The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim


Record Industry Goes After Personal Use“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.” Which would make Apple and iTunes massive co-conspirators for asking me if I want to import the contents of a music CD every time I insert one. But I note the RIAA hasn’t sued them, just us little guys.

Peanut Gallery

1  Johan Svensson wrote:

From the article: “Of course, that’s exactly what millions of people do every day. In a Los Angeles Times poll, 69 percent of teenagers surveyed said they thought it was legal to copy a CD they own and give it to a friend.”

Actually, that’s fully legal here in Sweden under fair use laws. I can burn copies of all CDs and movies I have and give them to friends, as long as it’s kept within my “private sphere” or whatever the law calls it.

The world really needs a big public case like this where the RIAA gets a good spanking. Trying to push through law changes to keep their failing business method on life support will just cost resources for the entire society.

2  Reid wrote:

A good spanking, indeed. It could even be self-administered.

I thought I remembered that the RIAA had negotiated during the “Cassette Crisis” of the early 1980’s (you know, when cassettes were going to kill the industry, 25-30 years ago) that purchasers had the right to make an electronic copy (meaning, at that time, a cassette copy of the vinyl record you had bought). Apparently, they’d like to forget that.

I found an old article that references the RIAA’s language on this. These are their words:

First, for your personal use, you can make analog copies of music. For instance, you can make analog cassette tape recordings of music from another analog cassette, or from a CD, or from the radio, or basically from any source. Essentially, all copying onto analog media is generally allowed.

Second, again for your personal use, you can make some digital copies of music, depending on the type of digital recorder used. For example, digitally copying music is generally allowed with minidisc recorders, DAT recorders, digital cassette tape recorders, and some (but not all) compact disc recorders (or CD-R recorders). As a general rule for CD-Rs, if the CD-R recorder is a stand-alone machine designed to copy primarily audio, rather than data or video, then the copying is allowed. If the CD-R recorder is a computer component, or a computer peripheral device designed to be a multipurpose recorder (in other words, if it will record data and video, as well as audio), then copying is not allowed.

The footnote in this old article points to the page at the RIAA web site as a reference. That page has, of course, since been removed.

But I hope someone dredges it up, so they can use their own words against them in court.

Comment by Reid · 12/29/2007 06:00 PM
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