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"The DMCA makes it pretty clear. If your programming is based on individual preferences and interactivity, you are subject to an individual license from the record labels for the music you are using."
——RIAA's Steve Marks
YAHOO EYES PERFECT MUSICMATCH AS RIAA KEEPS TABS
Trade Org Makes Webcast Distinctions,
According To The DCMA
Leading Internet portal Yahoo, which spent $2 billion to purchase Mark Cuban's broadcast.com last year, has its sites set on a possible partnership with MusicMatch, which recently released a beta version of an interactive jukebox.

The proposed deal has drawn the scrutiny of the Recording Industry Association of America, which goes by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to draw distinctions between "services that specially create programming for each individual listener" and regular Webcasts, acccording to Sr. VP Business Affairs Steve Marks. The former must procure a license from each of the individual record companies whose songs are being used, while the latter, which includes companies like Soundbreak.com, knac.com, Spinner.com and NetRadio.com, is subject to a much-cheaper blanket license of the type awarded to most terrestrial stations.

MusicMatch's interactive jukebox program allows users to choose artists they enjoy and then gives users a selection of songs based on their preferences.

Company spokesman Gary Brotman told Wired.com: "These are playlists made by our in-house radio programmers. If you want Eminem, you get a playlist that has Eminem songs in it along with other artists who are our users, and enjoy Eminem, are listening to."

According to the DMCA, Webcasters can't list the songs about to be played, can't serve songs on demand, and must wait three hours before playing the same song again to be considered for a blanket license. MusicMatch's service only allows users to program in artists they like, not specific songs, then receive a stream of related music.

RIAA's Marks says the distinction isn't between artists and songs, though. "It's whether they're providing individual programming for the listener. I think the DMCA makes it pretty clear. If your programming is based on individual preferences and interactivity, you are subject to an individual license from the record labels for the music you are using."

Marks won't divulge whether MusicMatch qualifies for a blanket license. "We are aware of them, and we'll simply apply the law to them. If they are creating individual playlists, then they are subject to individual licensing."

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