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RIAA Sues For Ripping CDs


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http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/...23&from=rss

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...7122800693.html

 

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.

 

I'm trying to think of a way to express my feelings on this without breaking the swearing rule about 30 times over, but I'm having a lot of trouble :angry2:. How much farther is this crap going to go? Unless they start making indestructable CDs, or ones that don't get scratched just sitting in the case, it's extremely unlikely that I'll stop backing up my music for personal use.

 

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It's a big pile of it.

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It has long been understood that personal backups are legal. Heck, even allot of expensive software (much more expensive to produce than a band making a song) allows personal backups of software for personal use. I hope they fail on this.

 

btw, how did they know he had this on his computer?

 

 

Edit: If this keeps up, I may just have to store all my legally obtained music files on an out of country server, and stream them over whenever I want to listen to my own music. Wait that will probably be illegal too. I guess I could just buy copies of all my cd's and buy about a hundred usb cd drives.

 

At this rate it will be illegal to listen to music without headphones, because you will be illegally distributing copies of it to everyone within earshot. This is ridiculous.

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This is one reason I'm glad to get a little older. I no longer care about new music, haven't for more than a couple years now. I haven't bought a CD for even longer than that. I used to rip my CD's back in the day when I lived with a bunch of guys and we'd have party's and stuff, but I moved out of that a few years ago.

 

I have all the music I'll probably ever want to listen to so this issue, though I disagree with the RIAA on it, doesn't really stir any major emotions for me.

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If making a backup of a CD is supposedly illegal, then playing guitar tabs of a song should also be illegal, because by the RIAA's definition about 'unlawful reproduction' of a song, any attempt to recreate a work by a artist in any form (even a artist that has embaced the digital revolution, like Radiohead) should be punishable by public execution in a farce of law. Under that theory, covers and remixes of an another artist's work are also illegal.

 

So that leads me to my next point, where does an artists IP rights' begin? At the lyrics/tabs for a song, when it's recorded by a record studio, or published by a record label, or when some greedy executives for a bunch of labels think it's time to cash in (again). Does any of the money that the RIAA collects in the lawsuits/settlements actually GO to the people that make the IP in the first place? More than likely not, it goes into a fund to continue suing people for making an DCMA-friendly backup. How the hell am I supposed to get music on my iPod? Buy the CD from a locally-owned record shop (Support your Local Music!!!) and then buy the same album from iTunes? No other industry in the world can make that claim.

 

It's like your car insurance telling you have to have two policies: one for driving your car to work and back, and then another one to drive your car to the store.

 

I just don't understand. :blink:

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At this rate it will be illegal to listen to music without headphones, because you will be illegally distributing copies of it to everyone within earshot. This is ridiculous.
Audible copyright infringement :lol:

Excuse me sir did you pay for that music that is involuntarily being transmitted into your aural cavities?

NO!?

GET ON THE FLOOR NOW!, *squawk* I NEED BACK UP ASAP WE GOT A 45-92 ON OUR HANDS!!!

Be alert, suspect deemed extremely dangerous, suspect may portray other pirate like traits, approach with caution

USE ANY FORCE DEEMED COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY!!

 

 

On a more serious note:

This is completely ridiculous, seriously this is just one of those "WTMFGDFOAFS" moments...

 

thud.gif

Edited by Andrewr05

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I'm thinking there is more to this story than what is being shown.

 

How does the RIAA know they were on there? It's not like the stop at random houses and ask to search the persons computer and go, HEY YOU HAVE MUSIC HERE!

 

This guy had to have been sharing them, be it over his network and they were available outside or on purpose over Limewire or whatever else there is for P2P.

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@icedalaska I seem to remember a few guitar tab sites going down a few years back due to legal issues. I believe they were christian sites for worship music, so thats why it didn't hit the news big. I'll check and see if I can find out if its true or not. EDIT: yeah, its true, google it.

 

@andrew that was hilarious, oh and what does the foa stand for in "WTMFGDFOAFS"? I think I got the rest.

 

@overclocker16 I thought the same thing, but they are only suing him for ripping not for distributing even if he did

 

This is very annoying for those of us who only listen to music that they own legally. It's like thank you for obeying the law and being a good boy, now I'm going to take away your ability to listen to music in multiple places. grrr...

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As i see it RIAA are damaging there own industry because first they keep the prices to buy Legal Material sky high then they just take it against the after effect created by there own prices for example where i live in Malta to buy a cd original it would cost around 30 dollars or 26 euros which is very expansive considering that to make a cd for them would cost less then 1 dollar for each cd.

 

So what they are thinking that we as the customers are some sort of stupid heads. I believe they are taking wrong because if they continue on this lines people will stop buying music and just make copies that will destroy the industry two so all they should do is to make then go cheaper and offer extra material that you just buy it with the original and you make it difficult to copy.

 

This would solve partially the problem. they should invest more into giving unique material and making buying an original more worthed rather than taking those lines. i never got an original cd in my life and i will never do it neither dvd's etc. i rather spend them on good material live concerts etc or on equipment to copy them lol.

 

And i question why Big companies like sony for instance firstly makes riaa or being part of it then issues software and equipment for sure to copy the original material that simply doesn't make any sense.

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Well, they better hurry and sue Apple, they can make loads from them. After all, how else did all those artists, their albums, and their songs end up Apple's on hard drives? Better yet, Apple is in deep .! Not only have they copied thousands and thousands of songs on to multiple hard drives, they're sharing them; with billions of people! To top it off, they're making people pay for these illegally copied songs! Oh the humanity!

 

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:lol:

 

At this rate it will be illegal to listen to music without headphones, because you will be illegally distributing copies of it to everyone within earshot. This is ridiculous.

The sad thing is that I believe people have been sued for doing stuff like that. I believe OCC had an article not too long ago about a mechanic getting sued for having his radio on too loud while in the shop...

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