Say That Again

by Mike Masnick




Would You Believe The RIAA Would Go Back On Its Word?

from the shocking! dept

Following the news of the RIAA suing XM for daring to come up with a device that lets people record their satellite radio offerings, it seems worth reminding the RIAA how they swore up, down, left and right that they would never, ever file such a lawsuit. Ray Beckerman points to a press release quoting the head of the Consumer Electronics Association and the Home Recording Rights Coalition, Gary Shapiro, reminding the industry of their past comments. If you remember, during the battles concerning new laws (such as the INDUCE Act) or lawsuits like the Supreme Court's Grokster case, whenever anyone would point out that these laws would have effectively stopped things like the VCR or the iPod, the entertainment industry would say that was ridiculous. They would never file lawsuits to stop devices that allowed "private, noncommercial consumer conduct." Shapiro points out that: "The lawyer that signed the complaint against XM is the same lawyer who told the Supreme Court that ripping a CD to a PC and then to a handheld device (without paying any royalty) is lawful. He represents the same industry that, in seeking 'inducement' legislation, promised that it would never be applied against devices such as a TiVo personal video recorder." And people wonder why no one trusts the entertainment industry these days?

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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 18 May 2006 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    I don't agree with the RIAA on everything, but I agree with them in this instance. The fact is that allowing people to make perfect digital copies of songs from digital radio is unethical.

    Unethical?!? That's strong. The law is pretty clear that making a copy is perfectly legitimate. I have a hard time seeing how it's unethical or particularly different than any other recording system which is perfectly legal.

    In this case, it's even more "ethical", because it's where people have already paid for the music and the music is limited to this particular device.

    Allowing people to record like that means that people won't be buying the albums, plain and simple.

    That's a huge assumption, and one that is almost definitely incorrect. Since this is a very limited application, recording like this often increases interest in artists, increasing sales, increasing interest in other things: such as concert tickets and merchandise (where artists make their money anyway).

    That amounts to nothing more than stealing, and it hurts the industry and the people in it.

    Again, this is false. I've gone over this a thousand times, but recording a song is NOT THEFT. Even the Supreme Court says so. In fact, many artists disagree with you, and note that this type of thing increases interest in their music, allowing them to make much more money. Studies for file sharing have shown that this is true -- and so it's hard to see how recording from a service people paid for would somehow hurt the industry.

    Sorry, spitting out the industry line doesn't work here.

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