US Congress seeks to add DRM to podcasts

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US Congress seeks to add DRM to podcasts

No media too new to be loaded with DRM, according to law-makers.

A bill has been proposed in Washington that would make digital rights management (DRM) software mandatory in podcasts and internet radio broadcasts.

The new rules are part of the Perform Act introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Lindsey Graham, Joseph Biden and Lamar Alexander.

The bill would allow music companies to charge similar rates for playing music as radio stations, and insist that music heard could not be stored and that reasonable steps are taken to build DRM technology into broadcasts.

"New radio services are allowing users to do more than simply listen to music," said Feinstein.

"What was once a passive listening experience has turned into a forum where users can record, manipulate, collect and create personalised music libraries.

"As the modes of distribution change and the technologies change, so must our laws change."

The bill was introduced when the Republicans controlled Congress, but was stalled until the recent mid-term elections.

"While we respect the goals of the legislation and Senator Feinstein's work in this area, the bill's language would produce a number of unintended consequences including stifling technological innovation and threatening consumer rights," said the Local Radio Internet Coalition.

"We are also concerned that the bill, as currently drafted, does not address the fundamental operational problems that our members face.

"We would like to see the bill broadened to remedy these concerns so that radio broadcasters can participate meaningfully in the internet age."
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