View Full Version : RIAA says Ripping a CD to an iPod is not fair use...

The pestilent 1
13-12-2007, 22:39
RIAA Says Ripping CDs to Your iPod is NOT Fair Use

It is no secret that the entertainment oligopolists are not happy about space-shifting and format-shifting. But surely ripping your own CDs to your own iPod passes muster, right? In fact, didn't they admit as much in front of the Supreme Court during the MGM v. Grokster argument last year?

Apparently not.

As part of the on-going DMCA rule-making proceedings, the RIAA and other copyright industry associations submitted a filing that included this gem as part of their argument that space-shifting and format-shifting do not count as noninfringing uses, even when you are talking about making copies of your own CDs:

"Nor does the fact that permission to make a copy in particular circumstances is often or even routinely granted, necessarily establish that the copying is a fair use when the copyright owner withholds that authorization. In this regard, the statement attributed to counsel for copyright owners in the MGM v. Grokster case is simply a statement about authorization, not about fair use."

For those who may not remember, here's what Don Verrilli said to the Supreme Court last year:

"The record companies, my clients, have said, for some time now, and it's been on their website for some time now, that it's perfectly lawful to take a CD that you've purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod."

If I understand what the RIAA is saying, "perfectly lawful" means "lawful until we change our mind." So your ability to continue to make copies of your own CDs on your own iPod is entirely a matter of their sufferance. What about all the indie label CDs? Do you have to ask each of them for permission before ripping your CDs? And what about all the major label artists who control their own copyrights? Do we all need to ask them, as well?

P.S.: The same filing also had this to say: "Similarly, creating a back-up copy of a music CD is not a non-infringing use...."

... :eyebrows:
So who else is tempted to rip a couple gigs from a secure off site source just to **** em off?

Source (http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2006/02/riaa-says-ripping-cds-your-ipod-not-fair-use)

13-12-2007, 22:40
It's technically illegal in the UK too. Funnily enough, the music industry has realised it's ridiculous, and so don't care.

The pestilent 1
13-12-2007, 22:42
That's the thing, it makes no sense, surely with it being a digital copy of a CD for personal (IE: Non commercial) use, it must be legal?

Besides which, the RIAA can shove it if they think they are going to be able to enforce it.

13-12-2007, 22:46
As far as I'm concerned, the RIAA can shove it about a lot of things. Last I heard, they were losing more money with their anti-piracy efforts than they were losing to piracy.

The vast majority of pirates would never have bought it anyway - Most piracy is never noticed in terms of monetary loss.

13-12-2007, 23:41
And people thought GW was the IP nazi.


14-12-2007, 09:24
Well on first glance I thought this was ridiculous, but having just rad up on "fair use", I can see what's going on. "Fair use", the legal definition, does not tally exactly with its common meaning - it defines certain reasons (e.g. parody and scholarly review) for exemption from copyright law and to be honest copying your own cds doesn't fall under them, no matter which way you look at it.

However, this doesn't mean anyone is about to go busting down doors to catch people who've copied their own cds. As Tarion says, the situation in the UK. No one will try to enforce this as if the did, cd sales would suffer badly (people would ust go online).

14-12-2007, 14:57
someone on another site showed me a great website ages ago, you search for a band you like, it tells you whether their label is a mamber of the RIAA and also gives you loads of other bands whose labels AREN'T members of the RIAA to check out, that way you can continue to buy music and stop the money grabbing corporate types getting any more of your cash.

pity I forgot the name of the site....

14-12-2007, 15:34
Why do Americans have to abbreviate everything?

Well, here in the NL, IP laws work as such that you are allowed to make a copy of music (or video games) if only for private use. This nowadays also includes music files, IIRC. I dón't really understand the US situation though; you already have bought the damn thing! It should be your right as US citizen (Yes, I know you like your rights, down to the detriment of your duties) to freely use any material of which you legally own a copy.

14-12-2007, 20:03
Sounds a bit ridiculous, but probably wont end up being enforced anyway.

I seem to remember that its technically illegal to record a tv show on a VCR, despite the fact that everybody does it and, indeed, the VCR is created for that purpose!

14-12-2007, 20:44
You know, in the Netherlands, copying it isn't illegal, distributing it (you know, selling it off) is. It is a bit strange for the supposedly freedom-loving USA to be more strict in this. ;)

14-12-2007, 21:16
I don't live in the USofA and the RIAA can go k my A if they think this will stop anyone. Tightening the laws doesn't reduce 'crime' it just creates more 'criminals'. We've altered our copyrights act to allow format shifting, and the recording of broadcast tv (a good thing, as my cable box has a 'live rewind' function - as it is always recording, and constantly over-writing ).

14-12-2007, 21:32
The only reason these things come about is because the record companies think they can squeeze a couple more bucks out of us, the actual musicians don't really mind as long as we're not pirating their tunes.

The record companies would much rather prefer we bought multiple copies of an album in various formats in order for us to listen to the album on our many music players - PC Files with DRM such as WMV or Apples M4P or CD or whatever other formats they wish to push. That way they can dictate what we buy and how we use it because that way they can make more denaro :mad:

14-12-2007, 21:53
Tightening the laws doesn't reduce 'crime' it just creates more 'criminals'.

They aren't 'tightening' the law, they're just clarifying the existing one. Seeing as the USA and UK both use case law systems, that law might not change until it ever comes to court. However, the record companies just aren't going to try enforcing it.

People, you're really getting wound up over nothing.

The pestilent 1
14-12-2007, 21:58
They aren't 'tightening' the law, they're just clarifying the existing one. Seeing as the USA and UK both use case law systems, that law might not change until it ever comes to court. However, the record companies just aren't going to try enforcing it.

People, you're really getting wound up over nothing.

The RIAA is saying that I HAVE to buy Digital music to use my Ipod.
The RIAA can shove their Digital download where the law don't shine and just try and stop me.

14-12-2007, 22:12
The RIAA is saying that I HAVE to buy Digital music to use my Ipod.
The RIAA can shove their Digital download where the law don't shine and just try and stop me.

All I'm saying is the RIAA can say what they like. I'll only be bothered if they actually start doing anything about their strange views. I doubt they will in this case.

The pestilent 1
14-12-2007, 22:28
I dunno, the RIAA is like a dog with a bone at the moment.
A very dumb dog spending a lot of money on security to protect a bone that is worth a a quarter what they are spending.

15-12-2007, 01:38
Its merely the law keeping pace with technology. At the time Ipods and MP3 players were coming into the market, Digital Music Download was unknown, or close too... If they had banned format shifting at the time, MP3 player technology would have fallen over, for lack of a legal application. Now that we DMD is established as a business in and off itself, it is unsurprising that the companies are attempting to establish tighter controls.

I've been knowing that this was coming for the last three years... I don't like it, but its predictable....

Inquisitor Engel
15-12-2007, 03:01
I think there needs to be a refresher here over how the Fair Use Test actually works.

There are four parts and a work has to it. A copy of a work can meet ANY SINGLE criteria and be considered a fair use.

1. Purpose/character of USE – If it’s an accident during something else (painting in the back of an interview etc.) Parody falls under here.

2. Nature of the WORK. Unpublished work is still controlled by the creator.

3. Amount and substance of the work used. Publish all the good parts of a book and you’re probably in trouble for it. Publish a little bit and you're actually increasing the marketability. (See below)

4. Effect on marketability of original product. A teacher making a copy of one chapter of a book for a class probably won’t. Copy the whole thing would stop people from buying it otherwise.

Copying music falls under 4. Because you have the CD (giving the artist/studio money) you cannot decrease the marketability of that product to you without buying another copy (which the Supreme Court deemed "unnecessary" in the Betamax case in the late 80's). Provided you don't distribute a copy, you're in the clear.

It also extends to making copies of TV programs. Since TV in the US is paid for (for the most part) by advertisers (not by viewers) making a copy for personal use is a fair use, so you can watch it again. (Thereby exposing yourself to the commercials/product placement etc. again, even in fast forward) Now, once that program becomes available on DVD, technically you should destroy/tape over that copy you made when the show was new and go buy it legitimately.