There have been a number of opinion pieces showing up in newspapers across the country lately saying that the "sue your customers" strategy of the RIAA is the only sensible path to take. Here's a phenomenal response to one such article that makes some wonderful points on copyright infringement vs. theft and who's really being robbed. First, it says that (as we've asserted repeatedly here) not only is file sharing not theft, the Supreme Court has even said so. They clearly distinguished between copyright infringement and theft in a 1985 case, where they said, "(copyright infringement) does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud... The infringer invades a statutorily defined province guaranteed to the copyright holder alone. But he does not assume physical control over copyright; nor does he wholly deprive its owner of its use." Making matters even worse for the RIAA, the article points out that the record labels represented by the RIAA often don't have the digital rights to the music from the artists they represent. However, they are collecting money (from fee-based services like iTunes and from these legal cases) and not giving it to the artists they represent. Thus, the argument goes, isn't it really the RIAA who is stealing (used properly) from musicians?
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