Bill Schmalfeldt says he recorded his conversation with Ali Akbar and Stacy McCain last night. He also says that he was conversing via Skype which is considered a telephone connection.Assume for the moment that the Cabin Boy was at his residence in Elkridge, Maryland. Maryland law requires the explicit consent of all parties in order for it to be legal to record a telephone conversation. Ali Akbar acknowledged that Bill was recording, but specifically withdrew his consent, citing copyright violation. Stacy McCain was not informed that Schmalfeldt was recording, so he never gave permission. Such recording is considered wiretapping under Md. Courts and Judicial Proceedings §10-402 and is a felony. Violations of the law are punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years and a fine of not more than $10,000. Civil liability for violations can include the greater of actual damages, $100 a day for each day of violation or $1,000, along with punitive damages, attorney fees and litigation costs.
OTOH, Schmalfeldt knows how Blog Talk Radio works. By calling into Ali Akbar’s program he implicitly gave permission for Blog Talk Radio to archive the program.
§ 10-402 is a broad statute that covers simply intercepting communications. It does have an exception that allows listening to programs intended for the public, but that exception does not include recording such programs. It could be interesting to see how a court might treat the Cabin Boy’s recording and use of his conversation with Ali Akbar and Stacy McCain.