Like many other unsavory individuals these days, I spend a fair amount of time listening to music via online radio stations. Given the borderline-hilariously limited range of music offered on commercial radio, the chance to listen to high-quality streams of amazing stations throughout the country is an endless treat, from the electric Mecca of WFMU to the sheer Weir-iness of WNUR. Whenever I'm sick of listening to the lone Mariah Carey Christmas album in my iTunes library, I load up one of
these stations and the word "Om" forms on my lips, as if by a divine hand.
So, of course, internet radio must be dismantled. The "Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act," or PERFORM (how do those words add up to PERFORM?!), was introduced to the Senate recently after having been originally introduced last year and thankfully left to die. This legislation would require content protection on internet broadcasts (along with digital and satellite radio) and would put an end to MP3 streaming. Although the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 gave consumers the right to make both analog and digital recordings of broadcasts, some feel that this is entirely too "fair." Have I mentioned the RIAA is involved?
The fear of those that have no idea what's happening at any given moment is that Long John Silver-types are sailing the airwaves and recording songs that play for subsequent distribution through P2P networks. Somehow, this is meant to be a simpler and more sinister method than one dude buying the CD and converting it to MP3s. If the Perform Act passes, radio stations will be forced to abandon high-quality streaming formats for other alternatives, ones that will be literally oozing with DRM technology. And the only kind of ooze I like to hear about is that which oozes with secrets -- secrets that can be uncovered through the teamwork and determination of four hard-workin', shell-shockin', crime-fightin' turtles.