Casey Bralla on 30 Jul 2009 17:29:15 -0700

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[PLUG] OT: If I can Record a TV Program off-the-air, Can I record a Streaming Internet Radio Program?

I ask this question from 2 vantage points:  1) Legal; and 2) Moral

The supreme court has famously ruled that it is perfectly legal to record TV 
and radio broadcast off the air (and I presume, off cable).  This strikes me as 
being both legally sound, and morally defensible.   I pay for cable service 
and am forced to watch commercials as payment for the pleasure of listening to 
and recording the shows.

But how about for a streaming music service that states in their accompanying 
documentation that it is not legal to record the stream (due to licensing 
issues), even though you pay for the privilege of listening to the stream?

I don't know the law in this case, but it strikes me as morally acceptable to 
record the stream, especially as I will pay for the stream listening rights.  
Further, the situation seems so analogous to over-the-air recording as to be 
silly to even differentiate it.

But, I frankly don't feel entirely comfortable with this position and would 
welcome the opinions of other rampant moralizers.

BTW, I don't feel any strong moral obligation to comply with an immoral or 
unjust law, although I do tend to minimize the likelihood that something bad 
will happen to me if I do so.  Or in other words, I'm all for Civil 
Disobedience, but I'm a coward and don't want to spend the night in j

Casey Bralla
Chief Nerd in Residence
The NerdWorld Organisation
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