Copyright Cartel Strikes Again

I saw an item on Scripting News this morning about software which captures songs off of XM satelite radio and saves them as MP3 files on your PC’s hard drive. The software, Nerosoft TimeTrax, enhances a $50 XM accessory called the PCR which is an XM radio receiver that attaches to and plays through your PC’s audio system. TimeTrax captures individual songs and sames them as MP3, complete with file names and tags. I’ve been considering getting satelite radio for some time now (either XM or Sirius), and I thought that this little device–along with the software–would be just the thing to tilt the scales in favor of XM and lead me to subscribe.
That is until this afternoon, when I read on CNET that XM is pulling the device off the market. The article says that the RIAA didn’t pressure them to take that action, but I don’t believe that for a second. Pardon me, but didn’t the Betamax Decision twenty years ago specifically allow consumers to record broadcast signals for their own personal use? Just because this isn’t a VCR recording a television show shouldn’t make any difference. The principle is the same.
It’s time for some good old-fashioned Consumer Rights legislation which spells out exactly what we consumers have the right to do (and not do) with the copyrighted material which we buy. The entertainment industry is just going to get more and more restrictive in their licensing terms. It’s time we the people stood up and started seriously complaining about the loss of our ability to do what we please with the thing that we purchase. The entire House of Representatives and 1/3 of the Senate are up for re-election this fall, so now’s the time to get their attention.