I guess that I won't be buying that iPod, then.
Did you hear that, Apple Computers? Steve? I said, "I GUESS THAT I WON'T BE BUYING THAT IPOD, THEN."
By Moe Lane Posted in Blood-sucking industry leeches | Law | non value-adding remoras | sticky-fingered parasitic middlemen — Comments (49) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Hi. Do you own a MP3 player? Do you use it for car trips, gym visits, commutes, or just as a substitute for a rather bulky stereo system? Do you have any of your legally bought CDs on that MP3 player? WAIT! Don't answer that last one, because if the answer's "yes" and some lawyer for the RIAA sees it, they'll sue you for copyright infringement.
...In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.
The industry's lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are "unauthorized copies" of copyrighted recordings.
"I couldn't believe it when I read that," says Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer who represents six clients who have been sued by the RIAA. "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."
I really do sympathize with the record industry. Really, I do. I imagine that the hooker and cocaine markets in California are probably over-saturated with too many buyers and not enough sellers, so it must be difficult for your average record executive to maintain proper levels of mechanistic sex and illegal drug use while on a fixed budget. They really can't raise album prices all that much more, and there's a limit to how much you can steal from even a pop musician before he or she starts noticing, so a revenue drop is nothing short of a catastrophe for these guys. Which is probably why this entire digital media thing freaks them completely out. It's already bad enough that less people are buying their rather sloppy music; imagine the disaster if people could hear the stuff in advance.
But still. Do you guys over at the RIAA really want to mess with America's iPods? Isn't there something about that, I don't know, sets off alarm bells or something?
Well, bad news for Apple, then.