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Proposed DRM legislation criticized as too harsh

Consumer rights groups have voiced opposition to legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress last week that would require Internet broadcasters to deploy DRM (digital rights management) technology to prevent listeners from making unauthorized copies of music files. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, and three other senators introduced the Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music (PERFORM) Act on January 11 after the same piece of legislation failed to pass through Congress in 2006. The PERFORM Act would require all satellite, cable, and Internet broadcasters to deploy "reasonably available" copy-protection technology and to prevent listeners from using recording devices to copy specific songs or artists.

The bill would not prevent listeners from recording at specific times, such as a news show at 9 a.m., but it would require broadcasters to use copy-protection technology that would prevent listeners from recording all the songs by one artist played on a broadcast, Feinstein said in a news release. "New radio services are allowing users to do more than simply listen to music," Feinstein said in a statement. "What was once a passive listening experience has turned into a forum where users can record, manipulate, collect, and create personalized music libraries. As the modes of distribution change and the technologies change, so must our laws change."

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News source: InfoWorld

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