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RIAA Now Filing Suits Against Consumers Who Rip CDs

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the because-we-needed-another-reason-to-be-cranky-at-them dept.

Music 403

mrneutron2003 writes "With this past week's announcement by Warner to release its entire catalog to Amazon in MP3 format with no Digital Rights Management, you would think that the organization that represents them, The RIAA, would begin changing its tune. Instead, they are pressing on in their campaign against consumers by suing individuals who merely rip CDs they've purchased legally. 'The industry's lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are "unauthorized copies" of copyrighted recordings.'"

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2 words (5, Insightful)

mrjb (547783) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855720)

"fair use". Happy suing, RIAA- you don't stand a chance.

Re:2 words (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855736)

If the CD has ANY rights protection on it, then the DMCA kicks in and your right to rip goes up in smoke.

Sure, fair use of the end music still applies, but you cant legally get your music into that state due to having to 'break' the copy protection first. Is one reason we are being forced to digital TV in a year or so.

Re:2 words (4, Interesting)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855754)

If the CD has ANY rights protection on it, then the DMCA kicks in and your right to rip goes up in smoke.
But a purely Redbook Audio CD can't have rights protection on it... and even the Sony rootkit CD's couldn't do anything if they weren't connected to a Windows box with autorun enabled. So while it might violate the DMCA to bypass the rootkit on a Windows box, the RIAA would have a hard time arguing that ripping the MP3 on a *nix or Mac is bypass copy protection.

Re:2 words (5, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855864)

By not using Windows you are bypassing the DMCA :D

Re:2 words (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856150)

If, and only if, you circumvent the copy protection mechanism to copy it.

Re:2 words (5, Interesting)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856252)

Also, remember back when the President was on TV and was asked what was on his iPod... Beatles. The only way it got there was if he (by the RIAA definition) pirated it.

Lets hope they press charges. It might get this issue sorted out sooner rather than later.

Told a so! (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855722)

Vindicated again.

Mandatory pay-per-play is their next move. Then criminalization. Once that is complete, the industry will collapse and they will be gone and out of our hair.

Re:Told a so! (1)

Enlightenment (1073994) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855996)

I am somewhat at a loss as to how exactly mandatory pay-per-play is their next move. It isn't even a possible move. For starters, the low rate for outright purchase of a song implies that the price of a single play would be ridiculously low--they would have to introduce bulk rates, as in 100 plays for 10 cents. That's just asking for abuse either by customers who don't play the last few seconds, or by the companies themselves when they count all those typical, abortive plays of the first three seconds of a song as full plays. Perhaps they could charge for time listened.

Of course, to get to all these pitfalls, they'd have to introduce, and engineer the wide adoption of, a scheme for reliably tracking the number of plays of a song. Keep in mind that they'd have to kill off Apple's market share or co-opt it. Given Apple's position selling songs outright, that's questionable at best.

Even assuming they were able to create such a dubious system, they'd also have to continue the fight against quite a few pirates who would be more than happy to employ any of the numerous methods of stripping copy protection. They're not winning that fight right now.

Re:Told a so! (1)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856200)

Actually the figure of pay per play in Windows Media is 10Eurocents. So you make it out that it is reasonable for those pigopolist to force you pay 130 times what you think is fair.

People when are you going to understand that this people deserves jailtime instead of a corporate seat?

Re:Told a so! (1)

313373_bot (766001) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856204)

I am somewhat at a loss as to how exactly mandatory pay-per-play is their next move. It isn't even a possible move.

That's exactly the point: it is both impractical and outrageous. Will the police break into people's homes, and search their computers, mp3 players, etc? No. But they will turn most people into criminals, at least as far as DMCA and other laws they (RIAA, MPAA, patent trolls and the like) lobbied for are concerned. Next thing we'll see are stories like "John Doe took his computer to be repaired but the technician found child pr0n^W^W illegally ripped mp3's in his hard disk" ("pirate" = pedophile) or "if you rip this CD, the terrorists win". People will accept the new status quo, and another right is subtracted from consumers: that's how they (the real bad guys) win.

What should we make illegal next, breathing? (1)

DrLudicrous (607375) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855726)

Or if I can't make each breath you take illegal, I at least want a 5-cent royalty. I figure I should be a trillionaire by noon.

Re:What should we make illegal next, breathing? (5, Insightful)

PolyDwarf (156355) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855746)

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
Ill be watching you

Re:What should we make illegal next, breathing? (1)

ud plasmo (842308) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855792)

i always thought this song was about some stalker
the songs lyrics freak me out

Re:What should we make illegal next, breathing? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855876)

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
Ill be watching you


God is watching us. God is watching us.
God is watching us from a distance.

From a distance you look like my friend,
even though we are at war.
From a distance I just cannot comprehend
what all this fighting is for.

Re:What should we make illegal next, breathing? (5, Funny)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855974)

I'm sorry, reciting the lyrics to a song is copyright infringement. The RIAA will be taking your house, children, and dignity shortly.

Re:What should we make illegal next, breathing? (3, Funny)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856264)

This is slashdot. What dignity?

Re:What should we make illegal next, breathing? (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856162)

Mod offtopic! This thread is about the RIAA, not the government.

Re:What should we make illegal next, breathing? (1)

geoskd (321194) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855780)

Or if I can't make each breath you take illegal, I at least want a 5-cent royalty. I figure I should be a trillionaire by noon

I have already attained a registered trademark for the word "breath", and as such you owe me $0.03 USD for each person who has viewed your unauthorized use. Furthermore, any future use of this word without first obtaining a specific right to use agreement, will constitute a deliberate violation of trademark law, and will be persued to the fullest extent of civil and criminal law.

-=Geoskd

Re:What should we make illegal next, breathing? (1)

mindaktiviti (630001) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856192)

"Pretty soon we'll pay for air once they figure out how to sell it" - Grouch, Living Legends.

When this is going to stop? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21855738)

Greed, greed, nothing but greed. Hello USA: how long will you tolerate this?

Re:When this is going to stop? (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855750)

It wont stop as long as these corporations can keep buying the laws. So until the system is changed, we are stuck with it. And just think, as more countries move towards some form of capitalism, they will get to share in the grief as well.

Re:When this is going to stop? (1)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855796)

It wont stop as long as these corporations can keep buying the laws. So until the system is changed, we are stuck with it. And just think, as more countries move towards some form of fascism, they will get to share in the grief as well.

FTFY. Remember, gov't collusion with big business, buying (and usually writing) of legislation by large companies, and mountains of regulations designed to thwart entrepeneurs is NOT capitalism.

Re:When this is going to stop? (1)

afc_wimbledon (1052878) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856010)

Remember, gov't collusion with big business, buying (and usually writing) of legislation by large companies, and mountains of regulations designed to thwart entrepeneurs is NOT capitalism.
Quite right. That would be "freedom" wouldn't it?

Re:When this is going to stop? (1)

squarooticus (5092) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856224)

as more countries move towards some form of capitalism
You mean mercantilism [wikipedia.org] , right? Because the US hasn't been capitalist in a long, long time. Free market capitalism [wikipedia.org] doesn't have these problems.

What do you pay for when you buy? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21855756)

This is total insanity, and really begs the question what on earth do you pay for when you buy a CD now? Next they'll be telling us we can only play CDs on specific CD players, at volumes which don't allow others to hear the recording, and then force us to pay royalties if the tune gets stuck in our heads...

Re:What do you pay for when you buy? (4, Interesting)

mrjb (547783) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855924)

Obviously you don't pay for the physical medium; That piece of plastic isn't worth 10-15 bucks. No, what you pay for is the music on it (as the RIAA must have argued previously).

Transferred ownership would imply that the music wouldn't belong to the record company anymore. That would be a very bad deal to the record company, so instead, what they sell you is a license to listen to that music. Once you buy a CD, you get to listen to a piece of music as many times as you want.

But you cannot distribute copies of it- the music is protected by copyright law. Now, the record companies argue that making a copy for personal use implies you are not listening to the licensed material anymore- instead, you are listening to a copy (never mind that bits *must* be copied around before the audio hits the speaker).

A case can be made for the fact that an MP3 isn't the licensed material: you can do a bitwise comparison and find out that what you are listening to isn't what you licensed.

This is where the fun starts. Rights and obligations most always come in pairs. If you have the obligation to send your kids to school, this implies the right to have schools built to send your kid to (and building the schools is then in turn the obligation of the state).

So if I cannot make copies for personal use but paid for a license to listen to music represented by a certain pattern of bits, I will have an unalienable right to listen to that music, represented by that *exact* pattern of bits. This implies the obligation of the record company to indefinitely provide me with that exact pattern of bits forever and ever and ever (unless otherwise stated in a written license agreement).

This means that whenever I accidentally scratch the CD that I bought so that it isn't bit-for-bit readable anymore, I'm entitled to a replacement- this obligation arises on RIAA's side of the deal. I guess that is where my microwave oven and sledge hammer come into the picture, and that is where the fun *really* starts.

Re:What do you pay for when you buy? (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856038)

mrjb:

So if I cannot make copies for personal use but paid for a license to listen to music represented by a certain pattern of bits, I will have an unalienable right to listen to that music, represented by that *exact* pattern of bits
RIAA:

You have right to remain silent, everything you say or hum WILL be used against you

But actually, you don't have right to remain silent [counterpunch.org]

Copyright abuse once again. Burn it down. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856238)

I think we should swing the pendulum all the way in the other direction, but then again I am fairly bitter about this whole culture grab by corporations.

Re:What do you pay for when you buy? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856298)

I guess deliberate destruction of the medium could be a reason to lose the right to listen to it, if the contract is worded that way. You showed by deliberately destroying the medium that you do no longer want to listen to the content, thus voiding the contract.

Generally, though, this is moot (at least under our jurisdiction). You don't license the bits (because you cannot), you license the content. The work of art. Our copyright is rather lenient in that area. You can transcode, even create derived art (and even distribute that as long as you can show that a sizable portion of the work is your creation, thus "sampling" is actually allowed here, you may have to share your income with the original author, though).

This shows at the very least one thing: A discussion of "the copyright" is pointless here, because with people all over the globe, having very different copyright laws, leads to a lot of confusion but no conclusion.

Old cassettes? (1)

jhines (82154) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855758)

Are they gonna sue me for the cassettes I made in the day of the LP and cassettes in the car?

Same idea, different generation.

Re:Old cassettes? (2, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855804)

No, as those were analog sources. They cant use the DMCA in those cases. Why do you think there is this big push to 100% digital?

Re:Old cassettes? (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855834)

No, as those were analog sources. They cant use the DMCA in those cases. Why do you think there is this big push to 100% digital?
Maybe it's time we started working on analog computers again ?

Re:Old cassettes? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856174)

I'm all for going back to analog 'media'. Sure digital music and video has its place for the sake of convenience, but i never agreed with the idea of replacing analog totally.

As far as your little joke about computers, I'm also all for going back a few years to computers that arent in bed with DRM and someting we had control over, or could even build ourselves. ( "you will have to pry my Atari ST from my dead cold hands" sort of thing )

Re:Old cassettes? (1)

SuperMonkeyCube (982998) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855932)

Not only is it not the same since they are analog sources, but it was a given at the time that the cassette copy that you made was inferior to the original. Since there are generational losses inherent in the copying procedure, they weren't worried about you loaning your cassette to someone and them making a copy for someone else, since the resulting copy would be bad enough that if the recipient liked the music, they would probably just buy the original for themselves if they were financially capable to do so. It would be hard to argue a lost sale if they were disinclined to the purchase in the first place.

Of course, I feel the same way about low bit rate MP3's, but apparently only criminals use MP3. After seeing this attitude from the record company, I am thinking that I had better not use any audio compression on any music I've created. If I send a copy of a preliminary track in MP3 format to my drummer so he can work out a drum part, I'm sure I'll be assumed a criminal just for using audio compression and sending it over the Intertubes and whatnot. :(

Re:Old cassettes? (3, Informative)

Cairnarvon (901868) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856108)

The industry did try to prevent people ripping LPs to cassettes back in the day. That's why you pay a tax on blank media now.

Microsoft facilitating? (5, Insightful)

Benj89 (1207868) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855760)

"the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer." - Washingtonpost.com. Surely then Microsoft is facilitating copyright infringement by adding the rip feature to Mediaplayer?

Re:Microsoft facilitating? (2, Insightful)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855880)

Dont also forget the laptop manufacturers for making the pirate hardware backwards compatible with CDs!

Forget that, what about Itunes? (2, Insightful)

riker1384 (735780) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856028)

When Itunes rips a CD, it will automatically get the track names from an online database, and now even the album artwork.

Not just Microsoft (5, Interesting)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856098)

Some years ago I owned a Sony CD player and a Sony Minidisc player/recorder. The CD player and Minidisc were designed so that I could, with a single click of a remote control button (the button was called 'Sync Record' if memory serves), record the CD onto Minidisc without further intervention. This was a feature designed to simplify the copying of CDs to Minidisc and was documented as such in the Sony documentation.

I am sure there are a myriad of other examples of hardware and software manufacturer implementing features which expedite the 'illegal' copying of music and other software. I suppose what makes the Sony instance more interesting is that Sony operate a music label as well and are presumably part of the RIAA mafia.

... and Sony? (2, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856186)

Maybe Sony could sue themselves for making the music, then also making the hardware that enables to rip the audio, and recordable CD's / DVD's / Memory sticks to record it to?

These companies want to have their cake and eat it. When will the courts see this?

Still pleasantly surprised by human nature (5, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855762)

What always surprises me a little is that none of the people they're suing have opened fire in the RIAA offices. While that would be horrible and I can't condone the taking of innocent lives (such as the Pepsi machine refill guy who happens to be there at that moment), I'm still kind of amazed that nobody's done it.

Seriously, though, how do those cretins sleep at night? Even if they don't care about the lives they've destroyed, surely they care about the idea that someone might want revenge. I could imagine someone who loses their house because they ripped a CD might feel like they don't have a lot more to lose.

Re:Still pleasantly surprised by human nature (1)

risinganger (586395) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855836)

...can't condone the taking of innocent lives (such as the Pepsi machine refill guy who happens to be there...
Thank god I wasn't eating or drinking anything when I read that. I'd be picking organic material out of my keyboard for ages afterwards. If I had mod points I wouldn't know to mod you funny or informative :-P

Re:Still pleasantly surprised by human nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21855862)

Please don't do it to the NY offices as lunch time - lots of folks have to walk past the place to get to the local lunch places....

Re:Still pleasantly surprised by human nature (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856056)

how do those cretins sleep at night?

Oh, about 3 feet above the mattress, atop a mound of twenties fifties and hundreds.

And they hire illegal immigrants to tape the fives and tens together end-to-end and roll them up on a tube for the bathroom.

-

Re:Still pleasantly surprised by human nature (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856066)

"Seriously, though, how do those cretins sleep at night? "

They've already lost all hope in their artists making good music. The last hope they have is to get more money. They see the highly-inaccurate but appealling projections made by their staff as to how much more money they could be making, and with nothing left to cling to, they sleep at night with the hope of a new day and a new fortune.

Re:Still pleasantly surprised by human nature (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856118)

They see the highly-inaccurate but appealling projections made by their staff as to how much more money they could be making, and with nothing left to cling to, they sleep at night with the hope of a new day and a new fortune.

The thing is, I don't wonder how they can sleep without feeling guilty. That's easy when you're a soulless shell of protein. I just don't know how they can close their eyes at night, wondering if this will be the evening when an armed visitor comes calling.

Re:Still pleasantly surprised by human nature (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21856070)

What always surprises me a little is that none of the people they're suing have opened fire in the RIAA offices

As Jack Thompson has proven, lawyers don't cause violence, only videogames cause violence.

What are they going to do to you when.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21856074)

...You get a tune stuck in your head.

Re:Still pleasantly surprised by human nature (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856228)

Same here. I honestly could well understand if someone armed up to the brim after being sued out of existance by the leeches and adjust the crime to the verdict.

Stupid (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21855772)

Even in the UK where we don't have fair use provisions, no copyright holder would risk taking a case like this to court. The copyright holder has already been compensated, so long as the works are for private use and not redistributed there's no case for infringement.

Oh well. At some point, it's going to be too expensive for the RIAA to keep their lawyers supplied with crack.

Re:Stupid (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856102)

Actually we do have "fair dealing". This includes "private study", and the copyright office have said in the past that this includes listening to music for pleasure. I'm not certain whether that's law or just legal opinion, or whether it applies to filling an entire mp3 player but at least there's a basis for argument there. And in the past, the courts have come down in favour of the consumer over this sort of thing.

Re:Stupid (3, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856184)

Even in the UK where we don't have fair use provisions, no copyright holder would risk taking a case like this to court.
Anyone contemplating the purchase of audio CDs - or any product of RIAA members - these days should consider the legal liability they are assuming by doing so. For me, it's not worth it, and I'm amazed that anyone buys those things anymore...

And I thought they couldn't get anymore insane (0, Troll)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855774)

What's next, deathsquads for humming unlicensed tunes?

Re:And I thought they couldn't get anymore insane (1)

PCeye (661091) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856176)

"What's next, deathsquads for humming unlicensed tunes?"

SHHHH!!! Don't give the RIAA ideas!

Re:And I thought they couldn't get anymore insane (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856280)

You can hum all you want, so long as you put money in the meter.

Re:And I thought they couldn't get anymore insane (1)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856276)

Yes.

Completely Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21855782)

According to their flawed logic I would assume that they would also deem music stored on mp3 players as illegal copies too. How many of those RIAA execs do you think own an mp3 player? They are taking things entirely too far. What's next? Suing everyone who owns a computer? This is horrible.

Death spiral (5, Insightful)

shawkin (165588) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855786)

Taken to a logical conclusion, this means that remembering a song is a copyright violation.

Re:Death spiral (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855904)

You're a few hundred years out of date.

The most famous incident of music "piracy" in history, perpetuated by none other than Mozart: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miserere_(Allegri) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Death spiral (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21856196)

I was thinking about "I wonder as I wander", the Appalachian folk song "collected" (via memorization) by John Niles:

I wonder as I wander under the sky

why Jesus the savio-----.... (sound of RIAA sirens)

ATH0 NO CARRIER/g$£$445^

RIAA Layers have completely lost it (4, Informative)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855794)

Well, if we didnt already know, check out this gem from the article:

The Howell case was not the first time the industry has argued that making a personal copy from a legally purchased CD is illegal. At the Thomas trial in Minnesota, 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.

This is so ridiculous that it would be funny, but I fear they are completely serious about it...

Re:RIAA Layers have completely lost it (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856232)

Sony BMG's chief of litigation, Jennifer Pariser
I wonder if they're using their real names? For their own sake, I hope not.

Farewell, Music Industry (3, Interesting)

MCSEBear (907831) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855816)

It's time for the consumers to show them a little 'voting with your feet' action. I absolutely refuse to buy even one more new CD until these asshats stop filing lawsuits against their customers for making use of their fair use rights. If I pay you for the fucking CD, then I have the right to listen to it on my mp3 player. Hell, while we're at it, if I pay for the DVD I have a right to watch it on my media player. If the RIAA and the MPAA try to prevent me... Then you don't get another dime of my money. It is just that simple.

Re:Farewell, Music Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21855934)

I don,t buy since 1997 -a decade. My intention is not to buy from oppressors -long live FOSS.

Please Die Already (3, Insightful)

castrox (630511) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855824)

I have now completely lost all my belief in mankind. This interesting new business model seems to be catching on to more and more business as they grow: the customer is your enemy.

Business has been reduced to spreadsheets with no touch with what the actual core business is. Sure, just outsource the core business and let the patents and lawsuits roll!

Re:Please Die Already (1)

Doonga2007 (1049016) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856110)

Don't lose your faith in mankind, the people in the RIAA aren't men... or... human for that matter.

So you don't have to rtfa... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21855830)

"In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.

The industry's lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are "unauthorized copies" of copyrighted recordings."

Yes, the /. title does not exaggerate....

How was he caught? (5, Interesting)

phozz bare (720522) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855844)

It seems that defendant Howell kept a library of MP3's on his computer, but did not offer them up for sharing via P2P. This begs the question: How did the RIAA know about it?

Re:How was he caught? (5, Informative)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856034)

Actually, it seems he shared them via kazaa and that's why the RIAA is suing him. You didn't really think a Slashdot article's summary would be correct, did you?

Re:How was he caught? (5, Informative)

phozz bare (720522) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856072)

Slashdot's summary seems quite correct and accurate. It's actually the linked article (from the Washington Post) that seems suspicious of omitting that minor yet vital fact.

Re:How was he caught? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21856182)

This begs the question:
Not so much. [begthequestion.info]

Not quite (5, Informative)

ngunton (460215) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855848)

I hate the RIAA as much as anyone, I think they are a bunch of scumbags. But people need to realize that this is not simply a case of someone ripping CDs for their own personal use; according to the supplemental brief [ilrweb.com] (pdf) (see page 12,13 etc), the guy apparently was using KazAa and had the files into the shared directory. Now I am not making any judgement on the legality or morality of doing this; it's simply worth noting that this is not a simple case of "now it's illegal to even rip your own CDs (SHOCK! HORROR!)". This is more a case of the same-old, same-old RIAA going after someone who seemed to be sharing the files over a peer-to-peer network. I know the article quotes them as saying scary and insane stuff about it not being legal to even make copies of your own CDs, but didn't the Audio Home Recording Act [wikipedia.org] take care of making copies for your own use a while back? I think it's pretty easy to convince any jury that making copies of CDs and distributing them over the internet is "wrong", but they'd have a hard time convincing any sane person that ripping mp3 versions of your own, legally purchased CDs, for your own use, is in any wrong.

Re:Not quite (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855918)

hard time convincing any sane person

Unfortunately, you've got to convince juries and judges, which can be easier than convincing sane people.

Re:Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21855972)

The industry's lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are "unauthorized copies" of copyrighted recordings.

RIAA's hard-line position seems clear. Its Web site says: "If you make unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings, you're stealing. You're breaking the law and you could be held legally liable for thousands of dollars in damages."

The Howell case was not the first time the industry has argued that making a personal copy from a legally purchased CD is illegal. At the Thomas trial in Minnesota, 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.

I'd like a legal ruling to stop this RIAA FUD. We know they want us to buy a copy for every device ever used, but they'll just end up killing their industry.

Re:Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21855984)

Get your sanity and complete investigation out of here. THEY HAVE NO PLACE ON /.! (is that redundant? /.!?)

Re:Not quite (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855986)

Thank you for clearing that up. In fact, I suspected that was exactly the case. I *SERIOUSLY* doubt that RIAA would go after someone for simply transcoding a CD. It is already known to be fair use and perfectly legal. But the moment that poor, innocent CD-ripper decided to give away copyrighted music- then he was clearly wrong and breaking the law by redistributing copyrighted materials. I really have no sympathy for that guy at all, now.

Re:Not quite (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856112)

Then the RIAA should be making the argument based on his uploading activities.

They're trying to get the legal precedent that normal ripping activities (i.e., Fair Use), are also illegal, so that they can control all aspects of music distribution, including people who are merely space-shifting their legally-purchased music.

Apple has a page dedicated to this crime (5, Funny)

toupsie (88295) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855870)

Maybe the RIAA should surf on over to the iTunes web site [apple.com] . Apple has a full page dedicated to making illegal copies of legally purchased music. Do I get a finder's fee?

MS and Apple to the rescue (4, Interesting)

a_greer2005 (863926) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855882)

Cant wait to read the Slashdot spin when MS and Apple tag-team against the RIAA here...RIAA is accusing MS, Apple, Real, Creative, and more that I cant think of at the moment of facilitating crime on a mass scale, not exactly something that Balmer and Jobs will take without one hell of a fight...I hope

Re:MS and Apple to the rescue (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856250)

What's even funnier: Sony BMG is (through the RIAA of which it is a major member) accusing Sony Corp of facilitating a crime on a mass scale (IIRC both Sony hardware like e.g. MiniDisc-Enabled stereos and software like SonicStage offered simple one-button methods to copy copyrighted music from CDs)

dupe: unauthorized != illegal (3, Interesting)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855936)

As I said last time [slashdot.org] , unauthorized is not synonymous with illegal. It is even in the article, the unauthorized copies won't give legal trouble as long as you don't distribute the copies.

Re:dupe: unauthorized != illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21856294)

Holy crap, you are so smart. I think you need to keep reminding people by posting links back to other slashdot comments where you are right also, just because everybody else is sooo wrong and you are the only one who is right. You can prove it too by posting links back to your previous slashdot postings! Bravo, sir... bravo.

EFF needs to go to congress and... (0)

a_greer2005 (863926) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855950)

give a demo of riping a CD to an ipod and then ask why the fuck these cases can even make it to court!

What will the damages be ? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855964)

Assuming that the RIAA wins its case, the damages awarded will be commensurate to the loss. Since the guy was just ripping for his own use (to an easier to use format) I assume that the loss will be zero. Would he have paid again for the songs in MP3 format? Probably not, he would just have had to shuffle physical CDs.

So: zero loss means damages of what ?

Re:What will the damages be ? (1)

Dan Schulz (1144089) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856216)

Assuming that the RIAA wins its case, the damages awarded will be commensurate to the loss. Since the guy was just ripping for his own use (to an easier to use format) I assume that the loss will be zero. Would he have paid again for the songs in MP3 format? Probably not, he would just have had to shuffle physical CDs. So: zero loss means damages of what ?

Attorney's fees, court costs, punitive damages, the list goes on, actually. A court is under no obligation to award actual damages in cases like this (note: I did not RTFA, I'm just saying "in general" here). Now, as for my own thoughts on this? I hope the defendent gives the RIAA the Adolf Hitler treatment from the movie "Little Nicky". I just hope he has a large enough pineapple to shove up there though.

Er... (1)

minvaren (854254) | more than 5 years ago | (#21855976)

I don't use it, but doesn't iTunes allow you to add the tracks from a CD to your library automatically?

The RIAA versus millions of iPod owners. This could get interesting...

A standard that isn't a standard? (1)

lostraven (928812) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856012)

From TFA:

Whether customers may copy their CDs onto their computers -- an act at the very
heart of the digital revolution -- has a murky legal foundation, the RIAA argues.
The industry's own Web site says that making a personal copy of a CD that you bought
legitimately may not be a legal right, but it "won't usually raise concerns," as
long as you don't give away the music or lend it to anyone.

Yes, yes... there's all the talk about fair use, but this statement just strikes me
as them trying to enforce a standard that wasn't a standard. It may have been
considered by them not to "be a legal right" to copy but they rarely bothered
to enforce it. Now that the business model is collapsing, they start to enforce
this so-called standard?

You know, each person has their own breaking point, and if this is the newest
trend of the RIAA, then I've just reached my own breaking point. I've had it.
I'm done with them. Period. I can't take being forced this rotten tripe they and
their associates have been feeding the people. "from the because-we-needed-
another-reason-to-be-cranky-at-them dept" indeed.

Good luck with that one. (4, Insightful)

Scooter (8281) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856026)

I'm not a US resident, but the effects are still felt here in the UK, so I feel able to make some comment.

There are some things that are just never gonna happen - there's a critical mass of progress or just practicality that prevents it. If the "RIAA" thinks people will go back to carrying around hundreds of 5 inch plastic discs (yes, I typed "discs" - lets check that again - yes phew :P) in their bulky unwieldy boxes (who designed those things: they either break, won't open or the disc inside flies across the room) they are insane.

This is a little bit like having to run software from the installation disc all the time. The software industry more or less solved this, with other means of licensing other than ownership of the physical delivery media and allowed users to "copy" the software to their PC's internal storage. Yes there is theft, but software vendors know that if they insisted on having the install disc present for every piece of software in your PC, users would vote with their feet and go use something else (plus of course, everyone would just mount ISO images of the discs, or if that wouldn't work, a solution would be found - that's the power of a connected and talented user base).

So if these guys think I'm going to have the install-disc in the stereo for whatever music I'm listening to, I'd like some of whatever they're smoking.

Consider car audio - in the UK it is a criminal offence to use a hand-held telephone whilst operating a vehicle (even if you're stopped at the lights etc). And yet, it's still OK for us to eject a CD, fumble around for a new CD, open the box (all with one hand) and insert it into the player. Now, as anyone who has done this will know, after 2 days, none of the CD boxes will contain the music advertised on the outside - so to play a specific album, you could be fumbling about for quite a while, and at the same time, you must control your vehicle at road speeds, amongst other traffic etc. etc. Madness. Auto changers did a bit to address this, but I can guarantee you most people will take the same 6 CDs out of the car when they sell it, that they put in the day they bought it. It's just too much of a planned activity to firtle around in the boot of your car with those CD magazines, and by the time you think "hmm must change the discs" you're cruising down the M6, so you never do it.

The problem was neatly solved by having a big fat SD card sticking out of your dashboard with all the music you ever wanted at a quality that exceeds that of the acoustic environment that is your car. (Unless you drive the Albert Hall, in which case, you're on your own). This is so good in fact, I never want to see a CD again after I've installed the music on it.

The RIAA's primary objective is "to protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists". All very laudable, but I wonder if they consult these artists before they issue these proclamations? After all, sales of billions with some loss due to illegal re-production has to be better financially, than sales of only thousands with no loss. Surely? Would the artists prefer to remain penniless, safe in the knowledge that no one has illegally copied their material?

The RIAA needs to find a better solution if they want to attain any credibility: "go back to a time when this wasn't an issue" is not acceptable. They may as well suggest we all go back to the horse and cart to solve vehicle emissions, or that banks use ledger books and quill pens to avoid all those troublesome data centre issues. Technically, and qualitatively all these things would still work, but none of em are gonna happen, any time this side of a global apocalypse anyway (and maybe not on the other side either - there maybe a shortage of horses...).

Now, excuse me while I go break some laws with my Squeezebox.

Cheers,
Scoot.

This actually makes me happy (1)

AlphaLop (930759) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856052)

because the more foolish the RIAA acts, the less seriously the courts will take them.... And this is foolishness of a extra-ordinary magnitude. (Try to hear that last sentence with a bad Chinese accent)

Someone tell Martha Stewart (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856060)

...because my wife pointed out one of her helpful tips in the magazine she (Stewart) publishes. The tip is to rip your CD collection to an mp3 player and donate the CDs to a nursing home.

Of course this is flat-out illegal (unlike the premise of TFA, which has the RIAA claiming the mere act of ripping is itself illegal), but what else can you expect from a seasoned ex-con like Martha? 4 life, homey. 4 life.

RIAA contradicting itself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21856134)

It says this on the RIAA website (http://www.riaa.com/faq.php).

11. How is downloading music different from copying a personal CD?

Record companies have never objected to someone making a copy of a CD for their own personal use. We want fans to enjoy the music they bought legally. But both copying CDs to give to friends and downloading music illegally rob the people who created that music of compensation for their work. When record companies are deprived of critical revenue, they are forced to lay off employees, drop artists from their rosters, and sign fewer bands. Thats bad news for the music industry, but ultimately bad news for fans as well. We all benefit from a vibrant music industry committed to nurturing the next generation of talent.

Well, to be fair to the RIAA... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856140)

After he ripped them he did make them available to everyone else in the world using Kazaa. Assuming this is the same guy [blogspot.com]

They crossed a line on this one (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856160)

I'm a big proponent on copyright laws and I think "Fair Use" is too often used as a defense but this case falls squarely under it. Here's some Wikipedia quotes on the subject(below). The fourth condition mentioned would negate copying for a friend since it could be percieved as allowing your friend to use the work without paying for it but copying for your own use is covered under the first condition since it's not commercial. Yes copying for a friend is non commercial but it also has a potential impact since he no longer needs to buy the work to benefit. That condition will be agrued until doomsday but personal use and scholarly use are covered.

From Wikipedia:

"Fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test. It is based on free speech rights provided by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The term "fair use" is unique to the United States; a similar principle, fair dealing, exists in some other common law jurisdictions. Civil law jurisdictions have other limitations and exceptions to copyright."

              1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
              2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
              3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
              4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The Death of the Compact Disk (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856218)

I have a couple major ways to get music onto my computer. The first is to buy (or steal) Compact Discs (or those old vinyl records if I had something to play them [thinkgeek.com] with) and copy the music onto my computer from there. The second is to download the music, which could be either legally purchased or found being given away illegally by someone. And now the music industry tells me the first option is out.

Given the trends in the way music is listened to [slashdot.org] these days, which involves a spectrum from listening to huge collections stored on a computer to listening via small portable devices [thinkgeek.com] , the compact disk itself, for more and more people, is nothing more than the "purchase medium" in much the same way most commercial software is legally purchased. But if the music industry says "no" to using the Compact Disc [wikipedia.org] to get our music, then I guess we have to quit buying those. Of course there will be some exceptions such as those available from places like CD Baby [cdbaby.com] and Magnatune [magnatune.com] .

If the music industry thinks I'm going to listen to my music by actually playing the CD on some big clunky mechanical device, they are totally out of touch. But then, we've known that for a few years, already. It seems the music industry itself will drive the CD into oblivion even before the public was going to.

Can you imagine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21856246)

Can you imagine shoving a Beowulf Cluster up the RIAA's ass?

iTUNES is illegal (1)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856278)

As iTunes copies the tracks in AAC and MP3 then it is a illegal tool!

The RIAA whose members are financed by the iTunes Store with this precendt attack indirectly Apple. This is not FUD this is simply ridicolous.

In the short term Americans need to get rid of Imaginary Property claims as soon as possible as such models enforced in this way will have only the effect of suppressing free expression and creativity.

Already Covered (1)

saxoholic (992773) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856296)

This has already been covered in this slashdot article http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/11/0436215 [slashdot.org]

From that discussion, a comment by scooter.higher

The Fair Use argument was negated when he shared them on KaZaA - RTFA, and look at page 15 that is even mentioned in the summary.

But let me point out what I believe ruins the Fair Use argument (IANAL):

Once Defendant converted Plaintiffs' recording into the compressed .mp3 format and they are in his shared folder, they are no longer the authorized copies distributed by Plaintiffs. Moreover, Defendant had no authorization to distribute Plaintiffs' copyrighted recordings from his KaZaA shared folder. Each of the 11 sound recordings on Exhibit A to Plaintiffs' Complaint were stored in the .mp3 format in the shared folder on Defendant's computer hard drive, and each of these eleven files were actually disseminated from Defendant's computer.

It All Makes Sense (1)

MT628496 (959515) | more than 5 years ago | (#21856310)

"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."

Old stuff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21856324)

Even the the hardware and the media they are using are outdated, checkout sites like http://www.jamendo.org/ [jamendo.org] that promote creative commons licensed artists. If I you play their game you play by their rules. It's artists and people en general that should be aware that there are ways to avoid this kind of major stupidities.
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