First let me say, I am all for artists getting paid for their creative endeavors. I don't want to see anyone get cut out of what they have earned. But this recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts strikes me as a continuation of the wrong thinking record companies have been exhibiting ever since the tape recorder was invented.
The cat is out of the bag. The genie is out of the bottle. The milk is spilt. The train has left the station. Elvis has left the building. Digital music and all that entails is a reality. The record companies are no longer running the show and if they don't come to their senses soon and change their response to the digital revolution, they will be completely removed from the equation. I don't need Atlantic Recording Corp., BMG Music, or Capitol Records Inc., to get good music into my various listening devices anymore. In fact, I would very much like them to join the ranks of obsolete industries as soon as possible, because all they are doing now is delaying the inevitable at my expense.
With that little rant over, the contention that XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. is breaking the rules by offering its customers the opportunity to record broadcasts may have contractual legal merit, but as a consumer, I want —- no, I demand —- the right and means to record whatever I hear on the radio. This is especially true for subscription radio where the consumer has paid for the privilege.
I want to live by the pay once rule. I am willing to pay a nominal fee for a song or piece of content, either by the item or in a subscription, once. But after that payment is made and accepted, that content is mine —- it is bought and paid for. I can use it anywhere I want on any device I want as long as it is for my own personal use. No more hassles, no hoops, no DRM, no activations, etc.
Maybe that is naive, but that is what I want.
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.