And the Recording Industry Wonders Why Everyone Hates Their Guts

Defend Your Rights

Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use – “Sony BMG’s chief of litigation, Jennifer Pariser, testified that ‘when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.’ Copying a song you bought is ‘a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy,’ ‘ she said.”

To me it is utterly absurd that the recording industry would equate ripping a CD that you buy with stealing.

I hope that the greed of the music industry continues to chip away at their entire business model until it collapses beneath their feet.

Personally I don’t buy any digital music with DRM. I purchase CDs and then rip them into crystal clear DRM free mp3s. This way I can put them on my iPhone, on my wife’s iPhone, listen to them on my Media Center PC or my XBox Extenders, or anywhere else I’d like.

And yes, every so often I’ll even send one of these mp3s to a friend. Which I feel I’m perfectly within my fair use rights to do.

It’s sad to see an industry go to war with consumers — but the lobbyists lobbying for horrible sanctions for mp3s seem to have more clout and power in Washington than the millions of people who each year convert CDs into digital music.

Personally I’d like to see someone like Steve Jobs step up and use his clout to push an agenda in Washington that made it legal for you to rip CDs for personal use.

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  1. barrettmanor says:

    I’m in agreement: It’s going to take someone with more clout than you (or certainly I) have to bring this situation to the attention of our lawmakers.

    I’m not a lawyer (I don’t play one on TV, but Alan Shore can come have a drink on my patio anytime), but it appears to me that the rapid growth of technology has far outpaced the ability of the law to keep up with it. As a result, the RIAA and record labels are trying to enforce their set of rules in absence of clear legislation.

    (But honestly, when we’re sucking dollars away in the Middle East, can’t pay for children’s health care, taxing the bejeebus out of the middle class, etc., how is this going to kickstart Congress into action?)

  2. Getting busted downloading will screw your life up far, far more than stealing a car or intentionally injuring your child.

    Sure, downloading is theft, but I see zero justification for considering it so much more heinous than traditional physical theft. If $896 plus a day in custody and a 4th waiver is punishment enough for a car thief it’s punishment enough for a downloader.

  3. Aeioux says:

    Where would you stand if you substituted “CD” for “photograph” in this situation?

    If a client of yours was licensed for a specific use, say to use the image you shot for them in a print advert, and then you saw it online without a license what would you do?

    Couldn’t they just claim they were using that photograph in any way they pleased too?

  4. ChiliMac says:

    The other day a friend gave me a song by Reverend Horton Heat. After listening and loving it I went out and bought $25 worth of their music.

    When I was a kid a friend would make a mixed tape. If I liked the music I became a fan and started buying their music. This was how I found Hendrix, Zeplin and Van Hallen.

    When my parents were kids they listened to the radio and lent records to one another.

    The music industry has forgotten that this is how the recording industry has grown over the years. They are trying to hold on so tight they are choking out the whole industry.

  5. PXLated says:

    Aeioux…You’re mixing up commercial/public vs private use.

  6. dssstrkl says:

    Well, if ripping my CDs is now stealing, I guess I might as well go all out and just do all of my music shopping at The Pirate Bay. It seems to be the safest way, since all of the RIAA lawsuits are against people using Kazaa, and since I tend to pay for CDs with my debit card, I can be tracked that way, so Bit Torrent it is!

  7. Louis says:

    There is an interesting discussion going on on my blog about a possible solution to this problem. I would appreciate your thoughts. The relevant post is at:

  8. JeffH says:

    Thomas, I agree that the record companies have gone WAY over the line on this issue! I can understand them trying to protect their copyrights, but ripping a CD for personal use is clearly fair use and in no way infringes on anyone’s copyright. This is no different than when we were kids and bought LPs and recorded them on cassettes to listen to in the car or on our portable tape players. I do not recall the music industry making as much of a federal case out of that activity, which was sanctioned by the courts as fair use.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If ripping CDs is illegal then we should expect that Microsoft and Apple (among others) to be named as co-defendants. They provide the software that allows us to rip CDs. Seems like it will be hard to prosecute someone for using a standard feature in off-the-shelf software from the world’s largest software company.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well, I just don’t like their attitude, so I’m never going to buy anything from them or associated companies ever again. Sony is the biggest offender in my eyes, with DRM and rootkit copyright protection schemes and a bunch of crippled video players and recorders, I see no reason to subject myself to their schemes for wringing more money out of consumers.

  11. Good news… According to David Byrne the future is looking up, and it doesn’t require the mega-labels to be running the show like they have for the past century! Byrne wrote an article for Wired here. Byrne really, really gets it.

  12. Allen says:

    I’m a bit late to the party on this one due to the holidays but just to update you on one critical point, ripping your own CDs for personal use (to use on your iPod or computer as MP3 or whatever format) is perfectly legal. The person in this case was in trouble because he ripped his CD’s and placed them in his folder to be shared out on Kazaa, that’s the issue, not the ripping of the CDs. But the RIAA is so nasty, that everyone thought they would come after someone for ripping their own CDs, their days are numbered hopefully