wasting bandwidth since 1999

We Didn’t Really Mean What We Said

You go to the mall and plunk down $15 for a new CD. Take that CD home, stick it into your computer and rip it into iTunes. Connect your iPod and let the software transfer the tracks.

That sounds like something covered under the fair use provisions of the copyright laws, right?

Well, not according to the big media companies.

As part of the on-going DMCA rule-making proceedings, the RIAA and other copyright industry associations submitted a filing that included this gem as part of their argument that space-shifting and format-shifting do not count as noninfringing uses, even when you are talking about making copies of your own CDs:

“Nor does the fact that permission to make a copy in particular circumstances is often or even routinely granted, necessarily establish that the copying is a fair use when the copyright owner withholds that authorization. In this regard, the statement attributed to counsel for copyright owners in the MGM v. Grokster case is simply a statement about authorization, not about fair use.”

During the time that the RIAA was spending lots of money and effort suing Napster and other file sharing services out of existence they maintained they were only after illegal copying of music. According to them, the industry had no problem with copying for personal use. They even said that to the Supreme Court.

Can weasels be arrested for perjury?

riaa, fair use, ipod


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1 Comment

  1. Here is the problem. For years, the music industry got used to padding albums with substandard material with a few “radio-worthy” singles sprinkled in. Sure, you could buy .45s back in the day, but otherwise, you were stuck buying a lot of crap about 85% of the time when you finally purchased an album so you wouldn’t have to keep getting up every 4 minutes to put on a new song.

    There were very few albums that were a beautiful, coherent whole, known as “concept albums” like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles or Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys or OK Computer by Radiohead. There were a few non-concept albums that actually contained good material all the way through. This trend was exacerbated during the rise of the digital age. There were a flood of substandard acts who may have had one single but certainly could not sustain interest through ten to fourteen songs. Can anyone say, Bananarama or Kylie Minogue?

    iTunes changed the dynamic for those of us who DIDN’T want to pirate music. Now we could pick the songs that were worthy and create our own playlists and CDs at a relatively low cost. In the last year, the iTunes library has really exploded, too, and I have found them to be pretty open to actually listening to suggestions for additions. The downside of all this is that the music industry sees CD sales falling like a quail on a Texas ranch and blamed the internet. The music industry should realize that the blame is on its own shoulders for shoving crap on us for all these years. They want me to pay 18 bucks for a CD, get no liner notes or any of the other extras that once were de rigeur, knowing that I will probably only like, at best, 60% of the tracks.

    Over the years I have found my favorite artists are those who labor over an album for months in order to get it right. I still buy entire CDs from these people, but you can’t find them being played on the radio or then find the CDs in the record stores. For everything else, I use iTunes and my iPod. The music industry has only themselves to blame, and rather than stop their ridiculous practices they’re going to go after the digital use. Typical.

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