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Peer-to-Peer Online Radio, Live365 Style

This could be great for the growth of hearing music online.
I'm just not sure where it's leading internet radio.

One restriction of running a station online is not allowing listeners to choose which songs they want to hear. (You could say it is the only reasonable request RIAA made in formulating the original CARP ruling.) However, DMCA copyright law does allow loaning a song to a friend.

So, if you are in a small group of online radio stations that allows listeners to search your group's list of songs, the audience is likely to find songs they want to hear. Call it "on demand" listening for "friends" in your group. Existing laws do not prohibit it, as long as your group is small.

Sharing music within a small group, and calling yourself a radio station, was introduced last November by Mecora. Using the concept to link radio stations is the twist, and having a Live 365-size grouping of radio stations employ it changes the landscape of internet radio.

Live 365's new network within a network will aid radio and Live 365. But is this application being used to sidestep a regulatory issue?

You decide. Here's a quote from the story linked below: "By keeping the communities small, Grouper executives say, providing access to the music is more like playing a song for a friend than like true Net broadcasting, and is thus allowable by law." (Grouper is the company suppling Live 365 the software, which also shares video, photo, and documents.)

They say if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and sounds like a duck... it is one.

Which leads to what's making this so complex: There really is no set definition of what an online radio duck looks, or sounds like.

Related Article:
CNet News

Posted: 10:15 3/7/2005


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