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Amazon AutoRip — 14 Years Late

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the and-5113-dollars-short dept.

Music 215

An anonymous reader writes "Amazon just debuted a new service called Autorip, which grants you MP3 copies of music when you purchase the CD version. This is a technology people have been trying to introduce since 1999, but only recently have the record labels — and the courts — seen fit to allow it. 'Robertson's first company, MP3.com was one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley when it launched what we would now call a cloud music service, My.MP3.com, in 1999. The service included a feature called "Beam-It" that allowed users to instantly stock their online lockers with music from their personal CD collections. ... Licensed services like iTunes were still years in the future, largely because labels were skittish about selling music online. But Robertson believed he didn't need a license because the service was permitted by copyright's fair use doctrine. If a user can rip his legally purchased CD to his computer, why can't he also store a copy of it online? ... the labels simply weren't interested in Robertson's vision of convenient and flexible music lockers. So MP3.com was driven into bankruptcy, and the "buy a CD, get an MP3" concept fell by the wayside.'"

cancel ×

215 comments

The biggest flaw (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570113)

Is that I now have mp3s for CDs I gave as gifts. Unfortunately, my friends and relatives seem to have different music taste than I do, so now I have the Chicago soundtrack and Hannah Montana mp3s.

Re:The biggest flaw (1)

Jethro (14165) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570273)

I came here to make this exact comment. Well, not so much Hannah Montana, but there's a bunch of embarrassing stuff up there...

Re:The biggest flaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570277)

I now have MP3s of the Wiggles collections.

Re:The biggest flaw (4, Interesting)

SQLGuru (980662) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570679)

On the plus side, you can buy CDs as presents and get the MP3 to keep for yourself.......so Amazon might still have a slight problem to fix.

Re:The biggest flaw (4, Informative)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570921)

if you mark the order as a gift, i.e. buy off a wishlist, it won't be added to your library

Re:The biggest flaw (4, Insightful)

SQLGuru (980662) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571397)

Who said you had to check the box to give it as a gift. ;)

Nice, but that raises a new question. (5, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570115)

Why can't we get copies of our ebooks when we buy the dead-tree version?

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (5, Insightful)

Marcion (876801) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570201)

Why can't we get copies of our ebooks when we buy the dead-tree version?

Because you they want you to buy it twice. (Unless your smart like Cory Doctorow who lets you have the ebook free to try before you buy the paper one).

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (1, Redundant)

Marcion (876801) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570215)

Because they want you to buy it twice. [I should try the preview button :)

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (1, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570389)

Why can't we get copies of our ebooks when we buy the dead-tree version?

Because they want you to buy it twice.

How do you buy 'it' twice when the 'it' is two different things, unless you're talking about the text itself and not the form, formatting, etc.?

If you buy the dead-tree version, you're buying the physical copy that you can feel the weight of, page through, put a physical bookmark into, read anywhere - not just in strong sunlight but even where you have no facility to charge your e-reader at all resell just fine if you treat it nice and - if you're one of the people with a book-peen - put it in your conspicuously displayed library for your guests to admire and use for brief talking points and the odd 'take it, I loved it!' suggestion.

If you buy the ebook version you're buying the one that doesn't take up that physical space, that you won't damage and put folds in, that you can take with you - along with hundreds of other books - on an e-reader, a tablet or even your smartphone - and thus read pretty much everywhere you want and transfer between devices (provided not locked to a device or platform) as you please.

Both have their pros and cons, and that is what you pay for - just as you pay for the 1080p picture with surround sound on a disc that seeks in no time or a stream you can access from practically anywhere despite the fact that once upon a time, a long, long time ago, you bought the same content on VHS.

Is it rather nice to get both at the same time? Yes. Do I think that it would be reasonable - to say the least - that you could get the alternative content for a small extra if you already own one version rather than full price? Heck yeah. But that doesn't mean that I think it's unreasonable for them to want to charge you twice for the same content delivered in two distinctly different ways. You can always DIY; just as Amazon's option is a case of convenience - considering you can always just rip the CD yourself, you're welcome to OCR the book yourself and put it on your digital reader of choice. Or you can pay for the convenience / alternative presentation. ... or go the route of 'piracy', then you can have all that without the hassle of paying for it. Piracy is driving the industry's changes of mind very well.. at this pace, we should get the pipedream realized come 2020.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (3, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570699)

Er..no, it's the same thing. It was written once, and typeset, edited etc. The it was a) printed in book form, and b) rendered into a pdf (or whatever). Exactly the same content. And my kindle can be read in exactly the same places a book can be, sunlight or otherwise. And when I read the same thing on my Android phone, I don't need any form of light as it's backlit. And if it were convenient/practical to print a pdf, or scan a book into a pdf I'd do that and not give a fuck about the law of it (I'm in the UK, where ripping CDs to MP3s is illegal, and I've done that for every single CD I've ever bought, and I don't give a fuck about the law there either).

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (0)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570915)

You'd think so, but some of the e-books I've bought were *terrible* in terms of typesetting, almost like they OCRed the print copy to make the ebook. Anathem being one of them.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570977)

"How do you buy 'it' twice when the 'it' is two different things,"

That is so, so wrong.

My wife never bought a video cassette because she wanted a video cassette. I never bought a music casette because I wanted a cassette. Never bought a floppy drive just because I wanted a floppy drive laying around. Ditto with CD's, DVD's, ebooks, real tree books, or whatever.

It's the CONTENT you're paying for.

I want to watch the movie, or read the book. That's why I pay real money for it. The book is the same whether it appears on screen, or I have to hold the book open. The movie is the same whether it's on DVD, or video cassette. And, I only expect to pay for it ONCE to be entitled to use it as I see fit.

Even if the content is edited so that it is more usable and/or appealing in a new format, it's still the same stuff.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (3, Interesting)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571625)

"How do you buy 'it' twice when the 'it' is two different things, unless you're talking about the text itself and not the form, formatting, etc.?"

You might better address that question to the Supreme Court, since they are the ones that ruled that it is NOT two different things, and that there is such a thing as fair use.

Maybe you can convince them to change their minds, um... because.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42571555)

Why can't we get copies of our ebooks when we buy the dead-tree version?

Because you they want you to buy it twice. (Unless your smart like Cory Doctorow who lets you have the ebook free to try before you buy the paper one).

His books would be cheap for twice that price.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570237)

They're out to pillage your pocketbook that's why. How else can they justify selling an ebook at the same price as a paperback.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (4, Interesting)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571649)

Exactly.

In an interview in the mid 1980s, an RIAA exec admitted that they were trying to get away from "selling" music and wanted to go to a "pay-per-listen" model. Mot even pay per format - they want pay per listen.

This was in the same article that he justified continued high prices for CDs, which were twice that of LPs (they were later found guilty of price-fixing) DESPITE the fact that CDs cost far LESS than LPs to produce.

His justification for colluding to fix prices to make a CHEAPER product to produce more EXPENSIVE to purchase was that it was a better value due to sound quality.

So apparently a massive increase in profit margin due to illegal activities = "a better value."

In short, the content cartels are scum.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (4, Interesting)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570287)

Why can't we get copies of our ebooks when we buy the dead-tree version?

Well, you [technically] can.... the question should be why can't we legally get a copy of the e-book, when we pay full price for a dead tree book.

Also, why are e-books still so expensive? The amount saved by avoiding regular distribution channels should knock more than 10% off the actual book cost ...

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570779)

i'd say closer to 90%, what with the inability to resell, giveaway, trade with others [for whatever timeframe/conditions you decide], etc.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (3, Insightful)

CNeb96 (60366) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570325)

Why can't we get copies of our ebooks when we buy the dead-tree version?

I bought a book on machine learning from Manning - they do the popular "In Action" computer series http://www.manning.com/catalog/by/subject/ [manning.com] and they do give you a free non-drmed ebook (includes PDF, ePub, and Kindle) with every physical copy of the book you buy. http://www.manning.com/about/ebooks.html [manning.com] "If you did not buy the pBook from manning.com, you can still get the free eBook in all available formats by setting up a Manning account, and registering your copy."

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (2)

mrstrano (1381875) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570345)

I don't think it's a fair apples to apples comparison. Making an ebook requires additional effort. There no automatic "ripping" for books, and they require specific formatting and typesetting. Similarly, a remastered version of a movie at a different resolution is technically the "same movie", but you wouldn't claim a right to the higher definition work because you probably realize that additional work went into the creation of that content.

On the other hand, if you could scan and convert your books automatically, you would probably have a right to keep that copy. This is my opinion as an armchair lawyer.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570427)

I don't think it's a fair apples to apples comparison. Making an ebook requires additional effort.

Only for books that don't already have an electronic version available.

Simlarly, some CD purchases from Amazon don't give you the free MP3s in your cloud drive. Sometimes it's a licensing issue, but sometimes the MP3 doesn't exist for sale at all (even though the CD does), and Amazon isn't allowed to just grab a CD and rip it for you.

Or, for some of my CD purchases, not every track from the CD was available as an MP3, even though most were.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570449)

He didn't say they should be free, just that they shouldn't cost as much. You argue why they should cost something but still don't explain why an ebook costs as much. And any modern book is likely to be electronic in its native format.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570459)

When a new book is made it is first typed. Text version of it already exists before it goes to print in some digital format. Converting that text format to e-book is pretty trivial, software for many formats already exists. So the additional effort involved is tiny in comparison to having a factory spit out thousands/millions of paper copies. This of course may not always apply in cases where book was made before computers were available to writers, but then you would think copyright costs would be much lower if not already free.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570361)

"Why can't we get copies of our ebooks when we buy the dead-tree version?"

You can, if you buy from Pragmatic Programmers. It costs a little extra for both versions... but it also takes more work to produce both versions, so it's hard to bitch.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (1)

xigxag (167441) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570365)

Google is attempting to do something like that now with magazines [google.com] . If successful (in the sense that it encourages more people to subscribe), I'd imagine books would be next.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570443)

I would subscribe to magazine more if the E version was not attached to a crashy nasty app AND were less than or even the SAME AS a print subscription.

Cycle World, is about $9.00 a year for a mailed to me subscription, It's $11.99 on the ipad. yeah. BITE ME Cycle World, I'll just torrent the issues from Pirate bay.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570395)

You can when you stop calling it "dead-tree", you stupid hipster fucking retard. Just call it paper. Fuck, I hate you.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570609)

+1

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570813)

Yeah, no shit. What would these people think when they hear my idea of having all my books printed on animal skins.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570423)

You're free to scan your own dead-tree books for your own personal use.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (0)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570425)

Because book publishers are far more interested in raping your wallet right now.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (2)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570431)

Why can't we get copies of our ebooks when we buy the dead-tree version?

You would be lucky if you can buy an eBook for less than a dead-tree version.
If a higher (or even comparable) eBook price does not demonstrate boundless greed, then I don't know what does.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (3, Informative)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570839)

Actually it demonstrates the flaws (from the publisher's perspective) of the traditional bookselling business model. Books (dead-tree format) are sold on consignment. They are shipped to retailers, without payment, and money comes in as retailers sell them. Unsold copies get shipped back and destroyed (which costs money). Because returns are a cost it is sometimes cheaper to discount the book just to get rid of it (even at a slight loss) without having to return it. Ebooks don't have this flaw, so there is no reason to discount them.

Not that you should be sympathetic (I'm not), but it's a little more complicated than boundless greed.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (2)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570937)

ebooks are also subject to tax in some jurisdictions, where paper books are not, the UK being one.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (1)

lahvak (69490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571261)

Ebooks don't have this flaw, so there is no reason to discount them

There is a very good reason to discount ebooks: there is very little cost involved in selling additional copies. Lets say I print 1000 copies of a book and sell them $20 a piece, I have $20,000 revenue. To sell more than that, I have to print and ship more, which will significantly increase my cost, so I only do it if I have a good reason to believe they will still sell for a good price.

With ebooks, let's say I publish an ebook, sell it for $20 a piece, and sell 1000 of them during the first two weeks. Then, during the next two months, I sell 5. That means nobody is willing to pay $20 for my book anymore. But there could be another 1000 people willing to pay $10, giving me additional $10000 revenue, with only a little increase in cost. Then I can sell another 2000 of them for $5 a piece, and finally I let people name their own price and sell 1,000,000 for $1 each on average.

Re: Nice, but that raises a new question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42571299)

And look at that
40,000 in revenue while it was high
A MILLION in revenue when it was a dollar

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571345)

With ebooks, let's say I publish an ebook, sell it for $20 a piece, and sell 1000 of them during the first two weeks. Then, during the next two months, I sell 5. That means nobody is willing to pay $20 for my book anymore. But there could be another 1000 people willing to pay $10, giving me additional $10000 revenue, with only a little increase in cost. Then I can sell another 2000 of them for $5 a piece, and finally I let people name their own price and sell 1,000,000 for $1 each on average.

The problem with your scenario is a marketing/awareness one. Do sales drop off after two weeks because no one wants to pay $20, or because none of the people who want to know about it? If none of the people who want to know about it, are you really going to get those bumps in sales figures for each price drop?

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42571553)

Not necessarily, but when you drop prices to $1, a lot more people might be willing to give it a try. This is particularly effective for an author with a back catalog - make the first book in a series free or nearly free after the third book comes out and you'll make up any lost revenue via future books.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (1)

torkus (1133985) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571011)

Some publishers and authors do allow it (see David Weber and Baen)

However for the most part it's because the publishing industry is several years behind even the travesty of the Music and Movie industries. Despite the extremely public, heated battles fought and effectively lost by both the publishing industry seems bent on repeating the same mistakes step by step. The only thing working in their favor is people 'consume' far fewer books than songs. Most people won't download a few dozen books a month like they would songs (or albums) so there is less demand for napster and kazaa for ebooks.

What I find ironic is the number of people who now consider reading socially acceptable on a kindle but would never *ever* pick up a book.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42571263)

Maybe Amazon doesn't give you an e-book copy when you buy a physical copy of the book, but some other marketplaces do. It's nice as it allows me to start reading the book before my physical copy arrives in the mail.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42571521)

A few authors do this, and I think they are going to push the publishers to start on it, at least with hardcovers.

Brandon Sanderson has done this with his two latest works, all you had to do was email him a copy of the receipt or a picture of you with the book, and he'd email you the e-book.

Re:Nice, but that raises a new question. (1)

kestasjk (933987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571535)

I find that you usually do get the ebook, at least with the majority of technical books I buy.

That is soooo sweet of them. (0, Troll)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570157)

They actually deem us significant enough to allow us the privilege of having a copy of something we purchased. I feel so... so... special.

For the morons that don't know snark when they see it. /SNARK!!!!

Re: That is soooo sweet of them. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570285)

Shut up, bitch tits.

I didn't want the CD anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570169)

People could always make their own high quality MP3s. Plus, I never wanted the CD to begin with. I had one of the very first car radios with a USB port. CDs are big, bulky, and easily damaged. Why are we still using them?

Re:I didn't want the CD anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570327)

Why are we still listening to music? You can just read a review to know if the song is any good or not.

Re:I didn't want the CD anyway (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570455)

"CDs are big, bulky, and easily damaged. Why are we still using them?"

Because its the only way to get full quality DRM free music.

Re:I didn't want the CD anyway (2)

GrahamCox (741991) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570539)

full quality

For some definition of "quality" that by and large does not correlate with mine. Loudness wars and all that.

I won't be happy until I can get the full 24 track raw unmixed tracks at 96kHz and mix it myself....

Re:I didn't want the CD anyway (3, Informative)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570847)

Alright, but every other format has the same problem. CDs are still higher quality than compressed files of the same track.

Re:I didn't want the CD anyway (1)

jc42 (318812) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570849)

I won't be happy until I can get the full 24 track raw unmixed tracks at 96kHz and mix it myself....

You can buy that after you've already paid for all the lower-quality versions that they sell.

It's clear from the current discussion and the recording industry's history that this isn't actually a joke ...

Re:I didn't want the CD anyway (4, Insightful)

Scarletdown (886459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570891)

"CDs are big, bulky, and easily damaged. Why are we still using them?"

Because its the only way to get full quality DRM free music.

And if you get tired of a CD, you are free to resell it, give it to a friend, trade it to someone for something else, donate it to a thrift store, etc.

Re:I didn't want the CD anyway (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570659)

Because they're cheap and cheerful, and the record companies need something to stock HMV with.

I used to use that. (2)

forgottenusername (1495209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570171)

I still tell people it was the only "digital music service" that I really ever liked. I like to buy CDs so I can transcode them into sensible bitrates for portable devices, but have a full on flac when listening at home. It was really convenient to grab a CD, toss it in the player, then have all my mp3s available instantly without waiting to transcode.

Really a shame that service got buried by the dinosaur music industry. They're slowly learning the lesson; you either adapt to the times and technologies, or you become obsolete and the only role you have is in preventing progress trying to hold on to your fiefdom. Which can't last forever.

Re:I used to use that. (4, Funny)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570297)

Really a shame that service got buried by the dinosaur music industry....

Now I'm going to start worrying about the raptors of the music industry ... thanks a lot.

Re:I used to use that. (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570855)

I sense a new business opportunity: Raptor Rap.

Wishful thinking (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570377)

If you look at the fact, the lesson learnt is the opposite : they were actually very able to bury a service they didn't see fit, at will, for 14 years, and they can still do so for the foreseeable future.
You may wish that their fiefdom doesn't last forever, but for now, the hard fact is : it holds.

ugh, mp3-only (1, Insightful)

loshwomp (468955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570181)

Can anyone who has used it confirm if amazon's service really mp3-only? (Sources seems to imply that it is.)

I don't want shitty mp3s--just give me lossless files (you know, like what I could get from the CD and let me shift them to the format of my choosing.

Re:ugh, mp3-only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570251)

you know, like what I could get from the CD

You mean FLAC [wikipedia.org] .

Re:ugh, mp3-only (3, Informative)

jsdcnet (724314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570399)

it's 256k mp3 (like all amazon purchased mp3 music). since you have the actual cd you can make a lossless copy. most people will be fine with 256k.

Re:ugh, mp3-only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42571175)

it's 256k mp3 (like all amazon purchased mp3 music). since you have the actual cd you can make a lossless copy.

most people will be fine with 256k.

I wish scale-to-lossless was more supported / popular:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4_SLS

You can ship a "base" AAC file of a certain quality, and those that want more can request / buy more.

It would also allow stripping"the 'excess' information for portable music players without a full re-encoding: so you can have a lossless file at home for future proofing and your good speakers, but "only" (say) 128 kbps on your mobile device so that it's not using as much space (and since you probably won't notice higher fidelity on shitty earbuds walking in a noisy environment).

Re:ugh, mp3-only (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571215)

Er, most Amazon music is MP3 V0 (90%+). But agree with your point, pretty much everyone is fine with a V0. There are only a handful of people that can differentiate V0 from a lossless.

Re:ugh, mp3-only (0)

loshwomp (468955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571575)

most people will be fine with 256k

I'm not impressed with "most people". 256k is a waste of bandwidth while still being a far cry from lossless. I can pack 60-70% more Vorbis tracks on my player, and the codec is entirely transparent on the portable player at those rates.

Re:ugh, mp3-only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570461)

This is for the Amazon Music Cloud service, which is basically designed as a streaming service for mobile devices. I don't mind their auto-rip being MP3 (though would prefer vorbis of course), but instead wish I could download flac versions. I stopped buying digital music for this reason, and am now one of the few still buying CD's just so I can make a decent backup.

Re:ugh, mp3-only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570837)

murfie.com

Remind me again, what's a CD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570191)

I think I remember those. Okay, now why would I want one in 2013?

Jeff Bezo's ideas about IP and copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570195)

Apparently Amazon will zealously enforce its own IP; other copyright holders' IP, not so much.

COPYRIGHT

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Was there ever a successful arrest/prosecution (2)

retroworks (652802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570203)

... of anyone who "ripped" an MP3 of a CD they already owned? When Napster first came out, I downloaded songs I had physical possession of media of, and kind of wondered if they could. The problem of course was the sheer temptation (all those other titles you DON'T own coming up in search)... but if someone only possessed MP3s they had physical media of, I wonder how they could be found guilty of stealing them.

Re:Was there ever a successful arrest/prosecution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570275)

Well, it probably depends. If you had the mp3 and let it be re-shared, then you probably could get into trouble regardless of the fact that you own the CD.

Based on the lawsuits which the RIAA seems to have brought, it seems like they typically went after those who shared mp3s with others. In all of the injustices they've wrought, I can't remember them even trying to prosecute someone for possession of an mp3.

Re:Was there ever a successful arrest/prosecution (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570355)

For as long as i can remember iTunes has, by default, offered to rip any CD you insert into your computer. I'm sure the industry rattled their sabers and I'm just not remembering it; but I'm pretty sure that feature was never removed even briefly.

I realize other software also did CD ripping, but if the MPAA had truly believed they had the law on their side... Apple would've been an obvious target. It makes me wonder how Real might've fared had they'd held their ground on their personal DVD ripping software.

RIAA not MPAA (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570375)

Sorry, acronym confusion.

Re:Was there ever a successful arrest/prosecution (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571103)

For as long as i can remember iTunes has, by default, offered to rip any CD you insert into your computer. I'm sure the industry rattled their sabers and I'm just not remembering it; but I'm pretty sure that feature was never removed even briefly.

For all I know, in the UK ripping a CD to your computer is not legal. But there will be no prosecution, ever, for various reason. One, no evidence. Two, the police officer arresting you, the prosecutor, the judge, your lawyer, they all do exactly the same thing. Third, the record industry knows that iTunes allows this (and I assume Windows and Linux software as well), so if they didn't want it to happen, did they ever tell Apple or Microsoft or Redhat to prevent it?

Re:Was there ever a successful arrest/prosecution (2)

russotto (537200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570759)

... of anyone who "ripped" an MP3 of a CD they already owned?

In the US? Seems unlikely, since the Diamond Rio case explicitly found that to be fair use.

what about resales? (5, Interesting)

loshwomp (468955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570235)

Auto-rip raises an interesting question about resales. It appears that Amazon is granting downloads for CD purchases (even retroactively, for CDs purchased years ago). If I've since sold the physical CD, Amazon would not know that. Furthermore, I could deliberately game the system by buying CDs and immediately reselling them.

I know, it's a stupid edge case, and I could already do this by ripping my own CDs today and subsequently selling them, but it's exactly the type of "problem" that keeps the recording industry up at night.

Re:what about resales? (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570631)

Good question, considering most of the music they added to my cloud account because of this was stuff I had bought as gifts but not marked as gifts when ordering.

I imagine it's a similar licensing scheme to that of their $25/year match service.

Re:what about resales? (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571009)

I think it is a this is a stement that a track of music is worth almost nothing, and so value must be added to encourage people to actually buy music. This value is that you will always have your music.

People always put for the fiction that we used to own the music. I did not own the music? if the album wore out, if the tape broke, if the CD was stolen, I was not able to get that music back for free. At best I could buy a used copy of listen to copy with generational defects. This allowed the music people to resell tracks. Not any more.

Now there is no reason to buy music at all given that services like pandora will just stream it. So for the first time you actually can own music, meaning that the track is your. Does selling your CD mean you don't have possession of the track? Of course not. As soon as Apple put auto rip in iTunes, and sold a iPod that could hold all the music, can you imagine that many did not buy a CD, rip it, and resell it. This service, with apple essentially started an equivalent of a year ago, is simply acknowledging that status quo. If you want anything other than low royalty payments for Pandora, you have to give something extra to consumers.

Re:what about resales? (2)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571445)

Ah, but with Amazon's service you can get the mp3's legally without having to use the disc. So you can sell the CD as "new/sealed" for a higher price.

Re:what about resales? (1)

loshwomp (468955) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571543)

Ah, but with Amazon's service you can get the mp3's legally without having to use the disc. So you can sell the CD as "new/sealed" for a higher price.

Good one; hadn't thought of that. All the more emphasis, then, on whether those mp3s are actually legal or not.

Finally! (2)

s1d3track3D (1504503) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570241)

This is great and long overdue!
Please, can't some tech giant just buy the RIAA and come up with a better model?

Marketing genius! (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570337)

Hmmm... the horse has left the barn. I know: enjoy our new "free range horse" offering... because Amazon cares about what you want.

Why would I want a CD if I have a MP3? (3, Funny)

onebeaumond (1230624) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570417)

I don't see the value of a free CD with a MP3 purchase, oh wait...

Watermarked mp3s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570419)

Be advised, these are watermarked mp3s with terms explicitly disallowing tampering.

Helpful. (2)

Altanar (56809) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570533)

I don't know if many people on Slashdot have noticed, but this is *not* an untimely change. Why? The price of many new CD releases is now lower than the price of an MP3 album. When Taylor Swift's "Red" album came out, the CD cost $9. The MP3 album cost $15. This is not an isolated incident.

Re:Helpful. (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570953)

IME, you can buy used CDs from Amazon for about $4. Rip it and it sounds the same as a bought mp3 album.

Amazon: welcome to the 1990's; 128 sucks (0, Troll)

markdavis (642305) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570541)

I tried to use Amazon recently to obtain an mp3, they only offered it in 128kb/s. It used to be that one could purchase mp3 files from Amazon and download the songs or album through the browser in high-quality. However, this appears to have changed. Now it will shove the music into what Amazon calls their "Amazon Cloud Player" and the user has two options for downloading. One option requires a proprietary MS-Windows/MacOS-only program, which of course is not an option for Linux/Unix users. The other is to use a browser-based player-downloader for any OS...

When downloaded through the browser, it gives no options at all about quality and will offer only a lower 128kbps version. I chatted with their support for 20 minutes and they seem to indicate that is how it works. This limitation is not even documented anywhere in their help system.

So you think it is better with the "downloader"? Nope. Same thing- there, no quality choices at all. So all you are allowed to download is 128kb/s from ANYWHERE on Amazon that I can find, regardless of method. I can't believe they are getting away with this. I know most consumers are clueless, but this is just wild.

I sent them feedback that some people will *NEVER* purchase music from Amazon with this glaring limitation in place. I am one of them. I generally like Amazon so I hope they will change.

Re:Amazon: welcome to the 1990's; 128 sucks (4, Informative)

seligman (58880) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570693)

It varies depending on the album. Recent purchases I've made have been encoded using LAME 3.97 with its V0 setting (~245 kbps VBR), this seems to be the default for MP3s encoded by Amazon. One self-published album I grabbed that was MP3 only was 320 kbps CBR. The MP3's I've downloaded via the site and via the downloader are bit-for-bit identical.

It's a pitty Amazon isn't more forthcoming on what the encoding is before you buy it, but I'd imagine whatever album you grabbed was simply provided to them as a 128 kbps file from the source.

Re:Amazon: welcome to the 1990's; 128 sucks (2)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570697)

I just downloaded a track off a CD I recently bought and was added to my cloud library because of this. It was 256kbps constant bit rate
Another was 281kbpsVBR

Re:Amazon: welcome to the 1990's; 128 sucks (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571259)

Get a refund. I purchase a lot of music from Amazon. If I dont find the quality acceptable, they always give a refund. Over 90% of their stuff is V0, about 5% 256 CBR, about 2-3% V2(or old APS), and rest are rare FGH encoded, transcoded ones and lower bitrate ones. I have send them all sort of screen shots, some proving it was transcoded from a lower bitrate to higher bitrate. They are always happy to know that they have a bad rip and take it down pretty quickly.

Years ago, this might have helped (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570553)

If they hadn't fought it so hard, years ago this might have helped keep CD sales alive longer.

Re:Years ago, this might have helped (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570713)

Or album sales, at least. Instead of people buying one song off a shitty album here and two songs off a shitty album there. Maybe it would have made albums king again

That's not how MP3 used to work. (5, Informative)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570579)

You didn't rip anything. MP3 actually had loads of CD's already ripped and on their servers. You put in a CD in your PC, it would get some data off of it(effectively a hash) and then used that info to figure out which CD it was and allow you to stream the rip from MP3.com. So for they'd have a rip of say Led Zeppelin IV on their servers. Everybody that put that CD in their PC could access MP3.com's rip of Led Zeppelin IV and stream it but nobody who used the service was actually ripping their own copy of Led Zeppelin IV and putting it up on the MP3.com's servers.

Re:That's not how MP3 used to work. (1)

Omestes (471991) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570913)

Isn't that exactly what Google Music is doing now?

Not with CDs though, it supposedly will scan your music library, and add it to your "cloud" for free, without actually uploading anything.

I haven't tried it yet, since I'm a bit paranoid that something that I didn't obtain legally back in college might still be hiding in my library, which will magically flag me as a bad person, so the RIAA can take all my money and leave me in a cardboard box... out of the spirit of fairness, of course.

Re:That's not how MP3 used to work. (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570973)

It's also what Amazon is doing now with their match/cloud player service.

What they don't have licenses for they upload from your collection.

never been done before! (1)

bendy (34731) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570771)

Yeah, cause no site has ever let you download a mp3/flac version of a CD when you buy the physical disc before. http://www.bandcamp.com [bandcamp.com]

Poorly thought out service. (1)

ItsIllak (95786) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570833)

I read about this on the BBC news website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20972027), missing the first line of the article that said it was US only, I logged into the service to see what I'd bought that was going to show up. Immediately, Beautiful South, Gaze popped up. Strange, I didn't actually remember buying it but it's possible. Then that was it. So I go through my purchases and, like others, there were heaps of popular CDs that I'd bought as gifts.

Apart from the obvious problem, I put a message in to Amazon wondering why Gaze was the only track I got. About an hour later I got a call (during the work day, to my mobile from a hidden number!) from a confused CS rep. Eventually established that it was US only and that Gaze was some weird quirk and I shouldn't have received it.

Somehow, this seems a bit of an ill conceived dodgily implemented service. I bet it sinks without a trace. I assume Amazon are having to pay for all these tracks (at some massively discounted rate) and are doing it to try to convince people to use their service. That's some financial commitment - wonder if the physical CD prices are about to be hiked...?

I have vinyl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42571095)

I have vinyl copies. Ie, licences and physical tokens.

Problem with me selling them? Lending my records to friends?

Sorry to be confused, but am late 40s.

CDs? (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571161)

People still buy CDs? It seems that the MP3.com idea may have saved CDs... tied the license to the CD itself, so you got to buy that to get a legit MP3 license. Instead they kept their heads up their asses for 15 years and the world moved on. Artists: I can get your music for free, at any time of the day or night, from nearly anywhere in the world. I can have your entire album in under 5min. It's easier, the quality is often better, it wont get scratched, it's free, there's no taxes, it's environmentally friendly... Think of a new business model. The universe is against you on this one. Trust me.

say what? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571253)

"Amazon just debuted a new service called Autorip, which grants you MP3 copies of music when you purchase the CD version."

Grants you? I have a program called "foobar 2000" that has been giving me that power for years.

Amazon can kiss my ass. Just send me the CD I bought and step aside. Nobody invited them.

mp3.com's real revenue stream (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42571471)

Too bad he didn't patent it! He could've sold it to Intellectual Ventures and been making bank from Apple, Amazon, etc....

It hasn't been said for a while... (2)

MrKaos (858439) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571597)

Fuck you music industry.
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