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The W - Internet & Computers - Somehow I knew it would be Ira Schwartz
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RYDER FAKIN
Six Degrees of Me








Since: 21.2.02
From: ORLANDO

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.17
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."

...

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."

Click Here (washingtonpost.com)

* * * * *

Not to be condescending, or an outlaw, but I'm thinking that a good many of us are going on 20 + years of "sharing". Or doing our own thing. Why doesn't the PORN industry care? Right

FLEA

(edited by RYDER FAKIN on 30.12.07 1838)


Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high
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Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.21
It's really hard for me to read that article and not simply throw down my laptop in disgust. They disdain with which the RIAA views its own consumers is just staggering.

I wonder if this is something that could eventually go to the Supreme Court. If the ruling goes against the RIAA, I can't imagine that they'd simply accept it without a fight.

I also wonder if this is paving the way for the RIAA to go after DRM-free services, like iTunes Plus, with the argument being that NOT having DRM on music sold online facilitates piracy. We already know what Universal thinks of the iTunes Store in general.

Ugh.






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Corajudo
Frankfurter








Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 104 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.73
    Originally posted by Leroy
    It's really hard for me to read that article and not simply throw down my laptop in disgust. They disdain with which the RIAA views its own consumers is just staggering.

    I wonder if this is something that could eventually go to the Supreme Court. If the ruling goes against the RIAA, I can't imagine that they'd simply accept it without a fight.

    I also wonder if this is paving the way for the RIAA to go after DRM-free services, like iTunes Plus, with the argument being that NOT having DRM on music sold online facilitates piracy. We already know what Universal thinks of the iTunes Store in general.

    Ugh.



I agree. But, there is a silver lining. The RIAA seems to be simply unable to change the way they operate. The organization continues to respond to technology/innovation by attacking its consumers and using the law as a weapon rather than using its resources to actually develop products consumers want to buy and adapt to the changing marketplace. With the options for music distribution available today, this is not a winning strategy. So, they'll simply litigate themselves out of existence. And, the sooner the better. The more money they pour into Ira Schwartz and his ilk, the better.



"Teach children that they have great potential because they are human." -Warrior
StaggerLee
Scrapple








Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 13 hours
#4 Posted on
    Originally posted by RYDER FAKIN
    Why doesn't the PORN industry care? Right

    FLEA

    (edited by RYDER FAKIN on 30.12.07 1838)


Because the Porn Industry doesn't put out press releases bemoaning them losing money or suffering from declining sales, year after year.

Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

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#5 Posted on
    Originally posted by Corajudo
    I agree. But, there is a silver lining. The RIAA seems to be simply unable to change the way they operate. The organization continues to respond to technology/innovation by attacking its consumers and using the law as a weapon rather than using its resources to actually develop products consumers want to buy and adapt to the changing marketplace. With the options for music distribution available today, this is not a winning strategy. So, they'll simply litigate themselves out of existence. And, the sooner the better. The more money they pour into Ira Schwartz and his ilk, the better.


They have a ton of money to throw at this - and they're looking at other ways of increasing that stream via increased royalty rates for terrestrial and web-based radio.

For the RIAA, his fight is ultimately about control of the industry. Labels have had the total control over how much reaches the masses, and now that the internet has completely challenged their relevance, they have no choice other than to kill internet distribution entirely, or to put massive DRM restrictions on that medium.

One of the major arguments against DRM for digital music stores is that non-DRM alternatives already exist in the form of CDs. So if the RIAA can legally restrict the copying of CDs you already own, then they can argue that DRM is necessary for all RIAA-member music sold online.




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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 104 days
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.73
    Originally posted by Leroy
    One of the major arguments against DRM for digital music stores is that non-DRM alternatives already exist in the form of CDs. So if the RIAA can legally restrict the copying of CDs you already own, then they can argue that DRM is necessary for all RIAA-member music sold online.

Still, they seem to be on thin ice if they sell the (obviously) non-DRM CDs and then legally restrict the copies but then require DRM for online sales. I don't see the difference; if one can be non-DRM then the other can as well. I'm guessing I'm preaching to the choir on this, though.

This particular case is an interesting gauge of 'unauthorized' vs 'fair use' and I obviously hope that fair use carries the day. Also, we don't really have enough information about the defendant to know if he really is as innocuous as it appears on the surface. If he ripped the cd and then shared it, then he is (and should be) in trouble. If the media is reporting this correctly and the guy ripped it for his own personal use, then that's obviously way over the top.

Regardless, the RIAA is getting killed on the PR front. And, I still think it has to be self-defeating in the long-run, but the recent legislation about the radio royalty rates is certainly a step in the wrong direction (which I believe we discussed).



"Teach children that they have great potential because they are human." -Warrior
Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

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#7 Posted on
    Originally posted by Corajudo
    And, I still think it has to be self-defeating in the long-run, but the recent legislation about the radio royalty rates is certainly a step in the wrong direction (which I believe we discussed).


People were saying the RIAA wouldn't continue these lawsuits when they lost the ability to mass subpoena the ISPs, and yet they've still managed to draw this thing out.

But we're arguing details when we're both basically in agreement. Actually, I hope you're right.

    Originally posted by RYDER FAKIN
    Why doesn't the PORN industry care?


They do care.

Porn industry hard up for solutions to piracy problem (Ars Technica - Safe for Work)




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thecubsfan
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Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 10.00
The original story by the Washington Post was corrected.


    Also, we don't really have enough information about the defendant to know if he really is as innocuous as it appears on the surface. If he ripped the cd and then shared it, then he is (and should be) in trouble


That appears to be what happened here. The RIAA was not claiming ripping a CD is illegal, as the article suggested, but that ripping a CD to a shared folder is illegal. You could still argue if the act of making the files available on a network is illegal (or if only becomes an illegal act if you can prove someone else make a copy of your files because they were shared), but ripping a CD is still okay with the RIAA.



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Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
Here in the DC area, media sites took the Post to task for being so wrong in their misquote in their first artice. DCRTV.com has a few links to articles about it.



-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --

"Let me see if I can get inside his mouth." -- Michael Wilbon on PTI August 28, 2007
Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.82
According to Wired Online, there still confusion over the issue - even with the Post's correction.

RIAA Still Thinks MP3s Are a Crime, Despite Post's False Correction of File Sharing Column


    Following a crusade on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America by News.com journalist Greg Sandoval, the Washington Post posted a correction to a column about a file sharing lawsuit which was misleading headlined "Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use."

    Unfortunately, the correction is actually wrong:


      A Dec. 30 Style & Arts column incorrectly said that the recording industry "maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer." [...]


    In fact, the RIAA does not recognize that you have a legal right under the Fair Use doctrine to rip your CDs into MP3s to listen to them on your computer or digital audio player.

    When asked point blank today if the RIAA believes it is legal to make MP3s, spokeswoman Liz Kennedy refused to answer the question and instead sent this boilerplate text from the RIAA's anti-piracy website:


      [T]here'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, won'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.


    The RIAA has not and will not say that ripping MP3s for personal use from a lawfully purchased CD is legal, despite Sandoval's lobbying for the group.


The RIAA seems to be saying that converting a CD to MP3 does not fall within the Fair Use Doctrine , but they won't necessarily go after to you if you do - since, obviously, there's no way for them to know.

The article goes on to talk more about the specifics of the Thomas case. Apparently, the "ripping" issue came about when it wasn't clear whether or not the judge would require the RIAA to prove the songs Thomas made available were actually downloaded. As a result, the RIAA decided to challenge Thomas on the ripping issue.

The judge rendered the issue moot when he told the jury that making the files available, regardless if anyone downloaded them, constituted a copyright violation.

(edited by Leroy on 8.1.08 1533)



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Corajudo
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 104 days
Last activity: 3 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.73
The bottom line is that there is confusion because the RIAA and their members aren't consistent.

On the RIAA website, they indicate consumers can make copies of legally purchased music for their own personal use. But, at a trial this fall, Jennifer Pariser, Sony BMG's anti-piracy chief, was asked if it was okay if a consumer makes just one copy of a track they've legally purchased. She said no -- that's "a nice way of saying, 'steals just one copy.'"

The one thing on which the RIAA is consistent is that even legal copies are unauthorized. The question is on whether unauthorized=illegal. I don't have a link for this, so take it with many grains of salt, but a friend of mine is an intellectual property lawyer and has read the complaint against Howell. He said that, in the filing, one of the things the RIAA is asking for is a broader definition of illegal copies. This definition would include making copies of legally purchased material for personal use (meaning the Fsir Use doctrine wouldn't apply to music purchases anymore). It would obviously be impossible to enforce, but I find the line of thought repugnant.

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