Hard To Believe: Computer Makers Giving In To RIAA Pressure, Disabling Sound Recording?

from the can't-really-be-true,-could-it? dept

A whole bunch of people are submitting this, though, the explanation is not passing the sniff test. The story is that a bunch of laptop owners (mainly from Dell) are frustrated after discovering that their laptop soundcard configuration blocks the recording of audio, even though it's possible to enable it with a few tweaks. In other words, recording has effectively been turned off by the computer manufacturers. It didn't take long for rumors and speculation to assume that somehow the RIAA has been pressuring these computer makers to turn off sound. Of course, with the entertainment industry, sometimes it seems that no concept is too evil to believe that the industry wouldn't endorse. However, there seems to be no evidence whatsoever that the RIAA had any part in this. On the whole, it sounds like someone just made a bad decision in terms of how to configure certain sound cards. If someone can provide any evidence that the RIAA actually had a role in this, we'll post an update, but there's no reason to jump to conclusions without any evidence. That's what the RIAA does.

Filed Under: disabling recording, laptops, sound cards

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  1. identicon
    Matt Bennett, 8 Jul 2008 @ 6:13am

    There is almost no chance that this was on purpose or sponsored by the RIAA. Firstly, not a lot of infringement occurs via microphone recordings, though quite rightly that doesn't mean the RIAA isn't stupid enough to complain about it anyway.

    Much more importantly, however, Dell sells an awful lot computers, particularly laptops, to businesses. It has been my experience and I would hazard to guess that by far the most common use of microphones in laptops is for various business uses (boring stuff, webexes, VOIP conference calls, demos, training sessions). These applications are often used by dumb sales guys (like me) who can't be bothered adjusting too many settings. Your average sales organization would be really, really pissed to find out they can't get their laptops to record, particularly since they're most like to figure this out about 15 minutes before a client call.

    So, no Dell didn't do it on purpose, and they're probably rapidly becoming really, really sorry, as people with a whole lot more clout than your avg consumer are complaining.

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