PERFORM Act to set Internet Radio back.

[ image courtesy of fatcontroller / Flickr ]

In January, Diane Feinstein, the Democratic Senator from California, re-introduced legislation that would deal a possibly harsh blow to the world of internet radio. This bill as originally introduced in 2006, S. 2644, is titled “Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music Act of 2006.” Or “PERFORM Act” for short. How seethingly clever.

The bill posits that terrestrial radio broadcasters are placed at a disadvantage by internet radio because internet radio can be, with some effort, recorded in a TiVo-like manner. These recordings can then be played back as the consumer wishes [segmented, time-shifted, etc.]

One thing that this bill does not take into account is the internet’s lack of borders. While Congress may be able to restrict internet radio broadcasts within the US, the 200 or so other countries will remain unaffected.

A second, and perhaps more important consideration is that many of the most popular webstreams are simulcasts of terrestrial broadcasters. Public Broadcasters, too. These entities often grow sizable audiences [public radio stations account for three of the top 20 most popular] and those audiences often become members.

Looks like the only thing this will PERFORM is setting internet radio back about 8 years.

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