfect digital copies. (2) For example, Microsoft has incorporated a native stream ripper into every new Vista Operating System sold. (3) Christiansen, Ed, "New Life for CD's?", Billboard, April 1, 2006. (4) IFPI, "The Many Faces of Music Piracy," 2005.
SOURCE Media Rights Technologies, Inc.