Ars Technica: Net radio “compromise” hinged on DRM adoption

The source also tells me that DRM is the only plausible “tool” at the disposal of webcasters to accomplish SoundExchange’s goal of working to stop music “streamripping.” It would appear that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The music industry is very worried about users recording Internet radio for the purposes of “disaggregating” music, and the message seems to be that if webcasters will scratch the industry’s back, then a better deal is possible. Too bad it’s a deal that could kill another potential avenue of fair use (recording radio), and limit users’ ability to enjoy radio by limiting playback to clients that support DRM.

Repeat after me, RIAA: “Streamripping librarians are not your customers.” DRM is way too high a barrier to prevent stream ripping. I disagree with the notion that stream ripping is commonly used to create libraries of music. More likely, it’s used to timeshift; that’s a fair use. The first hurdle to make it harder to stream rip would be to require HTTP authentication to connect to a stream.

The RIAA’s fight against internet radio will most likely succeed in driving the industry underground into the long tail, where it would be impossible to get station logs and collect royalties. Of course, at that point, they probably won’t care; they’ll refocus on traditional broadcasters.