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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for Jan. 24, 2001
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[The news last week was that there was no news due to California power outages here]

RIAA Fights to Charge Broadcasters for Webcast Music = The Record Industry Association of America has succeeded in getting the U.S. Copyright Office to deny the exemption radio stations have enjoyed for years with their webcasting. They were not required to pay a second time for streamed music as long as their regular station BMI and ASCAP licenses were in place. Some stations have been streaming their broadcasts on the web for years now, beginning as a novelty and still not a money-maker. It still hasn't been decided what the charges will be, but the RIAA's petition calls for retroactive webcast fees going back to January l998. Broadcasters are not happy about this, to say the least.

Litigation on DVD Copy Protection Continues = Charges against several young computer hackers who distributed the DeCSS DVD decryption code may be dropped in the California Supreme Court. The original DeCSS was developed by a Norwegian computer teen to allow users of Linux-based PCs to play back DVDs on them. DVD manufacturers ask users of their copy-protection software to sign licenses that they will not reverse engineer the software. Attorneys for the defendants claim that is opposed to California law.

New Noise Reduction Software Operates in RealTime = You may be hearing more great historical recordings on some classical and jazz radio stations - old LPs and tapes that never made it to CD - due to software from EnhancedAudio.com. Their CD-Live for PCs for the first time allows playing of an LP or an analog tape reel and listening immediately to the click, scratch or hiss-free sound. The software enables a PC to become the center of the audio chain at a station, with the user choosing from various noise filters and graphic equalizer filters that are simply dragged and dropped into the chain with the results hearable in real time. Only with extremely deteriorated sources is it necessary to process the sound the former way, by adding filters one at a time and fine-tuning the results.

Grammy Nominees Include Several CDs Recently Reviewed in AUDIOPHILE AUDITION = Among the nominees just announced for the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards are a number of recordings we have reviewed very favorably here in the past few months. They include: MAHLER: Symphony No. 10 - Sir Simon Rattle on EMI Classics; TORMIS: Litany to Thunder - ECM New Series; BARTOK: Viola Concerto etc. - Kim Kashkashian, viola - ECM New Series; Joe Lovano - 52nd Street Themes - Blue Note; The Melody at Night, With You - Keith Jarrett - ECM; Oregon in Moscow - Intuition Music; CHICK COREA: Spain for Sextet & orchestra - Sony Classical.

- John Sunier

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