Rendezvous Sharing Puzzler

Showed my boss iTunes’ new remote music sharing (but not downloading) feature today and he immediately tagged it as webcasting. Is it webcasting? If so, then does this form of sharing require royalties to be paid? Who will determine whether I’m just listening to my home collection from work (or vice versa) or casting my collection to 100 listeners (assuming I had that much upstream bandwidth)? And so what if I am? I’m not sharing the files with them, only the performance. And if sharing the performance is a problem, does that mean I can’t have a party and play a CD for everyone who attends?

Gray areas, but you can begin to see why iTunes throws an alert “This feature is for personal use only” when sharing is activated.

Music: Bert Jansch :: Black Water Side

4 Replies to “Rendezvous Sharing Puzzler”

  1. Why do royalties EVER have to be paid for (commercial free) webcasting? The concept is bizarre to me. While I think recent legislation has given some leeway to non-commercial, independent broadcasters, I don’t understand why it’s ever an issue.

    Your analogy about playing music in your home is dead-on to me.

    It’s my experience (perhaps naive) that people buy the music they want to buy and can afford to buy. Being able to hear something broadcast online wouldn’t change that – if anything it’s free advertising for the music being broadcast.

  2. i also noticed that the playcount doesn’t go up on the host machine when you play a song remotely. i wonder if this is a feature or a bug?

  3. It’s not webcasting becuase only 5 people can connect at one time to any 1 machine (or that’s what I heard, I haven’t tested that myself).

  4. coolmacguy – I didn’t know about the 5 connection limit. So does this imply that “webcasting” is somewhere carefully defined as requiring at least x number of connections?

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