back to article Now RIAA says copying your own CDs is illegal

The Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) has began a legal spat with a man who copied CDs he had bought onto his computer. Jeffery Howell of Scottsdale, Arizon has taken his case to court after he received a letter from the RIAA, reports the Washington Post. The RIAA, which lobbies on behalf of a music industry hammered …

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  1. Ben Gibson
    Alert

    Personal use copying

    I'd be very interested in finding out if they really are taking him to court only because he copied his own CD's onto his computer, without making them available to others, or if he is sharing. If he is sharing fair play I guess, but if they are taking him to court simply for personal use copying then this really is a indicator of how mental they are trying to make things.

  2. Simon Connolly
    Paris Hilton

    Ridiculous

    This is just getting stupid. They are certainly getting desperate to make money from the so called 'piracy loss'.

    Would definatly love to know how they found out he made MP3 versions of his own legally bought CDs.

    I seriously hope people will lobby against the RIAA/MPAA and take them to court and get them to pay everyone back.

    One Day The People Will Beat Them All!

    Paris angle - they are as dumb as she is

  3. Chris Johnson

    So don't get caught using your MP3 player

    So.

    If you are seen with an MP3 player and not listening to the radio on it you can end up in deep poop because you have made an illigal copy of the latest CD YOU bought.

    RIAA: Have foot it sight, can I shoot now

  4. Greg

    Ludicrous

    There's a point at which the law - rightfully so - fails to give a toss about stuff like this, and the RIAA should do the same. Why do DAPs exist if not to host your own music? They (the RIAA and others) can get stuffed if they think I'm buying hundreds of albums again in crappy MP3 format when I can rip them in Vorbis, FLAC or whatever I like from albums I've already paid for.

    No, *technically* you're not allowed to put your CDs on DAPs, just as you weren't allowed to copy CDs to tape for your car, and you're not *technically* allowed to video a lot of stuff off the TV, but people do, have done, and will continue to do so, and in the vast majority of cases such activity is entirely harmless. Hopefully the judge in this case will have enough money and confidence that the RIAA can't bribe or intimidate them senseless, and they'll throw this crap out.

    Spirit of the law vs letter of the law, once again.

  5. Vip Mehta
    Alien

    As so they go the way of DoDo

    It seems incredulous! RIAA Own website says:

    "... 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. It’s not a personal use – in fact, it’s illegal – to give away the copy or lend it to others for copying."

    Well done RIAA. Continue the good job..... and I predict extinction in the very near future!

  6. eddiewrenn

    Everytime they say anything, they get me worked up

    I can't be asked to debate this whole mess about personal recordings AGAIN (Wasn't this settled in 1984? COME ON!!), but they are completely alienating any support they have.

    When they offer us true, high-quality, non-locked music at a reasonable price (£5/6 an album), I'll be back on boar.

    Until then I regard them as a bunch of dinosaurs, and when they make half-arsed comments like this, they set their goodwill back another year.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    RIAA sues self for copyright infringement and demands that it be forced to admit it's illegal.

    Just wait, it will happen. They'll wind up in court against themselves or the people they are paid to represent...

  8. eddiewrenn

    RE: Everytime they say anything, they get me worked up

    er... Back on board. Not back on boar. I don't even know what that is.

  9. Ross
    Flame

    What a joke!

    Oh well I'll just throw away my generic MP3 player as the software that came with it rips CD's to MP3's.

  10. Neil

    Oh dear

    The time had to come, I suppose. This is the most ridiculous charge against anyone, ever. Why didn't they do this 15 years ago when everyone was copying CDs onto tape to listen to in the car?

    How did they find out anyway? And can we expect cease and desist orders against the likes of Apple for daring to provide software for CD ripping that goes as far as to name the tracks and download the album artwork?

    I suppose next week we'll have the TV networks filing charges against people who have dared to video/dvd/pvr a tv show?

  11. Highlander
    Stop

    This is a case too far...

    ...and a case that the RIAA would be well advised to drop immediately.

    What exactly are they alleging this person did with the music? It's not clear that they are saying he did anything but rip CDs to his PC. This is an uphill slog for the music industry. I think that the court will look at exactly what copyright says and what you are purchasing when you buy a CD.

    When you buy a CD you buy the unlimited right to listen to that music, the music on the CD. The simple act of playing it in a CD player causes the data on the CD to be format shifted to an analog format for your listening pleasure. That aside, you can listen the the disc as many times as you like, whenever and wherever. So you are buying a license to listen to the performance contained on the disc. Ripping the CD to MP3 on your personal computer allows you to make an inferior quality copy of the original. Yet if you are using it for your *personal* use, your use of the music you paid for a license to listen to has not in any way altered, you are still listening to the performance you paid for, and no infringement of rights has happened.

    I guess we shouldn't be surprised though, the RIAA believes that playing your boom box amounts to a public performance and is therefore an infringement unless you pay them. What next? Suing the people using iPods if their headphones are turned up to much?

    If the RIAA wants to start blithering on about what copyright does and does not allow the consumer to do, they are in my opinion pushing the pendulum too hard and far for their own good, it will eventually swing back and hit them. If you start examining what copyright doesn't allow, then it's fair to start examining what copyright law does allow, and why.

    Quite apart from anything else, this case really makes a mockery of the previous attempts at managed copy. The defendant in this case should look carefully at the previous attempts by the RIAA to control the consumer's ability to copy CDs. Previously they have explicitly allowed users to copy CDs, as long as that copy was managed by their software to prevent the copied track(s) from being shared. Look at the various attempts to sell CDs with various copy protection mechanisms. Heck, the latest game consoles come with the ability to rip CDs to their HDD, are we saying that isn't allowed now? That will be news to Sony.

  12. Nick Cassimatis
    Stop

    Bad news for Apple, MS, etc...

    If I can't copy my own CD's to my computer for personal use on my personal music player, then my iPod becomes pretty much useless. If this goes through, maybe everyone who bought an MP3 player should sue the RIAA for making their purchase worthless!

  13. Bruno Girin
    Coat

    Clueless

    So does it mean that the iPod and other MP3 players are also illegal because they allow music to be copied onto them? And then obviously, iTunes et al are also illegal software because they allow you to 'rip' CDs. So following this logic, the RIAA should also sue Apple, Creative and anbody involved in producing MP3 players and CD ripping software. And then, the CD format is probably illegal too as it doesn't come with DRM so they should sue all companies that produce CDs, especially evil people like 3M and Verbatim who produce writable CDs! And then they should also sue the whole of the music industry for producing music on CD. And therefore they should sue themselves for representing the music industry.

    Lost clue. If found, please return to the RIAA.

  14. Andrew Tyler

    So...

    Now we can't copy our CDs onto our iPods? I mean, are they really that interested in totally destroying what little business they have left as to remove the only reason people would buy a CD these days? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

    If they try to argue that copying a CD onto your computer and copying it onto an iPod are different things, I think that will be pretty much be the end of what little credibility they have left.

  15. Milo Tsukroff
    Thumb Down

    Soon you'll be charged just for LISTENING

    What a crock. If the RIAA has its way, soon you'll be charged just for LISTENING. Walk into a mall, pay your pence for the musak ...

  16. John Macintyre
    Coat

    better idea

    ban mp3 players. in fact, ban pc's. if you don't listen to your cd on a stereo, no law suit, we just shoot you. much cheaper and simpler. if you're dead, you can't steal music now can you? that'll learn ya

  17. kieran
    Thumb Down

    This is just sick

    I make personal backup's of all my music on my PC and by burning onto other CD's, so I never truely lose an album and so my car doesn't chew up the original. So according to these idiots what I'm doing is illegal.

    I've followed and disagreed with what they are doing for a while. I think it is perfectly acceptable for people to download for free 2 or 3 songs from an album, no more, anymore and you can buy the album, or listen to a friends copy.

    Sick, this is sick.

  18. Gordon Ross Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Why not go after the MP3 Manufacturers ?

    If the RIAA are only going after this guy because he ripped CDs he'd bought, for his own use (and didn't distribute or share the MP3s to anyone else), why don't the RIAA go after Apple, Sony, etc ? These companies have been "aiding and abetting" in these crimes for years, by selling software/hardware combos to do just this. Just think, Sony Electronics could end up being sued by Sony Entertainment ;-)

    Come to think of it, it all comes back to Sony anyway for launching the Walkman, which encouraged people to listen to music they had bought, where ever and whenever they wanted to.

  19. Lol Whibley
    Pirate

    RIAA vs..

    M$. I'm sure there was a featurette on the last DRM player that allowed you to 'Rip' from cd to hard drive..

    surely the RIAA should go after the facilitators rather than the 'duped' victims of corporate software distributions..

  20. PJH
    Thumb Down

    Inaccuracies

    The WP article is short on one little detail - he was sharing his mp3's via P2P software - that's how he was caught. And what he is being charged with.

    And as far as the 'unauthorised copies' rubbish goes - any copy of a CD has always been unauthorised. This, however, doesn't make them illegal. Or stealing. It only becomes an offense if you start sharing them amongst other people.

    It is quite legal to make an unauthorised copy for personal use; always has been since LP's and reel-to-reels were in common use. This is the 'fair use' doctrine in copyright law.

    In short, the WP article is just more FUD.

  21. kissingthecarpet
    Pirate

    MP3 Players illegal now then?

    Is this story really true? I hope so 'cos the RIAA will become more of a joke, the more this story is disseminated.

  22. Michael Corkery
    Stop

    Wow...

    they really want to push customers away. This sort of mentality will do nothing to convince people to buy music legally - you pay your money and don't even get fair usage?

    If any work is copied for your own use, but not in ANY way distributed, then what's the problem? Are they arguing that you're circumventing natural wear and tear on the physical object (the CD, tape, whatever), and stopping them getting re-sales? But then legal MP3 sales have already undercut this argument. Plus, most people won't re-buy the same work twice.

    Bad analogy time: It's like if I bought, oh, a hammer, and Black and Decker sued me for using it as a paperweight. I told you it was a bad analogy.

    I'll use a stop icon to allow the obvious music/hammer/icon pun...

  23. Dazzer

    How?

    I would love to know how they found out about this. Did they hack into his computer? The irony of the RIAA being pulled up for hacking would be so much fun!

  24. adnim Silver badge

    Fair enough, but it could be better for us

    One buys a audio CD to play on audio CD players. If a listener the wants to listen to that tune on the PC as a mp3 or on a mp3 device, then he or she should pay for the mp3 versions, one for the PC, one for the device. If the listener wants to listen to the tune in wma format then the listener should pay for the wma version.

    In fact it would be a very good idea to tie a song in whatever format it is released to just one device. This could be done quite easily, with encryption and modified hardware, of course the consumer should bear the cost of the additional technology in the hardware. Then, If the listener wants to listen to the audio CD they bought for their home CD player in the car, it would not work and he/she should buy another copy. A quick 15-30 second audio advertisement followed by an anti piracy warning should also be tagged to the front of every mp3/Audio CD track such that it cannot be skipped. The track/audio CD should not be sold to the listener but leased and set so to no longer play after a fixed time or a fixed number of plays. Should the user wish to continue to listen to the song they are required to refresh the licence at full original cost.

    There is a possibility to restrict when audio files/CD can be played. This would require clocks synchronised with world time to be fitted to playing equipment. Again the consumer can face the cost of the extra hardware. Using this model different pricing structures can be realised for the same song. The cost of listening to the song would vary depending on the time of day. The time being set when the consumer purchases the song. A user trying to listen outside of the purchased time period would be met by silence.

    Should a user try to bypass any of the above an mp3 file will attempt to phone home and transmit the result of a hard drive/memory card scan to the RIAA HQ and list the user as a subversive and potential pirate. The information would also be immediately and simultaneously transmitted to MI5, MI6, CIA and NSA.

    If using a mobile then the call home will be over a premium rate line to help pay for the administrative cost of prosecuting the user. The user will also bear the cost of relaying all the data to other law enforcement agencies.

    Yours insincerely

    Chief Idea Architect

    Recording Industry Ass. of America

  25. Richard Kilpatrick
    Jobs Horns

    WTF!

    Er, wouldn't this make using iPods and similar devices completely impossible from a legal standpoint? The very act of ripping music to transfer to the media player creates a copy on the local computer!

    I don't listen to CDs except in the car. I buy them, rip them, and use the iPod or computer. The CDs are stored in their cases and my files aren't shared... surely they cannot claim that this previously accepted/expected use is now illegal...

  26. Graham Keith Rogers

    RIAA need to understand new technology

    Nescia sinistra quid faciat dextra?

    The right hand of the RIAA prefers to ignore the left hand. Earlier they had said that copying to a computer and thence to the iPod was OK, now that is apparently inconvenient <http://www.electronista.com/articles/07/12/11/riaa.on.cd.ripping/>

    When the music companies leave behind their outdated business models and get to grips with how most people are now using music and the black plastic disk is now rarely used, perhaps they will have a chance at survival.

  27. Highlander

    Regarding the RIAAs uphill battle

    In the USofA the recording industry will have a hard time pushing this kind of case, the copyright law contains a specific provision preventing action for non-commercial (as in personal) use.

    Here is the specific passage from the law, and a link to the law itself.

    "TITLE 17, CHAPTER 10, SUBCHAPTER D, 1008 - Prohibition on certain infringement actions

    No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings."

    Note that last element includes both digital and analog recordings.

    The full law can be found here;

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sup_01_17.html

    There is another gem in the law that talks about whether copy control mechanisms are effective. Based on the definition in the law, there are no effective copy controls on music CDs. In which case very little of the infringement stuff would appear to apply. Enjoy your reading. Wonder if the RIAA bothered to read Title 17,Chapter 10, subchapter D, section 1008? One would presume they did not.

  28. Mike
    Black Helicopters

    unauthorised copies

    I assume this means they'll be suing Microsoft (for media player) and Apple (itunes) for providing the means to make unauthorised copies of data? and for selling hardware with the capabilities to play these unauthorised tracks (zune, ipod)

    No? oh what a surprise.

  29. Daniel B.
    Thumb Down

    Fair use?

    IIRC, that was settled 20+ years ago with cassettes and Videotapes, you know, that thingy about "fair use".

    Keeping a backup copy in your PC is just using another medium, especially if you're trying to, say, copy them to your mp3 player, or your iPod.. whatever.

    See, there's even a tool for my W300 that does exactly that: it rips a CD, then transfers it to my cellphone. Except part of this LEGAL process involves copying the stuff into my PC. According to the RIAssA, I'm breaking the law.

    Strike 'em down. This is borderline maddness from the RIAA.

  30. elder norm
    Alien

    BINGO !!

    You said, "But this latest move by the big record companies to hold individuals personally responsible perhaps signals how weak at the knees they have truly become."

    I say, right on. These guys are getting desperate. Maybe they can sue me if I buy a CD cause , OF COURSE, I must be going to copy it. :-) RIGHT?

    WIth any luck they could bring the music industry to its knees all by them selves. Maybe we could move to a direct from Artist to audiance model where the Artist owns the copywrite and sells the music directly or thru a service like iTunes. Then RIAA would be left out of the loop.

    WOOOO, what an idea. Anyone else agree??

    PS, Happy New Year.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happened to the 1976 Sony case?

    I thought that a Supreme Court decision around 1976 decided that "FAIR USE" allowed people to make personal back-ups of ANY of their media (for personal use). Modifying or backing up your own personal materials was considered fair use and should be protected from moral-less jackals like this.

    My understanding (not a laywer) is that the Supreme Court decided in the 1976 Sony Betamax case that the benefit that the VCR (betamax) gave to the general public OUTWEIGHED the need of the studios to control their media and make more money on of one person for multiple copies of the same movie. This was supposed to allow ANYONE to copy and share their own personal copies of this media with their friends and families.

    Yes there is the 1996 Digitial Millennium Copyright Act, but I believe that bit of legal work also states clearly that any protections etc that it affords CANNOT interfere with people's already accepted fair use of their property. This line was an essential requirement to get the signatures needed to pass into law.

    Could someone more educated on this matter than I confirm or deny the above sentiments please?

    Either way it appears that the RIAA is trying to re-write the law and steal more rights away from the general public. People should be offended by this and really care about the outcome - this will affect you eventually, and in more important ways than just music. (DNA copyrights are prevent life-saving research from being done - because universities and large corporations are allowed to "patent" already existing genes that they "discover"

    Stinks of 1984 to me

  32. Mark Silver badge
    Coat

    Shaking my head...

    Methinks all the SCO lawyers found jobs with the RIAA.

  33. someone
    Thumb Down

    "It's not our first choice, but it's a necessary part of the equation."

    My observations of their modus operandi suggest that legal action and other heavy handed tactics ARE their first choices.

  34. John

    UK copyright law doesn't permit copying for personal use

    UK copyright law doesn't permit duplicating copyrighted material for personal use.

    If this facility in the USA were removed, it would have all sorts of repercussions, not just for music. It would affect software backups, loading software (one image in RAM, one on disk) etc.

    I hope they don't get away with it.

  35. Robbin Nichol
    Thumb Down

    That's it they

    have finally lost the plot. Expect white van and men in white coats to arrive any minute. RIAA = Royalty Insane Assholes of America.

  36. Alan Gregson
    Alert

    iPod

    So are they going to sue every iPod owner, because I'm damn sure that most people have not filled them via the iTunes store, at 79p a track it would cost about £13k to fill an 80gb iPod Classic.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    ITunes/WMP/WinAMP/etc etc

    So the thousands of songs I have ripped onto my computers (laptop and Desktop) is all illegal now??

    Ha, good luck to the RIAA stopping people ripping music. Literally EVERYONE has done it.

    What does Steve have to say about this? Seeing as the whole iPod/iTunes business is based on people ripping CD's

  38. Matt Horrocks

    Idiots

    How about - we stop copying CDs onto our PCs when you replace CDs that break or get scratched to hell. Also, please supply me with a 25-drive CD tower so that I can pick randomly from 25 CDs when listening.

    Bloody morons. The R.I.Ass.A needs to piss off and die, where do they make up these figures for "damages" anyway - sounds like they pulled them out of a hat, or other dark orifice.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scotland yard calling; lovey

    Never in the field of Human recording was so much owed to so few by so many

  40. John

    hmm

    The fact that the RIAA knew CDs were copied to the PC without them being made available online is a bit worrying no?

  41. E Haines
    Flame

    O rly?

    Have they not heard of the law called "fair use"? I'd love them to send me a letter like that, so I can sue them into oblivion. Someone has to.

  42. David Eddleman

    Bad news for the RIAA...

    Apparently they've not read the United States Copyright Act, sections 107-122.

    Hint: It has to deal with FAIR USE. Copying your own media is one of those protections offered under Fair Use.

    As long as he bought the CDs/received them as a gift and can provide proof that they're his, there's no legal basis for the RIAA.

    Unless he distributed copies, he's perfectly in the clear.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    hmm

    well if they are going sue people for buying CD's then putting on their PC's as MP3's, etc, then you might as well just download it via P2P and save some pounds by not buying the CD's

    i think they are going way to far

    just out of interest what happens with the money RIAA, etc collect? does the artists see any of it, i bet they dont

  44. Chris Hall
    Thumb Down

    Are they having a laugh...

    This is ridiculous, all of my 250+ cd's have been ripped to my PC so I can listen to them when I want without messing around getting them out of the cases. Surely they are clutching at staws now.

    What about the hard drive music players? Are songs transferred onto your MP3 player illegal? The new Sony mini hi-fi with a hard drive? The 4 grand Bose lifestyle stereo with a hard drive?

    There will be a few red-faced lawyers after this one goes to court!

  45. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Flame

    Broken contract

    I don't agree to the RIAA's new terms of use. I propose that the RIAA settle this by buying back my CD collection at the original price.

  46. Brad Hutchings
    Stop

    Ugh...

    How about a link to the court brief PDF? I will bet anyone here $100 to your favorite charity that the language in that brief has to do with copying the file to the "shared" folder of a file sharing app. It's RIAA boilerplate at this point, and not terribly unreasonable.

    Engadget has already said this story was debunked. Just no explanation of the debunking.

  47. Joseph Zygnerski
    Alert

    I can see the next lawsuit

    "Man sued for listening to music: RIAA claims 'unlawful distribution' of sound waves"

    Are we to be sued for ripping CDs to put on our computers and mp3 players? I wouldn't be surprised if they tried.

  48. Tony

    So then

    if I scan a book or other copyrighted work into my computer I am an "infringer"?

  49. b166er

    Full of christmas cheer, that lot

    What a pile of crap, so instead of just criminalising file-sharers, they now want to criminalise everyone?

    High time the record labels got a much more professional company to represent them.

    Happy New Year all!

  50. yeah, right.
    Flame

    insane

    They are, of course, clinically insane. However, their insanity is going to cost a lot of people a lot of money in the short term defending themselves against such a vile interpretation. Given their lobbying budget, they might just be able to make their interpretation stick in the long term. Which would certainly help them finish the task they set themselves of erasing the last vestiges of "copyright" and all its ramifications, thus completely reversing the original 1710 Statute of Anne.

    It's also pure greed. Any mention of "artists" in their speeches should be exposed for the lie that it is. Most recording contracts up to quite recently didn't include digital rights for music. So anything the labels are selling electronically on iTunes, Amazon or other places isn't benefiting the artist at all. CD sales are going down as the labels switch to online modes (to the detriment of the artist), yet they still have a cojones to claim that they are "defending the artists".

    Vaguely related article here:

    http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/16-01/ff_yorke?currentPage=all

  51. Marco

    To "battle against customers"...

    ...your customers, that is, has always proven futile in the past.

  52. J
    Pirate

    Hm...

    "So far it is unclear as to how and why Howell was targeted by the RIAA."

    Smacks of illegally obtained evidence... hacking random people's computers to find files?

    And what happened to fair use anyway?

  53. Shane McCarrick
    Thumb Down

    My god.....

    I hope he hammers the RIAA- thats totally unbelievable. So now they are saying that its illegal to copy your *own* CDs onto your computer (or rip it to MP3 for the car or whatever........) I hope the RIAA get hammered in court- their inflexible laughable crusades against largely innocent individuals deserve to be shown for what they really are.

    If they want to succeed- they need to do what they did 15 years ago- obsolete the old formats (of records and tapes) and persuade everyone to buy their collections on CD yet again. Its unfortunate that they cannot see how silly a business model it is. The biggest problem the RIAA have is the quality of so much of modern is trite- people simply aren't interested in buying crap. We don't have a modern Beetles, The Cure, Bowie, Queen etc- most of us 30 somethings are happily listening to our 20 year old music which modern artists simply are not replacing in our minds.

    S.

  54. Ray

    Whaat!?

    I'm slightly troubled that they knew about this.... is the guy squeaky clean....?

    Setting that aside, wtf! This is simply ridiculous.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    How would they know?

    If he didn't make them public how would the RIAA know he had them? I hope some more details can be found out.

  56. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    What a crock...

    I would love to see how this plays out.

    Looks like the RIAA is desperate to get some more money to pay for their legal team.

    I believe its part of the "fair use" doctrine.

    I guess the RIAA hired Paris Hilton ?

  57. Herby Silver badge

    Fair use doesn't apply here??

    I suspect that RIAA doesn't want CD to be sold either. If you want an interesting touch on the subject, go to http://www.foxtrot.com which will be up for about a week or so. Interesting comment!!

  58. jacob
    Pirate

    oh really....

    These RIAA 'tards should really try reading the "fair use" portion of copyright law.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who turned him in?

    Let me guess, the guy took it to Best Buy, Radio Shack, or another similar place and the repair technician turned him in. That or he leaves it on with no firewall and the RIAA broke into his hard drive to have a look around.

  60. David

    How

    "So far it is unclear as to how and why Howell was targeted by the RIAA. There doesn't seem to be any suggestion that the MP3s were made available to all comers."

    I think the "how" bit should be looked in to and reported on. Are the RIAA spying on folks` hard drives or something equally ludicrous? To copy one`s own legally purchased tunes for personal use and then for the RIAA police to come a-calling seems a bit odd, to put it mildly.

  61. Chris
    Happy

    The RIAA has a legal right to your money

    If you scratch your original CD and don't buy a new one (possibly because you have a backup) then it is correct that you should be considered a thief. It is the long established legal right of the music industry to repeatedly charge for the same music in different media formats, otherwise what is the point of DRM?

    It is unacceptable for ordinary people of lowly berth, namely most people reading this, to ignore the laws that the RIAA has lobbied for at great expense. The law is the law and common rabble like you have a moral obligation to obey it.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, idiots! Long may America continue to be ruled by the rich and powerful!

  62. medway01

    At it again.......

    Not the first time these clowns have said its illegal to record your own music ect, I have some old 80's vinyl LP's and on some of the covers it says " HOME TAPING IS KILLING MUSIC" and " IT'S ILLEGAL "

    Just as well I read that as I wont be putting my CD collection on tape.

  63. Silo Spen

    Jesus...

    They're getting pretty desperate to sue people, aren't they?

    If this goes through...wait, there's no way this can go through.

    Right?

  64. scott
    Black Helicopters

    Boycott the Fascists

    It serves him right for actually supporting the connards who are suing him. Every human being with a wallet and a brain should *stop* buying music and movies for one year out of protest.

    We've seen peoples houses illegally broken into, Police, Special Forces and National Intelligence agencies bullied into wasting their time "taking down" single mums with MP3s rather than targetting terrorists with Semtex and H&K MP5s.

    In my lovely country of Belgium, I am paying over 2euro per month for compensating artists for my assumed "theft", and that's just for having an internet connection. I have to pay 50cents per blank DVD, again for the assumtion I am stealing copyrighted material.

    Of course, if everyone stopped buying music and movies, the powers that be would just assume we're stealing more rather than just buying less - and tax us more and give it to their mates in big media.

    Happy 2008 y'all!

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Fair use?

    You bought the CD, you're not sharing the files... How is copying the music to a computer or .mp3 player not fair use in this case? Are we eventually going to reach the point where you can only listen to increasingly worse "music" in one room of your home or face prosecution? Are 11-year old kids soon going to be led away in handcuffs for making 'mix tapes' by recording off the radio? I have a DVR and I always skip the commercials, should I be very afraid?

    How about an icon reflecting everyone's utter disgust and contempt for the RIAA?

  66. Chris G Silver badge

    Morons

    Like the RIAA have enough money and lawyers on tap to be able to just try it on with anyone and with any idea, it's basically a fishing trip for them . If they win they can screw everybody if they don't, well , it was worth a try.

    As far as this one goes, surely the fact that this guy has bought the CDs in the first place means that he has the right to listen to the music in any way he likes providing it is only him,the bummer is, considering the way the courts seem to be thinking nowadays, is if someone else is listening with him who has not paid the royalties he is probably breaking the law by sharing with someone who has not paid for listening rights. what I wonder is how the RIAA get to find their victims, they must be illegally hacking . perhaps they are the ones who need to be investigated and taken to court.

    How long before the RIAA insist that we are all fitted with a chip to eavesdrop on what we are listening to and whether it is licensed or unlicensed?

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    welcome to Oceania, citizen

    The land of the free is quickly becoming the land of the oppressed. UK is not far behind, welcome to Oceania, citizen

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    They really are stupid..................

    Does the RIAA really think that they have a chance at winning this case?? Where will all of this nonsense end?? I just bought a radio for my car that allows me to copy a song, or a complete CD in MP3 format to internal memory so that I do not have to carry the actual CD's along to get destroyed. Will they go after that next. The RIAA can kiss my ass. I will never pay for another piece of music as long as I live.

  69. Robert E A Harvey

    Fair use

    The RIAA is, of course, only a USA phenomenon.

    The situation in the UK is that so-called "fair use" private copying has always been in breach of some damn thing or other (http://legalit.itproportal.com/?p=14 refers) .

    The MCPS has never challenged, to my knowledge, media-shifting for private use, but I can see no reason why they should not.

  70. Rick
    Flame

    RIAA V. Apple

    Let me be the first to say that the RIAA needs to be sueing Apple, Dell, HP, Seagate, And any harddisk maker. Isn't the whole idea of the Ipod to copy all of your favorite music to one "harddisk" so under this premis then anyone who owns an Ipod is now required to buy all of the cd's from Itunes or they are commiting piracy? according to what was just posted in legal briefs by the RIAA, Apple has to be on the level or above Pirates Bay as the world leading facilitator of piracy? Why hasn't the RIAA gone after them yet? There seems to be no more logic in their thinking at all. Though on a second note to play devils advocate assuming that I own ever cd for every song I have on my harddrive and my pc is either compromisted or I have bit torrent, limewire or something to that effect am i committing piracy if other people are downloading off of me?

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Owning music soon to be illegal in the US

    So, by this logic... if I transfer an MP3 from my PC to my MP3 player I must delete the copy on my PC. If I want to put the track onto a CD so that I can play it in my car's old fashioned stereo I have to burn it to CD, then delete it from the computer, then I have to rip the MP3 back onto my computer and destroy the CD when I get back home.

    I must also destroy all the back-ups of all my MP3s which I put on DVD in case my computer gets stolen. If I get a scratch on a CD I now have to buy a new one instead of simply burning a new one from the back-up I made of it. If I loose my MP3 player I have to buy a new copy of all the tracks I have on it. On a 60Gb iPod this could amount to several thousand pounds worth of music. However, if I steal a computer or MP3 player I can now sell the device AND all the music on it, increasing the value of my theft by many times.

    The only way this arrangement could ever be practical is if we stop buying music, but instead buy the right to listen to music. Actually owning a copy of a track means I can make unauthorised copies of it or loose it, and the only way to stop this is to make all music only available through music streaming. However, this obviously has several implications.

    Firstly, I will need all my music playing devices to have permanent access to a 256kbps network (that's more than 3G can do in a fast moving car). This includes when I go through a tunnel, or am in a concrete building underground, and will undoubtedly mean a massive reduction in battery life for music players and will lead to an increase in my carbon footprint, an increase in internet congestion and a decrease in the reliability of my music player.

    Secondly, I will have to sign up to a single music provider service that will have a record of all the music I own and will know (and be able to sell) information of what I listen to and how often I listen to it. If I want to change service provider I will have to rely on them transferring data quickly and instantly (fat chance!), otherwise I will be left without access to my music.

    Thirdly, my right to access the music I want will no longer depend on what I can find in the wider community, but on what the supplier thinks is appropriate. If my government decided that a song criticising religion was inappropriate there would literally be no way I could listen to it.

    If this is the cost of maintaining the current Big Corporation music mass-production line, then it is a price that I for one am not prepared to pay. I’d rather see musicians having to live off the money they can make from live gigs than see this authoritarian and undemocratic level of social engineering. The amount of social contract re-writing that is going on to protect the interests of shareholders and employers is beyond a joke. Welcome to the machine.

  72. Eugene Goodrich

    What does an authorized copy license look like?

    What does a license for an authorized copy look like, then? I used to think that if one possessed the actual, original-made CD (in the jewel case with the liner notes, natch) that one had a license to make method-shift copies of the works thereon for personal use. It seems that is not the case.

    So, if a person possesses an MP3 (or equivalent) copy of a song, what else does that person need to possess to prove that file is a legitimate copy, purchased from iTunes or another online digital music retailer?

    And can a person with several thousand dollars' worth of compact discs (which seem to be authorized copies judging by looking at them) purchase authorized-copy licenses to copy-convert these CDs to MP3 (or equivalent) to play on that person's personal computer or portable music player at a price lower than iTunes' $1 per track? Can such a person purchase an authorized-copy license that allows that person to choose the encoding of the copy of the song for personal use (e.g. copy to minidisc, or OGG, or some lossless digital file format)?

    If such licenses (i.e. authorization) do not exist in any durable, externally-verifiable form, then I don't see how any person could ever safely use a portable music player that didn't come pre-loaded with the only music being played on it.

  73. Malted Milk

    I wonder....

    ....how long it will take before it will be legal to purchase the CD, but illegal to simply own it.

  74. Rebecca Putman
    Flame

    Oh, Bollocks!

    Can someone please, please, pretty please come and help us get the RIAA and MPAA back under some semblance of control? This was ridiculous several years ago and ceased being funny several years minus one half ago.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Everyone who owns a computer

    What are they going to do - send a "Cease and Desist" letter to everyone who owns a computer?? That's a lot of trees they'll be killing, so in addition to irritating everyone who's ever popped a CD in their computer, they'll have the environmentalists all over them as well. They'll be after MP3 players and iPods next... RIAA vs Steve Jobs and Apple... who would win?

  76. skeptical i
    Thumb Down

    overkill

    RIAA's next tactic will involve pursuing folks who were caught singing its songs without paying performance royalties, and also anyone who was listening to these unauthorized performances without paying up. When mindreading technology becomes viable, RIAA will then pursue people who have any of its songs stuck in their heads, as they are clearly freeloading.

  77. Zarneth
    Alert

    Cd is an inconvenient format

    How many people actually play the music off the cd in this day and age?

    Cd's and the players are large and inconvenient compared to the alternatives. The RIAA and the record companies need to realise cd is only useful for distributing and having a hard backup of the music. The number of people who play the music directly from the cd is quickly shrinking every day.

    Personally, I have a sizable CD collection, but very few of those disks have i ever actually directly played.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very suspicious case

    I'm starting to wonder if the RIAA and this fellow have an agreement, if they want to rig or fabricate an easily winnable case to set precedent. I don't mean easily winnable as-in it being illegal to copy CDs to a computer, I mean that some obscure thing will be used to try to imply that is true.

  79. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Unhappy

    From RIAA's own site....

    "*It’s okay to copy music onto an analog cassette, but not for commercial purposes.

    * It’s also okay to copy music onto special Audio CD-R’s, mini-discs, and digital tapes (because royalties have been paid on them) – but, again, not for commercial purposes.

    * Beyond that, 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, 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. It’s not a personal use – in fact, it’s illegal – to give away the copy or lend it to others for copying."

    Are RIAA going after a royalty on all CD-Rs now too? And after that, I expect DVD-R and then Blu-Ray and HD-DVD when they get writeable? What other technology stream could they steal from? Compact Flash cards, USB sticks, hard drives? Looks like the pigopoly has found a whole range of new cash cows to milk.

  80. B Bauer
    Thumb Down

    Nothing new

    The RIAA is suing Howell over his dissemination of material on Kazaa.

    The legal brief is online:

    http://www.ilrweb.com/viewILRPDFfull.asp?filename=atlantic_howell_071207RIAASupplementalBrief

    I would expect they would make mention of CD rips being "unauthorized", as they did in the Thomas case and the DMCA triennial review (though it might have occurred outside the legal brief). They seem to make mention of it whenever possible, but won't go so far as risking a legal judgment.

  81. Ole Juul

    RIAA fashion citations

    Is the RIAA handing out fashion citations? I thought that in the USA, where this story is taking place, they have the Audio Home Recording Act or does this not apply this week?

    Here in Canada we pay a levy on blank media which allows us to make all the copies we want. The copies are "pre paid" as it were. Perhaps harddrives don't count as "blank" media, however the Copyright Act allows copies of sound recordings for non-commercial use. This could change of course, since all these laws are not really "laws" in as much as they don't stay the same for any appreciable length of time. As an older person I find these fashions tiresome. I can't really take these laws seriously, especially since they are meant to control what I do in the privacy of my own home.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Let me get this straight...

    Why don't these assholes just ban the MP3 player as a whole. Not everyone can buy online music to feed their MP3 players. Lack of a credit card and fast internet access, location, etc. all comes into account.

    Asses will be asses. They're pushing it. Sooner or later they'll be getting what's coming to them.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    How they found out he'd ripped his CD's

    I'll bet he ripped them to a Western Digital hard drive which then fired off an automated email "Hey, check this guy out.. 2000+ MP3's - they MUST be illegal!"

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    When will the RIAA sue someone for humming?

    It's an unauthorised low quality copy of a copyrighted work...of course it might be tricky to work out whose version of "My way" I was copying, and though I might have been humming Sinatra's the RIAA might deem that it was closer to Sid Vicious?

    It does seen like an extended suicide note from a distribution industry (that's being replaced by a marketing industry).

  85. Martin Milan
    Thumb Down

    The solution...

    Ah, well - you see clearly the problem her is a lack of clarity - that much should be transparent lol!

    The solution to all this is quite simple. The RIAA should immediately launch a scheme whereby artists / record companies who are determined that their music can only really be legally appreciated in the comfort of your own living room, and not on those new fangled walkabout mp3 jobbies, should proudly display a "No MP3" logo on their products.

    If they adopt this, there'll really be no excuse for little Jonny when he's caught listening to the band that *HE IS SUPPORTING* on his MP3 player. Sorry sonny - the logo you see...

    On the other hand of course, we, the paying public, could send a very clear message to the providers of such content that we'd rather not purchase music on such unreasonably restrictive terms...

    Martin.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    heh....

    Interestingly it appears that the RIAA are too afraid to take on the likes of Microsoft and Apple who include this basic functionality in their OS's...

    Since the MPAA had the power to stop developers from making applications for copying DVD's... surely the RIAA can apply this same logic to CD's... :)

    Good luck that one!

    Time for this old dinosaur to step out of the gene pool me thinks...

  87. BitTwister

    What rubbish

    "If you make unauthorised 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."

    Stealing what from whom? Damages? - well who gets damaged or loses anything in any way whatever?

    @ UK copyright law doesn't permit copying for personal use

    Technically true, but the UK version of the RIAA (I forget the name) announced not so long ago their er, 'generous' decision to turn a blind eye to such media-shifting 'infringements'.

    Christ, it's getting so I'd be legally obliged to switch of the CD player if anyone other than the CD purchaser (me) comes within earshot! ...but I still think the best alternative is a firm "go spin on THIS" (raises a selected finger) to each corporate nut-job rattling swords to frighten people. "liable for several thousands of dollars" - oooh, really scary... I've just soiled meself...

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Hey DJ... where's the disks....

    a good few years ago, a DJ friend of mine had his entire collection of vinyl disks stolen... as he was insured, he replaced the coolection with CD's. replaced his decks with a CD decks.....

    now to stop a repeat of his loss, he copies all his disks and uses the copies.. if a disk becomes damaged or lost, he replaces it from his archive.... is this unreasonable?

    also... he has been planning of ripping all the disks to MP3 to play from a laptop instead of carrying disks everywhere.... is this unreasonable.....

    and just to add a bit more.... most modern radio stations no longer use disks... they add media to a music database and is selected via a computer to play

    so i suppose its just the small fry they are after and not the big boys...

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think there's more to it than there seems to be...

    PJH pointed out that this person apparently was sharing some MP3's with others, and that is illegal. Whether it should be illegal is another issue, but it's the law at the moment so we're stuck with it. Apparently, that's how the guy got caught. I doubt they've got things set up to report back to them if I put a copy of their precious CD onto my own computer and never share it with anyone - which is exactly what most people do.

    From what the article said, this person received a warning letter from the RIAA, and he decided to take them to court. That's a bit different from them suing him. Perhaps the individual is seeking a clarification from the courts as to what is and is not legal.

    You have to figure that if someone makes a copy for personal use, the damages are trivial. The RIAA loses the price of a single CD that the person would otherwise had had to buy in lieu of the copy. This is not the stuff of lawsuits, even in the litigious US. Even if they are trying to "send a message" and frighten others, it's hardly something to worry about.

    If RIAA is going after this person, it is because they believe he is sharing the music with others, thus denying those poor, saintly companies of yet more millions of dollars, stealing food from their tables, oh, the humanity.

    My guess is that RIAA is in its death throes. They have made their money by stealing from the musicians whose music they sell, and then by intimidating the users. That only goes so far. When enough people are tired of being treated like automatic criminals, the laws will change. In the meantime, they will continue to commit these acts of corporate terrorism in the hopes of prolonging their miserable and useless existence.

  90. tk

    He's sued for sharing

    Apparently he was sharing the music. The brief makes for excellent reading:

    "Defendant’s bald assertion that he did not realize these sound recordings were being distributed from his KaZaA shared folder to other KaZaA users is both belied by the facts and irrelevant under the law.

    First, Defendant readily concedes that he used KaZaA to download and share pornography files, and that he intentionally stored his pornography files in his shared folder. [...] He further admits that he had created a “shortcut” to his shared folder so he could see and access its contents when he wanted to. Even a cursory glance of Defendant’s shared folder shows that the music files numbered in the thousands and were interspersed with the pornography files throughout the shared folder."

    A cursory glance? Interspersed with pornography? Why isn't this on tv?

  91. Nano nano

    Philips WACS 7000

    is designed to copy CDs onto its HDD - so where's the RIAA/Philips spat ?

  92. Mike

    Mike

    Fine - the music industry appears to be saying that buying a CD means paying for a licence to use that product only in that format. Don't think about backing it up for your own protection.

    Do the record companies then accept the corollary that, should the CD become damaged, the licence agreement requires them to replace the product as bought, whenever the problem occurs, to restore the licensee to the original position? If not, this would be at least debatable under UK unfair contract legislation. Or perhaps the record companies will start putting a "Listen By" date on CDs.

    I agree, this is the music industry heading to Hell in a handcart, while paying themselves big bonuses for failure.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Oh my..

    Am I the only one who recalls a certain regulatory body (MPIAA if I recall correctly) that infringed copyright and emailed a privately-created movie to all it's staff for "research"?

    What the heck has happened to the human race? We're all such p*ssies that we let a company - a company who've acknowledged, in this exact case, that no actual crime was committed - screw us over like this?

    I mean for god's sake people. When are we gonna say, enough is enough. Not buying CD's? Oh my god. That not only HELPS them in this argument (CD sales down! Piracy, Piracy!), it doesn't stop the masses who -do- buy them anyway.

    Honest musicians are on record as saying copying actually HELPS them spread their music.. it's just that the RIAA cannot claim credit for that. Several big-time rappers on record saying it doesn't even touch his pocket, and they're supposedly some of the "most copied" artists.

    If you really, really want to stop this; you need to show the RIAA that their tactics can be used against them too.

    Someone in your area getting screwed over by the RIAA or MPIAA? Start up a public fund for their defense. You're getting screwed over by either? Kick the little effer in the nuts; and sue him for harassment claiming he sodomized your pet iguana. Go for cost too while you're at it. They want to wear you down, you can wear them down back

    If you've got a little money and can afford it, go to law school and get a class action suit going against them for every dumb thing they do (suing a granny that didn't even have a pc for example, as happened a while ago).

    For god's sake, don't take it lying down. Once you do that, they've won.

  94. Dave
    Stop

    Think theres something missing here....

    There must be something missing from this story...how on earth could the RIAA find out he ripped his CD to his computer? without A) illegally having a trojan or something on his computer and "spying" on him or B) Him sharing them.

    Now I would personally say it was 99.9% B and therefore is just another normal file sharing lawsuit

  95. Jeremy
    Thumb Down

    Not In Australia

    Australian copyright law was updated last year and allows for copying CD's to your computer for personal use. Its called fair use.

  96. Kevin Eastman
    Stop

    Also charged with sharing files via Kazaa

    According to foxnews,com (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,319276,00.html)

    "Jeffrey Howell of Scottsdale stands accused of placing 54 music files in a specific "shared" directory on his personal computer that all users of KaZaA and other "peer-to-peer" software could access — pretty standard grounds for an RIAA lawsuit."

    For the personal copying charge, it goes on to say;

    "However, on page 15 of a supplemental brief responding to the judge's technical questions about the case, the RIAA's Phoenix lawyer, Ira M. Schwartz, states that the defendant is also liable simply for the act of creating "unauthorized copies" — by ripping songs from CDs."

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Listen to yourselves!

    Listen to yourselves! You cry for fear of an iPod being made illegal, or that you may be criminalised by your computer. This is nothing: my very physiology infringes copyright!

    I am a musician. I have a particularly good memory for music. As a child I would sit through a train journey, using my memory to recall a real-time version of any given work. Pitch, tone, dynamics; I can retrieve and re-experience every aspect of even lengthy works in their detailed entirety and only the absence of a causational ear-to-brain interface makes it any different from other modes of listening.

    My brain is its own recording device; copyright infringement is in my blood. Never mind iPods: I must walk this earth with illegal DNA!

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuck 'em

    I'm a musician and would love to make a living doing it, but the music industry isn't helping any more. There was a time when they controlled the means of production, but they don't these days. Tough shit. It's like furniture manufacturers assassinating hobbyist woodworkers.

    I play. I record. If you like it, you listen. If your friends might like it, you pass it on and I'll thank you for the free advertising. If you'd like to see me live, you can contribute a couple of pounds to my living expenses and enjoy an experience nobody else can give you. If a bunch of irrelevant suits want to get involved, they can start with some music lessons.

    RIAA: I've shared about 3Tb so far, but it would be hard to prove it. There are millions of others like me. Come get me, you bitches! You've already lost.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    People ordered to clog ears

    and pay an RIAA license to have them unclogged. An R. I. Ass. of America spokesman allegedly said yesterday "The future has finally arrived." after the successful prosecution of a group of people standing at a sidewalk who overheard music eminating from a car stereo as a car was waiting to cross a junction.

    In an exclusive with one of the accused the following was revealed "We didn't know that we weren't licensed to listen to the music, so we phoned the R. I. Ass. of America to make sure. Sure enough their rapid response lawyer forces were deployed quickly to drain any cash savings and other reserves we had available to ensure that we would learn our lesson, and also to ensure that we would never be able to afford to buy any licensed music product again."

    The plaintiffs in court pressed for a precedent declaring that no one should have functional hearing unless they are licensed to do so.The honorable Judge Whitey ruled in favour of the plaintiffs. Whitey cited "It was the only clear way to ensure that people did not infringe on the copyright holder's investment." Further questions regarding the issue were answered with "eh?" and "what?" and "huh?" as the judge was unable to hear what we asked.

    An R. I. Ass of America spokesman said that "This is only the beginning, we have reports that milions, if not billions of people have listened to material they have not purchased over this thing called Radio. Right now our lawyers are fully engaged in a test case of RIAA vs. the Citizenship of the USA".

  100. NURREDIN

    IT GOES DEEPER THAN WHAT YOU SEE

    This is a direct (though not camouflaged very well) attack upon Apple and Itunes. If the RIAA wins, then it's illegal to copy a cd you purchased onto your Ipod. Which means you have to purchase the single or the cd online so you can put it on your Ipod. That means the RIAA regains the monopoly they held on production and distribution they've enjoyed for the last 80 or so years. It means we return to the days of being forced to buy entire mediocre cd's just to get the one or two songs we like on each cd.The RIAA went after internet radio because they played music that was not controlled by them, therefore diluting their market share.If all the music we hear is controlled by the RIAA, then they dictate what we see and hear, which is what is causing their demise in the first place. The RIAA want to be gatekeepers so they can control the airwaves, production and distribution. Until the Internet, there was no point in independent labels trying to compete because the RIAA controlled the airwaves and shelf space in the brick and mortar music stores.Now they can't control what we see and hear, thanks to sites like Youtube and Myspace.Any small label (or even an artist) with recording equipment and a small video budget can compete on the same level with the RIAA members, and that's what they're trying to stop. They didn't care if you made a copy for your car when they controlled production and distribution. Now, noone listens to the radio,MTV doesn't play videos, and we now see just how mediocre the A&R departments of the major labels are now that we can see and hear what they refuse to produce.They want to force us to listen to what they produce and only buy from them. There's a reason only 5% of major label releases turn a profit, it's because they don't know what the hell they're doing or what people want to listen to. The RIAA is dying, and I say good riddance to bad rubbish!

  101. Gwyn Kemp-Philp
    Stop

    Loss shift

    The reasoning behind the policy is loss shifting. You get your music stolen then you buy again. There's no profit in allowing you to avoid losing out, it would make them the victim of crime and not you.

    As I see it, you buy the physical CD but only purchase a licence to listen to the music on it.

    As no backups are allowed in the UK compared to the own-use backup law of the USA, and we pay twice as much, it would be arguable that they should supply two copies, or at least replace for one time, any defective or damaged disks free of charge.

    When I buy CD's or DVD's for my own use storing data or my own works, should I invoice the RCAA (or whoever) for a refund of the levy charged on the disks?

    Maybe we should start a trend of burying them in invoices and replacement disk claims...

    Everyone says that as consumers we have no power in deal making, that is forgetting that their very existence depends on the money that we give them. Maybe we should think about rationing that income to focus their minds a bit.

  102. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @ Gordon Ross

    There's one very simple explanation for Recording Industry Ass. of America not going after Sony, Apple, and all the other manufacturers of MP3 players... THEY have money to pay lawyers to take RIAA apart in court... Sony, Apple, et all could easily hire the litigation equivalent of O.J.'s legal dream team ten times over, and rip to shreds all of RIAA's supposed legal authority to do what they're doing.

    RIAA can't take a chance on that, so they will continue to go after 80 year old grandmothers and seven year old children.

    Me coat's the Mickey Mouse one on the left...

    Late Night Larry

  103. TheHempKnight
    Flame

    More RIAA nonsense

    Ahh how typical of the RIAA. When companies like Itunes were offering tracks at a small charge per download, and that was doing well, I thought maybe they'd finally seen SOME sense.

    As quoted above from their own website, you are allowed to copy music to another CD, or MP3 Player provided that you own the original.

    When will these idiots realise that maybe they'll SELL more and people will do less illegal downloading IF they offered these albums and singles at REASONABLE PRICES rather than overinflating prices and passing little to the artists.

    Hopefully Radiohead have started a trend where artists go label free and sell directly at reasonable prices cutting out the fatcats who do virtually FA.

  104. Derrick White

    Doesn't the USA have laws that protect copying for private use?

    From the Copyright Board of Canada (http://www.cb-cda.gc.ca/info/act-e.html#rid-33770)

    Copying for Private Use

    80. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of

    (a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording,

    (b) a performer's performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or

    (c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer's performance of a musical work, is embodied

    onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the musical work, the performer's performance or the sound recording.

  105. Smell My Finger

    What if you loose?

    It looks to me this is the natural conclusion to the RIAA's anti-piracy policy. For years the RIAA has been provoked by the bootleggers and file sharers who have constructed endless arguments to give legal and moral legitimacy to their activities. It has come to the point where everyone now looks like a criminal as the anti-piracy drive has compeletely lost its way.

    Sony and Apple are extremely unlikely to "take RIAA apart in court," not least that Sony BMG Music Group is a RIAA member and four of its executives are members of the RIAA Board. Also RIAA members can just as quickly cut off Apple's air supply as iTunes is almost entirely beholden to RIAA members.

    Surely its obvious on one hand the RIAA uses copyright law against consumer interests but on the other hand consumers have been taking the piss thinking they can pirate material with impunity. We need a better strategy to fight against private monopolies which are no better than racketeering but the problem of them goes way beyond just the record industry. Most of the complaints in this thread can be distilled down to self-interest without any thought that private monopolies are part of a much broader problem causing far greater harm than just sticking up the prices of CDs and suing music pirates.

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Why now ?

    "The Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) has began a legal spat with a man who copied CDs he had bought onto his computer."

    As everyone else here, I fail to understand how the only way to listen to an MP3 without stealing it off any torrent, for a good 10 years, becomes immediately a very serious offense.

    Surely, the RIA wouldn't have done that 3 years back, no ?

    Why now ? Ah, got it, the law is automatically aligned on the music content market ! And splitting CD-music and MP3-music is believed to bring more revenue. Mad.

    Would be nice, indeed to have more details on that matter ...

    PS: Anonymous for obvious reasons, as I've always been honest and never P2Ped any music. And I have 2 MP3 players.

  107. richard tanswell
    Thumb Down

    iTunes et al

    So if it is illegal, why does iTunes, WMP etc ask if you want to copy the songs to your computer when you try to play a CD through your CDROM drive?

    Surely Apple and Microsoft are just as guilty for offering this "illegal feature"??

    They should sort it out with the "Big Guns" and establish a law between them before ganging up on the helpless little guys!

    Of course if he is sharing these files then I have no sympathy for him! Maybe British Transport Police should be banging up all of the iPod users on the trains!

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    They still call it theft?

    Surely something should be done to stop these organizations mis-characterizing alleged Breach of Copyright instances as Theft?

    At least here in the UK, theft is lawfully recognized as "the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving that person of it" - by breaching copyright you are not in any way "...depriving that person of it"

    Even in the US they have a very similar definition as seen here: http://definitions.uslegal.com/t/theft/

  109. James Pickett
    Happy

    Brilliant...

    The RIAA claims that its big problem is lost CD sales, so what do they do? Start suing the people who are keeping the business afloat!

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Version size

    I see that the RIAA lawyers in their brief make a point of noting that google can save thousands of copies of images legally of the web because these copies are downsized and shrunk.

    Surely an MP3 is a downsized compressed copy of the orginal CD version, and thus people should be able to copy them according to the rules that they state apply to google.

  111. A J Stiles
    Happy

    @Robert E A Harvey

    "The situation in the UK is that so-called "fair use" private copying has always been in breach of some damn thing or other (http://legalit.itproportal.com/?p=14 refers) .

    The MCPS has never challenged, to my knowledge, media-shifting for private use, but I can see no reason why they should not."

    I can see a very good reason not to challenge it. Someone would have to be taken to court and prosecuted for criminal copyright violation. Out of a jury of twelve people, at least two of them -- and likely all twelve -- will have at least one home-taped cassette in their cars. That's a recipe for a legal precedent that private copying is OK. On the other hand, if the court somehow managed to rule that private copying was *not* OK, the likely consequences would make the Poll Tax rebellion look like a sunday-school picnic, and private copying would eventually have to be legalised by emergency legislation.

  112. Steve Wedge
    Flame

    Keep it up...

    ...you greedy sods. You're digging your own graves.

  113. Jay Dee
    Unhappy

    RISE up and fight

    The latest crap from the RIAA has got to be the bottom of the barrell scrapings as I see it. If we let them it will be impossible to make video movies with our own purchased music since we will have burned it to our computer first.

    I for one am suggesting world wide revolution and starting the K.R.I.A.A Association. (Kick the Recording Industry of America’s ASS.) Association.

    If we all throw in $20.00 we can probably get a lawyer not afraid to do battle with these miscreants. Who's with me?

  114. Andy

    Ooops I did it again

    Darn it, I appear to have copied the music from digital CD format to analog audio and then from that to neural net storage. Unable to stop my lawbreaking tendencies I then then played it back again in public (admittedly in a much degraded form) by humming it in the shower. Oh and bugger me if my girlfriend didn't overhear it and do the same.

    Do I have to pay royalties if I just remember it or only for humming it out load?

  115. Ole Juul

    Re: Ooops I did it again

    That's the point that many people seem to miss. It is not legal to let other people hear your copyrighted recordings, and it also not legal to perform these same works in public such as humming them while walking down the street. As to whether it is legal to just remember the music is perhaps a grey area. You can get away with humming a song to yourself but that is only because of the underdeveloped level of surveillance. That may change. It is only because of the gracious attitude of the RIAA that we are able to get away with those things now.

    The fact is that most people hide their illegal behavior and put on a different face in public. Those who preach otherwise had better not ever have played a copyrighted CD in the presence of others, ie. non-rights holders.

    Personally I think copyright law is a pile of sh*t. People who follow rules like that are the same ones who, as pedestrians, wait for a red light when there is no traffic in sight. Get a grip.

  116. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I sue?

    I bought the CD single "The Beat(en) Generation" by The The many years ago.. and the aluminimum coating soon started to errode, eventually eating into the data.

    I actually contacted the record company asking if they could replace it, but just told me they couldn't (they didn't have a copy of it themselves) and that it was just one of those things.

    Since it would be illegal for me to copy the CD or MP3 it, and they couldn't/wouldn't replace it despite being faulty, should I sue my local independent retailer for selling goods unfit for their intended purpose?

    I'd like my £1.99 back and compensation for the years of heartache inflicted on me by not being able to listen to that song.

  117. Tim

    Re: Cd is an inconvenient format

    Whilst inconvenient for playing, I continue to buy CDs as the quality when ripped properly (e.g. with EAC) to a lossless format like FLAC is vastly superior to almost all downloads on offer (legit or otherwise).

    My media server is a big collection of FLAC versions of these CDs which are played direct by my Squeezebox (which plays FLACs), and I convert as necessary to high quality MP3s for use on my MP3 player.

    Wouldn't touch a 'pay' download with a bargepole unless they are DRM free and guaranteed at least CD quality.

    I don't even bother with pirate downloads because almost always the quality of the encoding is so rubbish it just makes me go out and buy the CD.

    Sadly the majority of people don't give a crap about quality, hence music quality has gone downhill over the years (Vinyl better than CD, CD better than downloads, etc).

  118. DaAngel
    Heart

    Another few points

    I had been reading the brief that the RIAA lawyers presented, and some of the points seem good. However the one about google shrinking stuff and then presenting it did not. In fact the whole think stinks, if search engines can do this, surely there is someway for P2P to try the same loophole.

    Also. If I read it right, the RIAA are saying that because the copyright holder hold the copyright they have the ability to say who and who cannot distribute copies. That to deny them that right, even if a transaction takes place or not, denys them

    publishers rights or copyright rights. That sounds grand. Especially if it is looked at large scale as in the court enviroment that they are engaged in.

    It seems to lose appeal to me though, when I consider the argument of my teenage daughter. Can I borrow your CD dad?

    No you can't, its illegal and the RIAA is suing people in court for distributing their material without a pre authorization. I would take away their copyright rights and be fined per song up to $150000. Surely this cannot be right even in the tight fisted definations of any lawyer.

    There are a lot of points like this they make in their brief. Taken on a big grand scale they seem to make some sense. If you look closely at it and try not to be to legal about it most of it does not make sense in the small scale in which people live their normal lives. Surely I can lend my daughter my CD. Yes she does live with me.

    So while they state that they have the right to decide who can sell or offer their copyright material, I state that If buy a CD, I am buying a CD with music on it( not a blank CD) for my personal benfit, and that they when they sell it they should be smart enough know this. If it is to my personal benift to give it as a gift to someone, so be it. It it is to lend it, so be it. If it is to trade or sell it, so be it. If I want to make a copy so I can stick it on my MP3 player so be it. I bought it for my personal benfit, then thats what Im going to do with it.

  119. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    riaa

    are full of sh!t

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