RIAA's New War: Shutting Down The Equivalent Of Internet VCRs
from the the-virtual-boston-strangler dept
The entertainment industry just won’t quit trying to kill perfectly legal technologies with substantial non-infringing uses. Back during the big legal fight over Grokster, the RIAA insisted that it had absolutely no interest in stopping technologies people used to record things. In fact, Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro reminded them of this promise after the RIAA went after XM Radio’s device to record broadcasts. It appears that the RIAA has no problem continuing to go against its word. Its latest move is to send a letter to CNET, asking it to remove tools from Download.com that can be used to record videos from YouTube. Of course, there a tons of legitimate uses for such tools. Just as you can legally record shows off of TV (thank you Supreme Court), you should be able to record stuff on YouTube (related: shame on Google for blocking such tools as well).
Of course, from the parts of the RIAA’s request that have been made public by Greg Sandoval at CNET, it sounds like the RIAA isn’t directly making a legal threat (which would be tough, given CNET’s role as a fourth party service provider for third party tools which might be used to infringe), but rather appealing to its parent company, CBS, arguing that because such tools and their substantial non-infringing uses might also be used to record CBS content (again, just like the VCR), that they should want to put an end to them.. Thankfully, it sounds like CNET has no interest in complying.
However, given the RIAA’s promises during the Grokster case that it had no interest in blocking such technologies, it seems that, once again, the RIAA has been shown as liars who have no compunction about blocking perfectly legal technologies, just because they haven’t figured out how to adapt to modern times.