Audio Flag Legislation Becoming Perennial Issue

Audio flag legislation has been re-introduced in the Senate.
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Audio flag legislation has been re-introduced in the Senate.

Just days after the 110th Congress convened, Sens. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., with co-sponsors Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Joseph Biden, D-Del. and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., introduced the PERFORM Act (S. 256), with language identical to last year's bill.

Opponents, such as consumer advocate group Public Knowledge, say the legislation could prevent digital audio recording devices from having the capability to record automatically material by specific artists, albums or recordings, and prevent consumers from having the capability to automatically separate recorded material into their own playlists.

Supporters, including the RIAA, say the bill would give parity to digital music services and that satellite radio has become a digital distribution service, something the services refute.

HD Radio's ability to store and replay content, new features on the horizon, could also be affected if passed.

The bill is under the auspices of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

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