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Is the webcast royalty fiasco really about mandatory DRM?

Webcasted radio has been taking it on the chin lately, with a proposal to institute insane royalty rates that would effectively spell the end of many popular broadcasters. Those royalty rates were supposed to go into effect this week, but a temporary reprieve and hopes of a new deal kept internet radio thumping along. Everyone sighed relief, but Ars Technica reports that the picture may not be so rosy after all.

SoundExhange, the royalty clearing house set up by the RIAA, has ferreted in a clause to the new agreement which would require DRM for licensed streaming audio. That means, simply put, that you won't be listening to internet radio on any platform SoundExchange doesn't like, or with any player not equipped with (and there for paying license fees to include) proprietary content protection schemes.

Pardon our language but, that just sounds yuckie.

Tags: news, RIAA, SoundExchange, streaming audio, streaming radio, StreamingAudio, StreamingRadio, webcasting