Clear Channel Entertainment Acquires Restrictive Patent on Live Concert CDs

Clear Channel has purchased a patent relating to the recording then sale of a CDs at a live performance – and are claiming that it relates to every venue in the US.

Clear Channel operate a service in their venues called Instant Live, where fans can pre-order a recording before a gig and then pick it up at the venue. Clear Channel purchased the patent for this from DiscLive, who have a similar set up. Now Clear Channel are asserting that the patent doesn’t just cover their 130 venues, but all venues in the US.

This all might have something to do with the fact that DiscLive recently predicted it would gross about US$500,000 (€412,600) selling live recordings at gigs this spring.

Clear Channel, (somehow recently nominated by the Fortune 500 as one of America’s Most Admired Companies) have granted US$1 licenses to small bands using the DiscLive service, but are telling everyone else that they can’t sell live CDs at gigs. Apparently, the patent doesn’t apply to bands who sell their disks days after the performance, only when the recording is sold immediately afterwards.

Steve Simon, Clear Channel executive vice president and the director of Instant Live told the Rolling Stone without a hint of irony: /2We want to be artist-friendly. But it is a business, and it’s not going to be ‘we have the patent, now everybody can use it for free.'”

Expect test cases to begin soon.

The Rolling Stone covers the story

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?