Dealing with a bit of a dilemma: A 12-year-old niece is becoming interested in music, and turns to me for suggestions. Excellent! Of course the overwhelming temptation is to send her MP3s, much as friends used to exchange mix tapes. But her parents want to take a hard line on MP3 swapping and copyright matters, set fully legal ground rules from the outset. So what can I do? Send her links to iTMS or other services for low-bitrate 30-second previews? All of this digital flexibility has left the legally conscientious parent worse off than we were 25 years ago. We’ve thrown the baby out with the bath water.
Related: Jamie Kellner, the CEO of Turner Broadcasting was recently quoted as saying:
[Ad skips are] theft. Your contract with the network when you get the show is you’re going to watch the spots. Otherwise you couldn’t get the show on an ad-supported basis. Any time you skip a commercial or watch the button you’re actually stealing the programming.
In response, LawMeme has posted Top Ten New Copyright Crimes, speculating on just how draconian things could become:
9. Changing radio stations in the car when a commercial comes on.
Future radios will prevent listeners from changing channels when a commercial comes on. The RIAA has not yet taken a position on whether it is permissible to switch channels when the listener doesn’t like the song.
More at the site, with more bizarre Kellner-isms, such as this one on bathroom breaks:
I guess there’s a certain amount of tolerance for going to the bathroom. But if you formalize it and you create a device that skips certain second increments, you’ve got that only for one reason, unless you go to the bathroom for 30 seconds. They’ve done that just to make it easy for someone to skip a commercial.