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 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're confusing a couple of things. First of all, because something is legal doesn't mean it's ethical.

    That still doesn't explain how listening to music you like is somehow unethical.

    Second, what you're paying for when you pay for digital radio service is to hear the songs when they are played over the radio, not for the right to listen to anything that has ever been broadcast at any time whenever you feel like it.

    This is false. You have ever right to record the music you listen to for your own listening pleasure.

    Recording can help increase interest in an artist, but it also can hurt sales; and in the end, it is the artists and the record companies that own the rights to the songs, not you. It should be their decision whether or not to allow you to have the song for free in hopes that you buy the album.

    Again, this is a drastic misunderstanding of the law. The artists have the right to say how they sell the song, but what you do with it, beyond distributing it to others is perfectly fine. When you bought your car, did Toyota or whoever tell you they can stop you from driving it on weekends? No, once you bought it, it was yours.

    Finally, it's important to realize that it takes more work than just by the artists to get a product completed and out on the market. The producers, marketing people, the people in the cd pressing plant, the people that signed the artist - none of them make a cent when you see the band in concert, or when you buy one of their t-shirts.

    Cry me a river. And when the automobile came along, were you standing up for the poor buggy whip makers who were about to go out of business? If they can't figure out how to make money when the technology changes, that's not our problem, it's theirs.

    Would it be ok to steal an I-Pod and justify it by giving $20 to the guy that designed it?

    No, but not for the reason you describe. In that case, it's a tangible product where something is lost. Making a personal copy for yourself of a song you PAID to listen to is not, in any way, the same thing.

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