RIAA Says Merely Making Files Available Is Illegal

from the what-now dept

Ray Beckerman, a lawyer that’s been involved in several cases with the RIAA is reporting that the group has argued in one of his cases that simply “making files available for distribution” violates copyright laws. This means that regardless of the legality of a file somebody has on their computer, just putting it in a shared files folder than can be accessed by other people is illegal. Although it’s asinine, it really shouldn’t come as any surprise given the RIAA’s legal campaign that’s more about what it believes than what the law actually says. I noticed this morning that I left my car unlocked overnight, and there was a CD sitting inside. Does that make me a criminal in the RIAA’s mind since I empowered the potential theft of some music? Update: Mike’s pointed out a couple of previous posts on this issue. Although it is a somewhat complex legal issue, at least one judge has said making files available does not equal distribution.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “RIAA Says Merely Making Files Available Is Illegal”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Pablo Sanchez says:

90% of the population is breaking the law

If this were true then almost everyone, even those who are not actually trading music and varous other copywrited materials are in fact breaking the law. When I was going to college, I wrote a short script that would search every shared file on the network from the dorms, there was so many files on there I had free roam over everything, the thing about that is that most of them probably didn’t even know that their files were even in a shared folder because once you enable file sharing on your computer, if only to transfer files between two of your computers, it can open it up to everyone.

I don’t see how they can charge people with a crime that they do not even know happened because of the supposed “user friendly” features of an inferiour OS.

null says:

Re: 90% of the population is breaking the law

I don’t see how they can charge people with a crime that they do not even know happened because of the supposed “user friendly” features of an inferiour OS.

That argument fails, you can’t get out of a speeding ticket just because your speedometer is broken and you don’t know how fast you are going. And anyway, its not that difficult to password protect what you share on windows, just most people think that they are too stupid to figure out how to do it.

Me... says:

Re: What if I just resell the CD myself

What if I buy a used CD and just listen to the music for a couple of weeks and just sell the CD on eBay because I’m just plain tired of it.
And then the guy I sold it to listens and then gives the CD to another friend when he’s done. And then that guy sells it at a garage sale for $2
Maybe we only need ONE copy of every CD and we’ll just keep passing it around. If it gets scratched we can get it polished for $1 at the game store.

Tashi says:

They ignore their real problem

Personally I haven’t bought a music CD since 2000. But the dvds and videogames I’ve bought since 2000? Easily several hundred.
I think it’s funny that the RIAA continues to beat this horse. Their sells are continuing to drop, due to two things, maybe 3 IMHO: DVD and games and the ability to buy individual songs now. With Hi def on the move, Bluray and hddvd and movies and videogames (now firmly mainstream) promising more advancements in video resolution, the music industry has fallen behind in being able to compete for people’s entertainment dollars. They can’t sue everybody into compliance, and by clinging to their old business models, they should expect to lose money.

eastside says:


Back when I was still playing music, I had an artist friend of mine paint the front rack doors of my road cases. One was Picasso’s 3 Musicians, the other was his Piano.

I would say that under the principles that the RIAA is applying to recorded works, that having copies of my 2 favorite paintings ever put onto my case doors probably constituted copyright infringement, and I should immediately seek out members of his family to send them a check.

Don’t libraries violate the law when they hand out CDs and DVDs for people to enjoy for free?

Eukaryote says:

Re: copyright

Libraries are not violating the law when they loan out CDs and DVDs. There are exceptions to copyright in the US for things called “fair use.” Included in these exceptions are libraries and works displayed or broadcast in a classroom.

Additionally, the Picasso paintings are now in the public domain, so they are no longer protected by copyright law.

shellofinsanity says:

Re: Re: is it right

While a copyright means that you have the right to copy, is it morally right. 100’s of years ago art’s and learning were restricted to only those of class, in the last 200 years we have seen that change, now I wonder if the RIAA is agian wishing to limit us to culture and the art’s with there “laws”. Morally is it right to tell someone if you can’t afford it, you can’t know about it. It may not be information, but songs and such, but is it right to refuse someone that right as a human being. Movements have been started over music, entire changes in politics, and viewpoints over songs, so is it right now for an organization to tell us that we no longer have the right to be exposed if we can’t afford it? Me and my friends always trade CD’s around, and share music when we network together, we are enhanceing culture doing this, no matter what you call it, the shareing of music is culture, the cultrue of socity is based upon music, no matter how you look at it. So the law says its wrong, does that mean because its law we should follow it, even if we belive it to be morally wrong?

flipmode says:

Re: copyright

A few months back when the RIAA sued 25 students at GA Tech for using i2hub, I had a pretty close call with being caught. That and some actual guilt caused by the thought that maybe I was indeed stealing people’s hard work convinced me to delete most of the 10 or so gigs of music I had downloaded. A couple of months later I rented a DVD from the library and couldn’t think of a legitimate difference between the library and i2hub, so I’m back up to about 12 gigs of music now. Why doesn’t some bloated conglomerate of book distributers sue the hell out of the local library for the thousands of books it distributes without the owners’ permission? Glad to know I’m not the only one who’s thought of this.

Nick says:

Re: copyright

No, making copies of a Picasso painting is simply breaking the laws of copyright – you don’t have the right to make a copy of a Picasso painting, period. I would keep this quiet because if they wish to do so, Picasso’s family is well within its rights to sue you. Whether they would or not is another matter.

Libraries don’t violate copyright – they have a license to lend material out, and the amount they pay is used to compensate the publishers. Same deal for DVD rental stores, etc.

File-sharing of copyright material is illegal, make no mistake. What most people hate is the RIAA’s obsession with prosecuting the ‘little guy’ instead of concentrating on encouraging labels to release good music. That’s why sales fall – bad music is what’s hitting the bottom line, not home copying.

haggie says:

No Subject Given

Here’s a conumdrum. I just had my store-purchased CD of the debut album from “Whirling Butt Cherries from Planet X” stolen out of my car. At first I thought, “Thank god I ripped that CD. It would be impossible to replace” but then I realized that the RIAA could come kicking down my door any moment demanding that I delete these files since I no longer have proof of ownership of the original CD and therefore have no fair use privilege to retain the digital tracks (if fair use even exists anyway).

I was depressed but then I had a brainstorm. I think that maybe I can get the RIAA to find out who broke into my car and have the RIAA sue him since he is violating copyright law every time he listens to my CD! And if that works, maybe they can track down my high school girlfriend Mandy and get my copy of Foreigner “4” back too, so I can stop feeling guilt everytime I listen to my mp3 of “I Want to Know (What Love Is)”

Someguy says:

Re: Re: Bull

Then there’s people like me who don’t mind buying CDs at all. I buy CDs to support my favorite artists. But the thing is… I sometimes download songs and CDs to check out the band first then I almost always end up buying it. I wouldn’t mind paying for the few songs that I downloaded that I didn’t end up purchasing from the store except for the fact that I see these so called “Music Download Services” that you find online as disservices to people with busy schedules like me. I might download 1 or 2 songs one month, maybe 5 or 6 the next. Can anybody say that 14.95 a month (or whatever the stupid services charge these days) for something like that is worth it? Yeah I know that iTunes is on a pay per song basis but I have found that the program is a real resource hog and I didn’t like it at all.
Then there’s ads on DVDs. I mean we already paid for the freakin’ content so why do they have to keep rubbing s**t in our faces? I mean, music CDs don’t have ads. You already paid for the music to be ad-free. Why aren’t DVDs that way? I don’t really download movies or TV episodes but I could so see myself doing that just to stick it to Sony, the MPAA and all the other companies that want to have a stranglehold on us saying “You can’t WRONG us but we can WRONG you.”

James Ditto says:

So, then making a copy of a movie.......

No matter the reason, is illeagal by that thinking. So, the MPAA making a copy of a DVD for “non money making means” is illegal according to thier friend RIAA. Hmm…… So, it’s illegal, but only if someone other than them does it, so by that thinking, it’s only illegal, if I’m not the one doing it, so nothing I do is illegal, therefore, nothing is illegal. Ouch, my head hurts now.

patrick says:

Re: No Subject Given

i would say that ,there are alot of valid points to this issue above , i personally think that the music industry and the movie industry just want to get everyone they can , they are beating a dead horse and losing money in the process , if they want to want to stop losing money ,they need to stop sueing people and start giving incentives ,heres a tip for file sharers , keep the value of what you download below what the music industrys lawyer fees are and they wont come after you , have the stuff you downloaded split among sevral folders and just share one folder at a time, change it every time you log in and that way they see you online and they go ,well he isnt worth the lawyers fees to go after

DingoDog says:

Re: Re: Music copying

All this talk about illegal file sharing and copying has me asking one small and maybe stupid question. If the RIAA and record companies like (Sony) say that copying music is illegal…Why do these companies like (Sony) sell blank cassett tapes and blank CD’s? Shouldn’t they in turn sue themselves for making these things availible to the public and allowing people to do what they say we shouldn’t do?
I have a real headache with this one! What do you think!?

Funsacap says:

Re: Re: Re: Music copying

Ever notice how audio blank CDs are way more expensive than data blanks? They probably get a cut that exceeds the usual margin as “compensation” for the fact that the blank will be used to copy music. I think it was the same back in the day of data cassettes (waaaaay back in ’86 when the sinclair zx spectrum ruled my home with its enormous 48KB of RAM).

Legally Mine says:

Re: Re: Re: Technically, everything on Windows is shared

Just wondering if anyone actually read the filing from which this quote came from. Probably not.

[Making wild assumptions] My guess is that the RIAA are referring to works to which they and their members have rights and you can share whatever you like IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHTS which flow from being a creater/artist.

Not sure about US, but up here in the frozen north, I don’t believe you get the right to share just by buying a movie ticket or CD. You get the right to listen/watch only. So if you want to share, why not fork out the $$$ and get a license to distribute the work.

‘S only fair. Otherwise become a politician, rewrite the law and stop making mountains out of molehills.

Disclaimer: I’m just a poor shmoe who doesn’t buy OR share music – radio is free

silentrite says:

Beat them

I say we beat them all with chairs and replace them with college students. It wouldn’t be any different, aside from less lawsuits and prolly less “copyright infringement” if thats what they want to call everything. If the RIAA’s intensity starts to spread to other areas the next thing we know people will be getting sued for taking pictures. “Oh no, delete that picture! There’s a Metallica poster in the background!”

Dr Andrew A. Adams (user link) says:

Re: Beat them

They’re already trying this in cinemas – because cinema lobbies have large advertising posters (you know, the stuff movie production companies pay people to make available because it promotes their principle money-making product) cinemas are getting paranoid about people taking photos of themselves and their friends on a trip to the movies because there’s a movie poster in the background and according to the pre-movie copyright notices using any image capture device to take an image (moving or still) of any movie-related item is a serious copyright infringement, and the theatre could be sued as well as the person taking the picture of their child and friends on a birthday trip to the movies.

freakengine says:

So, what about different formats?

By this argument, it sounds like the RIAA is divorcing the content from the physical format, right? So, why don’t I get a price break when I buy a CD that I already owned as an LP? I already paid for the content once, right? In fact, if I buy it once in ANY physical format, that should entitle me to download any copies I want in the future? I wonder what the MPAA would think if I downloaded a DIVX version of Robocop because I once owned the VHS version. It’s the same content, right? I already paid for it, right? What about movies I’ve seen in the theatre? Didn’t I buy the content then? I know the argument becomes ridiculous, but if they wanna split hairs, consumers should be able to split hairs too.

anonymous confusion says:

Re: So, what about different formats?

How’s this for splitting hairs:

One point of sharing music, is obviously, to let others listen to your music that you purchased. If I buy a CD (from a legit store) and play it in my car, would I be infringing on the copyright if I have a friend in the car with me listening to the CD? After all, he didn’t buy the music CD. I did. But, can I let him borrow the CD? Or is that a no-no?

MadJo (user link) says:

Re: Re: So, what about different formats?

That is actually covered under the “Small audience” part of the copyright. You can play a cd with other people listening, just as long as you don’t gain any money from it. The moment you start asking your friend money just to listen to the cd, you are in dark waters (and soon without friends too).

At least that is my understanding of that part of it. Otherwise, all the people I know are infringing, ever been to a birthday party where there was no music on the background?
BTW, on a sidenote, is singing “Happy Birthday” in a public place still illegal?

Jim says:

Re: Re: Re: So, what about different formats?

BTW, on a sidenote, is singing “Happy Birthday” in a public place still illegal?

Never was illegal. Copyright violation perhaps but not illegal.

The copyright to the song is owned by someone. Just like any other copyrighted material you must pay a royalty for any public performance

Error says:

Re: Re: Re: So, what about different formats?

Well.. If I remember correctly, If you dont gain any money from giving a file to someone then its legal. The people I download from dont gain money from me downloading… And I dont gain anything when the people that download from me do so.

It’s all legal when you look at it that way…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: So, what about different formats?

By this statement, that would mean radio stations are violating the law, the broadcast music 24/7 to us, and we are not paying for it. Does this mean they will make us pay a subscription the listen to our radios. Or what about when I want to watch TV, is prime time going to turn into pay per view, everytime I watch the Simpsons should I pay a premium. The industry wasn’t loseing money until they started sueing everyone. In theroy if we never pay for any more music, they can’t sue us. This is just like MS vs Linux, the RIAA will loose this fight. Oh one more thing, what about those school plays and such, they are using copyrighted music without a license to broadcast it, so shouldnt the 6yr olds be sued?

S says:

Re: Re: Re: So, what about different formats?

uhmm…dont radio stations pay to broadcast that music, they don’t purchase it at the local store like we do. they are paying for us to listen, hence the reason we have commercials so they can recoup their cost.

same with tv. broadcast companies pay to broadcast those shows if they don’t own them. they either buy the right to air it or they buy the show itself.

am i wrong here? royalties?

Monarch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 So, what about different formats?

Radio stations actually pay $.05 each time they play a song. At least that was what it used to be, it may have gone up.

One thing I wonder though..,
Cover bands at bars? Are they going to be sued next? I mean they get paid to play, and are actually attempting to copy the songs they play as how the actuall bands who wrote and perfomed the music actually do.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 So, what about different formats?

In my area, it’s hard for cover bands to get any gigs at all. Most of the bars have either been approached or are afraid of being approached by the RIAA…… What I wonder is…why don’t the bands that the RIAA is “(mis)representing” stand up for thier fellow musicians? After all, most bands played cover tunes before they made it big. In my experience, (over 20 years of club gigging), we’ve actually helped sell CD’s by various bands after playing songs by them. And I’m sure that paltry few ben franklins that I make a month playing, after paying for strings, cables, upkeep on the P.A. gear, gas and wear and tear on my vehicle, and of course, beer, isn’t going to help anyone very much at all…. Cover bands have longed helped keep the popularity of music going after radio stations have quit playing the songs, by way of tribute bands, etc….. And while I’ve heard a few artists complain about music piracy, I’ve never heard any of them complain about the local cover bands that keep thier music alive.

Steve says:

Re: Re: Re:3 So, what about different formats?

Actually, the venues have to pay a fee to ASCAP (in the US) annually to cover live performances. From different owners I have spoken to, they are required to pay even if none of their live acts plays a cover. There is a separate fee they have to pay for playing recorded music (jukebox, stereo, DJ, etc…).

cowboy2002 says:

Re: Re: Re:3 So, what about different formats?

Radio stations are sent the music free by the recording companies. After all, if you never hear the music in the first place, how do you know you want to buy it? I used to work at a radio station – that’s why there are those Promotional Use Only cds/LPs out there. I don’t think we ever payed to play any song – the record companies uses to pay the disk jockeys to play thier stuff – ever hear of payola? The commercials are to cover the cost of equipment, salaries, rent, licenses, and profit for the station.

cowboy2002 says:

Re: Re: Re:3 So, what about different formats?

Radio stations are sent the music free by the recording companies. After all, if you never hear the music in the first place, how do you know you want to buy it? I used to work at a radio station – that’s why there are those Promotional Use Only cds/LPs out there. I don’t think we ever payed to play any song – the record companies used to pay the disk jockeys to play thier stuff – ever hear of payola? The commercials are to cover the cost of equipment, salaries, rent, licenses, and profit for the station.

S says:

Re: So, what about different formats?

I love that consumers are thinking retaliation over split hairs. Too bad we don’t all get a counter suit going for all the products we have bought more than one of. (My favorite cd that I bought and rebought legit because the first one wore out, got scratched, changed format, etc … )

To me it sounds like everyones biggest complaint is the pompousness of the RIAA. There are plenty of people who are paying for single downloads to prove that lots of people don’t mind paying. More of us wouldn’t mind if they weren’t being so harsh and difficult about the fees and sharing and such.

As for sony selling cds and dvds … there are plenty of legal uses. I want to back up my . I want to share photos from my digital camera. I need to transport data from one network to another. I want to share my home movies with family members.

The only reason it has become so popular to copy content is because it’s easier now. Face it, copying a vhs to another vhs verses cd to cd … how many vhs tapes did you see the content copy warning and how many blank vhs tapes were sold. The issue has been around a while, it just wasn’t so wildly popular to copy content.

Brendan Sheairs says:

RIAA are taking our rights away

ok the RIAA through this statement is limiting our Rights. Admendment 1 in the bill of rights states that we have the freedom of speech, if someone writes a scholarly paper or just any paper and makes it advalible to the public on his website through downloading it, the only problem is it would be illegal in the eyes of the RIAA. This staement that the RIAA stated is unconstitutional! They could get in alot of trouble with the gov. YOU CANNOT LIMIT OUR RIGHTS TO SHARE FILES THAT WE HAVE OUR OWN RIGHT TO!!!!

Panaqqa (user link) says:


Memorandum to all stakeholders within the RIAA and MPAA organizations.
In consideration of recent legal victories and court battles currently underway in defense of our rights as copyright holders, we submit for your consideration and approval the following suggestions for enhancing revenue streams from copyrighted materials:
1) Some web hosting services host online music purchase sites. Typically these sites charge a fee per gigabyte of bandwidth. Since mp3 files of our artists’ music make up a portion of this bandwidth, some of the hosting company revenue should be ours since they wouldn’t have this revenue without our music.
2) We should develop a tagging system similar to hyperlink tags in HTML to be embedded in music and video files. Then new laws can be passed requiring all media player software to respond to these tags by retrieving commercial messages we provide. This will allow us to place commercials of the quantity and frequency of our choosing in all electronic media.
3) Sales of mp3 players and other home entertainment equipment are largely driven by purchasers wanting to play our copyrighted media files, therefore we should lobby for a portion of revenue from these hardware sales to be paid to us as a matter of law.
4) The heavy burden placed on Internet infrastructure caused by exchanging billions of our copyrighted media files has fueled a need for thousands of expert network software developers, all of them highly paid, to build a more robust Internet. These developers owe us part of their salary, since they would not have jobs without us.
5) End User License Agreements (EULAs) are a potential revenue source, as they consist of thousands of words copyrighted by us. Microsoft should be required to build a counter into Windows operating systems to increment each time a user reads a EULA. These counter values would be tabulated each time Windows Update is run to determine what Microsoft owes us, after all it is their software which has provided the user with a copy of our EULA for his or her enjoyment.
6) We should modify our online music stores to charge an additional download fee for each user account on the destination computer, after all, there could be several people in the household who could play a single copy of a media file, and they should pay for the privilege.
7) Search engines such as Google sell advertising display space based on keywords. Where the keyword is the name of one of our artists, we should have a share of that advertising revenue. Also subject to revenue sharing would be ad positioning based on a phrase that is the title of a copyrighted artistic work, or a part of such title. For example, we own the copyright to the song “The Rose”, therefore should share in revenues generated by words “rose” and “the”.
8) It is known that music often “sets the mood” for sexual activity, and that the right music can result in an increased level of sexual activity. Condom manufacturers are seeing increased unit sales due to use of our copyrighted material, therefore we should be compensated for our role in building their customer base.
9) We should lobby for amendments to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, to allow the recording and motion picture/television industries to seize and liquidate the assets of any person found to be in possession of an analog device used for the purpose of playing music or video, which may circumvent Digital Rights Management systems. After all, it is obvious that all the assets of such a person were gained through piracy and theft.
10) We should immediately begin to require that owners of cars that are convertibles purchase a public broadcast license.
Last minute addendum to the above list:
11) It has been brought to our attention that computers operate using a binary system based on 0?s and 1?s. It is our understanding that each 0 and 1 is, in and of itself, a small sample of one of our copyrighted works, and should therefore be the subject of a license fee. We are initiating a project to best determine mechanisms for tracking the use of 0?s and 1?s in computer systems, so that none of them ?fall through the cracks? and avoid payment to us for their use.
Submitted for your consideration,
Technology Usage Revenue Development Subcommittee

Kim Weatherall (user link) says:

Is this such a strange argument?

It’s interesting that this seems like a strange argument to people. In Australia, copyright owners have a right to “communicate a work to the public”, where communicate is defined as “make available online or electronically transmit (whether over a path, or a combination of paths, provided by a material substance or otherwise) a work or other subject-matter”. We got this right as a result of the WIPO Copyright Treaty in 1996 (you know, the one that required anti-circumvention laws): it’s included in article 8. When the US were asked by WIPO in 2003 if a ?right of making available to the public of works in such a way that members of the public might access these works from a place and at a time individually chosen by them, contained in the Law??, the US responded by pointing to the right to perform or display a work ?publicly?.

One of the big concerns fuelling the WIPO Copyright Treaty was that traditional ‘copyright rights’ wouldn’t extend to situations where someone puts copyright stuff on a website, so that people can access it. Surely putting something on a website is an infringement? (assuming no fair use/fair dealing type defence applies; eg, it’s there for criticism).

And if so, what is the difference between that, and putting something in a shared folder for others to access? If people don’t know stuff is in the shared folder, or what that means, then it should be innocent infringement – in Australia, at least, that would mean no damages could be awarded (the right result, if you ask me) – just an injunction (ie, stop sharing!).

Legally Mine says:

Re: Is this such a strange argument?

Yup that’s what it says.

You can communicate it, but only if you hold copyright. Doesn’t mean you bought the CD and can now play it over the PA system. It means the copyright holder [the artist, label, etc.] can do so.

So yes, posting on a website an entire work is an infringement, assumin no fair use etc.

Share drive is same thing. If no one grabs a copy, then no harm done and no economic loss. Facing an injunction. the problem arises if you put it in the shared folder without knowing the consequences and suddenly 20000 copies are downloaded. Stupidity is a really poor defense. Also not knowing the law isn’t a defense either. So, where there is economic loss, really you probably have to prove what you did was not a violation of the law or the law is wrong. Though, don’t take my word for it.

Legally Mine says:

Re: Libraries

Why do you think there is never any good music available at public libraries? ;p

Depending where you live, libraries may have the right to make works of interest available to the public by law [Acts, regulations or municiple by-laws]. That is why you return the music you borrow. It isn’t public sharing per se. Instead individuals get limited access to a work for a limited period of time. But if you burn a copy… tut tut tut. Now you’re in trouble.


Re: Libraries

Libraries to my knowledge pay a sum to lend cd’s etc to the public in the same manner as radio stations , they also generally have a sign now stating that you may not photo/copy anything that you do not have a legal right to do so with.

Heres one for you all.
Is someone going to sue the companies that put you on hold on a telephone whilst spamming you with stupid music tracks , or lifts ( elevators ?), how about the mall that plays music or such.

Error says:

Re: Re: How do you own a pattern of 0's and 1's?

It just doesn’t make sense to me. Sure, The Artist puts alot of work into it and should get money for it. (Thus Concerts, People that buy the cds initially, etc)

But once it is in a digital format and accessible to people.. It’s not something you can “own” Its just a combination of 0’s and 1’s that make up how the particular file functions..

Kim Weatherall (user link) says:

Re: Re: Libraries

Actually, in Australia, someone DID sue our main telecommunications provider, arguing that it was ‘broadcasting’ music when music was played on hold. (the case is called APRA v Telstra). Some of the arguments in that case succeeded – it actually led to a change in the law, to ensure that ‘mere carriers’ were not infringing. But the company that uses the hold music? Yup, that’s a copyright owner’s right, and they have the righ tto be paid.

Ed says:

Does offering a CD for sale in a store make you a

If just offering a CD for sharing is illegal, then does offering a CD in a store make you a thief? Just because it’s there for the taking/stealing, doesn’t make it a crime.
George Carlin once said “it’s a sin to wanna”, but I think this is pushing it too far. No crime has been committed by you leaving the door open.

Legally Mine says:

Re: Does offering a CD for sale in a store make yo

As has been said by some smart people above, yes, it may be illegal/illicit, but it’s a question of the cost to enforce. Holding yourself out as an agent (salesperson) without the consent of the principle (store owner) could in some jurisdictions be fraud. Also, offering a CD for sale [or just for free] to someone when you don’t own that CD is fraudulent misrepresentation. Plainly IT IS WRONG. So don’t do it. Wanting to is different, because you don’t act. Once an act is performed, as is enticing someone to buy/take a CD you are holding out to them, then you are doing wrong.

This is where enforcement kicks in because the only enforcement worth doing in this scenario is the store manager shouting at you and throwing you out of the store, assuming there was no exchange of money.

@cuet says:


You all pose an interesting arguement but the fact that remains is simple. MS owned the operating system you run on your computer. At anytime you decide to run and use this system you have agreed to the EULA. Which means, if MS decides it wants to make changes on how you run your computer and/or access the web, and/or play music it can do so…and even ask for the operating system back if they wish/EULA, read it. Next though i would agree w/many of you that purchasing a CD gives you the right to play it in the car and have others listen w/o having to get sued is wrong, or the fact that many of the schools currently perform songs, plays, whatever w/o paying a dime. Or the fact the Radio/TV/WebTV/Streaming on demand you name it, the reason for commercials that pay for this content. The fact of the matter is as follows, we all agreed when we purchased the item in question, but does not give individual rights to copy of share this to others. BUT WITH THIS SAID, if my friends don’t ‘gain’ from anything i share w/them…and so on…what ‘loss’ is there? I know i don’t always want to pay for bad movies, music, or content at times…and at time i do.

The real issue is the MPAA/RIAA have a bad model for this day in age of computers and what nots. This model only works for them had Tech not spread its way into our hearts so quickly. Example: RIAA/MPAA want royalties from Apple and/or wants a higher percentage because of the growth Apple has seen. Had i said, hmm…i had the money but instead i purchased X amount of shares from Google, and then later GOOGLE blew up…but im mad that i didn’t get more at the price then…and now i want to double my earnings cause i want more at that price. Its a chance they took w/Apple….and they agreed and lost big. Just like everything else they missed out big…and no level of point system can generate those lost numbers for bad movie story lines or poor choices in banking on Pop princess. individuals should not blow this off so well, if anything can be learned is…Corporations only care for the continues life of this itself and itself only…by every means possible. Similar thing is currently happening with Telcos/Cable companies, and they have for some time been rewritin telco act of 1996 under much of the countries noses that when it finally ‘effects’ us all it will be too late.

I respect everything that was said there on the post, and i have reposted to many others so that they too can take in some very interesting comments.

Thanks for your time.


Anonymous Coward says:

This is stupid

Note the term: COPYright.

That is to say, the right to copy. Making available in a shared folder is not copying, plain and simple, because no copy is made. The reason why they would make such a stupid, absurd argument is that there is simply no way for them to track actual copies between users. The only way to catch somebody downloading (copying) a file is to actually make it available on your computer…but if the RIAA did that, there would be no crime committed, since they are the copyright owner and downloading from them is simply requesting a copy and getting permission (they could have their computer refuse to upload the file but…that would prevent a copy from being made).

The fact of the matter is that while a crime may technically be committed, there is no realistic way to track it down. By suing for sharing, the RIAA is making it clear that they are desperate to hang on to older, outdated models of business that have no place in the world we now live in, anymore than a blacksmith does.

icepick314 says:

portable music players...

does this mean EVERY single mp3/wma/ogg/acc player is illegal because most you can just plug in to another computer and have the music available to anyone making files available for distribution…

RIAA is sure smoking some weird stuff lately…

and does ANYONE have any statistics on the money that they “earned” through the lawsuit going back the the artists they are protecting?

Muhammad Abdul Mannan (user link) says:

very sorry

Most of the time muchic companies send music and videos to TV and Radio stations for free. if you hav’t ever heared a music or watched a video, how you will get to know that you have to buy it?

if samples are not available for customers how can u sell your products?

this is strange man! isn’t it?


Outsourcing Offshoring

Jennifer Lewis says:


I think the RIAA is stupid. Just because I have a bunch of music that i have purchased and I have the cd’s for and I put them in a shared folder on my computer so my family can listen to them the RIAA can sue me for copyright infringement. They need to get a life I mean come on going back to an earlier case they sue a 12 year old. Give me a break. To tell you the truth if we were not allowed to listen to any of the files from my friends shared folders I would not have bought half of the cd’s I now have. I think file sharing is a great way for artists to get their music out there. Really the RIAA needs to back off.

PhysicsGuy says:


i’m a little late on this post… but here goes. by default when file sharing and printing is enabled windows automatically creates an admin$ share and a c$ share to anyone capable of gaining admin privelleges through the netbios. if someone didn’t password protect the account they made (and a lot of people don’t) and gave it admin privellegs (which a lot of people do) then it takes nothing more then typing: net use k: ipaddressc$ … that’s it… you now have a new k: drive on your computer that is their entire c drive. or type: net use k: ipaddressc$ password .. (of course substituting the actual password in place of password, unless the password is of course password) if you know their password … this essentially means by the riaa’s logic that pretty much everyone who has music on their computer is comitting a crime, possibly including themselves. unless of course you disable it in the registry (removing the share the old fashioned way is pointless as windows reshares it every time you reboot), which most people don’t do.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...