Live365 and the DMCA

Well, gang, it looks like Prometheus Radio Theatre will be dumping — more correctly be dumped BY — Live365. I’ve just received a threatening e-mail from their legal department, warning me to make our station “compliant” ASAP or have our broadcasting account suspended. What crime have I committed? Gasp! I’ve broadcast 16 tracks in a row by the same artist! This is a violation of the DMCA, and the RIAA has apparently lodged a complaint against us with Live365.

I’ve explained to them that we are an artist-owned station, which is supposed to make us immune to that bit of the DMCA. Perhaps they’ll see it that way, but I’ve been through enough BS with Live365 this year that I’m not willing to talk to them much more, particularly when they invoke the name of the infernal RIAA. Frankly, I’d like nothing better than to sue them for violating my First Amendment rights, but I’m sure some clever government-lover will explain to me that I have no rights in this case. (So why should this case be any different?)

And, because this has put me in a bad mood, I’ll snipe out the fact that the DMCA was signed into law by one of the sacred Democratic Party who’s supposed to swoop in and save us from fascism in 2008. This is just one of the many reasons that I don’t see any reason to prefer one party of special interest toadies over another.

I did take SOME small satisfaction in pointing out to the legal eagle who contacted me that he’s using AVG Free Edition to screen his e-mails against virus (it says so at the bottom) and AVG Free is not for use on corporate-owned PCs being used in a business environment. Throw the RIAA at me will you? I’ll see your music Nazis and raise you one visit from the BSA!

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5 thoughts on “Live365 and the DMCA

    • Re: BSA?

      Why I oughtta…! The BSA is the Business Software Alliance — the nice people who come around and audit companies to see it they’re using software illegally, so they can reap tremendous legal rewards. “Promoting a safe and legal digital world,” is their slogan. I prefer “Just more centurions in the fight to preserve a crumbling empire.” Ah, the Military Industrial Entertainment Complex. Gotta love ’em. Or they’ll sue you and then kill you.

  1. Being another Live365 webcaster, I agree: it stinks. If you have a special account w/ them as an artist-owned station, email Legal at Live365. They’ll help you out. If you don’t have this already set-up, you are probably out of luck. The DMCA, RIAA, etc. deserve to rot for eternity. But, it’s in Live365’s Terms of Service. In order to keep their licences & try to pay the bills via advertising, Live’s gotta follow the terms of the licences. Hope this gets worked out & you keep streaming.
    Love & Peace, Clarence

  2. Hmmmm. I happen to know this political party that really should be going ahead and picking up on this kind of nonsense. Particularly when it is all but proven to be stifling the creativity of our people.

    Nice to see that the Libertarians might have finally got the idea that Corporate Amerikkka is not always your friend…! 🙂

    • Exemptions

      Well, to their credit, Live365 has agreed that I should be exempt from “compliance testing,” as I’m an independent broadcaster who doesn’t play anyone else’s work. I’m still torqued, because they knew that all along. The modern customer service paradigm of sending threatening letters to everyone who MIGHT be not abiding by the contract, “just in case” reminds me too much of the idea of guilty until proven innocent. It’s like we’re all living in an airport security line. (And I refuse to fly since 9/11 — not because I’m afraid of terrorists, but because I believe any business which refuses to keep its customers safe deserves to fail. ARM THE CREW. Period. Then we can carry all the scissors we want to.) No, we’d rather treat all customers equally badly.

      And Scooter’s hit the nail on the head about the LP’s hesitance to address DMCA. Problem is, on the surface, it looks like the RIAA could be the good guys. Like they’re only trying to make sure the law prevents the theft of property. And that benefits the little guy, right? But then you have the Justice Department saying that more than 10% of the population has committed a federal offense, and you just know something has to be wrong. And something is VERY wrong when you can’t exercise your First Amendment rights without living in fear of being accused of stealing from the very rich in Hollywood.

      A lot of thinking people are now beginning the challenge the concept of intellectual “property.” Can I really expect to treat a song I’ve written as if it were the land my house stands on? And have absolute say over who touches it? And isn’t it ironic that the government which has punted our rights to own real estate (with the Kelo decision) is so gung ho about protecting our rights to own intangibles? But they’ll come around. Sooner or later, they’ll want the rights to a song or a book, and they’ll exercise imminent domain over intellectual property. And then you and I will be allowed to own nothing.

      (Fortunately, the LP is right on top of the other great threat to our free speech — McCain-Feingold. But the majority of US citizens are still willing to sacrifice their freedom to prevent “soft money.” They don’t know what “soft money” is, but the Demopublicans have told them it was bad, and our elected officials never lie to us… when their lips aren’t moving.)

      I’ll still take the Libertarian tack, though, that capitalism is not evil. Profit motive and the Free Market are good things. But the US doesn’t have a free market. It has a mass of huge corporations, sucking money off the government you-know-what, in exchange for letting the government have a huge say in running the business. This is Rotarian Socialism, not the free market.

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