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Barry Willis Posted: Feb 03, 2002 0 comments
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 loosened many long-established constraints on the ownership and operation of radio and television stations in the United States. The regulatory changes launched waves of mergers and acquisitions through the nation's broadcasting industry, consolidating what had been many regional companies into a few large conglomerates in just a few years. Backed by vice president Al Gore and the then chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), William Kennard, the changes were intended to make the broadcasting industry more responsive to the "free market."
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 22, 2001 0 comments
There appears to be nothing more important to the music business today than controlling the distribution and use of digital content on the web and in the home. Proprietary schemes to prevent or control the use of audio files have become hot commodities and valuable assets for many companies. Liquid Audio recently announced that the US Patent Office has awarded the company a patent (#6,219,634) for its watermark technique used for distributing secure digital music files.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Mar 23, 2003 0 comments
Record labels have found that CDs with built-in restriction technologies have not worked in all CD players, have been incompatible with some computers, and have engendered considerable backlash from irate consumers. But why should that stop them?
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Barry Willis Posted: May 06, 2001 0 comments
Can pirate chasers attend to business while accusing each other of piracy? Digimarc and Verance Corporation, two competitors in the digital watermarking race, have been swapping accusations over patent infringements.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 27, 2003 0 comments
As digitally recorded music moves through the recording and production chain, it can be handed off to a variety of studios, musicians, producers, record label executives, and mastering engineers. Sometimes this is done with a recordable CD or DVD, sometimes with a portable hard disk, and sometimes via a high-bandwidth Internet connection. Somewhere along the way, a good percentage of those files (some estimate up to 80%) get copied in an unauthorized manner and quickly end up on the Internet or on the street as pirated CDs before any official discs are released.
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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 01, 2000 0 comments
For the 109th convention of the Audio Engineering Society, the main floor of the L.A. Convention Center was transformed into a bazaar of new tools for audio professionals—but the panel discussions upstairs were where the real action took place. On Friday, September 22—just an hour before researchers Dr. Stanley Lipshitz and John Vanderkooy of Ontario's University of Waterloo presented a paper offering a mathematical proof for the "imperfectability" of one-bit delta-sigma recording systems—Sony Corporation issued a clarification of the technical standards for its Direct Stream Digital technology, the basis of the Super Audio Compact Disc. DSD, it now appears, is a one-bit technique as it applies to consumer playback systems, but uses a multi-bit PCM quantizer [presumably within a delta-sigma converter negative-feedback loop; see an article on this subject in the forthcoming November issue of Stereophile—Ed.] at the recording and mastering ends of the business. (The Lipshitz/Vanderkooy paper is available as AES preprint #5188.)
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Barry Willis Posted: Jul 30, 2000 0 comments
In December, after months of conducting listening tests with audio professionals in the US, the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) choose a watermarking technology from Verance Corporation for DVD-Audio copyright protection. Test results had indicated that Verance's system was the least detectable of the contenders under consideration.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 29, 2001 0 comments
Amid news that its watermark technology for DVD-Audio may have been compromised, Verance nonetheless announced last week the launch of its "ConfirMedia" watermarking service. The company says that ConfirMedia will monitor and report the airplay of encoded commercials, music, and programs broadcast by television, cable and radio stations in the 100 top US markets and on the national feeds of major broadcast and cable television networks in the US.
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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 06, 2003 0 comments
Webcasters will pay a new royalty rate to the recording industry, as of April 3.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments
This may come as no surprise to Stereophile's website audience, but a report released last week finds that the heaviest users of the World Wide Web are also avid consumers of traditional media, listening to CDs and radio and watching television as they point their browsers to e-commerce, informational, and recreational sites.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 18, 2005 0 comments
When I submitted my Records 2 Die 4 selections this past winter, it seemed inevitable that I include a web radio station. Not only had I enjoyed listening to www.techwebsound.com more than anything else last year, but it had exposed me to more new music and led to more music purchases than any other source—by a wide margin.
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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 13, 2002 0 comments
A long-running dispute between the music industry and small webcasters may have come to an amicable conclusion. Over the weekend of October 5-6, representatives from both sides agreed on a system of royalties to be paid to record labels and artists based on a percentage of webcaster revenue or expenses, rather than on a per song basis. Last summer, Librarian of Congress James Billington decreed that all webcasters should pay a royalty rate of 0.07¢ per song per 1000 listeners. Many small webcasters, including many college radio stations, chose to go offline rather than face fees they couldn't afford.
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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 20, 2002 0 comments
Legislation establishing royalties to be paid by small webcasters is stalled in the US Senate until after the November elections.
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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 31, 2003 0 comments
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) may spend the rest of its associated life in litigation—as either as the initiator or the recipient of actions intended to determine who can use its products, under which circumstances they can do so, and how much they should pay, assuming they are allowed to use them.
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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 11, 2002 0 comments
The US Copyright Office is being pulled in opposite directions over a recent decree establishing royalty rates for music played by webcasters. On one side are radio stations and Internet-only music sites, which claim that the rates are too high. On the other side is the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which claims that the rates are too low. Both sides have filed separate appeals in US federal court.

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