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Harry G
2007-04-10, 20:51
We all know its legal to copy the music you have to your kid's IPod and that its not legal to upload it for the world pick up from a torrent site.

Does anyone know for sure what the legal status is for giving some of your music files to a friend?

I think everyone knows the drill. Friends come over, like what you do with music from your Squeezebox and a few weeks later, you're helping them get their Squeezebox configured.

In this situation, I'd really like to get the new owners started with some music so they have something to listen to before they rip their collection.

While I've wondered about this for awhile, I wouldn't ask here except that our latest interested friend is in law enforcement. Its not that I think he'd haul me away. Its that I just don't want a potentially embarrassing situation. "Thanks for your generous offer but its a federal offense". puts a real damper on dinner conversation.

egd
2007-04-10, 20:56
Does anyone know for sure what the legal status is for giving some of your music files to a friend

I think the answer is pretty simple, it is no different to making your albums available for distribution online or copying a cd to give to someone else.

tyler_durden
2007-04-11, 00:20
Right. Don't do it.

Now if you happen to have your collection backed up on an external HDD, and you ask your friend to store it at his home in case your house burns down, and he happens to plug it into his server, and you don't know about it, I guess there's nothing anyone can say about it.

TD

mherger
2007-04-11, 00:42
> Does anyone know for sure what the legal status is for giving some of
> your music files to a friend?

Absolutely legal - if you're living in Switzerland ;-). We still have the
law where you're allowed to distribute copies of audio CDs, video and
printed material to friends and family members for non-commercial usage.
You're not allowed to offer them for public download or through P2P
networks though, as you can't control who's downloading the files (there
have been adjudictions confirming this). Software is another story - while
it fell under the same law, this was changed in the early 90ies.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.herger.net/SlimCD - your SlimServer on a CD
http://www.herger.net/slim - AlbumReview, Biography, MusicInfoSCR

st2lemans
2007-04-11, 00:56
>> Does anyone know for sure what the legal status is for giving some of
>> your music files to a friend?
>
> Absolutely legal - if you're living in Switzerland ;-).

Hey, that's great to know! (I live in Ticino)

Tom

st2lemans
2007-04-11, 00:59
>> Does anyone know for sure what the legal status is for giving some of
>> your music files to a friend?
>
> Absolutely legal - if you're living in Switzerland ;-). We still have the
> law where you're allowed to distribute copies of audio CDs, video and
> printed material to friends and family members for non-commercial usage.
> You're not allowed to offer them for public download or through P2P
> networks though, as you can't control who's downloading the files (there
> have been adjudictions confirming this).

P.S.

Is it legal to DOWNLOAD such material here?

Tom

Siduhe
2007-04-11, 01:03
We all know its legal to copy the music you have to your kid's IPod...

Again, depends where you are. In the UK, technically, it's illegal even to do that (although the BPI has "kindly" said they wouldn't prosecute for someone taking a backup of their music files or transfering them to an mp3 player).

One solution would be to buy your friend a couple of knockdown price CDs ("The Very Best Power Ballads in the World Vol XII" or similar), rip them and give the files to him with the original CDs.

mherger
2007-04-11, 01:11
> Is it legal to DOWNLOAD such material here?

I'm not sure about that - I doubt it. Leave the dirty work to your friends
and family member, and copy everything from them ;-)

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.herger.net/SlimCD - your SlimServer on a CD
http://www.herger.net/slim - AlbumReview, Biography, MusicInfoSCR

mflint
2007-04-11, 01:19
You could probably argue it's OK if you only give him ripped copies of music that he already owns... alternatively, you could borrow some of his favourite CDs and rip them for him, or introduce him to some funky new tunes that you download from a legal free music website.

It is silly though. I'm not ashamed to say I've taken copies of music from friends. If I like it, I'll buy it. If I don't, it gets sent to /dev/null. Everyone's a winner surely?

M

st2lemans
2007-04-11, 01:48
>> Is it legal to DOWNLOAD such material here?
>
> I'm not sure about that - I doubt it. Leave the dirty work to your friends
> and family member, and copy everything from them ;-)

Actually, I've never downloaded anything, but my kids do. Everything I have
is ripped from my, family, or friends' CDs. And of course I keep a backup
copy at work, my girlfiriend's, and a couple other friends'.

Tom

Harry G
2007-04-11, 01:56
I think the answer is pretty simple, it is no different to making your albums available for distribution online or copying a cd to give to someone else.

I expected it to be that simple but the more I google, the grayer the subject appears to be. Much revolves around "fair use" and "audio home recording act". On these the Wikipedia pages are informitive but if you go the the "discussion" tabs, the experts are arguing behind the curtain. Also important I think is a legal case that allowed the eIPod and its ilk, RECORDING v DIAMOND : http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=9th&navby=case&no=9856727

Some activist sites like:http://www.nyfairuse.org/ flat out say that its legal as long as there is no profit motive.

I can't digest any more text for now but I've seen enough references to "Digital Millennium Act" that I would guess that's important too.

I agree that what I describe is no different from making a CD copy for a friend, but from what I'm reading, I'm not certain either is illegal.

jeffmeh
2007-04-11, 03:11
I expected it to be that simple but the more I google, the grayer the subject appears to be. Much revolves around "fair use" and "audio home recording act". On these the Wikipedia pages are informitive but if you go the the "discussion" tabs, the experts are arguing behind the curtain. Also important I think is a legal case that allowed the eIPod and its ilk, RECORDING v DIAMOND : http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=9th&navby=case&no=9856727

Some activist sites like:http://www.nyfairuse.org/ flat out say that its legal as long as there is no profit motive.

I can't digest any more text for now but I've seen enough references to "Digital Millennium Act" that I would guess that's important too.

I agree that what I describe is no different from making a CD copy for a friend, but from what I'm reading, I'm not certain either is illegal.

Nor should you be certain that either is legal.... However, you can be as about as certain as is possible, given the uncertainty inherent in case law, that copying for your own use constitutes "fair use." You can also be fairly certain that copying for your friend's use does not.

Some (particularly the RIAA) would argue that copying even for your own use violates the DMCA, and they may even be technically correct, but that implies that the DMCA contradicts the historical legal interpretation of "fair use." That seems to be the most restrictive and pernicious "gray area."

Others would argue that you should be able to copy as much as you want as long as there is no profit motive, but that ignores the legal precedents. For example, one could never legally print 1000 (or even one) copies of a copyrighted book and distribute them, as purchasing the original book constituted one license, not 1001 (in general, although a given copyright holder can relax the licensing terms for his work). However, you can legally give the book away, or even resell it. Similarly, it is likely legal (and certainly ethical) to copy a CD, and give your friend the copy as well as the original CD.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, although I do have a fair amount of experience with intellectual property contracts and copyright law.

adamslim
2007-04-11, 03:25
It is silly though. I'm not ashamed to say I've taken copies of music from friends. If I like it, I'll buy it. If I don't, it gets sent to /dev/null. Everyone's a winner surely?

Well it makes sense, but not to the major record companies!

In most countries, copyright breach is not theft, whatever the record companies say, so your friend in law enforcement would not care much - it's usually a civil thing, not a criminal thing. However, he would normally do best to stay clear of something so morally dubious ;)

Even the old days of creating a compilation tape for your friends is copyright breach, sadly, in the UK at least. Giving them copies of huge sections of your library is not really justifiable, IMO.

Ultimately fair use can only really be taken to be ripping and backing up for yourself, not creating copies for friends, irrespective of the profit. You might be willing to argue that you are providing an interim library while your friend rips his own CDs in, with the expectation that he will delete it when he has a reasonable library himself, but I wouldn't want to argue this as fair use in court!

I think that the best thing to do is use your own moral guidance:
- Do you think it's fair to give away the fruits of someone else's labour?
- Do you think it's fair to lend to your friend while he gets his own stuff sorted?
- Do you think it's fair to give your friend mainstream stuff that he could hear on the radio and from artists that are really rich already?
- Do you think it's fair to give your friend compilations of some cool stuff, artists that he might buy the albums of if he likes them?
- etc etc etc

Whatever you really think is fair, do. No-one will consider you evil, except the RIAA and its equivalents, and you will know they are wrong :)

Adam

Skunk
2007-04-11, 04:51
It may be helpful to think of professional wedding photos. You are not allowed to take a photo to the printer and have one exact copy made for your parents, or even for your own bedroom, because it's copyrighted by the photographer. The printer will refuse if it looks too professional, or ask you to prove that you took the original, mainly since you don't have negatives.

In my opinion (which is not a lawyer's), slimserver itself operates in the gray area. The audio home recording act allows for a copy to be made to cd-r, as royalties have been paid on blank discs and digital tape, but nowhere is a hard disk drive mentioned. Last time I checked even the RIAA said it's 'ok' to use the iPod etc, but only informally (and contrarily to other statements of theirs). It would be nice to have a legal precedent, and I think the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a petition online you can sign in support of a more technologically minded bill.

amcluesent
2007-04-11, 12:52
You could buy some non DRMed, FLAC encoded music from Magnatune and, as they encourage, give it away to three friends - http://www.magnatune.com/info/give

Kyle
2007-04-11, 13:03
You could buy some non DRMed, FLAC encoded music from Magnatune

Yeah, this sounds good: The Wretch: painful ambient industrial noise. ;-)

smc2911
2007-04-11, 14:20
We all know its legal to copy the music you have to your kid's IPodDepends where you are. In Australia, even that's not legal. Not yet, anyway. There is new legislation coming through that will allow "format shifting" but not backups. So we will be able to copy to an iPod but not make a copy of the CD to play in the car. Also, strictly speaking, although we can rip to a hard-drive, we won't be allowed to make backup copies. Madness!

Ian_F
2007-04-11, 15:27
Interesting stuff guys.

I'm of the opinion that it's ok to lend your friend a few albums whilst he gets his ripped. By a few I would say two or three, not hundreds. No record company will ever sue you, they'd just look stoopid.

I don't know about anyone else here but I've been lent many albums in the past that I've liked so much I've gone out and bought them. I for one, just love being able to hold the real thing. I enjoy looking at the album art, reading through the little booklet, looking at the pictures, just as much as listening to the album itself. When they include the lyrics, hey, I'm in heaven!

EDIT: The point I'm making here is if you were to make a copy of the CD and a copy of the album booklet etc. that would be morally wrong, but just being able to listen to the tracks, in my mind, is no real different than listening to the radio.

There's no need for all you legal gurus to jump on me here, I'm just giving my _opinion_ not a legal viewpoint! ;-)

snarlydwarf
2007-04-11, 15:38
No record company will ever sue you, they'd just look stoopid.

I didnt think they cared about looking stupid... I mean, most of them seem to enjoy it.

Ian_F
2007-04-11, 15:41
I didnt think they cared about looking stupid... I mean, most of them seem to enjoy it.

hahaha. Good point!

joatca
2007-04-11, 17:31
Does anyone know for sure what the legal status is for giving some of your music files to a friend?


Assuming you are in the US, I think other posts have it correct. However here in Canada, if I understand the law correctly, it is legal to make a copy of music (and only music, not movies, not books) for personal use. The law does not specify that you must own the media you are copying from.

Thus, for example, it would be legal for me to visit a friend's house, and using his equipment (but my own blank media), make myself a copy of one of his CDs, and take it home. However, it would be illegal for him to copy his own CD then give me the copy. The essence is in who performs the copying.

Thus I believe (but I'm not a lawyer) that it would be perfectly legal for me to borrow a CD from the local library and make a copy for myself. As soon as I give it away to someone else, it becomes illegal.

Any Canadian lawyers in the house? :-)

snarlydwarf
2007-04-11, 18:02
Thus I believe (but I'm not a lawyer) that it would be perfectly legal for me to borrow a CD from the local library and make a copy for myself. As soon as I give it away to someone else, it becomes illegal.

I believe it also has to be to a media that has the appropriate tax on it. (Ie, a CD-R would do, but a computer hard drive might not...)

Sort of similar to what was supposed to happen in the US with the Home Audio Recording Act, but that didn't end up as being clearcut as it was intended.

djfake
2007-04-12, 02:21
It is silly though. I'm not ashamed to say I've taken copies of music from friends. If I like it, I'll buy it. If I don't, it gets sent to /dev/null. Everyone's a winner surely?

M

Agreed! Downloading music is my primary way to sample new music. Was this post initiated by the RIAA?

c

Harry G
2007-04-12, 06:03
Was this post initiated by the RIAA?

c

NO. I've been coming here infrequently for a few years and don't work for the RIAA.

It was that googling did not give me a clear answer. I don't think the thread will make anyone feel guilty. If fact, while I'm not sure but think that giving copies of music to a friend may be a illegal, I'm pretty sure if it is that its civil, not criminal and that accepting the music is not illegal at all. This (probably correct) information does'nt do the Riaa much good.

tyler_durden
2007-04-12, 14:38
Don't feel guilty about music sharing.

Why should you feel guilty about giant media conglomerates who have the resources to buy and sell congressmen and senators? Do you think they feel any guilt about that? Do you think the politicians feel any guilt about selling their attention to the highest bidder? Do you think the lawyers who act as go-betweens feel any guilt about what they do?

To quote Satan in the Devil's Advocate, "guilt is like a load of bricks. Who are you carrying them for anyway?"

TD

peter
2007-04-13, 01:25
Ian_F wrote:
> I don't know about anyone else here but I've been lent many albums in
> the past that I've liked so much I've gone out and bought them. I for
> one, just love being able to hold the real thing. I enjoy looking at
> the album art, reading through the little booklet, looking at the
> pictures, just as much as listening to the album itself. When they
> include the lyrics, hey, I'm in heaven!
>

Yeah, many people seem to feel that way. I don't care at all for the
actual media. As soon as I buy or am given a CD it gets ripped to FLAC
and the original gets banished to some cardboard box in the loft.
Physical media are so outdated. I may bother to scan the booklet, but I
probably won't.

When the harddisk has outlived its usefulness I just throw it away
without a second thought, after I copied the data of course...

Regards,
Peter

djfake
2007-04-13, 09:35
Yeah, many people seem to feel that way. I don't care at all for the actual media. As soon as I buy or am given a CD it gets ripped to FLAC and the original gets banished to some cardboard box in the loft.

You'd have to delete any music you ripped if you sold any of the original CDs. . .

mswlogo
2007-04-13, 22:23
Don't do it.

We all know the temptation because it's so easy. You know it's wrong.

A friend of my wifes came over the other day and I said to bring a few CD's to listen on my system.

He brought a selection that he burned. And gave it to me as a "gift". We listened to it and there was some good music on it.

But as soon as he left I chucked it. Giving stolen music away is not a gift !!!

I've had folks give Xmas CD's away with music they selected. They think they "composed" it because they picked the songs.

I hear more arguments that the big music giants are rich. What's few ripped songs. Does that mean I can go to walmart and stuff a an Ipod in my coat poacket without paying. Their rich.

Have him buy his own music.

danco
2007-04-13, 23:41
And if one is that concerned, throwing stolen property away does not remove the offence of receiving stolen property!

Seriously, it would have been better to refuse the gift, and explain why.

tyler_durden
2007-04-14, 01:03
Ned Flanders to the rescue!

Next you'll want to ban women from wearing pants...

TD

Richie
2007-04-14, 02:15
... but since the person who copied the CDs is only guilty of copyright infringement, no one has actually given or received stolen goods.

Richard

peter
2007-04-15, 13:29
djfake wrote:
>> Yeah, many people seem to feel that way. I don't care at all for the
>> actual media. As soon as I buy or am given a CD it gets ripped to FLAC
>> and the original gets banished to some cardboard box in the loft.
>>
>
> You'd have to delete any music you ripped if you sold any of the
> original CDs. . .
>

I never sell any CD's, come to think of it, I don't buy many either ;)

Regards,
Peter

alZmtbr
2007-04-16, 11:22
I'm guilty of copying (other peoples) music files that I have vinyl copies of...

Just saving myself the bother/time of doing it the 'long way'?

jfalk
2007-04-17, 06:37
Re: vinyl... In the Napster case, the court pretty much said what you are doing (illogically, IMHO) was wrong. While you are entitled to make a copy of stuff you own, you are not entitled to demonstrate to a third party that you own it and have them send it to you. The infringement was in Napster keeping digital copies of what you owned on their own servers and sending it to you.

Rick B.
2007-04-17, 07:15
Re: vinyl... In the Napster case, the court pretty much said what you are doing (illogically, IMHO) was wrong. While you are entitled to make a copy of stuff you own, you are not entitled to demonstrate to a third party that you own it and have them send it to you. The infringement was in Napster keeping digital copies of what you owned on their own servers and sending it to you.

I don't think that Napster kept any digital copies of music files on their servers. My understanding is that they simply kept track of who had what on their PC's. When you downloaded a song "from Napster" it was actually copied from someone else's PC.

snarlydwarf
2007-04-17, 08:29
Re: vinyl... In the Napster case, the court pretty much said what you are doing (illogically, IMHO) was wrong. While you are entitled to make a copy of stuff you own, you are not entitled to demonstrate to a third party that you own it and have them send it to you. The infringement was in Napster keeping digital copies of what you owned on their own servers and sending it to you.

That was the mp3.com case, I believe.

opaqueice
2007-04-17, 12:07
I hear more arguments that the big music giants are rich. What's few ripped songs. Does that mean I can go to walmart and stuff a an Ipod in my coat poacket without paying. Their rich.


I hate it when people equate copyright violations with theft. They are simply not at all alike. If I copy a digital music file from its owner, I haven't taken anything away from them, or deprived them of anything. It's completely unlike stealing something (which doesn't necessarily make it right, just different).

Sometimes people argue that in copying, you are depriving the rights owner of possible future income, since you are now less likely to purchase the music (which itself is an assumption), and have therefore "stolen" something from them. But you might as well argue that in choosing to buy one bottle of wine over another, you're depriving the other vineyard of potential profits, and are therefore guilty of theft. If you stay home and don't buy anything, are you stealing from every company you might have bought something from? Obviously not - the concept of property and ownership just isn't the correct one for these cases, and it's a shame it's gotten conflated with it.

This isn't an issue of moral right, it's an issue of what is best for our society. In the case of physical property we have decided collectively it's best to allow owenership and make theft a crime and an immoral act. But the question of copyright is relatively very recent, and nothing is forcing us to choose any particular path. It's no more clear that copying music is wrong than it is that preventing music from being copied is wrong. It's just not a moral issue, at least not to me - it's a question of what is best.

Kyle
2007-04-17, 13:15
the concept of property and ownership just isn't the correct one for these cases, and it's a shame it's gotten conflated with it

I disagree. Clearly, the concept of intellectual property has merit and has been upheld time and again by the courts. An artist does retain certain rights to his or her work and usurping those rights has been found to carry civil and criminal -- not to mention moral -- consequences. For most of us, if we are copying music at all, it is on such a small scale that the chances of being sued or prosecuted are minimal. So, for me at least, it boils down to a moral issue. But theft of intellectual property is still theft.

snarlydwarf
2007-04-17, 13:34
But theft of intellectual property is still theft.

Except that statement presupposes the conclusion, ie you have a logical error in your argument.

Of course theft of X is theft, just as a painting of a car is a painting.

But you haven't defined what theft is, which is where the problem lies. Is everything done by Negativland theft? Why or why not?

Years ago, outside Ghirdelli Square in SF, there was an old guy with his guitar. A real fixture there, and he was there for decades. Heck, he may still be there. If he sings a song written by someone else is that theft? I doubt he is reporting his public performances and turning over a portion of the spare change to ASCAP.... Is that theft? Why or why not?

Theft is very easy to define in the physical world: it is much more difficult in the IP world.

Ian_F
2007-04-17, 13:41
This is _such_ an interesting thread.

I've no desire to take this completely off topic but perhaps one of you knowledgeable people here can help with something that is puzzling me.....there is no copy protection on most music CDs and Microsoft and co provide tools to allow you to easily rip them and they even tag them for you. iPods are not as popular as they are because people want to listen to their own musical creations on them. I presume therefore that this is not illegal (or at least you won't be prosecuted), as long as you own the original and do not re-distribute it etc etc. But the same is not true for DVD videos.
Why's that?

snarlydwarf
2007-04-17, 14:10
I presume therefore that this is not illegal (or at least you won't be prosecuted), as long as you own the original and do not re-distribute it etc etc. But the same is not true for DVD videos.
Why's that?

Don't be so sure you won't be prosecuted. RIAA insists there is no such thing as fair use. It is unlikely they would win a case against someone at the moment, but if they buy some more votes, they could make it for-sure-illegal to media-shift even for personal use.

For DVD's, there is plenty of software that will copy a DVD. The only "gotcha" is CSS (not related to HTML's style sheets), it is a "content scrambling system" that sort of encrypts DVD's. The MPAA pretends that it is designed to stop piracy: which is not true. It is designed to allow them to sell movies at different pricepoints in different regions. It does nothing at all to prevent copying. Real "pirate" operations (those that churn out completely legit looking pressed discs) aren't slowed down at all by CSS, and could even release "region locked" discs if they wanted to.

MPAA has managed to argue that this makes it protected under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which makes it illegal to try to circumvent in the US.

(And has no effect at all on the real theft: the 3rd world duplication plants that churn out hundreds of thousands of discs that look almost exactly like the real thing, including packaging.)

Ian_F
2007-04-17, 14:22
MPAA has managed to argue that this makes it protected under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which makes it illegal to try to circumvent in the US.

So it's the breaking of the copy protection itself that's key here?

I'm aware that you can break the copy protection on DVD Videos, if you have the right tools, the point I was trying to make (but failing) is Microsoft, not some individual or group of individuals, provide the tools to copy CDs and provide links to tagging websites etc. so in effect "encourage" people to do it or at least legitimise it.

jeffmeh
2007-04-17, 14:32
I hate it when people equate copyright violations with theft. They are simply not at all alike. If I copy a digital music file from its owner, I haven't taken anything away from them, or deprived them of anything. It's completely unlike stealing something (which doesn't necessarily make it right, just different).

Sometimes people argue that in copying, you are depriving the rights owner of possible future income, since you are now less likely to purchase the music (which itself is an assumption), and have therefore "stolen" something from them. But you might as well argue that in choosing to buy one bottle of wine over another, you're depriving the other vineyard of potential profits, and are therefore guilty of theft. If you stay home and don't buy anything, are you stealing from every company you might have bought something from? Obviously not - the concept of property and ownership just isn't the correct one for these cases, and it's a shame it's gotten conflated with it.

This isn't an issue of moral right, it's an issue of what is best for our society. In the case of physical property we have decided collectively it's best to allow owenership and make theft a crime and an immoral act. But the question of copyright is relatively very recent, and nothing is forcing us to choose any particular path. It's no more clear that copying music is wrong than it is that preventing music from being copied is wrong. It's just not a moral issue, at least not to me - it's a question of what is best.

Well, there is certainly a fundamental difference in that copying intellectual property does not deprive the owner of the intellectual property, while taking an apple deprives the owner of that apple. On the other hand, if we stipulate that the IP owner has rights associated with the IP, then copying the IP deprives the owner of those rights, just as taking an apple deprives the owner of the right to do what he pleases with the apple.

Whether there should be any recognized rights to intellectual property is a valid question. Certainly, the economic incentive to invest the time and money to produce works, be they art, music, literature, product designs, or whatever, is severely curtailed if someone can just swoop in, take those works, and have the revenue opportunity with none of the initial investment risk. Further, that dynamic leads to keeping information secret, and therefore slows progress on the "state of the art" that would occur if information were more readily shared. The basic intent of patent and copyright law is to provide the protections that lead to such information sharing. On the other hand, aspects such as absurdly long terms of copyright, draconian interpretations of fair use, etc., all subject to the whims of Congress, do not make a whole lot of sense either.

Personally, I favor consentual contracts between IP owners and licensees, with contract violations subject to remedy through civil law, but I do not expect to see that in my life time.

As far as it being "a question of what is best," that is a pretty heavy philosophical discussion in itself, lol.

snarlydwarf
2007-04-17, 14:47
So it's the breaking of the copy protection itself that's key here?

For DVD's, yes. Ironically, according to the DMCA, if you have an audio CD that installs a rootkit to restrict copying... it is illegal to publish "hold F1 when inserting this" as that is getting around a protection scheme. Incredibly boneheaded law, but that's what happens when you have non-technical people deciding laws based on how they think reality should be.


I'm aware that you can break the copy protection on DVD Videos, if you have the right tools, the point I was trying to make (but failing) is Microsoft, not some individual or group of individuals, provide the tools to copy CDs and provide links to tagging websites etc. so in effect "encourage" people to do it or at least legitimise it.

Which is why it would be really hard for RIAA to stop, at least now. "Fair Use" is a nice vague term, and most people would have problems seeing ripping-your-own for your iPod/Zune/Squeezebox as anything but legal.. I just wouldn't count on it.

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004409.php

pfarrell
2007-04-17, 14:54
snarlydwarf wrote:
>> So it's the breaking of the copy protection itself that's key here?
>
> Incredibly boneheaded law, but that's what happens
> when you have non-technical people deciding laws based on how they
> think reality should be.


I believe it is much worse than that. The DMCA was written by the RIAA's
lawyers and presented as a package for the Congress to approve.

The RIAA directly, and the labels indirectly, gave a lot of money to the
congressional fund raising efforts.

I believe that 90% of the "representatives" who voted for the law never
read any of it.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

Ian_F
2007-04-17, 15:11
For DVD's, yes. Ironically, according to the DMCA, if you have an audio CD that installs a rootkit to restrict copying... it is illegal to publish "hold F1 when inserting this" as that is getting around a protection scheme. Incredibly boneheaded law, but that's what happens when you have non-technical people deciding laws based on how they think reality should be.


Which is why it would be really hard for RIAA to stop, at least now. "Fair Use" is a nice vague term, and most people would have problems seeing ripping-your-own for your iPod/Zune/Squeezebox as anything but legal.. I just wouldn't count on it.

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004409.php

Thanks. As you say, this whole thing is most bizarre.

Another thing that puzzles me (so many things do!), I'm in the UK by the way, is the downloading of TV shows from the internet.

For example, it is illegal for me to download, say, a brand new episode of Lost or 24 even tho it will be aired in the UK a few days later, even tho I already pay subs for the Sky channel that it will be aired on. It can't be the advertisers who'll lose out on potential revenue because I always FF through the adverts.

Anyway, I'm in serious danger of being flamed for taking this off topic so I'll get my coat and leave you guys to it ;)

opaqueice
2007-04-17, 15:25
Well, there is certainly a fundamental difference in that copying intellectual property does not deprive the owner of the intellectual property, while taking an apple deprives the owner of that apple. On the other hand, if we stipulate that the IP owner has rights associated with the IP, then copying the IP deprives the owner of those rights, just as taking an apple deprives the owner of the right to do what he pleases with the apple.


I just don't think this is a good way to think about things - it's forcing a square peg into a round hole. Look at the language you used - you said "taking an apple deprives the owner of the right to do what he pleases with the apple", when you could have simply said "taking the apple deprives the owner of the apple". Wouldn't that be much clearer and less convoluted? But in order to make the concept of ownership fit abstractions like music we are forced into these kind of rhetorical knots. I think it's even a bit dangerous - if you can own an abstraction like a song, then it's a short step to owning an idea, and I don't really want to live in a world where one can own ideas.

Instead, can't we just admit that copyright is not ownership? Music or the text of a book simply isn't property, it's something new and different. The question we should ask ourselves is whether it's a good idea to allow creators to have control over copying their creations, or not, and that's NOT the same question as whether people should be allowed to own apples or houses.

I think it should be a question of optimizing the law to maximally encourage creativity, art, and the spread of ideas in our society. If we decide a 20 year term of copyright is best, fine - no big deal. If you want to see how different that is from real ownership, imagine if all physical property became public domain 20 years after its creation :-).

Skunk
2007-04-17, 16:24
I think it's even a bit dangerous - if you can own an abstraction like a song, then it's a short step to owning an idea, and I don't really want to live in a world where one can own ideas.

Apparently singing Happy Birthday in public is copyright infringement against Time Warner, and yes that includes singing it at a restaurant! I'll run you about 10k if you want it in a movie, and about 2.5k if you sing it to your co-host on a morning show:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birthday_to_You

Also, isn't owning an idea called a patent?

opaqueice
2007-04-17, 16:41
Also, isn't owning an idea called a patent?

At least originally, patents were granted only for very specific devices or processes (not for ideas in general), and gave you the right to limit who could produce or use them for profit. There isn't anything illegal about building a patented device for your own use. So patents really aren't at all like ownership - they merely provide a limited form of control over commerce in that item. Now that things like gene sequences are patented, the situation is becoming rather less clear - but that's exactly the kind of slippage that worries me.

It's interesting to think about how the world would change if copyrights didn't exist. Does anyone really think artists would stop making art, or musicians stop making music? If patents didn't exist, would that stop university researchers, or secret industrial research? It seems to me (following Thomas Jefferson) that the benefits to society would be enormous.

tyler_durden
2007-04-17, 16:54
In the future, you will pay someone for the images hitting your retinas (you're looking at MY house, and I paid for the house, so you gotta pay me to look at it..) and every sound you hear, and eventually, after the oil and auto companies have rendered the air unfit to breathe, they will become the purveyors of breathable air.

All this will make a tremendous amount of work for lawyers. Incidentally, at the current rate of graduating lawyers in the US, by 2030 lawyers will make up 90% of the population, leaving the remaining 10%, consisting mainly of illegal aliens, to serve their coffee (spitting in it first) and clean their toilets (using the lawyer's toothbrushes).

I can hardly wait!

TD

opaqueice
2007-04-18, 05:48
In the future, you will pay someone for the images hitting your retinas (you're looking at MY house, and I paid for the house, so you gotta pay me to look at it..)...

You're a real optimist, aren't you, Tyler?

How much do I owe you for reading your post?

tyler_durden
2007-04-18, 09:54
You quoted my post, so normally, there is an additional charge beyond the charge for merely reading the post.

Since you quoted my post without my permission, you'll be hearing from my lawyer. We are going to file for massive punative damages and make an example of you so that others won't get the idea that it's OK to quote other people's posts without prior consent. This heinous behavior needs to be "nipped in the bud" (Barney Fife gave me permission to quote him- I have a signed release).

TD

Kyle
2007-04-18, 10:50
the point I was trying to make (but failing) is Microsoft, not some individual or group of individuals, provide the tools to copy CDs and provide links to tagging websites etc. so in effect "encourage" people to do it or at least legitimise it.

Yes, there have been efforts to address this very issue by adding tariffs to the equipment used to make copies, like blank CD's and satellite radios that have the ability to record. The reason laws are so muddy in this area is that technology has evolved much faster than lawmakers' and regulators' ability to decide what is fair use and how to make sure artists (and, yes, large corporations) have their investments protected. There is also the issue of international law and the fact that different countries are approaching these questions in a vast variety of ways.

danco
2007-04-18, 12:40
So what are the terms and conditions of using the forum?

Some day this might be an important question.

Tyler, I have not quoted you. I suspect that, though you may (or may not) own the copyright of your posts, you might have agreed when joining the forum that your messages can be quoted within the forum.

The wider issue of this is significant. Articles posted on one's own Web site do have copyright and anyone using them elsewhere is breaching copyright.

Hence the concepts of "copyleft" and Creative Commons licences.

tyler_durden
2007-04-18, 16:54
Apple sells 30 GB audio ipods. They also sell songs for $2 each. Someone would have to spend many thousands of dollars filling a 30 GB ipod at $2 per song. Who would do that? Almost no one. Apple could sell 2 GB ipods and reasonably expect people to fill them with music at $2 per song. So why do they sell 30 GB ipods instead of 2 GB ipods? Since almost no one could be expected to fill it at $2 per song, they must expect people to fill it other ways.

The whole technology industry is working to make copying and sharing music and movies easier. "Look here", they say, "this little box will hold 50 DVDs (but we'd never encourage you to violate the DMCA)".

At the same time the media companies are working to make it harder for music and movies to be played without someone (namely them) getting paid.

Until now the media companies have spent more money to buy politicians, so they have things like DMCA, etc. The law is on their side because they have purchased it. Eventually, the technology companies will either join the media companies (witness M$ recent forays into media) or have to start spending more to buy politicians. Either way, the lawyers will make even more money and the politician's secret Swiss accounts will grow larger.

In the mean-time us ordinary people who are being told about 50 DVDs in one ear and about DMCA in the other have to choose which side we are on. Neither side cares about me. Both are after my money. I go where I get the best value for my money. It would be irrational not to. I have made my choice and have no problem sleeping at night.

TD

Ian_F
2007-04-19, 01:08
Sorry, I just couldn't keep away from this thread......

Just came across this little gem - http://www.lewishometheatre.co.uk/

Click on the "MC Series Media Centers" tab at the top and choose the "Multiroom" option. Is that a Gladiator DVD next to their unit? Surely they're not suggesting that you can store your pre-recorded DVDs on there?! Also, check out the "DVD Catalogue system in detail" section near the bottom of the page.
If you also choose the "MS Series" option you'll note that you can store up to 300 HD DVDs on their unit. Impressive. That's an awful lot of homemade camcorder footage, isn't it!! ;)

Seineseeker
2007-04-19, 02:47
They just want to restrict everything including DVDs.

For me, I have invested a huge amount of money in the record industry, I have a stack of LPs which I can't play on my squeezebox, I have paid for that music once and record companies would expect me to buy it again to listen to it how I want to.

I don't think there is much wrong in copying a few CDs here and there. They (the record companies) expect you to pay 10 quid for a CD you might not even like, they don't give you a free trial. They release clips to make you think its good and then you find its 80% filler. So I buy the CDs I really want, and copy the ones I might listen to a couple of times. If I like it, I'll probably end up buying more CDs by the same artist in time.

sstatman
2007-04-19, 11:32
They (the record companies) expect you to pay 10 quid for a CD you might not even like, they don't give you a free trial. They release clips to make you think its good and then you find its 80% filler.

I recognize that I'm one of the bad guys in this conversation (working as I do for a company that uses DRM and works with the labels), but I'd like to suggest an alternative "try before you buy" method here.

For free, for no email address or credit card or anything, you can listen to 25 tracks a month at http://www.rhapsody.com. You can use it with Firefox or MSIE or Safari on Windows, Linux, or OS-X. All legal, all above board, all pretty easy, and it's the full Rhapsody catalog (3+ million tracks) at 128kbps.

You'll get the occasional nag to buy Rhapsody, and there are ads on the page, but otherwise it's the easiest way I know to sample music quickly.

opaqueice
2007-04-19, 13:10
For free, for no email address or credit card or anything, you can listen to 25 tracks a month at http://www.rhapsody.com. You can use it with Firefox or MSIE or Safari on Windows, Linux, or OS-X. All legal, all above board, all pretty easy, and it's the full Rhapsody catalog (3+ million tracks) at 128kbps.


Are there any plans to provide higher bitrate streams at some point?

sstatman
2007-04-19, 18:13
Are there any plans to provide higher bitrate streams at some point?

Not currently, but it will happen at some point.

ctbarker32
2007-04-19, 19:34
Why not download 739 free MP3s completely legally to start off your friends new collection?

Torrent here:

http://player.sxsw.com/torrents/SXSW_2007_Showcasing_Artists-Release_1.torrent

Info here:

http://2007.sxsw.com/toolbox/

-CB

Michaelwagner
2007-04-19, 21:02
(there have been adjudictions confirming this).

I think Michael means judgements or rulings.

mherger
2007-04-19, 21:29
>> (there have been adjudictions confirming this).
>
> I think Michael means judgements or rulings.

Ahm.... I only misspelled slightly. I meant adjudications - still don't
know whether this is the right word :-)

--

Michael

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