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The RIAA strikes again

It looks like the RIAA's war on music pirates continues to affect not only legitimate consumers but music companies as well. This week, Creative announced that it will be removing FM radio recording from its portable music players from here on out. Creative has released a new firmware update for its Zen MicroPhoto and Zen Vision:M players that removes FM recording. We're finding it baffling that owners of the above products would rush to download such an update.

Earlier this year, XM Satellite Radio was handed a lawsuit by the RIAA for allow its subscribers to record satellite radio broadcasts onto portable XM players. XM argued that while users were able to record whatever they pleased, the songs were not transferable and users were not able to move data onto a computer. Despite this important detail, the RIAA pressed forward anyway, indicating that it wanted XM to pay a hefty $150,000 for every song that XM users downloaded.

MP3s, satellite radio and FM radio are all part of the RIAA's music portfolio. Companies are now facing stricter regulations and consumers continue to face ongoing lawsuits.

Besides removing FM recording off its new Zen firmware, Creative also introduced several minor fixes such as video zooming and language support.

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Cassette Tapes Anyone!?
By BillyBatson on 10/16/2006 7:04:28 PM , Rating: 5
What about cassette tapes?! People can record FM radio onto those and my old sony cassette walkman could aswell! Are those illegal too? why were we for sooooooo long alowed to record onto cassette tapes and take them anywhere we wanted? What about VHS and dvd recorders now that record tv shows?
I don't get this I don't see why we can't be walking down the street and record the free media streaming through the air onto players to listen to again later.

RE: Cassette Tapes Anyone!?
By FearlessUser on 10/16/2006 7:21:25 PM , Rating: 5
Thanks. Now the RIAA is going to want FM tuners taken out of steroes, too. Way to go...

RE: Cassette Tapes Anyone!?
By lemonadesoda on 10/16/2006 7:43:35 PM , Rating: 5
In other news... secret documents reveal that the RIAA want to ban CD's and ALL hi-fi equipment that doesn't adhere to their new pay-per-listen system. The PAPEL system associates your credit card number with the number of times you have played a certain track. You get 10seconds for free, allowing you to demo your material. After 10 seconds you will be automatically billed $0.20 per track.

RE: Cassette Tapes Anyone!?
By delta53 on 10/16/2006 7:52:44 PM , Rating: 5
This reminds me of a very simialar debat...Sony with the VHS tapes for TV....CD burners...DVD burners...I wish creative would fight this. I would love to have my car record radio programs while I was at work so I could listen to it during my commute or record a show that I am listening to so I could actually go into the store and not sit in my car listening to the end and look like an idiot. The point is that someone will figure out a way to get around the system and download the song/show and distribute it but a crook will be a crook. Just keep the honest man honest and make it hard to do so. Beside, for people that want song, do they actually what FM quality?

RE: Cassette Tapes Anyone!?
By geeg on 10/16/2006 10:23:51 PM , Rating: 4
welcome to the corporate america.

RE: Cassette Tapes Anyone!?
By JonB on 10/17/2006 10:20:22 AM , Rating: 3
Does the RIAA have a mailing address? I have some FM receivers that are potential offenders and would feel better if they had them and I wouldn't be tempted anymore.

RE: Cassette Tapes Anyone!?
By isaacmacdonald on 10/16/2006 10:06:45 PM , Rating: 3
I agree. This is getting ridiculous. What about when I hear something clever on NPR that has nothing to do with the RIAA? These anti-social people need to stop trying to inhibit technology by suing everyone, and start devising business plans.

RE: Cassette Tapes Anyone!?
By rushfan2006 on 10/17/2006 12:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
The most absurd thing about the RIAA with all its analness is if you read their propoganda they sell their mission as protecting the rights of professional recording artists and what not.....

But in all reality, the RIAA really represents the executives of the industry...the people, in other words, who "truly" see the lion's share of the profits. Not the direct "artist" (though the term "artist" should be very cautiously applied to most music acts today).

RE: Cassette Tapes Anyone!?
By kilkennycat on 10/17/2006 11:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
Recording of radio broadcasts and other copyright material on to cassettes for personal use was the subject of a Supreme Court case back in the 70's (or was it 60's ?). The RIAA lost. Other than the different recording media the legal argument in the cassette case still stands today. Seems as if the RIAA is now paying the right lobbyists, with a bunch of money-grubbing State politicians and US Congressional members in their pockets, plus probably judiciously-financing judges' campaigns so nobody wants to fight them legally at least in the US. So when is Joe Public going to say "enough is enough"? Sadly, the only way of fighting the RIAA is to refrain from purchasing any music media or service with a deliberate constraint imposed by the RIAA on its personal use. No downloaded music, (now) no XM-radio etc, etc. You would still be able to buy (non-DRM-protected) CDs. Hit 'em in the pocket-book; that the only place that the RIAA elephant can hurt.

Yay more good news form the RIAA
By kamel5547 on 10/16/2006 6:53:00 PM , Rating: 3
.... In breaking news the RIAA has successfully forced all cassette manufacturers to disable the record function due to "rampant copyright violations". Manufacturers of said devices refused to comment except to say that "despite years of fair use exemptions for taping FM recordings we cannot afford the legal fees to fight this."

Hmm, lets see all the independent disc sellers are going belly up, piracy is as prevalent as ever, blocking FM recordings sure is going to fix the problem. Geez... I could think of one better way, charge Creative and XM a seperate licensing fee for the service (say $10 bucks for the Creative, 50 cents a month for XM). Its not like radio broadcasts are uber-quality.

Brings back a flashback with a twist though:

All your bases are belong to us(RIAA)!

RE: Yay more good news form the RIAA
By lemonadesoda on 10/16/2006 7:38:59 PM , Rating: 3
It's time somebody sued the RIAA for malicious intent.

If the RIAA was SO CONCERNED about piracy on the FM waves, then they should insist that all broadcasts of copyright material included a "copyright signal code" within existing RDS (Radio Data Signal). Any broadcast including the copyright signal could then be locked from recording on the device. Simple to implement... no harder to do than existing technology that displays the name of the radio station, or the name of the currently playing song.

RIAA have no right to restrict people private use of recording anything over which they have no jurisdiction. A restriction of freedom. Doesn't the US constitution come in here somewhere?

Of course, WHO would pay for the lawyers fees to sort this out. And here is the irony. Law and regulation is being created by corporations who can afford to pay the lawyers to create these kinds of laws. Somebody put a stop to this.

RE: Yay more good news form the RIAA
By mindless1 on 10/16/2006 7:47:50 PM , Rating: 2
What makes you think they DON'T want a no-copy code and compliant equipment forced upon consumers?

Such is perceived as being undesirable to the consumer but when you get a large arrogant company like Creative, they figure they're popular enough they can do without the feature. They'll be right in some cases of course, some people don't want FM recording, but others like myself can't see anything positive about removing it, want a player that can record voice and FM.

By INeedCache on 10/16/2006 8:01:02 PM , Rating: 5
The RIAA wants everyone over 16 to pay them $10 a day, whether they even listen to music or not. In fact, the RIAA wants $.25 everytime you even think about music.

RE: Yay more good news form the RIAA
By sxr7171 on 10/17/2006 1:46:16 AM , Rating: 3
Man, I want to donate to the EFF now!

By daftrok on 10/16/2006 11:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
COME ON PEOPLE! I thought we were the nerdiest of the nerds! Have you all forgotten LINE IN recording? Online radio and straight recording? Microphones with 320 kbps conversion to mp3? They ain't never gonna stop us! Who's with me?!

By tjaisv on 10/17/2006 12:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah lol of course. But that's not the point here.

By InTheNameOfMyself on 10/17/2006 1:46:29 AM , Rating: 3
Hey, back up minute.

Who records or even listens to the radio anyways?

By Omega215D on 10/17/2006 1:57:08 AM , Rating: 2
I use the radio record feature on my iRiver H320 and Cowon X5XL to store good new releases for future purchases since I always seem to start recording after a few seconds of a song or at the tail end of it with the radio commentators cutting in around 10 sec. before the song is over.

Plus the local radio station does nice mash-ups or mixes that aren't in stores. Hell they encouraged you to make a playlist and send it in.

By daftrok on 10/17/2006 2:05:11 AM , Rating: 1
And don't forget HD radio, where FM has 5.1 surround sound and AM is upgraded to stereo. There will be a loophole. No FM recording. But they didn't say no HD Radio recording ;)

By daftrok on 10/17/2006 2:12:24 AM , Rating: 4
And audio cassettes, when buying the right ones, sound INCREDIBLE. I thought I was listening to a CD when I was blasting "Gangsta's Paradise" down the street in my '97 Intrepid. Ah, the '90s, it was a simpler time. Playstation came out with its Metal Gear Solidness and Twisted Metal of Glory. Monica Lewinski was blowing Clinton while screaming girls ran to the store to buy audio cassettes to record the FM radio while it played the entire Backstreet Boys album. People had their VCRs set to record that Friend's episode where Phoebe gave birth to her brother's triplets and people pulled out their 35mm camera to take that 4"x6" shot of the license plate that says PNS MAN. Cellphones began to shrink in size and Apple was the laughing stock of the PC world with its fully manual removable CD tray that you had to poke with a pen for a few minutes before you hear that little click and use ur nails to pull out the was a simpler time.

By mindless1 on 10/18/2006 8:29:49 AM , Rating: 2
I listen to the radio all the time, but then I live just outside a large metropolitan area so there's tons of stations, I can always hit the preset button a couple times when necessary. Plus, nobody has EVERYTHING in MP3 format, maybe eventually you can download most everything but that'll get pricey and you could never remember so many songs to get, sometimes you had no thought about a song at any given moment but then you hear it again and it's a nice surprise. Not bad having somebody else do the shuffle play for you either.

End of users using official firmware?
By neothe0ne on 10/16/2006 6:36:16 PM , Rating: 5
As an owner of a Zen Vision:M who uses FM Recording, I can't say I'm pleased by this. Either the users will NOT upgrade their firmware, or will use hacked firmwares. Either way, both Creative and the RIAA lose.

By dreddly on 10/16/2006 11:43:15 PM , Rating: 3
I think this news has actually convinced me to go buy one of these players just because they have made it inacessible. Way to go RIAA, you just created a new demand for the market.

No doubt those generic Chinese manufacturers will be all over this too.

By drxploder on 10/17/2006 12:22:07 AM , Rating: 4
They actually retracted the 1.50.02 (the ZVM firmware that strips FM recording), so get a backup of 1.41.02 from their website while you still can.

By captchaos2 on 10/17/2006 8:26:26 AM , Rating: 2
I'm so glad I buy those cheap chinese made mp3 players so I can record whatever I want.

Know your Enemies
By devolutionist on 10/16/2006 10:53:44 PM , Rating: 3
If you have a problem with this, here's a list of your favorite record lables that make it all possible:

Don't say there's a problem and then act like there's no solution. It's *your* money that's funding them.

RE: Know your Enemies
By kkwst2 on 10/17/2006 1:33:23 AM , Rating: 2
I agree to an extent. However, it's often too much work to find bands not on these major labels. They all sign like lemmings. Even when you find a great independent band, they eventually sign with a major label. I had the energy for this 10 years ago, but not now.

RE: Know your Enemies
By sxr7171 on 10/17/2006 1:50:06 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah it's a really tough moral dilemma. If I had my way, I would never buy anything from an RIAA member anymore, but I don't steal music either. There are some pieces of music I want to listen to, what do I do? I really do limit my music purchases these days.

RE: Know your Enemies
By sxr7171 on 10/17/2006 1:52:53 AM , Rating: 3
BTW, I used to dislike others stealing music, but now I just don't care anymore. I hope these record labels lose so much of the market from people downloading copies of music that they all get to a point where some sense gets beaten into them.

By Xavian on 10/16/2006 8:14:15 PM , Rating: 5
But Piracy is everywhere! wont people think of the poor poor RIAA.

The RIAA is fighting a losing battle and ill be glad when its gone, that blight on our culture sums up everything that is wrong with copyrights and lawsuits.

I would love to go back to day 1, where music was merely an extension of art, where musicians played their music freely to express their art, where if you wanted to support the artist you could and not be forced into it.

I salute those artists who put their music online for free. Why? because publishing labels get all the money and the artists (unless you are a megastar) get a pittance. I'd much rather a model where artists put their music online for free and had concerts or tours to show your support for them.

For society as a whole to go forward, the RIAA and to a lesser extent the MPAA must fall.

Does Creative have the right...
By ira176 on 10/17/2006 2:44:48 AM , Rating: 2
to remove a feature that it advertised on its product and sold to consumers? Maybe the consumer should think about pressuring Creative about this decision. If you tell someone that that the product they buy from you will function as such, don't let them pay their hard earned dollars for the product and then remove the function. It seems dishonest to me and poor business ethic.

By Chillin1248 on 10/17/2006 5:07:55 PM , Rating: 3
You bring up a very good point, I can see the EFF starting a class action lawsuit against Creative on this note.


RIAA needs to go away
By Tiamat on 10/17/2006 9:46:07 AM , Rating: 3
In other news, Tower Records has been liquidated and Virgin megastore in Boston, mA is closing.

I will repeat myself, RIAA is going after the wrong people. They need to work on CD prices if they want to stunt mp3 sharing. Virgin Megastore usually sells cds for 18$. They have gotten very little business over the past 5 years, in my opinion, due to such exurberant prices. Fast forward to recent times, Virgin Megastore has announced they are closing in Novemever and slash prices 50%. End result: Store is packed with customers most of whom are purchasing more than 6 cds.

Lets see what happened:
Slash prices by 50% -> Volume of customers increases (>10 fold) drastically AND volume of cd sales PER customer increases drastically (>5fold). Now my observation is definately not scientific, but it seems to have a very strong trend...

RE: RIAA needs to go away
By Spivonious on 10/17/2006 10:37:46 AM , Rating: 2
The same thing happened when Sam Goody closed in my local mall. They put everything 50%-80% off and the store was packed with people. I personally know people who went there and bought things they normally wouldn't have, just because the price was lower.

By btxmonty on 10/16/2006 8:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think RIAA is joke right now, they try to sue anyone just to get some money in their pockets before they go broke for being such a useless organization which bases its principles in pointless topics... and yeah I can be 100% wrong but thats only I have understand from all I have read about it.

By shamgar03 on 10/17/2006 8:15:44 AM , Rating: 2
Lol They are like a dog on viagra trying to hump everything in sight. Only instead of humping its suing...

By bifffoley on 10/16/2006 11:16:24 PM , Rating: 1
Creative, Whimps! Someone, anyone, please stand up to the RIAA and keep them in check. I don't want the RIAA SS showing up at my door asking for my papers. My sister gave me a CD she bought and didn't like. Do I have to pay for it again? Soon, right?

RE: Whimps!
By Avatar28 on 10/16/2006 11:45:07 PM , Rating: 3
Correct. In a few more months all CDs will come with a shrink-wrap license agreement. By opening the package you agree that you are not buying a disc, you are buying a license to listen to the music. You are not allowed to transfer the music to a computer or MP3 player or any other device. Further the CD is licensed to only the original purchaser and the license is non-transferrable, meaning you can't give away or sell the CD. If they catch someone with a CD for which they cannot provide proof that they are the original purchaser, they will be sued for breach of contract and copyright infringement. Likewise, any store selling the disc used is equally guilty and will be sued for the maximum penalty allowed by law.

By KHysiek on 10/17/2006 4:13:14 AM , Rating: 3
getting PLEASURE to listen to some songs, listeners should get refund and compensation for DISPLEASURE with any song, don't you think ppl?

By Missing Ghost on 10/16/2006 8:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure the day when people will stand up against theses criminal RIAA/MPAA will come soon. They just did too much, suing dead people, 80 years old people that don't own a computer and children like they are used too. Now trying to prevent something people have been doing for decades (recording analog FM music) with no problem is just going too far. At least I'm not american so they have no power over me.

why dosen't the RIAA
By S3anister on 10/16/2006 10:11:55 PM , Rating: 2
come out with their own F****** brand of everything music so they can make themselves happy. and ban all other companies from making and/or distributing anything related to music.

Quality anyone?
By Alla3aNicK on 10/17/2006 6:04:22 AM , Rating: 2
It would have been very easy for RIAA to avoid piracy.By supporting new technological formats like the SACD or DVD-A,could give mp3 a run for its money since its quality is very low compared to the aforementioned.Apart from that they can stop producing such a crappy music in such large quantities and also give artists more freedom,both artistic and in terms of promoting their material they way they want.Until this day comes,RIAA can bite our....

By jskirwin on 10/17/2006 8:56:28 AM , Rating: 2
Here in Philly we have ONE rock station that plays the same old cr@p day after day. Unless you really, really like Led Zeppelin you are SOL - except for their morning show Preston & Steve. Now that's worth listening to - but they podcast so no worries there.

Radio is dying, but the video star didn't kill it (when's the last time you saw MTV actually play a music video?) - the record industry did. Yep, the same outfit that RIAA works for.

Instead of pushing small acts, the record industry goes for the big kill with the occasional superstar record that sells millions.

The result? We find music through alternative channels.

FM is dead. Stick a fork in it.

"Betamax case"
By BladeVenom on 10/17/2006 2:25:09 PM , Rating: 2
Did everyone forget about the Betamax case? Making individual copies for time shifting is fair use, and the manufacturer of recording devices can't be held accountable for infringement.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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