The Null Device

Live CD patent struck down

Another triumph for the EFF: this time, they have successfully had Clear Channel/Live Nation's patent on instant CDs of live performances invalidated, allowing independent artists and concert promoters to sell CDs of their gigs without doing this on Live Nation's terms.

There are 5 comments on "Live CD patent struck down":

Posted by: Evil Paul Mon Mar 26 01:18:17 2007

That's good. I seem to remember that idea being covered in the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG (Rockerboys flogging freshly burnt CDs from the back of the tour van at the end of the concert) - I wonder if that would count as prior art?

Posted by: Bowie Mon Mar 26 01:33:15 2007

I remember hearing about that idea ages ago but can't think of any specific stories of it actually happening. I had no idea there was a patent on recording a gig and selling it on the day. Seems a bit like patenting the idea of playing a gig and getting people to pay to watch you. That is, patenting a business process. Glad to hear it ripped down. Pity most soundboard recordings sound rubbish, unless the venue is huge or you have a separate mixer for the recording vs. the PA.

Posted by: acb Mon Mar 26 11:16:34 2007

I think the next step is for someone to develop artificially intelligent software that can mix recordings from multiple inputs to something that sounds reasonably listenable. It may not replace a good sound engineer, but it'll be better than nothing.

Posted by: gimbo Mon Mar 26 16:53:57 2007

First I heard of it was my brother telling me Howard Jones did it at a small gig at least three years ago. Alas, I can't find a reference for it...

Posted by: Peter Tue Mar 27 01:14:34 2007

The Pixies were doing it when their reunion first happened, so 2003 or so. (HEY! I'm seeing the Pixies on Saturday!!!!) I think generally the idea is that you have a full multi-track recording going on during the gig, and indeed somebody does a mix on the fly - including mics set up to get the room ambience/audience noise etc.

If they wanted to patent a particular process for recording a gig live (I dunno, using special software and a specific setup), then maybe that would be acceptable. But just "sell CDs of a live performance straight after a gig" is definitely stupido!