RIAA target everyone who has ever ripped a legally bought CD

December 29, 2007

RIAA target everyone who has ever ripped a legally bought CDThe RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has been fighting a losing battle for years, bringing thousands of lawsuits against ordinary people over illegal file sharing. Now it’s trying to take that fight one stage further, by criminalising anyone and everyone who has ever backed up, or transferred a legally bought CD to their computer.

The RIAA is currently involved in an ongoing court battle with one Jeffrey Howell, one of those stalwarts who refuse to just roll over, let the bullies tickle their bellies, and pay the fine. As part of that case, the organisation has lodged documents which condemns mp3s stored on computers from legally bought CDs as unauthorized copies of copyrighted recordings.

The industry, through their lawyer in the case Ira Schwartz, has had to go down this route, as Howell maintains that the files he’s being chased over were for personal use only. The RIAA’s new stance that even personal use copies on PCs and mp3 players are still illegal makes not only Howell a criminal, but also every single person in the world who has ripped a song from a disc, ie. 90% of the population.

Ray Beckerman, a lawyer who has represented six clients sued by the RIAA told The Washington Post:

“I couldn’t believe it when I read that. The basic principle in the law is that you have to distribute actual physical copies to be guilty of violating copyright. But recently, the industry has been going around saying that even a personal copy on your computer is a violation.”

It’s not like the RIAA are all bad, and they are in effect just fighting for their industry. But not only have the bullying tactics made them look like the bad guys in this whole business, they then choose to target most of the population with this potty upstepping of the thin blue line.

Let’s remember after all that people who copy CDs to their computers are the people on the right side of the law, those who are going in to record stores and purchasing their CDs. To then go and criminalise those law abiding citizens goes against any sane thought or value I thought was present in this world.

The results of this case could end up affecting people who up to now thought they were safe from the hoods over at the RIAA. If the judge rules on their side, and in the process makes criminals out of anyone with an mp3 on their computer, then not only will common sense have gone out of the world, but a large portion of America will suddenly be law breakers.

It’s about time the RIAA woke up and smelt the roses, as the industry, and business model they are continuing to support has moved on, and is currently forging ahead without them being a part of it. Digital downloads, of all media, not just music, is the future, and the sooner they embrace it, the better for us all.

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3 Responses to “RIAA target everyone who has ever ripped a legally bought CD”

  1. jmills:

    What a load of crap. I have paid for the rights to use the music I have purchased, not the piece of plastic it comes on.
    If I can’t RIP my own discs that I have purchased what happens wen a disk is damaged. I have paid for the music, but I am sure the music industry doesn’t care.
    Can’t we start the biggest class action in history and have them replace every single disk ever damaged that wasn’t backed up. It would certaily cost them billions and wuld be a lesson in fairness well taught.

  2. Peter:

    This is is no different to the problem of the 70′s and 80′s when the good ole vinyl was copied onto cassette for portable music in cars and walkmans by almost the entire world.
    It could be argued that back then that we could not walk around with portable record players on our hips.
    Adding a copyright levy to the price of a cassette was called for, though I do not know if it was implemented. The use of cassette was widely accepted and nobody gave “copy right infringement” a thought. If the cassette was chewed up, you just took out the ole vinyl and backed it up again.

    As an audio buff I absolutely refuse to “download MP3, WMA etc” files from the internet. I will always purchase the music of my choice on CD/SACD and “listen to it in all it glory” through my sound system. I, like the rest of the world who have embraced the technology, will convert my music to a digital form so I can listen to it on my protable player which pumping the music into my ears and no-one elses.
    Copyright is a debateable and depending where you live in the world, exists, does not exist or is just totally ignored.
    In Australia, you do not purchase the right to use the music as you see fit. If you purchase a CD, you purchase the piece of plastic and the limited right to listen to the music in private. You may not decompile it , re transmit it in any electronic form and you can not broadcast it or let it be heard in public.
    Therefore if you play your legally purchased CD in your car’s CD player at a volume that the general public can hear, then you are in breach of copyright.
    Where does stupidity end a common sence take place?? Where does one really over step the mark?
    Why not levy the CD’s to allow for download to a computer or MP3 player. Hell the instituations and the man stick it to us for everything else. Bank charges, bank levies, rain tax, tank tax, dam tax, food tax, clothing tax, drinking tak, smoking tax, eating tax, fuel tax, import duty tax, stamp duty tax, payroll tax, pay as you earn tax, hard surface tax, fire levy tax, green tax, rescue sevices tax, road tax, methane tax. etc., etc., etc. Soon we’ll have to pay to breathe.

  3. Elmo Guzi:

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