Casey Bralla on 31 Jul 2009 17:56:47 -0700

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

On Friday July 31, 2009 6:03:15 pm Greg Helledy wrote:
> > 
> >
> > But, I frankly don't feel entirely comfortable with this position and
> > would welcome the opinions of other rampant moralizers.
> >
>  From the civil side, it sounds like you might be violating the
> streaming media company's TOS.  Does it spell out any penalties for
> doing so?  I would imagine that they'd be limited to termination of your
> service, but I suppose you could inquire further.

This is a point that Kevin McAllister made to me privately.   Generally, I 
don't have any qualms about violating a TOS (or doing any other "naughty" 
thing) as long as the other party does not suffer harm as a result.  Would the 
provider or artist suffer any harm by me recording?  Maybe some small harm.

(Incidentally, the streams I want to record are __NOT__ offered for download 
due to the onerous __process__ of obtaining licenses by the broadcaster.

Oh, the TOS on the web site do not mention any penalties for violating the 

> As someone else pointed out, as a practical matter, I can't imagine how
> anyone would find out that you are recording media content while you're
> listening/viewing.

I think you are absolutely correct.  This is really a moral discussion.  I am 
at essentially zero risk by actually recording the stream.  (Unless the RIAA 
is monitoring this list and they get a search warrant <yipes!>)

> Now we come to the second point, the moral one.  I record music from
> stations on Shoutcast, and feel that this is no different from recording
> over-the-air broadcasts.  I'm not selling or even giving these
> recordings to anyone, so I don't feel that my having them harms the
> content creators in any way.  As with over-the-air broadcasts, this
> music is often a bit degraded with talk-overs at the beginning or end.
> So morally it may not be the same as a pay music service where
> presumably you're getting 100% of the song instead of 98%.  Thoughts?

Kevin made a good point on this too.  He framed the question slightly 
differently and it changed my thinking.  A radio broadcast or an internet radio 
broadcast is just "there".  It's presented by the broadcaster for all to take 
or leave as they prefer.   In my case, I'd be asking the provider to send me a 
particular sound file.  That gives him more standing to place restrictions on 
my use of the sound file.

BTW, this is in reference to "Hearts of Space" a New Age music program that is 
also broadcast weekly on NPR radio stations.   Their website is  
I'm interested in downloading many of their older programs.


Casey Bralla
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