|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Music is a crime
|Recording Industry Tells Court (Again) That MP3s Are a Crime By Ryan
Singel EmailDecember 11, 2007 | 3:12:57 PMCategories: Copyrights and
Patents, RIAA Litigation
Does the Recording Industry Association of America think that you have
the legal right to rip MP3s off CDs that you own? The evidence says the
RIAA thinks you are a criminal if you make MP3s out of your late 80's
hair metal CD collection, but probably won't sue you unless you send
that MP3 to a friend or share it on the internet.
In a court filing (.pdf) that's being much discussed on the internet
today, the RIAA appears to say no when asked that question by a judge
in an Arizona suit against Jeffrey Howell for sharing songs on the Kazaa
file sharing network.
The RIAA doesn't quite say MP3s ripped from one's own music collection
are illegal, but instead refers to them as "unauthorized copies."
But the judge's question was plain:
Does the record in this case show that Defendant Howell possessed an
"unlawful copy" of the Plaintiff's copyrighted material, and that
he actually disseminated that copy to the public?
The answer was convoluted. The RIAA said the copies were unauthorized
and that by putting the unauthorized copies in the Kazaa share folder,
Howell was guilty of distributing copyrighted works.
The RIAA's website clarifies what it means when it says unauthorized
If you make unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings,
youâ€™re stealing. Youâ€™re breaking the law, and you could be held
legally liable for thousands of dollars in damages.
What does the site say specifically about ripping your CD or making a
There's no legal "right" to copy the copyrighted music on a CD onto a CD-R. However, burning a copy of CD onto a CD-R, or transferring a copy onto your computer hard drive or your portable music player, wonâ€™t usually raise concerns so long as:
* The copy is made from an authorized original CD that you legitimately own
* The copy is just for your personal use. It's not a personal use â€“ in fact, it's illegal â€“ to give away the copy or lend it to others for copying.
That's reassuring. The millions of Americans who ripped their music collections to listen to on their home media centers and portable digital audio players are considered thieves by the Record Industry, but you can rely on the goodness of their hearts not to sue you.
Also remember that in the case against Jammie Thomas, the record industry was much clearer on how much they hate their customers.
Sony's BMG's anti-piracy officer Jennifer Pariser was asked by record industry attorney Richard Gabriel if ripping songs from a CD was legal. She said no -- that's "a nice way of saying, 'steals just one copy.'"
I originally thought after reading the filing, that Ray Beckerman at Recording Industry vs The People and Boing Boing were overplaying this (as Mike Masnick at TechDirt thinks), but on a closer read, Beckerman was absolutely right when he broke this story.
I tried to call the RIAA for clarification, but their phone system, like the record label's business model, is stuck in the early 80s. There's no voicemail -- not even an answering machine -- for their press contacts. The phone just rings out.
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How is any of this new? This is not a changed message from the RIAA OR from the courts. WAAAAY back when the SCOTUS ruled on betamax it acknowledged "making copies" was, in fact, a violation of copyright, but pointed out this was a "de minimis infringement."
There is nothing at all new about the idea that copying music is an infringement of copyright. The issue still comes down to "what is an infringement so trivial that we will allow it as a society?"
Posted by: poptones | Dec 11, 2007 1:07:48 PM
I can see their argument towards the legality of taking one item, which you paid for, and distributing it to millions of users in a peer to peer network, as being illegal, but to try to say it is "stealing one copy" when you make an MP3 is ridiculous. I can take any purchased content from iTunes and make TEN cd's with it, and after I make ten hard copies, I can still put that same content on the SIX ipods in my household...and yet I can't buy one physical CD and put that music on my computer in order to listen to it on my ipod? Now I remember why I haven't bought a CD in about 2 yrs...not a single one.
Posted by: ScuzzyB | Dec 11, 2007 1:38:03 PM
-at-poptones: Fair Use actually, is fair use. The RIAA likes to ignore this LAW.The fair use doctrine, codified by the Copyright Act of 1976 as 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Posted by: ----- | Dec 11, 2007 1:50:24 PM
Oh pulease. "Fair use" is a much overused term that has SPECIFIC limitations outlines in law. NOWHERE in that section does it include reproduction in whole of a work for personal use.
That's a failed argument to begin. The ruling I mentioned is much more applicable to this type use. Stop flogging that "fair use" horse before it's beaten completely to death. Fair use applies to libraries and journalistic uses of works, not to jogging while listening to Pink.
No one can prosecute you for making a personal copy of work for use in your own home simply because no one has any way of KNOWING YOU DID IT without violating your rights (whatever remain) to privacy in your own home. Once you make a copy and share it on a public network, you're no longer in your own home - that's the issue few still seem to get.
So far as what different publishers expressly allow (ie itunes, magnatune, whatever) - well, that's kinda the point: the LAW does not prohibit publishers making allowances... so either let the market decide, ro change the law to expressly allow private home duplication... Just don't do it with subsidies; I'm not going to fund the record labels with my hardware purchases.
Posted by: poptones | Dec 11, 2007 2:22:13 PM
I have not bought a CD in over 10 years because of RIAA and as long as they treat people like criminals I never will again.
Posted by: | Dec 11, 2007 2:30:32 PM
It's probably really old-fashioned of me, but I remember days when the judge told that corporation was legal ... not the other way around.
Oh, Judge RIAA? ... if I buy a license to listen to the music, does that license expire when I damage a copy? Because I wore out a few dozen records, and need another copy. I *used* to buy those without asking ... but not any more. Don't wanna break your laws.
Posted by: TJ | Dec 11, 2007 2:35:41 PM
There comes a time in any battle when the apparent "victor" starts shooting himself in the foot! RIAA is hopping on one foot here resulting in a backlash that all artists will begin to feel if they keep it up. Enough is enough, RIAA! If a device existed that could feedback what is going through another's brain, would then the righteous RIAA demand a trial with anyone daring to even THINK their favorite song? Sounds bizzare...but that's what's next!
Posted by: firewire | Dec 11, 2007 2:44:37 PM
If a person rips a new CD to the computer and puts the CD away without listening to it (and without making it available to anyone else to listen to)....
that's called an archival copy.
IANAL, but as I recall, archival copies are legal for digital media. Nobody's rights are being infringed: there's one copy of the music being listened to, and an archival copy.
Posted by: TJ | Dec 11, 2007 2:46:38 PM
RIAA must GO! They are acting as a pseudo-agency to get legislation passed while forgetting just who their ultimate customers are. They need to be reminded that they represent a minority, and not any kind of majority. RIAA won't GO until more and more of us speak out loudly. The issue has gotten beyond copyrights. Suppose people stopped supporting RIAA sponsors for a couple weeks in protest? Let's publish who those sponsors are. NOTHING will change, folks, unless u get involved!
Posted by: BeeBop | Dec 11, 2007 2:51:25 PM
I agree with BeeBop & others. BOYCOTT RIAA supporters including "artists." Send an echo back to them from their message. Boycotts work; just as dollars speak, so too does the LACK of bucks. Don't debate it; DO IT!
Posted by: RichmanPoorMan | Dec 11, 2007 3:01:05 PM
fucking record companies are retarded. adapt assholes, times they are a changing
Posted by: sc | Dec 11, 2007 3:11:36 PM
-at-poptones: so either let the market decide, or change the law to expressly allow private home...
Funny that poptones. For some unknown (cough! money hungry law makers being propped up by big corporations cough!)
reason, everytime the copyrights on old works are set to expire,as was the orignial intent,they get extended. Again and again. So copyright being allowed to expire, and a change in copyright law are the solutions,unfortunately, all that exists is just have capitulating law makers doing the bidding of the recording industry. So until promises are kept, spare me the sanctimonious rhetoric.Whether fair use allows personal copies, it SHOULD. Once you get into the realm of massive sharing of files, then the RIAA has a case for infringemnet. Outside of that, I see no moral reason not to make personal copies, for my own use. I don't and never will consider that stealing. It may not be in the law, but it's common sense. That the RIAA will fight with all that they have tells you what it's about-not justice, not morality, not even artist protection. Guess what it is about? Give up? MONEY $$$$$
Posted by: ------- | Dec 11, 2007 3:15:03 PM
America = Corpocracy
The sheep have no rights, unless granted by the power brokers and the puppets they pay off.
Posted by: iTurk | Dec 11, 2007 3:24:55 PM
If I'm reading the right brief, I can only find one reference to unauthorized copies. "Once Defendant converted Plaintiffs' recording into the compressed .mp3 format and they are in his shared folder they are no longer the authorized copies distributed by Plaintiffs." As odious as RIAA's methods may be, their argument in this case seems to be that putting copies in a shared folder renders them unauthorized, not that all copies are unauthorized. It still seems like a flawed argument though...
Posted by: John Smith | Dec 11, 2007 3:33:22 PM
The RIAA is losing this battle and they know it. The numbers of file sharers are increasing every day and the sales of the CD's from their client base are dropping in tandem.
Their clients can continue to try to drop the falling knife or they can adapt. In the end, the winner will be the one who adapts the best.
As much as they would like to believe lawyers and courts will make an impact, they will lose in the court of public opinion aided by the attorneys of the internet.
Posted by: Keep Doing It | Dec 11, 2007 3:34:14 PM
If music ownership per the RIAA is the right to play a certain music, and backups are disallowed, they should replace damaged or lost media that was lawfully purchased.
Moreover, they should allow exchange of lawfully purchased music in an old unplayable formats such a tape cassettes to CDs or mp3 for a small fee (no more than the price of the media + small handling fee).
As long as they don't allow this, the conclusion remains that we buy a physical copy that we may rip and duplicate and not just the right to play a certain musical piece.
Posted by: owner | Dec 11, 2007 3:38:54 PM
Have to agree with many of the others that have posted. I don't buy cds or purchase downloads of music that is released by a RIAA member. They wonder why their music sales are dropping. It is because people go to sites like http://www.riaaradar.com/ and research their music before they buy it. I refuse to fund the RIAA. If you don't like the way they do business don't put money in their pocket.
Posted by: Del | Dec 11, 2007 3:43:36 PM
Keep doing it has a point the RIAA is grasping at straws. The RIAA is done; just give or take several years.
Posted by: ty | Dec 11, 2007 3:48:53 PM
I steal music by the boatloads. I use all available P2P proggies that I can get my hands on. Man, do I steal.I haven't bought a single CD since my first high speed internet connection over seven years ago. Then, after I steal it, I put it out on several other P2P networks. And then, the kicker here, I sit back listening to my freshly downloaded mp3z thinking of how much money I just saved. This does not include the gas, time, and plastics that won't pollute the environment thanks to my thievery. Nor does this include the pure joy of accomplishing all of the positives above without a single penny dropped into the corporate penis suckers and no talent pop stars pockets. Therein lies my joy. (The above is a work of pure fiction. Pay for your music;) These, um, artists deserve it from all of their, uh, talent, and uhm, hard work.)
Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 11, 2007 5:54:38 PM
Long live archive.org, home of free, legal music. Listen, enjoy, and f**k
Posted by: Publius | Dec 11, 2007 6:05:25 PM
Poptones is correct. 'Fair Use' does not apply with regard to making copies for personal use. What does protect the consumer is the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) of 1992. The AHRA, and a subsequent interpretation of the law as part of a precedent setting case, basically allows consumers to make a copy of a legitimately owned recording, such as a CD, onto your MP3 player for private, non-commercial use. You can get more details at:
Posted by: The RIAA is incorrect | Dec 11, 2007 6:51:49 PM
RIAA laws/rules against majority of world population are illegal and therefore invalid. Ignore it.
Posted by: laws | Dec 11, 2007 7:46:52 PM
"...Whether fair use allows personal copies, it SHOULD..."
I'm not disagreeing with you! But FALLACIOUS arguments based on a complete misunderstanding of the law are not going to solve anything! The only way this is going to get resolved is through revolution - and the only way we're going to have said revolution is when enough INDIVIDUALS have been pushed far enough to unite and actually do something. Bitching about it here and telling your friends they have the "right" to do these things (when they don't) is only playing into the hands of said money-grabbing lawyers and cartels.
Posted by: poptones | Dec 11, 2007 7:48:19 PM
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