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ezkcdude
2006-03-03, 14:09
So, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Now that I have essentially gone software only (i.e. ripping CD's to lossless format), I realize that I don't really need the physical CD's, because the data (FLAC) will serve as my archive. Furthermore, I could alway burn CD's that are identical to the ones on my shelves (sans DRM!). The point here is that I'm sure a lot of use have CD's we'd be willing to part with for very little money, and conversely, there is probably a great collection of CD's that a) you don't have b) don't want to download illegally c) can't even find online or d) don't really want to pay full price for the CD. Finding used CD's on eBay or local stores is an option, but not always the best one. Having said that, I think it would be great to start a forum where we could post CD's that we'd be willing to part with for a few bucks (+shipping, of course). Now, I'm sure some of you would never part with your CD's, but there are probably a lot of folks who would. Maybe I should just start a web site to do this. Call it something like CDAmor.com (short for CDAmortize or CDLove)!

Browny
2006-03-03, 14:34
...but if you keep your backup and sell the original (no matter how you do it) then you no longer own the songs...

I'm sure there are plenty of people doing exactly this already on ebay - in fact I buy a large number of my CDs on ebay. Some of these are recent releases so I doubt the original owner would normally have finished with them.

I'm not anti the idea of a second hand CD website...just your motivation for wanting to start it.

snarlydwarf
2006-03-03, 14:39
I like Amazon for used CD's, actually.

Easy enough to find lots of them there as well and no silly auction games. There are also a bunch of virtual stores that sell new CD's (closeouts most likely) very cheap.

Only catch is that you don't get a postage discount for ordering multiples from the same vendor.

Browny
2006-03-03, 14:46
Or for any kind of second hand format try:

http://www.gemm.com/

to quote the site:
"If you can`t find it here, fuhgeddaboudit." -- Rolling Stone Magazine , January 1999

ezkcdude
2006-03-03, 14:48
I'm not anti the idea of a second hand CD website...just your motivation for wanting to start it.

It's more about the idea of having a dedicated community for doing this. Sort of like audiogon is for buying used equipment. I trust (most) of the sellers on audiogon, but I'm a little more wary about the eBay retailers. A dedicated site would have forums, polls, messaging, etc. Think of it this way. You buy a CD for $11.99 (or whatever it may be on deepdiscountcd.com), rip it to FLAC or WAV, and then post the CD in the forum for $4.00 (+shipping). The buyer of your CD has now amortized your original cost (11.99-4.00=7.99!), and you still have the bit-perfect archive copy. Not only that, but the buyer can then turn around and sell that same CD for $4.00 (or maybe even less), and now he's amortized the CD even further. If the CD keeps going round and round the community, it would become very cheap. Of course, some people need to buy new CD's to keep it going, but that could be worked out with things like "karma" or maybe a point system or queue that rewards those who "donate" newer CD's to the community. Well, anyway, I wish something like this existed.

jonheal
2006-03-03, 15:06
So, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Now that I have essentially gone software only (i.e. ripping CD's to lossless format), I realize that I don't really need the physical CD's, because the data (FLAC) will serve as my archive. Furthermore, I could alway burn CD's that are identical to the ones on my shelves (sans DRM!). The point here is that I'm sure a lot of use have CD's we'd be willing to part with for very little money, and conversely, there is probably a great collection of CD's that a) you don't have b) don't want to download illegally c) can't even find online or d) don't really want to pay full price for the CD. Finding used CD's on eBay or local stores is an option, but not always the best one. Having said that, I think it would be great to start a forum where we could post CD's that we'd be willing to part with for a few bucks (+shipping, of course). Now, I'm sure some of you would never part with your CD's, but there are probably a lot of folks who would. Maybe I should just start a web site to do this. Call it something like CDAmor.com (short for CDAmortize or CDLove)!
You realize, of course that buying a CD, ripping it, and then selling the CD is the same thing as downloading pirated tunes -- in other words, IT'S THEFT!

ezkcdude
2006-03-03, 15:48
Huh? It's not illegal to sell something that I bought. I'm not selling illegally made copies (bootlegs) or downloaded versions of the CD. It's the original (physical) copy that I bought legally in the first place.

Now, you may call that unethical. It's certainly not illegal as I understand the current laws. If you think it's illegal, tell me what laws I'm breaking. Please, be specific. My brother is a lawyer, and I will ask him about this.

ceejay
2006-03-03, 15:53
Well, as they say, IANAL, but if the argument to allow us to rip the CDs onto our computers in the first place is that we are merely making a backup of music we've bought (or translating into a more convenient format for us to use as you wish), I don't see how you can defend holding onto the copy after you've sold the CD.

Its pretty much indistinguishable from buying a CD, then burning a copy and selling the copy.

Time to draw this to a close, I hope: if you want to do this thing, do it on eBay and in the privacy of your own home...

Ceejay.

jonheal
2006-03-03, 15:53
Huh? It's not illegal to sell something that I bought. I'm not selling illegally made copies (bootlegs) or downloaded versions of the CD. It's the original (physical) copy that I bought legally in the first place.

Now, you may call that unethical. It's certainly not illegal as I understand the current laws. If you think it's illegal, tell me what laws I'm breaking. Please, be specific. My brother is a lawyer, and I will ask him about this.
The CD is just a piece of plastic. The thing of VALUE you bought was the music on the CD, but you're keeping that.

radish
2006-03-03, 18:09
Huh? It's not illegal to sell something that I bought.
Indeed not. Selling the CD is not illegal. Doctrine of first sale.


I'm not selling illegally made copies (bootlegs) or downloaded versions of the CD. It's the original (physical) copy that I bought legally in the first place.

Yup.



It's certainly not illegal as I understand the current laws.

Wrong.

Making personal backups of CDs at all (i.e. ripping them) is on shaky ground right now. On the pro side is the argument that making a backup is covered under Fair Use, on the anti side is the argument that it's not. The RIAA recently made comments to the effect that they didn't believe ripping was legal, but who knows if even they'd be brazen enough to try and mount a case. AFAIK this has not been settled in court.

On the other hand, what is not at question is that IF you're allowed to rip CDs it's for the purposes of making a backup, or for format-shifting.

If you sell or otherwise dispose of the original you have also transferred your license to use the work, and so you must also destroy any copies you made. If you don't, those copies become unauthorized and just as illegal as if you'd downloaded them from Kazaa.

ezkcdude
2006-03-03, 19:21
Indeed not. Selling the CD is not illegal. Doctrine of first sale.


Yup.


Wrong.

Making personal backups of CDs at all (i.e. ripping them) is on shaky ground right now. On the pro side is the argument that making a backup is covered under Fair Use, on the anti side is the argument that it's not. The RIAA recently made comments to the effect that they didn't believe ripping was legal, but who knows if even they'd be brazen enough to try and mount a case. AFAIK this has not been settled in court.

On the other hand, what is not at question is that IF you're allowed to rip CDs it's for the purposes of making a backup, or for format-shifting.

If you sell or otherwise dispose of the original you have also transferred your license to use the work, and so you must also destroy any copies you made. If you don't, those copies become unauthorized and just as illegal as if you'd downloaded them from Kazaa.

Saying something is unethical or "on shaky ground" is not to say it is illegal. Let's be specific. There is no law right now that prevents anyone from selling a CD. Likely, there never will be, because it is pretty much impossible to enforce, unlike the case for putting music on the internet for download, where the traffic is traceable. If I make backups of CD's and sell the physical disc, is someone going to go back to my house, turn on my computer and check for FLAC files? Let's get real. Not going to happen. You may think it's unethical, but it's not illegal.

jonheal
2006-03-03, 21:12
Saying something is unethical or "on shaky ground" is not to say it is illegal. Let's be specific. There is no law right now that prevents anyone from selling a CD. Likely, there never will be, because it is pretty much impossible to enforce, unlike the case for putting music on the internet for download, where the traffic is traceable. If I make backups of CD's and sell the physical disc, is someone going to go back to my house, turn on my computer and check for FLAC files? Let's get real. Not going to happen. You may think it's unethical, but it's not illegal.
I guess in a perfect society, unethical would equate to illegal, but ... whatever.

Pale Blue Ego
2006-03-03, 23:59
How about this then? Create a "gift club" among SB users, like once every 2 weeks you mail 5 CDs to another person in the forum. No money changes hands, only used CDs.

ceejay
2006-03-04, 00:38
Saying something is unethical or "on shaky ground" is not to say it is illegal. Let's be specific. There is no law right now that prevents anyone from selling a CD. Likely, there never will be, because it is pretty much impossible to enforce, unlike the case for putting music on the internet for download, where the traffic is traceable. If I make backups of CD's and sell the physical disc, is someone going to go back to my house, turn on my computer and check for FLAC files? Let's get real. Not going to happen. You may think it's unethical, but it's not illegal.

So the argument here, as far as I can tell, is that something is not illegal just because its unlikely to be enforced? I don't think so!

And while I agree that its unlikely that anyone is going to come round inspecting your server, what might well happen is that the evil cohorts of the RIAA would use the existence of forums like the one you propose to prop up their argument that all CD ripping is supporting illegal copying of music, and thence to encourage anti-fair use legislation or technology.

We really don't need that.

Ceejay.

mwphoto
2006-03-04, 01:47
I'm not sure If this is going to help this debate, but I thought I'd join in. Firstly I'm on the side of 'keeping a backup and selling a CD is illegal'.

I use the library a lot to sample new music, however I don't actually own a conventional CD player. So every time I hire a CD I copy it to my HDD (FLAC) and listen to it.

In my mind this is fair use, as I am entitled to hire the CD and listen to it.

However when I return the CD after its hire period I delete the FLACs as the terms of the hire were that I could listen to it for 2 weeks not indefinitely.

In the case of purchased CDs you acquire some usage rights under copyright law. Unfortunately it is not a license. If it was a license there would be a license document somewhere you could refer to that would be explicit about your rights (like a software license). So to be certain about the rights you have acquired when buying a CD you have to know a lot about copyright law. Unfortunately copyright is not very clearly defined in statute so it is possible for grey areas to arise (I do not believe this is one, but others disagree).

What is a much greater issue to me is that the RIAA also know this and are strongly lobbying for more clarity in copyright. However all there clarifications are in the favour of the RIAA (NB not necessarily in favour of the artists). The lobby on the other side is not currently as powerful, but is building. One of the main proponents being the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

WARNING: I'm now leaving neutral ground - the following is strongly politically motivated.

I in much more in favour of the EFF position than the RIAA and I urge you to check out and support the EFF where you can.

END WARNING

Malcolm

ezkcdude
2006-03-04, 08:01
I should have never mentioned the part about ripping FLAC's, but I guess the cat's out of the bag. Let me shed some light on this issue, by serving up a good case study for you all.


NETFLIX!!!!!

Is it illegal for them to rent DVD's? No. I love Netflix, and get about 3 DVD's a week. You know what? I was shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, to learn that some people out there actually copy those Netflix DVD's!!! Yes, it's true. Now, you may not believe me, but I'm not one of those people. I still have no idea how to copy DVD's, but evidently, enough people out there do, that Netflix has started "throttling" people who "check out" too many DVD's (we're talking >30/wk). Now, even though we (and law enforcement) know that this goes on, there's no law that's going to stop it. There's really no good way to stop it from happening right now. It's the same thing really for CD's. Let's just leave the whole "ripping" thing off the table for now. If I just wanted to start a CD "sharing" club, no law (or association) could stop it. What people do with those discs is a different story. That's why I said in an earlier post, it's actually much easier for the law to deal with the online downloading than physical formats.

Skunk
2006-03-04, 22:32
What people do with those discs is a different story. That's why I said in an earlier post, it's actually much easier for the law to deal with the online downloading than physical formats.

Ok. You've thought of an ingenious way to shortchange artists. That's not creative, what you're stealing *is*.

Why have the RIAA pointing to this forum as evidence in future court cases?

As eloquently stated earlier, keep your shady business to yourself.

Mike Anderson
2006-03-04, 22:55
^^^ I agree; I've got loads of CDs sitting there doing nothing now that I've ripped them all, but I decided against selling them because I'd rather have the putative buyer give his money to the artist.

And they're almost all small, independent labels too, so don't tell me about the big corporations ripping off the artists. (Which is 100% true, just not for the music I buy.) In any case, two wrongs don't make a right.

Ethics are more important than laws, in my book. (And I AM a lawyer, BTW!)

ezkcdude
2006-03-04, 23:30
Skunk, Mike, and all the rest, are you telling me you never bought or plan to buy used CD's? I hope that's true, otherwise, you're all being very hypocritical. Do you think the stores buying used CD's (maybe your fav indie mom and pop) made sure the seller hadn't made copies first? To paraphrase the Good Book, let those without sin cast the first stone!

Browny
2006-03-05, 02:07
Seems we're going round in circles here....

I don't think anyone here is against the buying and selling of second hand CDs.

The point that everyone is trying to make is that selling or trading a CD is fine - just delete your backup of it when you do so.

I'm sure the RIAA or their World equivalents would love to one day be able to spot check your PC and ask you to prove that you OWN to music on it. The only concrete way of proving that is to keep the CD - I doubt they would take the receipt from the shop!

Of course if the RIAA have their way all our Flac archives will soon be illegal as well, but I for one can't wait for that one to come to court....

jonheal
2006-03-05, 03:50
Anyway ezkcdude, legalities and ethicalities aside, you're taking a chance getting rid of your CDs. What if you're hard drive crashes or your backups fail?

Skunk
2006-03-05, 05:40
Quoting ezkcdude <ezkcdude.246oob1141540501 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

> <
> To paraphrase the Good Book, let those without sin cast the first stone!<
> <

Those stores are legal, and their wares legal, becasue it's assumed that's the
only copy of that disc in existence. The letter of the law (Audio Home
Recording
Act of 1992) allows backing up to cassette, and it's assumed you'll
destroy the
cassette when you sell the original disc. Even though the sticker says 'mp3 is
not a crime', it may not be the whole truth. I'm not 'like mike' ie AL, but my
understanding is based on this c:net article:
http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10165_7-5798512-1.html?tag=tnav

If I like a cd, I keep the original. If I don't I sell it, and yes
delete it. My
squeezebox is too cool to have bad albums on it anyway. If I love it, I
want that
artist/label and everyone associated w/ the album down to the engineer
and cover
designer to get their credit due. If I sell a copy of the cd, that's one less
person buying it from a big box (store). That's one less jo*nt willie
can smoke,
or one less p*le some exec can snort- but that's none of anyone's business.

Our business of ripping and the hypocrisy's surrounding it shouldn't be
anyone's
business either, but that might change, so why flaunt our hypocritical
behavior?
It's bad enough SD is ranked 6th in google for 'ripping to flac'. FLAC
will become
a bad word soon <guessing>, and a 'flac ripping ring' sounds absolutely
hedonistic.

FWIW I agree used stores can be shady too, I sometimes see promotional
material
that should have never been bought/sold, and sometimes even ask if I
can have it
for free- and why not???- just to start an argument. Maybe I have a problem...

Let's create a new 'Godwin's law' based on Good Book references.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

ezkcdude
2006-03-05, 07:31
Anyway ezkcdude, legalities and ethicalities aside, you're taking a chance getting rid of your CDs. What if you're hard drive crashes or your backups fail?

I agree with that! That's probably the biggest stumbling block for me actually going ahead with this.

ezkcdude
2006-03-05, 07:44
Those stores are legal, and their wares legal, becasue it's assumed that's the
only copy of that disc in existence. The letter of the law (Audio Home
Recording
Act of 1992) allows backing up to cassette, and it's assumed you'll
destroy the
cassette when you sell the original disc.

Skunk, it's not that I disagree with the sentiment you and the others have about this issue. However, I think you go to far interpreting existing laws, and in some sense, are trying to create "reverse loopholes" that implicate acts which are not explicitly addressed. I read the CNET article (against my better judgement, by the way, because I HATE CNET), and there is no mention of an assumption that cassettes will be destroyed upon selling the physical CD. Perhaps, the laws should be changed. I think I would agree, but that's not the law we have right now. There's no explicit law, to my knowledge, that says I must destroy all my backup copies of a disc (physical or digital) when I sell it. And since when do people give the government more power than is legal? (Well, excluding the times when it is "good" for the country.) Furthermore, if you think that record stores selling used CD's are exempt from your ethical concerns, that's a little naive.

mattg
2006-03-05, 08:52
Buying a CD, ripping the tracks, and then reselling the CD while keeping the copies of the tracks is copyright infringement. It is not technically theft. Copyright infringement is generally a civil matter, which is why the feds won't come knocking on your door if you sell CDs and keep copies of the tracks. It becomes a criminal matter when you exceed certain monetary limits.

Ezkcdude, you can make all the arguments you want but you are wrong. There are no shades of gray here. What you are proposing is copyright infringement and is illegal. The fact that you most likely won't be caught doesn't matter.

"Everyone else is doing it" is a child's argument. There are plenty of people doing what you proposed. They are at best ignorant of the law and at worst they are blatant scofflaws. They are all breaking the law.

ezkcdude
2006-03-05, 09:06
Buying a CD, ripping the tracks, and then reselling the CD while keeping the copies of the tracks is copyright infringement. It is not technically theft. Copyright infringement is generally a civil matter, which is why the feds won't come knocking on your door if you sell CDs and keep copies of the tracks. It becomes a criminal matter when you exceed certain monetary limits.

Ezkcdude, you can make all the arguments you want but you are wrong. There are no shades of gray here. What you are proposing is copyright infringement and is illegal. The fact that you most likely won't be caught doesn't matter.

"Everyone else is doing it" is a child's argument. There are plenty of people doing what you proposed. They are at best ignorant of the law and at worst they are blatant scofflaws. They are all breaking the law.

mattg, thanks for your post. I think I needed to hear THAT. It makes sense that it can be considered copyright infringement. I don't disagree with your argument. However, it now makes me wonder why the RIAA does not try at all to prevent the sale of used CD's. I guess the monetary losses are considered to be much lower than the online piracy. At any rate, I still think it is hypocritical for you (or anyone else) to berate me, but then think there is no problem buying used CD's from a record store. It's the same thing. If I had not mentioned ripping in the first place, I don't think there would have been any discussion.

p.s. Prompted by mattg's post, I googled "copyright infringement" and found the actual law (or at least, what appears to be the law):
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

Mike Anderson
2006-03-05, 09:11
Skunk, Mike, and all the rest, are you telling me you never bought or plan to buy used CD's? I hope that's true, otherwise, you're all being very hypocritical. Do you think the stores buying used CD's (maybe your fav indie mom and pop) made sure the seller hadn't made copies first? To paraphrase the Good Book, let those without sin cast the first stone!

I don't find anything unethical about buying a used CD; the ethical obligation not to infringe is on the person selling it.

It's practically impossible (as you point out) for me to know whether someone else deleted their copy before selling it to the store, so I don't see how the onus could be on me to determine that.

I suppose you could make the argument that it would be unethical to purchase a CD knowing it was illegally copied first, but it'd be more debatable, in my mind anyway.

I don't mean to cast any stones, BTW, I'm just voicing my opinion; take it or leave it.

Mike Anderson
2006-03-05, 09:14
"At any rate, I still think it is hypocritical for you (or anyone else) to berate me, but then think there is no problem buying used CD's from a record store. It's the same thing."

But it's not the same thing. It's legal and ethical to sell a used CD; the problem is when the seller keeps a copy of it.

Mike Anderson
2006-03-05, 09:19
p.s. Prompted by mattg's post, I googled "copyright infringement" and found the actual law (or at least, what appears to be the law):
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html


You also need to look at the case law, where courts interpret and apply the statute.

mattg
2006-03-05, 09:43
mattg, thanks for your post. I think I needed to hear THAT. It makes sense that it can be considered copyright infringement. I don't disagree with your argument. However, it now makes me wonder why the RIAA does not try at all to prevent the sale of used CD's.They did try that several years back. They had no legal legs to stand on, however. It is legal to resell CDs you have purchased. You have to separate the two things - you can legally resell a CD you have purchased, but if you make and keep a copy you have committed copyright infringement. The RIAA tried to argue, as you are, that everyone who resells CDs is committing copyright infringement. That is clearly not true.
At any rate, I still think it is hypocritical for you (or anyone else) to berate me, but then think there is no problem buying used CD's from a record store. It's the same thing.I don't keep copies of CDs I resell. I have no way of knowing whether illegal copies have been made of the used CDs I buy. I don't think it's hypocritical to buy them. That argument would only hold water if I knew a copy had been made. Even then, it is perfectly legal for me to buy the CD. The person who sold it and kept a copy is the only person who broke the law.

ezkcdude
2006-03-05, 11:20
That argument would only hold water if I knew a copy had been made. Even then, it is perfectly legal for me to buy the CD. The person who sold it and kept a copy is the only person who broke the law.

Ooohhh, matt, you had me until that. Come on! That's a ridiculous argument, and equivalent to the one you made against me. With that logic, I have no problem starting a CD exchange club, because nobody "knows" that anyone else has made a copy and kept it. It should also be o.k. for me to download songs from mp3search or allofmp3, right? That's like saying you are generally against killing animals, but you will buy steak if someone else killed the cow. As long as it wasn't you, right? If you are against copyright infringement, you should not buy ANY used discs if there is a possibility, however remote, that some of them were made or sold illegally. If you don't see the hypocrisy in YOUR rationalization, I have nothing more to say on this topic.

jonheal
2006-03-05, 12:04
Ooohhh, matt, you had me until that. Come on! That's a ridiculous argument, and equivalent to the one you made against me. With that logic, I have no problem starting a CD exchange club, because nobody "knows" that anyone else has made a copy and kept it. It should also be o.k. for me to download songs from mp3search or allofmp3, right? That's like saying you are generally against killing animals, but you will buy steak if someone else killed the cow. As long as it wasn't you, right? If you are against copyright infringement, you should not buy ANY used discs if there is a possibility, however remote, that some of them were made or sold illegally. If you don't see the hypocrisy in YOUR rationalization, I have nothing more to say on this topic.
Alright, ezkcdude, you got me. Yes, I've bought used CDs, and to tell you the truth, I never really thought about it much. A few years ago, I would have said a used CD is just that -- a used CD. Something someone bought that they didn't want. These days, of course, it's a distinct possibility that content from that CD is sitting on a hard drive someplace.

If you take that scenario to the extreme, it's possible that a record company could sell ONE CD, and only one, and eventually, the content from the CD would make it into the hands of ALL prospective buyers without putting one more penny into the hands of the record company. Regardless of what you think of the record companies, no business could survive that scenario.

So, ezkcdude, you've convicted me -- I'm not going to buy any more used CDs.

ezkcdude
2006-03-05, 12:08
So, ezkcdude, you've convicted me -- I'm not going to buy any more used CDs.

I hope I didn't convict you! I only meant to convince you, of course :)

Mike Anderson
2006-03-05, 12:19
That's like saying you are generally against killing animals, but you will buy steak if someone else killed the cow. As long as it wasn't you, right?

Not quite -- there's no way to get steak without killing a cow, so if you get steak, you know there was a cow killed.

But buying a used CD in no way tells you whether the seller kept a copy. I've certainly sold used CDs without copying them, and I know plenty of other people who've done the same thing.

So why do you assume everybody who's sold a used CD is keeping a copy? Do you have any data on how many people do this?

ezkcdude
2006-03-05, 12:29
Not quite -- there's no way to get steak without killing a cow, so if you get steak, you know there was a cow killed.

But buying a used CD in no way tells you whether the seller kept a copy. I've certainly sold used CDs without copying them, and I know plenty of other people who've done the same thing.

So why do you assume everybody who's sold a used CD is keeping a copy? Do you have any data on how many people do this?

Mike, it doesn't have to be everyone! You know that some do, and nowadays, it's probably more than some. Therefore, if you feel that the CD exchange club idea was unethical, then it must be the same for buying the used CD's from a store. You can rationalize all you want, but of course, you will just sound like I did when I started the thread, and you all tore me a new one.

Mike Anderson
2006-03-05, 13:01
Mike, it doesn't have to be everyone! You know that some do, and nowadays, it's probably more than some.

I don't see it. I have no way of knowing what the other person did; I don't believe I'm required to abstain from buying any CDs whatsoever just because there's a chance someone on the other end copied one.

According to your logic, nobody should ever buy a used car because there's a remote chance it might be stolen. That would go for just about any purchase of a used product. I couldn't even invest in stocks, because there's a chance some random person engaged in securities fraud somewhere along the line.

I don't believe ethics requires us to be paralyzed into inaction just because someone else might have done something wrong.


Therefore, if you feel that the CD exchange club idea was unethical, then it must be the same for buying the used CD's from a store. You can rationalize all you want, but of course, you will just sound like I did when I started the thread, and you all tore me a new one.

When you started the thread, you said that you personally would be keeping a copy for yourself. That's what people objected to, not the idea of selling used CDs per se.

ezkcdude
2006-03-05, 14:06
I don't see it. I have no way of knowing what the other person did; I don't believe I'm required to abstain from buying any CDs whatsoever just because there's a chance someone on the other end copied one.

According to your logic, nobody should ever buy a used car because there's a remote chance it might be stolen. That would go for just about any purchase of a used product. I couldn't even invest in stocks, because there's a chance some random person engaged in securities fraud somewhere along the line.

I don't believe ethics requires us to be paralyzed into inaction just because someone else might have done something wrong.



When you started the thread, you said that you personally would be keeping a copy for yourself. That's what people objected to, not the idea of selling used CDs per se.

Well, it just seems to me that it is unethical to oppose an action, such as copyright infringement, yet support businesses that may profit from those actions. And, as for your example about the used car, that is not analagous, as there would have to be a pink slip somewhere. You know why I don't buy watches or purses from street vendors in NYC? Because I know they're fake or stolen!

jonheal
2006-03-05, 15:03
Well, it just seems to me that it is unethical to oppose an action, such as copyright infringement, yet support businesses that may profit from those actions. And, as for your example about the used car, that is not analagous, as there would have to be a pink slip somewhere. You know why I don't buy watches or purses from street vendors in NYC? Because I know they're fake or stolen!
To extend the analogy, if you buy a used car that was stolen, and the cops find it, you don't get to keep it. In fact, you may have some explaining to do before they let you take a cab home.

Mike Anderson
2006-03-05, 16:59
To extend the analogy, if you buy a used car that was stolen, and the cops find it, you don't get to keep it. In fact, you may have some explaining to do before they let you take a cab home.

My point is that there's nothing unethical about buying a car you don't know is stolen.

ezkcdude
2006-03-05, 17:20
Mike, when you buy a car, you can be fairly certain it is not stolen. Dealerships would be held criminally negligent if they sold you stolen cars. Unlike with copyright infringment, those laws are enforced with reasonable amounts of effort. The same is certainly not true with music, as you and others have gone to great lengths to point out to me. To compare stolen vehicles with illegally copied CD's is absurd.

Mike Anderson
2006-03-05, 17:22
And, as for your example about the used car, that is not analagous, as there would have to be a pink slip somewhere.

Who knows, maybe it was forged.

But if you don't like that, take my securities fraud example. Suppose an insider gets a tip that Microsoft is about to take a hit, unknown to you. So they buy put options, which gives them the right to sell the stock at a price that's above-market once the price has dropped. That's insider trading.

Suppose you participate in a trade with them, without knowing they're engaging in fraud, but thereby facilitating the crime.

It happens all the time. Does that mean I'm ethically restrained from selling options, just because there's a chance someone might be engaging in securities fraud?

Come on...

ezkcdude
2006-03-05, 17:36
My argument is not about whether it is legal for you to buy used CD's. Clearly, it is legal. I thought the question was whether it is ethical. Only you can make that decision. In my opinion, the likelihood of "accidentally" engaging in securities fraud is probably a lot lower than unknowingly (or ignorantly) buying copyright infringed CD's these days. (Although I must admit, Martha Stewart certainly was a poster child for your argument.)

Going back to the stolen car issue, we are given certain guarantees by the law that prevents stolen cars from being sold. Dealerships and cars must be certified to some extent. That is not the case for used CD's or the sellers of used CD's. Maybe that would be a good idea, though, certifying used CD's as having not been infringed. It would be sort of like "Fair Trade" coffee. I'm not sure if it is practical (or even possible), but at least, it's the right idea.

Mike Anderson
2006-03-05, 17:39
Mike, when you buy a car, you can be fairly certain it is not stolen. Dealerships would be held criminally negligent if they sold you stolen cars.

Who said anything about dealerships.

The number of cars stolen each year is well over a million. A huge number of those are actually resold (typically overseas). Many are also dissembled for parts (chop shops).

Perhaps the chance of buying one is remote, at least if you're in the states, but you're arguing that it doesn't matter how remote it is.

ezkcdude
2006-03-05, 17:41
I'm not buying cars overseas, and I'm certainly not going to buy anything that I think has a good probability of being stolen.

Mike Anderson
2006-03-05, 17:56
It doesn't matter whether you personally are buying used cars. The question is one about ethics, something which applies to everybody. That's why I phrased it hypothetically; it's a question of how well the proposition would apply generally, as a test of how valid the logic is.

And in any case, securities fraud is probably very common.

But forget it... this particular argument has become a waste of time. I've made my point, and we're not making any progress in our discussion, so I'm going to belatedly bow out of this one.

Skunk
2006-03-05, 18:30
Unlike with copyright infringment, those laws are enforced with reasonable amounts of effort.

To compare stolen vehicles with illegally copied CD's is absurd.


The copyright laws _will_ be enforced eventually, it's only a matter of time. I still believe the law's already been broken by making a lossless digital copy of the work, and storing it on your hard drive, regardless of 'ownership'. The exception for backups was made for cassette, not digital. Please correct me if I'm (and the C:net article) is wrong.

Going as far as to suggest keeping the backup and selling the original is *absurd*, not to mention textbook glutton*for*punishment syndrome.

Ethics aside, I'd rather not be one thay made an example of. Obviously it's not illegal for Sony to make a rootkit that turns your home PC into a secret server for their benefit. Information is power, and you better believe they're figuring out how to start gathering it, yesterday.

Paul Webster
2006-03-07, 07:15
By coincidence ... I just got a news item about http://www.lala.com
They plan to open up a service in the USA to swap CDs.
1USD per transaction with 20% going to artists apparently.
Not much on the site yet - in fact they seem to be planning to gove live on 4th July 2006.

Paul Webster
2006-03-07, 07:18
I should have added that http://www.lala.com includes the following request:
"I ask you to do your part by doing the right thing: remove songs from your iPod or PC if you've agreed to send the CD to another member."

Other material on their site explains more about what they want to do - and what they see as the legal basis for it in the USA.

Siduhe
2006-03-07, 07:41
I still believe the law's already been broken by making a lossless digital copy of the work, and storing it on your hard drive, regardless of 'ownership'. The exception for backups was made for cassette, not digital. Please correct me if I'm (and the C:net article) is wrong.

Not sure which jurisdiction you're talking about, but you may find the following interesting from the amicus brief filed by various record companies in the US Supreme Court:


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. There is a very, very significant lawful commercial use for that device, going forward.

I've seen the "cassette only" statement before and [IMHO] it's unsupported by a close review of the relevant statutes in the UK or the US (can't speak for elsewhere). The definition is wide enough to cover other means of copying audio material, including to mp3 format. MGM and the other record companies appear (currently) to agree with that interpretation.

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/04-480.pdf

jonheal
2006-03-07, 08:57
The more I think about it, I am kinda bugged by the fact that I feel I am doing wrong by buying a used CD!

Actually, I think the used car analogy is a very good one.

1. A car is a manufactured good that contains intellectual property. It this respect, it is highly comparable to a CD.

2. The auto company receives no more compensation from a used car sale than does a record company from a used CD sale.

3. A used car can be sold many times, as can a used CD.

4. Neither comes with a license agreement indicating that you do not actually "own" the product itself.

The big differences, of course, are that:

1. You cannot spawn an infinite number of used cars from one new car.

2. A used car is a degraded version of a new car. Not necessarily so with a used CD.

These, unfortunately, are pretty big differences, and I'm not sure where I stand right now, to tell you the truth.

There seems little doubt that there is an undercurrent of sleaze, greed and nastiness running through the music industry. I don't think any publishing company has gone so far as to challenge the sale of used books on the grounds that the previous owners may have photocopied pages from them before the sale, and while one, as a consumer, may feel compelled to retaliate; as they say, two wrongs don't make a right.

Clearly, a concerted effort on the part of consumers to buy as few new CDs as possible, and to copy CDs purchased by other as much as possible will bring the business of retail distribution of CDs to its knees. That's not going to help anyone.

I suppose you could use the argument that by buying a used CD and KEEPING it, you're removing it from the market -- and the possiblity that it will be sold again and again. In that respect, you're actually HELPING the music industry.

I may just go with that. :-)

Skunk
2006-03-07, 09:07
I've seen the "cassette only" statement before and [IMHO] it's unsupported by a close review of the relevant statutes in the UK or the US (can't speak for elsewhere). The definition is wide enough to cover other means of copying audio material, including to mp3 format. MGM and the other record companies appear (currently) to agree with that interpretation.

Thanks for the link, that was pretty interesting. I had read the MGM quote referenced by this article: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004409.php : In response to a filing on 2/15/06 by the RIAA stating that space/format shifting IS an infringement. Rereading the short article, I realized at the end they quoted the RIAA (same filing) "Similarly, creating a back-up copy of a music CD is not a non-infringing use...."

Anyway, seems you're correct. The RIAA is probably kicking themselves for the iPod statement and trying to compensate, by saying- 'well we only gave you authorization which can be revoked'.

Skunk
2006-03-07, 09:11
I suppose you could use the argument that by buying a used CD and KEEPING it, you're removing it from the market -- and the possiblity that it will be sold again and again. In that respect, you're actually HELPING the music industry.

I may just go with that. :-)

Isn't rationalization great? </joking> I do commend you for being so noble, jon : )

jonheal
2006-03-07, 09:20
Isn't rationalization great? </joking> I do commend you for being so noble, jon : )
:-)

Well, I reject situational ethics on principle, but the simple fact of the matter is that when people want something, they will come up with whatever justification their conscience will allow to obtain it. If they want it bad enough, they'll override their own conscience. That's just human nature -- depraved as it is.

Can you tell I was raised a Baptist?

ezkcdude
2006-03-07, 10:06
I suppose you could use the argument that by buying a used CD and KEEPING it, you're removing it from the market -- and the possiblity that it will be sold again and again. In that respect, you're actually HELPING the music industry.

I may just go with that. :-)

I thought about this the other day. In a way, music stores that sell used CD's are hurting their own interests, because you may buy the used CD over the new one. On the other hand, maybe they make the same amount of net profit whether they sell a used or new version of the same album. It would be interesting to know.

jonheal
2006-03-07, 10:23
I suppose you could use the argument that by buying a used CD and KEEPING it, you're removing it from the market -- and the possiblity that it will be sold again and again. In that respect, you're actually HELPING the music industry.
... and to extend my new pet argument, by removing the used CD from circulation, you are performing the music industry a SERVICE. But you're not a charity! You need to be compensated for your services like any other service provider. Use of the material on the CD could be the compensation, but perhaps one should also submit a bill to the particular record company being serviced!

Skunk
2006-03-07, 11:20
Quoting ezkcdude <ezkcdude.24b7en1141751402 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

> On the other hand, maybe they make the same amount
> of net profit whether they sell a used or new version of the same
> album. It would be interesting to know.
> ezkcdude
>

I'd venture a guess that they make more on used cds. I applied for a
job at Best Buy ten years ago, and when going over the employee
discount they noted that some cd's sell for less than cost, and are
only meant to get people in the store...

Kyle
2006-03-07, 12:30
Slightly off-topic but related to CD's, property rights and their value: does anyone remember when CD's first came out and they were around $10, while cassettes of the same music were about $7.50? It was said at the time that this was because in the early days there was too little manufacturing capacity to keep up with CD demand and that, in time, the prices would even out. I haven't seen a cassette price in awhile, but the last time I did, it was about $8, compared with $11-$12 for the same CD. What happened to the price balance? Record companies reamed the public, IMO. I'm sure the artists got the same royalties for both media. I'm not sure how this is related to the argument at hand, if at all, but my sympathy for record companies is extremely low, although I am most sympathetic to artists getting their due.

tfish77
2006-05-18, 12:53
ezkcdude, in response to your original question, you should check out lala.com (in beta now, going live July 4, I think). It's a site where you list CDs you have and CDs you want and it plays matchmaker. $1.50 per CD sent to you. Interesting idea, not sure if it will last.

kblee
2006-05-19, 12:45
ezkcdude, in response to your original question, you should check out lala.com (in beta now, going live July 4, I think). It's a site where you list CDs you have and CDs you want and it plays matchmaker. $1.50 per CD sent to you. Interesting idea, not sure if it will last.

If anyone is intersted in lala.com, I have been a member since early March and have executed 50+ trades in that time (I'm officially an addict). It easily allows you to list your entire CD collection without obligation to trade. Members submit a "request" for CDs and the site finds users willing to trade. The majority of the CDs I have chosen to part with are ones that I have not listened to for years (one man's junk is another's treasure) and has allowed my to obtain music I probably never would have purchased otherwise.

Also, the site is still in beta testing. However, I have 2 invites available. If interested, send me a PM.

bdelp
2006-05-19, 16:18
Interesting thread...Here's a twist...I had several CDs fly overboard and sink while boating at the lake. Luckily I had backup copies of them on my PC. Since I no longer have the original and possibly not even the jewel boxes are the backup copies no longer legit? They still sound fine ;-)
Bdelp