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Old 12-31-2007, 11:06 AM   #1
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Since this technically has to do with music I thought I might post this here. If not the Mod's can move it. Now the RIAA is saying it is illegal for people to copy CD's one has purchased onto their PC. A man is being sued by the RIAA for having 2,000 songs that he burned from his CD's to his Computer.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...122800693.html

Quote:
Download Uproar: Record

By Marc Fisher
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2007; Page M05

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.
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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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Old 12-31-2007, 11:15 AM   #2
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lol. Sign and promote decent artists / performers and people will pay again. Instead they sign the same act with 10 different names over and over again. Big record companies have seemingly always been the stupidest people in the room - at least for the past 30 years or so.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:20 AM   #3
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UGH... this is utterly RIDICULOUS!! words truly fail me at this moment..
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:23 AM   #4
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I'm fucked then.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:30 AM   #5
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I was reading about this case yesterday, and apparently the man isn't in trouble for having those burned copies of CDs he owns, it's that he had them in a shared folder and was sharing them through a P2P thingie.

I see the article doesn't mention it, but here's a key point:

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.

But yeah, in general the RIAA is doing everything they can to make them look like complete evil dumbasses.

Edit: Here's a link that discusses the case and the illegal downloading aspect of it:

http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/30/r...erks-about-it/
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by corianderstem
I was reading about this case yesterday, and apparently the man isn't in trouble for having those burned copies of CDs he owns, it's that he had them in a shared folder and was sharing them through a P2P thingie.
I wondered why he was singled out.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:49 AM   #7
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But I guess, if I read correctly, a judge has never ruled whether making digital copies of a CD you already known is legal or not.

But yeah, in this guy's case, it's because he put those in a shared folder. Once he did that, they became unauthorized copies.

Interesting. And the RIAA still sucks.
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Old 12-31-2007, 12:10 PM   #8
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Yeah, it's obviously the "sharing" part that's being contested.

Supposedly, according to a ruling back in the '80's on "tape trading", people can legally make copies of anything they own for their own use. I think you can even share them with "friends", and that's why there's never been an over-arching solid ruling on these file sharing issues, as it's difficult to define "friends".
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Old 12-31-2007, 12:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by u2popmofo
I think you can even share them with "friends", and that's why there's never been an over-arching solid ruling on these file sharing issues, as it's difficult to define "friends".
I bet the people in the RIAA never had "friends" that made them mixed tapes back in the day. So this is their revenge.
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Old 12-31-2007, 12:58 PM   #10
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Mix tapes...





Seriously, busting someone for burning CD's they legitimately own...
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Old 12-31-2007, 02:09 PM   #11
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It still amazes me that anyone uses Peer-to-Peer anymore, when Torrenting is available.
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Old 12-31-2007, 02:40 PM   #12
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I stopped downloading illegally two years ago. Out of the 7000 songs on my computer, I had less than 1000--and I got rid of those because most of them were poor quality and/or skipped. The rest are all from cds owned by me or my brother or a friend who has an iPod but no computer (maybe 6 cds worth). It's ridiculous to me that I could get sued for having 6000+ songs on my computer that I paid for.
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Old 12-31-2007, 02:53 PM   #13
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My position is if Sony music, for example, doesn't want me to copy music, why do they sell CD burners, blank CD-R's and MP3 players in the first place?

As far as file sharing is concerned - try and stop me!
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Old 12-31-2007, 02:57 PM   #14
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After the raid on OiNK's Pink Palace via the RIAA, this article was circulated around (and for good reason). It now sits -with priority- on the remnants of the OiNK site, and it elaborates on some of the ambiguities and paradoxes associated with "illegal" downloading.

http://www.demonbaby.com/blog/2007/1...-birth-of.html

Personally, I'm sick of buying CDs and vinyl (for monetary and space reasons), and as of yet, there are no authorized vendors of legal digital content that have a satisfactory price system and broad enough music selection. The RIAA isn't doing the industry a favor by making the means of acquiring music less convenient.
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:19 PM   #15
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I think this is probably the most level-headed estimation of how the RIAA and music industry should approach sharing and digital media:

Quote:
"Almost universally, bands and musicians are happy if anyone is interested in their music enough to become a fan, and they know there are many opportunities to do some business with such a person that may or may not involve selling him a particular record. They also recognize that a download by someone unwilling to buy a record is not a "lost sale," because that person has made it clear that he is unwilling to buy a record. You haven't lost a sale, you've made a fan for free. Fans eventually want to buy records, concert tickets and other things."

- Steve Albini (Infamous Producer and dude of rock distortiondom)
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