DVD, Internet Radio, and Copyright

Still in grading mode, but I just wanted to mention a few more links that have crossed my path. First, Laura has an important post on the code that can decrypt the new HD DVD format, “Copy protection, web 2.0, and education.” The issues of decryption are important, especially for film and media scholars who rely on clip compilations in class, and as Laura notes, it’s important for film and mdia professors to continue asserting their fair use rights or risk seeing them lost as the market continues to evolve.

On a related note, I had somehow missed the news that the US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) had severely hiked the royalty fees for internet radio stations. As of right now, Internet radio will remain safe until July, but basically the CRB ruling would cripple most internet radio stations with expensive royalty fees. Living in Fayetteville, I’ve come to depend on (commercial-free) internet radio stations such as KEXP Seattle for access to any kind of independent music scene, and KEXP and similar stations have helped launch the careers of a number of great indie rock musicians (including recent personal faves, Silversun Pickups and Wild Sweet Orange). Such a ruling, I believe, could hurt artists as well as audiences. The bipartisan HR 2060 would essentially reverse the CRB ruling and would allow internet radio to continue to thrive, so if this is an issue you’re invested in, it might be worth contacting your representative.

As Laura notes in her entry on decryption, these stories don’t receive a lot of play in the mainstream media, so it’s important to talk about them and remain informed about what’s going on with these copyright issues.

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