Washington Post (Quietly) Admits It Got The RIAA Personal Copying Story Wrong

from the on-page-2-of-the-corrections,-of-course dept

It took them a week of columnist Marc Fisher defending his incorrect story on what the RIAA actually said in the Howell case before the Washington Post quietly issued a correction (pointed out by Greg Sandoval over at News.com). Again, I think this is important, because even though the RIAA did a terrible job defending its position, that's no reason to take the RIAA's comments out of context. The other bit of good news to come out of all of this is that the RIAA now has a sense of what would happen if it actually did try to go after people for personal copying of CDs.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2008 @ 11:36pm

    Finally

    About time.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    ReallyEvilCanine, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 12:41am

    Ahem

    RIAA now has a sense of what would happen if it actually did try to go after people for personal copying of CDs.

    And what exactly might that be? This is a group which aggressively sues its own customers and lies in court. They obviously don't give a damn about what anyone thinks of them and the companies they represent. They'd point to the three words that their members have been printing on labels since at least the 1970s: Unauthorised copying prohibited. The claim will be that the physical media is only licensed to the listener and not owned, and copying it in any manner for any reason is "unauthorised". RIAA members still believe their business is selling plastic.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Scorpiaux, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 4:16am

    "The other bit of good news to come out of all of this is that the RIAA now has a sense of what would happen if it actually did try to go after people for personal copying of CDs."

    =====

    What a straw man!!!

    So some reporter at the Washington Post made a mistake. The Washington Post as an entity didn't make it. The RIAA didn't make it. The lawyers prosecuting the case didn't make it. The Washington Post and the RIAA are not colluding on the case in question. And it is sheer fantasy to conclude that the RIAA has been chastised because it has been hoping for some judge somewhere to rule that the personal copying of CDs for any reason is copyright infringement.

    I believe you people at TechDirt want to believe that you are taming a rogue tiger named RIAA. Not happening. Best guess here is that all the peripheral piffle surrounding this case isn't having the slightest effect on either side.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Scorpiaux, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 4:27am

    Re: Ahem

    "RIAA members still believe their business is selling plastic." - ReallyEvilCanine

    =====

    You don't know that. You want to believe it, though. You live in the same fantasy world as the article writer here at TechDirt.

    Let's just say that you are right for the sake of argument. So what? What difference does it make to you? If you are convinced that you know better how to run RIAA than its current management, apply for a job there. Better yet, go into business against them. I'm sure that in a short time RIAA will be on the ropes and you will have adoring fans applauding your heroic actions. The sun will come out from behind the storm clouds and we'll all live happily ever after.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Hellsvilla, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 4:46am

    Re: Scorpiaux

    You're not very smart... are you?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 5:34am

    re Scorpiaux

    something tells me we have a RIAA spy, or fan in our midst

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Bored, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 5:41am

    Re:

    RIAA = asshat's

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 6:14am

    Re: Ahem

    "RIAA members still believe their business is selling plastic."

    nice one REC lets just hope they remember to put some music on those CDs

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    scorpiaux, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 6:20am

    Re: re Scorpiaux

    "something tells me we have a RIAA spy, or fan in our midst" - AC

    ======

    Assuming that you are referring to me, I am neither. RIAA hasn't the slightest idea who I am. I don't flatter myself with such notions.

    I agree completely that RIAA probably should have taken advantage of the new technology and begun an internal effort to change the way it did business. In fact, it may have made the effort without any fanfare to study what it needed to do. But elephants don't always move quickly. What I don't understand is how people mount crusades to try to change organizations where they have no direct interest when said organizations are operating within the law. It is an enormous ego which says, "I don't like the way Xyz Corporation is doing business, so I will work for its destruction if it doesn't change the way I think it should."

    Criticize all you wish. Post a million diatribes. But don't expect to throw rocks and not get some of them thrown back. I see this phenomenon all the time. Critics seem genuinely astonished that the object of their scorn either ignores them or fires back. It is this naïvité which intrigues me. That is what, temporarily for now, intrigues me about this site and its "regular" posters and owners.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    whosywhatsit, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 6:36am

    Critics throwing rocks as a public service

    Well said, Scorpiaux! Someone I care about has a critic's outlook, as though it's doing a public service to rant about ruining a corporation or individual who behaves in a disagreeable manner. Instead it serves primarily to pollute the air.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 6:55am

    Huh?

    A company selling an item and then taking people to court because it thinks it still owns the product it sold????

    NEVER!

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    James, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 8:09am

    Idiots

    The RIAA and its member companies are morons. They assumed they could close their eyes, hide in the corner and the whole issue would just go away.

    The idea that they consider customers theives or "might" sue them for making personal copies of a legally purchased CD would most likely not be news if not the internet and the MP3 music format.

    They seriously need to get their head out of the sand (although recent news suggests that might be happening). None of this is new, the internet isn't new, the MP3 format isn't new, nor are the MP3 players.

    The record companies in fact faught aggressively to block the Diamond Rio, the forebearer (if not the first) MP3 player. They knew THEN the possibility of what could be.

    They knew the internet existed and I'm quite sure some bright person (if they have any) could imagine a future with an open digital music format, ubiquitous cheap players and a connected internet. For them I bet it was like being told they had terminal cancer. Cry, laugh, cry more.

    That was 13+ years ago. Elephants don't always move quickly, but I'd venture their smarter than the idiots at the record companies.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: re Scorpiaux

    Assuming that you are referring to me, I am neither. RIAA hasn't the slightest idea who I am. I don't flatter myself with such notions.

    Maybe, maybe not. Considering all the lying done on another thread under the "Scorpiaux" name I don't place any stock in any thing you say. You've certainly been sounding like some kind of industry troll. Barring any evidence to the contrary, that's good enough for me.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    sylvester, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 11:57am

    ...er, only it didn't make a mistake in the first article. I don't see where the RIAA said CD ripping is legal. I see lots of blather but no " go ahead and rip CDs, its legal."

    I think TechDirt is a little to eager to give the RIAA the benefit of the doubt, one they haven't earned.

     

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  15.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jan 8th, 2008 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    What a straw man!!!

    I think you need to learn what "straw man" means.

    The Washington Post and the RIAA are not colluding on the case in question.

    What did I say that implied they did?

    And it is sheer fantasy to conclude that the RIAA has been chastised because it has been hoping for some judge somewhere to rule that the personal copying of CDs for any reason is copyright infringement.

    I'm not sure what you're saying here, but it doesn't seem to be in response to anything I wrote. First of all, the RIAA is NOT hoping for a judge to rule that personal copying of CDs is infringement. That's what this whole post is about. Second, I wasn't saying that the RIAA was "chastised." I said they now know what would happen if they actually did try to do that. That's a factual statement, because the press actually did say that, and they saw the reaction -- which was that a lot of people (not at Techdirt, mind you, because we pointed out that the story was wrong) got very very angry.

    Once again, I need to question your reading comprehension skills.

    I believe you people at TechDirt want to believe that you are taming a rogue tiger named RIAA.

    Then you need to rethink your beliefs. We do not think we're taming a rogue tiger at all. We are merely pointing out what's going on and expressing our analysis of the situation.

    In fact, what I find most amusing here is that in your inability to comprehend, you seem to think that we sided AGAINST the RIAA in this case when we've been siding WITH them.

    Seriously. You might want to get your reading comprehension skills checked out.

     

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  16.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jan 8th, 2008 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: re Scorpiaux

    What I don't understand is how people mount crusades to try to change organizations where they have no direct interest when said organizations are operating within the law.

    Nice choice of words. We are not on a "crusade." We are simply pointing out economic realities for their benefit. And if you don't think that we are all hurt by the misuse of copyright law, you really ought to do a little research.

    We all have a stake in this, because we could all be a lot better off if copyright law were not abused as it is.

    "I don't like the way Xyz Corporation is doing business, so I will work for its destruction if it doesn't change the way I think it should."

    Yikes. You REALLY need to work on reading comprehension. We don't want to destroy the RIAA. Not at all. I've made it quite clear that we're trying to HELP the RIAA.

    I've come across all sorts of folks who debate with me over the years, but I can't recall one who seems to continually think I've said the opposite of what I've actually said.

    But don't expect to throw rocks and not get some of them thrown back.

    Only in your mind is offering advice, backed up with support, evidence, data and research on how a company can make more money considered "throwing rocks." Stunning.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    DG, Jan 8th, 2008 @ 3:07pm

    There's more to it

    Let's keep it in perspective. Fisher might not have been on the money in his reporting of the Howell case, but he did bring up something the RIAA might wish we didn't know about.

    Fisher also wrote: At the Thomas trial in Minnesota, Sony BMG's chief of litigation, Jennifer Pariser, testified that "when an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." Copying a song you bought is "a nice way of saying 'steals just one copy,' " she said.

    Sherman was all over this one in the NPR interview. THOSE comments are the things we should focus on, and the things we should keep in the light. Sherman wants very badly for us to forget she said that ON THE RECORD. We weren't supposed to be paying attention to her remarks. He was also very careful in the NPR interview to avoid clarifying the issue of ripping a legally bough CD for personal use.

    Don't for a minute believe that the RIAA wouldn't sue each and every one of us for ripping our legally owned CDs to our MP3 players if they thought they could get away with it.

    Pariser's testimony is greasing the skids. You all better pay close attention to what the RIAA says next on the subject. It ain't going away.

    Fair use? It looks to me like an RIAA litigator doesn't think so, and I think THAT got a lot of people's attention.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2008 @ 9:58am

    If we are just licensing music can I get my $$ bac

    I understand that we don't really own a CD for instance.
    What I am unsure about is what the licensing agreement states as it is rather vague.

    I do however know that I very much would like to cancel my license of Nitzer Ebb's Ebbhead CD that I purchased back in the 90's for $17.99 at Soundwarehouse.

    Since a CD is in digital format the original "quality" of this CD is intact so I will be expecting my full $17.99 back.

    As with any license (or contract) there are terms and agreements between the two parties that must be mutually agreed upon. If either party does not agree then the relationship is severed. Unfortunately RIAA members did not completely spell out their terms which I think leaves open a variety of possibilities.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Lonet, Nov 13th, 2008 @ 9:15pm

    The one thing that everyone seems to be overlooking is that the RIAA has not said this at all. In fact, they have explicitly stated that they are not concerned with people copying music to their computer for their own personal use. Marc Fisher, a Post columnist, wrote that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) asserted in a legal brief that anyone who copies music from a CD onto their computer is a thief.
    ------------------
    Lonet


    washington drug rehab

     

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