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RIAA: Putting a Legal CD On Your Comp Is Stealing

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RIAA: Putting a Legal CD On Your Comp Is Stealing

Postby JTWood » Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:34 pm

I have been using iTunes for a long time to legally download music, but this crap has me thinking that I may just start downloading music illegally again. Why would I ever want to give money to these pricks?

Washington Post wrote:Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use

Despite more than 20,000 lawsuits filed against music fans in the years since they started finding free tunes online rather than buying CDs from record companies, the recording industry has utterly failed to halt the decline of the record album or the rise of digital music sharing.

Still, hardly a month goes by without a news release from the industry's lobby, the Recording Industry Association of America, touting a new wave of letters to college students and others demanding a settlement payment and threatening a legal battle.

Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

The industry's lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are "unauthorized copies" of copyrighted recordings.


"I couldn't believe it when I read that," says Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer who represents six clients who have been sued by the RIAA. "The basic principle in the law is that you have to distribute actual physical copies to be guilty of violating copyright. But recently, the industry has been going around saying that even a personal copy on your computer is a violation."

RIAA's hard-line position seems clear. Its Web site says: "If you make unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings, you're stealing. You're breaking the law and you could be held legally liable for thousands of dollars in damages."

They're not kidding. In October, after a trial in Minnesota -- the first time the industry has made its case before a federal jury -- Jammie Thomas was ordered to pay $220,000 to the big record companies. That's $9,250 for each of 24 songs she was accused of sharing online.

Whether customers may copy their CDs onto their computers -- an act at the very heart of the digital revolution -- has a murky legal foundation, the RIAA argues. The industry's own Web site says that making a personal copy of a CD that you bought legitimately may not be a legal right, but it "won't usually raise concerns," as long as you don't give away the music or lend it to anyone.

Of course, that's exactly what millions of people do every day. In a Los Angeles Times poll, 69 percent of teenagers surveyed said they thought it was legal to copy a CD they own and give it to a friend. The RIAA cites a study that found that more than half of current college students download music and movies illegally.

The Howell case was not the first time the industry has argued that making a personal copy from a legally purchased CD is illegal. At the Thomas trial in Minnesota, Sony BMG's chief of litigation, Jennifer Pariser, testified that "when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Copying a song you bought is "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy,' " she said.

But lawyers for consumers point to a series of court rulings over the last few decades that found no violation of copyright law in the use of VCRs and other devices to time-shift TV programs; that is, to make personal copies for the purpose of making portable a legally obtained recording.

As technologies evolve, old media companies tend not to be the source of the innovation that allows them to survive. Even so, new technologies don't usually kill off old media: That's the good news for the recording industry, as for the TV, movie, newspaper and magazine businesses. But for those old media to survive, they must adapt, finding new business models and new, compelling content to offer.

The RIAA's legal crusade against its customers is a classic example of an old media company clinging to a business model that has collapsed. Four years of a failed strategy has only "created a whole market of people who specifically look to buy independent goods so as not to deal with the big record companies," Beckerman says. "Every problem they're trying to solve is worse now than when they started."

The industry "will continue to bring lawsuits" against those who "ignore years of warnings," RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said in a statement. "It's not our first choice, but it's a necessary part of the equation. There are consequences for breaking the law." And, perhaps, for firing up your computer.
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Re: RIAA: Putting a Legal CD On Your Comp Is Stealing

Postby JTWood » Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:42 pm

And what's a prepostorous event without an over-the-top spoof by The Onion...

The Onion wrote:RIAA Bans Telling Friends About Songs

LOS ANGELES—The Recording Industry Association of America announced Tuesday that it will be taking legal action against anyone discovered telling friends, acquaintances, or associates about new songs, artists, or albums. "We are merely exercising our right to defend our intellectual properties from unauthorized peer-to-peer notification of the existence of copyrighted material," a press release signed by RIAA anti-piracy director Brad Buckles read. "We will aggressively prosecute those individuals who attempt to pirate our property by generating 'buzz' about any proprietary music, movies, or software, or enjoy same in the company of anyone other than themselves." RIAA attorneys said they were also looking into the legality of word-of-mouth "favorites-sharing" sites, such as coffee shops, universities, and living rooms.
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Re: RIAA: Putting a Legal CD On Your Comp Is Stealing

Postby CheeseBeger » Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:09 pm

Think they are getting desperate?
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Re: RIAA: Putting a Legal CD On Your Comp Is Stealing

Postby ThatDude » Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:14 pm

CheeseBeger wrote:Think they are getting desperate?


They've been desperate for a while. Now they are deep into Extremely Stupid territory.
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Re: RIAA: Putting a Legal CD On Your Comp Is Stealing

Postby tuff_gong » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:03 am

That's ridiculous. Reading that makes me want to download music illegally just to spite them.
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Well that's just like, your opinion man.
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Re: RIAA: Putting a Legal CD On Your Comp Is Stealing

Postby JTWood » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:09 am

tuff_gong wrote:That's ridiculous. Reading that makes me want to download music illegally just to spite them.

;-D
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Re: RIAA: Putting a Legal CD On Your Comp Is Stealing

Postby teddy ballgame » Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:16 am

A CD I bought a few years ago had some protection crap on it that installed something on your computer without asking first, that prevented you from ripping it. You had to go into the system files and find this little service thing and delete it before you could rip it.

Anyways, yeah, good luck to the RIAA if they're going to start going after people for this. What are they trying to accomplish here? Either CDs become obsolete because people can't put them on their mp3 players, or mp3 players become obsolete because people can't put their CDs on them. It certainly won't be the latter, so now people are going to be forced to buy songs from online stores that return less of a profit to the artists and record companies than CDs do. Good job RIAA. ;-D
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Re: RIAA: Putting a Legal CD On Your Comp Is Stealing

Postby thedude » Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:04 am

Okay. I am just going to stop buying CDs. Nice job RIAA, cut you nose off to spite your face...

Btw the RIAA is a cartel, i think it is about time congress stuck the justice department on them for violating anti-trust laws.
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Re: RIAA: Putting a Legal CD On Your Comp Is Stealing

Postby Madison » Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:25 am

In a Los Angeles Times poll, 69 percent of teenagers surveyed said they thought it was legal to copy a CD they own and give it to a friend.


If anything is as stupid as the RIAA in this, it's that ^^^^.
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Re: RIAA: Putting a Legal CD On Your Comp Is Stealing

Postby Coppermine » Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:05 am

Madison wrote:
In a Los Angeles Times poll, 69 percent of teenagers surveyed said they thought it was legal to copy a CD they own and give it to a friend.


If anything is as stupid as the RIAA in this, it's that ^^^^.


In the digital age, is that really so far-fetched? Digital copies aren't tangible... don't steal a candy bar/magazine/pair of scissors is far more logical than "don't make a copy of you're CD or it's stealing." Come on Mad, you never made a "mix tape" for the mrs. when you two were "courting?" Maybe some Boyz II Men or Barry White? Perhaps some New Kids On The Block? Because that was illegal too. Making restrictions on digital, non-tangible things like MP3 files is far harder than anything because it violates common sense. I think it's perfectly reasonable and logical to assume that teenagers would be unaware of the copyright infringement in sharing MP3 files they've ripped from CD's considering how easy and accessible it is. Every time you watched a video in history class your teacher taped off of PBS, you broke the law. I sure hope you reported him Madison, because I'm not sure how you lived with yourself otherwise.

I mean, seriously... 16-year-old Madison, assuming he doesn't watch the news every five seconds just like every young person since the beginning of time, gets a CD and learns how to, in 30 seconds, turn it into twelve, individual MP3 files. You're telling me that throwing those onto a thirty-cent compact disc and not realizing that you're BREAKING THE FRIGGIN LAW doesn't come across as a bit unreasonable or unrealistic?

It really does defy logic; I know if I take something physical that doesn't belong to me, it's stealing. But for a kid to buy a CD and not realize that burning the songs on that CD onto another disc is far more understandable than a huge, billion-dollar corporation saying "We don't care if you didn't know, we're going to sue you!!!!!" But since when did logic apply to US laws, right? Logics for dummy intellectuals and progressive secularists!

Hmm, classy. I sure hope the government steps in a protect the giant, billion dollar corporations against those idiot teenagers. How dare only one of them spend money so that their friends can enjoy pure, unadulterated, illegal music. It's like watching porn only half as fun!

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