What Did The UK Accomplish In Revoking The Right To Rip CDs After Just One Year... Other Than Greater Disrespect For Copyright?

from the and-you-wonder-why-no-one-respects-copyright-law dept

A little history: In 2011, after quite a bit of study, the so-called Hargreaves Report was released in the UK, with some fairly mundane suggestions on how copyright law in the UK could be updated for the 21st century. One of the key suggestions? Admit that it was legal to rip your own CDs to MP3s, which everyone had simply assumed to be the case anyway. Of course, it took over three years for that to actually be implemented. However, back in August of 2014, the UK finally made it officially legal to rip CDs (of course, in the intervening three years, fewer and fewer people even bothered to buy CDs any more, but, details...). Then, less than a year after that happened, we noted that the UK's high court stripped away that right after the record labels protested. The court ruled that private ripping of CDs "harms" the recording industry and thus, couldn't be allowed. The court left open the possibility that perhaps the UK government might find a workaround, but the UK's Secretary of State told the court it was fine with killing the law anyway -- and thus, on July 17th, the private copying exception was dead.

And just like that, less than a year after the UK officially got the right to rip CDs they had legally purchased, that right disappeared. This story is making news again after the excellent 1709 blog had something of a postmortem for the briefly-held-before-being-lost right and others including Ars Technica and Boing Boing picked up on the story, even though the right died back in July.

However, with this new coverage, it left me thinking -- what exactly did the recording industry accomplish here that helps it in any way? A key part of the reasoning of the original Hargreaves report was that allowing a private copyright right would actually bring copyright norms into alignment with what people expected copyright law to allow -- thus giving people more of a reason to respect copyright law, for not being totally ridiculous and unreasonable:
The Review favours a limited private copying exception which corresponds to what consumers are already doing. As rights holders are well aware of consumers’ behaviour in this respect, our view is that the benefit of being able to do this is already factored into the price that rights holders are charging. A limited private copying exception which corresponds to the expectations of buyers and sellers of copyright content, and is therefore already priced into the purchase, will by definition not entail a loss for right holders.
And yet, the record labels still went to court to block this and won. And yet... no one actually thinks the record labels are now going to sue individuals for ripping CDs, because that would be ludicrous.

The end result, though, are a bunch of headlines mocking copyright law and how out of touch it is with reality. I'm honestly trying to understand what the record labels' strategy was here. They spent money on a legal fight where the only thing they got out of it was a right they've never used and which they're unlikely to use -- but in doing so further eroded the public's respect (whatever might be left of it) for copyright law. This is kind of amazing, given how frequently we hear people from the recording industry insist that copyright must be respected. Yet, they're the ones who constantly make a complete mockery of it as they have done here. And for what? To retain a "right" they were never going to use in the first place? Is it really so scary to the industry to give an inch that they must fight to make copyright even less respected in the process?

Filed Under: cds, copyright, personal copies, ripping, uk


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 5:20am

    Less education = More respect, More education = Less respect

    The Review favours a limited private copying exception which corresponds to what consumers are already doing.

    You can look at the above, and similar situations, either two ways:

    1. Massive numbers of people are knowingly violating copyright law, completely indifferent to what it says is and is not allowed.

    or

    2. Massive numbers of people are unknowingly violating copyright law, because the idea that format shifting something they'd bought is illegal is an idea that wouldn't even occur to them given how insane it is.

    Examples like this are why I always laugh when I see the idea of 'The way to get people to respect copyright is to educate them on it'. On the contrary, the more someone knows about copyright law, the less likely they are to respect it.

    Tell someone the laughable line about how copyright is 'for the artists', and most people will be in favor of it.

    On the other hand, tell someone that thanks to copyright nothing said 'artists' create will be available for other artists to build upon in their lifetime, and you're going to have to work a bit more to retain that 'respect'.

    Tell someone that ripping a CD to transfer the tracks to a computer or other device, something that a great many people do without thinking twice about it is illegal, and keeping that respect is a bit more difficult.

    Tell someone that thanks to copyright, and in particular 'collection' agencies who use it as a club, you've got people running around trying to shake down weddings and demanding people pay for playing a radio where more than one person can hear it, and that respect starts to wane.

    It's probably fair to say that knowledge of copyright law is linked to respect of copyright law, but it's an inverse relationship. The less people know about it, the more likely they are to respect it, and vice versa.

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    • identicon
      cpt kangarooski, 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:03am

      Re: Less education = More respect, More education = Less respect

      Agreed. My policy in gathering support for reform has long been to simply educate people on what the law is; they unfailingly come to the conclusion that it is absurd on their own.

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      • icon
        Derek Kerton (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 11:24am

        Re: Re: Less education = More respect, More education = Less respect

        I find that when I try to educate people who start from a place of zero knowledge (almost everyone), they generally react by not believing me, and thinking I'm a conspiracy nut.

        I then have to do more legwork to re-establish my "sanity" credentials with them. But one quick email with about 4-5 links to ridiculous (and fun) stories usually works. I like to include ones with "death plus 70 years" as incentive, and "collection agencies for horse stable's music".

        That email is usually met with a reply of "Holy shit! I had no idea. This is ridiculous!"

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 6:40am

    However, with this new coverage, it left me thinking -- what exactly did the recording industry accomplish here that helps it in any way?

    The illusion of control over what people can do with their copies.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 9:34am

      Re:

      The illusion of control over what people can do with their copies.
      I think they're hoping the illusion will make it real. If you make people think they need permission to do anything, that they're doing something wrong or criminal otherwise, they may not bother. Such a chilling effect has already been documented for investment in music startups. If fair use stops being something people make use of (maybe they've given up that right in EULAs/ToS) it can be eliminated entirely.

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      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 7 Dec 2015 @ 5:54am

        Re: Re:

        Well they're trying to make small scale infringement a criminal offense so getting laws like this in place helps to bring that goal a little closer to fulfillment.

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  • icon
    icarusthecow (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 6:48am

    " no one actually thinks the record labels are now going to sue individuals for ripping CDs, because that would be ludicrous. "

    Oh just you wait... this isn't even their final form...

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  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 6:57am

    our view is that the benefit of being able to do this is already factored into the price that rights holders are charging.

    Factored in my a$$! I paid for the CD so I can listen to it whenever/wherever I want to. There's absolutely NO REASON why I would have to pay again for any time/formatshifting I might do.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:02am

      Re:

      It's not about time/format shifting. It's about how many times you buy it.

      I once purchased Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon on vinyl.

      Then I purchased it on 8-track.

      Then on cassette.

      And again on cassette when the earlier one wore out.

      And again when my music collection was stolen.

      And twice again when a tape player ate it.

      And finally on CD.

      But once on CD, it would never wear out or be eaten by a tape player. Once ripped to MP3, I had an off-site backup if the original was stolen.

      This is what the record labels fear: People only buying an album ONCE.

      It's the driving force behind DRM. The record labels countered CD ripping with their own online stores. With DRM-encumbered music formats. When their stores inevitably closed, you lost access to your music and had to buy it again. When you bought a new computer, which inevitably didn't support the old DRM-enabled music player, you had to buy the music again.

      Microsoft played ball with the record labels, "fixing" the problem with PlaysForSure - a DRM system supported my many prominent media companies and hardware manufacturers. Inevitably they scrapped the system a few years later for the non-compatible "Zune Marketplace." And then scrapped that too.

      The record labels wouldn't have a problem with format or time shifting, if it didn't ALSO end the traditional repeat purchases of the same content.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 6:58am

    I imagine that they're worried that if it remains legal for some one to format shift a CD to an mp3 on their computer that this fact will be used as a defense by some company in the future that has some new service that the legacy IP companies could never have imagined.

    If everything around copyright is illegal then they can sue whoever they want whenever they want for whatever they want. If there is even one sane exception to their control, the public might carve out a niche in which the MAFIAA has no legal form of control.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:05am

    Would it be fair to say this strategy created more pirates and thus a larger piracy problem?

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    • identicon
      David, 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:32am

      Re:

      "labelled", not "created".

      And the problem was people creating private copies. Which one cannot really control without invading privacy. But since the UK government has demonstrated amply that it has no problem invading its citizens' privacy, outlawing private copies became a feasible move.

      In order not to have people object too much against the necessary invasion of privacy for making these laws stick, I expect that the "piracy" label will eventually be retired since its association with serial high sea robbery does not really do the depravation of private copying justice and will look like a mismatch between crime and prosecution.

      So expect "piracy" to be succeeded by "media terrorism" in the near future. That way, everybody will be content with private copies being detected and brought to justice with the tools ruled to be permissible for combatting terrorism.

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  • identicon
    David, 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:05am

    This is just stupid.

    There is no point in providing "rights" that are beyond reasonable control.

    Copyright does not include performance rights. So we are talking about what somebody acquiring a legal copy of some work is allowed to do. Whatever transformative work or however many copies he creates from it, as long as no copies are obtainable by some member of the public or performances are available to some member of the public, the only way to detect "illegitimate copies" is by breaching the privacy of the owner.

    And privacy breaches are serious enough to law makers that under different circumstances they are prepared to let themselves be bribed into calling them "agricultural terrorism" (unbelievable, I know) and pass laws against such purportive breaches even when the property in question is animate matter subjected to pain illegally.

    So personal use of legally acquired copies is a natural thing to allow since there is no proportionate way to draw the line narrower than that.

    If I buy a painting, it would be absurd if I had to prohibit my house guests from making a sketch of it for their personal enjoyment. Even if they subsequently hang that sketch in their own bedroom which can be peeped into from a tree across the street.

    That some media is digital does not change that fundamental border of my private space beyond which any intrusion is a disproportionate invasion of privacy.

    Of course, governments all over the world are elevating the relevance of terrorism as well as they can in order to make invasions of privacy more acceptable to their citizens.

    The ultimate target, of course, are not terrorists. Blowing dozens of billions through every year for eavesdropping on every communication is not a proportionate response for terrorism.

    But it is for making people accept micromanagement of their private matters by government authorities: a lot of money is in it for the content industries. They are the ones who have the most to gain from terrorism.

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    • identicon
      any moose cow word, 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:36am

      Re: This is just stupid.

      Copyright does not include performance rights.

      I don't know about copyright in the UK, but the law does include performance rights in the US. How a transient performance constitutes a permanent copy, which is all copyright was intended to cover, is beyond me.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:48am

        Re: Re: This is just stupid.

        ...the law does include performance rights in the US...

        Which includes any business that dares to play a radio in their business when it's open to the public. Businesses have gotten notices that they have to "buy" a performance license to do this. There's also every time a UFC or similar fight gets put on pay-per-view where solicitations go out for private investigators to cruise their bars and nightclubs for any showing said fights. The solicitors are looking for those clubs who haven't "bought" the performance license.

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      • identicon
        David, 2 Dec 2015 @ 11:00am

        Re: Re: This is just stupid.

        Sorry, my bad. I meant "the acquisition of a copyrighted medium does not include any right for performances of any kind to the public". Basically what I wanted to say is that performance rights have to be separately acquired, whereas the legitimate acquisition of a copyrighted medium entitles you to some default uses of the copyrighted material.

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  • icon
    Andres (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:08am

    OutLaw

    Completely agree, these people have the foresight of a deaf bat.

    One minor comment, while the July decision quashed private copying regulations, the new batch of articles has two origins. First, the OutLaw blog managed to get a spokesperson from the IP Office on record to admit that they were going to let the law die (they could have appealed, or re-drafted a new regulation). Secondly, the 1709 blog accurately contrasts this with the Reprobel case.

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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:22am

    A key part of the reasoning of the original Hargreaves report was that allowing a private copyright right would actually bring copyright norms into alignment with what people expected copyright law to allow -- thus giving people more of a reason to respect copyright law, for not being totally ridiculous and unreasonable

    Jessica Litman, in her excellent book Digital Copyright, points out that one of the biggest problems is that so many people don't believe copyright law. Not that they "don't believe in" it, but they simply do not believe, when told about what the law requires and what it restricts, that the law could actually be that ridiculous; surely the person explaining it to them is misinformed... right?

    When things get to that point, it's a good sign that the law needs to be changed.

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  • identicon
    any moose cow word, 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:23am

    The entire purpose of law is to protect the public interest, and it can be argued that the principle of copyright does that. However, current copyright law does not. It's no surprise that the people have no interest in a law that clearly was not created with their interest in mind.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 9:45am

      Re:

      The entire purpose of law is to protect the public interest[...] However, current copyright law does not.
      Not just copyright law. Lobbying has infected pretty much everything.

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      • identicon
        any moose cow word, 2 Dec 2015 @ 9:36pm

        Re: Re:

        True, but I was merely addressing the particular laws relevant to the article. My comment below basically sums up the problem.

        My comment below would apply to our legislature in general.
        It's crony capitalism, where the wealthy "buy" legislation to benefit themselves, or bury whatever doesn't. It's in effect neo-feudalism, where the primary purpose of law is to uphold the interest of the self-appointed social "elite". The rights of commoners are only addressed if they don't interfere with the interest of the elite--that takes precedence in all matters.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:25am

    How exactly is the benefiting the public again

    I thought laws were supposed to benefit society. How is this benefiting anyone other than the collection societies again? They did not create anything, they just attack anyone who dares question their right to remove your rights.

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    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:47am

      Re: How exactly is the benefiting the public again

      This doesn't benefit collection societies either. It doesn't benefit anyone.

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    • identicon
      any moose cow word, 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:50am

      Re: How exactly is the benefiting the public again

      It's crony capitalism, where the wealthy "buy" legislation to benefit themselves, or bury whatever doesn't. It's in effect neo-feudalism, where the primary purpose of law is to uphold the interest of the self-appointed social "elite". The rights of commoners are only addressed if they don't interfere with the interest of the elite--that takes precedence in all matters.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:17am

      Re: How exactly is the benefiting the public again

      Laws should represent the wishes of society. IP laws in general clearly don't. As noted in the article

      "the UK's high court stripped away that right after the record labels protested. The court ruled that private ripping of CDs "harms" the recording industry and thus, couldn't be allowed."

      What the record labels are doing is they're making it more abundantly clear (as if it wasn't abundantly clear enough already) that these laws, and by extension IP laws in general, represent business interests and not the will of the public. This causes people to disrespect these laws and, by extension, IP laws in general as being undemocratic. Had they stayed out they would have not given people more reason to believe that IP laws in general were written because corporations (and not the people) want them. Interfering with this does them little good and further confirms what's already more than obvious enough, that IP laws are written for business interests which will only increase how much the public disrespects these laws. It gives people more things to point to and say "see, these laws represent businesses and not the public. This isn't a democracy."

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    • identicon
      David, 2 Dec 2015 @ 10:56am

      Re: How exactly is the benefiting the public again

      The collection societies are intermediaries. They get percentages. The lion's share goes to the artists, thus creating an incentive and the means for them to continue creating works.

      That part of the logic is reasonably sound. Once the artists are dead, the logic becomes more contorted. When copyrights get extended posthumously, the logic needs painkillers.

      The distribution keys also favor superstarism: it is much easier for the labels and fee collectors to pay out ridiculous amounts to few people they promote to utter silliness than to have to cater to lots of small parties.

      One way to do that is to drown the small players in bureaucracy and sell-your-souls contracts so that they have to pay more than they get out. In order to make that a reasonably safe bet, it's a good idea to keep the thumbs on coverable music forever.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 11:42am

        Re: Re: How exactly is the benefiting the public again

        The lion's share goes to the artists,

        The lions share goes to the labels, and some of it trickles down to their best selling artists.

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        • icon
          jupiterkansas (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 11:58am

          Re: Re: Re: How exactly is the benefiting the public again

          The lion's share goes to the copyright holder, which might be a label, or might be an artist.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:25am

    How exactly is the benefiting the public again

    I thought laws were supposed to benefit society. How is this benefiting anyone other than the collection societies again? They did not create anything, they just attack anyone who dares question their right to remove your rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 9:16am

      Re: How exactly is the benefiting the public again

      "I thought laws were supposed to benefit society."

      the HIGH society

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:47am

    quite logical, actually

    Here in the USA, it's a high crime to rip a DVD but perfectly legal to rip a CD -- despite that both of these disks are physically (visually) identical.

    At least there's some consistency in the UK, where every kind of 12cm plastic media disk with a hole in the middle is equally unlawful to rip.

    Because laws --even bad laws-- need to be consistently applied, follow a simple logic that anyone can understand, and not require hiring a specialist attorney just to figure out if some common mundane task is legal or not.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 9:50am

      Re: quite logical, actually

      Here in the USA, it's a high crime to rip a DVD but perfectly legal to rip a CD -- despite that both of these disks are physically (visually) identical.
      It's not illegal to rip a DVD, only to bypass the encryption. Not all commercial DVDs are encrypted. But until people start caring about the difference (and only buying products that grant the rights they'd like to have), the BPI/RIAA/MPAA/etc. have no reason to change anything. No matter how extreme their behavior gets, people keep giving them money.

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    • icon
      ltlw0lf (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 10:21am

      Re: quite logical, actually

      Here in the USA, it's a high crime to rip a DVD but perfectly legal to rip a CD

      It is only illegal to rip a DVD if you bypass the CSS "copy-protection" scheme (in quotes because it does neither of those things...you can create a perfect copy of the DVD without breaking CSS, and it is marginally better protection than leaving the DVD out on the sidewalk with a sign that says "please don't copy this.") Otherwise, you can rip a DVD without issue. There are quite a few companies that release titles without Digital Restrictions Management (or, as the IP-Maximalists call it, Digital Rights Management, which is just stupid...no rights are respected, only restrictions to those rights which already exist by nature/technology/culture) now. The DMCA is illogical, period, but its application here is entirely logical...you can rip whatever doesn't use encryption to prevent you from ripping.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2015 @ 12:33am

        Re: Re: quite logical, actually

        "It is only illegal to rip a DVD if you bypass the CSS "copy-protection" scheme (in quotes because it does neither of those things...you can create a perfect copy of the DVD without breaking CSS,"

        Ok, let's just see what the actual law has to say about whether creating a "carbon copy" image of a disk (without breaking encryption) is legal or not:

        17 U.S. Code § 1201 - Circumvention of copyright protection systems

        (a) Violations Regarding Circumvention of Technological Measures.—
        (1)
        (A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.
        ( ..... )
        ( ..... )
        (3) As used in this subsection—
        (A) to “circumvent a technological measure” means to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner

        source: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/1201.html


        "There are quite a few companies that release titles without Digital Restrictions Management ...
        ...you can rip whatever doesn't use encryption to prevent you from ripping."


        But it's far more than just specifically encryption (which anyway is completely transparent to the user in most [vintage] DVD-ripping softwares) because the law covers any (undefined)"technological measure that effectively controls access to a work"

        How shall we consider those copy-protected-by-accident "mixed-mode" [non-Red Book] CDs that became increasingly common in the late 1990s to early 2000s. Although they were not originally designed specifically as a copy-protection technique when they first came out, they turned out to be un-rippable by the average MS Windows user. The record industry took notice, and soon started producing mixed-mode CDs (and other non-redbook derivatives) specifically to sabotage CD ripping.

        Because some non-Redbook CDs were intended as copy-protected CDs, while other non-Redbook CDs were not, this would appear to create a huge legal problem -- unless of course the CD-ripping consumer has the ability to read the minds of the CD manufacturer and/or copyright owner.

        And then what if the copyright owner had not originally intended the CD's "extra features" to be an anti-ripping device ( hence making the CDs legal to rip by the consumer)? Do they later get to change their minds and designate them as such (thereby making those same exact CDs which were originally legal now retroactively ILLEGAL to rip by the consumer)?

        Does the simple act of holding down a PC's 'shift' key when inserting one of these mixed-mode CDs (thereby disabling autorun) make a person guilty of the crime of "bypassing a technological measure" as defined by the DMCA? (A dozen or so years ago, there'd be endless discussion threads about this very topic on sites such as "CD Freaks". Ah, the good old days!)

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    • icon
      Andy J (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 10:42am

      Re: quite logical, actually

      Not quite as consistent as you may think. In Europe, if you own any software (computer program) which actually came on a DVD or if you're really old school, on a CD, then under the EU Software Directive you may legally make a bacKup copy of it. However if there is DRM in place, it is illegal to evade or crack the DRM in order to exercise your legal right to make a backup. Go figure.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 5 Dec 2015 @ 7:06am

      Re: quite logical, actually


      At least there's some consistency in the UK


      There is in the US too, it's just not based on what the product looks like. It's legal to make a personal backup or format shifted copy of anything, as long as you don't have to bypass DRM to do so.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:58am

    It's all part of the recording industry's plan to drive down music sales by pissing off the music-buying public. It's been going at least fifteen years and I have yet to figure out what their objective is, but it's working.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:01am

    surely, more than anything, it shows that the UK government is bent over and grabbing ankles for the entertainment industries, just as much as the USA! neither of these or many other governments have any consideration for the people, the media buying public, only allowing these industries to basically run them! the changes that were brought into law in the UK that lasted just a couple of weeks were done like that intentionally to try to pull the wool over the eyes of the public, to get them to think that the government was actually on the side of consumers for a change. i dont think there was any intention to allow the changes to stay. had there have been, the government would have altered the proposals but as far as i know, once removing the new changes, the government has done absolutely diddly-squat!
    only those in the positions the government members are in could possible act in this way. they completely removed all rights from the customer and ave a carte-blanch to the entertainment industries instead. the chance of getting any updated copyright/file sharing law is almost non-existent now and dont forget the present government commissioned a study carried out by Professor Hargreaves as well and the recommendations in that have been completely ignored! the really frightening thing from this shows that the entertainment industries are running countries, not the various governments. if that were not the case, the governments would have done what they should have, first looking after the people they took oaths to represent and made sure that the laws coped with them. how the hell can any laws be such that they all cater for the seller but absolutely none cater for the buyer??

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    • identicon
      David, 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:39pm

      Re:

      it shows that the UK government is bent over and grabbing ankles for the entertainment industries

      I'd be fine with that if they were grabbing their own ankles.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:07am

    I'm going back to CDs!

    This is great!

    Now that ripping CDs is illegal and the record companies do not need to artifically inflate prices to cover the ripping.
    This means CDs will be much cheaper and I can save lots of money building my music collection!

    What, CDs still expensive?

    Fuck'em then, Pirate Bay is an easier alternative and I won't have to carry around a jukebox to listen to my music collection.

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  • identicon
    Lurker Keith, 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:13am

    Some computers rip by default!

    My computers automatically rip any CD put into it that hasn't already been ripped. This was how it was set up when I bought any of them. I do live in the US, so this could be different elsewhere.

    Of course noone believes it's illegal. They don't even consciously rip the discs. The computers have been doing that for us for over a decade, without us making any change. Maybe 2.

    Though, newer OSes may require you to figure out how to select .mp3 as the format, over the now default .wav, but it still is set up to auto-rip (older OSes I've used defaulted to .mp3). I can't imagine what file format it rips to would make any difference, copyright-wise (a copy is a copy), but it makes a huge difference to the end user.

    Tangentially, I, also, recently, learned my computer prioritizes the saved files over the CD. I tried putting a CD in kinda recently, & it wouldn't play from the CD, but started playing from the hard drive (I had forgotten I had already played it in the computer years ago; actually forgot I had the disc). It took me a bit to figure out why it was behaving that way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 5 Dec 2015 @ 7:11am

      Re: Some computers rip by default!

      Though, newer OSes may require you to figure out how to select .mp3 as the format, over the now default .wav,

      You have got to be mistaken. .wav files are uncompressed, a CD in that format would be enormous.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2015 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re: Some computers rip by default!

        "You have got to be mistaken. .wav files are uncompressed, a CD in that format would be enormous".

        A CD in that format would be 750MB, or 74 minutes long*. CD audio is essentially a wave or aiff file - uncompressed 16 bit 44.1 kHz.



        * yes I know they can be longer

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 5 Dec 2015 @ 1:16pm

          Re: Re: Re: Some computers rip by default!

          Yeah, so 100 CDs would be 75GB. That's a lot of space for not that much music. I don't know, I've never seen a program default to WAV for ripping CDs but maybe that's just me.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Lurker Keith, 9 Dec 2015 @ 8:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Some computers rip by default!

            Are you mixing up ripping & burning?

            Rip: copy disc, usually to the HDD
            Burn: save to disc

            All CDs I've bought (granted, it's been a while) have always had .wav tracks.

            What I'm talking about is copying the .wav files OFF the CD & saving them to the hard drive. Since the files start in .wav, converting them to .mp3 during the process saves time. .mp3 used to be the default to rip them to the HDD, but that appears to have changed. Possibly because file size is no longer a concern; perhaps as a favor to the RIAA. All I know is, the last computer I got I had to track down settings to change the default from .wav to .mp3.

            Sorry for the delayed reply. Forgot about this post.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Beech, 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:14am

    Motives

    The best theory I've heard is that the music labels pursued this as a "rights grab", just to lock down as many rights and privileges as they can for themselves. Not because they expect to use them or need them, but because who knows if this"right" will help them in another tangentially related case in another situation down the road. They may not be planning on using any of their rights now, but they prefer to hoard then nonetheless in case they prove useful later.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mcinsand, 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:14am

    what about personal archival copies?

    Some years ago, when CD burners became widely available, the topic of ripping was hotly debated as the **AA organizations said that enabling ripping was piracy. However, the assessment as I remember it was that we are allowed to make archival copies of works that we have purchased, even if we are not allowed to make multiple copies to share or particularly to sell, and that the ability to make archival copies was related to constitutional protections.

    Have laws regarding personal copies really changed that much? This is recently a topic on a forum that I follow, where a company threatened lawsuits just because one of the forum members complained about DRM and others gave suggestions on how he could make his own copies. There was no mention about him making copies for anything but his own personal use.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:26am

      Re: what about personal archival copies?

      This is recently a topic on a forum that I follow, where a company threatened lawsuits just because one of the forum members complained about DRM and others gave suggestions on how he could make his own copies. There was no mention about him making copies for anything but his own personal use.

      If the individual in question was from the US(or from any other country that has anti-DRM circumvention laws), it doesn't matter, the simple act of bypassing the DRM to make the copy made what was otherwise a perfectly legal action illegal.

      That's the 'fun' bit with DRM and laws that make bypassing and/or breaking it illegal, it allows those that are adding the DRM to pretty much write their own laws, and completely bypass the ones that would otherwise apply.

      Making a personal backup is legal? Not once you infect it with DRM.

      Someone forgets to slip the right people enough 'contributions' to retroactively extend copyright again, and something enters the public domain? Better hope you can find a non-DRM infected copy, otherwise for all intents and purposes it's still locked up.

      Want to format shift the CD you just picked up to transfer the tracks to some other device so you can listen to them on the go? Have fun breaking the law doing so if it's infected.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        mcinsand, 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:59am

        Re: Re: what about personal archival copies?

        Wow, a response from TOG. I am being sincere when I say that I am honored.

        Thank you for your clear response, and it's now coming back to me. Those discussions that I remembered were pre-DMCA. Oh, well, like the fourth amendment, it was nice to have rights while they lasted.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 9:07am

    you cannot use ipods and iphones without constant token authorization from the mothership

    and the link to the apple mothership works only through itunes
    which also has this terrorist mp3 capabilities...

    so apple, ipods and iphones are ILLEGAL in the UK?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 9:11am

    us cars also automatically rip cds into the hard drive
    specially family SUVs,
    are those cars forbidden in the UK?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 9:21am

    I guess ripping into file formats like FLAC and APE is double un-good then

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 9:25am

    Typo in article

    The words "stripped away that right" are supposed to be a link, but the link was botched because "href" was misspelled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 10:06am

    It would be great if the eu review on copyright brought
    in a person use right to copy cds ie you are allowed to make one copy to a portable media player or a phone to listen to music you bought .It seems the music industry wants to punish their
    customers who buy music on cds .
    And it makes them seem more stupid and out of touch .
    When the law makes no sense ,people ignore it .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:15pm

    Abolish Copyright

    Period.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Black Art (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:24pm

    Anyone who has a child makes backup copies

    I got tired of my daughter destroying my CDs. I backup everything before she is allowed to listen to them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:39pm

    I really think the entertainment industry enjoys being a-holes above all.

    After that it's greed. Making you buy a copy for every device you own means more money for them.

    And I also really think they would sue you for NOT buying or listening to or watching their stuff if they thought they could get away with it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:52pm

      Re:

      And I also really think they would sue you for NOT buying or listening to or watching their stuff if they thought they could get away with it.

      No need to guess. The major text licensing organisation in Germany first lobbied for laws requiring payments for quoting short lead-ins from linked articles. And when they got them and Google stopped linking to them, their ad revenue from their online offers fell through the floor. So they sued Google and demanded that Google had to link to their articles and pay them for it. Because monopoly.

      The courts told them that even a monopolist cannot be forced to buy stuff it is not interested in.

      So yes, they did sue Google for not buying their stuff, and they thought they could get away with it, too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Crazy Canuck, 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:52pm

    I think it's fairly obvious why they are fighting it.

    If people were allowed to rip their CDs to MP3s what's to stop someone saying that they should be able to rip their DVD to an .mkv/.mp4/.avi/etc. file? If the DVDs can be ripped as well, why not also the BluRay discs? That future media format, well we should be able to rip it too... and so on.

    How many people have re-purchased a Cassette/VHS/CD/DVD/Bluray/etc. just to change the media format? I know I've bought a few DVDs that I already owned the VHS version. This is what they want because that is how they make money. Selling the same stuff in a shinier, more expensive format. If there was an easy way for them to do it, I bet you $20 they would make the DVD/CD/Bluray/etc. self destruct after a year so you would need to buy them again. They don't want you to own, they want you to rent and keep renting for the rest of your life, plus another 70 years just for good measure. =P

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2015 @ 5:57am

      Re:

      "If there was an easy way for them to do it, I bet you $20 they would make the DVD/CD/Bluray/etc. self destruct after a year so you would need to buy them again."
      you mean something like making a poor seal on the cd external layers so that fungus can eat the innards of the CD???
      German and Japanese CDs usually have a better seal via matching external lip

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        jupiterkansas (profile), 3 Dec 2015 @ 8:19am

        Re: Re:

        They actually did make self-destructing DVDs at one time. It wasn't a hit.

        But the whole idea behind streaming is getting streaming companies to pay annual licensing fees - which is the same as getting people to buy the same content over and over.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Pronounce (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 3:31pm

    Fiction Becoming Truth

    Isn't it true that if a culture, even a sub-culture, like the recording industry, tell a lie long enough it becomes part of the culture and thus a true to that culture? Isn't this how stubborn urban myths continue; Even after all the evidence proves the myth false?

    If that is correct then no amount of rational thinking or common sense will dispel their belief. In fact it could make the believers cling more tightly to their beliefs for fear of losing something important and tangible.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 2 Dec 2015 @ 6:04pm

    History shows us that an obsolete legacy industry will shoot itself in the foot until its toes are all gone. Methinks they are down to just one or two toes left.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:01pm

    Record labels will seek to ban the tech

    "...no one actually thinks the record labels are now going to sue individuals for ripping CDs, because that would be ludicrous."

    That's true, so the record labels won't do that. Instead, they will seek bans on all technology that can be used to rip a CD. Wait for it...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:04pm

    Correction: October 2014 to July 2015 is actually eight months, not a year. You know what, though? Fuck 'em. I'mma keep right on ripping my legally purchased CDs like it's still legal, and whilst I used to occasionally buy something I really wanted brand new, I'm gonna purchase them all second hand from now on to teach the record companies not to pull this kind of shit. :p

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    stuj (profile), 3 Dec 2015 @ 2:13am

    As excellent as the 1709 blog is, it did not break the story that the UK government had scrapped its plans to revisit the private copying exception.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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